Columbian Newspaper

Hartley busy after ‘This is Us’
Author: ALICIA RANCILIO, Associated Press

On NBC’s “This is Us,” Justin Hartley played Kevin Pearson: A man whose dreams of playing college football were derailed by injury — so he decided to try acting, and ended up a big star.

Hartley’s own story has some strong parallels. He loved to play sports growing up but realized, as he got older, he wasn’t cut out to play professionally.

“You realize there are too many people out there that are way better than you are. There’s no more room for you. You have to find something else to do,” he told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

Like Kevin, that something else turned out to be acting. While in college, Hartley joined a theater group where audience members could get onstage and join in the dialogue, leaving the actors to just go with it.

“How you prep for something like that is you just do a lot of improv work, so you’re kind of prepared for everything. They come up, they think they’re being clever, they say something, you’ve already heard it. And I just fell in love with that energy,” he said. “You get that same kind of adrenaline rush from playing sports.”

Fueled by the boldness of youth and the lack of any real responsibilities, Hartley decided to move to Los Angeles and join the countless other wannabe actors looking for their big break.

“I know no one. I have no prospects. I have no job in LA. I’ve never been. I have no talent to speak of, and I don’t know how to develop it,” said Hartley. “ ‘OK, let’s go to LA and roll the dice and see what happens.’ It kind of makes me sweat just thinking about it.”

The experiment obviously paid off but it wasn’t until “This is Us” debuted in 2016 that Hartley reached a level of fame that led to security and opportunities. He has his own production company, Change Up Productions, where he’s developing projects.

“You look at television and streaming. There are a million things out there. There are a million roles. They don’t compare to how many talented actors there are out there,” said Hartley.

Hartley’s first big role since “This is Us” aired its series finale in May is the Netflix holiday movie “The Noel Diary,” based on the novel by Richard Paul Evans. He plays a popular author who returns to his childhood home to settle his late mother’s estate and finds an old diary that leads him down a road of romance and reconciliation.

The film is directed by Charles Shyer, who directed “Father of the Bride” and “Father of the Bride II.”

“We shot this movie a while ago, so for people to finally be able to see it is pretty exciting for me,” said Hartley, adding that while the story takes place around Christmas, they filmed in the middle of summer.

“It was in the nineties and it was muggy. And (Shyer) would just look at me and go, ‘I’m so sorry. You must be miserable.’ It was hot,” he added. “It was uncomfortable, I guess, because they kept putting coats on us, but it wasn’t miserable. It was magic. It was wonderful. To celebrate Christmas in the summer and then also get to celebrate in the winter is kind of cool.”

Hartley just shot a pilot with a former “This is Us” executive producer and director, Ken Olin, for CBS called “The Never Game,” based on a book by Jeffrey Deaver. He’s also a co-executive producer.

“I think it’s a really neat sort of a throwback to classic older television in a way, these characters that you don’t really see anymore,” he said.

He also recently guest-starred in an episode of the NBC “Quantum Leap” reboot with his wife, Sofia Pernas. The two had shared a couple scenes on “The Young & the Restless” before, he said, but didn’t really know each other — so he counts this as the first time he really got to work with her.

“She’s hilarious. I got a kick out of it. Sofia is my best friend. She’s my wife. I love her to death,” he said. “She means everything to me, but my character on that show — she was annoying him, and I thought that was kind of funny. We had a blast.”

4 books for kids, teens get them off to an early start earning, saving
Author: Julia Anderson for The Columbian

Want to help your kids or grandkids get smarter about money, as well as establish good saving and spending habits? Many parents and grandparents would like to help, but how?

Lecturing may have little impact other than to annoy. Instead, let a book convey important personal-finance lessons.

I recommend these four books because they offer different approaches to coaching kids (and their parents) about money — earning it, saving and investing it, setting goals and planning for the long-term.

‘How to Money’

By Jean Chatzky (Paperback, $16.99)

Target reader: Teenagers and young adults.

Longtime national financial writer Jean Chatzky describes her book as “your ultimate visual guide to the basics of finance.” She starts with a big question for her young readers: What do you want from your life?

