Sunday, July 12, 2015

Round Up of Square Heads

Several items kind of caught my eye today, one from each of the Big Three governing entities in Port Angeles, as it turns out.

Needless to say, I have to note how the current no snowpack/low river flows/extremely high fire danger drought conditions facing Port Angeles are described as "impending" by the PDN. Given the City's why-run-when-we-can-stroll response to the reality of the situation, they doubtlessly appreciate the PDN's reinforcement of their own fantasy-based viewpoint. The entire West Coast has been facing a drought for years now. There's a giant, mysterious "blob" of warm water off of the West Coast. Farmers are fighting fish for water. Tom Selleck is stealing water. There is no "impending" here, other than the City Council's impending decision about how little they should do in the face of climate change and potential catastrophe.
There is a plentitude of water for all!
So says Immagnum Tom!

Meanwhile, across the street at the County Courthouse, I guess the word of the day is "depending." As in, who you think won the pissing match between Selinda Barkhuis and the three Republican Commissioners is a view that is probably shaped by your own political leanings, depending on what those might be. If nothing else, Selinda forced - yes, forced - the three brainless monkeys in charge to jump through some hoops (nice show) and to promise to bring their spendthrift, crackpot ideas to a real, live public hearing (nice process). It will be interesting to see where this all goes from here. But for now, Selinda, you better lock those doors and look both ways - twice- before dashing across any and all streets.

But the thing that really stood out for me today was the Port's upcoming "consideration" of "approval of a million dollar airport apron grant." Now, I have no idea what that even means, really. All I know is that it sure seems like foolishness to spend even a million pennies on an airport that is without an air carrier. I mean, the restaurant is closed, you know? So why keep spending money to have food delivered?

Oh, that's right. Because it's not their money. And whether it's spending or "impending," the vast majority of elected officials in Clallam County and Port Angeles don't ever seem to really think about the fact that they are spending other people's hopes and dreams right down a rat hole. A very, very dry one, at that...


  1. The lack of any real planning by any of the local governments is beyond belief. I think the culture of grant funding public infrastructure projects has a lot to do with it. We've seen it here, repeatedly.

    Grants come with strings and conditions. The city loves them, because they can pad their budgets to pay for salaries. Because, of course someone has to research, write, apply and administer the grants. This leaves more money for more brain dead and marginally relevant projects.

    Coming into the harbor the other day on a boat, I spent a bit of time looking at the Port Angeles waterfront. It is not appealing, coming in on a boat. The millions spent on all the improvements are invisible. No wonder people getting off the ferry get out of Port Angeles as fast as possible.

    As was pointed out previously, the City does not acknowledge there is a problem with long term water, even though all around the world, we see examples of climate change, droughts, groundwater levels dropping alarmingly, and communities being threatened. Listening to the Canadian radio, we hear them educating the population every day about drought, and what they can and should do. Here, people are still watering grass along the streets in Port Angeles!

    Standing back, and looking at the bigger picture concerning community planning, it is very obvious why Port Angeles doesn't move forward. Without real, comprehensive and cohesive planning, it just becomes "get what you can out of the situation at the moment." Like we see so often.

    1. You get situational ethics....which is to say, shifting ethics...which is to say, no ethics....which leads to unethical decision making.

  2. The Elwha is at 301 this morning. July 12th.

  3. One other item in today's Republican Rag. The port is to consider spending over one half million dollars on a log stacker. Now how many taxpayers besides Grant Munro will benefit from the ports half million dollar purchase? You remember Munro, he was the last one to operate on the K-Ply site for which the Port must also spend $5.5 million to clean up. He is also the one who left the residents of Port Angeles with a quarter million dollar utility bill when he filed bankruptcy. How much will we have to spend to prop up one businessman? How many jobs are we talking here? Couldn't we send them home with a monthly check and save the taxpayers millions? How long are we going to put up with this crony capitalism? All those who decry "socialism" need look no further than the port. It is a state run corporation which takes from the taxpayers and gives to private businesses. Then the businesses privatize the profits but socialize their losses. How long are you saps going to stand for this?

    1. As dirty as the county and city can be, the port has them beaten by a mile. And Grant Munro knows a little something about beatings, too.

    2. Sand fears Grant Munro!

  4. CK, I'm not accusing you of thinking that the " mysterious "blob" of warm water of the West Coast" is the cause of our problems, although the media has jumped to that conclusion, along with a lot of decision makers.

    We know the media likes cute little sound bites like the "blob". But, it also is convenient in helping people to think that our current problems have nothing to do with our consumer lifestyle. You know, it is that "mysterious "blob", and when it goes away, things will return to they way they used to be.

    This from the NY Times a few months ago: " The Gulf of Maine’s waters are warming — faster than almost any ocean waters on earth, scientists say — "

    And: "In decades past, the gulf had warmed on average by about one degree every 21 years. In the last decade, the average has been one degree every two years. “What we’re experiencing is a warming that very few ocean ecosystems have ever experienced,” said Andrew J. Pershing, the chief scientific officer for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute here.

    A warmer ocean is not merely a matter of comfort or discomfort for creatures that dwell there. Scientists suspect that some species struggle to spawn when the temperature fluctuates. Others may spawn at the wrong time when food is scarce. Freshwater from melting arctic glaciers may be altering levels of minerals crucial to plankton, the base of the gulf’s food chain."

    Oh? You mean, there is more dramatic ocean warming going on, than just on our side of the continent? You mean rising warm air on the other side of our land mass could also be affecting the weather? Other fisheries are collapsing, not just ours?

    No, let's keep the public thinking it is just a "normal cycle" that will pass, and things will go back to "normal" soon. Keep shopping, folks. Buy that house in a drought affected zone. Drive that V8.

