Being that the last post was all about escaping from Port Angeles, the timing of Kenmore's announcement that they're abandoning Port Angeles is almost eerie. The routes of escape are being whittled down. There are fewer ferry runs to Victoria than there used to be, and now the airport is being shuttered, too. I guess that solves the Lincoln Park problem, huh?
How many body blows can a town take before it's over? How many signs do there need to be before everyone admits the obvious, and calls PA in as DOA?
There have been the big blows, like all the local mills closing, like Gottshalk's closing, like the Lincoln Theater closing. All those have been against the backdrop of the not-so-slow but oh-so-steady growth of empty storefronts downtown, all around town. Even businesses that didn't actually close, left Port Angeles, like Maurice's. ACTI is a union-busting, minimum wage black hole of hope. Nippon is going to shed all its jobs when that mill finally closes like all the others. So where will PA's huge cohort of high school dropouts dream of getting work?
On the political scene, Larry Williams, notorious conservative, fled town as soon as his term on the City Council was over. Max Mania, notorious liberal, didn't even wait for his to end before fleeing for greener pastures. No one wants to run for City Council, so all those unopposed bozos slid right into office. Now, that deadhead bureaucrat Dan DiGuilio is mayor - again. Utility rates continue to skyrocket. Karen Rogers is still pulling strings at City Hall, in the business community. Glenn Cutler is gone, but his ridiculously expensive legacy lives on and on.
And finally, on the personal or individual level, there are those U.S. Census numbers. Port Angeles is shrinking, and fast. Hundreds of people have left PA in the last few years. Sure, some have doubtlessly only gone as far as, say, Sequim. But I suspect that most of them have gotten as far away from Port Angeles as they could. Of those people remaining in Port Angeles, depression sure seems to run high. That might explain the staggering rates of opiate and alcohol abuse in Clallam County, which are nearly the highest in Washington State.
So, again, doesn't it seem obvious that this is a DOA case? The patient has clearly died. So if you have any life, any hope, left in you, I urge you to save yourself and get out. There is no honor or joy in going down with the ship. There's no reason to live your life in a dead town. Like I said earlier, life is too short - and too precious - to live in Port Angeles.