The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, July 27, 2019, WEEKEND EDITION, Page A6, Image 6

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THE ASTORIAN • SATuRdAy, July 27, 2019
Associated Press
US will execute inmates
for first time since 2003
WASHINGTON — The Justice
Department said Thursday the fed-
eral government will resume exe-
cuting death-row inmates for the
first time since 2003, ending an
informal moratorium even as the
nation sees a broad shift away from
capital punishment.
Attorney General William Barr
instructed the Bureau of Prisons
to schedule executions starting in
December for five men, all accused
of murdering children. Although
the death penalty remains legal in
30 states, executions on the federal
level are rare.
The move is likely to stir up
fresh interest in an issue that has
largely lain dormant in recent
years, adding a new front to the
culture battles that President Don-
ald Trump already is waging on
matters such as abortion and immi-
gration in the lead-up to the 2020
Most Democrats oppose capi-
tal punishment. Vice President Joe
Biden this week shifted to call for
the elimination of the federal death
penalty after years of supporting it.
By contrast, Trump has spo-
ken often — and sometimes wist-
fully — about capital punishment
and his belief that executions serve
as both an effective deterrent and
appropriate punishment for some
crimes, including mass shootings
and the killings of police officers.
16 Marines arrested
in migrant smuggling
SAN DIEGO — An inves-
tigation into Marines accused
of helping smuggle migrants
into the United States led to the
arrest Thursday of 16 of their
fellow Marines at California’s
Camp Pendleton, just north of the
U.S.-Mexico border.
In a dramatic move aimed at
sending a message, authorities
made the arrests as the Marines
gathered in formation with their
None of the 16 Marines were
involved in helping enforce border
security, the Marine Corps said.
They are accused of crimes rang-
ing from migrant smuggling to
drug-related offenses.
The arrests came weeks after
two Marines were arrested by a
Border Patrol agent on suspicion
of transporting three Mexicans on
the promise of money after they
crossed illegally into the United
House passes
bipartisan budget bill
with Trump support
ing a rare cease-fire in their bat-
tles with President Donald Trump,
the Democratic-controlled House
on Thursday easily passed biparti-
san debt and budget legislation to
permit the Treasury to issue bonds
to pay the government’s bills and
lock in place recent budget gains
for both the Pentagon and domes-
tic agencies.
The measure, passed by a 284-
149 vote, would head off another
politically dangerous govern-
ment shutdown and add a mea-
sure of stability to action this fall
on a $1.37 trillion slate of annual
appropriations bills. The Senate is
scheduled to approve the bill next
between the administration and
Democratic House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi lifts the limit on the gov-
ernment’s $22 trillion debt for two
years and averts the risk of the
Pentagon and domestic agencies
from being hit with $125 billion
in automatic spending cuts that are
all that’s left of a failed 2011 bud-
get pact.
Democrats rallied behind the
legislation, which protects domes-
tic programs some of them have
fought to protect for decades
through extended stretches of GOP
control of Congress. House GOP
conservatives, many of whom
won election promising to tackle
entrenched federal deficits, gener-
ally recoiled from it.
US: Iran test-launched
a medium-range missile
WASHINGTON — Iran test-
launched a medium-range ballistic
missile inside its borders, U.S. offi-
cials said Friday, defying Trump
administration demands that it
curtail the weapon program and
demonstrating its intent to further
push back against U.S. sanctions.
The test came amid height-
ened tensions between Iran and
the West, mainly over the safety of
commercial shipping in the Persian
Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
A White House spokesman
called the test launch an example
of Iran “acting out” as a result of
intense pressure from U.S. eco-
nomic sanctions.
Tensions have mounted with
Iran over a 2015 nuclear accord it
reached with world powers. Trump
withdrew the U.S. from the accord
last year, reinstating sanctions on
Iran and adding new ones. Nations
still party to the nuclear deal plan
to meet in Vienna on Sunday to see
to what extent the agreement can
be saved.
LNG fight: Conflicts over energy
policy are unlikely to disappear
Continued from Page A1
LNG supporters, who envisioned
a return to an industrial past,” the
case study concluded.
“Opponents then capitalized
on larger national and regional
concerns — specifically related
to terrorism and later to the poten-
tial impacts of future earthquakes
and tsunamis — to align con-
cerns about LNG to salient pub-
lic issues.”
Activists partnered with Colum-
bia Riverkeeper, an environmen-
tal nonprofit that provided import-
ant technical, organizing and
legal expertise, and targeted local
elected officials who supported the
projects for defeat at the ballot box.
“As established local leaders
began losing elections to LNG
opponents, the opposition could
then count on local decisions to
turn in their favor,” researchers
The case study, funded in part
by Oregon Sea Grant and pub-
lished in January by the Univer-
sity of California Press, was based
on local news articles, letters to the
editor, transcripts of public hear-
ings and interviews with nearly
two dozen people involved in the
LNG debate.
Researchers said concepts from
social movements like the one
against LNG in Clatsop County
can help untangle arguments and
strategies in other communities
on the front lines of energy policy
“I think the opponents in the
Clatsop County case were quite
effective in pushing forward a
frame that wasn’t just about envi-
ronment,” said Hilary Boudet, an
associate professor in the sociol-
ogy program at Oregon State, who
was one of the authors. “It was,
too, but it was also about poten-
tial economic impacts if the facil-
ity were to be built.”
The case study described the
majority of local opponents to
LNG as retired, including many
with experience in political
engagement. Opponents also had
a well-organized communication
After Oregon LNG withdrew
from the Warrenton project, some
local supporters blamed retirees
To read the study, go to
resistant to development for cost-
ing the county jobs and an eco-
nomic boost. But activists cel-
ebrated it as a victory for local
grassroots organizing against
wealthy corporate interests.
