Thursday, July 2, 2015

12 Years of Safe

Well, wow! Clallam County has made national news! Yes, Clallam County is where the U.S. had its first death caused by measles in 12 years. I saw it on Reuters, CNN, Yahoo! News, Google News, etc. Bill Benedict, a great believer in "there's no such thing as bad publicity" must be so pleased.
In other, more locally important news, water continues to be the story - or stories - of the day. The beach in Port Angeles is closed due to fecal contamination. Again. That is to say, again. And the rivers continue to drop and dry as the summer warmth rolls out, with a side of fireworks.
Shitty medical news...News about shitty water...Shitty news about water...Well, shit. It sure looks like a good thing that Port Angeles got the whole "Best Town EVER" thing done before this all hit. Because if you search for Port Angeles online right now, well, let's just say that even the most rose-colored of glasses are likely to be shaded closer to forest fire red at this particular point in time.
So seriously, keep a fire extinguisher handy this weekend. And you might want to stock up on bottled water, too, just in case.
...and Temptations.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Agree or Disagree?

Per the controversy about the timber land exchange letters of support that Mike Chapman and Dim King Jim McEntire sent behind then Commissioner Mike Doherty's back, Dim King Jim had this to say:
"My conscience is clean. I think the allegations was founded in nothing other than the foul blast of partisan politics. Everything we do here, we do our very best to do according to the law as transparently and in an aboveboard fashion. I think this commission is a model of openness and transparency in all cases. So that's all I have to say about that."
Bad grammar aside, do you agree with Dim King Jim? Do you believe him? Was this a "foul blast" of partisan politics from Mike Doherty? Or is Dim King Jim practicing the classic art of accusing your enemy of doing what you yourself are, in fact, doing? Is it possible that the initial blast of flatulent foulness actually came from Dim King Jim himself?
Of the players involved, who do you trust? Who do you believe?

"Oh no! It's a blast of partisan politics! I swear!"

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Shape of Things to Come (Isn't Necessarily Shaped by How They Were in the Past)

So here's what was announced earlier today:

A red flag warning has been issued for Western Washington, including the Olympic Mountains and the lowlands along the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, and will last through 11 p.m. today as thunderstorms approach the region.

The warning was issued by the National Weather Service at 8:21 a.m. today.

A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will develop shortly.

Here's the first (and thus far only) comment about this on the PDN's website:

I say Sequim has nothing to worry about; we rarely have thunderstorms. I think in the 10 yrs I've lived here, I've seen 2 thunderstorms, maybe 3 at most.

Now...Given the nature of climate change, as generally understood, and given the current record low flows in rivers in Clallam County, which are a result of the non-existent snowpack in the Olympics...Does anyone see any sort of attitudinal red flag warning that should be raised by statements like this one? How can you expect your elected "leaders" to focus on the future when they're too busy looking back at how things used to be - and are joined in this exercise by the people living there?

Yes, things might have been "that way" back in the day, but that's no guarantee that they will be "that way" tomorrow, or next year, or ten years from now. The world is changing around us. But unless we change our perspectives as well, then we'll always be behind the curve.

Way, way behind the curve.

That thunder you might hear signifies danger in more ways than one.

The Lincoln Log - The Saga CONtinues

Does anyone else notice how the facts about the Lincoln Theater seem stuck, never change?

I don't just mean the fact that the Lincoln is, despite the "offer" made by Scott Nagel, still very much FOR SALE. No, I mean the "facts" that said Mr. Nagel keeps presenting to the community. Here we are, many weeks after these numbers were first announced (and over a week since it was last a topic here), and the figures are still $175,000 "raised," 65 donors have pledged $1,000 "or more," 135 "donors" total, etc.

It seems like one of two things is at play here. Either these are just the feel-good numbers Nagel and Crew have agreed upon and are using to try to entice suckers, or, the numbers are actually fairly accurate - but they've plateaued. They're stuck. There aren't any more suckers stepping up. Momentum zero.

The latest forum to roll this pipe dream and funny figures out at was last Thursday evening, when there were real live people from "out there" in the house. These guests, Scot and Linda Whitney, who run the State Theater in Olympia, are severely underrepresented in quotes in the PDN article, which would lead me to believe they didn't have much to say. (The photo accompanying the article shows a pained-looking Linda Whitney looking pityingly out at the audience.)

Yes, the Whitneys have made a go of it in Olympia, with a theater that was also "abandoned." But that is, at best, a very superficial comparison. For one thing, the owner of the Lincoln hasn't put a dime into it for maintenance for decades. (It is in extremely rundown condition, to be charitable.) The State Theater was not in that state of decrepitude when the Whitneys took it on.

