Exporting gas is not patriotic

By John Fett

Roseburg

The World editorial about maintaining civil discourse was brought to my attention, along with another opinion written by Mark Wall. First, I want to thank the paper for making the right decision not to publish an ad depicting the Salem anti-LNG protesters as unpatriotic because one guy was standing on a flag.

 

Second, I want the pro-gas boosters to know that many of the people attending the Salem rally are veterans like me who fought for the right to petition the government for redress against grievances.

 

As for Mr. Wall, there is nothing patriotic about allowing a foreign company to export fracked American gas to Asia. Especially, when that gas comes at the expense of the health of American people living near the fracking fields. There is nothing patriotic about letting a foreign company use Eminent Domain to take private property from US citizens to benefit foreign shareholders.

 

A fellow Marine Corps veteran has owned his property in Douglas County for three decades. It took years for the government to admit his health problems were caused by Agent Orange. Now Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline want to take his land and spray it with herbicides. There is nothing patriotic about what the Jordan Cove LNG project plan to do to this Vietnam veteran.

 

Samuel Johnson once said, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.”

 

It is time we standup for our right to be the decision makers and stop leaving our future up to a handful of Washington bureaucrats, foreign corporations and local special interests.

 

This is why I joined the community rights movement and why I support our right to local self-government.

 

Visit CoosCommons.org or facebook.com/cooscommons

 




Mythical monster, Jordan Cove LNG

By John MacGregor

As a seasonal resident, taxpayer, and educator in the State of Oregon (and lover of the Oregon Coast), I have been appalled by the virtual insanity shown by the business and political leaders of Coos County over the past several years. This mental derangement is focused on a mythical entity called the Jordan Cove Energy Project.

This mythical monster causes many forms of aberrant and irrational behavior among many of the citizens of Coos County, particularly the so-called leaders. It leads them to sometimes conduct meetings in secret, violating the Oregon public meeting laws. It leads them to take actions in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, and to keep taking those actions even after they’ve been informed of their misbehavior. It leads them to chant “jobs, jobs, jobs,” despite the fact that the number of permanent jobs created by the monster would be modest at best.

The monster also motivates some of the political leaders to make promises “in order to get elected.” That kind of behavior has been going on since the dawn of time, but what is irrational about it in this case is that the promises in question have to do with the distribution of monies that the monster is supposedly going to create once it is safely in its den on the North Spit of Coos Bay. But the problem is that the monster isn’t even real.

In fact, despite the rah-rah claims of Boosters and C of C types, the Jordan Cove monster is farther away from reality than ever. The draft environmental impact statement and various county, state, and federal draft permits have been so thoroughly criticized that the necessary revisions are likely to drag out the regulatory process for years. And even if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission were to reach a “go” decision, there is substantial legal action already drafted and ready to be filed in justice courts from Coos County to Washington, D.C. .

More importantly, the economics for creating monsters like this are tanking daily. The current price of LNG on the world market is likely to cause investors to look elsewhere. Further, the Asian market for LNG would be more economically served by plants nearer to them geographically, most notably Australia. Jordan Cove’s parent company, Veresen, couldn’t help but be aware of this, but the local “cabal” of community decision makers is apparently oblivious.

And so we have the World articles about area school superintendents being dismayed by discussions at a recent meeting of the South Coast Community Foundation, in which the amounts of mythical revenues to be shared with the schools would be reduced during the first few years, while more would be placed in an endowment fund. This formula differs from the formula promised by Commissioner John Sweet when he was running for office (he “wanted to win”). So the irrationality has now ensnared the educators and they are concerned about the distribution of non-existent funds from a non-existent monster which has them all mesmerized and oblivious to reality.

John Sweet was quoted as saying at that meeting that the group needed to “grab themselves by the seat (of the pants) and make a decision.” They’re talking irrationally about mythical pie in the blue sky and have been for years. I agree that they should be grabbed by the seat of the pants, but I have a different outcome in mind.




Gun rights initiative in the works

by Tom McKirgan
Coquille
On February 17th the Coos County Commission addressed the Second Amendment Preservation issue. Concerned Coos County residents packed the meeting room, many (save one) speaking in support of it, including Sheriff Zanni.

After the vote, the audience erupted in disbelief, anger and absolute disappointment in Commissioners Sweet and Cribbins’ outright refusal to protect any of our Bill of Rights.

It’s obvious to many that these two are illiterate of the Constitution and of their duties as elected officials. They do not understand or agree that their primary duty is to protect the rights of their citizens.