“They’re looking at their own
bank accounts and they’re not
doing it for community welfare or
longevity or anything like that,”
said Laurie Caplan, who was one
of the leaders of Columbia Pacific
Common Sense, which formed to
fight LNG. “They’re doing it to
make a killing and then they’ll go
on to the next project and make a
killing there. That’s a whole differ-
ent outlook.”
Researchers believe that given
the potential risks and benefits of
massive energy projects, conflicts
are unlikely to disappear.
The proposed Jordan Cove
LNG terminal and pipeline proj-
ect at Coos Bay, for example, has
divided residents and business
interests as it moves through the
regulatory process.
Social movements against envi-
ronmental regulations are also tak-
ing shape in Oregon and across the
nation in the debate over climate
change. #TimberUnity, with seed
money from the owner of Stimson
Lumber Co., has rapidly built a
grassroots following in rural parts
of the state in response to cap-and-
trade legislation in Salem.
Caplan said the political climate
today is different than during the
LNG battle.
“I think it would be a different
type of battle because it’s almost
being like you’re anti-American or
un-American and that was never
the issue, but I think it would be
now,” she said. “And that changes
what people are willing and able to
speak up for. It’s just difficult.
“It’s harder if you think your
connection with your friends and
neighbors and family are at stake.
Almost everybody I know has
a family member who is totally
opposed politically and it is really
Sewer rate: No one from Westport
came to public comment meeting
Continued from Page A1
“We did have a public meeting
and had information provided to the
public. No one came to those meet-
ings, which is disappointing,” he
said. “We would like to inform them
more and give them the informa-
tion that we have, but no one came
to those meetings, so we still need
to have an opportunity this evening
for public comment on this.”
No one from Westport came to
the county commission meeting on
Wednesday for public comment.
“I guess I am concerned about
the 35% first-year increase,” Com-
missioner Pamela Wev said. “A
35% increase, that’s not exactly an
economically robust area. I think
this can be pretty devastating for a
lot of people. I know if my sewer
bill went up 35%, I would notice it.”
McLean said it has been a
long time since Westport has had
rate increases, but acknowledged
the steep increase is not an ideal
“We really should have done
it sooner,” he said. “It would have
been less of an impact. And those
expenses have been continually
climbing over the years.”
“We are also tied to DEQ’s
requirements, so there’s not a lot of
options,” McLean said.
McLean said a lot of the prop-
erties in Westport are rentals and
they usually don’t see sewer bills
because it is included in their rent.
“I know there are various con-
cerns for that area out there and
what I’m hoping to put into the
amendment is we continue to look
for funding to support those ongo-
ing infrastructure improvements,”
Commissioner Kathleen Sullivan
The rate increases were
approved with the condition that the
county continue to look for other
sources of funding.
Christine Bridgens
A homeless camp in Warrenton.
Homelessness: Sweeps met with praise, criticism
Continued from Page A1
Workman believes the issues
are still primarily seasonal. Offi-
cers have been out more actively
enforcing no trespassing rules on
private property and found numer-
ous camps — especially in the
wooded areas around the business
hub off Ensign Lane, where Costco
is located.
“There is a lot of vacant land
that’s flat and easy to access,” War-
renton City Manager Linda Eng-
bretson said. “There’s a lot of prop-
erty that they are using.”
She has heard numerous com-
plaints about theft and burglary, as
There are also what police call
“the power line camps” between
the Warrenton Kia and Ocean Crest
car dealerships, where large power
lines run across U.S. Highway 101.
Police have only just scratched the
surface there.
“We’re hearing there’s even
more camps deeper in,” Workman
said. “It’s very concerning to me
safety-wise and resource-wise. ...
If we send (officers) out into the
woods half a mile from their car,
who is responding to their other
calls? No one. We have to plan
these things.”
Warrenton police conducted
a massive sweep of a sprawling,
established camp behind Goodwill
last year. A new round of sweeps is
in the works, Workman said.
Last summer, Astoria police
fielded numerous complaints about
homeless camps around the city
and in the urban forest.
The complaints and the state of
some of the camps police found
led the Astoria City Council to
close a loophole in city rules and
ban camping in the woods. Crews
ultimately cleaned up seven camp-
sites in the woods near a residen-
tial neighborhood on the east end.
They removed four large dumpsters
worth of garbage and other items
left behind, about 5 tons of mate-
rial in total.
The sweeps met with both praise
and criticism.
Police and public works
employees coordinated with social
service agencies to inform campers
about available services and camp-
ers were warned far in advance.
But few of the people whose camps
were removed found housing or
actively entered social service pro-
grams, advocates said. The sweeps
just pushed the problem elsewhere
at the start of the cold and rainy sea-
son, they argued.
Since the sweep, some people
have moved back into the aban-
doned camps, including one man
whose camp had generated a lot of
garbage, said Kenny Hansen, the
police department’s homeless liai-
son officer.
“Some have gone to the (Astoria
Riverwalk), some have gone out-
side the city and some have totally
left the area,” Hansen said.
He is seeing more people who
are homeless on the Riverwalk, a
shift that could be seasonal. He and
other police officers have issued
several warnings and a few cita-
tions for camping.
“So far, to my knowledge, it’s
been pretty quiet,” Astoria Police
Chief Geoff Spalding told the city’s
homelessness solutions task force
at a meeting Thursday. Though vol-
ume remains high for homeless-
ness-related calls, there is a sense
overall that Astoria is not seeing
the same kinds of problems the city
saw last summer, he said.
Police are responding to com-
plaints about camping in city lim-
its, but they are not actively seeking
out camps at this point.
“All of our concerns are still the
same,” Spalding said, “but most of
the time we understand we’re just
relocating the problem.”