And they took it on twenty years ago. In the state capitol. Which has (and had) more than double the population of Port Angeles. And is on I-5. And is in a county with three times the population of Clallam County. And is an hour from other larger bodies of population. And is in a community with three colleges, and other sizable arts organizations.

Twenty years ago, the economy was very different than it is today. There were more grants for these types of projects available from various sources. And the pitch for such projects didn't have to contend with the question that did come up at this last meeting: How do you compete with the multitude of electronic devices and entertainment options available? Just the combo of those two factors alone make the Lincoln much more of an uphill climb.

But even if you're optimistic about grants, like professional grant vampire Karen Hanan, who spoke at this last meeting, isn't it likely that, all other things being equal (which they aren't, but let's pretend), grant funding sources at the state level would be more inclined to support projects that are in their own community? I mean, if you're a theater goer, and live in Olympia, why wouldn't you support the State Theater project? But Port Angeles? That's a totally different story, in more ways than one.

Then there's location, location, location. As in, Port Angeles is way, way off the beaten path, and then some. Sure, you might be able to get some of the Clallam County folks who currently go to Port Townsend and Seattle for culture to stay home, but does anyone really think the Lincoln could not only end that trend, but actually reverse it and draw people from outside of Clallam County in? Given the wide variety of music/movies/theater choices available elsewhere regionally, that seems doubtful.

Which leads to the population...Which is small, and their representation at these Lincoln meetings, even smaller. You're not going to get very far or last very long with 135 people as your audience, even if they all somehow managed to spend $1,000 ("or more") a year. Hell, you got less than half that amount to show up for this last meeting. That doesn't come across as a groundswell of enthusiasm to me.

It seems to me, if you're talking about mobilizing 60 people to turn out for a meeting, and at that meeting you're talking about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, the time and effort would be better spent getting those folks to a City Council meeting, and raising hell in support of the City building a new reservoir or two.

In other words, the Lincoln Theater is, and will remain, a big, white elephant. But the fact that the City could literally run out of water? That remains the elephant in the room that those in charge are oh so reluctant to acknowledge.

The Lincoln would be a nice amenity. Water is a necessity. And life is all about setting priorities.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Open Meetings, Open Wounds, Open Feuds

Oh wow, oh wow!

This morning, I didn't see this article about Mike Doherty taking his (formerly) fellow Commissioners to task, because I couldn't get the PDN's website to open up. Then I was at work all day, and went to a meeting straight from work, then cut my finger making dinner...But now I've read it, and damn, isn't it about time? Thank you, Mike Doherty.

Honesty? Check. Appropriate righteous outrage? Check. Calling creeps on their sleazy behavior? Check. To their faces? You bet! Self-serving and self-righteous outrage from the creeps being called out? Oh, yes, and then some.

"I don't think I did anything wrong," said Chapman Wednesday. "I'm out looking for work. I'm not nefarious. If you have problems with me, tell the whole world. Call for my public resignation."

Well, I won't call for your public resignation, Mike, because I know you'll never do that. Besides, I'd rather see you recalled and/or indicted, personally. In any case, all those idiotic Democrats and white-washed environmentalists who got you re-elected this last time, are they finally waking up to the reality of Mike Chapman? Mike Doherty sure has - and he's doing the right thing by broadcasting it, and calling for an investigation into whether or not any laws were violated. Again, thank you, Mike Doherty.

And gee, does anyone else notice a pattern here? Both Mike Doherty and Selinda Barkhuis were and are in positions to know all the inside dirt in the County Courthouse. And they both point to the same trio of charlatans as the source of the problem: Jim Jones, Mike Chapman, and Dim King Jim. I kind of doubt that both Mike D. and Selinda are having the same fantastic hallucinations. I kind of have to believe, as stated above, that they're positioned to know things, and what they know is making them both cry foul.

Such courage and critical thinking, not to mention placing the public good and their right to know front and center, are things to be commended. So, one last time, good job, both of you. Keep it up!

But does the ever-more unstable Mike Chapman demonstrate any such courage or critical thinking?

"I think every elected official does a great job," said Chapman.

Obviously some people don't share your perspective, Commissioner Chapman. And thank goodness for that.

