Who picks a fight with Pat Jollota about Clark County history?

This post took a surprising twist while I was gathering material, so we’ll get to the headline in a minute.

I wrote an article last year when Esther Short Park was named by the American Planning Association as one of the 10 Great Public Spaces 2013.

The APA, which has offices in Washington, D.C. and Chicago, names 30 “exemplary public spaces, streets and neighborhoods” to show that planning done right fosters economic growth and that municipal planners aren’t just, like, party planners or whatever.

The oldest public square in the Pacific Northwest was praised for “a design that honors the city’s history and culture, amenities that allow for participation and contemplation, and the park’s catalytic role in the city’s long-range, $800 million downtown mixed-use plan that has attracted some $250 million in reinvestment since 2002.”

That was October. This week, APA’s list was packaged by USA Today into a story titled, “30 great places for business travelers,” which to me means a reporter at USA Today was cleaning out his inbox, found the October press release and figured he could make the news seem new if he added the “business traveler” twist. He probably added the “business traveler” angle when he saw cities on the list that aren’t necessarily on everyone’s bucket list. #nodisrepect

The tweet from the city of Vancouver is misleading, as Vancouver wasn’t named a top city for business travelers. I know about the 140-character limit, but come on.


Councilor Jack Burkman shared the USA Today story on his Facebook page. And that’s where we get to the exchange referenced in the headline: a fight with Pat Jollota, former city councilor and author of several books on Clark (and “Clarke”) County history, about Esther Short.

My money’s on Pat.



Stephanie Rice

Stephanie Rice

I cover Vancouver city government. Reach me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or 360-735-4508.

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