Columbian Newspaper

Letter: Pave before painting
Author: Paul Presler, Vancouver

Today I went shopping and drove on Fourth Plain, going east from Grand Boulevard, and I saw that painting strips were done both east and westbound. Why are they wasting paint and manpower on a road that needs paving work done now? There are severe cracks and potholes everywhere and the weight of those articulated buses does not help. No, that much weight breaks down the pavement in heat and cold. But to get back to my question, why was Fourth Plain not on the repaving schedule this year before painting strips? Bad management!


Commentary: Delay of some tariffs cold comfort for retailers
Author: Sarah Halzack, Bloomberg Opinion

It looks as if the Trump administration didn’t want to be accused of ruining Christmas.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office said Tuesday that it would delay until Dec. 15 the imposition of tariffs on certain goods coming to the U.S. from China. The government said products such as cellphones, laptops, as well as some toys, clothes and shoes would be spared temporarily, though it plans to move ahead on Sept. 1 with a 10 percent levy on other items from a batch of $300 billion worth of goods.

It’s no coincidence that the products subject to the delay are common Christmas gifts, the kinds of products that are essential drivers of consumer spending in the retail industry’s most important season of the year. President Donald Trump told reporters Tuesday the timing was revised so it “won’t be relevant to the Christmas shopping season,” a change that all but ensures that crucial merchandise that stores have ordered for this year’s holiday shopping rush will not be subject to new levies.

On some level, I’m sure retailers welcome the reprieve. These tariffs leave them with a host of difficult decisions to make, including how much they can raise prices before consumers balk and how much they can let tariffs eat into their profit margins before investors start running for the exits. At least they get to have more of a business-as-usual holiday season before they have to find out. It also gives them just a little more time to work on mitigation strategies, such as negotiating with suppliers, and to work on longer-term goals such as moving manufacturing away from China.

That said, this latest development should be seen as nothing more than cold comfort for the retail industry. Trump keeps giving corporate America whiplash on trade. There were similar timing delays with earlier tariffs on goods made in China. Trump spooked some sectors in May with a threat to slap tariffs on goods coming to the U.S. from Mexico as part of an attempt to get that country to bend to his will on immigration policy. The threat was neutered within days after they reached a deal to avert such levies, at least temporarily.

With each of these episodes, the Trump administration keeps proving itself impulsive and unpredictable on trade-related matters. This most recent tariff delay simply serves as a reminder that it will continue to be so. The White House is essentially a giant cloud of uncertainty over how the retail industry should manage everything from pricing to supply chain to inventory.

We’ve seen in other sectors how the government’s waffling on tariffs can create real headaches. My colleague Brooke Sutherland covers industrial companies, and she pointed out that when those businesses were affected by earlier tariffs, some U.S. companies tried to get ahead of the policy change by stockpiling inventory. Then, tariff hikes ended up being delayed, uncertainty kept customers on the sidelines and they were left sitting on excess goods. Retailers might find themselves in the same position, and that might offset or outright negate any relief they feel over this latest delay.

The retail industry is already trying to navigate an extraordinary period of instability and change, given the rise of e-commerce, the fall of once-ubiquitous chains and other shifts in consumer preferences, such as the rise of healthier eating and lifestyles. It’s unfortunate that they have to add erratic trade policies to their list of potential stumbling blocks.

Bruce Lee’s daughter unhappy with Tarantino
Author: Christie D’Zurilla, Los Angeles Times

Bruce Lee’s daughter has heard enough from Quentin Tarantino, thank you very much. It’s time for the director to be quiet or be apologetic.

“He could shut up about it,” Shannon Lee said when asked by Variety about how the director could quell the brouhaha over Bruce Lee’s portrayal in “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” which has topped $110 million at the box office since opening July 26.

The martial-arts icon’s depiction in the film, set in 1969 Hollywood, has been criticized as “disrespectful” and “a mockery” of the late Lee’s legacy. Lee is shown as a cocky man who brags that his fists are “registered as lethal weapons” and that he could “cripple” Muhammad Ali, only to be thrown into the side of a car by Brad Pitt’s stuntman character, Cliff Booth.

“While I understand that the mechanism in the story is to make Brad Pitt’s character out to be such a badass that he can beat up Bruce Lee, the script treatment of my father as this arrogant, egotistical punching bag was really disheartening — and, I feel, unnecessary,” Shannon Lee told The Times in July, adding that Tarantino seemed to have “gone out of the way to make fun of my father and to portray him as kind of a buffoon.”

