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BOY, THAT "BLAME THE RIGHT-WING THING" DIDN'T TAKE LONG
WHY GARY HARRINGTON SHOULD LAY DOWN THE SWORD, and DRAIN THE PONDS
I was at the courtroom yesterday when Judge Mejia sentenced Gary Harrington (Eagle Point water "criminal", rain water gatherer) to an additional 90 days in Jackson County Jail, and full 5-year post-prison supervision for probation violations connected with his illegal rainwater ponds in Eagle Point. Harrington essentially threw himself on the mercy of the court. Mejia seemed most concerned with what he called Harrington's "willful disobedience" to the court order to open the gates and drain the ponds.
Judge Mejia is right.
Much of the courtroom discussion centered around the trust that currently controls the Eagle Point property. Harrington did transfer the property after the sentencing, still lives on the property, and controls the property through the trust. So to claim he "doesn't own it" is, as Mejia noted, "a sham".
Gary is a better man than this, and in my opinion, loses moral standing by claiming to "not have control over the property, hence he can't comply with the order to drain the ponds". All that this legal wrangling will lead to is a never-ending threat of jail for Harrington, and continued disregard for the root of Gary Harrington's problem. This problem affects us all, and it's the real legal "sham" of a state law that claims rainwater falling on our property is not ours to collect in any way we see fit, but only in the way the STATE sees fit.
It is also ridiculous that Medford has claim to water running off Harrington's property, give the flow is below where Medford grabs the water. It is physically impossible for them to claim this water, but in law, that's the story.
Much better for Gary to drain the ponds, stay out of jail, and raise legal funds with his high moral ground standing to work toward changing these insane water gathering laws.
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