Former Commissioner Dennis Linthicum

Sep 8, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

I caught a recent article on Sustainable Business Oregon's website.

The article reads:

Solyndra raised more than $1 billion in private equity and, winning a coveted $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government, built a 1-million-square-foot factory and employed 1,100 workers to make its cylindrical CIGs solar panels before it announced the news [of it's bankruptcy on] Wednesday.

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Sep 6, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

The Sunday paper, September 4, 2011, featured "Pliable Power," a re-print of a McClatchy News Service article by Susan Carpenter. The story creates the perfect red-meat rub for a protagonist who is certainly extravagant — “Carl Harberger's 6,000-square-foot house in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles is equipped with six refrigerators, five TVs, a smattering of computers and a pool, among other things.”

Yet, at the same time this individual is a real “eco-minded” hero because he will have brought to life, “the home's 24-kilowatt installation of thin-film solar panels... believed to be the largest residential installation of its kind in the country.”

My job, as part of the tax-paying/rate-paying public is to put pencil to paper and determine if this is an appropriate use of Federal and local money.

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Aug 22, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

Last week, Evergreen Solar Inc (ESLR) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in US Bankruptcy court. Evergreen Solar is a US manufacturer of Solar panels, with an enormous debt load -— $485.6 million.

Wait a minute, I thought everyone wanted Solar?

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Aug 18, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

Last week I received a notice from the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Newsroom. The Press Release stated that the, “Science papers, posters, and other types of information used to inform and update Klamath Basin public and private sector stakeholders at the 2010 Klamath Basic Science Conference have been published by the USGS in an Open File Report that is now available online.”

Of course, I am always interested in science and technology, so I ‘Clicked.’  You too, can ‘Click’ on the link above and get your own copy. Be forewarned; there is certainly a lot of information in the 320 page file.

A couple of days later, on Aug. 16, 2011, I read an online article at The Progressive Farmer that refers to the same USGS publication.This article, by Todd Neely, has a sub-heading that reads, “Agriculture Faces Higher Electricity Costs.” Additionally, Neely interviewed several people about electricity and future rate increases. Some of those references read as follows:

  • “Greg Addington, executive director of the Klamath Water Users Association, said power rates will determine the future of agriculture.”
  • “... there is an increasing need for energy at a time when dams are likely to be removed. Without the dams, power supplies become scarce, Addington said, putting upward pressure on prices.”
  • “Irrigator power rates are going through the roof, users say.”
  • “Beatty, Ore., farmer Thomas Mallams, said one irrigator saw a rate spike from about $5,000 a year in 2005 to about $60,000 today.”

However, in the USGS science document there is very little discussion about the amount of electrical power generated by the hydropower projects that are targeted for removal. The word “electricity” only occurs once, on page 86, in the following context:

“Keno Dam does not produce electricity but regulates the water level in Keno Reservoir as required under the operating license for the project issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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Aug 17, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

In last Tuesday’s Public Meeting, (8/16/2011), Donna Walker, a local businesswoman, made a request to the Board of County Commissioners. Her request was for the BOCC to encourage the newly formed Citizen’s Public Safety Advisory Group to consider 2 items:

  1. A request that the organization use a formal Vote Tally, not the informal Consensus methodology for determining direction and results.
  2. A request for Televised video of meetings.

Walker explained her reasoning for the first request was accountability. The public wants to know how committee members are voting. This will no doubt provide the public with better insight into how their interests are being represented.

The second request, is really the same. A desire to observe first-hand how committee members are discussing and pursuing various interests and objectives. First-hand observation would also provide people with the flow of the conversation and the logic (or, the lack there-of) for any specific argument.

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Aug 13, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

Okay, today is real easy.                                                                                                              Read —  Part 1 & Part 2 

I can't help but laugh when I see the Herald & News claiming innocence on page A5 of today's paper. It's a vain attempt at claiming their rightful position on the throne of their own making. They are the elite. They are the ones trained in journalism. Honest...they are doing their absolute best to be fair and balanced.... Rot... pure Rot... just like the Federal forestland that has been mismanaged around our basin for the past 100 years.

Now, the easy part for today's article is a one word answer — HARVEST.

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Aug 12, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

I recently started a quick summary of Congressman Greg Walden’s meeting at the Columbia Forest Products’ campus training center.

Yesterday’s Blog ended with this graph:

The dark brown area represents the “mortality” rate. On Federal forestland it is four times higher than on private forestland. 400% is a big number. Since this is a negative attribute for this domestic asset let’s compare our trees and forests to another valuable asset — people. Can you imagine a mortality rate for Federal workers being 400% more than private enterprise firms?

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Aug 11, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

Today I’m in Seattle at a conference... but yesterday morning I was invited to a meeting with Congressman Greg Walden at the Columbia Forest Products’ campus. Senator Doug Whitsett and Representative Bill Garrard were also in attendance.

The Congressman described the current state of Oregon’s Federal Forest and his legislative efforts for promoting healthy, resilient, diverse, and productive communities, national forests, grasslands.

Wow!  A Congressman who actually cares about communities!

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Aug 10, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

With regard to the Herald & News article (Sunday Edition - “A general State of DISARRAY,” Aug. 7, 2011). I have already mentioned that I am of the opinion that the direction of their story had been predetermined.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit I could be wrong. Yet, there are things in the article that don’t pan-out and are worth discussing. Beginning with the first paragraph:

A property tax levy to fund the Klamath County Jail failed by 273 votes in May. The failure was not because citizens didn't want more law enforcement funding, but because they lacked faith in county leaders' ability to administer the funding... (The vote) was a referendum on leadership. There is a willingness to provide funding but no trust that it will be managed adequately.

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Aug 9, 2011 — by: Commissioner Linthicum

Gone with the WindWow, the Herald & News reporters are a busy bunch. A good example is last Sunday’s article (Sunday Edition - “A general State of DISARRAY,” Aug. 7, 2011). Apparently, the direction of this story had been determined early enough to generate plenty of advertising around town.

Only, I didn’t see any of the advanced advertising.

Otherwise, I’m sure that my quote could have been much more dramatic. Think of it... I could have imitated Rhett Butler while saying, “Frankly, my fellow citizens, I don’t give a d— about poor oversight and incompetence because there was no fraud involved!”

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Commissioner Dennis Linthicum

For current postings by Dennis Linthicum, visit the Dirt Road Economist website.

Walden's Record
Walden's Record