And now, a dispatch from our environment, transportation and Japanese monster reporter, Eric Florip:
We’ve had rallies. We’ve had tears. We’ve had a children’s choir.
Now, we have none other than Godzilla looming over Vancouver’s Northeast Minnehaha Street.
The ongoing public tug-of-war over the Bonneville Power Administration’s proposed 500-kilovolt transmission line through Clark and Cowlitz counties — and where to put it — continues to draw spirited debate. Much of that has come from a handful of citizen groups sometimes pushing for very different outcomes.
Many citizens want to see the line put farther north and east than any of BPA’s four main options. They’ve advocated for their own “Grey Line” they say impacts fewer people than any other route. And they’ve adopted something of a rallying cry to go with it: “Take the beast east!”
Last week, the slogan reached new heights with this eye-catching billboard:
The billboard is located on Minnehaha just west of St. James Road — not far from BPA’s Ross Substation. It’s scheduled to stay there for two months, then move to two other locations for another two months each, according Citizens Against the Towers Committee chair Erna Sarasohn. That’s also the group behind its design, she said.
Interestingly, this isn’t Godzilla’s first appearance in the BPA transmission line debate. The same group and its allies handed out fliers during a town hall meeting in Battle Ground last month with a different likeness of the mythical beast. Godzilla also graced signs at earlier rallies.
Fortunately, no widespread panic in the streets was reported.
This latest version appears to have evolved, however — note the horns. We’re not sure if that’s Godzilla’s cousin. And what’s he going to do with that utility tower, anyway?
Citizens pushing for the BPA’s west route — that is, putting the transmission line mostly on existing federal right of way in Vancouver — have taken a more toned-down approach in their efforts. Officials expect to publish an environmental impact statement for the project this spring, with construction beginning as soon as 2013.
In other words, there’s still plenty of time for Mothra to weigh in.
— Eric Florip