Here's an excerpt from a letter to the editor today, from a very kind and generous gentleman from Chattanooga:
will get a front page in Outside magazine more than likely. It will be
featured; it's not the first time.
this competition in the end is going to mean more to you than to us.
already robust and booming."
Notice that last line: "We're already robust and booming." Translation: Even with all the hype, and even with all those miles separating Port Angeles from Chattanooga, he can tell the town is not robust and booming.
Which, now that the dust has settled, and people who may have heard about Port Angeles for the first time have time to reflect, they'll probably wonder why, exactly, the town isn't booming. As this gentleman's letter points out, Port Angeles has "oceanfront" (and the Turd Tank), and "a national park in your backyard" (which we'd really, really like to log, please). Towns have made fortunes with less resources than that, yet, of the phrase "robust and booming," all Port Angeles has ever managed to extract is the "bust."
Why is that City Council? Why is that City Council candidates?
Why is that Chamber of Commerce? Why is that PABA/PADA/Revitalize?
And when they come, I'm sure it's a question that the folks from Outside will be asking themselves as well. Maybe the question will arise when they have to be driven in, since there's no airline serving Port Angeles. Maybe it will arise when they hit the crest on the way into town, and see that log yard and biomass tower. Maybe it will hit them when they find the rivers and creeks dry. Even if the question doesn't come up at any of those flash points of disappointment, it will be unavoidable once Cherie Kidd and/or Pat Downie open their mouths. (And you know they both will be in giddy, full-on flap their trap mode.)
The ONP. The Shoreline. Access to Victoria. Even the international Twilight craze. Decades of access to those desirable resources. Hundreds of thousands of people coming through town every year. And yet, the city hasn't been able to extract a single ounce of sustainable cool, energy, excitement, marketable identity or success from any of it. Why is that?
It's the classic Port Angeles question. But even after all the times it's been repeated, those in charge still pretend to have never heard it. "Nothing to see here, nothing to see. Keep moving, keep moving. It's another great day in Port Angeles! Move along!"