The martial artist’s daughter is chief executive of the Bruce Lee Family Co. and heads her father’s namesake charity.

Talking to Variety on Wednesday, she also offered Tarantino other options to make things right.

“[H]e could apologize or he could say, ‘I don’t really know what Bruce Lee was like. I just wrote it for my movie,'” she said. “But that shouldn’t be taken as how he really was.”

Tarantino spoke up in defense of his portrayal last week at a Moscow press event, labeling Bruce Lee “kind of an arrogant guy.”

“The way he was talking, I didn’t just make a lot of that up,” Tarantino said. “I heard him say things like that, to that effect. If people are saying, ‘Well, he never said he could beat up Muhammad Ali,’ well, yeah, he did. Not only did he say that, but his wife, Linda Lee, said that in her first biography I ever read. … She absolutely said it.”

The director, now 56, was 10 when Bruce Lee died in July 1973.

Tarantino said that while Pitt couldn’t beat up Lee, maybe stuntman Booth could. “If you ask me the question, ‘Who would win in a fight: Bruce Lee or Dracula?’ It’s the same question. It’s a fictional character. If I say Cliff can beat Bruce Lee up, he’s a fictional character, so he could beat Bruce Lee up.”

Lee’s training partner Dan Inosanto also countered Tarantino’s vision, though he hadn’t seen the film at the time he initially spoke. (Shannon Lee had seen it.)

“He was never, in my opinion, cocky,” Inosanto told Variety. “Maybe he was cocky in as far as martial arts because he was very sure of himself. He was worlds ahead of everyone else. But on a set, he’s not gonna show off.”

Reputation, memory

Lee’s family has a history of defending his reputation and memory. The martial artist’s widow, Linda Lee Cadwell, took issue with her late husband’s portrayal in an August 1998 piece by the L.A. Times marking the 25th anniversary of his death. She accused the paper of “sensationalizing the life and death of an extraordinarily gifted human being.”

“I am not purporting that Bruce was a perfect human being, only one that did more good than harm in his short time on this Earth,” Cadwell wrote in a letter to The Times. “He faced many obstacles in his life — overcoming racist attitudes, surviving dire economic circumstances, surmounting physical injuries — and in so doing distinguished himself as someone to be rightfully admired and emulated.”

Death Notices
Author: The Columbian

Fonacier, Lilia Lavarias, 62, Vancouver, died Aug. 15, 2019. Evergreen Memorial Gardens Funeral Chapel and Crematory, 360-892-6060.

Gilman, Lawrence E., 75, Camas, died Aug. 15, 2019. Straub’s Funeral Home & Columbia River Cremation, 360-834-4563.

Jones, Steven, 62, Ridgefield, died Aug. 15, 2019. Northwood Park Funeral Home, Cemetery and Mausoleum, 360-574-4252.

Nostalgia for 1990s still going strong
Author: Sadie Dingfelder, The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — When you think of D.C.’s major cultural exports, punk and go-go come to mind. But over the past decade, a new contender has emerged: ’90s nostalgia.

The No Scrubs: ’90s Dance Party, which launched in D.C. in 2003, has gone on to pack venues in Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Baltimore, according to co-founder and DJ Will Eastman. D.C.-based ’90s cover band White Ford Bronco has risen to monster success since forming in 2008, recently playing to a crowd of 1,200 in New York. Peach Pit, a ’90s dance night at DC9, is taking the party to Minneapolis for the event’s 10th anniversary. And a new R&B-focused event, Nostalgia: The 90s Experience, may soon pop up in Los Angeles after its inaugural edition here, according to organizer Fred Baum, 50.

“The interest in the ’90s is going strong everywhere, but it’s really strong in the DMV,” Baum said of the D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area.

One likely reason D.C. is a ’90s nostalgia hotbed is the region’s great concentration of millennials, who are getting misty-eyed for their youth as they take on grown-up responsibilities. But ’90s love is turning out to be a bigger phenomenon than the usual, 10-year nostalgia cycle. Starting just a few years after the turn of the 21st century, it’s since become a major force in fashion (scrunchies), music (MC Hammer’s on tour) and screens both large (“The Lion King”) and small (“BH90210”).

