MONDAY 7-22-2013

Jul 22, 2013 -- 2:05pm

 Email Bill Meyer,   Podcasts on

Past Shows and commentary at BLOG ARCHIVES.

Bill Meyer's Facebook page: 

Follow Bill on Twitter: @billmeyershow



7:10 MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN, author of the new book, The Virtues We Need Again: 21 Life Lessons from the Great Books of the West. If you're looking for a partial fix to the cultural rot afflicting the nation, this book is a great place to start.

7:35 MARK JOHNSON OF GRANTS PASS (he's submitted this to the Tribune)

Hello, I would like to submit an opinion piece in response to last Friday's article by Paul Fattig titled:

 "Local Family Farms Urge Logging Restraint." (from July 12, 2013)

The opinion piece is from the perspective of the local forest management/logging community as well as many of the working cattle and farming community.  My view is that the article by Fattig was a non balanced piece.

Good Farms vs. Bad Farms

I continue to be perplexed by the double standard that people who are in the business of farming vegetables and grapes like to place on those who are in the business of farming trees.  July twelfths’ article titled “Local Family Farms Urge Logging Restraint” is the latest to highlight this double standard.  The article outlines a letter several Jackson & Josephine County farmers sent to Senators Merkley & Wyden urging the senators to consider these small farms when making policy decisions in regards to timber management on O&C Lands. 

The writers of this letter suggest that certain forest practices uphill from their farms would hinder their ability to produce “high quality natural products.”  To be clear, the only “natural” product that is farmed in this region is trees.  The “natural products” these farmers claim to be growing aren’t natural at all; they are in fact non-indigenous crops such as grapes and lavender that never grew naturally on the lands that they are now farmed on.  On the other hand, the tree farms uphill of these crop farms are growing native tree and shrub species which provide habitat for native wildlife species.  Additionally, the lands in the valleys where these non-natural products are being farmed have been converted from natural ecosystems into monocultures being managed for unnatural crops.  Furthermore, these farms in the valley aren’t providing habitat for any native species that once flourished on that ground before the land was converted into row crops.  Whatever wildlife species that once lived where the vineyards and vegetable farms now “flourish” are long extinct.  So the comment that policy changes to federally managed forestland would “sacrifice the landscape” is interesting considering the farmers who wrote this letter “sacrificed the landscape” where they operate a long time ago.  “Any management policy that threatens the water quality or the environment would have a devastating impact on our crops” claim the writers of this letter.  Really?  Your crops are currently growing on a devastated landscape that has been stripped of its natural ecosystem components.  And now you’re claiming that these crops couldn’t possibly sustain the altered environment of lands miles away? 

The letter also claims that these farms require “scenic views” in order to grow abundant foods on their farms.  I would love to hear an explanation on how scenic views are a necessity to crop production, regardless it brings up an important point: tree farms are ugly and vegetable farms are pretty.  Despite the facts about native crops and native habitats that I highlighted earlier, this point of aesthetics and “pretty landscapes” is usually what most people equate to healthy environments, when in fact it just isn’t true.  So I would ask the writers of this letter who claim to need a “healthy environment to produce their crops,” what exactly they themselves are doing to contribute to this healthy environment.  It blows my mind that a person can sit on a severely degraded and transformed landscape and pump their fist at another landscape less transformed, simply because they don’t like how it looks.  Some of us may not like the kind of native habitat that some tree farms are growing…..but at least it is native habitat with native species, a fact that the writers of this letter cannot claim.  


Mark James Johnson
721 NE Memorial Drive
Grants Pass, OR  97526

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers, "Visiting Past and Present" Today, it's the history of "Mr. Oregon", Glenn Jackson.

Glenn Jackson, Mr. Oregon

By Dennis Powers


Heralded later as one of Oregon’s most influential people, Glenn L. Jackson was born in 1902 in Albany, Oregon; his father, W.L. Jackson, was the co-publisher of the Albany Democrat Herald, and his mother, Minnie, was a school teacher. Joining the California-Oregon Power Company (“COPCO”) as an appliance or “electricity salesman” in Medford--where he lived for nearly 60 years--Jackson became sales manager in 1921. Although he was expelled from high school, he graduated from Oregon State University in 1925 and earned increasing responsibility and assignments at COPCO.

His career--like many others--was interrupted by World War II, and by its end, he had achieved the rank of colonel in the Army Air Corps; being awarded the Bronze Star and Legion of Merit, he had served in England, Italy, and France. Returning to Medford, he began working again for COPCO and would do so for the rest of his corporate career.  

