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Friday, February 23, 2024
Feb. 23, 2024

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Organ donors, bad feeds

The Columbian

Cheers: To saving lives by donating organs. A Dec. 2 story by Columbian reporter Chrissy Booker shared the experience of Sharol Lucey, who received Steven Haugen’s heart 26 years ago and is one of the longest-lived heart transplant patients to be treated in Oregon.

“Heart transplants are a blessing with a very dark cloud. Someone had to die to give you this gift,” said Lucey, who had suffered from cardiomyopathy so badly that curling her hair exhausted her. But over the years, she has formed a bond with Haugen’s family.

It’s easy to sign up to become an organ donor. Washington driver’s licenses and identification cards allow bearers to sign up, or you can add your name to the organ donor registry at www.lcnw.org.

“Every night when we go to bed, I can hear her heart pumping,” said Lucey’s husband, Mike. “It’s the best sound.”

Jeers: To interrupting public meetings. Often these unwanted interruptions occur in person, but this week some cyber-idiot tapped into the YouTube livestream of the Battle Ground City Council’s meeting, injecting some pornographic images and racial slurs into the feed for a few minutes before it could be switched off.

About 40 people, mostly city employees, were watching when the feed was interrupted, but the meeting had to be adjourned in the middle of a discussion about whether city employees who are not police can carry concealed weapons at work. That discussion will now resume at the next meeting, Dec. 18.

Cheers: To giving to the Giving Closet. The venerable local charity, which provides clothing and other items for free from a storelike environment, thought it may have to close permanently by Christmas. A large private donor redirected its philanthropy, another donor’s 10-year commitment expired, and an online fundraiser came up short.

The public stepped up after the organization’s woes were publicized. Now the store seems set to remain open at least through the winter, when local families are most in need of warm clothes, good shoes and holiday gifts. For more information on how to donate or how to receive services, visit givingcloset.org.

Jeers: To employers who tolerate a hostile work environment. The cost of one such case became more clear this month, when a federal judge ordered Clark County to pay $1.3 million in attorneys fees in a case involving three Latino members of the county’s Public Works Department. A jury previously awarded the men $600,000 in damages after finding the county had created a hostile and biased workplace under state law. (The jury did not find any violation of federal civil rights laws.)

We hope the awards prompt the county and other employers to take steps to ensure they offer fair and equitable workplaces, where all employees feel safe and are productive.

Cheers: To two years without “murder hornets.” The Washington State Department of Agriculture has announced it did not detect any of the unwelcome invaders, which are more properly called northern giant hornets. The department and its partners set nearly 1,000 traps, mostly in Northwest Washington, where the invasive insects had been detected in previous years.

They’ll be on the lookout again next summer, because it takes three years of zero sightings for a pest to be considered eradicated. Good thing, as entomologists are awaiting the arrival of the spotted lanternfly, which has attacked gardens, farms and vineyards in several other states.