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Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Laughable Save Grand Island Campaign

I have been seeing these signs all over the neighborhood which read "Save Grand Island." Those of you from the midwest may wonder what is being proposed that will destroy part of Nebraska, do not fear, Grand Island is an island in the Willamette River just a few mile from my home in scenic Oregon.
Now back in the "olden days" it was the spot for fresh produce. My mom would go "to the island" for any vegetable that we did not grow in our garden. The produce stand  that used to be just before the bridge to the island was where she got fresh peaches and watermelons and apples and such.
Now here's the deal.
I think it is a shame that Baker Rock company wants to haul off half of the island to gravel roads in Yamhill country. I am not completely sure that is what will happen but I figure if the folks that live there don't want it to happen then they should be able to stop it.
But... here is what I think is funny. There are no more "truck gardens," or small farms on Grand Island. Sure Heizer Farms is there and they are probably behind the whole Save Grand Island campaign because they have a tourist attraction pumpkin patch kind of thing going on. The farm is not how they started out making their living. I think they are doctors or something.
There are probably only like three or four farmers that are doing anything substantial on the whole island and they are big operations with huge tractors and they don't even live on the island. There is one serious farmer who still has apples and makes his living from farming but the old days of row crop farming are long gone. It is all grass seed and wheat now. Perhaps a big field of sweet corn but that is not fresh market.
As far as the whole pristine beauty of the place, sure there are deer. There are deer everywhere. I've heard the stories of the old days of produce growing-when they would dump toxic chemicals down the wells and pump it out through the sprinkler lines onto the fields for pest and weed controls. The one story noted that birds flying under the sprinklers would die from the chemicals. I would not drink the water from any well on Grand Island, although I suppose it has all been tested and is ok.
I've baled and stacked and planted on the island and it is a beautiful place. I certainly don't want to dodge rock trucks when I move wide equipment across the bridge but then again, I would a lot rather meet a rock truck than I would attempt to circumvent a horde of bicyclists.
I guess I kind of look at the whole thing with some amusement. It is national politics on a local scale. The "feel good" crowd, motivated by a "sustainable" and "feel good" business, which doesn't actually do anything but bring hordes of tourists to block the roads, has taken on a resource based industry. So-called grass roots vs the evil Capitalists, of course the grass roots/sustainable folks are fighting for their own capitalistic interests but they don't call it that. Frankly I don't have much in common with either side, and neither do most of the folks who make their living actually farming in the neighborhood.
Just the same, I suppose I would have to grudgingly side with the Save Grand Island crowd because I have my own similar cause. I hate Riverbend Landfill and Waste Management Corporation with a passion. This is the 21st century, we have had science for a couple hundred years now. What sort of dumbass would build a giant landfill on both sides of a river. AND then advertise being green on their website! I've baled and planted all around the monstrosity and it stinks. Sometimes it catches on fire. Waste Management Corp has so much money they just bought off all the local politicians, who are such morons they didn't even know they were being bought off. What a joke... No wonder we have all the rabid environmentalists running around.
I have absolutely no problem whatsoever about being inconsistent...
Have a nice evening!
Edit-Click Here for a link to the Waste Not of Yamhill County which opposes trash mountain ski resort and environmental oasis. I wish I could find my photo of snow on the peak of Trash Mountain. That was funny...

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Waste Management bought out our locally owned dump and what was once a valley on the back side of a hill near one of our four-lanes is now a hill itself. I jokingly call it "Mount Trashmore." It's gradually becoming the tallest hill around.

    If the government ever makes them stop piling up garbage and New York medical waste there, I look for them to make it a tourist site by bragging that you can see 17 states from its summit. The pipe that burns off methane 24/7 will then, no doubt, be named "The Robert C. Byrd Eternal Flame," and will become a stop on the Pork Barrel Pilgrimage Tour of West Virginia.

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  3. Gorges, Yes indeed. Waste Management is bringing garbage from Portland to turn our local dump into what we also call Mt. Trashmore. When the neighbors went to court to get them to stop expanding into wetlands they came out with their environmental responsiblity crap and how much money it brings into Yamhill County. Yup, three bulldozer operators, but I guess where it really helps is the money that went under the table to get the Republican who swore he would stop the expansion to change his mind once elected. And hence the bitterness in my tone.

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