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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (June 22, 2019)
THE ASTORIAN • SATuRdAy, JuNE 22, 2019
JIM VAN NOSTRAND
Founded in 1873
JOHN D. BRUIJN
Oregon lawmakers need to take a timeout
here is no better example
of political failure than the
move by Republican law-
makers to walk away from the Ore-
gon Legislature on Thursday.
But before the usual blame
machine cranks up in an effort to
saddle GOP lawmakers with all the
responsibility, voters should take a
step back and carefully review this
most recent brush up at the Leg-
islature. That’s because a care-
ful assessment will show there is
plenty of blame to go around.
Senate Republicans walked
away in an effort to derail Oregon’s
ambitious — and complicated —
climate change legislation. House
Bill 2020 — designed to slash
the state’s carbon emissions — is
entirely a creature of the Demo-
cratic supermajority and, as such,
should be a big red flag for voters.
We wrote earlier in this space
that we believe the bill would be
disastrous for working-class Ore-
gonians and do little to prevent
climate change. We still believe
that. The bill is a byzantine, mud-
dled example of good intentions
gone awry. What’s worse, Dem-
ocrats crafted the legislation and
then brushed off — repeatedly —
AP Photo/Andrew Selsky
Gov. Kate Brown deployed the state police Thursday to try to round up Republican
lawmakers who fled the Capitol in an attempt to block a vote on a landmark climate plan.
Republican attempts to reach a
compromise on issues in the bill
they felt hurt Oregonians.
Instead of compromise, discus-
sion and debate — hallmarks of
democracy — the majority party at
the Legislature acted in a unilateral
manner unworthy of the traditions
of Thomas Jefferson and James
Madison. Senate President Peter
Courtney’s decision to yank Sen.
Betsy Johnson off the Ways and
Means Committee for the cap-and-
trade vote was a particularly naked
power grab, in our opinion.
Republicans in the Legislature
are not without fault. Let’s face
it, the GOP in Oregon has made a
number of political miscues during
this legislative session but this
time, and on this issue, they are in
With a supermajority, the Dem-
ocrats have the power to shove
through whatever legislation they
want. Democracy, though, isn’t
about applying unchecked power.
It is about seeking the best solution
from a variety of different political
viewpoints. It is about compromise.
To make matters even worse
— which hardly seems possible
— Gov. Kate Brown delivered on
a threat to use the state police to
bring GOP lawmakers back to the
Legislature if they departed.
That means we — the state of
Oregon — have descended to the
low level of detaining elected law-
makers, transporting them back
to Salem and shoving them into
the Senate to be present so the
Democrats can pass their legis-
lation. Such an action also isn’t
Oregon lawmakers need to take
a timeout, reflect on what is at
stake, and then return to the Leg-
islature with the goal of seeking
a compromise. The core element
of democracy is compromise. We
need more of that instead of politi-
won’t fix our climate
wish I were 5 feet 6 inches tall. I wish
ivy wouldn’t engulf my backyard shrubs
every year. I wish we’d stopped climate
change 100 years ago. I wish everyone
wanted to deal with climate change now.
I wish all businesses were members of
Oregon Business for Climate, and wanted
to find solutions for climate change. I
wish Republican members of the Oregon
Legislature would join the Democrats to
vote for an ambitious climate change bill,
instead of skipping out of Salem when
they don’t get their way.
I wish salmon weren’t dying from
warming oceans and rivers and that Ore-
gon’s mountains had reached normal
snowpack levels every year, instead of
only four of the last 10 years.
I wish the owner of Fort George Brew-
ery who endorsed HB 2020, Oregon’s
Clean Energy Jobs bill, had gotten com-
pliments, instead of rants and boycotts, for
his far-sighted leadership.
I wish Koch Industries, with annual
revenues of $110 billion, and the owner of
Wauna Mill, would agree to pay a measly
$123,000 for the mill’s carbon emissions.
Wishful thinking won’t fix our cli-
mate. Fortunately, people facing the real-
ity of climate change are developing a
mix of effective strategies — including
carbon cap and trade, carbon sequestra-
tion, renewable energy, improved forestry
practices, ending fossil fuel use and much
Oregon can’t afford to postpone work-
ing on climate issues. Please support the
businesses and political leaders ready to
develop and use practical fixes for climate
Don’t allow tall buildings
vote to recommend the height of
buildings along the Astoria Riverwalk
west of Second Street will happen Tues-
day at 6:30 p.m. before the Astoria Plan-
ning Commission at City Hall.
