Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mega-Letters to the Editor

Balance Needed in Megaload Debate, by Syringa resident Owen Fiore

Idaho County Commissioner...Jim Chmelik claims not to understand the Nez Perce Tribe's opposition to the "Megaloads"... His emphasis on the alledged economic advantages of this "over-the-top" level of commerce fails to take into account our Idaho environment, applicable federal law and the clear opposition of many Idahoans to destruction of the Highway 12 Wild & Scenic corridor.

Mr. Chmelik should look to his duty to represent fairly all his constituents...rather than...capitulating to the unreasonable demands of commercial Big Oil interests and their transport companies.  In addition, Commissioner Chmelik claims that the State's road easement is absolute; but this is far from the truth.  The easement always has been, and remains, subject to Federal laws for protection of the environment, including the Wild & Scenic Corridor Act.  Therefore, Idaho Rivers United and the Nez Perce Tribe are seeking an injunction to force the U.S. Forest Service to fully exercise its already determined jurisdiction to review and to regulate commerce over Highway 12.

None of the opponents of the Megaloads threat to Highway 12 opposes the ordinary and reasonable highway commerce that travels this road every day without concern or opposition.  But...Highway 12 was never intended to be used for the "high, wide, heavy and intrusive" travel represented by the Megaloads... It would be helpful if our politicians would do more than merely support the Megaloads, especially since the economic benefits to Idaho County must be offset by consideration of the loss of tourism, damage to the environment we love and enjoy, and undue interference with the relative peace and quiet which brought us here.

Making closed-door deals, by Peck resident Win Green
All the buzz and controversy about megaloads has captured the attention of many...  Big business claims it will lose millions of dollars if it cannot use U.S.Highway 12.  Well,...when any private company makes business decisions that smack of closed-door agreements with state politicians, leaving most citizens out, they do so at their own peril. The citizens of north central Idaho owe absolutely nothing to these guys.  Under the ruse of creating jobs and economic growth, they pretend to be helping us.  It appears they have even hoodwinked many of our local politicians...  short-sighted people would destroy what many enjoy here.

Standing up to megaloads, by Kamiah resident Ken Jones

... I would like to praise the Nez Perce Tribal Council, the Friends of the Clearwater, and all tribal members who stood up to the megaloads.  Also those individuals that wrote letters opposing the megaloads...  When I read letters supporting the megaloads, it makes me sick...  Many of them only see money as the solution to everything, including destroying the beauty of scenic drives and the environmental sensitivity of the area....  I hope the Nez Perce Tribe will continue its efforts to stop the megaloads and prove we have say and rights on our reservation...  It's obvious the...Tribe has plenty of support.

Pity General Electric, by Orofino resident Jill Lynch

...poor, poor General Electric...  That megacoporation will lose a few million bucks if it can't push its megaloads through the U.S. Highway 12 corridor against the court ruling...  What a cruel, unfair and so unpredictable limit to face on the way to jamming its megapower up our noses or other unmentionable parts.  It should have planned another route until it knew the new rules...  threatening that our "lights will be turned off" sounds like a kid who isn't allowed to eat all the candy before dinner.  Meals, gasoline (mostly profit for oil companies) and temporary jobs for police won't make or break the local economy.  I've seen no local permanent jobs in the projections...  Commercial use does not mean commercial abuse...

We protest, by Moscow resident Sam Finch

Protesting the status quo is progress.  Anti-progress is letting foreighn state corporations, Gov...Otter and international oil interests violate federal law to use our country's wild and scenic rivers as a doormat... The Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was designed to protect the shrinking number of free-flowing rivers in our country...  We do not protest megaloads because we want to close Highway 12 to every car and end commerce...  We protest to protect wild and scenic rivers for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations...  We protest our country's excessive use of fossil fuels...  We protest to uphold the Nez Perce Tribe's rights...

Megaloads: Force companies to be honest about their intentions, by Tucson, Arizona, resident Lori Scott
While visiting relatives in Missoula, I noticed that the megaload of a supposedly water purification unit was passing through. I decided to...take a photo...  When we tried to get closer to show the scale of the load next to a human being, a security person appeared, and shouted, “Don’t step off the pavement! That’s raw sewage there!“
As I looked around for signs of this...I could only conclude that raw sewage is also being trucked through Montana on these beautiful but narrow roads, or the oil companies are once again manipulating the truth about their activities.  I hope that the media and a small but vocal group of protesters can at least force them to be honest about their intentions and to treat inquiring citizens as just that, people who want to protect the land they love.

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