I arrived at The Columbian as a business reporter in late 2010, a dark time in Southwest Washington as the Big Short worked its way through the region’s economic arteries. The foreclosure auctions held every Friday outside the Clark County courthouse were testament to this community’s desperate saga. No job, no home.
It’s not been easy watching the bitter standoff between Instafab, a long-established Vancouver steel fabricator and installer, and its embittered former employees. More than one year out from a walkout by the first five workers to declare a strike against the nonunion company, the feud is only turning uglier and more personal.
One of two things should have happened when Port of Vancouver Commissioners Jerry Oliver and Brian Wolfe both showed up to a labor roundtable earlier this month: One should have left, or one shouldn't have spoken.
I used to know everyone at the mall -- the girls at Orange Julius and the Mrs. Fields cookie shop, the arcade attendants, the Moxie Java baristas. Like many American teenagers in a middle-size city in the middle of the country, I considered the mall a second home for a while, and those people were family.
While visiting Seattle a few weeks ago, we stayed with a relative who was born without sight. Shannon can see color but cannot recognize people or objects. Yet from the time at age 7 when she learned to ride a bicycle, Shannon has embraced her life and learned how to navigate easily without sight. She's built a career in marketing and technology companies in Portland and Puget Sound, living on her own and relying on public transit. Her blindness is part of who she is, not a disability.
The Jantzen Beach carousel is somewhere, but its owners aren't telling us where. Their silence about the beautiful machine's future sends a strong message that it won't be coming back to its old Hayden Island haunt any time soon.
With The Columbian's 2016 Economic Forecast Breakfast just around the year-end corner, I decided to look at forecasts from past years to see how much times have changed in our local business world. My review of essays written by participants from years past became a walk down the memory lane of hard times.
Quite a few years ago, after a long night and day running the Hood to Coast Relay, I piled into a van for the drive back home from the Oregon Coast. Famished, we rolled into a restaurant on Highway 26.