Footnote: I apologize for the rushed and somewhat detail-deficient nature of the above posting. It was a little late in the game, and I was hurrying, and wrote with the assumption that most people reading this would also have read (or would then read) the PDN article about this fascinating situation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Rubbercheckmate - OR - Is Selinda's Barkhuis Worse Than Her Bite?

Public pissing match. Differing versions of authority and reality clashing. Everyone in full denial of responsibility mode. Chickens running around with their heads cut off! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria! Total anarchy! All we need now is a bulldozer.

But even without a bulldozer, Selinda is like a bull in a China shop. I'm still not 100 percent sure exactly what her motivations are, but...You go, girl!

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Revitalizer? Or Denier in Chief?

From the PDN today...

The Revitalizer: Leader of Revitalize Port Angeles aims to reinvent town while accentuating the positive
Leslie Robertson is the unstintingly positive Facebook presence, posting messages to support people and businesses all over town.
“Positive,” she said, “is what works. It’s always easy to find the negative,” and blame others for whatever is wrong on any given day.

Yet “positive is what gets things done.”
“Instead of censoring ideas, Leslie encourages debate, only asking that it remain civil and on topic,” Carol Sinton said.
Robertson has no degree in urban affairs, marketing or public relations; “college didn’t stick,” she said.
She is a 1983 high school graduate...
Richard Schneider and Robertson don’t agree on every little thing, but they’re of like mind when it comes to the Facebook page: They want a safe, productive forum with civility as the cardinal rule.

“Anything really useful can be said respectfully,” he added.
From what many of you have posted here, I'd say that you may have a slightly less rosy view of this busy-body high school graduate. And the PDN seems unaware of the irony of invoking the lyrics "accentuating the positive" in their headline, while leaving out the next line about "eliminate the negative." Ah, but such feel-good censorship is what the PDN is all about, isn't it?
Now, I don't mean to be mean, but really...Is a Port Angeles native whose resume consists of high school, working retail and starting a Facebook page really the type of sharp, experienced and worldly person to lead the town out of the wilderness and into a prosperous 21st century?  A prosperity based on another bit of lyrics, "where never is heard a discouraging word"? I mean, can a person or a town succeed in reality when they deny the very existence of reality? Isn't there a limit to how much you can paper (or newspaper) over real problems?

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Well, Well, Well

I cut and pasted the comment below from the previous subject. Anyone wanna tackle it?
Personally, I like how the poster asks a question, then immediately responds as though someone had answered it - incorrectly. ("See, you don't really know.") I also like how they've ended by insulting anyone who disagrees with them, and told them that they have their heads up their asses. (Winning friends and influencing people.) As for the mythical second well...Well, anyway, here it is. Feel free to share the good news with the Craig Fulton Fan Club...
Bullshit, and Fulton is not a liar. You folks are so focused on your hatred, deserved or not, that you are blind to the true situation regarding water flow. For example, do any of you know how much the domestic water (in CFS) the City of Port Angeles uses? How does that relate in terms of total stream flow? See, you don't really know. Rather, you're full of ignorance and fear. The truth is the river won't go dry this year, and there will be drinking water available. What's going to happen is that fish will likely die, just as Fulton alluded to. Evil Nippon may have to shut down for a few weeks, but that's not a certainty. In the longer term, Port Angeles will likely dig a second collector well to supplement the existing Ranney Well. I like some of things I read on this post, but get a grip and do your research rather than pulling facts out of the orifice where some of your heads normally reside...
Who you gonna call? Ranney collectors!
Who you gonna get to pay for it? Tax collectors!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gimme Shelter...From the Morons Running This Place

The Salvation Army has closed its emergency overnight shelter at 206 Peabody St. while the organization works with city officials on permitting requirements.

Nathan West, city community and economic development director, said Tuesday that city officials Monday notified the Salvation Army that its shelter was illegal as an overnight facility because it lacks sprinklers, among other safety issues.

West said city officials learned of the shelter, which has operated since mid-February, on Monday.

“We just kind of pushed things over, and we did emergency housing,” Ramsey explained. “We did not check with the requirements the city might have had for that." On Monday, a city official “asked what I was operating,” he recalled. “They were unaware we were there.”

“Typically, we'd expect someone to turn in an application for a new use of a building.”

The Salvation Army began providing overnight services to the homeless after Serenity House closed its 20-bed Street Outreach Shelter at 505 E. Second St. in mid-February due to budget deficits and a sewer line collapse, the Peninsula Daily News reported Feb. 18.

The overnight shelter has been mentioned in multiple news reports since.

Bad decisions and bad communications all around. In other words, plenty of blame for everybody.

Good Lord...