[Vision2020] Megaloads and Hippies

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Tue Jun 7 08:57:45 PDT 2011


Tom Hansen
Airway Heights, Washington

On Tue, June 7, 2011 6:08 am, Tom Hansen wrote:
> Courtesy of today's (June 7, 2011) Moscow-Pullman Daily News.
> ------------------------------
> Moscow-Pullman Daily News - DNews.com
> HIS VIEW: An issue of facts, not emotions
> By Henry D. Johnston
> June 7, 2011
> About a month ago the city of Moscow hosted a public forum to discuss the
> potential of moving ExxonMobil's megaloads through Moscow on U.S. Highway
> 95. The meeting was preceded by a good old-fashioned protest,
> demonstrating the true size of a megaload and decrying what it will do to
> Moscow's precious trees.
> It has been a long time since Moscow's hippies have dug out their leather
> vests, put on their Birkenstocks and readjusted their graying ponytails in
> an effort to rally "the movement" against "the man." There's something
> about a protest to get the blood pumping and, as the Berkeley of north
> Idaho, Moscow really knows how to throw one.
> Quite frankly, I've missed it.
> After watching the video of the public forum (courtesy of local politico
> Tom Hansen) I think it's pretty obvious the vocal minority of Moscow's
> residents don't care about the movement of the megaloads as much as they
> care about the broader impact of what happens when the loads arrive at the
> Kearl oil sands in Canada.
> While I'm not unsympathetic to the broader implications, I think it's
> inappropriate to try to block the transportation of these loads through
> Moscow simply because you might disagree with the end result. In my book,
> doing so is akin to stopping a funeral procession on its way to the
> cemetery because you disagree with burial as a way to care for our dead.
> At their May 16 meeting, the City Council discussed the megaload issue
> after a very informative and thoughtful presentation by City Supervisor
> Gary Reidner. At the end of the presentation, Councilman Walter Steed made
> the motion to accept the report and, at the same time, invite ExxonMobil
> to use our hotels, buy fuel and food and make Moscow their resting point
> once the loads reach the Latah-Benewah County line.
> Each council member made well-reasoned arguments in favor of letting the
> loads pass through Moscow. Dan Carscallen pointed out we already have
> 200-foot loads move through Moscow in the middle of the night when several
> chip trucks get traveling in a convoy, and Sue Scott said there is plenty
> of noise created downtown by the closing bells at Mingles and the Corner
> Club.
> Steed's motion ultimately passed despite the strong objections of Mayor
> Nancy Chaney. Since then our councilors have taken some pretty heavy and
> unfair criticism of their actions.
> But before anyone starts making accusations or generalizations about the
> irresponsibility of our current City Council, I would remind everyone that
> the most irresponsible behavior ever shown by an elected official in
> Moscow was by none other than Mayor Nancy Chaney regarding the sale of
> water to the Hawkins development.
> In a memo dated Nov. 19, 2007, to the City Council and city administration
> (after numerous appeals to prevent water right transfers to Hawkins)
> Chaney advocated selling water to Hawkins "at a price, with conditions."
> She also attended the confidential mediation with the Hawkins Companies in
> Spokane and presented the mediation agreement to the council.
> It was only after the council voted to approve the agreement, at Chaney's
> express request no less, that she then took a strong about face and
> condemned the sale of water to Hawkins. If you want to talk about
> irresponsibility by an elected official, that one takes the cake.
> The megaload issue is truly one of facts.
> Fact - state highways, over which Moscow has very little jurisdiction, go
> through our town.
> Fact - state-federal roadways are designed to further transportation and
> interstate commerce.
> Fact - Moscow's police chief, fire chief and city streets supervisor all
> said there would be no adverse impact to public safety, fire/medical
> response time or even to the infrastructure of the roadways that the loads
> will be traveling.
> Megaloads are and should be an issue of facts and not emotions.
> The Moscow City Council deserves megakudos (with all puns intended) for
> making an educated decision based on the facts of this issue.
> ------------------------------
> Later, Moscow.
> Tom Hansen
> Airway Heights, Washington
> "The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change
> and the Realist adjusts his sails."
> - Author Unknown

"The Pessimist complains about the wind, the Optimist expects it to change
and the Realist adjusts his sails."

- Author Unknown

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