Chapters proceed from earning and managing money to how to budget and invest it.

“There’s no getting around it. You need to know how to manage money to know how to manage life,” Chatzky writes.

Filled with helpful illustrations and quick-hit tips, “How to Money” offers chapters on the best use of an allowance, starting your own business as a teenager and ways to turn your free time into a money-making opportunity.

Later chapters address budgeting, setting money goals and establishing credit. Her final chapters look at next steps: How to outline a career and manage a paycheck.

What I liked about this book: Chapters are easy to navigate and well-labeled. Information is presented in easy-to-understand short segments. The book has great illustrations with lots of entry points explaining concepts. To get readers started, Chatzky suggests putting together a list of five things you enjoy doing and what college majors or training programs would allow you to turn those passions into a well-paying and rewarding career.

‘I Want More Pizza’

By Steve Burkholder (Paperback, $9.99)

Target reader: Older teens, college students.

More than anything, “I Want More Pizza: Real World Money Skills for High School, College and Beyond” is intended to help young readers take control of their financial future by avoiding money pitfalls and by laying out a road map for personal success.

Burkholder organizes book chapters as slices of pizza rather than chapters.

Slice No. 1: You.

Your goals, priorities, and action. “Think about your goals and write them down,” he advises.

Slice No. 2: Saving.

“Saving (using auto-save) must be a priority. You can’t afford not to save,” he writes.

Slice No. 3: Growing your savings.

Put your savings to work by using compound growth. In other words, reinvest earnings from T-bills, certificates of deposit, mutual funds and stocks. The rewards will be great, over the long-term, he points out.

Slice No. 4: Debt.

Managing credit card debt and paying for college are two challenges facing young people, Burkholder says.

“Unfortunately, you’re never too young to do something that will negatively impact your finances. That something can be a bad decision with debt,” he writes.

Among his tips, use to research scholarship opportunities.

What I liked about this book: “I Want More Pizza” is jam-packed with money basics. Written for teens, the book is a first-person money coach. Inside there is room for notes as readers work through the “slices” (chapters).

‘A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money’

By Nancy Holyoke (Paperback, $11.99)

Target reader: Girls, ages 10-15.

Do you have a daughter or granddaughter who you want to help build good money habits? “A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money” may be the answer.

Geared to younger girls who are old enough to read and who might be starting to earn babysitting money or want to set up a savings plan, the book explains how. With great illustrations and simple language, “Money” spells out the “trick to saving for something big,” how to avoid impulse buying, and how to brainstorm a business idea. Topics include having a money talk with parents regarding expenses, saving and spending.

Quizzes throughout ask young readers to identify their “money style” and six questions to ask themselves before buying something. It concludes with 101 moneymaking ideas for girls.

What I liked about this book: This hands-on book is perfectly geared to young girls. Well-illustrated and easy to access, the book offers terrific tips for building good money habits and money confidence, as well as great moneymaking ideas.

‘Smart Money Smart Kids’

By Dave Ramsey and Rachel Cruze (Hardcover, $10.50)

Target reader: Parents and grandparents.

This extensive 250-plus-page book first published in 2014 is directed at parents (and grandparents) who want to get their kids (or grandkids) off to a good start with money and then continue to help them make good money decisions into adulthood.

Ramsey and Cruze, his daughter, build a case for establishing family money traditions early. They offer tips to help little kids understand the concept of delayed reward and promote the mantra that work “is NOT a four-letter word.” Their book shows parents how to teach kids about money using family chores, consistency and responsibility.

Ramsey and Cruze recommend that older kids start a business by first brainstorming ideas and then setting up an action plan. The book covers spending and saving wisely.

Cruze includes first-person accounts of how she learned to manage her money, set up a business while in high school and how she got through college without huge debt. In fact, debt is a big topic for Ramsey, a nationally known financial guru. Ramsey and Cruze warn college kids about credit cards and taking on student debt without realizing the burden.

They discuss how to best finance a college education. They talk about 529 savings accounts and education savings accounts. They discuss choosing a college and a major, winning scholarships and working while going to school.

