Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Rigged System

Port Angeles, as we know, is ever at war with itself. By which I mean, it's a city with no clear identity, no well-defined image or goals. It just lurches from grant to grant, scheme to scheme, always hoping that somehow this will be the thing that allows the town to turn a corner, and start to thrive economically.
But such success, especially for a small, out of the way town like Port Angeles, can be difficult to achieve. Especially with the schizophrenic nature of the focus there.
Some say, let's embrace our role as the gateway to the Olympic National Park and all of the natural wonders within.
Others say let's hope the big, ugly oil rig comes back to town.
Some say, we need to make the most out of the fact that we're the gateway to the arts, culture and many amenities of Victoria.
Others say let's hope the big, ugly oil rig comes back to town.
The City has committed to spending millions of dollars they don't have to build and maintain an artificial beach downtown, and to beautify the waterfront, hoping to attract visitors and tourists.
Others just hope the big, ugly oil rig comes back to town, where it would make a nice companion piece with the log yard as aesthetic enhancements to downtown.
Some tout the idea of festivals (the tired Juan de Fuca Festival) and arts venues (the fantasyland that is the Lincoln Theater) as ways to draw new people and their dollars to town.
Others are content to just scrape what they can off of the captive audience of workers from, yes, the big, ugly oil rig.
My point is, Port Angeles continues to work at cross purposes. It doesn't know who it is, or what it wants. It's just so desperate it grasps at anything and everything (Oh, we're the "Best Town EVER"!) without any long-range plan or vision. Hell, there's no short-range plan or vision. Just desperation. And that's hardly a strong position from which to build a future.
It sure seems like with the winnowing down of the mills, and the ever-more elaborate scams needed to keep that industrial/mill town image alive, that the era of ugly and industrial as the path to success have passed. With the tens and hundreds of thousands of people already coming through for nature and (via Victoria) culture, perhaps the era of arts and eco-tourism is upon us. At least it seems that way.
But then there's the big, ugly oil rig. And, gosh, as a result of that, even "our barbershops were full," says Cherie Kidd. (And please note that, even after all these years in public life, the PDN still misspells Cherie's name. Quality is job none, eh?)
So that's kind of what it comes down to, in a sense. Do you just want another buzz cut Port Angeles? It's kind of out of date, but...Or, do you want a full makeover, and perhaps something a little more stylish? Maybe something a little more modern?
Memo to Port Angeles:
"Cutting Edge" doesn't just mean using
good, sharp clippers.


  1. How many times do we need to hear, and see, that things are changing around here? How many times have we seen that phrase "the new normal"?

    When is Port Angeles and Clallam County going to wake up, get their collective heads out of the sand, and look around?

    The viability of the region ( and planet) is being threatened by the impacts of our exploitation of fossil fuels, and the Port says they welcome the oil rigs to Port Angeles?!

    I think the view of this topic is going to be quite different by November 1st.

    In part, where we go from here is going to be defined by what the region looks like, then.

    1. things are changing -- for the worse.

  2. The Port wants it to overwinter here. How many people will that actually require? Certainly not as many as were here last time. Will it have the same economic benefit? Or will the presence of the rig cause more harm by deterring tourists who come here for nature?

  3. As you point out, CK, it's not much of a "success story" to sell food and shelter to crew members who are essentially trapped here. It's easy enough to envision tourists coming to town, and seeing that hulking behemoth and deciding to keep right on going. I mean, imagine of you came to town to visit the ONP, or to get out into nature, and from your room at the Port Angeles Inn you look out your window and see THAT.

    Once again, Port Angeles has found a way to ensure that first time visitors here won't return. Our so-called leaders just don't seem to be able to stop themselves from doubling down on ugly. Once again, small, short-term gains trump long-term prosperity and success.

    But we should all be glad there's a line at the barber shop? Oh Lord...

  4. It doesn't matter if there's an oil rig in the harbor or not, most of these "visitors" aren't visiting here, just passing through to other areas. We act like tourists are going to save us but if that were true it would have already happened years ago.

  5. I can think of two barber shops in PA. One on Laurel and the other on Lincoln. I'm guessing these sailors didn't hike up Lincoln. Let's say the one on Laurel was busier than normal for a few weeks. Congratulations. Now let's build a new beach. :D

  6. "Port Angeles, as we know, is ever at war with itself."

    Yes. What is the goal, people?

    What is it going to take for us, yes, you and I, to acknowledge this whole thing isn't working?

    Listening to the radio today about all the forest fires, the person being interviewed assured everyone that this is all just part of normal cycles.

    Move along. Nothing to see here. No reason to be concerned. Just go about your usual business.

    Really? We're to just ignore the graphs showing the temps rising over the last however-many decades? We're just supposed to overlook the degradation of every aspect of our environment?

