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News / Opinion / Editorials
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.

Cheers & Jeers: Freedom for all; troubled facility

The Columbian
Published: June 19, 2023, 6:03am

Cheers: To Juneteenth. June 19 is a relatively new holiday, adopted in 2021 at both the federal and state levels, but it long has been celebrated to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Its origins trace back to the date in 1865 when an order freed slaves in Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

As Vancouver-based Odyssey World International Education Services explains: “It signifies the time when America fulfilled its commitment to liberty for all of its citizens. Although our backgrounds may differ as Americans, our histories are intertwined. On this holiday, we celebrate the opportunity to stand united in freedom.” While Juneteenth has been recognized for generations by the African American community, the establishment of a holiday acknowledges that it is a cause for celebration among all Americans. Cheers go to recognition for a step toward equality in the United States.

Jeers: To Daybreak Youth Services. A judge has fined the nonprofit, which operates a treatment facility in Brush Prairie, and ordered it to cease operations amid continuing legal problems. The ruling finds that Daybreak was continuing to operate despite having its license suspended by state regulators.

With facilities in Clark County and Spokane, Daybreak provides inpatient addiction treatment for teens. The services are needed in our community, but Daybreak apparently has demonstrated an inability to follow state laws and regulations. We hope they are able to rectify its problems, and that additional treatment centers arise to help fill a pressing need.

Cheers: To the Red Vine. It will not open until October, but C-Tran’s new rapid bus transit line is on track to be completed ahead of schedule and under budget. The Vine on Mill Plain — designated by red signs to differentiate it from the green line along Fourth Plain Boulevard— will serve 37 stops along a 10-mile corridor between downtown Vancouver and the Clark College Columbia Tech Center.

“Mill Plain is one of the most important corridors in our community, and we’re thrilled for the new opportunities The Vine will bring,” said Shawn M. Donaghy, C-Tran’s chief executive officer. Construction of new stops has been underway for months, often slowing traffic along Mill Plain with lane closures. But news that the work is meeting deadlines and budget constraints is worthy of cheers.

Jeers: To dangerous criminals. A 27-year-old man and two male juveniles are facing charges related to a stolen car, a drive-by shooting and a police chase that traveled from Vancouver to Portland. The chase ended when the car they were driving ended up wedged between a MAX train and a sidewalk on the Steel Bridge that crosses the Willamette River.

Fortunately, nobody was injured in the bizarre series of events. Cheers go to Vancouver police who engaged in the pursuit and arrested the suspects. Jeers go to people who endangered our community and came to a fitting end against a MAX train.

Cheers: To a piece of Vancouver’s history. The house once occupied by John P. Kiggins — builder, mayor and namesake of the Kiggins Theatre and Kiggins Bowl — is for sale. The 1907 home, originally at 411 E. Evergreen Blvd., was moved to 2404 H St. in recent decades because of development in the downtown area.

“Its distinct character is what we liked,” said Andrew Geisler, who owns the house with his wife, Cheryl. “I like history and my wife likes old homes.” For an asking price of $1.8 million, a slice of the region’s past can be yours.