Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Hot Air (Blows Hard)

I believe I've told the story here before about being at a meeting that Jim McEntire was also attending, and how I wound up sitting next to him. At one point, Pat Downie, nature's great ditherer, was holding forth as he likes to do, and McEntire, unbidden, turned to me and said: "Pat and I are in the same business - hot air."

It was perhaps the only true and honest thing I ever heard come out of his mouth. I thought of that hot air as I read the praise-filled, new-deficient and entirely unnecessary article about McEntire's "retirement" today. Good lord. He's leaving office, people - you don't need to keep kissing his ass.

Cookies are still delicious - especially the ones
that someone else pays for! And there are still
cookies in the world, yes indeed.
 
Anyway, as Dim King Jim relinquishes his crown, I wanted to take one last moment to say what a monstrous, corrupt and cretinous bully he was, and doubtlessly still is. His greed hasn't just gone away. His sleazy nature hasn't suddenly self-corrected. I haven't seen him apologize for being a thug and a bully. So, yeah, it does seem likely that he won't stay "retired" for long. Especially not in Clallam County, the land where scams are plentiful, and oversight is rare.

Dim King Jim may be leaving, but we still have Nelson Muntz
and Donald Trump to model bad behavior.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

You Can't Walk the Plank Without a Board

As promised (though a little late), Scott Nagel has announced the rest of his board members for the Light Up Scott Nagel's Wallet efforts. From what I can see, this board hasn't got enough juice to light up a 20 watt light bulb.

First, to recap: The first three board members announced were former head troll at the PDN, John Brewer, certified friend of the Randazzos, Michael McQuay, who owns Kokopelli Grill, and, of course, Scott Nagel.

This terrible trio will now be joined by:

Mindy Gelder, an "actress and co-owner of New Growth Behavioral Health." Mindy will be filling the slot reserved for a pampered, New Age wacko.

Mathew Rainwater, who is with the Border Patrol. This must be part of their "outreach" to the community. Our sensors don't detect a great depth of commitment to this project from Mr. Rainwater.

Deborah Spinks, realtor. Because, of course, you can't do anything without having a realtor involved.

Sarah Tucker, who is described as a "performance and visual artist, director and producer." Which translates into: Sarah doesn't have a job. But she is, like Mr. McQuay above, a close friend of the Randazzos.

And finally, there's Michael Gentry, architect. Because, frankly, Mike has a vested interest in seeing that this project chooses, uh, well, you know...The right architect for the job.

Hey! Look! Scott's got a board!

According to the PDN article announcing these board members, their selection is "the result of six months of recruiting and selecting, said Nagel and his wife, Karen Powell, consultant to the board." So you see? They not only have a board now, but gosh, they also have their first consultant!

A powerhouse board this is not. But it is fascinating to see who is willing to sign up for a project that is intended to simply employ Scott Nagel. However, if anyone thinks this particular group is a game-changer, or bringers of light to the Lincoln, I respectfully disagree.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

May Or May Not Be Mayor

What with all the (totally understandable) anger and upset over the fluoride vote...Well, actually, it's all going to be about that vote for a bit, isn't it? I mean, sure, water pipes can burst, and transformers can catch on fire, but for the near future it's all going to be about the fluoride fluoride FLUORIDE.

Except that...Well, in a very real way, those bursting pipes and flaming transformers are exactly the same as fluoride. All are bought and paid for and provided by your loving friends at the City of Port Angeles. As was the sham "advisory vote" on said fluoride.

In other words, if you took all the money spent on that fake vote, and all the money spent on fluoride, do you think maybe the City could have bought a new transformer with it instead? Or some new pipes? How much money has been spent on the remarkably stupid Smart Meters? How about the Glenn Cutler Memorial Turd Tank? Nathan West's Boondoggle Beach?

How much quality of life has all that bought you, Port Angeles residents? It sure didn't do much for NOAA, and it's undeniable that both people and businesses are leaving Port Angeles. They might not go far away - but they do go away.

But not all people go away. Some of the ones you'd doubtlessly most like to see the back of will never leave. Which is to say, with the New Year coming up fast, soon it'll be time to choose a new Mayor from amongst the same old faces. A new old figurehead. A new old public face for the morally (and otherwise) bankrupt City. A new old leader to fuss and fritter around the edges - and along the beachfront, say - while boring old things like infrastructure continue to Go To Hell.

