Friday, May 15, 2015

Sorting the Crooks from the Nuts

Well, alright then...Here's what we have to work with. Filing is closed, and people have signed up. Some have been discussed here previously (like Shan Pak), and some have been mentioned here previously (like kooky Connie Beauvais), and some I have never, ever heard anything about.

So, while I sort out my information, and do my own sleuthing, feel free to pitch in with whatever you might know. Below I'll start some individual discussions for various people and positions...


  1. Let's start with Dan Bateham, who is running against Cherie Kidd. IF nothing else, let's have a little sympathy for Mr. Bateham, who will have to listen to Cherie prattle on in that awful, screechy voice of hers during debates.

    1. Yes, let us extend our sympathies in advance to Mr. Bateman.

      Looking forward to hearing his views on things.

    2. Just so long as he doesn't say, "It's another GREAT day in Port Angeles!" Never. Ever.

    3. Well, okay...So I just watched Dan Bateham's YouTube video announcing his candidacy, and all I can say is...underwhelming. It's short, which is a plus, but the comically shaky handheld camerawork is totally avoidable, and all Mr. Bateham has to say is cliché after cliché after platitude after platitude. "Broken status quo." "Take back our (fill in the blank)." "Our children." He directs you to check out his campaign website, which I did: It is "Under construction." Again, this is a totally avoidable blunder. So, at first pass, Mr. Bateham offers nothing, not one specific thing, for anyone to chew on or think about.

      But, of course, neither does Cherie Kidd. She is an idiot. So Mr. Bateham has an inherent advantage, even given his (literally) shaky introduction. Still, it's dismaying that, in this day and age, people don't know that you can't run an insurgent campaign on simple, one-size-fits-all clichés.

      Come on, Mr. Bateham, step up and speak out. Get your act together, sir. WE ALL KNOW THE STATUS QUO IS BROKEN. What do you propose to do about it? Simply not being Cherie Kidd is not enough. (Or shouldn't be, anyway...)

    4. The full text from Dan Bateham's website:

      "Dan Bateham for Port Angeles City Council

      This website is under construction.

      Please check back soon."

    5. come on CK, give a guy a chance. It is too soon to start harping on what people do or don't do. I really think that a few people weren't really PLANNING on running, and waited until the last minute to jump in.
      Can't blame anyone for not being picture perfect from the starting gate.
      I'd rather see someone not quite ready -- because that TELLS ME they aren't political animals, which is what we really want, right?
      Give it a week, then decide.

    6. I completely agree. Mr. Bateham, get to work. Please show us you are viable.

    7. If you're going to run, you should have your basic website ready from the moment you file. That was poor form.

    8. So where is Shan Pak's website? Where is Michael Merideth's? Can't go after one guy, if you don't go after all of them.
      I thought Shan was a "computer guy" (not that you can find him working anywhere but Oracle, which is known for unmotivated and lazy programmers and managers).

    9. If you're going to file, file.

      If you're going to have a website, don't announce it until it's actually up and running.

      If you're going to upload a video to youtube, buy a tripod.

      In other words, do things right, so that we, the voters, can see that you do things right. Anyone can say they're running, anyone can say they're going to be putting together a website. But we're extremely wary here. We've had lies and incompetence for too long to trust easily.

      So please, new candidates, please, put some thought into your campaigns. Thoroughly planning always beats overpromising. Yes, we don't like the people who are in there now. But we need to have more to cling to than you aren't one of the current idiots. We need to know that you are not, in fact, an idiot at all.

      So, kudos to Marolee Smith both for signing up to run, and having her website up and going when she did so.

    10. Not having a website is better than having one "under construction" or poorly executed. You can kep your site unpublished until it's ready.

    11. Yeah, I can see that. Shan obviously is lazy and unmotivated. You can see that really easily by the way he jumped right into running for office in a town he moved into only 2 years ago. Offering his skills to try to make things better. Clearly the hallmark of a lazy and unmotivated person.

      Unlike the rest of this town, who demonstrates how engaged and motivated they all are by staying home, and doing nothing but gripe at others.

    12. anon 8:23,
      I don't actually KNOW if someone can fully understand the nuances and history of what is PA, or what the rest of us are bitching about after only 2 years here. That's almost still the honeymoon phase, isn't it? I know after 2 years here I thought the place odd, quirky, perhaps, but not the cesspool of incestuous nepotism that it is. It is difficult, upon first glance, to sort out the connections, the little cliques, the backbiting, back stabbing, and the innuendo. Takes a few years to get the hang of how f*d-up this area is -- as in legacy f*d-up.
      I don't know what Mr. Pak's offering, as I haven't heard anything out of him. Do you know?
      He's just a name, and a guy who said almost nothing on the only link (PortOCall) that I can find.
      Why in the heck does a "computer guy" have a yahoo email address. I thought Yahoo (and AOL) were reserved for nooobs..

