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Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Feb. 21, 2024

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In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: Giving hits home; ‘Tranq’ fears

The Columbian

Cheers: To philanthropy. The Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund has donated $2.5 million to Evergreen Habitat for Humanity for the construction of 100 homes over the next four years. Habitat for Humanity is a national organization that uses donations and volunteer work to build homes for low-income residents. The donation will help the nonprofit organization finish current projects while purchasing land and preparing infrastructure for future home sites.

The scope of the donation is significant. The local Habitat for Humanity chapter was founded in 1991 and has built 52 homes serving approximately 200 people. Contributing to the construction of 100 homes will greatly expand the organization’s impact in the community. Meanwhile, the Lynch fund — which contributes to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism initiative — also announced a $1 million award to the Children’s Home Society of Washington. Dollie Lynch died in 2010 and Ed Lynch died in 2015, but their family continues to make a difference in Clark County.

Jeers: To whatever is ailing Karen Bowerman. The Clark County Council chair has been absent from recent meetings. In response to an email inquiry from The Columbian, a county spokesperson wrote, “What I can tell you is that Chair Bowerman has had some health issues, and I’ve not heard if there is an estimated date for her return.” Bowerman, who long has attended meetings remotely, was last present on Oct. 4.

During a September interview with CVTV, Bowerman said of the council, “We’re a diverse group. We all have our pluses and our minuses. Mine just happens to be medical.” Our best wishes go to Bowerman and her family during a difficult time.

Cheers: To Clark College. College officials and dignitaries took part in a “topping out” ceremony this week, completing the framework for the school’s Advanced Manufacturing Center in Ridgefield. The satellite campus at Boschma Farms is expected to be ready for classes in 2025.

Clark College has extended its reach in recent years, adding a facility in east Vancouver and making plans for the Ridgefield construction. “Our vision is for this progressive instructional center to serve our growing region and the critical workforce needs, including advanced manufacturing,” Clark President Karin Edwards said. With the growth and with diverse offerings for students throughout the region, Clark is keeping with the mission of a “community” college.

Jeers: To “Tranq.” As if the threat of fentanyl were not enough, health officials are watching for the presence of xylazine — colloquially known as “Tranq” — in our community. The drug, used as a horse tranquilizer, has been linked to overdoses in some U.S. cities.

Data from Columbia River Mental Health Services indicates that approximately 4 percent of fentanyl in Clark County contains xylazine. “Most people are getting this into their drugs without their knowledge or desire,” one official said. The situation adds to the urgency of slowing the flow of fentanyl.

Cheers: To city planning. Plaudits might be premature, but Vancouver’s plans for the Heights District are drawing praise. The proposal for a 205-acre mixed-use, walkable neighborhood is one of 11 winners of the 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Awards.

“This year’s winners are tackling everything from housing affordability to environmental restoration, proving that our state can do anything it sets its mind to,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. Now Vancouver officials need to turn their vision for the former Tower Mall site into reality.