Just What Does It Take to be Worth “A Story” At the Columbian?

by lewwaters

I was and remain genuinely concerned hearing the home of Tiffany Couch, the forensic auditor hired by businessman David Madore to pour over the book of the Columbia River Crossing was vandalized this weekend. CRC Critics Home Vandalized

I expressed then that it troubled me that the Clark County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t believe it to be a serious matter, doing little more than taking down the Couch’s name for their report.

As a community, we all basically believe people should feel secure in their homes and should not be intimidated or threatened, especially if like Tiffany, you are involved in a controversial matter.

Since I am only a blog, I felt it important enough to send on to our local paper of record, the Columbian, as their circulation is much greater and due to their covering past incidences of vandalism, bring them to the communities attention.

I was very disappointed to receive a reply in part saying,

“It’s not likely a story based on this one incident, because police aren’t looking at it as a possible backlash with the CRC.”
“But, if it happens again or any further evidence comes up, it certainly is. I’ll also be letting our editors know that it happened.”

First off, I have made it very clear that any direct linkage to CRC is not even considered by me. A hothead supporter of CRC, perhaps, but not anyone directly involved with the CRC.

Secondly, in my earlier post I included past incidences of vandalism and recalled even then, Police did not seem to think them anything of great concern either. Going back over my files confirmed what I recalled.

July30, 2008 an article appeared concerning a supporter of then candidate Barack Obama, one of several supporters of Obama in his immediate neighborhood. He woke up to find his car had been “keyed” with the words “White Power” and “I’m Gay” etched into the paint.

He and his wife automatically considered it a “hate crime” even though they were white. But, as a supporter of our now first Black president, they took it as being targeted for their Obama ’08 signs.

Police who responded did not as none of the several other neighbors also supporting Obama had any vandalization to their cars, homes or yard. In fact, the wife alleged one Police Officer told her, “You can always take the sign down” as a response to the graffiti. The Officer denied making such a comment.

Former chair of the Clark County Democratic Party, Chris Bassett and now 17th legislative district representative Tim Probst rightfully raised some noise over the incident, but likewise proclaimed it a hate crime, having absolutely no knowledge of who or why the car was vandalized.

Probst said, “If someone scratches ‘white power’ on a car, it’s important that we send a message as a whole that our community doesn’t accept racism.”

Bassett added, “Obviously, there is an element in Clark County that feels it’s OK to do these things.”

The owner of the car Frank Wastradowski said “I see it as a hate crime. “I don’t see how anyone could dispute that.”

Perhaps some evidence instead of a knee jerk reaction?

But, my point is, this was wanton vandalism and uncalled for, regardless of reason. We as a community must not tolerate such cowardly acts.

But, for some reason, unknown to me, the Columbian saw fit to run with this story back in 2008, although just as we see today with the Couch’s, Police do not see any linkage to anything other than juvenile destructive pranks.

In fact, in the former incident the Columbian saw fit to cover that “story” in 3 articles.

A similar incident in 2009, where driveways, cars and garbage cans of several residents in a different neighborhood again sparked outrage and with little more “evidence” than the juvenile antics of unknown vandals covered that story too.

Police took this one a little more seriously, though, saying they were actually going to investigate it.

That I recall, no arrests were ever made, but then still City Councilmember Tim Leavitt, campaigning for Mayor “drafted an anti-racism city resolution that highlights Vancouver’s diversity and takes a zero-tolerance platform against racism.”

Be it racism, retaliation or just dumb, stupid kids with too much time on their hands, such acts of cowardice must not be tolerated and should be dealt with.

But apparently when it comes to the Columbian covering similar acts of vandalism, it appears they have unknown standards as to which acts of vandalism merit their time and which ones do not.

As for outrage expressed from either the current city council members or Mayor Leavitt on this act of vandalism? So far, only Larry Smith has expressed “hot heads everywhere on both sides of the issue. Need to be careful jumping to conclusion, however.”

And I just received from 49th legislative district representative Jim Moeller, “Agreed! We are much better than this!!” in answer to my email sent out saying our community does not need such acts.

I’ll let you know if I hear from any other as it is doubtful you will read it in the Columbian.

Vandalism of the home of someone trying to find out just where CRC has spent our $130 Million is just “not likely a story.”

9 Responses to “Just What Does It Take to be Worth “A Story” At the Columbian?”

  1. It’s still “news” and highly coincidental. It ought to be reported.

  2. Here’s the one thing we do know: had this happened to someone on or working for the CRC, we’d have never heard the end of it… and the local cops would have treated it like a murder kidnapping case.

  3. I believe they showed that with their coverage of Frank Wastrodowski when his car was keyed and Police saw it as just a prank too.

    It still drew a major outrage and allegations of racism (naturally).

  4. What frustrates me guys is that when I send email on stories that I think are worthy of reporting, I get the same shrug, smug, I can’t be concerned with my community?

    With Clark County nearly 3/4ths the size fo Multnomah County, we are not the sleepy little 1980’s town we used to be. If you look up the census numbers, we’re about 430,000 and they’re 732k.

    So why is our community not treated with the same level of respect when a story of this woman comes out, its buried, ignored or simply pushed aside?

    Now on to the situation itself. I think Jim made a good point, so did you Lew. If this was kids or adults, I don’t think its an ok thing to do. All of those chemicals and other stuff do damage to people. Its not funny, cut or great?

    And I do believe if someone ever gets caught for this, there is going to be some significant shame. coming to them

  5. It’s the same old “double-standard” that we are used to seeing from the Liberal Elitists. Nothing more, nothing less.

  6. As I have said to many locals around town, may be its time to do an online web based local newspaper! or some form of podcast about our local community. Comcast does any expensive and OK job covering us through CVTV but that is mostly aimed at government based or events that can afford to pay the production fees. (Even the Port pays to be on CVTV.)

    There are many different new media sources online but a lot of them just grab contents from this newspaper OR daringly, add a little bit of content of their own.

    Vancouver Voice is up for sale but I am not sure if its going to be a growing or going concern after its sold. And it glarlingly focuses a lot of its attention to Downtown Vancouver OR a few notes on the hell hole motel on Highway 99. Not much else glaring around town for them to cover.

  7. When I first opened hits blog Jeremy, my intent was to make it a point of interest by enlisting others who wished to write what goes on in their neck of the woods, with their individual organizations and groups and see if it could grow into something similar to what you describe.

    After 2 years of hearing people say they like the idea and would like to contribute, I gave up as not one of them ever had anything to say.

    David Madore’s ‘Couve.com seems to be headed that way, but he too is limited.

  8. Lew, I think I agree with you. People say they want this or that but don’t want to put in the work necessary to keep blog alive. There are many examples of failed or dead local blogs that just hang by the webhost not going in and deleting the contents.

    David is running more of a singularity and news from his point-of-view but I do give him credit, the site does look nice and he puts his money where his mouth is, very, very few locally would do this.

    Also whoever is running DailyCouve.com is interesting. Keeps the politics fresh here and interesting. Even allows me a laugh or two once in awhile.

    What frustrates me more is listening to a lot of the local politics and how droning it is. Yes, there is light rail, CRC, the baseball and now the newest issue, Tim is looking to cull some of the downtown Parking Patrol.

    Honestly, from my own personal perspective, there are areas like District 5 ~ Cascade Park and Hazel Dell ~ Salmon Creek that get HOW much news coverage?

    Though there is dailyinsider, clarkcountylive and a few others, most of them are general regurgitators or links to what is going on for special, local events. I am more interested in local news topics than going to see multitudes of family events that have no interest to me.


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