Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Metolius: Bulletin Goes Into Full Snark Mode

Some days The Eye wonders whether the members of The Bulletin's editorial board bother to read their own paper. Today is one of those days.

Posted By on Sat, Feb 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM

Some days The Eye wonders whether the members of The Bulletin's editorial board bother to read their own paper. Today is one of those days.


On Page One there's a story with the headline: "Draft plan contains tradeoffs for resorts, opponents." It describes how state officials are working with developers to craft a plan that will protect the Metolius Basin while still allowing some destination resort development.

The plan as it now stands would allow Ponderosa Land and Cattle Co. to create a scaled-back version of its 10,000-acre destination resort on the edge of the basin. A much smaller resort that Dutch Pacific Resources LLC wants to build within the basin would have to be moved to another site. A copy of the plan is on the website of the state Land Conservation and Development Commission.

The draft plan appears to not fully satisfy either the developers or resort opponents. Erik Kancler, executive director of Central Oregon LandWatch, is quoted in the Bulletin story as saying it allows more development than he'd like. Friends of the Metolius put out a news release this morning restating "its longstanding position that destination resorts and large-scale developments should never be allowed in the basin or its larger watershed."

A lobbyist for the smaller resort said her client would be open to putting it in another location. "The devil's in the details," said Rick Allen, lobbyist for Ponderosa, adding that his client will wait for the final plan before reacting.

So it sounds like the DLCD is working in good faith toward a reasonable compromise, right?

Apparently The Bulletin's editorial board never got the word. In its typical sneering style, it rips into Gov. Ted Kulongoski this morning for putting on what it claims is a charade:

"Jefferson County and owners of two proposed destination resorts have gone through the public process under state law. Kulongoski ordered the land conservation department to go through a new 'public' process.

"He directed the agency to write a management plan that does not allow destination resorts within the basin. There are to be a series of public hearings about the plan.

"We can't imagine why.

"Kulongoski has already dictated what the management plan is going to say. Maybe the department will take suggestions for synonyms for 'ban.'"

Gotta love those quotation marks around the word "public." The DLCD will hold a series of four public hearings on the draft plan in Sisters and Madras starting Wednesday. We wonder why The Bulletin thinks they won't really be public. Do they know something we don't know?

We also continue to wonder why The Bulletin's editorial board has such a hair up its collective butt about this issue. It's already written two snarky editorials about it in less than a month. Expect many, many more.

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