Pubdate: Mon, 27 Oct 2008
Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR)
Copyright: 2008 Lee Enterprises
Author: Michael Dee


Upon reading the front page article about Chamber of Commerce forum on
Oct. 23, I'm compelled to comment here. That article is completely
misleading as to what happened and I feel some things should be
cleared up. I called Sandee Burbank right after I read this. I have
known her for 33 years. Her character is impeccable, she's one of the
kindest, most generous and loving persons I have ever had the
privilege to know.

To describe the people escorted out of that meeting as an organized
group of marijuana activists is a complete lie. These folks mostly
know each other by name, but that is because each has, on their own
and from different areas of the state, come to these meetings
presented by Dan Harmon.

They do this because Dan Harmon has an agenda to drum up support for
rescinding the Oregon Marijuana Initiative. Sandee Burbank attends
these meetings in order to watch that this guy does, not mislead
people or omit facts to present his case. She tells me that they will
raise their hands to ask questions and that often Dan Harmon will
refer questions to her in cases where is does not know the answer.

At any rate, all the people removed from the meeting had clearly
applied for and paid to attend. The applications they filled out
clearly stated they were from out of town. The forum was never
presented to be an Albany Area Chamber of Commerce members-only forum.
They had every right to attend.

As for any disruptions, one lady, Alice, was a bit upset. She had
driven from the coast to attend. When she went back to ask about a
refund of her $20 fee to attend, Ed Bock twisted her arm and pushed
her out the door. Alice happens to have only one arm to twist. The
photograph on the front page of the paper clearly shows the fellow
twisting the arm of a one-armed older lady.

As for the article's final comments from Janet Steele, they are
clearly not true. All those people, and certainly Sandee Burbank, are
members of their area's chambers of commerce. They stated this on
their forms, and the $20 fees they each paid were accepted.

Michael Dee, Albany
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake