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Daily News editorial

Roger Werth

On June 12, 1978, a journey started for now-retired TDN photojournalist Roger Werth. Werth’s tenure at TDN started back on that fateful day in June and we are all better off for it.

Roger Werth retired this week after spending more than 39 years taking photos for The Daily News. Area readers have had a front row seat to some of the best photojournalism in the country.

Roger’s photos of Mount St. Helens helped The Daily News win a Pulitzer Prize, the highest honor that can be bestowed on journalists. But there was much more to Roger’s photos than Mount St. Helens. He brought us great images of events around town, tragic crimes, labor protests and much more. Roger’s images brought both wonderful and sad issues to life in a way words never could.

Most would never think being a photojournalist is dangerous, but at times Roger was in harm’s way. Taking photos in the middle of a labor strike when no one wants their photo taken garnered Werth more than a few threats. Flying around Mount St. Helens in a small airplane that’s bouncing up and down while taking shots of a volcano isn’t safe either.

Journalists pour their heart and soul into their work and it shows. Roger Werth put his best effort forward every day for 39 years, serving all of us and we appreciate it.

Best wishes, Roger and thank you!

County Commissioners

The needle exchange program is supported by many and questioned by quite a few others. In a vote earlier this week, Cowlitz County Commissioners agreed the needle exchange program needs to be analyzed, possibly modified and held accountable.

We agree with the commissioners, handing out 890,000 needles per year seems excessive. Most other communities our size don’t hand out nearly as many needles as Cowlitz County.

According to the TDN story written by reporter Jackson Hogan, about 80 citizens attended the meeting. Some spoke out asking for the needle exchange program to be evaluated, while others supported the program as is.

As with many programs meant to provide assistance, some positive outcomes occur and typically some negative unintended consequences as well. Taking time to evaluate the needle exchange and determine how to help those in need while not littering the streets with medical waste seems to make sense.

The meeting was criticized by some in attendance for being a lecture series by medical personnel. We did not attend the meeting but tend to think citizen feedback needs proper representation, too. After all, it’s all of us taxpayers who are footing the bill, not just medical professionals.

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CNN News

In case you haven’t heard, three veteran CNN reporters resigned in the wake of a fake news scandal. The three reporters were veteran, award-winning journalists, so the situation is somewhat of a surprise.

The three reporters joined forces to write a fake news hit piece on President Trump and got caught. CNN came out with a statement indicating they could not stand behind the story. This is media-speak for the story containing outright lies. CNN went on to say the story did not meet their reporting standards and had been retracted.

You can’t put the spilled milk back in the carton and a fake news story has already done its damage before being retracted.

This is the sad state of the national media and it’s sad to see.

Some said CNN needs a full investigation to determine how this could happen and what went wrong. Maybe that’s true, but we’ve got a better idea. Nothing gets the attention of greedy network executives faster than money, so if everyone stops watching channels like CNN, they will get the message quickly.

The national media needs to change — not just CNN, but all of them. The one-sided, leave out the details, fake news filled reporting hurts every radio, television and newspaper in the country.

New Squirrel Bridge

It might seem nutty to others, but we love our squirrel bridges. On Saturday, June 24, the Sandbaggers organization installed a new squirrel bridge across Kessler Boulevard at Kessler Elementary School.

The Sandbaggers, a group of local business people (some say ne’er do wells), host the annual SquirrelFest. We applaud their zany efforts to increase the quality of place in our community.

This latest bridge, and the seventh in our community, resembles the Fremont Bridge in Portland, Oregon. We’re not sure if Amos Peters had all these bridges in mind when he built our original bridge, but we’re sure he’d love the other six! If you haven’t taken a walk or a drive to see all the bridges, we encourage you to do so.

Well done, gents!

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