Letters to the Editor - March 29, 2013
A bill in the state legislature, House Joint Memorial 6 (HJM6) would put Oregon on record supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment that would end constitutional rights for corporations and other artificial legal entities, and would establish that political contributions are not the equivalent of free speech.
The authors of the Constitution knew they wouldn’t get everything right, so they included the mechanism to improve it. There have been 27 prior amendments to fix the oversights that became known with experience.
One more problem is apparent. There are oversights that have allowed fictitious legal entities to gain the constitutional rights of people. Corporations have a mandate to maximize shareholders’ wealth. They have acquired and used constitutional rights very effectively to this end.
Today, corporations have the rights of people under the First, Fourth, Fifth and 14th Amendments, and the commerce and contracts clauses. For example, they can influence elections with free speech rights. Since money now equals speech, they have a much louder voice than We the People.
The legal fictions that are corporations started as tools of the people to gather investors for worthwhile projects under a revocable state charter. Court findings and decisions over 200 years have gradually reversed this intention. People are becoming tools of corporations. Our democracy is becoming a corporatocracy.
A constitutional amendment is required to restore democracy because the courts can reverse regulation and legislation. The amendment must eliminate constitutional rights for artificial entities and designate that money is not free speech and can be regulated. This will restore corporations to the useful creations they originally were. It will be amendment No. 28.
See www.OregonRestoresDemocracy.org for more information.
Oregon will join the leaders of this effort by passing HJM6. Please contact your state legislators and let them know you support it.
Hopes KLYC will rise again
Many agree that the demise of KLYC is tragic. I tried to save it, but radio, like many ventures, takes cooperation and teamwork. Not everyone wanted to save KLYC.
I want to correct an unfair characterization of me as a Californian. I’m a fifth-generation Oregonian who was born and raised in Beaverton, as were my parents. After college in California, I worked in radio, eventually owning two stations. I spent time in Oregon every year, and tried repeatedly to relocate here, partly because of my family’s roots.
Although I did not realize my dream of turning KLYC into a vibrant, community radio station, I met some great people in Yamhill County. I would like to thank Brian Eriksen, Maya Eriksen, Molly Walker, Lars Patrick, Richard “Marshall” Hokit, Master Gardeners Kyle and Ray, Jennifer Nice, and many of the coaches and administrators at Linfield College, McMinnville High School and Dayton High School. Thanks as well to many others for their help.
I hope that, like the phoenix, KLYC will rise from the ashes to serve the community. Yamhill County deserves it.
KLYC closure disappointing
I am so disappointed to learn of the end of our KLYC radio station.
It’s been the background of many of my days over these years, in the house and the car. I love the “oldies” and the connection to local happenings and news.
Thanks to Larry and Stella, and to Eve and Patrick, for their years of fine performances.
The loss will leave a big gap — such a shame.
Take part in decision
For some months now, I have been part of a citizen group working with Waste Management to decide how best to utilize 450 acres of Riverbend land off Highway 18 as a community resource.
Waste Management purchased this land as a buffer around its operations. The land includes acreage that is being farmed, as well as open meadows and riverfront property.
It is important for all in our community to have input into how best to use this land, and our group has been actively seeking recommendations from individuals, families, nonprofits, schools and local governments. I believe that the best plan for this land will be achieved only when all concerned parties are heard.
This is why I am personally inviting anyone interested to attend one of the public workshops from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, in the McMinnville Senior Center, and from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 11, in the Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg.
These workshops will offer a forum for discussion of all ideas and proposals and are, in my opinion, a genuine opportunity for those who live in our area to take part in this important decision.
So, please join me in April and make your wishes heard. For those who want more information, please visit http://riverbend.wm.com/dream-it-do-it/index.jsp, where you will find a property map and additional information.
Concerns with berm approval
Recent tentative approval by the Oregon DEQ of a permit to build a 40-foot-high, 1,500-foot-long “mechanically-stabilized earthen berm” at Riverbend Landfill to allow dumping of another 1 million tons of trash between Highway 18 and the South Yamhill River raises very serious concerns.
The primary concern is that the berm is engineered to withstand an 8.5 magnitude Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. However, current scientific data from U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon Department of Geology and Minerals, academic seismic researchers and independent seismic consultants shows that Riverbend lies in a 9.0 magnitude earthquake zone. Riverbend will still be there when it happens.
The difference in the amount of energy released between an 8.5 magnitude and the expected 9.0 magnitude quake is 5.62 times. Therefore, every precaution needs to be taken to minimize the impact of the event.
This requires utilizing the most currently available scientific information in the planning, design and engineering of large structures, and thus mandates that the Riverbend berm be designed to withstand a 9.0 magnitude, not an 8.5 magnitude, earthquake.
Other Oregon projects being built to a 9.0 magnitude earthquake specification include the Columbia Crossing, Sellwood Bridge, Milwaukie rail bridges and Scoggins Dam. The Yamhill County Office of Emergency Management has adopted the 9.0 magnitude standard.
Why is DEQ allowing Riverbend to construct this “wall” at a significantly lower earthquake standard than one in use by Yamhill County and elsewhere?
Please submit your comments regarding this issue by e-mail to: Bob Schwarz, firstname.lastname@example.org before Friday, April 5.