Thursday, April 16, 2015

Eh

Sometimes, a headline really does tell the whole tale. Such is the case with the following headline:
 
Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce can't muster enough voters to reorganize, so it'll stay the same
 

So what if the Chamber has been a dismal failure? Whatever.
 
So what if it's clear the present model and leadership isn't working? Eh.
 
So what if it sends the worst possible signal that your organization doesn't even care enough to vote on its own future? Double eh.
 

Hell, COC members didn't even care enough to vote "no" to the reorganization. They couldn't muster even 15% of their members to vote. Since the ballots didn't come with a plate of shitty chicken and a sleep-inducing presentation, maybe they didn't know they were supposed to do something? Who knows? And who cares? Apparently not the members of the COC. You know, the ones who are Captains of Industry and Stewards of the Economy.
 
Meanwhile, Russ Venalmaw is all set to get his totally undeserved $42,000 golden parachute. Considering how little Russ has to show for his tenure - which is to say, nothing - that's a pretty big chunk of change to shell out just for the pleasure of having him leave.
 
Meanwhile, speaking of shells...How about that shell game with tax dollars to build the fabled composites recycling center? Basically all the parties are agreeing to waste, er, invest, their money if everyone else is.
 
Forget the suicide railings on the bridge; Port Angeles needs suicide railings at public meetings, to keep the people in charge of economic development from jumping into every hare-brained scheme and lunatic venture that passes by.
 

 

52 comments:

  1. Yes, indeed. I can sum up my reaction the that one headline in one word: PATHETIC.

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  2. Could it be they have been fudging their numbers for so long they don't have 75 members to act as the 15% of the 500 members they claim. Wonder how much they spent with the Irwin law firm to get those bylaws changed--all for nothing. Will this cause the city to wake up and quit using lodging tax money to prop up a chamber that will not support itself. The best thing to come out of this is for the board to finally realize Venema is a liability and should be sent on down the road AT ANY COST. Take a bunch of his board members with.

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  3. This active, involved and energetic Chamber is Russ Veenema's real legacy. He should be so proud. Heavens yes he's worth $42,000 as a bonus. Look at all the prosperity he has helped to create here.

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    1. wow, biting sarcasm. Yes, all hail "eeenema"

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  4. " Risks to the global financial system are rising once again eight years after the last crisis struck, a leading watchdog warned yesterday.
    The International Monetary Fund used its twice-yearly Global Financial Stability Report to issue a series of warnings about fragility around the world amid 'a moderate and uneven global economic recovery'.
    It highlighted the threat of higher interest rates in the US, a Greek exit from the eurozone, weakness among European banks, and wild swings on currency markets and in the oil price."

    Yet, the County Commissioners think having reserves for hard times ahead is a bad idea? The Port of Port is investing in a recycling project for materials produced hundreds of miles away?

    Is it any wonder the "Captains of Industry and Stewards of the Economy" are cautious? Is now the time to pretend all is well, and getting better?

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  5. The entire Port Angeles-based business community has "drilled home" the meaning of pathetic in the word apathetic.

    Quick!

    Get on the KiddPhone!

    This is obviously a job for SUPER CHERIE!

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    1. Is Cheri Kidd for real? I thought she was the evenings entertainment -- some kind of drag parody of what a "lady mayor" from Port Angeles might be like (as in lampooning. PA's version of Dame Edna). I am shocked that the mentally disadvantaged woman pretending to be a 50-something (60?) cheerleader with the really squeaky/screeching voice was really on the counsel and mayor.
      Imagine my surprise.

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    2. Here's perhaps the most laughable piece of Cherie Kidd's public resume, the one she always trots out when running for office...She claims to have been a "professional" motivational speaker.

      One: THAT VOICE. No way is that a voice that gets paid to speak.

      Two: Cherie is, even with notes, a TERRIBLE public speaker. She trips and stumbles over her own words, even when they are written down. Off the cuff she is even worse, going into circular verbal death spirals that crash and burn, taking Cherie down and her audience with her.

      Three: THAT VOICE. The only thing it will motivate people to do is laugh or leave.

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  6. Did anyone go to the All Call last night? I couldn't make it due to a conflicting meeting.

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    1. Yes. It was a nice event. About 50 people showed up.

      One of the more revealing comments was from Lee Whetham, who stood up to tell the assembled that he loves politics, and
      his real aspirations are to "go to Olympia". He realizes that city council and Port of Port are necessary "stepping stones" to get to Olympia. He said that you don't make any money as a city council member, but he admired how Derek Kilmer has been able to make politics a paying job at such a young age.

