A year of tough opinions and memorable quotes

   This past year had more than its fair share of great quotes, opinions, and viewpoints by local businesspeople. Never at a loss for things to say, you filled the paper with words of wisdom, words of condolence, and words of anger — all of which are far better than words of indifference.
    Below are a few of our favorite quotes from the year that was, and why they struck a chord.
    Growth continued to be the hotbutton topic of the year. Rhetoric has been continually spewed by both sides of the growth equation, a fact not lost on the Chamber of Commerce’s Ken Oplinger, when he wrote this op-ed piece in the July BBJ:
    “(This rhetoric) is used by those who prefer to play on our fears, words meant to set rational thought aside in favor of a mob mentality that will help achieve the specific ends of the individual.”
    Zing. He was undeniably correct on one point: Some of those throwing the most cold water on proposals are far more interested in their individual benefit (or lack thereof) than they are the well being of the community.
    Sometimes one short sentence says it all; such was the case in the May BBJ. In a story concerning the possible cancellation of the Station Pub’s liquor license, Police Chief Randy Carroll conveyed the department’s view of the eastablishment in one quick bite:
    “We’d prefer that this place not be relicensed.”
    It wasn’t. Fiamma Burger is currently renovating the location, and will be a far better neighbor to its fellow Railroad Avenue merchants.
    Railroad Avenue continued to be in the news. In the February BBJ, the editorial staff of the paper spent much of the night on the block of Railroad between Holly and Magnolia to observe the happenings so often reported by the block’s merchants, and what we saw was a visceral, raw, and shocking look at what happens in a part of the city many of us don’t see after work is done. Drunkeness. Brawls. Drugs. Panhandling, Prostitution. Perhaps the scariest sight: the number of homeless minors living downtown, often sleeping on rooftops at night to get away from the more aggressive street predators. After that night, David Webster of Northwest Youth Services revealed the grim details on homeless minors in our city:
    “Imagine taking the senior class at Squalicum High School and having them all be homeless. That’s what we’re dealing with right now — more than 300 homeless minors.”

Off Beat
by Rik Dalvit

Related Stories