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City Of Warrenton Oregon Refuses To Host Oregon LUBA Hearings

Citing fear of unruly opponents and violent behavior
Subject: Release -Petitioners in Warrenton LNG LUBA Case Blast
City's Refusal to Host Hearing
Date: Thu, Apr 27, 2006, 12:46 PM

**
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:*
Contacts:

David Shannon

Brent
Foster

People For Responsible Posperity Columbia
RiverkeeperTelephone: 503-861-7975
Telephone: 541-380-1334
Email:  sjlaw@teleport.com
Email:
 brentfoster@ecoisp.com

*Petitioners in Warrenton LNG LUBA Case Blast City's Refusal to Host Hearing
*

Warrenton, Oregon. April 26 2005 =96 Calpine Energy Corporation

refuses to hold Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) in Warrenton, where the
company
proposes to build a liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal. A Warrenton
citizen's group and Columbia Riverkeeper challenged the city's decision to
approve comprehensive plan amendments and rezoning to pave the
way for the LNG terminal LUBA has a policy of periodically holding hearings
in local
communities, and offered to hold the hearing in Warrenton. In a strongly
worded email, Calpine attorneys refused because "the prior hearings in
Warrenton were marked by hostile and unprofessional conduct that resulted in
the city requiring police attendance in response to threats of
violence, and in an attempt to simply maintain order" Calpine attorneys
also
suggested that Warrenton would not accommodate the request to hold the
hearing in Warrenton. The effect is that local citizens interested in the
decision
will now have to drive to Salem to watch the LUBA oral argument.

Brent Foster, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, asserted that
Calpine and the City of Warrenton were finding excuses to exclude the public
from proceedings. "They are taking the proceedings out of the community
that is most affected by the decision, essentially hiding the judicial
process from interested members of the public. Allegations of violence are
offensive. The fear of disruption from the understandably
frustrated community of Warrenton is not grounds for moving the hearing to
Salem
where working people will be unable to attend. The public isn't allowed to
speak during LUBA hearings, in any case."

Previous public hearings in Astoria were characterized by many local
community members holding signs, singing outside, and
participating with public comments against the LNG proposal in Warrenton.
There
were no arrests or violence at any of the meetings. Opponents cite
potentially
severe impacts to the economy, public safety, and environment of their
community, and many feel as though the decision-making process leading to
the LUBA case was biased.

David Shannon, attorney and member of petitioner People For Responsible
Prosperity, added, "It's unfortunate that Calpine and the City of Warrenton
are trying to shut out the public. The City Commissioners and the public
need to hear the concerns that LUBA will have and address regarding the
hasty decision the City made to support LNG without addressing the negative
impact it will have on the North Coast."



LUBA is expected to set the location for the hearing soon.



-end-







Attached are the emails where Calpine accused opponents of unruly
and
potentially violent behavior.



-----Original Message-----
*From:* Alfred, Roger A. (Perkins Coie)
[mailto: RAlfred@perkinscoie.com]
*Sent:* Tuesday, April 25, 2006 4:42 PM
*To:* Brett VandenHeuvel
*Cc:* Whitlow, Mark (Perkins Coie)
*Subject:* Warrenton



Brett - we are not inclined to withdraw our objection to holding
the
LUBA
oral argument in Warrenton. First, it's the simple difference
between
two
hours round trip travel as opposed to four. Also, the prior
hearings in
Warrenton were marked by hostile and unprofessional conduct that
resulted i=
n
the city requiring police attendance in response to threats of
violence,
an=
d
in an attempt to simply maintain order. We are not interested in

dealing
with catcalls and jeering during the course of legal arguments in
an
appellate proceeding before LUBA. In any event, it is my
understanding
that the City has not consented to holding this hearing in
Warrenton,
due t=
o
concerns about being able to provide an adequate facility on the
requested
date.

Roger Alfred
Perkins Coie LLP
(503) 727-2094

*****************************************************

-----Original Message-----
*From:* Brett VandenHeuvel [mailto: brett@lawofficebv.com]
*Sent:* Tuesday, April 25, 2006 5:17 PM
*To:* 'Alfred, Roger A. (Perkins Coie)'
*Cc:* 'Whitlow, Mark (Perkins Coie)'
*Subject:* RE: Warrenton



Roger and Mark,

It is highly unlikely that you will have to deal with "catcalls
and
jeering=
"
during the oral arguments. The audience is not allowed to speak.
I
believ=
e
you agree, however, that citizens have the right to attend the
oral
argument.



Your position essentially removes the justice system from the
town that
is
most affected by the decision. Viewing the oral argument in
Salem is
not a
realistic option for many working folks in Warrenton. I believe
we have
an
ethical responsibility as lawyers to make the justice system
easily
accessible. As a new lawyer, I am deeply disturbed by your
decision to
hid=
e
the justice system from the public. It is especially disturbing
to hide
a
controversial matter. It just doesn't feel right. Whether
citizens
favor
or oppose this matter, I believe they have a right to understand
the
issue
and witness the arguments.



You will win or lose your case on your arguments, not by limiting
the
public's access to watch the hearing. I trust that you have
faith in
the
Board to decide on the merits, not the number of people in the
room.



You have raised concerns that the city may not be able to
accommodate
the
hearing, or may object for other reasons. I propose we let the
city
decide. If the city decides it is not appropriate, then we could
go to
Salem.



Brett



Law Office of Brett VandenHeuvel

620 SW Main, Suite 615

Portland, OR 97205

503-224-3240 (phone)

503-223-4518 (fax)

503-348-2436 (mobile)

 brett@lawofficebv.com

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