    Why spend money addressing what is clearly happening all over, when we can spend millions on fake beaches?

    1. In reply to your opening comment...I in no way think that "the blob" is the cause of our weather woes, and/or that the disappearance of said "blob" will mean our problems are solved.

      I refer to "the blob" not as a cause, but as a symptom of our changing (not for the better) world. We ignore these symptoms at our peril. And, as I think you'd agree, Port Angeles is really, really good at ignoring things, be they perilous, or just kind of new and modern.

      As for your other point, again, I agree. The goal shouldn't be to recycle more, or, say, find other sources of energy to power our cars. The goal should be to make do with less overall, and to, say, create lives and societies that exist without cars. And so forth.

    2. No, as I said, I don't think you believe the inane crap that is spouted as fact, like the comments we hear in the press about "the blob". I wanted to point that out from the onset, before proceeding with my observations.

      And, I do want to thank you for your other comment about doing with less. The obvious truth, but I'm sure you aren't holding your breath, any more than I am, waiting for the general consuming public to adopt needed changes in their lives.

      And, it all keeps ticking down, degrading in very real ways, as the media distracts everyone with what silly comments Donald Trump or Kim Kardasian (sp?) comes up with.

  5. In re Oliphant's first sentence in today's article about the county commission v Selinda Burkhuis, "Who blinked?" Now, where did I see that phrase before? Hmmm.

  6. Have you ever hankered to be the kingpin of the local art "scene"? Is your ego size XXXL? Do you have some spare cash burning a hole in your pocket?

    You could, of course, buy the Lincoln theatre. But if you're on a budget and want to create even more of a splash, you could buy "Studio Bob" and replace Bob's name with your own! "Studio (Your Name Here)!"

    You, too, could become local art "scene's" Big Cheese! You, too, could show up at openings three sheets to the wind and get progressively smashed and obnoxious! You, too, could get the City Council to fund your dubious personal public art project! You, too, could eventually burn down every personal connection in town!

    Hurry, hurry, hurry!

  7. RE. PDN's headline today. It's obvious to me "The taxpayer's won" far, anyway..

    1. Cue the punctuation police...Sigh...

    2. I doan sees nuthin wong wid wut he sed.

    3. What? He used "it's" correctly...

    4. Taxpayers is plural. Taxpayer's shows possessive. Taxpayers have nothing to possess, the government took it all.

    5. Taxpayers have their won.

  8. I went through downtown at different times over the weekend. Yesterday, there were a few people on the sidewalks, looked like ferry people killing time.

    And this was at a time with various events going on. Some kind of old car show, and other things.

    Today it was a ghost town. It was SOO quiet. Even at Country Aire, there were only 3 or 4 cars parked outside. Hardly any vehicle traffic.


    1. Interesting. I went downtown Saturday afternoon and had trouble finding parking. I'd say there were over a dozen people downtown on First St. I didn't bother go to Front St because with all the construction I'm trying to avoid it, but it looked like there was some event going on. Must've been the car show.

      Sure ebbs and flows downtown. Wish it was a little more consistent. But, then, the business owners probably do too.

    2. No one can honestly say that a dozen people walking the sidewalks of any town represent economic prosperity. Or economic opportunity.

      Was watching Canadian TV last night, since they show some interesting shows. News came on, and they featured a couple stories about events that had happened this weekend in the Victoria area. One was a "Strawberry Fest" , and another was some kind of scouts jamboree.

      There were people as far as the eye could see, at both events.

      Then there was some other story, with the reporter on the sidewalk. In the background, people everywhere. Sidewalk cafe tables filled with people.

      I know Port Angeles isn't Victoria. But, with millions passing through, you would think more than a dozen would bother to get out of their cars and enjoy Port Angeles.

      Obviously not. But, don't change anything, folks.

    3. I know what would bring more people downtown. More road construction! Who doesn't like having most of the streets blocked off, huh?

    4. Looking at what is going on, most traffic turns up Race. After Race Street, traffic really thins out. Another wack turns up Peabody, and most the rest turn up Lincoln to get out of town.

      Maybe these GPS systems are showing travelers the fastest way around Port Angeles?!

  9. I'm surprised Country Aire is still in business!

  10. flashback: Port Angeles Blog (Harper's)

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Port Angeles: Population 250,000?

    In last Wednesday’s Peninsula Daily News there was an article (not available online) about the possible effects of global warming in the Port Angeles-Sequim area. According to Physics Professor Richard Schwartz, the following changes might be coming:

    In ten years there might not be any permanent snow fields in the Olympic Mountains.

    The glaciers could be gone in thirty years.

    Rain will fall harder and harder, causing rivers to overflow in the spring and dry up in the summer and fall.

    Schwartz said “if I were a farmer I’d buy land in Northern Alberta.”

    He said droughts and water wars in California and Arizona could send a mass exodus to the Northwest. “You — or your successors — are going to be inundated with people looking to get out of the heat.”

    He predicted that the Port Angeles-Sequim area could eventually have 250,000 residents. “It could happen in about twenty years if things become sufficiently bad in the Southwest. This is not necessarily a doom and gloom scenario, but one we have to keep in mind as we plan.”

  11. I guess Mr.Schwartz didn't factor in the reality of NO WATER. The masses may want to have a "mass exodus" to greener pastures, but that isn't here.

  12. The alpine glaciers acting as our reservoirs in the Olympics only developed 2,500 years ago after a dry spell. We (city dwellers) are the new development here. If our populations had stayed small and nomadic, we could survive the environmental stresses which are thrown our way. As my favorite anthropologist has often mused, it was all downhill once we started farming.