  2. As we've known for some time, Shan Pak is running for City Council as well. Now he has company: Michael Merideth and Marolee Smith.

    1. Kudos to you, CK, for being one of the catalysts in getting some new people to run. Now we just have to see how it all plays out...

    2. I haven't been able to find much information on Michael Meredith. Hopefully some of you can offer something for us to consider.

      In the meantime, my internal search feedback shows that more people have come to this blog by searching for "shan pak's wife port angeles" than have gotten here by simply searching for "shan pak port angeles." This is a red flag for Shan Pak, if he wishes to acknowledge it. He is doubtlessly a smart guy, but he also undoubtedly comes with baggage.

    3. My concern is that he hasn't been IN town long enough to know much about this town. Would be a patsy for the way things have been without knowing the players, the history, or the decidedly odd slant this town has.
      Plus, what would possibly make anyone move to town and immediately run in the first city council election that comes up?

    4. Anon 9:46 AM:

      As has been mentioned here before, it sure seems like Shan Pak is a doomsday scenario personality. He has said that he moved here because he wanted to "be close to a National Park," with hints of survivalist reasons for wanting to be so close to big, undeveloped chunks of land. Coupled with his wife's "career" as an anti-vaccine activist, it doesn't seem difficult to believe they both have some, shall we say, less than mainstream views, coming from a suspicion of governing authorities.

      Now, having a suspicion of governing authorities is pretty appropriate for Clallam County, I'll grant you. But I don't know that we'd benefit from having some sort of conspiracy theorist, doomsday type on the city council. We need council members who can actively work with the state and federal governments, not just warn us about their vaccines and black helicopters.

    5. Anon 10:56

      I'm not going to pretend to know how Mr. Pak views things, or attempt to influence other's views until HE lets us all know how he views things.

      But, as much as I agree we won't be well served by doomsday conspiracy types, I think a healthy skepticism of the the established system, it's players and approaches is very much needed.

      Look around. Does anybody think things are going well, in any context? Wages? Education? Environment? Public policy? Justice system? Representative government? Etc, etc, etc?

      As the person posted below about the governor's drought declaration, they just talked in platitudes and "government speak". How is that getting things solved?

      We desperately need to look at all this differently. What we've been doing, to get us to where we are now, is definitely not working.

  3. Meanwhile, Sissi Bruch, who tried to jump ship, is running unopposed, in classic Port Angeles style. Does this represent satisfaction with her, or just a lack of people willing to run for office?

    1. Too bad she's unopposed.

      If you wish to send a clear message of your dissatisfaction with her, check the "write-in" box and write "No Confidence" in the space provided. If enough of us do this it will lower her "winning" percentage significantly.

    2. I'm satisfied with Sissi. If we could get her some help on city council we might move this rusting hulk forward.

    3. I can see why we should trash the only person with actual, relevant skills and credentials. The only person who actually asks intelligent questions. Oh? She wasn't able to turn things around single-handedly?

      Yeah, dish the dirt. Let's see how bad we can make life be for her.



    5. Well, since we have a plethora of people running they must be satisfied with Sissi running unopposed. Sissi is the only intelligent person on the city council and she needs help. Let's dump the ditzy blond and maybe we can push the envelope and get rid of half the mid level staff that do nothing but draw obscene paychecks with no value added.

    6. Well. she hasn't used those "actual, relevant skills" much, has she? Is she that timid?

    7. I'm not at all convinced that Sissi would go along with a wholesale firing of staff members. I fear she's too kind hearted and liberal to support such drastic action, no matter how necessary. I think she'd want to give everyone a chance to "change" or "grow" or something like that. I could be wrong, but....

    8. @ Anon 6:01 Have you actually attended City Council meetings to see what Sissi does?

      Had you attended the last, for example, you would have seen her pushing staff and other council members on land use and planning issues, exposing how staff was bending and not enforcing rules for the hospital, and more.

      Of course, she was not supported by the other clowns. In fact, Gase outright said something to the effect that the hospital is a big employer, so they should be able to do what they want. Why have planning?

      She was the only council member to speak to the issues. The rest just rubber stamped what staff put in front of them.

    9. Yes, Sissi seems to have some clue, but she has been marginalized. Lets face it, she's an idealist, and idealists often expect things to always go smoothly, with no problems. They tend to not also be fighters. Maybe if we can elect two new people to support her on the council..... people?