What I liked about this book: It offers great advice for parents and family who want to establish good money habits early for their children and then help them make good money decisions as they grow into their teens and go off to college. At the back of the book is a student budget outline to help college-bound students get a handle on expenses.

Julia Anderson is the author of “Smart Women Smart Money Smart Life: Take Charge Now to Have the Life you Deserve.” She hosts Smart Money, a public television show on YouTube, and is the former business editor of The Columbian.

‘Running girl’: Former public defender hits her stride with three years’ sobriety from addiction
Author: Treva Lind, The Spokesman-Review

SPOKANE — Sunset Hill commuters call her the running girl.

Her name is Kendra Allen-Grant, and the 37-year-old runs the route almost daily in any weather. She smiles and waves to passersby.

“I’ll be at the grocery store or at the gym, and people come up to me and say, ‘You’re the girl who runs up Sunset Hill,’ or ‘You’re the running girl,’ all the time,” Allen-Grant said. “People honk and wave.”

Her uphill climbs aren’t just about exercise. It’s more like a marathon on the road to recovery, after life collapsed for the former Spokane County public defender.

In October, Allen-Grant marked three years of sobriety following a long climb out of addiction. A longtime alcohol and drug user, her addiction escalated in 2016. She had first kicked a heroin habit, but soon turned to meth, which became her world.

She struggled after treatments in early 2017, each time returning to the drug. Her troubles spiraled out of control — more arrests, homelessness and prostitution, she said.

In June 2017, she resigned as a public defender and within weeks was facing possession charges. That fall, she flew to California in a delusional search for Lady Gaga and became homeless there for a year, when she wasn’t in jail .

She returned to Spokane around November 2018, after promising relatives she’d do treatment again. She didn’t. She was homeless here for nearly another year, and hit “rock bottom” in jail in 2019.

Once in recovery, Allen-Grant turned to running, and she kept on running after moving three years ago to Ascenda, a sober-living community along the Sunset Hill.

She first ran on a trail but gravitated to the hill for its lighting and a bike path. “I just like going uphill. It feels good, and it’s good for my mental health.”

Allen-Grant said she still feels remorse about drug use that spiralled out of control while a public defender. Hired in 2012 after graduating from Gonzaga University’s law school, it was a dream job that she did for five years, handling up to 150 cases at a time.

In retrospect, Allen-Grant described mistakenly thinking she was a “responsible, recreational user,” who kept drugs to the weekends. She now understands her issues began during her teenage years with alcohol abuse.

Raised mostly in Boulder, Colorado, until age 15, then Honolulu, she was a shy bookworm in middle school. By high school, “I was a blackout drinker,” and struggled with mental health issues, including depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder diagnosed during treatment. Today, she goes to therapy and sees a psychiatrist monthly.

As a student, Allen-Grant juggled studies with weekend partying but still got good grades. A counselor suggested she attend Eastern Washington University to pursue a career in criminal justice.

“I was just very committed to my education,” she said. “I pretty much knew from college I wanted to be a public defender. I could relate to people who find themselves in a position where they need a public defender. There are a lot of people with mental health issues, and drug or alcohol problems. I felt like I wanted to help.”

Andrea Crumpler, her former court partner and colleague from the public defender’s office, said Allen-Grant did make a difference for clients.

“Kendra was an amazing attorney,” said Crumpler, now with the county’s Counsel for Defense office. “She worked hard, she cared, she was a great advocate for her clients, and then things started falling apart.”

At EWU, Allen-Grant made the dean’s list, even as she partied.

“It was more of a weekend thing,” Allen-Grant said. “One time, I woke up in the men’s bathroom in the dorm buck naked in the showers and ran out, hoping no one would see me. By then, I used drugs. Pot was basically every day but the harder drugs — ecstasy, cocaine and the mushrooms — were kind of recreationally on weekends.”

She recalls at least one all-nighter studying while on cocaine. She graduated, then stayed in Spokane to be near a boyfriend and took the law school admissions test.

At GU, Allen-Grant closely read case studies and memorized 40-50 page outlines of notes.