    No, no mention of climate change, and that the Shell oil rig is drilling up in the Arctic as I write this. The Port only sees a few dollars as the only thing to advocate for.

    How about our children's future?

    My daughter told me she has decided to have no children. She can't see why anyone would want to bring children into this world, and to have to grow up in the world we are creating for them.

    But, who cares? Everyone will wake up tomorrow, and do tomorrow what they did today.

  7. The pendulum swings.
    The extraction economy has run its course.
    No one has told the old timber barons yet so they still think they are in charge.
    And they are. For now.
    If/when enough new residents move in and take over the leadership positions, blast out the dinosaurs like McEntire and Kidd, move toward a creative, renewable, self-sustaining economy, we will have our own thriving community and not give a damn if the tourists come or go.
    The talent is here and it must be nurtured. We have to engage younger people to step up. There must be hope. I know not from whence it commeth but it approaches.
    I'm confident.

    1. Please don't insult the last remaining dinosaurs by comparing them to Kidd.

  8. Well we have pot now so if we could just get the fanatical born again jesus crazed christians, hillbilly rednecks and law enforcement nuts to shut the f&^k up I think we would have a really good shot at promoting the area as a gateway to the Olympic national forest. If the entire freaking thing does not burn down. Basically that is all we really have that we have not somehow already screwed up. Now that young people can come here get all smoked up , hike into the forests, climb mountains , swim naked in the hotsprings, fish, we could all make a tidy living providing support services for a large amount of fun and adventure crazed kids. Of course I can hear the screaming horror now. Oh my god no ! Not young people having fun! They will be loud, They would be young. They would scare the shit out of the large population of people here with big sticks up their asses who really do not want to see anything but a Winnebago's ass end on its way out of town .

    1. So... you want to turn Port Angeles into Fort Lauderdale?

  9. And not to get off topic here but did you see the delightful Daily News story about the commissioners flopping around and carrying on that they will attempt to give the reputable non profits 300,000 of the 640 something thousand bucks they are needing . They are making a big issue about not being sure that they can just approve this money because the county treasurer may not pay it. So these poor homeless people in need may be screw over by the treasurer. These MoFos have no shame! They are actually comparing their wanting to give the Port a million bucks that is already allocated for something else because the Port thinks it has another good idea to awarding county funds to local reputable non profits serving out community. I believe these jackasses actually think they are making some kind of a point.If they hold up this money and try and pin it on the treasurer I think we should band together, take them out into the woods ,tie them to a tree and forget where we left them..

    1. It is the mentality that is at issue. That our "leadership" sees fit to play such childish games.

    2. So, you're saying that any "extra spending above the adopted budget" that you approve of is OK, but any "extra" that you don't is not. Just like the Treasurer is trying to do, you are substituting your judgement in place of the elected officials who, by law, are responsible to make those decisions. It is one thing to voice your opinion / objection, which is everyone's right. It is entirely another to take action to violate the law trying to make your judgement the only judgement that matters.

    3. @Anon 10:43

      What you seem to be missing is that LOTS of people voiced objection to what McEntire and his mini-me Peach were trying to do. This whole thing was not merely procedural.

      Ms. Buirkus was being responsive to the extensive public outcry. Unlike McEntire and crew.

      Can you see they difference?

    4. Two good people can read the same law and decipher it differently. Look to the one who has personal motives and one who has altruistic motives. That should tell you who's intent is more right.

  10. The folks at the homeless task force, or at least the county's representative on the homeless task force suggested Selinda was the cause of the problem. No doubt she was trained to spread that bullshit by someone at the county. Chapman is the one who cut off the grant to the homeless task force. There was no need for it. He was attempting to put Selinda on the hot seat because she insisted they do things right instead of just throwing money out the door. The Serenity House just got an influx of four hundred thousand and that didn't even pay their $108,000 utility bill owed to the city of Port Angeles. Now they want to be at the front of the line to receive this next county grant for homelessness. We need to keep book on these guys, not only the county commission but also its minions they set forth onto these boards.
    We need to keep book on these grant recipients. A lot of good tax money can get into the rat hole via these do-gooder organizations. That is not a slam on Serenity House--yet.

    1. I don't see the City of PA caring....or collecting.

  11. This was in today's Gazette:

    McEntire is trying to form an "Economic Infrastructure Council" that will take the place of the Oppurtunity Fund Advisory Board on how to spend Opportunity Fund money.

    1. Oh, you mean like the Chinese "Infrastructure Investment Bank"?

    2. He could call it "save the kitties and puppies from suffering" and it would still stink like rotted fish. There is something highly suspicious of trying to fix a broken con with a new con with a fancier name.

    3. Here is a copy of my response to the Sequim Gazette article of July 8, 2015 "County considers Economic Infrastructure Council."