      No, I'm not making this up.

      Lee, yeah, you said that you learned you needed to have a thick skin to be in politics. It would be nice if you actually cared about the positions you run for, instead of openly saying you just see them as "stepping stones" in your goal to have a good paying job in Olympia.

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    2. If what you've said is at all accurate, Anon 6:56 PM, then...Wow. Sounds like Lee Whetham skipped the class where they teach politicians to say things like, "So I can better serve the people," and other sugar coatings.

      But no. He wants to make money, and you make more the higher the office. Thanks for being honest, Lee. Too bad you're being honest about what a greedy, manipulative jerk you are.

      I hope that Dale Wilson does a thorough and in-depth article about his own event. Sounds like there were some extremely quotable moments.

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    3. Please, PLEASE tell me there's audio of the event.

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    4. Yes, the whole event was recorded.

      Another gem from Lee was his statement that ALL the trees in Lincoln Park should be cut down, and replaced with low growing varieties, so that passenger service out of Port Angeles airport would resume.

      He also went on about supporting timber, timber, timber.

      The audio will be available soon.

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    5. go to youtube
      search for: open call for candidates
      9 of the 12 segments are already loaded
      final may be up tonight (thursday)

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    6. Get your own blog Port O' Crazy.

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    7. I think there is a video of the event.

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    8. The city managers that have come and gone all used PA as their stepping stones. Some not even bothering to move their families here. Its all about legacy building. Same with the college. Come here, get grants, build buildings, put their name on it, see ya. Next.The people who pretend to be public servants are really self serving and gaming the hand that feeds them.

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    9. At least he is honest about his reasons for running! You have to admire, even grudgingly, someone who is willing to stand up in front of people and say "Screw you, I just want to make more money. So vote for me!"

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    10. This timber touting bozo is the one that had the guts to run as a progressive? Amazing. Thanks again, Democratic Party of Clallam County. We're just really enjoying having Grant Munro Part Two on the City Council.

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  7. Wow.

    What most amazes me is that these people pay dues to belong to an organization that they clearly don't care about at all. People say Port Angeles is poor, but these Chamber members obviously have money to burn.

    Wow.

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    1. Yeah, but Veneema especially likes them and gives them his most special, devoted attention- including Chamber Awards! All the while, secretly referring to them as the PA Chamber's "Dues Paying - Brain Dead". Hey PA, lighten up, celebrate status quo!

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    2. One of Veenema's "Chamber Awards" went to Peninsula College President, Luke Robins. Robins received the "Member of the Year" award for penning a letter to the chamber suggesting they focus their attention on economic development. The only problem is, Veenema wrote the letter and had Robins sign it--then gave him an award for writing a letter that he didn't write. What a croc. The whole idea behind the letter was to trumpet the so called "Big Tent Event" which was merely a cover for Veenema to whipsaw the local business clubs to come under the tent of the chamber. Veenema thought he would consolidate all the energy of the chamber, PABA and the downtown association. Then they would all have to kiss the ring of Veenema if they wanted any attention paid to their projects. Instead what happened is the downtown association morphed into a junior chamber of commerce, set to absorb all the Main Street money as well as the parking money paid by the city. Of course the chamber and the downtown association are now "blood brothers" about to share offices and personnel. Also, take note, the new president of the downtown association is the son-in-law of Jim Haguewood, the daddy of ill fated Port Angeles United.
      PABA showed their good sense said a loud "no thanks" and now the membership of the chamber registered a resounding "ho-hum" and Veenema rides off into the sunset with a $40,000 separation bonus. I wish P. T. Barnum was alive I think he would list Port Angeles as proof of his famous adage, "There's a sucker born every minute." Sadly, most of our most prominent suckers wind up on city council. There to be mined by hucksters like Veenema, McEntire and the EDC. I propose a weekly car wash for the express purpose of paying Veenema's ransom early. Get him out of town as fast as possible and let us get a real chamber that can stand on its own two feet and not be wholly reliant on tax money. I don't know how many weeks the board would allow this in-your-face car wash to continue before they just passed the hat, bought out Veenema's contract and bid him a past due "Adieu."

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    3. chamber members don't have money to burn, the pressure "to join" is really ridiculous. And, if you don't join, you are reminded, repeatedly, by some of the lunks who just LOVE that chamber. It's crazy.