    10. Not that it matters, since she's running unopposed, but...I am disappointed in Sissi. As 9:49 am says, she's not a fighter. In fact, she's so much NOT a fighter, she often seems willing to "cooperate" us further into the hole.

      So, Sissi, if you're reading this, please, SPEAK UP LOUD AND CLEAR about the failings of the council you're a part of. You will come off better if you don't try to paper over the many, many deficiencies there are in City Hall. Be a little angry about how backwards things are. Be embarrassed by the waste and the thoughtless decisions. Name names if need be. But please, PLEASE, do actually SPEAK UP and STAND Up for the things you believe in during the campaign.


    11. Amen, anony 2:06

  4. Dim King Jim had already drawn a Democratic opponent earlier this week. Now he has two Democratic opponents, with Bryan D. Frazier (of Carlsborg) jumping into the fray alongside Mark Ozias of Sequim. At first glance, this looks suspiciously like the recent Democratic attempt to split the vote and throw the race to Mike Chapman routine. At the very least, it sure looks like the Democrats still don't talk amongst themselves. Hmmm...

    1. Here there seems to be a more recent picture of Mr. Ozias. Doesn't look like a "long hair".

    2. I well realize he is no longer a long hair, but I also realize that that will be the image Dim King Jim will push out (over and over again) to try and scare people. "Look! The hippies is a-comin'!"

    3. And finally, I read the "profile" of Bryan Frazier on the Port O Call website, and it too was pretty detail deficient. It didn't give me a clear sense of what he does for a living, or what he (specifically) would like to see done differently.

      Call me a doom sayer if you like, but, I see trouble with this two-to-one primary. It will, to some extent, divide the Democrats, and waste time, energy and resources that all could have gone into a unified general election campaign to dethrone Dim King Jim. But right now, with what I can see, I'd give the advantage to Dim Jim. He knows how to fight dirty, and how to win an election - by fighting dirty. History shows us that the Democrats mainly keep their dirty fighting internal.

    4. Yes. I think your assessment of the situation is right on target. One of the two Dems should quit real soon, if they really care about getting rid of Jim.

    5. Actually the Democrats could build up their ground game and knock McEntire out of the race in the primary. If the two top vote recipients in the primary are Democrats then you will have only Democrats in the general election. Of course this would require a lot of work and Democrats are not too fond of this "retail" manner of campaigns. They would rather sit in their easy chair and write checks to the sacrficial lambs. If these two guys go out and suck up all the oxygen in the community McEntire could be retired by August.

    6. Okay, Anonymous 12:10 PM...Let's play this out with numbers in front of us.

      It's a three-way race, and the top two advance to the general election. Right?

      So, to get to what you're talking about, let's say each Democrat gets 35% of the vote, for a Democratic total of 70%, leaving Dim King Jim with 30% and third place - and booted out of the general election. It would need to play out something like this, right?

      And it would need to play out something like this in primary in a county that is pretty evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. Which means that a LOT of the votes those two Democratic candidates would have to get would be Republican votes. A LOT of them. Does that REALLY seem likely to you?


      It seems highly unlikely to me. Now, I could see the Republicans being kind of complacent or disinterested in the primary, because their guy is in there no matter what, there's only one Republican candidate, etc. In a scenario like that, I could potentially see a very active and very lucky Democratic Party capturing, say, 60% of the primary vote collectively.

      But that would still leave Dim King Jim with 40%, which would put him in the top two, and move him right on into the general election. And, mind you, he won't have to spend a cent or break a sweat during the primary, either, He can save his energy and resources (and those of his supporters) to go 100% into the general election.

      Now, having said all that, please do feel free to prove me wrong - even hypothetically. I just don't see what you're proposing being anything other than the wildest and longest of longshots. But feel free to prove me wrong. Maybe there's something I'm missing.

    7. I'll just cut and paste the comment from above: Yes. I think your assessment of the situation is right on target. One of the two Dems should quit real soon, if they really care about getting rid of Jim.

    8. I notice that Anon 12:10 hasn't responded yet...

    9. Jim McEntire is laugh, laugh, laughing at his opponents. He's sharp enough to know what a split primary means; it will divide and conquer his competition for him.

      Stupid, stupid Democrats.

    10. No one said it would be a cake-walk. The dems would have to mount a monumental ground game in the primary. Catch dim jim napping. Some of these real conservatives would vomit if they knew how rapidly dim jim is spending their tax money. Think of the time and money saved by defeating him in one district without having to go county wide in the general. Less postage, less shoe leather. district one is much more manageable than a county wide race.

