Thursday, June 11, 2015

How Long?

"A stage 4 water shortage alert has clamped down on outdoor watering for the 566 customers of the Upper Fairview Water District. The state Department of Ecology directed the Clallam County Public Utility District to issue the alert immediately, the PUD announced Wednesday. The alert requires mandatory restrictions on all outdoor water use."
How long until this type of restriction is expanded? This is just the beginning.
"I wonder if the greedy a holes suing the state to lift water use restrictions south of Sequim are willing to admit they're wrong yet?"
How long until the powers that be start talking about this, and taking it seriously? The time to have started planning for this is long past.

"With the Elwha at 550 cfs today, we see the water there is draining away, too. The Dungeness River is at 194 cfs today. Not good."
How long until they run dry? What happens then? Oh, wait...We know what happens then...
"Clallam County ranks 11th among something like 394 counties in the western states for catastrophic fire danger, according to state fire specialists."
How long until all of the above twines together into a rope that chokes what little life there is out of the Clallam County real estate market? Do tourists want to visit a place suffering under these conditions? Do farmers thrive during a drought?
There are lots and lots of questions associated with what is happening in Clallam County. It would serve the residents well to have them discussed in depth in places other than this blog. City Hall? The County Courthouse? The PDN? KONP?
How long until they serve the public and truly join in on this discussion?


  1. Groundwater, from deep wells, is where the City of P.A. and City of Sequim both get their water. Groundwater is not affected (very much) by snow melt, it comes from the many, many trillions of gallons of rain water that falls all over. The Peninsula's rainfall amounts are normal. to slightly above normal. Streamflow (at least from East of the Lyre River IS drastically affected by snow melt. Things are going to be very tough for the fish, but the cities, not so much.

    1. Wrong!
      Sequim does obtain much of its water from wells. But you are mistaken about the water source for Port Angeles. Its "well" is actually a Ranney collector system that lies just under the bed of the Elwha River. The Department of Health classifies it as groundwater under the influence of surface water, and requires that it be treated as if it were a surface water source.
      The second water source for Port Angeles is the surface water intake tunnel upstream from the Ranney collector. Water goes directly from the river into the Elwha Water Treatment Plant (built by the National Park System as part of the Elwha Restoration/Dam Removal Project).
      You are also mistaken in your implication that the rain that "falls all over" replenishes the groundwater sources for deep wells. Deep wells are drawing ancient water from deep aquifers created eons ago. Water levels in the deep aquifers around Sequim have been steadily declining for years, as validated in numerous USGS studies and other studies. The rate of pumping greatly exceeds the rate of replenishment.
      So - for cities like Sequim that get their water from wells, is it better to irresponsibly continue to mine its main water source (the deep aquifer) or find ways to conserve it? Sequim invested in a treatment facility that can reclaim waste water and use it for irrigation, thus reducing the need to pump as much from the aquifer. This is responsible thinking and foresight; and will help postpone the no-water crisis for Sequim.
      With no deep wells or waste water recycling plant, the Port Angeles municipal water system is in deep trouble if the Elwha River runs dry.

    2. Wow, look at how wrong you are.

      City of PA gets water directly from the Elwha River, not a well. They used to have the Ranney Collector which drew from a shallow aquifer right under the river but the course of the river shifted with the removal of the dam.

    3. Actually, this is not correct. The wells that Port Angeles and Sequim get their water from are along side their respective rivers, are relatively shallow, and are wholly dependent on the flow in them.

      If you read the PUDs comments in the PDN about ground water, you will see them back peddling from previous positions. They, too, understand how bad the situation is.

      Ground water levels rise and drop seasonally. As previously pointed out, vegetation transpires over 70% of rain fall back into the air. Of those "many, many trillions of gallons of rain water that falls all over", months later, most has transpired, or is on it's way out to the Strait. This is exactly why the Morse Creek water treatment facilities, at about 800 foot elevation, is running dry now. Remember, the snow pack usually resides thousands of feet higher than 800 feet! The water has now moved down, and past the 800 foot level, on it's way down slope.

      Maybe this will help people understand. If you look at the flow rates in the local rivers during years with "normal" snow pack conditions for the dates of this time of year, you see the flows actually INCREASE as the warm weather melts the snow. Even though there is no rain, the water, starting at the top on the mountain ranges, seeps down through the spring months to create peak flows during June and July, at which time the flows start to decline. (This year, when we should be at peak flows, we are at historic lows).