She drank alcohol most weekends while in law school, and sometimes every night. “I partied with drugs occasionally, but not as frequently as when I was an undergrad. There was cocaine every now and then. My ex-boyfriend liked opioids, so we used to do OxyContin — smoke them and snort them — as more of a weekend thing.”

She said their weekend rule mostly applied at first while she was a public defender, until the lines blurred.

“I would end up sneaking around during the work week, getting pills, hiding them and doing it so my boyfriend wouldn’t know, because Monday would come around and I wanted more.”

The heroin started in 2016, she said, after a man who supplied her and her then-boyfriend with OxyContin lost his prescription. “I went from doing pills on the weekends to I was doing a lot of heroin for three or four months.”

She described going to a friend to get a heroin shot before work, on lunches, and after work before returning home. It became a $50 to $75 a day habit.

Her mom and friends tried intervention, and co-workers started seeing signs.

“I just remember being at a meeting with all the public defenders. I kept nodding off during the meeting. I had just done a shot of heroin. Afterward, people were asking me, ‘Are you OK?’ “

Her boyfriend then gave an ultimatum, choose him or heroin. She chose to quit, ended up hospitalized, and used medication-assisted treatment Suboxone to stop. But soon after, a friend invited her to use meth.

“Real quick on meth, I went downhill. At first, I felt like superwoman, because I could stay up all night prepping my cases. Then it got to the point where I was up a week at a time and not eating much. I totally substituted one addiction for the other.

“Meth, I loved more than heroin. I have some insecurities about my body and weight, and meth takes your appetite away. I started shedding weight, had a lot of energy, felt happy most of the time, unless I thought I was dying.”

Crumpler said during a few months in 2016, Allen-Grant started showing subtle signs such as tardiness and uncharacteristic lack of attention, but when questioned she was always quick to deny that anything was wrong. By December 2016, it was obvious, and Crumpler and another co-worker confronted Allen-Grant at a hotel where she was staying.

Allen-Grant recalled that moment. “They said, ‘We know you’re on drugs, and management knows you’re on drugs. If you want to save your job, you need to go to management and say you have a drug problem and want help.’ If I did, I could receive treatment and try to keep my job, so that’s what I did.”

She entered inpatient treatment three times, and after each time used again, she said. After the third stint, she quit her job. “I decided that I liked meth more than I liked my job. I thought it was doing more good for my life than it was causing harm. I just didn’t see it.”

Throughout, Crumpler has remained her friend and served as her main contact when she left Spokane. Allen-Grant was disbarred as an attorney while in California, said Crumpler, who filed the complaint with the Washington State Bar Association.

“I did it because I care about her,” Crumpler said. “I was confident she wasn’t able to be an attorney at that point. I did tell her.

“Even through her struggles, she wanted to do the right thing.”

Allen-Grant calmly describes the chaos her life became. On short-term disability pay and with little money left, at Thanksgiving 2017 she flew to California. She had a big crush on Lady Gaga. “I was convinced that she wrote her music about me. When I was on meth, I thought everything was about me — delusions of grandeur.”

She thought celebrities would pick her up from the airport. When no one did, she took off her clothes and ended up in a psychiatric hospital. Later, she tried to climb a fence at Lady Gaga’s residence and was arrested.

“I was kind of nuts,” said Allen-Grant, who also described a suicide attempt. “I started prostituting myself for money or drugs. I was homeless. I was in jail a handful of times.”

Later in Spokane, Allen-Grant said she finally made the decision to stop. She knew the system, and with three or four felonies by 2019, she new her next arrest would likely mean prison.

“I knew that I can’t keep myself out of trouble when I’m on meth, that I’m fighting myself,” she said. “I went from being a lawyer to a street whore. I just remember I broke down and cried for two days straight.

“Andrea is the one who helped get me into inpatient (treatment) for the fourth time, when I was actually wanting it.”

Allen-Grant entered a Spokane Valley treatment program, and later a Spokane facility of Oxford Houses of Washington State, a group of recovery houses. Moving to Ascenda, she said that community is like a family. She’s also built back relationships with friends and relatives.