    11. Brian is a loose cannon - I've seen him actually show up at public meetings with his sidearm - making sure he exposes it to let everyone know he has it. If he has napoleon syndrome I sure don't want to see him in office.

    12. Anonymous 8:24 AM - Since you can't spell Bryan's name correctly, even though it's right there above this, I'm just saying that I am having less than 100% confidence in your reporting. But I let your comment through just in case - and just so I could add this caveat. Others can feel free to weigh in...

    13. CK - you are correct on the spelling of his name. That's how little time I want to invest in thinking about him - I just typed a comment out of pure emotion - it really appalled me to see that occur and I don't want to see that kind of aggression and entitlement attitude in office.

    14. Hey Anonymous 8:55 AM - Thanks for writing in again. Believe it or not, I've been thinking about my comment to you today, and hoping it didn't come off as too bitchy. The Devil is in the details, and too often, all the little devils in charge of things in Clallam County get to ignore all details, and all accountability. This blog tries to push both right back at them.

    15. CK - totally cool. I just saw it as challenging which I understand - and I appreciate that you try to dig into facts. It's complacency that gets us into trouble.

    16. Ck and Anon, If you want to know more about me and my platform just ask, my e-mail and phone number are listed in my filing. At the time of my filing I/we (the people who pressed me to run) were not aware that there was someone else that had filed and were not told until the next day.

      You think I have a "Napoleon syndrome" because I actually attend the meetings and hearings "armed" with statutes and facts to push back on these commissioners with their own documents and statements. I have been asked to speak for the community that I live in by the citizens who feel ignored by our so called leaders.

      If you were in attendance at the hearings on May 12, 2015, June 23, 2015 you would have seen and heard the testimony I offered along with others that prompted the commissioners to ultimately withdraw the agenda and budget of June 23rd for financial review and eventually the grant warrants to the Port and City of Port Angeles on June 30th. I met with Mr. Nichols on June 25, 2015 to discuss some of the issues and point out some of the deficiencies in what the commissioners were doing.

      It would appear that you take issue with anyone who would dare to question the commissioners and their actions and who actually comes prepared to debate and stand up for the people of Clallam County while you hide behind Anonymous, CK and criticize.
      It's not "aggression and entitlement" when I'm looking out for the good of the county and the citizens while the commissioners are looting our tax dollars for "undesignated projects", improperly awarded grants, blank (no description) expenditures and so called "budget emergencies".

      And as to my "side arm"? I don't know who you were looking at or mistook for me, the only thing I come to the meetings armed with is topic documentation and a cell phone. The only person I ever see in the meeting room with a "side arm" is the Sheriff.

      You want to know me, then contact me or (360) 683-4424 let's talk. You can also check out my website for more information.

  5. Then there's the Port...Where Lee Whetham hopes to set sail for Olympia...Where Connie Beauvais wants to play some new water sports...And now Rick (Doc) Robinson from PA and Michael Breidenbach from Forks have jumped in as well. As rotten as things are in City Hall and the County Courthouse, let's not forget the deep, deep history of sleaze and slime at the Port. Scrutinize these folks with extra attention to detail. (You know, the kind the PDN won't even come close to...)

    1. This race features so many less-than qualified people - even holding my nose doesn't work. Robinson intrigues me if for no other reason than there is logic to his answers. Anyone finding anything here of note? general...are places for people to grind their special axes and fill their pockets in some way or other - including holding the position.

  6. I imagine the local dems are in a state of disarray as a member of their leadership is out of action.

    1. As if the Democrats have leadership...

  7. Will Payne, recently defeated County Prosecuting Attorney, is running for school board in Sequim. He is a current board member's friend and attorney. Said board member recently had Payne and a Sequim City Police officer in attendance at a school board meeting to protect him from a wronged husband, whose wife said board member had been said to accompany on out of town hush hush trips.

  8. CK,
    I'm Marolee Smith. You can find more information about me at
    I've been a long time follower of your blog. In fact, credit you with pushing me over the edge and into the pool.
    Thanks, CK

    1. I checked it out, people. There's a website there, it's not a spamarific trap. So hello, Marolee, and thanks for the shout out, and for participating.

      Now, having said that, and having outed yourself as posting here, beware of others who may try to post here as you. And beware of those who, well, hell, in Port Angeles, just beware, okay?

    2. Thanks CK. I don't care. I'll beware, but not too concerned.
      Let other people post as me.
      Heck, let them come over and do my dishes, as me.
      Lets just see what happens...should be an adventure, right?