      As it continues down slope, it replenishes ground water that is also steadily flowing downhill and out to the Strait. Without the snow pack, that water is not replenished. Ground water levels will drop by late summer. By how much? Given the Dept of Ecology states they get calls every year from area residents whose wells have gone dry, during "normal" years, it doesn't look good.

      In looking at the flow levels of rivers all around Clallam County, you will see they all are down at historic lows, by the same proportional ratio. Dependent on snow pack or not, they all are being affected with the same result.

      So, no. Things are not okay. But, only time will tell. Based upon what is going on, are you going to just sit back and continue, "business as usual"?

    4. Anon 6:46 AM: What planet are you from?

      If this is closer to the new normal, yeah, sure, we might skate by this year, but long-term, it seems likely we're in trouble. You seem so blithe about the creeks and the salmon drying up and dying, while at the same time being confident that the rains will always come like they usually have.

      A lot of us aren't so sure. A lot of us are worried about the changes we're seeing. This is an evolving situation, and no one can say for sure what it is going to look like here in five years, ten years, twenty years. But we can say for sure that the city and county have done a piss poor job of even pondering the future, yet alone planning for it. That's nothing to be blithe about. It affects us all in every way, economically, environmentally, personally, etc.

    5. "Might skate by this year"? I sure would not take that bet. Not based on how fast the river is dropping, and how many months we still have to go.

  2. Shhhhhhhhhh, we have real estate for sale, keep all this water shortage stuff under your hat. We may have to disclose to buyers there won't be any water but sure is a nice house. Look at the views.....

  3. It's nuts to imply that rainwater replenishes groundwater in amounts equivalent to the water being pumped from deep wells.
    People's wells are going dry and they are having to drill deeper wells because nowadays rain runs off into ditches and stormwater systems from impervious surfaces and clear-cuts.
    Have you ever tried watering your garden to a moisture depth of one inch? How long did the sprinkler need to stay running in order to do that? But you would have us believe that rainwater will seep deep, deep, deep into the soil and provide enough moisture to be pumped back up in the form of drinking water? Get a clue!

  4. We should not be "business as usual" with wasting water this summer.

  5. "There are lots and lots of questions associated with what is happening in Clallam County. It would serve the residents well to have them discussed in depth places other than this blog. City Hall? The County Courthouse? The PDN? KONP?

    How long until they serve the public and truly join in on this discussion?"

    Absolutely! Well said! The "head in the sand" avoidance is not helping.

    1. People can meet without the city or county involved. Who would be interested in "Town Hall" style meetings, monthly, to discuss our community?

  6. You saw that the Revitalize people, having been properly shamed for their completely abhorrent behavior in reaction to the young woman who saved the guy that was overdosing in the intersection in Port Angeles, is holding a meeting to "address the drug problem in Port Angeles" tonight, to try and look like they actually care.

    Sorry. Maybe others will step forward, but the leadership of the town sat in silence that evening. Their reaction, or more accurately, complete lack of ANY response that evening, reveals their true nature and feelings.

    Coupled with Revitalizes' previous blaming of the needy in Port Angeles for their lack of success, and expressing their desire that the needy be removed from downtown tells the real truth. No compassion. Greedy. Selfish.

    Putting the lipstick on still isn't fooling any one. They are still pigs.

    1. I considered putting that meeting up as a topic today, but obviously went with the water. But thanks for bringing it up here. It does seem a bit...timely, eh?

    2. actually, it was only broadcast by the Revitalize groups, this is an independent group.

    3. Their arrogance and selfishness is a real turn-off. I know a lot of people who once supported Revitalize, but not any more.

    4. Yes, the Revitalize group does have some snoots, that is for sure. But, the meeting was excellent. A good start.

    5. And? Who attended? What is the plan?

    6. about 40 people attended, only about 10-15 were "authorities", the rest were real, normal, city-folk interested in being part of a solution. There is no plan yet, because in 90 minutes, you can't come up with a plan, plus mostly the "authorities" spoke. Give this a few more meetings and see what good ideas come out of it. Then the challenge will be to implement it.

      One thing that came out of the meeting was the need to connect-the-dots, and figure out what services there are.

      The big glaring obvious lack was anything for those younger than adults -- and, certainly for those younger that high school aged.

      It was a very good meeting.. for a first one. Needs to be run better, with time to allow everyone to speak for 2-3 minutes.