      In the commissioners efforts to form a new Economic Infrastructure Council, consideration should be given to public oversight as a method of dissuading the council from inappropriate use of the Opportunity Fund (Distressed Areas Capital Fund).

      Witnessed in recent months was the attempted re-writing of Clallam County Code 5.40 by Commissioner McEntire to eliminate the Opportunity Fund Board and the attempted appropriation of $500 thousand from the Opportunity Fund for the Economic Development Council in January, 2015 that sparked court action from former county commissioner Ron Richards in February.

      The County Commissioners attempted appropriation from the Opportunity Fund of $1.3 million in grants to the City of Port Angeles and Port of Port Angeles, along with $1.7 million for "undesignated projects" and the withholding of those funds by our County Treasure in May and June.

      The commissioners subsequent after the fact attempted re-writing of Clallam County Administrative Policy 500 5.6 to remove "must hold public hearings" and "The county will only change the budget in the case of emergency" and a remand of their budget appropriations for financial review on June 23rd.

      Withdraw of the grant warrants to the City of Port Angeles and the Port of Port Angeles on June 30th.

      The problem with the formation of this Economic Infrastructure Council as I see it, is the total lack of transparency, openness and public involvement.

      Placing the Distressed Areas Capital Fund solely in the hands of elected and appointed county officials without public oversight that may only lead to more inappropriate use of the Opportunity Funds (Distressed Areas Capital Fund) with no way to stop them.

      Bryan Frazier
      Candidate for County Commissioner, District 1

      This is the behavior I want to stop and you, the voters, can help me do this. If your tire of the status quo, I'm your candidate.

  12. Apparently at Walmart yesterday, a friend was there and wondered why the shelves were so bare. An employee there said it's because they're so short staffed because they cannot get any help because the applicants can't pass the drug screening. Now that says a lot when WALMART can't find employees!

    1. If Walmart has a problem, they got it all over, not just here. Been reading about it for months in national news. So why don't they just up the hours of all these struggling part-time employees I keep hearing about?

    2. Empty shelves have been a problem since the old store, and they've had a different excuse every time I've asked.

    3. I have an idea, stop shopping there.
      They are a corrupt organization, treat their workers like crap (especially compared to Costco, which pays a living wage), and line their shelves with junk.
      Our world would be better if they went belly up.

    4. So, lemme get this right... WA makes weed legal,but if you have weed in your system you can't be hired to work anywhere. Maybe you get an under the table job from a corrupt foreign national running money laundering schemes at all the motels and gas stations in town. port Angeles has multiple pot shops and a 13% unemployment rate. Geniuses.

  13. maybe Serenity House should have a big fat audit of their books, and be held accountable for money mismanagement, and pay their utility bill to PA before they get more $$$$$

    1. Serenity House, like all charitable organizations must file a Form 990 with the IRS. It is just like anyone filing their taxes. It shows what money was taken in, where it came from and how it was spent. They MUST make it available to anyone who asks for it. Anyone with any financial savvy can tell us if they are doing their job properly. Hope someone will jump on this one.

    2. wrong...... no 990 on file. No 501(c)3 on file, or any other 501 status, either. It is a public charity....
      Serenity House of Clallam County
      Port Angeles WA United States

      PC Deductibility Status

      In general, an individual who itemizes deductions may deduct contributions to most charitable organizations up to 50% of his or her adjusted gross income computed without regard to net operating loss carrybacks. Individuals generally may deduct charitable contributions to other organizations up to 30% of their adjusted gross income (computed without regard to net operating loss carrybacks). These limitations (and organizational status) are indicated as follows:

      Code Type of organization and use of contribution. Deductibility Limitation
      PC A public charity. 50%

    3. There are MANY flavors of "charitable organizations" and not all file a form 990. Nonprofit status is a state law concept.

      Nonprofit status may make an organization eligible for certain benefits, such as state sales, property and income tax exemptions. Although most federal tax-exempt organizations are nonprofit organizations, organizing as a nonprofit organization at the state level does not automatically grant the organization exemption from federal income tax.

      ----To qualify as exempt from federal income tax, an organization must meet requirements set forth in the Internal Revenue Code. ---

      Clearly, Serenity House is a STATE not-for-profit corporation organized in WA state. But I cannot find their reporting form on the IRS website for Federal tax exempt status as a charity.

      Not every nonprofit organization needs to apply for federal tax-exempt status. However, on one page of their website they claim 5013 status, but this is a L-I-E.

      Bad, bad charitable organization to lie to people.

      Donations to them are under the basic 'charitable giving' so you can take off 50% of your cash donations, at best. The IRS has them listed as "Serenity House of Clallam County" and the EIN is 91-1180069. Nope, not a 990 or 990-N on file, never has, never will (at the rate they are going).

