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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Celilo Falls: Time to start the clock ticking, time to light the fire....

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

We live with the consequences of many disastrous public policy decisions, arguably none more plainly evident than the flooding of Celilo Falls, radioactive sites aside….

The flooding of Celilo Falls is the American equivalent of the Soviet decision to drain the Aral Sea, taken in the same era, the wrong people in charge, all thinking in the very same way….

This US Army Corp of Engineers movie was shot in 1956, one year before a confluence of short-sighted idiots at the state, local and federal levels deliberately destroyed all that you see here:

The Army film documents the fact that there was no shortage of information available to the decision-makers. They knew what they were about….

Another video, “See Through the Water”, tells the Celilo story in the words of the Celilo people themselves:

The rock structure of Celilo Falls lies intact below the surface of the pond that now covers this place.

Someday, a study will be taken, weighing the costs and benefits of reclaiming Celilo Falls and all that it stands for, versus the costs and benefits of maintaining the dam at The Dalles, and a decision will be made in favor of Celilo Falls and the salmon, someday….

It is only a matter of time until we get to that place, as these two videos make plain. There are costs and benefits either way. It’s time to do the math.

No reasonable person living today would consider building a dam to flood Celilo Falls. The notion, just like draining the Aral Sea, would be unthinkable….

There is a way to engineer getting the occasional barge up and down the river, and a way to generate power and a way to bring Celilo Falls back to life as surely as there is a way for a man to walk on the Moon….

Were it not for the terrible decisions of a previous generation, were Celilo Falls flowing today, this place would be regarded as one of the world’s greatest heritage sites, and every effort would be made to preserve the Falls and the cultures it sustained forever, to the last human breath, we would all stand together….

It is time to start the Celilo Falls clock ticking, time to do the math, time to stand vigil for the day that the waters roar and the earth shakes anew….

It is time to light the fire that will still be burning when Celilo Falls reappears, when the salmon leap and all the world celebrates, it is time to light the fire….

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On the M 75 Wood Village Casino: Who will carry The Monkey?

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Who will carry The Monkey?

Beyond the Good For Oregon rhetoric, the budget numbers claimed, the short-sighted appeal for construction jobs, the multiple constitutional law and legislative issues, the anti-Indian sentiments, the Tea Party fundamentalism, beyond the Disneyland-of-the-North picture that the Wood Village casino promoters are attempting to draw, is the question of who will carry The Monkey….

Who will carry The Monkey?

The project is being designed to function as a gigantic cradle-to-grave honey trap, where every activity on the premises is “fun”, and stepping into the Wood Village Casino becomes a rite of passage for every child upon reaching legal age, the last stop in the Rossman-Studer Continuum of Fun, where every child will someday meet The Monkey….

The business case that Matthew Rossman and Bruce Studer are promoting on behalf of their foreign investors is based on their assertions that the Wood Village Casino complex will increase local spending on gambling.

The complex is in fact expressly designed to encourage that behavior over the next several generations, hence the Tot’s Pool, the Children’s Wave Pool, and the Kids’ Fountain Pool, built close by where The Monkey lives….

They see a lot of future Casino customers swooshing down those water slides, enjoying all of that "fun family entertainment" throughout their childhood and adolescent years, so the pro forma proclaims, a Place Where One Step Leads to Another….

These two shiny-suited part-lawyers/part-carnival barkers imagine a bright future for Oregon.

They want to create an environment where casino gambling is as familiar, as close-at-hand to Oregon children, as is any other form of public entertainment.

The Rossman-Studer plan under Measure 75 amounts to an exclusive 30-year run at every family in the Portland Metro Area.

The 2010 Oregon General Election Voters Pamphlet is out now, signaling that the ballots will soon be in the mail.

Among the several Arguments in Favor published in the pamphlet, eight are signed by Rossman and Studer alone. They are hoping to pick up votes from some who might not notice the overselling.

To their everlasting shame, a couple of trade unions have submitted statements in favor of passage, but their interest does not extend beyond jobs for their own membership, even though some percentage of those union families too will become Monkey-bearers.

The Canadian firm bankrolling the Wood Village Casino is putting $ 250 million into the deal, and they are planning to get that back and more by stimulating “increased spending on local gambling.”

Long term, they've got their eyes on your children and on your child’s children, and it is them who will one day carry The Monkey, The Monkey on their backs that will make two Lake Oswego lawyers and their foreign investors rich beyond rich.

