Farm from BestLocation


   Location, location, location. They say it's the most important aspect of a business. It's also a good indicator of who might be against your business.
   First the Migrant Head Start facility stirred up the community. Now, BestCare's Hispanic drug treatment home is dropping down next to an elementary school.
   BestCare says they shopped long and hard for a good location for their treatment home, but it's hard to believe they couldn't have found a more suitable site. They're renovating the house on Tenth Street. They likely could have renovated another home in a more secluded, quieter site likely more suited for their important work. It just seems to me that drug rehab and elementary school shouldn't be in the same sentence, let alone on each other's doorsteps.
   Back in December I had the pleasure of meeting our new state representative, Greg Smith.
   This guy was jumping with energy, saying he couldn't wait to serve us. His hometown of Heppner was moved out of his district, but he said residency wasn't going to be a problem. He could work anywhere he had a telephone, and that he planned to move to Fossil. This guy came across as if he'd tear down walls to represent our rural values and interests.
   Apparently Smith changed his mind.
   In a Letter to the Editor for Pioneer readers, Smith said many people had asked him to move into the new district (I thought the Fossil thing was his idea), but he eventually decided it wasn't "in the best interest of District 59."
   He added that, since he's our representative throughout the rest of the year, he hoped we'd all be comfortable contacting his office. We were comfortable calling, seeking insight on his change of heart, but he never called us back.
   The new district 59 has only two towns of any significant size: Madras and The Dalles. Our representative will likely come from either one of those two communities -- and by Madras I mean the countywide community that includes Culver and Metolius. Our senator hails from John Day.
   I contend that redistricting, which shifted us out of North Bend/Redmond mode and into a more sprawling rural district, gives Jefferson County a better opportunity to provide our legislative representation, and theoretically a louder local voice in Salem.
   Smith's decision not to move into the district throws this position wide open. We don't know much about John Mabrey, the Republican from The Dalles, the lone candidate who has filed so far. It would be exciting to see a serious local candidate give it a shot.
   District 59 is staunchly Republican, so winning that primary basically wins a candidate the election. The formula for victory is to get at least 70 percent of the votes his or her home county, and 40 to 50 percent in the other counties.
   Jefferson County Republicans, get thinking.
   Speaking of politics, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde isn't exactly looking out for their native brethren. Apparently the owners of Spirit Mountain -- the dominating Indian casino in Oregon -- has one litmus test for supporting governor candidates: he or she must be against the Warm Springs Columbia Gorge casino proposals. Don't think it's because they're interested in protecting the scenic, pristine locale. They're interested in protecting their Portland-area customer base.
   Location, location, location.