When Matt Winters, writing (Editor's Notebook on Page A4, first printed in the Daily Astorian, Sept. 15) on tourism in Bali says "the nearby Australians have deserted it for a variety of reasons" you know he has a reality problem. The reality is that Australians stopped vacationing in Bali because they tired of seeing their disco dancing countrymen blown to bits by Islamic extremists, not once, but twice.
Mr. Winters' reality disconnect is displayed later in the same column when he sneers that those "building their dream houses" on the Long Beach Peninsula and those providing services for such houses are a "degredation" and "like cancer, early detection and treatment are key."
Mr. Winters makes his position clear. Those building such dream houses have a "sure ticket from paradise to purgatory." A sure ticket? Chosing the words "paradise" and "purgatory," words associated with the afterlife, is to suggest that the use of lethal force to stop the building of dream homes is acceptable, just as the Bali bombers stopped the inflow of Australian tourists.
It is a sad day for the Long Beach Peninsula when the editor of the area's only paper threatens those who bring their dreams and their skills and their commitment and includes in that threat local businesses serving such people. Mr. Winters should apologize or, if unwilling to apologize, resign.
Response from Matt Winters: In fact, the drop in Australia-Bali tourism is primarily related to a well-publicized fight between Australia and Indonesia over drug prosecutions and immigration issues. From all reports, Australians continue to adore the Balinese people, who as Hindus had nothing to do with the bombings in 2002 and 2005. For the time being, more Australians are vacationing in nearby Malaysia, a wealthier nation which incidentally is doing a better job than Indonesia at managing growth.
Rather mysteriously, Mr. Chambreau confuses my call for better growth management with support for "lethal force" to discourage the buyers of vacation homes.
Well-planned growth is often beneficial, bringing new life, money and ideas to a community. Out-of-control growth is by definition cancerous and injurious to long-term health. Only by sticking to a comprehensive vision of what it wishes to become can a rapidly expanding community avoid the mistakes so sadly evident in Bali.