[Vision2020] Megaloads and Hippies

Art Deco deco at moscow.com
Tue Jun 7 11:01:51 PDT 2011

The line of reasoning used in this article is the same as that which supported "Separate but Equal" and a host of other laws with horrible consequences.

This week the Spokesman-Review featured articles bout the consequences of uranium mining on the health of native Americans.  

Suppose some company wanted to mine and to process uranium here in Latah County.  Suppose as in the case of the oil sands there would demonstrated dire health and environmental consequences from the project.  Suppose that the equipment needed for this project was to come through Cranbrook BC en route from Vancouver, BC.

I would hope that the residents of Cranbrook would have enough concern about their neighbors to object to the equipment passing through their city.

When looking at any proposal, it is simply ignorance and arrogance not to consider the whole range of consequences of the proposal.  The very conservative Prime Minister of Canada, Steven Harper, has now expressed some grave reservations about aspects of the oil sands projects.  To ignore the possible long range adverse effects of this project on the lives of many Canadians, including death from cancer, and on the environment is utter hubris by the Moscow City Council and demonstrates disregard for anything but alleged local interests.  

And for what?  The local economy will receive very little positive impact from the megaloads, but some local residents will be greatly inconvenienced.  In addition, there are displacement costs which Moscow and Latah County will absorb:  Even if (big if) the megaload companies pay state and local agencies for the labor by public employees to clear the way by removing obstacles, etc, there is still a loss as those employees will not be doing what they are being paid by us to do, i.e. performing their usual assigned duties to maintain the roads, etc for the general public use -- duties assigned before this issue even arose -- their labor is displaced from perform normal work by having to perform duties for special interests.

So by arrogantly ignoring the long range effects of the megaloads, and by not asking not only for the actual costs, but the displacement costs as well, the Moscow City Council not only failed to protect humankind, but failed to protect the financial interests of their constituents.

Wayne A. Fox
1009 Karen Lane
PO Box 9421
Moscow, ID  83843

waf at moscow.com
208 882-7975

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Tom Hansen 
  To: Moscow Vision 2020 
  Cc: Jane Kauzlarich ; Sally Perrine ; Borg Hendrickson ; Friends of the Clearwater ; Fritz Knorr ; Jeanne McHale ; Brett Haverstick ; Marilyn Beckett ; Joann Muneta ; Lin Laughy ; Wild Idaho Rising Tide ; Helen Yost ; Dinah Zeiger 
  Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2011 6:08 AM
  Subject: [Vision2020] Megaloads and Hippies

  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

  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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