Another factor that may be driving ’90s madness is our current dumpster fire of a century, which ignited on Sept. 11, 2001, blazed on with the Great Recession and continues to cough up fresh nightmares on an almost daily basis, says Jacob Juhl, a nostalgia researcher at the University of Southampton in England.

“People become nostalgic in response to adversity or psychologically negative states,” Juhl says. “Nostalgia helps restore people to a psychological equilibrium.”

Scientists have induced nostalgia in the lab by prompting people to contemplate the vast and random universe as well as by simply pumping up the air conditioning and making people feel uncomfortably cold, Juhl says. Researchers have also found that nostalgia comforts us by making us feel connected to one another and to a shared past, he adds.

Since the ’90s were the last moment before the internet splintered mass culture, the decade is particularly good nostalgia fodder, says Peach Pit DJ and founder Matt Bailer, 42.

“In the ’90s, everyone listened to the same one or two radio stations in their city that played all the Top 40 hits, spanning all kinds of genres,” he says. “After that, people started having their own ways of accessing and acquiring and listening to the music they chose to listen to, so there wasn’t such a general pool of commonality.”

Without those shared cultural touchstones, the current decade may prove difficult to reminisce about down the road, says David Newman, a nostalgia researcher at the University of Southern California.

“Since everything seems to be more individualistic now and people are all having different experiences, we might have fewer of these collectivistic nostalgic experiences overall,” Newman says.

Mass culture in the 21st century feels more like a grab bag of random events than a coherent narrative, notes Nick Gatewood, 40, an Ohio-based rapper who goes by the name Vice Souletric and tours the country with his nostalgia event, the Nu 90s Experience.

“Everything moves too fast now. By the time you’ve heard about something, there’s already a backlash,” he says. “No one is going to have a deep, personal connection to Pizza Rat.”

Another factor driving ’90s nostalgia is how the internet has made the past more accessible than ever before, says White Ford Bronco singer-guitarist Diego Valencia, 37. In the ’90s, you had to wait for your favorite song to play on the radio or buy a CD, so music felt more precious back then. Now you can watch or listen to anything you want, from any era, on demand — and that seems to have made people more interested in rehashing and remixing the past rather than creating new, original things.

“If you listen to contemporary music now, a lot of songs sound like something that we’ve already heard before. If you look at, say, ‘Uptown Funk’ or ‘Blurred Lines,’ they sound so much like other songs,” Valencia says. “Or there’s DJ Khaled, who has made a career out of taking other people’s ideas and adding his name to it.”

While Valencia suspects our extended ’90s obsession marks the end of reminiscing as we know it, Eastman, 50, sees a future in nostalgia. In fact, he’s banked on it with another party, Hot in Herre: 2000s Dance Party.

Letter: Put focus on the future
Author: David Morgan, Vancouver

The current administration is trying to purchase our votes through shortsighted tax cuts (did it help you?), deregulation, tariffs and bullying our allies. They act as though another $100 in our pockets today at the expense of our future is a good deal.

But what about the USA’s long-term goals? What will we have in five, 10, 20 years, other than a high federal debt, the inability to pay for needed infrastructure upgrades, a broken social system, hate crimes, another housing crisis, a polluted environment, global warming, wildlife extinctions, fires, hurricanes, floods and droughts?

Our children and children’s children deserve much better. Whatever happened to politicians like Bobby Kennedy, who actually had an inspired, unifying vision for humanity and our country? Or the idea that we represent the height of good progressive government and tolerance?

Does Trump really think that he can fool us and tweet his way to success? His impulses are simply too divisive, reactionary, and shortsighted. We need comprehensive policies today. I wonder why more people aren’t outraged.


Public Meetings for the week of Aug. 18
Author: The Columbian

Camas City Council, City Hall, 616 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas.

– 4:30 p.m., workshop: cross boundary service area overlay agreement, Workforce Southwest Washington presentation, interlocal agreement for monitoring of registered sex offenders, 2020 budget readoption process and 2020-2025 financial forecast assumptions.

– 7 p.m., regular meeting: 2019 citywide asphalt overlay project bid award.

Port of Camas-Washougal Board of Commissioners, port offices, 24 S. A St., Washougal

– 4:45 p.m., closed-door session on personnel evaluation.