It hasn’t all been smooth. Her twin sister Kyla died of COVID in 2021. On two occasions on Sunset Hill, she found meth stashes but got them disposed of, without backsliding.

She’s now considering getting a part-time job. “I hope to help other people caught up in the drug world who have maybe given up hope, that they can get their life back.

“There are a lot of great government-assistance programs that help people with mental health problems and addictions. You can get out of that if that’s something you want. You have to really want it, and a normal life.”

CNBC canceled Shepard Smith’s news show
Author: Rich Heldenfels, Tribune News Service

You have questions. I have some answers.

Do you know what happened to Shepard Smith on CNBC? He was on one day and gone the next.

The former Fox News anchor departed CNBC following the cancellation of his news show after two years on the air. CNBC President KC Sullivan reportedly told staff that “we must prioritize and focus on our core strengths of business news and personal finance. As a result of this strategic alignment to our core business, we will need to shift some of our priorities and resources and make some difficult decisions.” said that when the show got the bad news, it could have wound down the show until later in November but decided instead to shut down immediately; the last telecast was on Nov. 2.

Last year there was a holiday movie on television about an orphan living in the big clock at the train station. It took place during the ’20s or ’30s. The little boy watched a toy store owner (played by an actor with the first name Ben). The ending was so wonderful; however, I was unable to get the title of the movie. I wonder if you would know the title and if it will be shown this holiday season.

That is “Hugo,” a 2011 film directed by Martin Scorsese and based on a novel by Brian Selznick. The cast includes Asa Butterfield as Hugo and Ben Kingsley as Georges Melies, the toy store owner and a pioneering filmmaker in France. I can’t say for sure that it will be a scheduled broadcast this season, but places you can find it include HBO Max and Prime Video, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.

What ever happened to the series “B Positive”? Great casting and very funny. Instead they left “Ghosts,” which they bill as hilarious and I haven’t even chuckled at.

“B Positive” was canceled last spring after two seasons on CBS. Its ratings were less than great, and according to Deadline the show had several off-camera challenges to deal with, as well as a storyline that changed significantly in the second season. As for “Ghosts,” it has done much better with critics and viewers than “B Positive.”

Many years ago, I saw a documentary-style movie whose premise was what would happen to the planet if all humans suddenly vanished in the first minutes, hours, days, weeks, years. I do not know the name of the show and have not seen it since. I wonder if you could identify and tell me where I could find it?

You probably saw “Life After People,” a History channel special in 2008 followed by a two-season series. There have been releases on DVD and Blu-ray. has the series episodes online and via its streaming app. You can also find telecasts on Prime Video, Philo and other services with a fee attached.

Everybody Has a Story: You don’t know Jack about brother John
Author: Nancy Gaston, Salmon Creek

As I started fourth grade, my little brother entered kindergarten. When our mom picked him up at the end of his first day, the teacher said, “I recommend you have your son’s hearing tested right away.”

Mom shared that story at dinner, and Dad and I both looked dubious. Jack seemed to hear perfectly well.

I became the unofficial hearing tester — covering my mouth while saying his name, whispering it, standing behind him and even going into the next room to call him.

Jack kept answering, “What?,” with increasing irritation. And we pretty much forgot about the issue.

Then, a few days later, Jack came home with a note from the teacher: “Have you arranged to have John’s hearing tested?” And it all became clear. The name on his birth certificate was indeed “John,” but he had never, ever been called that. From birth, he was “Jack” or “Jackie.”

Mom explained all that to my brother and told him she’d set the teacher straight: She simply needed to call him “Jack” and he’d answer.

“No!” came the resounding response. “My big-boy name is John, and everybody should call me that. Don’t call me ‘Jack’ anymore!”

We all tried to comply because we got an immediate reprimand from John if we got his name wrong. He was also quick to correct friends and relatives. And to this day, many decades later, he is my brother John. His hearing is still pretty keen.

Everybody Has a Story welcomes nonfiction contributions, 1,000 words maximum, and relevant photographs. Send to: or P.O. Box 180, Vancouver WA, 98666. Call “Everybody Has an Editor” Scott Hewitt, 360-735-4525, with questions.

