Last night’s spectacle at CB City Hall is just one more example of the mess our country is in. What more is there to say about the JCEP that hasn’t already been said? I like many others have offered my analysis of the facts and my opinions on the project, probably more times than I should have. My support of the project and the reasons why are well known. So are the views of others. Why the dozen or so agencies involved each need never-ending “public comment” meetings, wherein redundancy reigns supreme, is beyond me.

Frankly, what we have witnessed at a number of these events is anything but real public comment. It is theater put on and paid for by special interest groups on both sides of the issue. I don’t blame either proponents or opponents for their views provided those views are rational and factually based or, if they are opinion based, the commenter should be obligated to so state.

Moreover, the agencies involved should limit comment to issues not previously placed in the public record and not allow the same story to be told over and over again. Once or twice should be enough. In short, the agencies should share testimony given in public comments. That would save agency time and expense and serve to minimize theater. I see little justification for the ceaseless repetition in the procedures currently used.

I’m having difficulty understanding of what value the LCOG opinion is. They say they see no reason to deny the permits applied for but offer the gratuitous comment that denial might “be more supportive”, though they fall to say of what. The opponents? The City? The environment? The nation?

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To do anything involves risk. A thousand times a day each of us must analyze risk versus benefit before acting. Nearly all are done subconsciously but they are done, nevertheless. And so it is with issues of greater import where analysis is conscious. Before deciding pro or con, we should consider what are the odds real or imagined risks will occur versus the benefits reaped from taking the risk.

That is how our competent local, state and federal agencies should approach the permitting process provided the applicant is within the law and is acting in good faith. Agencies must make decisions in accordance with the law and based on fact, not political pressure.

Jon Barton

Coos Bay

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