  9. CK, you can probably put me in the NUT category.

  10. Apparently there are black helicopters over Tom Harper's place! He wants to know what the candidates are going to do about it!

    1. at least they aren't drones.

    2. They'll go well with the black and white patrol cars he's been in the backseat of so regularly.

    3. Gosh, it's just so nice to see that wife beater SO concerned about his community.

      Except for his wife.

  11. Watched the Governors' Drought Declaration press conference, last night. He had the head of the Dept of Ecology, the head of Health and Human Services, the head of Dept of Natural Resources, and of Fish and Game.

    They proudly talked about how they are managing water resources so well. Even used the Dungeness River as an example. How they were buying water rights from farmers so that the water would "stay in the river for the fish".

    So much government speak.

    The lady from Health and Human services told reporters how her department was giving places like the Olympic Peninsula that have no water storage reservoirs "tools" so that they can "manage their resources".

    The guy from Fish and Game talked about how they would dig emergency channels in stream beds so that salmon could get up tributaries to spawn. Like they did before.

    Uh, what does that all mean, when there is NO water in the streams, tributaries, or rivers?

    Late in the summer, how are we going to put fires out?

    This isn't like "before".

    They've labeled this "The Snow Pack Drought". How catchy.

    As these candidates stake out their platforms, it will be interesting to see what people want to talk about as the dry season turns into election time in the fall.

    1. Nippon's water rates.

      They pay nothing, while half the city's residents can't afford to pay their utility bills.

      Let's start that discussion.

    2. If you went to the last city council meeting you'd find out that our illustrious (not) Mayor was shocked to hear that there weren't meters at Nippon.
      What rock has he been living under?

  12. Did we learn anything yesterday?

    That cruise ship came, and left. The PDN story tried hard to put a positive spin on it, but the picture showing bundled up people set the tone. Then, sentences saying "few parcels were seen being carried.." and the bus tour guy saying fewer people were interested in tours, than last year.

    Get a clue. The downtown boosters think Port Angeles is just so wonderful. Once again, as with the hundreds who get off the Coho ferry every day, who also get dropped off in the center of downtown Port Angeles demonstrate, virtually none are interested in what the down town merchants want to sell.

    Candidates, without a doubt, will speak about how Port Angeles needs to be revitalized. Undoubtedly, they will attend meetings with the local business associations in town, as they promote their candidacy. Are any of them offering any real solutions? Clearly, the existing groups are not doing a very good job of revitalizing the down town.

    Most towns would do anything to have hundreds and thousands of visitors dropped into their downtown, every day. But the groups here, year after year, after year, don't seem to ever figure out what to do with all the visitors. The visitors find the fastest way out of town. Or, don't bother getting off the cruise ship when it docks in Port Angeles.

    So, candidates. What do you suggest?

    1. If you were at the last city council meeting, you would have watched Cherie Kidd and the rest of the council fawn all over the "new" PADA and Revitalize Port Angeles folks. The council member told them both what a great job they were doing. We can see the existing council is completely satisfied with total failure.

      The sidewalks are STILL empty.

    2. Yeah, that article, despite the attempt to make it a little kooky and upbeat, really reflected a town that is not ready for visitors. Oh! Look! Some "antique" shops! How "quaint." Now, can we get a tour bus out of here to someplace worth seeing?

      Except that even fewer of them even did that...Word must be spreading: Stay on the boat.

    3. In response to; So candidates, What do you suggest?

      For too long our elected county official have failed to represent us, the citizens, the very same people who elected them and they have ignored our concerns.

      I have been witness as they hold public hearings on issues that affect our quality of life and financial stability only as their “legal obligation” having already made their decisions out of the public view.

      We must first eliminate the status quo, no more voting for old familiar names or those who are endorsed or picked by elected officials. No more musical chairs from commission to commission, board to board or council to council, making recommendations, switching seats and approving their own recommendations.

      While those of us out here are striving to create an open and accountable government and are pushing for public access and more public involvement, the commissioners and especially Jim McEntire are busy in the back room attempting to re-write the county policies and codes to fit their agenda of mass spending with zero return on the dollar and eliminating as much public involvement as they can.

      We must involve the public and their feedback as to their vision for the city and the county and attempt to realize a unified vision. What do you/they want to see? What do you feel are the needs of the city and county?

      Port Angeles really isn't "The Best Town Ever", it is dying a slow agonizing death due to the lack of leadership and the status quo vision that they have had for decades, serving only the few who have been in control and who are afraid of losing that control. We need fresh blood and fresh ideas.