An unlikely hub for big-tech challengers emerges in Utah
Author: Leah Nylen, Bloomberg News

For decades, conservative economic thought on the virtues of the free market has reigned supreme in American jurisprudence, nourished by scholars at places such as the University of Chicago and George Mason University.

The University of Utah is looking to change that.

With a new initiative dubbed “The Utah Project on Antitrust and Consumer Protection,” the university wants to position itself as a center of progressive economic thought and policymaking even though it’s based in a state better-known for its conservative politics.

“We are trying to institute a new type of thinking,” said Hal Singer, the project’s director, who also works as an economics expert in antitrust cases and teaches at the university. “Markets are not always perfect. There are other thoughts out there besides ‘do nothing and hands off and the markets are going to solve everything.’”

Utah may seem like an unlikely place to host such a venture. All four Republican House incumbents won at least 60% of the vote this month, and no Democrat has won statewide office since 1985. But Utah — home to only two companies in the S&P 500 Index — has a tradition of opposing corporate dominance. Its constitution includes a clause supporting the free market “to promote the dispersion of economic and political power.”

It’s also played a role in landmark antitrust cases against technology giants. In the 1990s, the software firm Novell, headquartered in Provo, Utah, was among firms that complained about Microsoft Corp. in the Justice Department’s epic monopolization case. Utah’s attorney general is currently leading one of a trio of antitrust suits against Alphabet Inc.’s Google.

Utah Senator Mike Lee, who won reelection, is the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Commitee’s antitrust panel. Lee, who declined to comment on the Utah Project, is hardly progressive on economic matters, but he has been critical of lax antitrust enforcement, particularly of tech giants.

The Utah Project took shape at the university’s 2019 antitrust conference where a manifesto, called “The Utah Statement,” was drafted.

Two of the statement’s drafters have since joined President Joe Biden’s administration: Tim Wu as a White House adviser on technology and competition policy, and Lina Khan as chair of the Federal Trade Commission. Alongside Jonathan Kanter, a longtime Google critic and the Justice Department’s antitrust chief, they are considered crusaders trying to restore enforcement to its trust-busting roots.

During a keynote address at a Utah Project symposium last month, Khan pledged to revive dormant antitrust statutes, such as the 1936 Robinson-Patman Act, which bars price-discrimination by suppliers.

“I admire what you all are looking to do,” she told the roughly 100 academics, lawyers, economists and top Biden antitrust officials who attended the Salt Lake City symposium.

A joint venture between the university’s economics and law departments, the project plans to fund research, publish legal writing and host events — including some aimed at persuading judges to support more aggressive antitrust challenges to mergers. It has started an online magazine, The Sling — a reference to the weapon used by David to defeat the Biblical giant Goliath — for antitrust commentary and hopes to establish a legal journal for longer academic writings. The idea is to provide a counterweight to the philosophies of the University of Chicago and the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

The most striking divide between progressives and the prevailing view of antitrust enforcement that emerged from the Chicago school is the consumer-welfare standard. This approach uses consumer price increases to gauge competitive harm. Critics of that view say the focus on consumer prices has handcuffed enforcers in the digital age, for example, when it comes to policing tech companies whose products are often free.

Utah’s burgeoning tech, banking and biotech industries — which helped fuel a 49% population surge since 2000 to 3.34 million — make it an ideal location to challenge the traditional views on the economy and business, said University of Utah law professor Christopher Peterson.

“This is a spot where we can talk about new ideas,” said Peterson, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2020.

Check It Out: Holiday baking a sweet endeavor
Author: Jan Johnston

My husband and I have been working really hard to avoid sugar as much as possible, but here come the holidays, and all bets are off. We’ll try not to fall in to a sugar-induced stupor, but we know there are sweet treats ahead.

There is nothing wrong with store-bought goodies, so no judgment here. If you do want to make your holidays a bit more about “made from the heart” than “bought from a store,” the library has a variety of holiday baking books. I’ve selected a handful of titles to get you started including a title that uses ready-made mixes and crusts with a heartfelt helping of made-from-scratch intentions. And in the spirit of trying to avoid the typical holiday sugar rush, I’ve chosen a sugar-free and gluten-free cookbook.