If only it were this kind of flaming transformer...
Then it might be a tourist attraction.

Exploding transformers? Bursting pipes? Angry mobs in the Council Chambers? Empty storefronts downtown and empty heads in City Hall? No need to worry, no need to fear, for soon Mayor ______ will be here.

One guess as to which blank faced liar most wants to fill in that blank above.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Biomess Part Two - Now with More Explosive Potential!

I'm putting this out there for you all, to see if anyone has any details...Apparently, Hermann Bros. have some sort of plan to turn "wood waste products" into "jet fuel." Which sounds exactly like the sort of environmentally unfriendly boondoggle BS that Port Angeles would go for.

My first thought when I heard about this was, "What a stupid, mid-20th century idea." My second thought was, "How would they get it from Port Angeles to its final destination? Trucks of jet fuel rolling down 101?" Now that sounds like a good idea.

Anyway, has anyone heard anything about this? They held some sort of webinar about it yesterday. Details? Thoughts? Anyone?

Friday, December 11, 2015

The Plight at the End of the Tunnel

A reader recently commented that it was about time for another PDN article about the Lincoln Theater. Well, the PDN heard and obeyed, sending forth yet another Diane Urbani de la Paz article that embraces recycling.

The new angle now is that Scott Nagel is trying to call in the $185,000 in pledges he says have been made, turning those promises into cold, hard cash.

Okay.

Say! I betcha I can make some money
fleecing suckers over the interwebs!

But I have a few questions...

One: Has anyone else noticed that that number Scott keeps trotting out has been unchanging for months and months? In other words, even in the no harm, no foul world of promises, his support seems to be tapped out.

Two: But let's say that people really have pledged a total of $185,000 - what percentage of that do you think Nagel will actually be able to get, cash in hand? And how big a gap does that leave between Scott's wallet and the asking price of $235,000?

Three: Has anyone heard anything about Scott Nagel talking about how much it would cost to restore and run the Lincoln? Or how that (even larger!) amount would be raised? Yeah, neither have I.

Four: Notice how, even when he only has a little bitty bit of information in the first place, Scott likes to let it out in dribs and drabs.

"Oh! We're putting together a seven person board of directors!"

Really Scott? Who's on the board?

"Well...I can tell you two names right now..."

And one of those two names is John Brewer, pudgy retiree and former head troll of the PDN. Round robin, closed system, perfect! Get the next article warmed up, Diane!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

It's the Water...But Where Will It Come From?

The headline says, "Port Angeles eyes new water sources in wake of drought restrictions."

The trolls, and more than one City Council member, will say, "What's the problem here?"

Here's the problem - well, one of them, anyway:

The city ended four months of water restrictions Oct. 21, but the El Niño weather forecast for this winter could leave the Olympic Mountains short on snowpack next summer.

Still, it could be seven years before water might flow from wells on the city's West End, which a pair of hydrogeologists said Tuesday was the best place to drill.

Less snow, less water. It's pretty simple, actually. But then again, so are trolls and City Council members. Let's see how many of them manage to stay afloat as they deal with the multiple water issues facing them.

Kevin Costner couldn't make Waterworld work.
Do you think Dan Gase will do any better?


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's the Water...But Will It Be JUST the Water?

Alright then...The results are in! And so, we now know that 56% of the 43% of people who bothered to reply do NOT wan t the City to continuing fluoridating their water - also known as forcibly medicating the populace.

It all seems pretty clear. As the saying goes, THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN.

Now it's the City Council's turn, as well as City staff. I can't wait to see what they will do.

(And as we, once again, debate this issue of importance, let's all take a moment to remember the key role that Karen Rogers played in making this all happen. Karen and the Worst Council Ever should be, need to be, remembered, if only as a cautionary tale.)

Now, City Council...Let's see what you've got.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wanna Buy a Grocery Store?

So...Despite all the assurances that the Haggen's in Port Angeles wouldn't be sold...It's gonna be sold.

Well, that is to say, it's going to be put up for sale. The question is, would anyone really want to buy it?

Empty Storefronts: They're not just for downtown!


Friday, December 4, 2015

Another Serving of Self-Serving OR Surprise! (Not!)

Every so often the headline says it all...

Clallam County Commissioner joins Democrats and is urged to run again

Gosh! I didn't see that coming...
 