    4. The county and the city seem bound to block any new businesses that would create living wage employment, as McEntire stated in an EDC council meeting "we must be careful of what types of businesses we allow in, if they pay more then they will take away your employees."

      How is this being responsible to the citizens?

      Our unemployment; there are job vacancies in Clallam County that go unfilled due to lack of skilled labor. ACTI needs people with the necessary skills in carbon fiber technology and the CRT would directly compete for those employees.

      Platypus Marine needs skilled finish carpenters, fiberglass layup, welders and cabinet makers. These positions need to be filled locally so they don't have to import people to do the job on a job by job basis. We need to have internships and apprenticeship programs in our local schools and businesses to aid in the training and employment of our young people. These are only a couple of examples, there are more.

      As for tourism, there is the issue of the Aerial Tram from downtown PA to Hurricane Ridge with all the associated amenities. The project would create temporary construction jobs at first, then there would be the permanent jobs year round for operations. This project could entice people from the cruise ships to disembark, actually spend a few dollars and have fund doing it. In addition it could lower our carbon footprint in the park while bringing in more visitors and get more people downtown.

      Do we need passenger ferry service? With only two ways off the peninsula, I feel that we do have a need for ferry service. It could serve a two fold purpose to transport people and possibly goods to the metropolitan areas and their ports. As it is now our port is under utilized
      and running at a deficit.

      We need to re-route the truck traffic from downtown, it would decrease traffic congestion and noise and would make downtown more amenable for foot traffic. But, what is there downtown now to attract people? Without a unified vision of what the area should look like instead of the mash it is now we will never be able to attract people there to spend their hard earned income. This is where public input come into play.

      Downtown is the foyer to Port Angeles and Clallam County and should be a place styled for your favorite things, real antique shops, local crafts and art, local baked goods and clothing lines, local specialty restaurants with unique food items and heck maybe even a real logging museum with the old locomotive out front instead of where it is now where no one can see it. For god sake, clean up downtown and settle on a cohesive theme and plan.

      There is so much to do and undo. The question is, where do we start?

      I believe we start with ending the status quo and bring in some new people and new ideas, really get the public involved and tap that resource for direction and unity.

  13. 12:07 -- you said "So, candidates. What do you suggest? "

    It's a big subject. We've had this blockage of communication in town for so long, it's like a big soap-scum-and-hair-ball stuck in the drain. I don't think there is one, easy answer. I don't think there is one BIG answer. It's a multitude of little questions and answers and opinions, and probably a few arguments.

    Opening communication is, certainly, the way to start. I don't see that anyone has asked me -- as a citizen of Port Angeles, or as a business owner. I get told what to do a lot, but never get asked anything.

    Creativity doesn't come from nonsensical platitudes. We need to air our frustrations and let THE NEGATIVE in the mix.

    I'm sick to death of the happy talk that keeps getting foisted on me. I'm a failed downtown merchant (lost my trousers in that deal). I've been here long enough that most things I hear just make me roll my eyes and sigh (loudly). How do we get visitors downtown? Heck, how do we get the RESIDENTS of town, downtown?

    What do 20-somethings; 30-somethings; 40-somethings want? This town has a population of various age groups. Represent your group -- what kind of events would you like to go to?

    I don't know what we expected from a bunch of retirees on an off-season, budget cruise. (average age of a cruise ship passenger is 50+, average income for these west-coast budget cruises is $40k. A very different demographic from the bigger money Caribbean cruises.)

    We aren't talking about a lot of spendable money passengers. Chances are,they blew their wad on the cruise ($70-300 a day is pretty costly for a lot of people).

    (Note, these ships docking aren't the "party ships" nor are they the "family friendly cruises" which cater to a younger, better heeled passengers. Cruise ships are not all alike.)

    There are a number of studies, white papers and books that have tried to identify what cruise ship passengers spend while in port. The average (as of the last large scale survey that I could locate online) for short-duration, budget, off-season was under $40.00 dollars per port. (Not the $300-700 per port that is promoted by one Australian study.) How close did WE come to that $40 buck mark?

    Factors that lowered that number were how the ship docked (alongside or on anchorage); weather; and if the port stop is early in the trip, or late (later in the trip the passengers are thinking about how much they've already spent).

    I don't have any of that data, and, I'm sure our own Chamber, or PADA, or PABA could have done a dockside survey (but probably didn't), and without more data, your guess, would be as good as mine as to how much this really benefited town v.s. the effort made to 'greet' the ship.

    The subject of "what to do" is pretty deep. I think there are a lot of little questions and answers, first, way before there is one big one. First, we need to unify our town.