Instead, they make despotic backroom deals with special interest groups to secure their own futures and inappropriately vote on things they’re personally involved in.

As for myself, I’ve had enough of them running our county and Constitution into the ground. These two inept federal sycophants are a serious threat to our very liberty because they simply will not act to protect it!

The Committee to Preserve the Second Amendment will be meeting to discuss placing the Second Amendment Preservation Ordinance on a county initiative for the people to decide.

The meeting is open to the public and will be at the Bandon library located at 1204 -11th St. SW on Saturday March 14th at 11:00 AM. 2A supporters are strongly encouraged to attend.

For those who missed the treachery, you can watch it here.
http://coosmediacenter.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=275b16624213635deff19912c585466e

 




Cribbins is wrong about charter

By Theo Stanley

It seems Commissioner Cribbins has short memory loss, not the voter. What Ms. Cribbins conveniently forgot to mention is that the BOC also placed a measure on the same ballot as measure 6-144. This measure was written by politicians for politicians, to create an unelected position of “County Administrator” to serve as a scapegoat for the BOC. This measure, 6-144 also failed.
Measure 6-149 was written by citizens and expressly for the citizens of Coos County. It is unlike any other charter in the state. It expresses how they wished to be governed and what is expected of those elected to govern. It also provides “term limits”.
It provides for penalties when elected officials fail to follow the rules. Politicians hate being the governed and having to follow rules of law like regular citizens.

The BOC is receiving guidance from the Hatfield School of Governance, aka Portland Law School, on how to “govern” the citizens of Coos County. We, the taxpayers are paying for this advice. This NGO (non-governmental organization) continues to recommend a County Administrator and “just call it another name like “County Manager.”

Currently the BOC holds “work sessions” were decisions are made and votes taken. Citizens are allowed to observe these work sessions. The problem is in the meeting notice does not provide enough detail of the agenda item to do advance research.
A summary / report of these work sessions are never provided at the BOC meeting or in the minutes. A rubber stamp vote is taken at the official BOC meeting. Currently, no commissioner must state their position on any matter before the commission. The citizens of Coos County are left to wonder just who represents their view.

The reason for five commissioners was decided upon, by a committee of citizens, was put a stop to the normal 2 to 1 vote of the commissioners. If there is an item that affects the entire county and four commissioners cannot agree, then they need readdress the issue to the benefit of all citizens of the county and not just the “special interest”. The county should already have a maintenance department to create and administrate a maintenance plan. Recently there was an article in the newspaper that the county was working with other counties to bulk purchase supplies, no new person needed.




Does Cribbins misunderstand ballot measure 6-149?

By Jaye Bell

It seems Commissioner Cribbins, in her 10-27-14 The World newspaper op-ed, has misunderstood many issues regarding the November ballot measure 6-149 “Voice of the Voters” Charter.

Ms Cribbins vehemently has rejected any input or checks and balances by the citizens over her decisions for controlling Coos County. But still, she is also a lawyer and therefore should be able to read a document written in this straight forward a manner.

Looking at one major item Ms. Cribbins states “….timber sales contracts are nearly always more than the arbitrary limits set by the Charter. Timber sales contracts bring money into the county budget. These sales contracts will be lost if they have to wait months for voter approval, or they will come in at pennies on the dollar, as buyers are forced to subtract the cost of the uncertainty of the contract from their bids.”

Now what does the Charter actually say regarding timber sales … Section 14.2 (f) reads as follows: “Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Charter, a public vote is not required to allow the harvesting or disposition of crops, timber, or other products growing upon county land. ”

Additionally the Charter does not control items in the budget but does require it be zero based ie be based on actual expected expenses needed plus contingency funds and not just given a percentage increase from the previous year.

The other issues noted in the op-ed were convoluted in a similar manner. Is misleading the voters by misrepresenting a ballot measure a violation of law?




Gurney has no conflicts of interest

By Gary Haga

Commissioner John Sweet is a nice man, but his association with several nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations seem to conflict with his position on the Board of Commissioners, which may have contributed to several bad decisions on his part.

Recently, Commissioner Sweet voted to give the management of 84.3 miles of county roads over to the authority of the Coquille Indian Tribe, which eliminates the ability of the Roads Department to prioritize road improvements. It also gives the Tribe an edge in negotiating for other projects, such as the management of the Wagon Road Lands. County voters passed a resolution against allowing the Coquille’s from managing these lands, but that did not stop Mr. Sweet from relinquishing his authority to the tribe as an elected official.

