By Jade McDowell
As of Friday, May 10, 2013
It’s official: What the Festival is coming to Wasco County on July 26...
Several observations and comments regarding the reporting of the second hearing on the What a Festival permit.
First, the article incorrectly quoted David Wherly with respect to the moisture deficit and fire conditions. Quoting OSU Extension statistics, Wherly said "For the period January First 2013 to May first 2013, equivalent moisture has been 3 inches, only 41% of normal, a deficit of two-thirds as compared to the same period last year", not "...two-thirds of the average.", as stated in the article.
Second, the article says "Not all the comments were positive." What it failed to say was that the positive comments came from people that live and or do business ten to twenty-five or miles away from the proposed festival site. There was no support from any of the neighbors that will be directly impacted by the activity, not one.
Third, with respect to the comment that Glen Boyd made concerning Woodstock, putting Woodstock "... In perspective...", he clearly intended to deflect the actual point that was made in previous testimony that "..the residual impact that the Woodstock festival had on that agricultural area of New York, had less to do with the hippies that attended the 1969 festival, than the ever increasing number of gatherings that adopted that venue". Only at the end of the discussion did Boyd admit his intention to not only make this a yearly festival, but to possibly host additional gatherings.
The unanimous decision by the County Commissioners to approve the permit I believe, demonstrated a disregard for those property owners, in a designated AG and forest area, directly impacted by the gathering. Recommendations voiced that the county, if it believed there was benefit to the county, assist the promoters in finding an appropriate, existing venue, were ignored, and the neighboring property owners were left hung out to dry.
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