Mike Chapman has joined the local Democratic Party organization, and the longtime Clallam County Commissioner is being encouraged to run for another term in office. Chapman, a former Republican who is now an independent, announced last spring that he would not seek a fifth four-year term. In a Tuesday interview, Chapman said he recently registered with (the) Clallam County Democrats, and made a donation to the organization.
 
So, you may ask, who is "urging" Chapman to run again?
 
Clallam County Democrats’ Chairman Roger Fight was not immediately available for comment Thursday, and the organization’s Port Angeles office was closed Thursday afternoon.

Does anyone really think you're going to get different (which is to say better) results in Clallam County by re-electing the same people who have been in charge all along? It reminds me of an expression about rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

And does anyone really believe that Mike Chapman has done all this flip-flopping, back and forth political positioning because he's looking out for the people of Clallam County? Because all I see is someone looking out for the interests of one person - Mike Chapman. He wants to keep that big paycheck coming in. It's just that simple.

But will the people of Clallam County be so simple as to fall for this latest version of (the same old) Mike Chapman?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How Much Will It Cost to Pay for the Fix That's Clearly Already In?

Hmmm...Better get out your checkbooks - and check your cynicism at the door, oh please - because Peter Goldmark, Washington's Commissioner of Public Lands, is coming to Port Angeles for a fundraiser at Kokopelli Grill.  A fundraiser co-hosted by long-time fellow travelers Mike Chapman and Matthew Randazzo.

Now, we all know the damage that Randazzo did to the Clallam County Democratic Party, with much of that damage done to protect and promote (the then non-Democratic) Mike Chapman. For all his scheming and backstabbings, Randazzo was "punished" by being given the cushy job he still holds in Peter Goldmark's office - a job he was and is woefully unqualified for. Clearly the fix was in there, eh?

So now, once again it's Chapman in the spotlight, and I have to wonder what fix is in for him, since he has announced, promised and sworn on a stack of Bibles that he won't run for County Commissioner again. (Of course, that was all said before he "evolved" again and became a Democrat - an act that may have negated all his previous promises.) But whatever the case, when you've got these particular players involved, you can be sure that something is going on, and that that something is a lot closer to self-serving than it is to "public service."

In any case, this slimeball meet and greet fundraiser will be held on the 8th, from 3PM - 4PM, which is a great time for working people, by the way. Then get ready for whatever the next chapter is in the never-ending saga of Clallam County Crooks and Conmen. Watch that dark nexus between the County Courthouse and the State Capitol, because something is (always) in the works.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

FIRE ONE!

Well, gosh Selinda...Why don't you tell us what you really think?

Now, if you haven't read the article about Selinda Barkhuis calling upon the County Commissioners to fire Jim Jones, you really ought to. It's long and fascinating and very illuminating - though not always in ways those involved probably intended.

Again, I urge you to read the article for yourself. I'll just include one of the more interesting little tidbits here, as a sort of teaser...

County Sheriff Bill Benedict said he was surprised to see Barkhuis' email, which he forwarded as a news release at 4:12 p.m.

“I am embarrassed for county elected officials, to see that coming from one of us out of the blue,” Benedict said later Monday.

“Nobody has seen Selinda for months coming to work, and she has the temerity to put that out?”


So yeah, on one hand, you've got Selinda seemingly acting kind of crazy, and coming across as possibly a little paranoid about the hostile workplace and good ol' boys out to get her.

But on the other hand, you've got the County Sheriff taking it upon himself to send out an internal email as a news release - an action which clearly fits into Selinda's hostile good ol' boys out to get her narrative. I mean, really, since when does the Sheriff send out news releases about internal budget battles?

Hmmm...The Clallam County Courthouse as a hotbed of sexism? Of cronyism? Of backroom deals and backstabbing BS? Ground zero for good ol' boys self-serving sexist cronyism backroom deals?

Might not such a place indeed be very, very hostile to those challenging or threatening the status quo? Gee, ya think?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fail

Now, I know what I first thought when I saw the latest batch of people-free photos that Tyler sent to me. I thought, "Oh, no one is out and about because they're all off feting Russ Venalmaw."

Ah, but Russ had his bonehead voyage party on Friday in the early evening, and these photos were taken on Thursday, at High Noon. In downtown Port Angeles. A place without people.

Downtown, the ferries, and the transit center...
And yet, no people to be seen.
 
Note the lack of any footprints in the sand. Even more
revealing - note the lack of paw prints in the sand. Not even
a dog is interested in Nathan West's Wasteful Waterfront Beach.
 
