Category Archives: Uncategorized

Timber Corporations Have More Rights
Than People of Lincoln County Says Court; Aerial Spray Ban Overturned

Court rules that state preemption overrides local control; denies the right of local communities to protect their health and safety at a higher standard than the state.

September 30, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Maria Sause

mkrausster@gmail.com

541.574.2961

Rio Davidson

riodavidson@gmail.com

541.961.5606

Newport, Oregon: On September 23rd Judge Sheryl Bachart issued her ruling in the case of Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC vs. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County. After reviewing written arguments and hearing oral arguments on October 9th, 2017, the judge made the determination that Measure 21-177 is invalid based on state law regulating pesticide use.

Affirming the claims of the plaintiffs means the law known as Measure 21-177, enacted by the voters of Lincoln County in 2017 to prohibit aerial spraying of pesticides, has been overturned.

“The fight for our legal, constitutional, and fundamental right of local self-government marches on, and it is going to take the political will of the people to make it a reality if we ever want to stop living under the thumb of corporate government.” said Rio Davidson, President of Lincoln County Community Rights.

Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR) was allowed to intervene in (join) the case. The Siletz River watershed ecosystem, represented by Lincoln County resident Carol Van Strum, also filed to be part of the case, but was denied intervention by Judge Bachart.

In her judgment decision, Judge Bachart said that Measure 21-177 is an adoption of an Ordinance regarding pesticide use and is therefore subject to the preemptive effect of the Oregon Pesticide Act, which prohibits local governments from making any ordinance, rule or regulation governing pesticide sale or use. She therefore overturned the measure. She based the decision squarely on state preemption laws dealing with pesticide use, whereby the state holds authority over local governments.

What the judge did not substantively consider was the issue of the right of local self-government and how it must prevail against state preemption when exercised to protect health, safety, and welfare. LCCR submitted the following argument with which the court could have ruled in favor of the people and county government:

It is widely recognized that, under the Ninth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, states have the authority to recognize and secure “unenumerated” rights (rights not expressly stated in the Constitution), and thereby to establish greater rights at the state level than the protections provided under federal law. Likewise, between state and local levels of government, Article I,

Section 33 of the Oregon Constitution– which closely mirrors the Ninth Amendment – recognizes the same limitation on the state’s general powers to violate the “unenumerated” rights of the sovereign people at the local level. Within this body of “unenumerated” rights, and together with Article I, Section 1 of the Oregon Constitution, lies the people’s natural, inherent and unchallengeable right of local community self-government. Exercising this fundamental right, the people may recognize and secure expanded local rights and prohibitions that surpass current state protections. By the same token, the State cannot pass laws that hinder or prohibit the exercise of the people’s right of local community self-government. Said another way, state preemptive laws – when applied to set a “ceiling” (maximum protection allowed) rather than a “floor” (minimum protection required) for local rights-based lawmaking – violate a fundamental right in both the U.S. and Oregon constitutions. As such, current state preemptive laws – like those cited by Plaintiffs – violate the right of local community self-government, and thus cannot operate to overturn the Ordinance at issue.

“We look forward to pursuing the rights to local community self-government in the appellate courts of Oregon”, said Dan Meek, attorney for Lincoln County Community Rights.

At the time of this press release it is not known if the County will appeal the decision. Appeals will be filed by Lincoln County Community Rights and by the Siletz River Watershed, which was denied the opportunity to take part in the court proceeding.

ABOUT LINCOLN COUNTY COMMUNITY RIGHTS

Lincoln County Community Rights is a public benefit organization that seeks to educate and empower people to exercise their right of local community self-government in matters that pertain to their fundamental rights, their natural environment, their quality of life, their health and their safety. Given the harms that people and ecosystems suffer from the practice of aerial spraying of industrial forest land with pesticides, the group drafted an ordinance to ban aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, Oregon. Measure 21-177 was adopted by voters in May 2017, making Lincoln County the first county in the United States to ban aerial pesticide spraying through the vote of the people. www.lincolncountycommunityrights.org

 

For the Full Text of the Summary Judgment on 21-177 please click link below.

Summary Judgment for 21-177

.

.

.

.

Social Justice Poetry Slam September 15th, 2019

Calling All Performers and Passionate Participants!

Social Justice Poetry Slam

September 15th, 3 – 5 PM

 Performing Arts Center, 777 W Olive St, Newport

 

Add your unique voice. Speak up and out about the injustice you see and experience. Or just come to listen to the creative voices our community has to offer.

Original Poetry, Spoken Word, Rap/Hip-hop, Solo or Team

Environment, Immigration, LGBTQ, Women’s Rights, Animal Rights, Colonization, and More

SUPER SILENT AUCTION TO SUPPORT LINCOLN COUNTY COMMUNITY RIGHTS’ EFFORTS

GOOD FOOD, GREAT MUSIC, FAMILY FUN FOR THE AFTERNOON!

