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Clark Asks: Question about brightness of headlights gets 71 percent of votes

In a world plagued with partisan divides, we may have stumbled across something we can all agree on.

Bright headlights are really annoying.

Josh Whitehead of Vancouver offered up this unifying question in the latest voting round for Clark Asks, The Columbian’s reader-guided reporting project: “Is having bright headlights legal? It shouldn’t be. I feel like I’m a deer who’s in a ‘Final Destination’ movie plot.”

The results were dazzling: The question received 71 percent of all votes, the second-highest margin of victory in the feature’s history (the top question asked how times are determined for signs that show driving times on Interstate 5). It even prompted a number of readers to call the newsroom just to reinforce their vote.

They mean it: What is up with those lights?

The question received more than double the votes for the second-place question, submitted by a reader who asked to remain anonymous: “The Round Lake area in Camas has a sign that states all dogs must be on leash. Is that rule ever enforced? Who enforces it?”

Trailing in third place was this question from Vicki Coles of Vancouver: “Will the bricks and other materials from McLoughlin Middle School & Marshall Elementary be recycled? I was told they will not be. If not, why not?”

Jeffrey Mize, our transportation reporter, is already working on finding the answer to the headlights question. Expect a story in the not-too-distant future.

If your favorite question didn’t get top billing, don’t despair. While the question receiving the most votes gets top priority for reporting, it’s not unusual for runners-up to end up in the paper at some point.

Most recently, Assistant Metro Editor Will Campbell looked into why dozens of new advertisement-laden trash cans had appeared on east Vancouver streets. Reporter Wyatt Stayner explained how Vancouver came to have a high school named in honor of Henrietta Lacks.

And last summer, reporter Patty Hastings shared the tale of a 70-foot mural at the intersection of Northeast Covington Road and Northeast Fourth Plain Boulevard that tells the story of Orchards and how it came to be.

All of these questions came from our readers. Now, it’s your turn.

Is there something here in Clark County you’ve been wondering about? A vexing mystery that eludes you? Steer your web browser to and share your question with us. Who knows what we might find out when we search for the answers together.


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