If you're on The Walking Dead, it's a good thing to not have
any walkers. But if you've spent millions on a new walkway...
It's maybe not such a good thing.
 
And speaking of spending millions of dollars...Note how,
even after spending millions on the CSO/Turd Tank project,
and the new waterfront, the City still has to post signs informing
people about the sewage outflows. (Well, they'd be informing
people if there were any there to inform, that is...)
 
Seen in this light, it's no wonder that Don Perry cut his "heritage tours" down to one a day. The only real wonder is why he hasn't cut it back to one a week. Anyway...It seems like Tyler has been documenting the changing of the seasons in Port Angeles, and the unchanging reality of the downtown being a place that is, for all intents and purposes, devoid of people 99% of the time, regardless of the season.
 
Given the content (or not, as the case may be) of these photos, and the approaching holiday season, I can't help but remember the Christmas Parade we went to our first winter in Port Angeles. A section of First Street was all blocked off with orange cones. A few hardy souls, no more than a couple of dozen people, were out lining the street in the cold evening. And then, the first small group marching in the parade came by...Followed immediately by a City truck picking up the orange cones that had been out blocking the street off for...nothing. It was all over in less than five minutes. 


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Fill the Barrel - Then Toss Russ In and Seal It Up Tight

Because I just know you all will want to be there...

A farewell party Friday will celebrate retiring Russ Veenema's 15 years as executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The event will run from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Red Lion Hotel, 221 N. Lincoln St. at the foot of Lincoln Street, and will feature snacks, beverages and a no-host bar.

Although not required, participants are invited to bring bottles of wine to “Fill the Barrel” as a gift for Veenema.

Hired in the fall of 2000, he earns $89,000 a year.

During Veenema's tenure, Port Angeles captured national attention as the second-place finisher in a nationwide Web-based “Best City Ever” competition run by Outside magazine and kudos in a survey of small towns by Livability magazine, plus mention as one of the country's “coolest towns” by the Matador Network travel website.

Holding on to a job he was no good at for way, way too long? Check.

Getting paid way, way more than he ever earned? Paycheck.

Taking credit for things he had nothing to do with and/or that had no actual, verifiable meaning? Check.

Taking money for all those years to represent Port Angeles while never actually living there? Check.

Practicing the most obvious forms of nepotism in hiring? Check.

Having a haughty, rude manner and alienating many of the very people (business owners) that he was supposedly representing? Check.

 
So yes, Russ Venalmaw really does represent so many of the finest aspects of Port Angeles. That being so, don't piss away this opportunity to put something extra special in his bye bye barrel.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Numbers Crunching! Ball Busting! Threats! The Clallam County Budgeting Process

After weeks of budget talks and number crunching, Clallam County commissioners Tuesday set public hearings on a final draft 2016 budget that returns employees to a 40-hour workweek and uses reserve funds to balance the general fund. It uses $2.7 million in general fund reserves to restore a 40-hour workweek for 37½-hour employees, to add new staff and to pay for one-time expenditures in an effort to stimulate the local economy, staff told commissioners Tuesday.

Commissioners received public testimony Tuesday from Teamsters Local 589 representative Dan Taylor, who said predictions of a budget shortfall in 2014 were false. Taylor said board Chairman Jim McEntire, who lost his bid for re-election against Mark Ozias on Nov. 3, had “been around the county and local community long enough to know the reality.”

An arbitrator ruled May 27 that Clallam County violated a collective bargaining agreement when it placed about 45 Teamsters employees on a 37½-hour workweek in January of 2014 and again in January of this year. “After losing in arbitration the grievance over a 37½-hour workweek, the county is suing the union to get the award overturned,” Taylor said. “This is the very reason that arbitration is in the agreement — to keep us from suing each other and driving up the cost. The board was so disingenuous and so arrogant, the union had no choice but to come after the commission. That is what we have done.”

“You, Jim, are a direct result of what a few hundred folks who were treated badly by you can do,” Taylor told McEntire, who was traveling for county business but participated in the meeting by phone. “The union will make the cost of getting elected in Clallam County much higher, if it does nothing else.”

Taylor then turned his attention to Commissioner Bill Peach and Jim Jones.

“Bill, make no mistake, we are watching you closely to see what you do in the future,” Taylor said.