Lincoln County Community Rights is excited to announce our first Social Justice Poetry Slam, an afternoon of original poetry and performance where your voices become one voice. The Slam is our annual fundraiser, set for September 15th, 3 – 5 PM, at the Newport Performing Arts Center.

Why a Slam? And why a Social Justice Slam?

The concept of community rights is simple. The rights of local citizens and the communities in which they live are being eroded and abused daily. We believe that local communities have the constitutional right to health and safety free from governmental and corporate harms, be those harms environmental or social. We believe that communities have the capacity and humanity to create their own resilient futures.

We know there are unique voices throughout Lincoln County who have something passionate to say about their own lives and what they see happening to their worlds. We want to provide our own small platform of inclusion for those voices.

Poetry has the power to cross social boundaries, to remind us of our shared humanity, to build community. And we believe Lincoln County’s voices are strong and need to be heard.

Won’t you join us as either a performer or an avid listener?

Click here or on the banner above to go to the Social Justice Slam page if you want to perform.

Be sure to read the rules.

Sign up on the Slam page or at lccrights@gmail.com. Your name, how many slammers, and the name of your piece is all we need.

You must sign up to be a participant by September 10th.

See you all there!

 

 

 

 

Lincoln County will have to wait for a decision on the legality of Measure 21-177

 

 

 

 

Kboo Radio Story around the Court Hearing on OCT. 9th

KLCC Story
Capital Press Story

Lincoln County will have to wait for a decision on the legality of Measure 21-177

October 11, 2017

Contact:

Media Contacts
Maria Sause Rio Davidson
mkrausster@gmail.com riodavidson@gmail.com
541 574 2961; cell 541 961 6385 cell 541 961 5606

Newport, Oregon: On Monday, October 9th, Judge Sheryl Bachart heard from the parties in the lawsuit Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC vs. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County, and intervenor-defendants Lincoln County Community Rights. The lawsuit was filed in response to the ban on aerial pesticide spraying imposed by the vote of the people on May 16, 2017. During yesterday’s hearing, and after delivering their arguments, the parties asked for a Summary Judgment from Judge Backart in a courtroom packed by attending public.

Lincoln County Community Rights, Intervenor-defendants, held a rally at the intersection of Highway 101 and Highway 20. LCCR was supported by a crowd of over 30 people, who waved signs at passing vehicles calling out the issues that motivated Measure 21-177, among them the harm done by aerial pesticide spraying to people and ecosystems, the injustice of laws drafted by corporations for approval by our legislature which make it illegal for the people to protect their health and safety more stringently than the state’s regulations allow. This is known as State preemption. “Preemption laws are emblematic of the “top-down” hierarchical, authoritarian control preferred by corporations. Rather than have to contend with thousands of town and counties, the corporations need only seduce state and federal legislators who are always on the prowl for campaign cash,” said LCCR member John Colman-Pinning. LCCR members also called for better protection of our ecosystems and for recognition of the Rights of Nature. Honking horns saluted the sign waivers.

Attorney for Plaintiffs, Gregory A. Chaimov, argued for full annulment of Measure 21-177, on the grounds that it is preempted by state legislation, which declares that pesticide regulation is the exclusive province of the state and are more powerful than the right of the people to make law that advances greater protections for health and safety.

Lincoln County, represented by County Counsel Wayne Belmont, although defending only a small portion of the ban on aerial pesticide spraying as applying to county property and to land located within urban growth boundaries, did say that the people’s right to bring new law forward through the initiative process needs to be protected. In his argument, Wayne Belmont favored salvaging portions of Measure 21-177 and asked for advice from the judge in doing that. The judge can comment on the ordinance, but cannot add language to it or subtract language from it.

Attorney for Intervenor-Defendants Lincoln County Community Rights, Ann Kneeland, raised the argument to the high moral ground where it belongs by bringing in the language of the Declaration of Independence (recognized as an organic law of the United States and part of the United States Code), and of Section 1, Article 1 of the Constitution of the State of Oregon. Both documents refer to the people’s inherent right to local community self-government in matters that pertain to their fundamental rights, listed in each. They also refer to the government power that is inherent to the people, and to their right to change that government when it fails to protect their fundamental rights. She also referred to the power to influence legislation which corporations have acquired through the Supreme Court ruling that “money is speech”, exposing where our government is failing us by allowing our legislatures to be influenced by the profit interests of corporations, although there is no law that states that they can do this.

Judge Bachart did not issue a final ruling on the lawsuit questioning the legality of Measure 21-177 and will take the time she needs to review all arguments and reach her decision. That time may or may not come until the beginning of next year. To see all of the filed court documents please visit www.lincolncountycommunityrights.org/court-documents.

