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Monday, December 7, 2009

Poor, Poor Vancouver

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Dec 7, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Forget Facebook and Twitter—my dad called me this weekend with a tip on a story that's worth a link. Fresh from promoting Portland, the New York Times took a trip to Vancouver, Washington and came away saying Vacouver's self-deprecating "humor only masks the hurt." From their article this weekend:

With world attention about to focus on that other Vancouver, the one with the international cachet, the creative cuisine and the cosmopolitan diversity, this Vancouver is having a tough talk with itself...

“My mother always thought I lived in Canada,” said Gene Wigglesworth, who moved here in 1977 to open a muffler repair shop. “For years, I’ve put up with that.”

The article focuses on a campaign to change Vancouver's name to something that creates less confusion. Fort Vancouver, maybe? I think it's a good idea. I mean, why the hell not? Is anyone really attached to "America's Vancouver" as a solid slogan for the city other than lame-duck Mayor Royce Pollard?

Also, speaking of WTF news about Vancouver, check out this Portland Tribune editorial from Mayor-elect Tim Leavitt headined, "Funding must be fair for new I-5 bridge." Leavitt writes that his idea of fair funding means tolling the planned new bridge... but making exceptions for daily commuters. An estimated 60,000 commuters cross the bridge daily from Vancouver to Portland, so in Leavitt's scheme, all Oregon, Washington and national taxpayers would pick up the new Columbia River Crossing's $3.6 billion tab rather the people who actually use the bridge the most.

In my "fair funding" opinion, we should start tolling the bridge now and use the money gathered from daily commuters to bankroll their new bridge.

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