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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Joining hands; trash disconnect

The Columbian
Published: September 10, 2022, 6:03am

Cheers: To Hands Across the Bridge. The annual Labor Day event provides a powerful statement about the human spirit and the many people in our community who are working to improve their lives. Hands Across the Bridge celebrates those who are recovering from addiction, with an event at Esther Short Park followed by a human chain across the walkway of the Interstate 5 Bridge. There, participants link up with brethren from the Oregon side of the Columbia River.

“I don’t think any city, anywhere in the world, has a recovery community quite like this one,” a speaker told the crowd Monday. Such support is essential to helping those who are taking life one day at a time. Another said: “We are here to fight the stigma. This is a celebration of being our best selves, of the hard work that takes. It is powerful to see people come up from the depth of their addiction.” It also is inspiring for everybody facing challenges in their lives.

Jeers: To Waste Connections. Customers have reported confusion over changes to pickup schedules for the company’s Recycle-Plus program; more important, they say it is difficult to get information online or over the phone.

Waste Connections has a reputation for effective customer service, which makes the recent complaints particularly disappointing. One customer told The Columbian: “Sometimes they would say recycling is going to biweekly now; sometimes they’d say it’s going to be weekly … That was really confusing. No one could tell us what our dates were.”

Cheers: To environmental cleanup. Port of Ridgefield officials have 40 acres of riverfront property ready to be developed. The property lies along Lake River, which connects to Vancouver Lake to the south and passes through the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge.

Regardless of the outcome, decades of cleanup will benefit the region as the area is transformed from an industrial site to an area accessible for residents.

Jeers: To jumping to conclusions. An “alarming” video of Mount Rainier caused a stir this week. A Seattle meteorologist posted images of Washington’s tallest peak with the caption “Mt. Rainier appears to be venting,” sparking speculation that a volcanic eruption was possible.

That led the United States Geological Survey Volcanoes to write on Twitter that the volcano was not erupting. And the Washington Emergency Management Division to post, “This is NOT a eruption.” And the Mount Rainier National Park Service to note that the “activity” over the volcano was a lenticular cloud. And the Washington Emergency Management Division to write, “Videos shown are not what folks think.” The lesson, as always: Think before you post.

Cheers: To Kara Winger. As her career winds down, the Vancouver native is cementing her status as America’s greatest javelin thrower. Winger, 36, recently regained the American record she held from 2010 to 2021 with a throw of 223 feet, 5 inches. This came weeks after she won a silver medal at the world championships, her best finish at a major world competition.

Winger, who has won nine national championships and competed in four Olympics, still plans to retire after this season — despite the recent success. “I think it’s happening because of the urgency and finality and motivation of last times. It’s perfect,” she told The Columbian in a text message. In addition to her athletic success, Winger has long been an ambassador for U.S. track and field and for Vancouver, warranting cheers both in and out of the competitive arena.