    1. I'll just say that, in my opinion, and in my experience, trying to keep "the negative" out of discussions doesn't make for a "positive" conversation - it just makes more negativity, in the form of frustration. So, yes, by all means, let's have a full-spectrum discussion. Like the song says, "Anger is an energy." Use that energy, make it work to push some truth to be exposed and some needed change to happen.

    2. Hey Marolee, I want to thank you for posting your thoughts about all this. Seems to be a pretty frank, and accurate assessment.

      I agree with you about getting as much of the community unified behind a goal. You'll never get 100%, of course, but the way things are and have been, well, we see the results every day.

      And YES about the happy talk. Like the silly so-called contest the Revitalize Folks are still all giddy about. Voting yourself "The Best Ever" doesn't really amount to much, other than demonstrate how really desperate and dumb one is.

      Your realism is refreshing.

    3. anony 9:17
      Thanks for the kind words. They are very welcome right now.

      Let me be very honest: I have no idea what I am doing.

      I decided to run because I couldn't take it anymore.

      But, today, I spent all day wondering if I should withdraw and slink back under my rock. (The deadline wast 4:30 today.)

      What kept me going: my curiosity about how city finances seem wildly out of control. I can't understand, or get any answers, as to how our city council can keep passing so many "emergency" "surprise" "gotta have it now" items. Every meeting something new, and every meeting no matter how I try and keep up, make sense of it -- I am completely in the dark. Baffled. WTF?

      Whats the point of a budget if everything happens outside of it?

      The citizens of this town shouldn't be looked at as an endless pit of gold for the city to mine. A little here, a little there -- death by a thousand paper cuts. (Or, more appropriately, death by a thousand mosquitoes because all I hear is a lot of buzzing and sucking.)

      And, yes, I have wondered if I'll get run out of town for attempting this.

      (I'm not going to think about that.)

      I'm going to pretend that I am on the back of the bucking bull and see if I can hang on for the full 8 seconds.

      ( p.s. I can use all the help I can get).

    4. "I don't think there is one, easy answer. I don't think there is one BIG answer. It's a multitude of little questions and answers and opinions, and probably a few arguments."

      Well, honestly, that's one of the most realistic statements I've heard from a local candidate. It really seems like our attitude is largely looking for a large-scale savior. I've heard Microsoft mentioned a few times, as if Microsoft would actually open a branch here. Seems like everyone has a "big solution" (that someone else needs to work on, of course)... The reality is Port Angeles has a wide variety of problems of all sizes, and our solutions are also going to come in a variety of sizes. The road out of this is going to be long and difficult, and I honestly might not live long enough to see the end of it. Waiting for a white knight, or empty promises, isn't going to get us anywhere... it hasn't gotten us anywhere.

  14. junque shops are not "antique shops" and...what are cruise ship people to do? Buy a table or lamp and haul it into their tiny stateroom?
    I'm sure various tour operators did marginally better than anyone else. The bars may have had an uptick in business. (Not food, because food it free on the ship.)
    The smart money would have had a direct shuttle bus to the liquor store, or to Costco. (Because booze costs way too much on the boat, and most people who cruise just want to stay drunk for the duration.)
    So, what ship was it? American Spirit...with the "7 day Puget Sound" cruise? We're on the tail end of that cruise day 5 of 7 on a ship that "features" whale watching, by the way.
    The trip: Seattle, San Juan Islands (no stops), Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Victoria BC/Port Angeles (two stops one day); Port Townsend; Poulsbo; return to Seattle.
    According to the ships website for day #5: "The only Canadian town on our cruise is Victoria. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day on a guided tour through the magnificent Butchart gardens and lively waterfront. The tour begins from our berth in Port Angeles, a town that includes a tour to Hurricane Ridge with vast views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and deep into the mountainous wilderness of Olympic National Forest". When the brochure says "includes a tour of..." does that mean, it's inclusive (paid for by the cruise line)? So, morning trip to the Ridge, and then onto Victoria?
    In other words -- they stop here, then go to Victoria, where they traipse around the Butchart Gardens.
    Lets see,if I were a passenger...would I spend my money here, or there? Would I rather sleep in and then do the Victoria thing? What incentive do I have to spend any money at all?
    This is a spend-thrift group. I think we'd be lucky if we got $5 smackarooos out of 10% of them.
    If this weren't the only ship, and we could snag a few of the bigger cruisers, then it's a whole different story. But, there aren't even any reviews of Port Angeles online (on the cruise ship blogs), and the reviews on TripAdvisor are dreadful.
    As for the over-hyped b.s., who bought that nonsense? What did we expect? Lets stop being such dreamers. What in the hell is wrong with our Chamber of Commerce? What are they smoking?