    7. Actually kids, the woman who ran the PA CAN meeting has been a Revitalize member since the group was a few weeks old, and has been an active leader, more so now, with the leadership's full support. She is the person most responsible for getting PA in the Outside contest, as she runs their Instagram account and pushed the PA wild card entry till it got in. PA CAN is apparently her next project, and she made the first call for interested parties on the Revitalize page. You should ask her yourself if anyone in the leadership is 'shamed.' She sure ain't. Never have understood myself WTF they're supposed to be ashamed of. Anyway Port Angeles Citizen Action Network is on a separate page so as to have one focus, center stage. It's a public 'Community' on Facebook, anyone can participate. So -- see you there, OP?

    8. Anon 9:48 Says "Never have understood myself WTF they're supposed to be ashamed of."

      Ah, yes. The familiar refrain. Everything is wonderful, keep it all SO positive.

      To remind the writer, a month or so ago, Leslie, Josh, Jim Moran and the rest of the downtown, Chamber of Commerce and civic leadership were in the audience of the Port Angeles City Council to support the request that the city resume giving the "new" PADA money for it's operations. They all dutifully got up to give impassioned speeches during the "Public Comment" period to add their voices for what was clearly a foregone conclusion.

      During that public comment period, a young woman came to the podium and recounted how she had saved a young man's life, who had been over-dosing on heroin in the intersection of a street in Port Angeles. In broad daylight. In a car.

      She went on to ASK if the council wanted to know WHY heroin was so rampant among the youth of Port Angeles. She ASKED if the council WANTED TO KNOW why heroin was so rampant in Port Angeles schools.

      She went on to list a number of problems the youth see and experience in Port Angeles. She pleaded through tears with the Council " to give us hope." And, asked the Council " Don't sell us out".

      Only two people applauded or acknowledged her comments in that entire room full of people. One was Dale Wilson, the other a guy near the front who clearly was not a "civic leader".

      Leslie, Josh, Jim Moran, and all the rest of the town's "leaders" sat silent. The City Council sat silent.Not pone of them thanked that young woman for being brave enough to stand up, and say what she did.

      None had the common courtesy, much less sincere concern to THANK the woman for saving the life of a person dying in broad daylight in the streets of Port Angeles.

      NONE could commend the young woman for taking the time out of her life, to come to the council meeting to inform the "civic leaders" of the serious problem among the youth of the community.

      NONE cared enough to say a word.

      You REALLY are so clueless as to say you "Never understood myself WTF they're supposed to be ashamed of"??? What kind of heartless, selfish, self pre-occupied monsters are you folks???

      BUT, we all are now supposed to be all happy because Revitalize is NOW trying to organize some kind of response, ala the Outside contest? Because this is now " her next project"??

      Organizing voting for oneself to win a contest to con people into thinking a town is thought to be something it isn't, isn't the kind of "help" that young woman was thing about.

      It is EXACTLY the intentional deception, the intentional manipulation, the arrogance, ignorance and lack of recognition of the very real problems in this community that your post reveals, that the Revitalize group and civic ;leadership of the town displayed that evening, that that woman was speaking about.

      The youth of this town see it. They understand what is going on. They have, as she said that night, no hope for their future. That is why they engage in self destructive behaviors. The "easy suicide".

      You just keep your "happy talk" going. Every one sees it for what it is.

      The actions/absolute non-action of the "leadership" that night revealed their real selves. A "community" that couldn't even say "thank you for saving a life".

      A "community" that had NO problem getting up to the podium IMMEDIATELY after that young woman stepped away, to continue lauding their own accomplishments. To continue lobbying for money.

      I talked with Dale Wilson after that meeting, knowing he was the only person to have made the effort to reach out to her as she left the council chambers. He said the young woman was crying as she left.

      Bravo, you jerks.

    9. I was in the audience at the city council meeting that night.

      Eulalia's (i.e. the young woman) speech is what motivated me to run for city council. (I tracked her down, so that I could thank her, personally. I am glad I did. She is a really dynamic person. Great asset to this town.)

      It's also what motivated Dan Bateham to run, coincidentally. We met in the basement of the county building, when we were filing our candidacy papers.

      So, we are running together as a slate. Why? One new face won't do much, two have more of a chance. I didn't run against Sissi, on purpose (instead I have to muddle through this primary). I really believe that we DO need change in this town. One new member to the city council won't make enough of a difference, it's still swimming up a (dry) stream. Two new faces and we have a chance to affect policy.

      Neither of us have a ton of money to burn, so we're going to have to grass-roots it. Neither of us are politicians. We're just people sick of the nonsense and tired of the lack of representation. Believe me, the young woman's voice did not go unheard she was the voice of change for me, and Dan.