“Jim Jones, I will remind you that it only takes two commissioners to make your at-will position belong to someone else. That, gentleman, is all there is to say.”

McEntire, Peach and Jones did not respond to Taylor's remarks...

How about you? Do you have anything to say in response to Dan Taylor's remarks?

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Up, Up and (Going) Away

So yes, I was out in the wilderness for a day - the wilderness of Port Angeles. We went up to get my last remaining relative there out. Doing so felt so good.

On the way to Port Angeles, we passed through Portland, which looked like one big construction zone. I guess it's true that Portland is the new San Francisco, because the way they're building condos and apartments and everything else, there must still be literally tons of people flocking there.

The Pearl District is becoming a whole Pearl Necklace...
And then some.
 
Wow! As impressive as it was, it was all a bit too much to deal with traffic-wise for a simple lunch stop. Plus, it was still kind of early in the day, so we decided to get lunch at a place we like in Olympia instead.
 
With that in mind, I said we could almost certainly park across the street from where we wanted to go downtown in a big (and usually emptyish) parking lot behind a bank. At least that was the plan...But when we got there, we discovered that this was going up where the lot once was...
 
Hey kids - get yer red hot condos here!
 
Oops! Olympia was pretty booming, too. No more parking lot behind the bank - now it'll soon be five or six stories of condos and apartments, with retail below. In other words, when we did manage to park, we may have gotten one of the past open parking spaces in downtown Olympia. (Oh, and the downtown was extra buzzing that day because it turned out to be the first day of their 32nd annual Olympia Film Festival...)
 
And so, lunch having finally been acquired, we hit the road again. Our full bellies gave a bit of a lurch as we made the turn onto Highway 101.
 
But we got to see the new, improved sections of 101 in Clallam County - which were weird and totally out of scale. This was especially noticeable due to the very light Friday traffic on 101. I mean, for all intents and purposes, there was no traffic on 101 in the late afternoon on a Friday.
 
Coming into town, we noticed that the porn and firewood trailer is gone. That was, I will admit, a bit of a disappointment. Then we passed the bleak Border Patrol facility. The closed Bushwhacker. We saw that a vet is moving into the building where the liquor store used to be - but that the store next to that is vacant.
 
Passing the Air Crest, we were, of course, aware that we wouldn't be seeing the Moldy Mattress. But still, we looked, just in case. (Later, we saw something I liked even better: A shut down, beat up and spray painted soda machine leaning lifelessly against the side of the previously discussed Holiday Lodge.) We saw the STILL FOR SALE Lincoln Theater.
 
The Lincoln Theater...Not sold, just old...Very, very old.

Everything looked essentially the same as it did a couple of years ago, only dingier, more run down. Gross's Florist & Nursery was just that - gross - with peeling paint and mildew overshadowing any plants on site. The streets were grubby and nearly deserted. The PDN informed us that Toxic Teresa Pierce would be appearing in some sort of Christmas show. Cherie Kidd still had her big campaign banner up across from the gas station - in violation of State law.
 
But the thing that seemed to sum it up to me, that seemed to encapsulate the whole Port Angeles vibe to me, was the still signed and still closed Maria's Mexican Restaurant on Lincoln. That place was closed before I even left town, but the sign was still up, nothing had changed. It had been run by a kook (Herbert Lutz), who got in a pissing match with the City over - irony alert - their sign codes, and it all ended with Lutz ending the business.
 
Maria's: Still closed for business seven days a week.

Except that...It hasn't ended. Despite the City's sign code, the very one that Lutz found so onerous, the sign for Maria's still stands. The empty shell of the building still sits there, a history of anger, civic dysfunction, petty feuds and economic decline trailing out behind it, and, apparently, in front of it. Is it a ghost? A warning to others? Or just another eyesore?
 
Herbert Lutz and Matthew Randazzo...Before it went
so horribly wrong for both of them.
 
All I know is that I spent about ten hours each way going through a big chunk of the Pacific Northwest, and most places things seemed to be booming, thriving, vital, alive. But not Port Angeles. It just seemed dingy and dark and treeless and lifeless and lost.
 
It felt so good to get someone out of that place, finally, and to know that we would never, ever have to go back for any reason. I know some people are going to cling to Mark Ozias as a ray of sunshine in the darkness, but the fact remains that Clallam County is a very, very, very dark place. It's like the old pun about a thousand points of blight. I just feel bad for the good people who are there, because it is a place run by and for bad people, evil people.
 