While several commissioners are in
favor of 28 feet, it appears there may be a
majority pushing for 35 feet which, with
roof-mounted equipment, means 40 feet
(“Astoria considers waterfront changes,”
The Astorian, May 29). Try to think of
what buildings in our town are about 40
feet high, and mentally place them along
The recent staff report (download
at bit.ly/uniontown-reborn-draft) pro-
vided to councilors on the Uniontown
Reborn project, where they are pushing
for 45-foot-tall buildings, states “the step
back requirement will help to break up the
massing of a larger building and may pre-
serve view corridors” (bottom of page 11
In print, they say “may” preserve
views, and when it doesn’t, we will not
be able to complain. Do not allow taller/
larger buildings, and you do not need to
worry about breaking up their massing.
The recently approved 45- to 50-foot-
tall Hotel Fairfield’s bogus 10-foot step
back doesn’t preserve views of the river
or bridge, but it caused major problems in
that there was no room left for parking of
their 20 to 35 employees.
Please try to find the petition in town
to limit the height to 28 feet, and sign it
before this meeting on the 25th. It can
be found at a couple of our coffee shops,
one of our bakery/restaurants and a
GEORGE (MICK) HAGUE
Where’s the outrage?
storia is not Manzanita beautiful, but
it’s undeniably beautiful. It’s not Sea-
side beach, but it’s close to the ocean. Its
allure and attractiveness is in its working
waterfront and maritime traditions.
If tourism supplants industry as the
primary focus, we will become the next
Monterey, California. Then, only the ultra-
wealthy will live here, and eventually only
wealthy tourists will visit.
One mainstay being pushed aside is
our commercial fishermen. Gillnetters are
being banished from the main river at the
insistence of wealthy Portland interests.
Our marinas are being turned into Disn-
eyland-like amusement zoos, forcing our
large fishing fleet to move.
We spend millions capturing every
ounce of human waste, while we encour-
age an animal population to deposit an
equivalent daily amount directly into the
river. At the very least, it’s unsanitary.
Sea lions are a plague like locusts; just
cuter, smarter and not insects. Meanwhile,
they are decimating our signature salmon
and sturgeon populations. All this with ret-
icence from our political leaders. Where’s
As the new breed of politician —
who lacks any institutional knowledge
— capitulates to the lure and pressure of
out-of town “progressive development”
money, our waterfront identity is extracted
like a natural resource as if we were a
third-world country in the colonial era.
We’re at a tipping point. Maintain a
working waterfront and marine charac-
ter, with good jobs and the dynamism pro-
vided by young families, or become an
exclusive retirement enclave with very lit-
tle original charm.
Retool auto plants
rom its very source at the oil wells, to
refineries, to automobile emissions,
gasoline is a major contributor to climate
The internal combustion engine has
been powering automobiles for over 120
years. We now have new and much-im-
proved technology which would greatly
reduce the pollution caused by this old
The auto industry retooled, almost
overnight, at the onset of World War II in
order to manufacture tanks and military
vehicles. It was a dire emergency, and our
very lives and way of life was at stake.
This is the time for auto plants to
be retooled for producing electric cars,
because our very lives and way of life are,
again, at stake.
That’s the way
we’ve always done it
he city of Warrenton is facing rapid
growth and a housing shortage.
Development practices of the past, con-
sisting of a handshake and a wink, can no
longer be tolerated.
The preservation of locally significant
wetlands and valued natural resources,
which makes the greater Clatsop Plains
area attractive to residents and visi-
tors alike, are at risk. The pending Clear
Lake Development proposed by San-
dridge Construction should have been
held accountable to meet city, county and
state requirements prior submitting their
The Planning Commission
erred in their decision to preliminarily
approve the development. The develop-
er’s history of wetland violations, factual
inaccuracies of supporting documents,
the lack of proper permits and incom-
plete information were not considered.
Two members of the Planning Com-
mission were absent from the meetings
where the development proposal was
Responsible development and sus-
tainable conservation should go hand-
in-hand. We ask the Warrenton City
Commission to overturn the Planning
Commission’s decision and deny the
development at their June 25 meeting.
It’s time to send a message that a hand-
shake must be earned.
Smith Lake Improvement Inc. Board