Monday, March 20, 2023
March 20, 2023

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In Our View: What’s in and out in Clark County for 2023

The Columbian

On Sunday, The Columbian’s newsroom brought you our annual list of the top local stories of the year. Now let’s look at what is trending, and not trending, in Clark County:

In: The “tripledemic.” The flu, RSV and COVID-19 are all going around. Here’s hoping holiday gatherings weren’t super-spreaders.

Out: COVID-19 precautions. Despite the tripledemic, government officials are loathe to require masks or reimpose other restrictions. Meanwhile the public widely ignores advice to resume wearing masks.

In: Trendy waterfronts. The Waterfront Vancouver continues to thrive. Other developers recently showed renderings of a similar project at the Port of Camas-Washougal, set to break ground in the second half of the year. Ridgefield has waterfront plans, too.

Out: Old haunts. Gone are the Red Lion Hotel at the Quay, Joe’s Crab Shack and the Tower Mall.

In: Bank certificates of deposit. Recent ads in The Columbian show local institutions are paying more than 4 percent.

Out: Crypto. If you never really understood how it worked, there’s a reason why.

In: Costco. The warehouse store has announced its third Clark County location, in Ridgefield.

Out: Shopping in Oregon. There are likely many reasons, but statistics show Clark County’s sales tax “leakage” to Oregon has decreased recently.

In: Stay Safe communities. Two are operating successfully in Vancouver, and a third may be erected downtown as soon as this month.

Out: Camping by the roadside. Authorities have resumed sweeping camps; in some places Oregon has installed jagged rocks to keep the camps from regenerating.

In: The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program. Assuming the project keeps meeting deadlines, it may actually get to the construction phase.

Out: Building a “third bridge” first. Still the pet idea of many IBR opponents, it has no buy-in from decision-makers.

In: Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Kevin Waters, Sue Marshall and other newly elected pragmatic, practical leaders.

Out: Joe Kent, Vicki Kraft, Don Benton and other “look at me” politicians whose antics repeatedly embarrassed us.

In: The Cowlitz Tribe. ilani, the tribe’s large, successful casino, just keeps getting bigger. A recent internal expansion enlarged the gaming floor and includes a new sports betting lounge. Look for Clark County’s most extravagant hotel to open there later this year.

Out: The Chinook Tribe. Briefly granted federal recognition during the Clinton administration, that recognition was revoked by George W. Bush’s administration, leaving this band of Indigenous people along the lower Columbia River without access to federal services and the right to own land or establish tribal enterprises.

In: Hybrid work. Two years after COVID-19 sent office workers home, many still aren’t back full-time. This hybrid “I work from home some days” model appears to be here to stay.

Out: Remote work. While more employers are willing to allow hybrid work, many are requiring workers to at least make semi-regular appearances at the office.

In: Electric vehicles. If you live in Vancouver, chances are you or your neighbor already drives a Tesla or a Leaf. New vehicles, and a new federal tax credit of up to $7,500, will put more EVs on the road.

Out: Big gas-guzzler sedans. You can’t buy a new Mercury or Oldsmobile. Lincoln and Buick make only SUVs, and Cadillac is marketing an all-electric sedan.