Monday, April 30, 2012
Near the end of the second official Cascade Locks Joint Committee on Economic Development meeting April 25, a consensus was reached on the importance of ensuring the public had access to the facts on the Nestlé Waters bottling plant proposal.
JCED members, including Port Commissioners Brenda Cramblett and Jessie Groves; City Councilors Mark Storm and Randy Holmstrom and Mayor Lance Masters, differed in their approach to creating that access.
Groves offered that residents could read the Nestlé website or visit with Nestlé representative Dave Palais to learn about the project.
Mayor Lance Masters later in the discussion expanded that concept, asserting that the committee had "an obligation to provide independent" sources of information, beyond Nestlé materials.
Masters stated that the group should also make available materials and studies produced by groups opposing the project, as well as any research collected from other communities who have had dealings with Nestlé, both positive and unsatisfactory.
Before Masters' direction to provide an independent information source, Port Manager Chuck Daughtry said, "We are hearing a mantra of beliefs out in the world that don't have anything to do with the project at all. We should focus on what are the impacts here in Cascade Locks ... How can this benefit the people who live here in town?"
Masters responded by saying, "I don't think it is wise to divorce ourselves from the larger societal issues that are being discussed."
Daughtry interjected, "The politics of this are weighing on us heavily."
Master's responded, "I think that this is part of the equation ... I think that if we determine that this is the best opportunity for our community that we recognize we are stepping into the politics of the issue. I don't want to pre-determine anything. This is just part of the issue. I also don't think that we can allow those larger issues to pave over our local concerns."
City Councilor Storm added, "We need to educate ourselves on the impacts for ourselves."
City Councilor Holmstrom added, "We do need the ability to respond to questions ... We need someone to respond ... I know we can refer them to the Nestlé website."
Groves added, "At what point do they (Nestlé) start to sell themselves to the community instead of us selling Nestlé to the community?"
The group determined that it should develop a fact sheet. It was at that point that Masters focused on the concept of providing independent information.
A clarification was provided to Holmstrom by City Attorney Rueben Cleaveland, on the legal boundaries between JCED responsibilities and those as a city councilor.
Cleaveland said, "The role of the (City) council is to consider facts as they are presented to the council." He advised that if an elected official has knowledge on a matter that will be voted upon which has been obtained outside of council - including investigations conducted as part of JCED due diligence - that this should be disclosed.
Daughtry and interim city administrator Paul Koch were directed to develop a work plan incorporating language from draft job descriptions created for JCED (and sub-committee members) who would be working the Nestlé proposal.
That language includes the following: "...members shall be selected based upon their ability to be objective, look at all the options and ability to be focused on what is best for the community."
The next JCED meeting will be held May 24, 7 p.m. at Cascade Locks City Hall.
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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"
Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge