Exporting gas is not patriotic

By John Fett


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


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.

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


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.



Did SCCF directors have authority to rewrite bylaws?

By Ronnie Herne

How do you start a letter that deals with going through Alice’s rabbit hole backwards, and darkly? I’m going to throw some pebbles in the murky water and just follow a couple ripples.

In the middle of this morass are our three commissioners. They clearly told us on May 6th, 2014 (filmed) that their 2-commissioner vote in a workshop session to ratify the South Coast Community Foundation, its by-laws, and its three directors wasn’t actually a vote and would have to be ratified when all three commissioners are present at a regularly scheduled board meeting.

Then on June 17th (filmed) they said, well yes, they had checked with County Counsel and it was a real vote afterall and they really had ratified membership in the SCCF, and accepted its by-laws, and its three directors. And Commissioner Cribbins said Commissioner Bob Main can say what he wants at the July 1st meeting starting at 9:30am.

Now. The three directors the commissioners ratified have since resigned en masse. Prior to leaving, these directors rewrote the by-laws. The previous two or three by-laws (these have been rewritten some 29 times) said only foundation Members could rewrite the by-laws, not directors. But these late directors did it anyway, and rewrote the very structure of the foundation.

Were they allowed to do that? And now the foundation is materially changed, the by-laws are changed (or are they?), the originating directors are gone. But our commissioners are saying they’ve ratified this? Which part? What? When?

And a loose foursome of Members is going to create 7 directors (is it 7?) and the 7 will hire/appoint a CEO with power to invest for the Foundation, sell for the Foundation, and indebt the Foundation. Hello?

And the voter fits in here where? And if the invested foundation gets money, who gets the profit? And if the indebted Foundation fails, who gets the bill?

Matt Rowe for County Commissioner

By Shawn Jennings

Matt Rowe is running against Melissa Cribbins, the incumbent Commissioner.
The Crucial issue in this election is how we shall be governed. Will it be by a government we elect that is fully subject to all public records and meeting laws and is accountable to us through recall initiative and referendum or shall be governed by a shadow government?
The shadow government is under construction and Melissa Cribbins is under construction and Melissa Cribbins is helping to build it. Its architects are planning to divert 75% of the Jordan Cove Community Service Fees to two private corporations. Between then these private corporations will eventually receive over $20,000,000 yearly.
These fees are payments in lieu of taxes; however the architects of the shadow government claim these fees are not public dollars. Many leaders tell us the Community Enhancement Plan is “the chance of a lifetime”. Don’t believe it! The leaders peddling this snake oil are like beasts in rut – they smell the Jordan Cove money and they will do anything to get it.
Melissa Cribbins and her cohort John Sweet are part of this pack. They have repeatedly used their positions as Commissioners to help build the shadow government and they will continue to do so unless removed from office.
Matt Rowe is the hard working competent Mayor of Coquille. I have always found him accessible and willing to talk about any concern I have. He is endorsed by former County Commissioner Bev Owen. Bev was an excellent Commissioner and is one of the most ethical people I know. Matt is also endorsed by former Sheriff Mike Cook.
If elected Matt will vote to repeal the pay increase the Commissioners gave themselves last year. Matt opposes a tax break for Jordan Cove because he believes they “should pay their taxes like everybody else.”
A vote for anyone else but Matt is a vote for Melissa Cribbins and the shadow government.
Please join me in voting for Matt Rowe and the future of our County!