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Opinion
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: Positive project; RIP Schonely

The Columbian
Published: January 28, 2023, 6:03am

Cheers: To needed development. Plans are underway for industrial development north of Highway 14 and east of the Grand Central shopping area, which is anchored by a Fred Meyer store. Killian Pacific expects to build out a 17-acre site that has sat unused for years.

The area long has been regarded by the city of Vancouver as the Lower Grand Employment Area, with potential for job-creating construction. But it also has been designated as a brownfield — an area where previous industrial use possibly left behind chemicals that can complicate future development. A 2014 federal grant promoted cleanup of the area, hopefully clearing the way for the productive use of a barren swath of land near the heart of the city. In addition to a slew of restaurants, hotels and other service businesses, Vancouver needs industrial development to promote a balanced economy.

Jeers: To guns at airports. Officials at Portland International Airport report that they found 78 guns in carry-on bags during security checks in 2022. That is a 47 percent increase over 2021, echoing a similar jump nationally. Equally notable, 84 percent of the weapons found at PDX were loaded.

Attempting to carry a gun onto an airplane — whether it’s loaded or not — is a violation of federal law and can result in a fine of up to $13,000. Plus, it’s simply foolish. Although the number of weapons is small considering how many passengers pass through the airport, travelers should be more cognizant of what is in their carry-on baggage; “forgetting” that you have a loaded weapon is not responsible gun ownership.

Cheers: To protecting animals … and consumers. A bill in the Legislature takes aim at large-scale breeding facilities for household pets, pejoratively known as “puppy mills.” The legislation would work toward ethical practices in an industry that is rife with unethical behavior, and would direct consumers toward animal rescue groups or reputable breeders.

The bill has quickly amassed 30 co-sponsors (including Rep. Monica Stonier, D-Vancouver), indicating broad interest in Olympia. Animal breeding isn’t the most pressing concern for lawmakers, but it seems that stopping practices that cause suffering for animals is a worthy goal.

Sad: The death of Bill Schonely. For fans, Schonely was more than the voice of the Portland Trail Blazers. Noted for coining the term “Rip City” while serving as the club’s radio play-by-play announcer through its first 28 seasons, he was a lasting and prominent symbol of the franchise and the city.

Schonely died last week at the age of 93, generating recollections of Blazermania and the team’s 1977 NBA championship — the only title in franchise history. As the defining voice of the Blazers, a longtime ambassador for the team and a frequent advertising spokesman, Schonely was instantly recognizable throughout the metro area. He will be missed.

Cheers: To nostalgia. A dedicated fan of the 1985 movie “The Goonies” has purchased the Astoria, Ore., home that is central to the movie. Behman Zakeri, who lives in Kansas, plans to turn the home into a haven for Goonies fans from far and near.

“I’m just super excited to try to be the best I can be for the Goonies community,” Zakeri said. “Somebody that was a true Goonie needed to have it to kind of make sure that it didn’t go away.” The house has been a tourist destination for fans for years. That can make life difficult for residents who desire a peaceful existence, but the new owner seems more interested in keeping movie fans happy.

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