The Big Takeover

I’m a land-rights activist for the landless. In the final years before GateHouse took over The Register-Guard, it published stories by Saul Hubbard, Francesca Fontana and others about the gigantic areas of land, bought and sold among the powerful in finance and government at prices below $10,000 per acre at the edge of the urban reserve.

This translates into $200 for a piece of land the size of 1,000 square feet — big enough for a tiny house, RV or trailer.

If the homeless and the low-income renters only knew they could own their own land for less than a month’s rent, they might start demanding it. But now they just won’t know.

The profits on a single land deal can exceed the entire cost of The Register-Guard buyout. Maybe some rich dudes in Eugene flew to Texas and invested in GateHouse. We would never know that, either — because corporations and investors have “privacy” rights.

Todd Boyle