Growing up, my mom had a list of Christmas goodies she baked every year which included Spritz cookies made with a cookie press, German Lebkuchen, Dot Chocolate Fudge, and Cut Out Butter Cookies With Frosting. The tradition was to bake the butter cookies Christmas Eve and then have the whole family spend the afternoon frosting and decorating Santas, reindeer, ornaments and other holiday shapes. This will always be one of my favorite holiday memories.

Whether you already have sweet treat traditions in your family or are ready to start traditions of your own, the library can act as your bibliographic cooking assistant.

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads … – Clement Clark Moore

  • “Baking for the Holidays: 50+ Treats for a Festive Season” by Sarah Kieffer.
  • “Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day: Sweet and Decadent Baking for Every Occasion” by Zoe Francois.
  • “Holiday Cookies: The Ultimate Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Treats” by Alice Medrich.
  • “Jewish Holiday Baking: Inspired Recipes for Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, and More” by Uri Scheft with Raquel Pelzel.
  • “Norwegian Christmas Foods and Traditions: Dinners, Desserts, Cookies, Traditions, History, Songs and Lores” by Henrik H. Koch.
  • “Out of the Box Holiday Baking: Gingerbread Cupcakes, Peppermint Cheesecake, and More Festive Semi-Homemade Sweets” by Hayley Parker.
  • “True Comfort: More Than 100 Cozy Recipes Free of Gluten and Refined Sugar” by Kristin Cavallari.
Local View: Clark Public Utilities can do more to aid climate
Author: Cathryn Chudy

We’re glad to see The Columbian taking a more active interest in our public electric utility and regional energy strategy (“In Our View: Power plant upgrades serve people, planet,” Nov. 13, 2022.)

Clark Public Utilities is enormously important to our county, our economy, and our livability. We hope this media coverage continues and helps spark a broader communitywide discussion.

CPU’s hardworking employees do an excellent job with customer service and maintaining a reliable electric system. But success in some areas can breed complacency and insularity in others. Unfortunately, Clark Public Utilities is behind when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and protecting Clark County from unnecessary local pollution. Our climate and our lungs can’t afford business as usual any longer.

Although CPU has preferential access to cheap and reliable hydropower from the Bonneville Power Administration, it is among the top polluters in Washington.

The gas-powered River Road Generating Plant is our county’s largest source of nitrogen oxide and fine particle matter.

Clark Public Utilities can and should immediately begin reducing reliance on dirty power from the River Road Generating Plant. Simply complying with state law is not “pragmatic,” but what is expected of a public agency.

We’d like to see most of our county’s needs covered by new and existing renewables, with the generating plant kept in reserve. Other than the purchase of the Box Canyon Dam output, we know of no effort to secure additional utility-scale renewable energy.

Clark Public Utilities doesn’t need to passively wait for others to develop new renewables. It can start in Clark County with mid-sized solar projects of its own.

We suggest building a 1-megawatt solar project next year in Clark County, and then gradually scaling up every year.

We’d also like to see Clark Public Utilities take advantage of state incentives for community solar projects, expanding and multiplying the success of its very popular project that went online in 2015.

Building local projects will create steady work and develop a competitive workforce that learns by doing, innovates, and brings down prices. Local renewables and other distributed energy resources avoid transmission costs while increasing community resilience.

Ratepayers want the greenhouse gases and health impacts of the River Road Generating Plant to be reduced as much as possible, as soon as possible, with abundant, reliable and affordable clean energy replacements in place before the plant is shut down.

We’d like to see Clark Public Utilities take more leadership when it comes to reducing emissions and protecting the health of our community.

Cathryn Chudy submitted this op-ed on behalf of the Alliance for Community Engagement, a coalition of organizations advocating for strong, equitable local climate policy.

Estrich: Rape defense turns back clock
Author: Susan Estrich

If she hadn’t married the governor of California, she would’ve been “just another bimbo” who engaged in “transactional sex” to get ahead. Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer, in an opening statement straight out of the 1980s, reportedly dismissed and disparaged Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the wife of California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who took the stand to testify against Weinstein.

