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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.
News / Opinion / Editorials

In Our View: Cheers & Jeers: A grand grand marshal; a revenue shortfall

The Columbian
Published: June 3, 2024, 6:03am

Cheers: To Greg McKelvey. The longtime band director at Battle Ground High School has been selected as grand marshal of Saturday’s Grand Floral Parade, the signature event of Portland’s Rose Festival. “It just sunk in today,” McKelvey said during a surprise celebration at the school. “Before I was thinking, ‘Is this really going to happen?’ This means a lot to me because, to be candid, you guys could have chosen a number of great people.”

McKelvey has worked at Battle Ground since 1996, and his bands have been a staple of the Grand Floral Parade — and other events throughout the country. Rose Festival dignitaries honored him “with gratitude and good wishes for his decades of dedication to music education and to his students.” It is an appropriate career capstone for McKelvey, who is retiring this year.

Jeers: To a revenue shortfall. The Bonneville Power Administration is projecting a $280 million loss this year because of drought and extreme weather events. The administration, which operates under the U.S. Department of Energy, provides about half of Clark County’s electricity through Clark Public Utilities.

The Bonneville Power Administration calculates its rates every two years, and it is too soon to determine how the shortfall will impact ratepayers down the road. But the situation serves as another example of the costs of climate change. “We’re dealing with a fair amount of uncertainty every time we calculate our rates,” a Bonneville Power Administration spokesperson said.

Cheers: To Herb March. A recent article from Columbian reporter Scott Hewitt detailed the 82-year odyssey that brought March to his rightful resting place. The La Center native died at the age of 24 from malnutrition and disease in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines during World War II, after surviving the Bataan Death March.

Thanks to advancements in DNA technology, March’s remains were identified in August — one of many U.S. casualties who have been identified thanks to work that is ongoing. His remains were flown home and given a ceremonial military interment alongside family members at a Woodland cemetery. The touching story is a reminder of the debt the United States owes to its fallen soldiers.

Jeers: To Apple Cup streaming. As if there were not enough changes coming to the Apple Cup, we learned last week that it will be more difficult for fans to watch this year’s football game between the University of Washington and Washington State University. The game, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Sept. 14, will be shown on Peacock; that means that only subscribers to the streaming service will have access.

With the demise of the Pac-12 and with Washington joining the Big Ten, the contest no longer is a conference battle. It also is no longer a late-season game. But there still are plenty of fans who would appreciate easy TV access to the Apple Cup.

Cheers: To highway improvements. Work has resumed on Highway 14 between Interstate 205 and 164th Avenue after pausing for the winter. The Washington State Department of Transportation plans to finish adding auxiliary lanes in both directions and the construction of a sound wall to the north of the highway by this winter.

When the project is finished, the state transportation department will activate overhead lane displays that indicate when the part-time shoulder lane is open. Work began in fall 2022 and has proceeded intermittently. The slow pace has been frustrating, but if it results in improved traffic flow, it will be beneficial.