[Vision2020] Megaloads and Hippies

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Jun 7 10:28:20 PDT 2011

I once on Vision2020 mentioned the group of talented writers/teachers
that the U of I English department holds, wondering why they do not
write more for the local press?

I received a private response from one of these writers, indicating
they are quite occupied with their professional writing obligations,
though would otherwise enjoy writing a regular column for the local
newspapers.  I suspect many academians are similarly consumed by their
work, and would regard writing for a local newspaper a distraction
from their careers.

Still, their must be dozens of capable undergrads who could write
thoughtful columns.  I wonder if the English departments at U of I and
WSU could for some writing classes task their students with writing a
column for the MPDN, with the best columns published in the paper?
They could thus score academic points, while hopefully raising the
quality of the op-eds.
Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett

On 6/7/11, Joe Campbell <philosopher.joe at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've said it before but I'll repeat it: with two local universities, why
> does the MPDN have this offensive idiot as a regular columnist?
> On Jun 7, 2011, at 7:08 AM, "Tom Hansen" <thansen at moscow.com> 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
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> =======================================================
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