No place is perfect, to be sure, but it feels so good to be home in my legitimately progressive town, with its tree-lined streets, and low unemployment and high civic involvement. I've said it before, and it's worth repeating: Life is too short to live in Port Angeles. It's a place beyond hope, without a prayer. It cannot be saved, certainly not in our lifetimes, but you can save yourself. It is worth any price to get out. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

It's the Sexism, Stupid - OR - It's the Stupid Sexism

Let us assume that, as of this point, Mark Ozias has indeed defeated Dim King Jim to become the next Clallam County Commissioner.

Let us assume that this makes people of a moderate to liberal outlook happy. Especially if we also assume that many of those people think it's difficult for moderate to liberal candidates to win elections in Clallam County.

Ah, but let us remember that Obama has carried Clallam County. In recent years, other clearly liberal candidates - Larry Little, Max Mania, Sissi Bruch - have won elections in Port Angeles.

And Port Angeles is the population center in Clallam County.

So, why has it been so difficult for the Democrats to win County Commissioner elections in Clallam County?

Because of the Democratic Party in Clallam County, and the sexism (among other ills) that is so pervasive within it.

Remember: Linda Barnfather, a qualified and connected candidate, ran for County Commissioner - and had people within her own party sabotage her campaign. Dale Holiday, a highly qualified candidate, ran for County Commissioner - and had people within her own party sabotage her campaign. Sissi Bruch, yet another highly qualified candidate, ran for County Commissioner - and had, at best, tepid support from within her own party.

All three of these educated, connected, skilled women ran, and lost, thanks in no small part to the poisonous plotting against them from inside their own political party.

Now, nice guy novice, political nobody, Mark Ozias runs - and defeats a well-fortified incumbent.

Of course, Mark Ozias is almost certainly bearing a penis, while the three women mentioned above lacked that item. So clearly, the advantage must go to Mr. Ozias. Which is not to knock his passion or abilities. But, really, given the past three elections for County Commissioner, I have to ask the question: How big a role does sexism play in local politics in Clallam County? Does anyone else see a pattern here?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Election Night: You Can't Hold a Fistful of Sand

Well, alright then...PRELIMINARY election results are in! But please note: Somewhere around four thousand ballots have yet to be counted, people. So let's keep things...measured, shall we?

But, if percentages do not change, then the lights in the Clallam County courthouse will soon be dimming for Dim King Jim. Right now, he's down by less than a thousand votes - with the aforementioned four thousand ballots yet to count. So this is not a done deal by any measure, at least not until more ballots are counted. Still, it's got to be a blow to Dim King Jim's ego to know that so many of his subjects are ungrateful for all he's done for him, er, them...

Speaking of which, golly jeepers, Cherie Kidd finds herself in the position of barely fending off her (mostly non-competing) competitor, Dan Bateham. Is Cherie smart enough to see this as a fairly widespread NO CONFIDENCE vote in her? Nope! She'll just know she won, and leave it at that. Deep thoughts are a stranger to Cherie's bleached noggin...

Meanwhile, our own Marolee Smith has lost to Michael Meridith. Since no one seems to know much about the Mysterious Michael Meridith, even at this late date, perhaps now we can find out..?

And, over in the unopposed corner, Sissi Bruch has been reelected by a non-landslide. I say that because, if you look at the totals in the other two City Council races, you've got vote numbers in the neighborhood of twenty-four or twenty-five hundred. But Sissi managed to drum up fewer than eighteen hundred votes. That's a little bit of an undervote NO CONFIDENCE vote right there, as well...

Finally, remember that statistically speaking, it's likely that a majority of the (nearly four thousand) ballots left to be counted come from outside Port Angeles, which means that the City Council results and percentages are probably a lot less fluid at this point than the results and percentages for, say, County Commissioner.

So, no matter what, well done, Mr. Ozias. But I'm not ready to declare you the winner yet. Stay tuned...

Sunday, November 1, 2015

And the Winner is...

We're just days away from Election Day. Decisions will be made, fates will be sealed.

Will Dim King Jim's fake face of "fiscal conservatism" carry the day? Or will the desire of Mark Ozias to be a professional and responsible representative resonate with voters more?

Will Cherie Kidd once again be rewarded for her chipmunk cheerful idiocy? Or might the indecisive dark horse Dan Bateham pull ahead? Or will a loud cry of "NO THANKS" to both candidates be the popular position?

