Updated: A Bird In The Hand Beats a Bridge Too Low

by lewwaters

Bird, VultureMore and more it appears as if proponents are following Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s admonition of “increase the decibels” in a late effort to finally ram the Columbia River Crossing light rail project off onto Clark County citizens, even though every indication shows they strongly oppose it.

Of course, “increase the decibels” we know to mean shout down opponents, marginalize them, ignore them and just blindly push ahead, shortcomings be damned.

Editor of the Columbian mouthpiece, Lou Brancaccio says, “There have been so many missteps on this Columbia River Crossing project that if it was entered on ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ it would be voted off before Mike Tyson. It’s just mess after mess. The tomfoolery is epic. Even its most ardent supporters would agree with this. For me, I hold my nose and close my eyes, and say we should move forward.”

49th Legislative District Representative Sharon Wylie says, “We can always wish for a better process, however, we wound up with a process of our own making, based on the quantity and quality of our participation. The process may not have been perfect, but it was open and it was fair.”

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “We need to have people with vision step up and say: ‘Those who have worked for 12 years on this project deserve to have this project move ahead, because they’ve done all the hard work.’ ”

Fellow 49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller claims, “We are using everything in our bag of tricks to bring everything to bear,” to get the overly expensive project going.

A Sunday April 21, 2013 Columbian editorial states, “Now is the time to pick up the pace. Designers, negotiators and politicians must focus on accelerating this new bridge. The people of Clark County should recognize that countless hours of hard work and public involvement have brought us to this point, and we should resolve to move more harmoniously toward the all-too-clear solution.”

Recently elected to her very first term as State Senator, Annette Cleveland (D. 49th) chimes in with, “This bridge is about our future. Do we stand up and move forward, as numerous community leaders have before us, ensuring that our children have the option of growing up and settling here to raise their own families? I feel fortunate to have had that option. Or do we turn our backs on progress by stalling and blocking the CRC project?”

Elizabeth Hovde, formerly of the Columbian and now with the Oregonian wrote in an April 20, 2013 piece titled, “Though imperfect, it’s time to build the Columbia River Crossing” concluded, after the usual rhetoric we have become accustomed to, “Let’s not let ‘perfect’ be the enemy of such an overall good.”

Hopefully soon to be ex-Mayor of Vancouver, Washington Tim ‘the Liar’ Leavitt, labeling citizens who have grave concerns over the secrecy once shrouding this project for so long as “liars” and people who “contorts the truth” with rhetoric that “simply has no basis” claims, “Employers in SW Washington have been very candid with me. If the I-5 corridor is not updated and improved, they will not be looking to expand here and will consider relocation to areas that take their needs for efficient transportation seriously” and “Thousands of jobs, $800+ million in economic commerce, $1.7 billion in funding from the Feds and the State of Oregon… hang in the balance…”

One major stumbling block with the CRC remains to height of the proposed bridge that is known will hamper established businesses upriver that manufacture and ship large items downriver. It is estimated these businesses will lose hundreds of millions of dollars of business, potentially resulting in a net loss of jobs or add an expense to the bridge with “mitigated” offsets to their losses.

Bridge too Low 2

While we hear hollow promises of future job growth that ring untrue, ignored by all is the efforts of an Oregon Legislator to attract those businesses 200 miles outside of Clark County and to relocate in Reedsport, Oregon.

All 3 of the elected officials from the 49th Legislative District have been queried about this by me in numerous public comments on the Columbian’s website. To date, not one has attempted to address it nor has the Columbian acknowledged it. Proponents all choose to ignore the very real possibility of losing hundreds of jobs from Clark County due to a bridge project to force an overly expensive light rail on Clark County that voters time and again have said they do not want.

Addressed by this blog earlier in April, Oregon State Rep. Caddie McKeown, a Democrat from the Coos Bay area who supports and voted for the crossing with full knowledge of the bridge height issue and from words she spoke at a March 28 town hall meeting in Reedsport, looks forward to those businesses being hampered.

At that town hall meeting she said, “the possible resettlement of industries affected by the proposed Columbia River Crossing, a new bridge over the river between Portland and Vancouver, may mean opportunity for coastal businesses.”

“There are some businesses, east of the bridge, that build very large components and they tow them to their final destination. I had some of them in my office as we were trying to move this forward. One of the businesses fabricates drilling-rig components [and] it may be difficult to move those parts if the proposed bridge is built.”

“My thought was, well, if you make the components in Corvallis, and they’re trucking them over to Washington, why don’t you put them on a rail car and bring them down to Reedsport. Then, you could do your final preparation down here and launch them from a dock down here. It makes sense to me. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility to reach out to these folks and see if there’s some kind of potential.”

As can be seen in her words, it is a very real possibility that we may lose hundreds of good paying middle class jobs to Oregon on the hollow promise of future jobs coming. We stand to lose them to the very people causing them to consider relocating due to an inadequate bridge design that will harm future manufacturing contracts.

And yet, not one proponent will address this very real prospect as the cling to the hollow promises of “future job growth.”

If ever there was a case of truth in an old saying, “ a bird in the hand beats two in the bush,” this is it.

We should not risk established middle class jobs needed to keep our community working and our economy recovering on the hope of maybe more jobs will one day appear to replace them.

The silence of those like Jim Moeller who continues to look the other way and ignore this concern is loudly screaming we should not move ahead with the CRC.

An “imperfection” as this should be of grave concern to our elected officials.

Why isn’t it?

UPDATE: After dogging Jim Moeller and others for weeks now to address the efforts of Or. Rep. McKeown to encourage companies negatively affect by the inadequate bridge height designed for the CRC light rail project, and being ignored, tonight Jim left this comment on the Columbian.

In Our View: Pick Up Pace on CRC

I take it as a dodge as well as a refusal to address Ms. McKeown’s efforts, if not an approval of them.

Moeller Refusal to Answer on job loss

Earlier this month, pressed on not answering “hard questions,” Moeller left the following on his facebook page

Moeller Hard Questions

I just can’t see blowing off constituent concerns on job losses as “answered the “hard questions” REPEATEDLY!!”

6 Comments to “Updated: A Bird In The Hand Beats a Bridge Too Low”

  1. Adolf Hitler was very big on that fringe-left whack job Hovde’s point of view:

    “My plan to invade Russia isn’t perfect, but we have to press on.”

    It’s a bad plan, made worse by the lies these scammers spout at the drop of a hat.

    And lies are never a reason to build anything.


  2. Don’t let up, Lew! Raise those decibels!

    The CRC has made public statements about spending $116 million of our money to offset lost PROFITS by these local companies. They have to do $1 billion worth of commerce to generate $100 million in profits. So the CRC wants to move them out of Clark County to where? Reedsport? Seattle? Texas? and take their 4,000 jobs with them and then only compensate for their lost profits?

    Thank goodness not all our state legislators are as dumb as our 49th reps.


  3. The only one so far openly advocating relocating those businesses to Reedsport, which is 200 miles south over on the Oregon coast, is Oregon Rep. Caddie McKeown

    Nobody else will address her words, my numerous questions being ignored by all.


  4. “People who remain silent in face of a fair question are undoubtedly very arrogant assholes.”


  5. Until recently, I had no idea that Jim “Molehill” Moeller was channeling Mussolini.


  6. What a waste, time, money, energy, and taxpayer involvement. It is a bridge across a river, we have thousands of these all over the US. Here in Clark County we can make this more painful than need be. Mr Moeller, you are a servant of the voters. “Simply taking your time” is what you get paid for. You are taking our time and money and futures!


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