Voters should note that John Sweet has a very close working relationship with the Coquilles and he refuses to release his response to the tribal survey given to candidates during the last elections cycle. The Commissioner is a board member of the Coquille Tribal Community Fund, which is a nonprofit organization involved with several undertakings throughout the county. As a voting member of this board, John has the ability to direct the revenue stream of this organization, giving him the opportunity to choose who receives this funding. The ability to give away money to benefit his constituents is the first conflict.

Mr. Sweet is also a member of the Ford Family Foundation, an organization that has worked closely on projects financially supported by the Coquille Tribal Community Fund, giving the commissioner a considerable amount of undue influence in the county. Many in the community believe John Sweet is using this influence to keep his positon on the County Board of Commissioners, demonstrating a second conflict of interest.

In a work session absent of Commissioner Bob Main, John Sweet and Mellissa Cribbins voted in favor of the county joining the South Coast Community Foundation and then the two voted to make Sweet a board member of this group. Public tax dollars will fund the SCCF and all the money is discretionary where open meeting laws do not apply, which many see as an extreme conflict for Mr. Sweet.

Commissioner Candidate Don Gurney does not have these conflicts of interest, and therefore he has a clear conscience to vote on these issues. So I am voting for Don Gurney for Coos County Commissioner.




Measure 90 is bad for Oregon

By Jason Payne. Coos County Republican Party Chair

& Mark McKelvey, Coos County Democratic Party Chair

 

We’re the county chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties in Coos County. As party leaders, we often disagree on a number of issues. But this election cycle, there is one idea so bad we have no difficulty agreeing: Both the Democratic and Republican Parties oppose Measure 90 because it eliminates choices for voters in Oregon.

Measure 90 will hurt Oregon’s democracy by capping the number of candidates that can participate in our November election to only two. This “Top Two” election system is opposed by nearly all of Oregon’s political parties because it would likely close out minor parties, limit debate, and force voters in some places to have to choose between only Democrats or only Republicans. While we might love the idea of a ballot with only one party – if it were our own –we understand that a healthy democracy is one where all sides have a voice in our elections.

We know voters like to have choices too. When we look at our neighbors to the north and south, we can see the consequences of a “Top Two” election system. In California and Washington, 25% of general election races are between two candidates from the same political party who largely share the same views on major political issues. Studies show that fewer votes are cast in “Top Two” elections because voters want real choices. We think they deserve real choices.

Making matters worse, Measure 90 is full of flaws. Under Measure 90, it appears that candidates getting more than 50% in the May election would automatically win their race and eliminate the November election for many important offices. Measure 90 even seems to eliminate the possibility of write-in candidates. Before we dramatically change the way Oregon handles elections we need to be careful and make sure that we are doing it right.

We may not agree on much but we agree that Measure 90 is not right for Oregon!




The World misses the mark on Charter

By Theo Stanley

Most  citizens of Coos County are too busy with their normal lives and are unable to  attend commission meeting. Those that do make time are now labeled “the  noisemakers” by Mr. Barton. These “noisemakers” are citizens expressing their  constitutional rights to express their opinion on how they are governed and how  the County manages it assets. It is “noise” because no one is respectful enough  to listen to individuals that take the time to get 
involved and express an  opinion. 
“The  ultimate objective was to get a professional administrator to run the day-to-day  affairs of the county because the commissioners are, first of all, not  well-qualified to administer a government of that size and complexity,” Barton  said.  I find it strange how these  unqualified elected officials are qualified to hire a professional administrator  that is not 
responsible to the citizens of the County. This same professional  administrator would hire all individuals currently elected except for the  Sheriff and Commissioners. He would also have “golden parachute” attached to his  employment contract. 
“I think  home rule is a good thing,” said Commissioner Melissa Cribbins. “It reflects the  individual characteristics of a county. But I’m concerned in this case that it’s  small groups of people with individual interests.” 
The charter’s specificity also makes Commissioner John  Sweet think it’s geared toward individual interests, rather than countywide  needs. Mr. Sweet also claims “it’s attempt to undermine the concept of  representative government.” 
I say just the opposite is true. It requires that our  elected representatives be responsible and responsive to the citizens that elect  them. I challenge anyone to find any item in the charter that would benefit any  one special interest group. There are no “special interest” groups funding this  issue. It is strictly a “grass roots” movement. 
How Herne and Bell are doing it, by putting it to the  voters is the only method that private citizens can address the issue under  state law. “The current board of commissioners has repeatedly denied Herne and  Bell’s requests to consider their charter  specifically.” “Voice of the Voters” is the only avenue citizens have  to give guidance to the commissioners on how they (the citizens) are to be  governed.  
Respectfully, a Coos County Concerned  Citizen,



Charter puts people in control

By Mervyn Cloe

“We the People” is the way the preamble to our Constitution starts. I always liked the sound of that, but where have “We the People” gone? Some no longer vote or consider the need to participate in any way. Only a Few will become candidates to serve in political positions.

