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Museum is the embodiment of South Coast

We were astonished and puzzled by a recent Facebook post incorrectly asserting that the new Coos History Museum had been constructed with tax dollars, and that tax dollars are used to sustain museum operations.

In fact, as many Coos County residents are proudly aware, a long and continuing tradition of entirely voluntary local support underlies both the old and new museum buildings; the artifacts, archives and images protected and exhibited; and the visitor, education and research services made available.

The non-profit organization that oversees museum operations grew from a local voluntary effort initiated in 1891, and continues as the state’s second-oldest historical society. The “old” museum building was constructed by volunteers. The new waterfront building exists because more than 600 area residents, organizations, and the Coquille Indian Tribe believed that local history mattered, and chose to provide very significant financial support for the project.

Elected officials’ enthusiastic assistance resulted in a clear building site, and their strong endorsements certainly helped secure funding, but no tax dollars were used for construction. Instead, local donations anchored multiple significant grant awards, enabling construction of spaces designed to serve the community indefinitely.

Due to this continuing, unusual independence from any dedicated tax base, museum services are supported to some degree by income earned from sales in the museum store, admissions to the exhibit hall, special events, and space rentals. Limited grant assistance is available, and routinely sought. We’re proud to be inspiring more prolonged visits and increased local spending by out-of-town visitors.

Ultimately, however, community benefit from the museum reflects time and financial support generously provided by those who love Coos County. Long-time residents and recent arrivals are generously volunteering their talents in the new space to assist with collections management, visitor services, education programs, etc. Their assistance, along with memberships, are of incalculable direct value; such community support also “primes the pump” for grants. But donations remain key, because they address critical, less glamorous expenses such as power, water and basic janitorial services.

The community is now again confirming its enthusiasm for the museum with a resounding response to a local family’s “challenge grant” (to which many readers have already donated). In short, the Coos History Museum is the embodiment of South Coast “can do” spirit, and serves daily as a source of justified community pride.

Anne Donnelly

Coos Bay

Pembina just keeps making promises

An expression “the 800 pound gorilla in the room” could apply to the Jordan Cove Energy Project, but perhaps a better descriptor would be “800 pound panda.” Pembina Corporation mentioned partners immediately after their take-over of Veresen. They never stopped talking about partners, and a likely one is PetroChina owned by the Chinese government.

China has snatched-up many resources in Canada. It’s a big controversy there as well as worldwide. One huge Chinese purchase was 49 percent of Alberta’s Duvernay shale. In fact the Duvernay rock formation is so big, it’s under 20 percent of Alberta. It has enormous gas reserves. The LNG market is filled with players; the fracking, producing, and shipping of it comes at a cost. There’s a tipping point where it’s no longer cost-effective to ship to Asia and still make a profit. Because the international gas-market competition is fierce, long-term contracts are becoming a thing of the past. However consider this, if you’re China with ownership of the gas reserves and the infrastructure to process and transport it, profit is probably not your motivation concerning Jordan Cove. It’s just another resource grab to further your political and financial agenda.

Pembina is going to sell interest in JCEP. Just read what they’ve said. Both PetroChina and Pembina are headquartered in Calgary, and they already have businesses involved with Duvernay shale. Pembina talked about retaining 60 percent of Jordan Cove, then later mentioned 50 percent, and now I’ve read it’s 40 to 60 percent. How low will they go? My bet is they are low-balling the amount they will sell. At what point is Pembina no longer in charge of this project in any meaningful way? Pembina just keeps making promises. As the percentage of their ownership goes down, we need to know how many promises will be kept. In the end, those footing most of the bill will be the decision-makers.

The Jordan Cove Project would overshadow our bay community. The owners will continue to exert influence over our elections while banking on us becoming dependent. How’s that going to feel if China enters the picture? Should they be allowed to help elect a Coos County commissioner? The Chinese government means to economically dominate the 21st century by procuring resources worldwide. They want to be the “800 pound panda” in everyone’s room. American landowners shouldn’t be the eminent domain victims of foreign entities.

Janice Williams

North Bend

Good or bad air quality, which is it?

I just finished reading the letter to the editor from Andy and Lynn Nasburg titled, “We encourage you to support this effort.” After reading the letter I realized there is a conflicting statement with regards to articles I have read in the past about the Jordan Cove/Pembina project.

In the fourth paragraph they make mention of the project not adversely affecting our wonderful air quality. However, in previous articles I have read in various publications, it is mentioned the Jordan Cove/Pembina project would likely result in the worst air pollution in the State of Oregon. Both these statements cannot be correct, which is it? If indeed it results in the worst air pollution in the State of Oregon, or even close to it, I plan to move my family out of the area. I hope the Nasburg’s are correct but I do not know how to reconcile the opposing statements. After all, both cannot be true.

Galen Lee

North Bend

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