      I went to the drug meeting on Thursday night. Not a huge start, but everything needs to start somewhere. It was a bigger, more varied, audience than I've seen in a long time for a community involvement campaign. Nice to see.

      (I've been to things like this in the past, that can't even get a dozen people, and no one shows up at the next meeting.)

      There were way more citizens of Port Angeles than Revitalize people. And, we all need to work together. I think that is really the point.

      Maybe you don't agree with their ballot box stuff campaign. Maybe you don't like the way they've treated you on facebook for speaking out and being negative (they have their rules, which must make sense to them). Maybe this is all just well placed suspicions after all the other legacy crazy nonsense that has gone on around this town.

      However, it doesn't really matter. They did secure the conference room. They posted some notices. They got it in the PDN. Give credit where credit is due. They do follow through.

      I'm all for cynical, when it's warranted. ( In this case, I'll tell you after the next few meetings if I think it is.)

      Right now, I'm optimistic. (From the viewpoint that you can still fill a bucket a drop at a time.)

    10. Hi Marolee,

      I support you, as you have an independent view, and personal, institutional memory of things that have happened in Port Angeles.

      But, Revitalize? No way. Yes, the childish, simplistic view and effort made to think stuffing a ballot box was ethical, and was Port Angeles' salvation was bad enough, coming from supposed adults and "leaders" of the community.

      But the Revitalize group (and I attended a number of meetings before bailing out in disgust at the attitudes expressed) has been consistent in blaming others for the down town merchants problems. It was the homeless and "down-and-out" they wanted removed from city streets, as they though they were the reason their stores were not patronized. Come on.

      Then it was the Lee Hotel they wanted closed.

      Then, their ( and all the other so-called "civic leaders" ) leaders who sat silent, only to jump up after to continue to laud themselves.

      If these are the people and views of the mindset that is leading Port Angeles, (and currently, they are), Port Angeles will not move forward in any ways most decent, caring and compassionate people will want.

      They get coverage in the PDN because John Brewer supports Revitalize.

      Yes, there are decent people in town. But that "Revitalize" group are not among them. They are selfish, self centered, self preoccupied, insensitive, and arrogant. I won't have anything to do with them.

  7. Watch a huge fire hit right around the time the "big profile" of PA comes out in Outside magazine.

  8. The Ranney well for the City of PA is only 60 feet under the Elwha River bed. That's not so deep and is considered a water source that is "under the influence" of surface water.

  9. There are still water systems in the area where the customers aren't billed on consumption, but rather pay a flat annual fee - how backwards is that? 900 homes in Sunland for example, plus all the lush landscaping and sprinkler systems at many of these homes. How many other systems are like that?

  10. Off Topic for sure but important...

    To: John Brewer, Publisher, Peninsula Daily News and David Black, owner, Sound Publishing.

    Hi John:
    Hi David:
    In reading your story in today's PDN on page 5 it states the Port has received "preliminary approval" for a $2 million grant of federal funds for their composites recycling program.

    Has something happened since the May 3rd headline where you incorrectly printed a front page, above the fold headline, "$2 million grant ok'd" which we all know was incorrect. ( I notice you have not corrected that headline)

    If you are using that same incorrect story as a basis for today's story this seems like you are doubling down on deception.

    Please let me know upon what are you basing today's story where you once again falsely report that the Port has preliminary approval of a two million dollar federal grant. The port has not verified that claim.

    As you know the county commission attempted to grant one million dollars to the port on the strength of your false assertion of May 3rd. Forty-eight hours after that headline appeared the county commissioners used that story as a a basis for awarding the Port yet another million dollars of taxpayer money.

    Thankfully the county treasurer put an embargo on that grant as it was awarded in contravention of state statutes and county policies. This you reported as "Treasurer stands in the way of grants."

    John, you are costing us money with your false reportage. I hope you will print a correction before you lose all credibility.

    Thanks John.

    David Black is the owner of the parent company of the Peninsula Daily News. If you think the local paper should print only the truth you can send an email to him at:

  11. Whatever you do don't underestimate the influence of this blog. If the owners aren't wealthy they should be because they are brilliant. :D

    1. Well, thank you, but...Please forgive me if I underestimate the influence of this blog.

      Meanwhile, though, someone got here today by searching for the phrase, "downtown sequim glory holes?"

      Gives the title of this posting an entirely different meaning...

