We’re urging our family and friends in Montana to support Rob Quist, the Democratic bluegrass musician and supporter of Bernie Sanders, running in the May 25 special election for the state’s only congressional seat. We’re also sending a contribution (average donation is $32) to help all we can in this Wild West red state with a blue governor and a blue senator. Democrats need to win 24 seats to take back the U. S. House. It is possible.
• The State Land Board voted unanimously May 9 to cancel the Elliott State Forest’s proposed sale to Lone Rock Timber and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe. But the fight to keep the coastal rainforest public is not over. SLB members have put forth ideas: Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read says the state should team up with Oregon State University to purchase the Elliott away from its constitutional obligation to fund K-12 schools. Read’s plan builds on Gov. Kate Brown’s proposal to use $100 million in state bonds purchase parts of the forest, and during the SLB meeting, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson offered up the problematic idea of a land trade with federal forests. How do we continue the forward momentum on saving these public lands?
• When do We the People get to say “You’re fired” to Donald Trump on TV or in a tweet? Some say Mike Pence would be worse because he would be effective, but he could not be worse. It’s time for the Republicans to step up and show that they do care about this democracy.
• Speaking of logging, please stop repeating the false narrative that environmentalists and spotted owls killed logging and Oregon’s forest economy. Some Oakridge residents, annoyed with recent KMTR reporting that alleges conservationists killed logging in the early ’90s and with it the economy of many of Oregon’s timber towns, pointed us to a 1986 New York Times story, “Oregon Timber Falls On Some Hard Times.” The NYT story lays out how mills “cut costs and mechanized their operations. These steps are making them more competitive, but at the price of thousands of jobs” as well as the effects of the slowing housing boom and cheaper foreign timber. EW opinion writer Bob Warren in his “Chips and Sawdust” columns pointed to the same issue earlier this year.
• We agree with Pope Francis. He declares that the military and the media should stop talking about the “Mother of all Bombs.” That’s what the military dropped on Syria after the chemical attacks on Syrian children. The technical name of this bomb starts with the initials “MOAB,” — Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, hence the drift to “Mother of all Bombs,” but that is no excuse. Mothers deliver and nurture life. Bombs destroy it. Mother’s Day is May 14. Let’s honor mothers of all sorts, but not bombs.