Glenn Jackson also turned his attention to Jackson County and this region. He led a group that acquired the interior of former Camp White and then worked to create the industrial center of White City. He not only helped to reinvigorate the Rogue Valley Country Club, he operated and owned it through his enterprise, Golf Holding Company. Jackson also had been working on and developed a 12,000-acre cattle ranch on Highway 140 that he enjoyed for decades.

In 1949, he and his sister inherited the majority interest in the Albany Democrat Herald and later bought out the minority interest. Jackson built the business, the Democrat-Herald Publishing Co., to include the Ashland Daily Tidings and eight other newspapers. He delegated the day-to-day running of these newspapers to the managing editors, as he concentrated his priorities with COPCO and various civic activities.

Recognized then as a power broker, Jackson was a Republican, but he was non-partisan and supported the best person, regardless of party affiliation. He became an important out-of-the-public-eye supporter over time of different administrations.

In 1959, Governor Mark Hatfield appointed him to the Oregon State Transportation Commission, or Highway Commission, and three years later named him as the chairman of this important committee. Reappointed by later Governors Tom McCall and Robert Straub, his years of work in the highway-transportation area is where his greatest service was given for all Oregonians. He oversaw the planning and construction of 700 miles of highways and more than 800 bridges, including the Freemont, Astoria, and Marquam bridges.

As to his home-base of Medford, its businessmen didn’t want the proposed Interstate-5 freeway to bypass it in favor of an alternate route along Hillcrest Road. The business community believed that if the freeway didn’t follow the downtown route of Bear Creek--but instead switched to routes east or west of the town--that Medford would lose considerable business.

They made their case to Glenn Jackson and Earl Miller, the mayor of Medford, who agreed with their arguments. Although the central route would bring traffic closer, it would cut the town in half, had no place for on-ramps, and was expensive. Although the decision was controversial, Jackson had the power as the chairman to say where the freeway went and how. He decided to put I-5 over Medford, and the I-5 Central Point to Barnett Road off-ramp opened in 1962.  

While he was working in these roles, Glenn Jackson first earned the title of “Mr. Medford” and then “Mr. Oregon.” He maintained his priority of COPCO, however, not only heading it as its chief executive officer, but then after it merged into Pacific Power & Light (“PP&L”) in 1961, Jackson later became PP&L’s chairman. This entity in time became part of the giant utility, PacifiCorp, when it too was acquired.

When Governor Vic Atiyeh in 1979 appointed him as Chairman of the State Economic Commission, his 20-year term on the Highway Commission and its chair for seventeen years came to an end. He was still president of the Golf Holding Company, owners of the Rogue Valley Country Club, among other duties and responsibilities. 

Glenn Jackson died a year later in 1980. He had started out selling electric appliances and had become one of the most influential people in Oregon’s history. Aside from his tenure on the Oregon Highway Commission and with COPCO/PP&L, he had been a director of the Rogue Valley Memorial Hospital, chairman of Executive Flight Services (the operator of Air Oregon, a commuter airline company), a trustee of Willamette University, and on the boards of U.S. National Bank, Fred Meyer, U.S. National Bank, Standard Insurance, and the U.S. Chamber Commerce.

He had been a five-term president of the Medford Chamber of Commerce. In 1963, he jumpstarted the fundraising to improve the Mount Ashland Ski Area by providing more than one-half of the required $120,000. The moneys  were used to clear trees, grade terrain, build better access roads, and construct a T-bar lift, rope tow, and four-story ski lodge.

Capital Cities Communications in 1980 acquired his newspaper business. The members of the Rogue Valley County Club purchased the facilities from his heirs. The Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge (or I-205 Bridge) across the Columbia River was named after him owing to his transportation service for Oregon. Glenn Jackson was frequently called “the most powerful man in Oregon”--and he had spent his later adult life living up to the reputation.

Sources: Barbara Mahoney, “Oregon Encyclopedia: Glenn Jackson (1902-1980),” at Glen Jackson; “Southern Oregon Historical Library: Jackson, Glen L.” at Data on Glen Jackson; Mail Tribune, “Glenn Jackson King of the Roads,” April 22, 2007, at Medford Connection; Mail Tribune, “Why a Viaduct?,” April 22, 2007, at Medford's Viaduct.  

THIS SATURDAY! - MICHAEL BADNARIK INFORMATION! - Michael Badnarik, former Libertarian candidate for President and Congress presents a seminar Saturday in Gold Hill on the constitution. This is a BIG one! Download the full flyer HERE.


Return to: BILL MEYER'S BLOG Blog


    An Ad has not been trafficed here..
    An Ad has not been trafficed here..