  15. ATTENTION CANDIDATES: Please send me an email if you'd be willing to answer a few "official" questions, and have your answers posted here...It will be kind of a written interview, brief and not too painful. You'll be talking to a few hundred of your fellow community members - and they seem the types who are motivated to vote.

    And, yes, sure, this invitation is even extended to Cherie Kidd. Cherie - drop me a note.

  16. FYI: Someone wound up at this blog by searching for the term, "abandon all hope earth."

    No, I am not making this up. Take it for whatever it's worth...

  17. Port Angeles City Council, umm, I mean the clown council meeting this evening was culminated in Deputy Mayor Downie displaying both disgusting cronyism, and ignorance.

    After a completely and typically contrived "staff report", Dumbo Deputy Dawg Downie made every effort NOT to allow the interested public to comment. A consultant was brought in by telephone hook up, and an off topic power point tried to twist the issues involving community access to television channels in the existing contract. A contract in effect for the last 13 years, but city staff has done nothing to enforce. Clearly, staff spent a lot of money on tonight's presentation.

    Sissi urged the city to do everything possible to get the public to be able to take advantage of the provisions already agreed to. Lee Wetham agreed, adding the city should go out and buy $60,000 in broadcasting equipment with the funds already set aside in the old contract, "before that money evaporates".

    Dale Wilson, who has brought the whole issue up to the city in recent months, stood patiently at the podium for 10 or 15 minutes, being ignored by the council. Eventually, Dumbo Deputy Dawg Downie started a marginally coherent statement about how the item being discussed was not an advertised public hearing, and that the public had an opportunity to address the council at the beginning of the meeting. Never mind the topic of public interest, brought to the city's attention BY the public, was scheduled as the last item on the agenda.

    Earlier, as the council jumped around with agenda items, Dumbo Ditzy Downie proclaimed "I'm Mayor tonight, I can do what ever I want". Obviously, enabling the council to hear from interested citizens was not one of them.

    So, the moron who played mayor this evening would not let Dale Wilson speak to the issue. Cherie Kidd mouthed her disdain at Mr. Wilson's efforts, and Dan Gase joined in, saying "The Council's long standing policy has been not to let people speak to issues that were not advertised public hearings".

    Never mind that Mr. Wilson brought the issue to the city's attention for review. Never mind that Mr. Wilson had the most professional qualifications, in broadcast journalism, in the entire room. Never mind that council members routinely invite members of the audience THEY LIKE to comment on agenda items under discussion, and that are not advertised public hearings.

    This is exactly what is wrong with this city. Those that try to control the public's participation in government, and discussion. As was seen tonight, and as is typical of local groups, government and egobombs, if they don't like you or what you have to say, you don't get to speak your views. Cronyism.

    Cronyism. Where only your friends get to be heard, and all others are silenced.

    Marolee said, above" "I don't think there is one, easy answer. I don't think there is one BIG answer." Well, tonight, we saw one BIG thing that can change real easily.

    Actually, a couple. Their names are Cherie Kidd, Pat Downie, Brad Collins, and Dan Gase. They may say they are all about representing "the public". No, they aren't.

    Hold them accountable.

    1. As always, thank you. I will say that, nice guy or not, Pat Downie is definitely not a deep thinker. Unfortunately, that fact doesn't stop him from being a very, very long-winded talker.

    2. Any respect I had for Pat Downie, or Cherie went out the window last night.

  18. Astoria, Oregon, smaller than Port Angeles, hosts several cruise ships each season. I spent some time with a small business owner who told me about her sales to cruise ship customers. Yes, business is difficult everywhere in small communities, but her store was very appealing, in decor and merchandise as were others down town. Their old theater was beautifully restored and used for events. Even Raymond, Washington restored it's theater. Both towns were friendly and we learned a lot from conversations. Astoria's chamber is managed by a native Astorian who lives where he works. He is older and knows the history. We were able to locate the house where my husband lived in as a child.

    Empty buildings did not detract from the general appeal of these communities. They were clean and charming. Had we had more time, we could have seen more.

    I had a small business in Port Angeles for 40 years, but chose a location outside of the down town area because of the rules of being in business down town. Unless we want dinner, there isn't much there, although a few businesses do show some style; just not the things I need to buy.

    And that slant parking across from the brew pub on the waterfront scares me when we drive by with vehicles too large sticking out into the street. The other day a pickup had a ladder sticking out. It's too cramped. Poor design.

    Just a few random thoughts while I lay in bed recovering from knee surgery, the aftermath from climbing a small mountain in Maine, and falling on the descent.