ABOUT LINCOLN COUNTY COMMUNITY RIGHTS
Lincoln County Community Rights is a public benefit organization that seeks to educate and empower people to exercise their right of local community self-government in matters that pertain to their fundamental rights, their natural environment, their quality of life, their health and their safety. Given the harms that people and ecosystems suffer from the practice of aerial spraying of industrial forest land with pesticides, the group drafted an ordinance to ban aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, Oregon. Measure 21-177 was adopted by voters in May 2017, making Lincoln County the first county in the United States to ban aerial pesticide spraying through the vote of the people. www.lincolncountycommunityrights.org

Press info

 

Today in Lincoln County Court Hearing on October 9th to look at Lincoln County’s measure 21-177 a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides

Today in Lincoln County Court

Hearing on October 9th to look at Lincoln County’s measure 21-177 a ban on aerial spraying of pesticides

October 9, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Maria Sause

mkrausster@gmail.com

541.574.2981 541.961.6385

Rio Davidson

riodavidson@gmail.com
541.9615606

Newport, Oregon: On the morning of October 9th, Judge Sheryl Bachart will hear from parties in the lawsuit Rex Capri and Wakefield Farms, LLC vs. Dana W. Jenkins and Lincoln County, and intervenor-defendants Lincoln County Community Rights. The lawsuit was filed in response to the people’s affirmative vote to ban aerial spraying of pesticides in Lincoln County on May 16, 2017. The ballot measure, Measure 21-177, has been law in Lincoln County since early June, and no documented aerial spraying has occurred since then.

In their original complaint and associated briefs, plaintiffs Rex Capri of Newport and Wakefield Farms LLC of Eddyville claim that the county’s ban on aerial spraying of pesticides is overridden by state preemption laws. If that claim is upheld, it would mean that the authority of corporations to engage in aerial pesticide spraying for profit is held to be superior to the right of the people of Lincoln County to ban such spraying due to its documented harms to public health and the environment.

The most recent evidence of the toxic effect of pesticides came to light a month or so ago when it finally became possible to release an extensive collection of documents, now referred to as the Poison Papers (www.poisonpapers.org). The documents had been stored for several decades by Lincoln County resident Carol Van Strum, a key figure in getting the government to stop aerial pesticide spraying on federal forests in Lincoln County back in the 1980’s.

The plaintiffs claim additionally that the measure should never have been voted on in the first place because the county lacked the authority to even pose the question of an aerial spray ban to the voters of Lincoln County.

“Do we, as a community, have the right to determine to protect ourselves, our children, and our environment from a clear harm like the spraying of pesticides from aircraft into the atmosphere?” asks John Colman-Pinning, long-time Lincoln County resident and activist with intervenor-defendants Lincoln County Community Rights. “We wholeheartedly believe we do have that right and that is what the court must affirm as a legitimate right.”

In defending the authority of Lincoln County voters to enact the ban, Lincoln County Community Rights (LCCR) will be asserting the people’s right of local community self-government. LCCR will argue that, based on their inherent and inalienable right to self-govern, the people of Lincoln County have lawfully enacted local rights to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the County’s residents and environment more stringently than the state is willing to protect them. The voters’ approval of Measure 21-177 also protects the community’s rights to clean air and water. Additionally, LCCR argues that, even under the state’s laws, the ordinance is lawful because local laws are presumed to be valid except where the law conflicts with preemptive statutes. LCCR maintains that the laws can be read to coexist where they seek to achieve different purposes.

“This case gets to the heart of who and what our laws are meant to protect: the people or corporations? Community welfare or corporate profits? Lincoln County Community Rights is standing up to say that the law must recognize the right of the people, not corporations, to decide fundamental issues in the communities where they live.” says Ann Kneeland, attorney for LCCR.

The hearing on the parties’ motions for summary judgment will be heard at 11:00 am on Monday, October 9th, in front of Judge Sheryl Bachart, in Courtroom 300 of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Newport.

ABOUT LINCOLN COUNTY COMMUNITY RIGHTS

Lincoln County Community Rights is a public benefit organization that seeks to educate and empower people to exercise their right of local community self-government in matters that pertain to their fundamental rights, their natural environment, their quality of life, their health and their safety. Given the harms that people and ecosystems suffer from the practice of aerial spraying of industrial forest land with pesticides, the group drafted an ordinance to ban aerial pesticide spraying in Lincoln County, Oregon. Measure 21-177 was adopted by voters in May 2017, making Lincoln County the first county in the United States to ban aerial pesticide spraying through the vote of the people. www.lincolncountycommunityrights.org

Press info

###