The design of the Founders was for volunteer service. Volunteer service requires that we maintain awareness and have interest in the affairs of government. It is also a way to keep government within reasonable bounds.

The best opportunity to serve in government is local or city and the next best is your County government.

Thanks to two Coos County residents, who want to enhance a “We the People”
Governing of Coos County, a new charter has been developed. The aim of the Charter is to put people in control. Voter approval would be required for;
1) Capitol programs, 2) All bonded indebtedness, 3) The gifting of Public funds, 4) The granting of property tax exemptions; and more.

Voter approval would be required for Urban Renewal. Accountability for use of Urban Renewal funds will require public presentation on a County website with full disclosure of the disbursement of Urban Renewal funds

Budgeting will be zero based, which means that they will be based on the cost of service delivery for the coming period.

Voters in Coos County should get well acquainted with this Home Rule Proposal in order to make an informed decision on it. It is much better than I had expected.

If approved by the voters, Coos County could become a destination for new investment. People who want to have more control over their lives will consider establishing themselves in Coos County. Coos County could become the envy of the Nation by shining daylight on the operation of government.

Sign me as consumed with envy in Douglas County!




LNG boosters selling “bill of goods”

By John MacGregor, PhD

An open Letter to Mayors, City and County Council Members, Chambers of Commerce, and Economic Booster Groups in Oregon: YOU ARE BEING SOLD A BILL OF GOODS BY OUTSIDERS.

I see your letters to our senators and representatives urging them to support the proposed Jordan Cove LNG Project in Coos Bay and help speed up the ”cumbersome” federal approval process. Whether or not this effort succeeds, you are unknowingly aiding and abetting the applicant, Veresen, in violating federal law. This foreign company has been violating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for seven years by attempting to fast-track the project through the Coos County permitting process prior to issuance of the EIS by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

If your efforts do succeed, here is what you will accomplish:

*Several hundred temporary jobs for a few years, most of them performed by transients and only a few by local residents

*increased disturbance of the peace, threats to personal safety, pollution, congestion, and traffic problems brought to the community by these outsiders

*destruction of much of our marine habitat, including disturbance of oyster fisheries, major impediments to marine navigation, pleasure boating, and other recreational enjoyment of our natural environment

*significant increases in the price of natural gas as our domestic gas is fed into the world economy and the domestic supply is reduced

*substantial pollution and disturbance of many natural areas of the United States caused by fracking and other destructive methods of extraction

*arbitrary taking of private lands, without recourse. for routing a 240 mile pipeline to export our precious resources, In many cases altering the present topography to the point of rendering it useless for gainful purposes,

*potential danger to yourselves and your constituents all along the route of that pipeline from possible explosion, to say nothing of the danger to residents of Coos Bay and North Bend from a probable tanker explosion or inevitable earthquake-induced tsunami

*with the volatility of the world energy markets, the possible collapse of demand in a few years, the shutting down of Jordan Cove, and the community left to deal with the mess and pick up the pieces (see The Job Messiahs by Coos Bay author Wim DeFriend for numerous other examples of such boondoggles.)

*in any case, major economic windfalls to a group of outside investors who could care less about our coastal communities and who will be laughing all the way to the bank

THINK ABOUT IT

John MacGregor, Ph.D.                                                                                                                                                                                 .

Asst. Professor of Sociology 1965 -1971               Organizer, “Can Man Survive,” environmental concerns                                                                                                    University of Oregon                                                 class, largest enrollment in U of O history, spring 1970.

Asst. Professor of Sociology 1971 – 1972                 Co-founder, BRING (Begin Recycling in New Groups),

Oregon State University                                                first recycling organization in Oregon, 1970

 

Assoc. Professor of Sociology 1972 – 1976

Western Washington University

 

Currently a resident of Tucson, Arizona, but a frequent visitor to Oregon, and in daily contact with members of Citizens Against LNG, North Bend/ Coos Bay, Oregon.