      Clearly they were too lazy to do the extra paperwork. That, or their accounting books weren't in good order. Specifically: The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

      Not-for-profit accounting is pretty strict. But, it is way more so for the Federal non-profit status The entity can make a profit, but ALL of its profits must be put back into the corporation; no members may take profits from the organization. Individuals can be paid a salary, wages or contract fees, but they may not take profits the entity earns. So, any payments made -- reimbursements, etc., -- that are not strictly backed up with paperwork, are suspect.
      On their website they show 2011...and it looks pretty darn hinky to only list $219,237 as current liabilities (defined, usually, as accounts payable, payroll liabilities, short term loans, unearned income, and heat on loans) but, a whopping $7,455,237 as non-current liabilities (things such as loan balances, bonds payable, leases). The balance between these two show debt relative to its cash.

      and, 219,237 for a total of 14 staff (listed in the financials) and two (2) executive staff, and a smattering of others -- is just insane. So, divide the amount by the number of staff..and they all make only $13,702.00 a year? That is $1141.86 a month. So, everyone, even the executive staff is making a little over minimum wage in 2011? ($8.67 in 2011)


      And that's all they paid for. No leases, no rents, no mortgages, no insurance, no vehicle fuel, no utilities...nothing? I find this incredibly hard to believe with a SEVEN MILLION DOLLAR long-term debt.

      Something stinks... and, the fact that nothing else has been disclosed in the way of financials (that I can find) in the last 4 years?


      I have an idea, don't give them any more money until they can come up with some numbers that aren't downright bullshit.

    4. They are NOT doing their job properly, and they don't file a Form 990. The fact that they put such hogwash up on their website, full of outright lies, should be a big fat wiggly red herring.

      How dumb is Port Angeles, anyhow?

  14. For what it's worth, I didn't think the oil rig was ugly. It was what it was - an oil rig. I guess if you don't oil rigs period then you wouldn't like this one. It was a clean oil rig.

    1. Not liking it isn't about what it looks like but what it represents. That's probably too difficult a concept for most of the leadership around here though.

    2. Oil rigs and fracking are literally destroying our communities and ecosystems throughout the world, but we are going to talk about if they're ugly???

      Streams, creeks and other breeding habitats for salmon are drying up around the region, and the Port thinks a few haircuts from the oil rig crews is what is an economic driver for Port Angeles?

      Beyond belief.

    3. Dude, you're projecting your own feelings onto an inanimate object. Don't hate the oil rig - it is innocent!

  15. Serenity House is a WA state non-profit corporation, but does not have a 501(c)3 status, and never filed an Irs 990.



    And, the last....report online is 2011 http://www.serenityhouseclallam.org/docs/2012/Final_2011_Annual_Report_2-16-2012.pdf

    1. Serenity house is currently reneging on many if it's obligations and many citizens are being evicted. There are 5 evictions on the superior court this week alone having to do with serenity house corruption and their lying "advocates" paid to give false hope to troubled renters only to fail to make promised payments and cause them to get evicted. Landlords revert to self help evictions, bullying, lockouts, leins, illegal shitoifs, emotional distress, etc, to force people out of their homes and police do nothing saying it's a "civil matter" I'll say. The homeless and jobless numbers and suicide rates in a town the size of PA are astronomical. A lot of it can be laid at the feet of serenity house. Any attorneys out there feel like filing a class action lawsuit ?? I'm in.

  16. It's curious to me that when I speak about crony capitalism in Clallam County politics, handing over grant money from earmarked funds for other projects, show documentation of discussions over piping Port Angeles water through Carlsborg to Sequim to offset water shortages there, even though PA doesn't have enough water for their citizens, CK and the Anons paint me as "in your face" or having a "Napoleon Complex".

    When I bring up a moratorium on building permits and down zoning in water critical areas, getting control over the county's wayward spending, I am portrayed as some type of mad conservative in a Democrat suit that would not stand up to the other "conservative" commissioners.

    When I speak about getting the public involved in the process of re-inventing Clallam County you all say I'm "way too comfortable with the fantasy-based perspective many elected official have in Clallam County."

    Yet, here you all are talking about the very same things you deride me over. I put myself out there, you know my name and see my face. I don't hide from you, you know where I stand on the issues. I offered you the opportunity to call me or meet with me and as of yet you haven't taken me up on the offer. Am I really that scary?

    I'm sorry if I come off that way, I've been trying to get some one to listen to the concerns of the people for 25 years.

    Win or lose this election, I'm not going away, I will always be here fighting for the citizens of Clallam County. I will not give up the fight for property rights or have them continue to build on an already over appropriated water supply favoring developers who don't live here over the needs of the community as a whole.

    If you want to help change Clallam County, I'm your candidate. Let's open up the blind of those back rooms and let some sunshine in.

    1. Yes, Bryan, but....When you speak in favor of totally insane, kooky ideas like the fantasy tram, you make yourself look insane and kooky. It does not inspire confidence.