– 5 p.m., regular meeting: Steigerwald levee restoration update; waterfront development discussion; approve on-call duty policy; approve holiday, sick, annual and bereavement leave policy update; accept as complete Phase 2 of railway improvements; accept as complete natural play area; CEO, staff and commissioner reports.

Vancouver City Council, City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.

-4 p.m. workshop: Shared Micromobility Programs, WSDOT Transportation System Management and Operations.

– 6:30 p.m., regular meeting: final construction acceptance on 39th Street water main replacement, approval of Webber Building fourth lease extension, approval of claim vouchers, public hearing on new CDBG Project: Lifeline Connections Women’s Recovery Home, multifamily tax exemption: Mill Plain Center phase II and multifamily tax exemption: VW 10 Apartments. Executive session to follow on city manager performance evaluation.

Battle Ground City Council, City Hall, 109 S.W. First St., Battle Ground.

– 6 p.m., study session: fire annexation.

– 7 p.m., regular meeting: utility tax, Vancouver Housing Authority presentation.

Woodland City Council, Council Chambers, 200 E. Scott Ave., Woodland.

-6 p.m., reception: Cowlitz County sheriff presentation in honor of Deputy Justin DeRosier and recognition of Woodland Police Department.

– 7 p.m., regular meeting: appointment for unexpired term for council Position No. 7, authorize purchase of vehicle for Water Treatment Plant, school capital facilities plan and impact fees, Horseshoe Lake Management Committee, authorize staff to prepare an ordinance prohibiting retail marijuana and cooperatives.

Yacolt Town Council, Town Hall, 202 W. Cushman St., Yacolt.

– 7 p.m., regular meeting: council appointment discussion, council comments on draft proclamations against Initiative 1639, council meeting procedures.

– executive session to discuss potential litigation.


Clark Regional Wastewater District Board of Commissioners, district offices, 8000 N.E. 52nd Court, Vancouver.

– 7 a.m., regular meeting: commissioner reports, general manager reports on annual update of Strategic Workforce Development Plan and update of 2020 Strategic Business Plan.

Clark Public Utilities Board of Commissioners, utility office, 1200 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.

– 9 a.m., regular meeting: report on NoaNet, a nonprofit wholesale broadband and telecommunications provider, consider resolutions of intent to form two local utility districts, report on June financials, report on June wholesale operations, report on water revenue bond sale.

Clark County Council, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.

– 4 p.m. Planning Commission interviews in Conference Room B.

– 6 p.m. regular meeting: public hearings on Road Vacation Northeast 35th Avenue, code amendment for solid waste enforcement, Interstate 5/179th Street area funding option and development agreements.

Vancouver Hearing Examiner, City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.

– 6 p.m., land use hearing: public hearing on Columbia Shores Subdivision project dividing 0.92-acre lot into 15 attached single-family residential lots, public hearing on Crowe’s Bait project requesting conditional use and site plan approval to convert single-family residence to commercial use.


Clark County Council, Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.

– 9:30 a.m. Planning Commission interviews in Conference Room B. Executive session to follow to evaluate qualifications of Planning Commission applicants. Council vote on appointments to follow.

– 1 p.m. council time in Conference Room 698 followed by executive session on pending litigation.

Vancouver Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission, City Hall, 415 W. Sixth St., Vancouver.

– 3 p.m., regular meeting: recreation program update, PIF rate amendment public meeting, Vancouver Public Schools report, Evergreen Public Schools report, Parks Foundation report.

Clark County Commission on Aging, Public Service Center, sixth-floor hearing room, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver.

– 4:30 p.m., regular meeting: PeaceHealth’s Palliative Care program will discuss the importance of seniors advocating for themselves and the resources available to plan for future health care needs, such as completing a health care directive and durable power of attorney.

Port of Camas-Washougal Board of Commissioners, port offices, 24 S. A St., Washougal.

– 5:30 p.m., special “Coffee Talk with the Commission” meeting to allow informal questions and discussion with port commissioners.


Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health Board of Trustees Meeting, Clark College Columbia Tech Center Campus, Room 144, 18700 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

– 9 a.m., regular meeting.

Vancouver Housing Authority Board Of Commissioners, 2500 Main St., Vancouver.

– 9:30 a.m., work session: 2020 move to work plan. n 10 a.m., regular meeting: approval of pre-development funds for Central Park Place, approval of pre-development funds for Plum Meadows, approval of pre-development funds for Esther Short, approval of land acquisition from Vancouver Public Schools.