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  8. Hold on, so that's all it costs to get rid of Russ? We should have paid him off years ago, and sent him packing. How much will it cost to get rid of the other dead wood around this town? I see a potential GoFundMe campaign! I didn't know we could buy them off.
    Nice to see that the Chamber is showing how useless it is -- we have needed a good chamber around here for a decade (or two). I'm sure it will be manned by someone equally as inept (and connected) so, I won't get my hopes up anytime soon.
    What do they put in the water around here?

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    1. Karen Rogers is standing by. (Standing by the buffet, granted, but still, technically, standing by.) No reasonable offer refused!

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  9. It's so funny reading about the downfall of PA. I lucked out selling and bolting a few years ago. Unfortunately there a relatives left behind that are suffering. For that reason I continue to show any interest.

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    1. We're going to take back this town from the greed heads and the idiots.
      Sorry you wont be around to celebrate the rebirth of a wonderful city.
      I'm dug in and fully invested in a future in my new home town.
      "the whole world will stand aside for an idea who's time has come."

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    2. The candidate all call went well last night. About 50 people attended. The food was excellent. Carpenter's Hall is an excellent venue for such meetings.
      The speakers, including Judi Hangartner, who backed down the city on Smart Meters spoke, Edna Willadsen is all over the city on its use of consultants $2 million last year) and Tyler on how to take back your government. All were well informed and shared some great insights for dealing with the road ahead. We identified at least 3 potential candidates for city council. Maybe one for county commission and of course Lee Whetham dashed his chances for the port with a really unfortunate speech where he admitted he was on his way to Olympia but has to make stops at the city council and the port before heading off to Olympia. He also suggested clear cutting Lincoln Park just in case we have an airline in here sometime.
      He also, and I'm not making this up, he said the city would go into "drought measures" when the Elwha dries up. It's all on the video on youtube under "open call for candidates"
      Correction, the drought part is not on the youtube but was overheard he said it.

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    3. New mantra for PA, garbage in garbage out, you must be the garbage out. Heck you might of been one of our leaders!

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    4. "We will absolutely call the fire department once the house has burned down. Absolutely! To do otherwise would be irresponsible." - Lee Whetham on fire safety

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    5. Well, I listened to Lee Whetham's "speech" at work today, and came away less than impressed. He made one or two passes at platitudes about public service, but mostly he did seem to be clearing the way to get more trees (including ALL of Lincoln Park) cut down, and himself down to Olympia.

      The impression I got was that the audience was somehow supposed to view his personal ambition (to make more money via politics) as something like a virtue. He's a really bad speaker, even with notes, so it was all a little fuzzy. He also seems to think that if the City were to offer a health care plan for City Council members, then more people will run for office - especially those between 62 and 65 years old. He wants the public to support his floating this idea to the full Council, but, he doesn't seem to realize that his credibility there, and elsewhere, has been shot, due to his why-wait-to-finish-my-first-term desire to move on to yet another elected office.

      He also said that all races should be contested races, which is pretty funny when you consider that his "contested" race was no contest at all.

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  10. Here's an interesting thing - the Port has sent an email to local public agencies asking them to write a letter of support to the Port for bringing in air service again. You're supposed to fill in the blanks on how much your business has typically purchased in flights and if service were to be restored, how much your business CAN COMMIT to make all reasonable efforts to support the service and how critical it is.

    Let me point out that even at the standard IRS rate, an employee would earn about $140 in mileage to drive themselves to and from SeaTac for example. That's probably about what it costs to fly from Port Angeles to SeaTac. So do you think the employee is going to fly, where the company pays for the flight, or are they going to drive, where the company pays mileage to the employee?

    Again, if air service were being used enough to be financially viable, Kenmore and the other previous airlines, wouldn't have pulled out to begin with. Local business travel is not what's going to support an air carrier here.

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    1. Yes, bring the people, stop wrecking the local economy, create the need or market, THEN the air carriers will come. I mean, sure, you could buy a car for your three year old, but they aren't going to be ready to drive it for years. That's where Port Angeles is now. We need to learn to walk before we can fly, y'know?

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  11. Let's turn and get our house in order and then the airlines will be approaching us asking, "how much must we pay you to land at your airport." Then, and only then can we consider ourselves worthy of a robust airport. Just having a plane land periodically will not help the merchants in town. Work on the local economy and forget the fluff.

