Don't you just love it when the bad people admit defeat? Especially when said defeat was driven by them being (repeatedly!) hoist on their own petard?
I could go into a summation of what I'm talking about here, but, instead, I'll just cut and paste the response to this story on the PDN's own website:
Let's see...the city council completely tossed out ethic codes that are used state wide and made up their own to punish a fellow council member for using foul language and actually putting some thought into the city council's popular opinion about "issues" relating to Nippon Paper. LOL. And how well did the council's decision, about those issues, relating to Nippon, work out for the city? Cherie? Anybody? No wonder former council member Max Mania used foul language. I am surprised he could speak without screaming. Ah, it's good to be home...And to have that home not be Port Angeles. Still, progress is progress. Congratulations to the City Council for, at least in this one instance, doing something that makes sense - even if it does simultaneously show them to be the idiots that they are for having done what they have now undone in the first place.
Just a quick FYI here folks...I'll be out of town at a work conference for the next couple of days, and thus, away from this here blog for the most part. Feel free to keep commenting, but know that there may be a little delay in my getting comments posted.
Brad Collins. What a big, fat disappointment he has been as a City Council member. The thinking used to be that Brad had been done wrong by City Hall, and therefore would come in with some sort of cleansing, spirit of vengeance kinda thing, and help drive the Evil Ones from their dwelling places.
Of course, it turns out that Brad was not quite up to that at all, and further, he seemed to think that the knives that had been stuck in his back before were some sort of acupuncture treatment that had been "for his own good." Because he got with the corrupt program right quick, as it turns out.
Now, how did Brad Collins get on the City Council in the first place? He was appointed. Larry Little ran for office, won, asked to be sworn in early, then resigned two days later. (All of which still makes me shake my head in confusion...) That left an open seat, and the new City Council filled it. And the results have not been pretty. Or honest. Or successful. Or...Well, you get the idea.
I'm going over all of this history to try and get you thinking about the near-term future. From all accounts, Pat Downie is very sick, and not doing well at all. The best, most upbeat term I have heard used to describe him in the past few months is "frail." So, it seems almost certain that Pat will not be able to last the year, at least not as a legitimate member - whatever that means in this context - of the Port Angeles City Council.
Even in photos in the PDN, Pat is
just sort of fading away...
And if Pat does die or step down, then the current City Council will get to pick his replacement. Obviously, some of the people you might expect to apply for such an opening are themselves running for City Council, and would be unlikely to be picked if they applied. (Though, in Port Angeles, you can't rule anything out.) Which leads us to the question I would ask you to consider: Who would you want to see apply for an open seat? And, as a different matter, who do you think could get the votes to be appointed to an open seat?
OUTRAGE ANTICIPATOR RESPONSE: Yes, it could be seen as kind of grim to be broaching this subject. But I'm not wishing Pat Downie dead, or anything of the sort. I'm just looking at the facts as they exist, and drawing what seems to be a reasonable conclusion. Anyone wishing to waste their time being outraged over my suggesting Pat Downie might not be around forever is just, well, gosh, wasting their time. Those who start thinking and planning for that eventuality, well, they're going to be ahead of the game, aren't they?
Just another day when the Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney, Mark Nichols, is being sued for sexual harassment. She says it went on for years. Now she's suing. Which raises the question: What does it cost to have a creep like Mark Nichols around?
It's also just another day in little ol' Port Angeles...
Just another day, another person jumping to their death from the Eighth Street bridge. Said jump being made easier, downright facilitated, by the lack of modern preventative barriers. Because said barriers were deemed, jeepers, just a little too expensive.
Who did this deeming? Dimwits on the City Council. Which raises the same question, but in even grimmer terms: What does it cost to have a moron like Cherie Kidd around?
I wonder who's out there overdosing right now, on yet "another GREAT day in Port Angeles"?
What's the lesson here? Or, more specifically, what's the lesson for people who use one hand to beg the Feds for money, and the other to give 'em the bird for not doing enough...
Port Angeles approves more money for water facilities legal dispute A Seattle law firm's contract has been boosted to $407,500 to represent the City of Port Angeles in an industrial water facilities dispute with the National Park Service. On Tuesday, City Council members unanimously approved increasing the budget for the legal services agreement...nearly doubling a contract...approved June 7th, 2016. Hmmm...What will the outcome of PA vs. Big Bad Feds be? Could there be a clue in yet another headline...
Officials: Federal program for air service unlikely for Port Angeles It would take either an act of God or an act of Congress for commercial air service to return to Port Angeles... Well, there's a little more to it than that, but I think you get the point. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.
Obviously, there's no shortage of hubris and what might be called a twisted form of hope in City Hall, but the reality remains that Port Angeles is a proud, scrappy, bootstraps kind of town...That is only too happy to wait for some other outside agency to come in and rescue them. (Barring that, blaming said outside agency for your woes is always a good fallback plan, right?)
Yes, despite its lack of anything much to be proud of, Port Angeles is...Ever so proud. They keep banging their head against the wall and thinking they're driving in nails...
LEFTIES: Huge ninth inning rally comes up just shy A huge ninth inning rally by the Lefties came up just short...It was the second straight close, exciting loss for the Lefties, who have already shown they can hold their own with the rest of the West Coast League. Note that ALL CAPS team name in the headline. Notice how their loss isn't really pitched as a loss - it's just an almost win. And notice the editorializing about how the Lefties are "exciting" and have proved they can "hold their own"...Yes, the Losing Lefties are a perfect representation of the mindset in City Hall. Confused, a little sad, a little desperate, and not really successful...But big believers in their own delusional PR.