Ridgefield City Council, Ridgefield Administrative Civic Center, 510 Pioneer St., Ridgefield.

– 5:30 p.m., study session: 2020 baseline budget presentation.

– 6:30 p.m., public hearing: on previous action taken regarding emergency moratorium about gasoline stations in Commercial Neighborhood Business zone.

Letter: Truth is getting lost
Author: Bob Harper, Vancouver

In his great essay “Politics and the English Language,” first published in 1946, George Orwell observed, “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’ ”

I leave it to readers to decide whether certain other ‘isms’ are, as used today, similarly devoid of meaning, or worse, subject to the rule of Humpty Dumpty in Lewis Carroll’s “Through the Looking Glass”: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.” Alice responds, “The question is whether you can make words mean so many different things.” But Humpty Dumpty will have none of it, as he replies dismissively, “The question is which is to be master — that’s all.”

Truth has a way of getting lost in the quest for power.


St. Paul Lutheran Church to get a makeover
Author: Patty Hastings

You could call the upcoming work at St. Paul Lutheran Church a sort of barn raising. The downtown church will get a makeover thanks to the collective efforts of the community.

Congregation Kol Ami, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, other Lutheran Churches and Alcoholics Anonymous groups are joining forces to make improvements to the sanctuary building originally built in 1949. A new roof, air conditioning and heating, a ramp to make the building accessible to people with disabilities, new landscaping and a fresh coat of paint are among the planned projects. The church has already removed trees that were encroaching on the sidewalk, building foundation and roof.

“So many people are coming together,” said Geri Hiller, lay minister at St. Paul.

The church is hosting two upcoming work days: one on Saturday, Aug. 24, to prepare for painting and another Saturday, Sept. 7, to paint. They’re open to whoever wants to help. Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will provide lunch both days for volunteers.

The weekend of Sept. 7 happens to be when Lutherans around the United States will volunteer their time and talents in their communities.

Hiller is impressed by willingness of different faith groups to work together. Then again, they do so every winter at Winter Hospital Overflow shelters.

During the cold months, St. Paul hosts a shelter for homeless men, which is staffed by volunteers from faith communities across Clark County. Due to a recent fire at Share House, the men’s shelter a few blocks away, the church is currently hosting displaced shelter residents.

Hiller said St. Paul applied for money from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund to keep its shelter open year-round. Some improvements are planned for that space, including adding another shower and bathroom and replacing windows.

Check it out: Learn history of voting rights ahead of election
Author: Jan Johnston

Next year, our country will experience another presidential election. I don’t know how many of us stop to think about our right to vote and what that means, but I worry that too many people take that right for granted. Our history describes the struggles experienced by certain groups of people — women and African Americans, for example — and even today the right to vote remains a contentious issue for some.

I think reviewing our history as it relates to voting rights is not only wise but timely considering the upcoming elections. 2019 and 2020 mark two important occasions for voting rights. On June 4, 1919, Congress officially passed the 19th amendment which gives women the right to vote, and on Aug. 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was ratified. In case you’re curious about the exact wording of the amendment, here it is: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” 2020 will also mark the founding of the League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization that believes “citizens should play a critical role in advocacy.”

The emphasis of the reading list I’ve created is on the history of women’s right to vote, but you will also find “Give Us the Ballot” by Ari Berman, a compelling examination of the history of voting rights in America, and “One Vote, Two Votes” by Bonnie Worth, a title in the Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series and a wonderful, kid-friendly introduction to the concept of voting.

I want to encourage readers to explore other material about the rights of citizens, what it means to live in a democracy, and why it’s important to be civic-minded. The library has many great resources, and if you’re not sure where to start, staff will be happy to assist you in your search.

• “Abigail Scott Duniway and Susan B. Anthony in Oregon: Hesitate No Longer,” by Jennifer Chambers.

• “Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America,” by Ari Berman.

• “Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait?: Alica Paul, Woodrow Wilson, and the Fight for the Right to Vote,” by Tina Cassidy.

• “One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote,” by Bonnie Worth.

• “The State We’re In: Washington,” by League of Women Voters of Washington.

• “Votes of Confidence: A Young Person’s Guide to American Elections,” by Jeff Fleischer.

• “Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote,” by Susan Ware.

• “The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote,” by Elaine F. Weiss.

Jan Johnston is the collection development coordinator for the Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries. Email her at