And then there was the rest. She must have been asking for it if she drank champagne. She must have known it was coming, must have wanted it or traded for it or something.

Harvey Weinstein is on trial for rape. The charge is not that he persuaded Hollywood hopefuls with the promise of a plum part. The charge is that he raped them, by force or threat of force.

Force. Nonconsent. No means no. What about that has anything to do with whether the woman is a bimbo or not?

Just who is on trial here?

I give enormous credit to California’s first partner for having the courage to come forward and testify, knowing full well the scrutiny she would face. Knowing full well that she would be cross-examined about why she stayed in touch with a man who raped her, or why her husband accepted political contributions from him. Of course she was asked those questions, even though the answer is as obvious as it is painful: He was a powerful man, and you don’t talk about such things.

Sometimes — like when reading about the Weinstein opening statement — I despair about how little has changed in rape cases. That opening statement could have been given back then.

Why it’s still being used as the defense of choice today is the real question. Is this Weinstein’s best hope? To turn back the clock and put each of the women on trial? Apparently, he thinks so. And so do his fancy lawyers.

My money says they’re wrong.

I’m sorry, but I don’t think anyone — and I hope this includes the jury — sees California’s first partner as a “bimbo.” I hope we have come far enough that they see her as the courageous woman that she is, as a woman who still remembers and relives the painful details of her victimization, even as she proclaims her survival.

I hope we have come far enough that we recognize maturity and courage in the face of victimization and humiliation, that we see a woman who could be your sister or wife or daughter standing up to a man who treated her like dirt. Who was wrong. Who deserves to be punished for what he did to her. Because whoever she married, or didn’t, her sexual autonomy deserved to be respected, and the failure to do so is a crime deserving of punishment. The bimbo business is entirely irrelevant.

Other Papers Say: Lawmakers must take steps to boost nursing
Author: The following editorial originally appeared in The Seattle Times:

Nursing has ranked as the nation’s most-trusted profession for 20 years straight, according to Gallup’s annual survey. So Americans should trust nurses when they say they need reinforcements. Stat!

A report by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing warns that the numbers are moving in the wrong direction: The United States will need 200,000 more registered nurses in 10 years but saw an unprecedented net loss of 100,000 nurses from 2020 to 2021.

Washington’s shortage is among the worst. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the state has 8.11 nurses for every 1,000 residents, compared with a national average of 9.19 per 1,000.

Is it little wonder, then, that nurses are burned out and looking for other careers?

Pressures on nurses, ranging from graying baby boomers to cost-saving shifts of responsibility from doctors to nurses, have been building for years. Then came the pandemic, which has taken more than 1 million Americans’ lives — many of whom died in crowded hospitals while overworked nurses held their hands.

Hospitals have resorted to hiring short-term traveling nurses at salaries two or three times those paid to staff nurses. This is a surefire recipe for low morale and helps explain why Washington hospitals lost a record $1.8 billion in the first six months of 2022.

Unless Washington finds ways to encourage more people to go into nursing and more current nurses to stay in the profession, the shortage could become a health care crisis.

Pay, benefits and working conditions are cornerstones of attracting and retaining professionals in any field, including nursing. Pay and benefits are straightforward enough. Hospitals must pay enough and provide tailored benefits to compete for skilled workers. Working conditions are more situational, but they start with doctors, hospital administrators and even patients treating nurses with respect.

All the money and the best working conditions won’t be enough, however, if there aren’t nurses to fill openings. Bringing more nurses on board requires removing bottlenecks in the training and education pipeline.

In a Nov. 11 Seattle Times op-ed, a pair of Seattle University administrators described commonsense steps the Legislature could take to reduce the number of qualified applicants turned away by the state’s nursing schools.

For example, Washington should bring its overly burdensome regulation of clinical nursing hours into alignment with other states, add research-based best practices and reduce costs for nursing students.

Washington’s health care system can’t function, financially or otherwise, without an adequate staff of nurses. Trust nurses when they say their ranks are too thin.