Since a 2020 reset is impossible, how about a recap to celebrate some of the highlights and happenings in Longview?
1. Shout out and Happy 244th Birthday America! Yes, the home of the brave. A place where we don’t run from hard choices, we embrace them. Where we work hard and persevere, through the good times and the bad, because of - not despite - the challenges we face. And lest we forget the freedoms we enjoy because of those who fought bravely for our country and our unique Constitution that helped form our Union, we should always honor them and recall our privileges, during “sunny” days and “stormy” times alike. Our privileges, however, should never give us an excuse to behave badly. It should be our own responsibility to check ourselves against a broader scope of shared well-being when we choose to bravely assert our voices. As we forge forward in these extremely difficult times, let us all remember that we are in this together, and we face many challenges not as individuals but as a society. We are stronger when we work together. And in the face of it all, let’s strive for kindness towards each other despite any differences in thought or opinion.
2. Shout out to our local Longview Police! The core values of the Longview Police Department: “Integrity without compromise, courage in adversity, teamwork above self and service above all”, make that group a treasured resource in our community. Being a witness to the promotion of Police Sergeant Jeremy Johnson, where he pledged his allegiance to “commit to honorably perform his duties with respect for the dignity of all people, integrity to do right and fight wrongs, wisdom to apply sound judgment and fairness in all doings and courage to stand against all prejudice while working as a partner within the community”, was humbling for me and should give us all great comfort knowing we have men and women of honor protecting our city.
3. Yay for summer indoor and outdoor play! While it has not been “business as usual” at all of our city facilities, in measured ways we can enjoy our parks and playgrounds, the diking road trail, Mint Valley Golf Course and Racquet Complex, pickleball and tennis courts and soon Harlie’s Hoops basketball court at Lake Sacajawea. Find silver linings during this time and create your own fun. Blow bubbles, skip rocks, play Frisbee, run through a sprinkler. And, doesn’t Hopscotch on a sidewalk bring about a nostalgic smile?
4. Summer construction has begun! Drive down Commerce Avenue and check out the new synced traffic signals that will also extend down Ocean Beach to 32nd in the fall. Take caution on the 432/ 411 Interchange (Tenant Way) on the Eastbound on-ramp and the Westbound off-ramp as the road widens and improves. Sidewalk and curb repair will continue throughout the city and improvements on West Main in Kelso will begin soon. Best of all, the Beech Street extension groundbreaking has begun and we look forward to new businesses popping up as soon as lots are available.
5. Thanks to one million dollars in CARES Act funding for Cowlitz County, 68% of monies allocated went to Longview business applicants. Another million in CARES Act funding is underway to benefit even more businesses. A tremendous blessing folks!
We have so much for which to be grateful.
Find joy in each day and every moment and be blessed,
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis