A million dollars and no sense spent to create a
lengthy and lonely waterfront skate ramp.
Summertime, peak tourism time...
and the parking is easy.
Note the new pedestrian-friendly sidewalks
...But where are the pedestrians?
Ah, but there's more to Tyler's pictorial panorama...Now let's fly out to that hub of commerce and so much more, the Fairchild International Airport...
If each log had to buy a plane ticket,
Kenmore would still be serving Port Angeles.
And finally...Leaving planes behind, we see the plain, simple truth that the City (and City Council, naturally) tries so hard to deny...
That's no river, that's just a creek...And even
as a creek it looks pretty croaked.
Now, some have taken this blog, and me, to task for being too harsh on Port Angeles. But I ask you to really consider if that's even possible. Think about the HUGE amounts of money that have been spent to "revitalize" downtown. Think of all the lip service given to economic development, and to promoting tourism. "Best Town EVER," anyone? I hear that the ONP is seeing a bump in the number of visitors. And yet, for all that, a few photos from the peak of tourist season tell a different story about Port Angeles. There's no there there. As in, no people, no life, no activity.
Imagine this: What if, instead of spending all that money on a waterfront development that no one uses, and on an airport that no one flies in or out of...What if instead the so-called civic leaders of Port Angeles simply met out of town cars at the city limits, gave each person in the vehicle fifty dollars cash, and said "Welcome to town!" Now that might result in a tourism boom. That might generate some positive word of mouth. And that might actually result in at least some of that fifty bucks being spent in local businesses. All this other stuff? Wasted on out of town consultants and one-off construction projects. (And don't forget, there's also a cost to maintain all these new developments, too...)
As for the Elwha, the river, the water...Do you really need to be a scientist to look at that and see trouble? Do you need to be a hydrologist to see that little trickle and worry about the safety and stability of your water supply? How many times do you have to hear phrases like "climate change" and "the new normal" before you shake yourself out of your stupor and ask what they mean?
Those aren't just rhetorical questions. I mean, I really have to wonder what, if anything, the cretins on the City Council see during their waking hours. They clearly don't see those empty sidewalks downtown. ("Heck of a job, Revitalize!") They clearly don't see that river drying up. ("Please only waste water every other day now, okay?") So what do they see?
Talk about hire the handicapped...What are the odds of a seven person City Council having six members who are, apparently, legally blind on it? Only in Port Angeles. Only in Clallam County. So for those of you who think this blog is too hard on Port Angeles...Please feel free to tell us all how things aren't as bleak as they seem. Do tell us how the so-called leaders there aren't as stupid and blind as they seem. By all means, feel free, do tell. If you have Kool-Aid, please share it with us.
And talk about perfect timing...Today's PDN features an article touting that "37 businesses have opened, remodeled or relocated" this year in Port Angeles. It's a "bloom" of businesses, a parade of progress, at least according to the PDN.
Well, being that it's such a nice cloudy morning, let's rain (some reality) on that parade.
Fact: Most new businesses fail. No matter where they are located. So of the new businesses listed in the PDN, most will be gone within a year.
Fact: Some of these listed are being "claimed" by Port Angeles, even though they are outside the city limits.
Fact: Some of these new "businesses" hardly speak to Port Angeles being a thriving, successful town - like the Salvation Army dining room and food pantry, for instance.
Fact: Just because a business relocates and/or remodels, doesn't mean it's growing or thriving, either. Many of these changes are changes of necessity, owing to the business having originally been located in a building that has fallen into disrepair, and/or is just plain run down and ugly. Absentee landlords are common in Port Angeles.
Fact: Those new pot shops were going to open somewhere no matter what. It's not a victory for Port Angeles, or a testament to the go go go growth there. No, it's just a testament to the American desire to getting high. As if Clallam County didn't already have enough of a substance abuse problem, right?
Fact: The Chamber of Commerce, still as incompetent as ever, is least being honest about their willingness to lie and deceive.
“It's crazy,” said Charlie Comstock, member services manager of the Chamber of Commerce who coordinates the Ambassadors.
However, Comstock fields inquiries from people eyeing Clallam County as their new home. He cited one inquiry from a man who noted that Port Angeles' population has grown even as Rayonier and other wood-products industries have closed.
Yes, but...the FACT remains that Port Angeles has actually had its population shrink in recent census counts. That's shrink, as in, grown smaller. As in, it doesn't sound like Mr. Comstock takes the time to correct outsiders when they get the FACTS about the town wrong. That's lying by omission, that's deception, and that's one of the many reasons Port Angeles continues to have those empty, empty streets as documented above, even in the heart of nice weather summertime tourist season.
Some may try to pass this all off as "panhandlers and empty storefronts" rhetoric, but it's not. This is an observation of the facts - FACTS - about life in Port Angeles, and the incompetence of the leadership there. Tourists pass through, but they don't stay. Government dollars drift through, but have no effect. And businesses come and go - but mostly go.
All of which leaves the citizens to suffer.