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    1. Exactly. We need to work on that elusive "quality of life" that cost us NOAA and God knows how many other businesses. We live in a beautiful, rich area... and yet Port Angeles collectively keeps missing the ball. Learn to catch the ball, then join the team.

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    2. What a crock of you KNOW what.
      Port Angeles is a cess pool, and this is just the latest turd in the pond.

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  12. Hey groovy kids, remember that the big Association rock 'n' roll show is tonight. Don't wreck the joint too much. Mom and dad expect you to be home by 11PM - no later!

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    1. Grampa McCrankypantsApril 17, 2015 at 7:15 PM

      Whoooo doggies! We got a gun show goin' on this weekend!

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    2. Anyone wanna take odds on how many "accidental" shootings happen?

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  13. Sounds like a frickin' war zone over Port Angeles, with all the helicopters flying around trying to protect that oil rig in the harbor!

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    1. From today's "Ripley Report":

      "Editorial Comment: To me it doesn't make sense to be protesting a oil rig for Pete's sake! I mean really, if their no oil there be no gas, no gas, no more planes, trains, power boats, or anything that uses fuel! We all be still using the horse and buggy routine."

      Well said, Peter!

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    2. See, this is why I can't read any local newspapers. I just want to go out, buy a red pen, and spend the rest of the afternoon copy editing... I don't consider myself a grammar Nazi, it takes a lot of mistakes to give me apoplexy, but the PDN, and even the Port o Call to a lesser extent, really pushes the boundaries of what I'm willing to let slide. And that? That quote there? That's about ready to send me into a coma...

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    3. LOLOL! THAT is really funny.

      And sad.

      One quarter of the worlds' countries get more than 90% of their electricity from non fossil fuel sources, and that figure is growing by the day.

      As was posted previously, even dirt poor Nicaragua will be 90 or 100% fossil fuel free in their electrical power generation in a few years. But the all powerful and leader in innovation, America?

      Think of high speed electric trains now being built all over the world. Electric cars.

      But, we face dried up Elwha and Dungeness Rivers by the end of this summer. Dried up wells on properties across Clallam county because the warmer weather and no snowpack.

      Wanna talk about economic impacts of climate change, Peter? Right here, right now.

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    4. This is not even close to being true. In fact, it is so far from the truth it is surreal. No industrial nation is 90% fossil fuel free. The closest is probably tiny Iceland, population 200K, an island built on top of a chain of volcanoes, the source of abundant geothermal power. Even Iceland is only about 80 to 85% fossil fuel free. Germany, which has made wind and solar power a huge priority, is about 30% free of oil and coal, but some of its renewable energy comes from biogas, a greenhouse gas contributor. The UK made a big push into biomass, another carbon dioxide producer, but it is still at least 80% dependent on oil and coal. It is now pulling back on biomass power generation, so its dependence on fossil fuel will grow over the next few years. China is over 90% dependent on fossil fuel, and they've got the smog to prove it. France leads the world among large, industrialized nations in the production of non-fossil fuel derived electricity. That's because they get 75% of their electricity from nuclear power. Yes, nuclear power, the devil incarnate to most of this blog's readers.

      Reading PA Unearthed is a bizarre experience. Much of the political commentary about the town is sharp, knowledgeable, and important, as well as well deserved. On the other hand, some of the claims and attitudes displayed here, on topics ranging from vaccination to power generation, are as outlandish as the attitudes of our alternate-reality political leaders.

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    5. Glad to be able to provide a bizarre experience. It comes with the territory, to be sure.

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    6. I guess Anon 5:40 knows more about these things than folks like, umm, The World Bank.

      "Oct 25, 2013 - By 2020, Nicaragua expects to produce 90% of its energy from clean, safe sources."

      Because a country has ways to produce electricity free of fossil fuels doesn't mean they don't still use oil or fossil fuels. But unlike America, they are making the elimination of fossil fuels a high priority. Oil continues to be the top export of the US, despite it's claims to be concerned about climate change.

      And, we in Clallam County and Port Angeles, like those in California may well experience the impacts personally this fall. With only 3% of normal snow pack up in the hills, and warm weather, the water situation could get real serious.

      If the ground water level drops severely because there is no recharge, and wells around the county go dry, what will people do? What will their houses be worth?

      "Not even close to being true"? You just keep saying that.

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  14. I think the Horse and Buggy Routine is coming soon to the JFFA...Or possibly the Lincoln Theater.

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  15. Volunteer copy-editors need only apply.

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