    2. Yes, I agree. Thanks again, CK.

    3. See? All those "GAY SEX IN PORT ANGELES" posts did have some results!

    4. YAY...Gay SEX Port Angeles!! We're number ONE in that contest.

    5. Well, uh, actually...It looks like maybe Sequim is, per the search term.

    6. No visible LGBT representation in our civic and business leaders, no LGBT meeting places, no bars, no pride activities... the only real visible LGBT presence is "bi married" hook-up ads on Craigslist... No, PA is definitely not "number one" even for "GAY SEX IN PORT ANGELES".

  12. Port Angeles Public AccessJune 11, 2015 at 6:16 PM

    PAPA Organizational Meeting Saturday Morning

    10:30 Saturday Morning June 13th 834 Race Street at Front

    Sue Buske, the city’s consultant for negotiating franchise agreements will be on hand via telephone.

    Port Angeles Public Access is organizing to bring a public access channel to Wave Cable, probably on Channel 21. Anyone with experience in public access programming, fundraising, broadcasting, camera operator, lighting, creative arts, broadcast journalism, music or any visual media that will excite and entertain the local cable television subscribers.

    We hope to seat a board of directors soon so please come out and support Public Access Television.

    For more info call: 360-477-2484

    1. This is a private home meeting?

    2. All creative types who want to see Public Access Television available are welcome. Call for the particulars.

    3. 834 Race Street is near 8th? WTF?

    4. Hasn't the ship sailed on this? Or about to? This isn't the '80s when PAT was at its peak. Creative types are just as likely to put together a video on their computers and post it to YouTube. Furthermore we're getting very close to the point where people can "cut the cable".

  13. And, today the Elwha continues it's drop, now at 543 cfs. This is the "end of the summer, lowest it gets for the whole year" range, now.

    The Dungeness dropped to 183 cfs. You can walk across it with knee-highs and not get wet.

    Still 10 days to the START of summer!

    1. Shall we start a countdown?

    2. Yeah, you know, like those fund raising billboards. We'll put one at both ends of town.

      " X days until Port Angeles runs dry".

      It'll be a hit. I'm sure the Chamber will spring for the costs of instillation.

    3. Maybe a pool? Who guesses when we hit the 400 range, then 300, etc?

  14. We should all take heart. The City Council is going to get an update on the situation at Tuesday night's meeting.

  15. Yeah, but is Cherie going to listen? Sissi will pay attention, and probably Lee, but the reset of them....hahahaha, their eyes will glaze over and they'll sit like tree stumps.

    1. Oh, as always, staff will come up with all kinds of twisted facts to assure us everything is just fine. Remember, the biggest advertiser in the paper is real estate.

      And, Port Angeles doesn't know the truth anymore, it has been conning people for so long.

  16. I highly suggest that you check out the discussion on the fb Port Angeles Citizen Action Network, an offshoot of Revitalize. I worked hard to keep discussion of the drug problem in Clallam county relevant and respectful on a few revitalize discussions and some of their members took me seriously and took action. CK you get credit for keeping the discussion here honest and real.

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I try. And on a personal note, I had a GREAT day. Looking forward to a great weekend as well. Hope you all enjoy the same.

  17. Just looked. Elwha now at 525! It was at 641 cfs just 10 days ago.

    Dungeness is at 180.


  18. The City's Water Shortage Response Plan shows historic data for Elwha River flows as low as 225 cfs and the ability to meet consumers' demands. It is uncharted territory below that flow.

  19. Per all the water issues, and drug issues, and attempts to organize meetings, exchange information, etc...We seem to have hit a "new normal" on this blog, which puts the daily number of pageviews up around at least 4-500, even on the historically slower days (Friday and Saturday). So, if you're posting here, you're being heard.

  20. This morning, the rivers drop again, Elwha now at 519. Dungeness now at 172.

    As per anon 7:05 's comments, at this rate, the Elwha will be at 225 in two weeks. Then what?

    Maybe a side column to put the flow rates in? I really don't want to disrupt the flow of comments and conversations here with the updates, but I think it is incredibly important residents see how fast the rivers are drying up, so that they can plan accordingly. We sure are not hearing about in in the PDN. Or the City. Or Revitalize. Or anywhere else.

  21. It sure looks like the City is doing what it seems to always do: screw it up. Is this water thing going to be the latest in a continuing string of complete screw ups, like the Turd Tank? The landfill? Graving Dock? Incubator? HarborWorks?

    And, what about Nippon? They are pulling water from the Elwha, too. No discussion about that. If they have to shut ALL operations for several months, then what? No biomess. No pulp mill. No nothing.

    But, the city is all in a wonder about that contest. Priorities.