So, take me out to the ballgame...But not in a plane.
Summer is, if not quite here, near, and that's the time of year when the hotel occupancy rate in Port Angeles reaches its - you should pardon the expression - peak. In theory, this will be the last "status quo" year for downtown Port Angeles. The Trump administration is working hard to crash the economy, but that hasn't hit yet. And the Elwha Hotel and Totally Not a Casino hasn't opened yet.
However, both promise to hit sometime next year. In the meantime, the biggest, most impossible to miss place to stay in downtown Port Angeles is still the Red Lion. Its footprint in downtown and on the waterfront are huge.
But what is its footprint online like? What sort of profile does this white elephant of a Red Lion have visible to the world?
To explore that, let's spend a few minutes perusing the Red Lion's reviews on Yelp, shall we? Currently, the Red Lion has a three (out of five) star rating overall, but that's mostly due to what you could call the great Yelp smoothing effect, or, the make no waves approach to "reviewing" businesses.
Anyway, here's the most recent Yelp review, from 5/28/2017: (ONE star) All I've got to say is it's the2nd worst hotel I've ever been to. Dropped a lid on the (floor) and went to pick it up. What do I find? A bunch of toe nails...everywhere. All I wanted to do was pretty much vomit. I moved the table next to the bed and there was more behind it. I will neverrrrr ever ever as long as I live on this earth stay here again. That review came from Sara B., from Everett.
Next, we've got Lea C. from Kent, who wrote her brief review on 5/10/2017: (ONE star) The hotel is run down and very old...Room stinks like wet dog. I will not revisit. Next is Doug D. from Boise, with his (TWO star) review from 4/4/2017. He tells of getting a room with no heat, which prompted him to request a new room - a request the staff only grudgingly responded to. When he got to his new room, he discovered it was filthy, and so he "went to call the front desk - phone didn't work." Cue the laugh track, Doug - you've been punked Port Angeles-style!
The month before Doug, Victoria S. from Bellevue also gave it a TWO star rating, and spoke about the filth she found. And there was no respite from the dirty room because, oops, her room didn't have hot water.
Please note that all these examples I've cited are from people who live in the greater Northwest. In other words, they could be said to represent the regional reputation of the Red Lion (and to some extent, Port Angeles itself). In further other words, the Red Lion is a big, filthy pit, and I'd think that any downtown competition - Hello, Elwha! - will really put it in a tough spot.
What? And give up luxury like this?
Let's say the Elwha Hotel and No, Really, Not Even a Casino opens as planned, and is, if nothing else, clean and new. Let's say they don't have toenails in the carpet and used syringes under their mattresses (remember those reviews?) and do somehow manage to have, say, hot, running water. It would stand to reason that such a place would steal business first and foremost from the nearest and shabbiest lodging establishment - the Red Lion.
It would not seem unlikely that, in such a trying economic situation, the Red Lion might respond by cutting even more corners and becoming even more of a pigsty. Which would lead to one of two outcomes: Port Angeles would have an even scummier anchor business downtown (and on the waterfront), or, Port Angeles will be saddled with a closed scummy former hotel downtown. Either way you'd, at the very least, have more visual blight, and another reputational black eye for PA. That's at the very least. At worst? How about hello, shooting gallery and homeless hangout! Maybe with a side of graffiti showroom? Hey, need a place to dump your old tires and appliances?
Do you think anyone in City Hall is thinking about these possibilities? Do you get a sense that anyone is clocking anything? Do you think anyone in a position of authority cares? Now, again, this is all a hypothetical, but it's not a far-fetched one. Pretty much all of downtown Port Angeles fears competition (Hi, Edna!) and the Red Lion absolutely has good reason to worry. Right now they have location, location, location, but soon enough, there'll be more location right across the street. And, it should be added, that it won't be difficult at all for the Elwha place to have a restaurant that's better than the widely-derided Crab House (which has its own Yelp problems).
Of course, even if all this comes to pass, I have no doubt that the people at City Hall won't break a sweat. Heck, maybe they could get a grant, raze the place, and Nathan West could put in a second chapter of his expensive, artificial Boondoggle Beach. (Hollywood Division, doncha know?)
Or, maybe Nathan would once again move Heaven and Earth to get the Red Lion fixed up and back in business. After all, he put in a lot of work to get the old abandoned Chinook turned into the open for business Holiday Lodge.
The Holiday Lodge which, currently, has an even more dismal one-and-a-half (out of five) star rating on Yelp. Another Port Angeles success story...
In case you're wondering what a sunny holiday weekend looks like on Nathan West's Million Dollar Boondoggle Beach...Well, it looks like this:
Where's Waldo? Where are Susie and Dick and Spot? Where's Vincent Price, the last man on Earth? Where is ANYONE? Not here. Maybe if Nathan had taken that million dollars in silver dollars, and spread them out on this desolate stretch of nowhere, maybe then someone would be here. But instead all a million bucks bought was a people-repeller.
Anyway, here are a few comments from our intrepid photographer who braved the hordes to capture this inspiring image...
As you see, once again.. still...the place is vacant. Not a person to be seen. I went down last weekend at 4:30, which was admittedly after the glorious "Waterfront Day," but the place looked EXACTLY like it does in this picture. Not a sign of anyone, or that any popular and well attended event had just occurred.
If, even on a sunny, hot, holiday weekend afternoon NO ONE is interested in using the facility, when will it be used? Does this not, once again, show the importance of doing an honest "needs" study, before building these public projects? What is the point of building multi-million dollar public projects, if nobody uses them?
Oh, that's right. Grants, and the salaries they pay.