Oh, yeah, I'm hot. Only media-wise though. And just for a day.
But I'm pleased with the Sunday exposure in Steve Duin's Oregonian column and the Salem Statesman Journal's editorial page, because whatever exposes the pluses of Measure 49 and the minuses of Measure 37 is good for Oregon.
Duin, an ex-sports columnist, returned to his roots and called his piece "At DEQ, the refs swallow their whistles."
It's about my battle to get the state Department of Environmental Quality to enforce its 1200-C (stormwater/erosion control) permit rules. The Measure 37 subdivision next to our neighborhood started to build roads without the required Marion County and DEQ permits.
But five days of illegal road construction resulted in the developer being able to apply for the permits with no penalty. That's wrong.
Mark Riskedahl, executive director of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, likens this to a rush to provide a license for someone caught driving without one.
DEQ has rules to ensure folks operate in a manner that's environmentally responsible, Riskedahl said: "But if you disregard that scheme and begin your project, not only will DEQ not hold you accountable, but they'll shield you from the legal recourse citizens have against you.
"It fosters disdain for environmental protection. It sends the message: Go ahead and start (developing). If anyone is paying attention and catches you, we'll step in and take it from there."
The link to Measure 37 in all this is that the developer, Leroy Laack, is trying like crazy to get vested before Measure 49 passes and limits him to three home sites on his groundwater limited high-value farmland.
I've got some problems with this. One, Laack and his co-owners should have gotten the required permits before they fired up their D8 Caterpillars and started building the subdivision roads.
Two, DEQ and Marion County should have penalized the Measure 37 claimants for cutting legal corners, instead of allowing them to go through the normal permit application process after they began construction work without the permits.
My other media exposure today was a guest opinion in the Salem newspaper, "Restore fairness of property rights." I wish the Statesman Journal had published it longer before election day (November 6), but there's still time to vote Yes on Measure 49 if you drop off your ballot instead of mailing it.
My grand finale in the piece was:
Measure 49 will restore fairness to Oregon's land-use laws. It will let Measure 37 claimants have three homes on high-value farmland, forestland and groundwater-limited land (10 homes otherwise). The rest of their property still can be used for other purposes. The Liberty Road acreage is perfect for a multi-million-dollar vineyard.
Farmers can keep on raising crops. Timber companies can keep on growing trees. People with wells can keep on turning their tap and have water come out.
Vote yes on 49.
This was followed by a description of myself that I gave over the phone to a staffer from the newspaper. She must not have heard the "b" in blogger when I told her that I was a "retired blogger, writer, and land use activist."
That turned me into a "logger" in the print version. Pretty cool and very Oregonish. Well, I do have a small Stihl chain saw that I've actually used to cut down some (small) dead trees.
The online version has me as a "blogger," so my lumberjack days just lasted a few hours.
Still, I can always show my grandchild the published page and make up stories about my adventures in the Great Northwest woods.
And, hopefully, also tell her truthfully that I played a small role in passing Measure 49 and saving Oregon farm and forest land from being asphalted over.