the film
Commentaries and editorials

Development on West Hayden Island

by Jim Labbe
The Oregonian, July 30, 2010

In arguing for "real sustainability" Tom Chamberlain, president of the Oregon AFL-CIO, claims that if West Hayden Island is not developed "the jobs will go elsewhere" (In My Opinion, July 27). It is a big stretch to argue that developing West Hayden Island will supply 1,200 jobs that would not be supplied elsewhere in the region. If we preserve West Hayden Island and the demand for those jobs does materialize, the jobs will not go far. They will most likely go to an underutilized port facility of Portland or Vancouver. Since Portland and Vancouver are part of an interdependent economic region with a common job market, jobs in Vancouver will benefit Portland in numerous ways, and all the more if we keep West Hayden Island intact.

Perhaps the most significant benefit of job growth in Vancouver will be in reducing the job-housing imbalance between Vancouver and Portland. The lack of jobs in Vancouver is a primary cause of peak-hour congestion on the I-5 bridge. More jobs in Vancouver would be a particularly good thing because it would help limit commuter traffic, increase freight capacity, reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and lessen the need for the expensive and environmentally destructive freeway bridge that is the proposed Columbia River Crossing. Talk about real sustainability.

Ultimately we should be making choices that will optimize outcomes for the environment and quality job growth in the region. Preserving West Hayden as a signature natural area for the region is entirely consistent with this goal.

Related Pages:
It's About Time by Editorial Board, The Daily Astorian, 4/9/9
Enviros Question Dredge Spoil Dumping on West Hayden Island by Scott Learn, The Oregonian, 8/4/10
Toxic Contaminants and Their Effects on Salmonids by Morace, Johnson & Nilsen, Science Policy Exchange, 9/11/9

Jim Labbe, North Portland
Development on West Hayden Island
The Oregonian, July 30, 2010

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