Vote NO on Measure 75.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chris Dudley's assault on Oregon's minimum wage

by Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Chris Dudley's campaign continues to promote a "training wage", which is an assault on Oregon’s minimum wage, while claiming that Dudley didn’t really mean it when he said that Oregon’s waitresses and other tip-earners are making too much money.

To Chris Dudley, a "training wage" is a new idea, but this issue has been fought over in the legislature for years, supported by the same Republicans who want to cut Oregon's minimum wage.

If he had been paying any attention at all to Oregon affairs, Dudley would know something about the history of the ongoing battle over Oregon's minimum wage, and the mess he stepped into when he brought the subject of a "training wage" and what he believes are Oregon’s overpaid waitresses into the discussion.

The same people, the same organizations, which have fought to cut Oregon's minimum wage over the years are bankrolling Dudley's campaign, and they are counting on their boy to come through for them. A “training wage” is their best shot at rolling back Oregon’s minimum wage, and they have been putting money into that battle for years.

Governor Ted Kulongoski and Governor John Kitzhaber have both been stalwart defenders of Oregon's minimum wage throughout their terms in office.

Every family with a minimum-wage earner or a student entering the workforce has a direct economic interest in the outcome of the race for Oregon Governor.

Chris Dudley's supporters are looking to recoup their investment by taking dollars out of your wallets. No one else stands to gain from a “training wage” exception to Oregon’s minimum wage standards.

Every working family in the state should stand behind John Kitzhaber for Governor in this election.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Looking at the numbers: Analyzing Chris Dudley's Point/Budget Ratio

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon—

Oregon GOP candidate for Governor Chris Dudley has articulated several different long lists of things he would like to do if elected, all of which cost money, which means that numbers are important in this election. A simple Point/Budget Ratio analysis can provide valuable insights into the numbers.

As a public service, recognizing that it can be difficult for the average voter to ascertain what the numbers mean, here are the lists, along with the budget information the Dudley campaign has provided to show how each item would be paid for, and a 2-step process for analyzing Chris Dudley’s Point/Budget Ratio:

18-Point Plan called “Education for our Economic Future”

20-Point ”Plan to Create Private Sector Jobs and Stimulate the Economy”

26-Point “Plan to Control Spending and Reform Government”

67-Point “Plan to Make Everything All Better in Oregon’s Corrections System”

= 131 Total Points

Two-Step Point/Budget Ratio analysis:

1. Total points = 131
2. Total budget information provided = Zero

Chris Dudley’s Point-Budget Ratio is therefore 131/0.

I hope this information is helpful for the Undecided in this race.

Friday, October 01, 2010

John Kitzhaber proves he's ready to lead; Dudley offers mumbo-jumbo

By Sean Cruz

Portland, Oregon--

Former basketball player Chris Dudley confirmed throughout his debate with former Governor John Kitzhaber that, while he can manage a mouthful of rhetoric, he cannot manage it over the course of an entire hour without a prepared script.

He did especially poorly when he took questions from the audience, such as this one:

Q. “Where do you stand on taxation of food and beverage and also tobacco and liquor?”

Dudley:  “Well, we have, I mean, in addition to what we already have in place?"

A. “Yes.”

Dudley: “So, what we have, I have not brought up changing what we have in place and, uh, so I think we should continue it, and that is something, by the way, that our cities and counties rely on as well, uh, for their funding and so, it’s not something that I’ve talked about changing.”

I listened to Dudley’s response to this question in semi-stunned silence, because not only is it complete gibberish, but one of his big “new ideas”, championed on his website and in his several multiple-pointed Plans to Make Everything All Better in Oregon, is his determination to privatize the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, and “put a fee” on the sales and distribution of liquor in Oregon.

It’s his own plan, it’s right there on his website, been there for months, that he wants to “put a fee” on the sale and distribution of liquor to make up for the loss of revenue supporting local governments that privatizing the OLCC would cause.

The more Dudley spoke, the worse it got, and it is appalling to think that we could possibly have to listen to this mumbo-jumbo beyond the first week of November.

If this was a boxing match, they’d have to ring the bell every fifteen seconds to keep this man on his feet.

KGW could perform an important public service by rebroadcasting this debate at different times and dates. If this is the only debate we've got, then it won't hurt to see it several times.

We all have too much at stake to allow Oregon to fall victim to the Tea Party mentality that is at the root of the Dudley campaign.

John Kitzhaber is clearly ready to lead the state through this critical time.

Oregon needs a leader ready to come to work, not a person whose principal accomplishment is being tall and reasonably athletic, and certainly not a candidate who cannot remember his own rhetoric.