So many races, so many votes, and so few days left...What do you predict is going to happen?



Wednesday, October 28, 2015

17% of Ballots VS. 100% of Your Disdain

Turnout is low, low, low so far in the Clallam County elections - just 17% of ballots have been returned at this point. That may creep up into the 20s, but still, it's a shamefully low percentage for a participatory democracy.

Ah, but as so many elected leaders there have learned, in shame there is opportunity! So this is your opportunity to finally give Cherie Kidd the heave-ho. You could vote for her on again/off again opponent, Dan Bateham. You could write in Peter Ripley. You could vote for the Moldy Mattress. Or, you could simply write in "NO CONFIDENCE." But you should do something.

Send a message. Let Cherie and her ilk know they are embarrassments, not wanted, and, in the junior high perspective that Cherie sees the world through, not popular. Even if Dan Bateham doesn't get a majority of the vote, wouldn't it be nice to see Cherie fall below 50% of however many ballots come in?

Friday, October 23, 2015

Shooting Up, and Shooting Yourself in the Foot

OH WOW.

Thanks to Dale Wilson for sending some photos my way...Both are really shocking and depressing in their own way...

First up, when you've got junkies, junkies, junkies littering your community with (potentially hazardous) used syringes, who do you send in to clean those needles up?


That's right - you send the kids from your community to do it. Oh, wow. Wow! I mean, yeah, I get the idea of looping the issue of kids into the whole drug abuse discussion...But what kind of community sends their kids out to literally pick up used needles?

Oh yeah...The kind of community where the local Republican Party headquarters feels comfortable putting this in their window...

 
If a picture is worth a million words, then here are two million words summing up just how screwed up Port Angeles is.
 
Wow. Oh, wow...



Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Clallam County Crazy - Election Edition

Where to begin?

Well, I guess I'll just begin at the top - as in, the top of the PDN's homepage, which features a big ol' drop down ad urging readers to "Re-Elect Jim McEntire (R) - An effective, proven leader. Always putting you first!"

You gotta love that exclamation point at the end. It never hurts to put a little extra oomph into a lie, right Dim Jim? Frankly, I think the two sentences cancel each other out. I mean, yes, Dim King Jim has been an effective, proven leader - but only when it comes to putting himself first. Oops! I meant to say first!

Then, there's the news (which I'd already heard) about Dan Bateham - officially - jumping back into his own campaign for City Council. As you doubtlessly recall, Bateham signed up to run, then withdrew (nearly four months after the deadline to do so) without offering any sort of explanation. Then he talked a lot about how he'd serve if elected, but he wasn't running, even though he would be on the ballot. It was all messed up, message-wise.

And now, for whatever reason, Bateham is - officially - back. He says, "I'm in it for the people, and I'm in it to win." Which, frankly, is about as believable as Dim King Jim's slogan. If you're in it for the people, and you're in it to win, then you, uh, you know, don't drop out of the race. You might also do things like run a campaign, and show up at debates. You know, things that serious, credible candidates do.

PLEASE NOTE: None of this is intended to be a defense of, or advocacy for, the moronic Cherie Kidd, who is Bateham's on-again, off-again target. Cherie is a true-blue, 100% idiot and embarrassment. She makes Pat Downie look like Albert Einstein. The notion of getting rid of Cherie Kidd is both highly attractive and sensible. But...I'm just not sure that switching to a will he or won't he, can't commit guy like Bateham will be an actual improvement, governing-wise. It'd be a change, sure, but would it be a change for the better?

And speaking of the City Council...Don't forget their upcoming (Thursday) "forum" on fluoridation. It's sure to be a fair and balanced decision-making process. You betcha.

Finally, speaking of fair, or rather, air fares...Golly jeepers, there's a new airline a-comin' to town! They'll be flying five nine-seat flights a day. To hear the Port Commissioners talk, you'd think this was just about the swellest, peachiest news for months.

But, uh, the projections are that it will take three years for the flights to "go into profitability." And all of the incentives (giveaways and gimmicks) for those five daily flights between Port Angeles and Seattle will total around $400,000 a year. That's a whole lot of "incentives." (Is that a synonym for "bribe" now?) When you have to juice the engine that much, I have great doubts that it can or will actually run on its own.

So, let's see which lasts longer: The new air service, or the moldy mattress. Start your timers...Now!