Friday, September 18, 2015

A Tale of Two (Different) Cities - Told Almost Entirely Through Headlines

As we all are well aware, there are no movie theaters in Port Angeles, though the Lincoln Theater is still for sale. But just down the road in little ol' Port Townsend they have a seasonal drive-in and two great year-round movie theaters. Oops! I mean they have three...

Port Townsend's Cotton Building, refurbished as 100-seat theater, to be unveiled at film festival

Oh, right. With all those theaters, they also have a well known and well attended film festival every year. Meanwhile, Port Angeles has lost some festivals (Arts in Action), while others (Juan de Fuca Festival) are really just fading echoes of previous versions. It seems like just about the only event that still draws crowds (though not enough money to be self-sustaining) is the annual Crab Festival. Which leads us to the second headline of the day...

Study: Eating large amounts of Port Angeles Harbor crab could raise risks of cancer

As the saying goes, you can't buy publicity like that.

Two Port towns, just an hour apart. Yet divided by an incredibly wide chasm. One has greatly transitioned to being a pleasant, successful and picturesque arts-embracing 21st century community. One continues down the path of resource extraction and environmental devastation that was a successful model generations ago. One has made some sort of peace with their past as a mill town, and moved forward. One is stuck in the mill town mindset, which literally and figuratively poisons any attempts to move on, to grow, or to evolve.

Now, I'm willing to bet that the crab from the waters around Port Townsend is probably none too healthy either. But that sort of toxic image isn't the one most people have of Port Townsend. They're far from a model community, but they do have a eco-friendly, marketable image that allows them to, well, market their community on almost every level, and from many different angles.

But Port Angeles...Well, Port Angeles still thinks it can make a fortune by "cutting more trees." Port Angeles still swears allegiance to the Nippon Corporation over people. And Port Angeles still thinks it's functional and doable to simply shout "We're the best!" to try and drown out the voices who are crying out for help, for jobs, and for a more sustainable and modern community.

It's not a perfect match of analogies, but...In the ever-more global marketplace of people/ideas/businesses, Port Townsend is like the traveler who learns to speak French before going to Paris. Port Angeles is like the classic Ugly American who goes there and just shouts louder and louder in English, and somehow expects to get positive results.


  1. Once again, you state the situation very well.

    Yes, I realize Port Angeles and Port Townsend provide the realities that give you the fodder to write about. As they say " You can't make this stuff up!"

    " And Port Angeles still thinks it's functional and doable to simply shout "We're the best!" to try and drown out the voices who are crying out for help, for jobs, and for a more sustainable and modern community."

    Absolutely! And, to what ends? One community enjoys a good reputation, and the other is evaluated by those interested in relocating here as " Not having an adequate quality of life". How did that happen, some might ask. We did it to ourselves, and we continue to do it to ourselves.

    And, we could do something else, and actually change things. But we have entrenched interests like Jim McEntire and all that follow his lead. He can stand up, as a supposedly informed, responsible leader of ALL residents of Clallam County, and tell people ".. there is more water in the Dungeness River than ever before."

    Because HE is financially supported by the real estate interests, acknowledging that the area has water problems is not going to happen. Even though people's wells are going dry, and Forks is in the headlines saying their ground water levels are dropping extremely low, McEntire is not interested in finding funding for reservoirs. Because, as he said the other day, " there is no problem."

    So, who would want to relocate to or invest in a community where the elected leadership is so determined to force it's political ideology of "property rights" upon the population that they refuse to do anything to ensure stable future water supply?

    Port Angeles, where sticking to "political beliefs" is more important than facing reality.

  2. Way to go, PDN! Take a ten year old report, put it in the paper just before Crab Fest, and then sit back and watch. Not that I'm a fan of Crab Fest or Scott Nagel, and not that I'm interested in protecting either of them, but, wow, I'd really like to know what motivated the PDN to run this article at this time. They are the most schizophrenic newspaper I've ever seen. Boost the town! Bash the town! Boost the town! Bash the town!

    Maybe they could try a more moderated, reality-based approach to local issues?

    Nah. Not likely.

    1. You think the crabs are any less polluted now? If they are polluted, are we supposed to hide that fact from the public? If you KNOW they are polluted, don't you have a moral obligation to tell the public?

      Since when is telling the truth "Bashing the town"? Are we supposed to hide the truth, in order to promote the town? Isn't that how we got into the trouble we're in? The "Let's con the tourists" mentality?

      I'll put as positive spin on this as I can. CrabFest uses the obvious desire of the public to pig-out on crab meat to gain support for cleaning up the harbor.

    2. Actually, the crabs probably are a little less polluted now, if only because more time has passed since the source of the pollution was shut down. More to the point, however, is that the crabs people eat here are not from our polluted harbor (shudder). Even the festival crabs are not from the harbor, thank goodness.

      I have to say, I too, found the timing of this article to be a bit peculiar. What's the point? It would be important if people were still harvesting crabs from the harbor, but they aren't.

    3. " It would be important if people were still harvesting crabs from the harbor, but they aren't." And, you know this, how?

      The "old timers" I know here specifically put their pots down in the harbor because so many crabs are drawn to the waste coating the bottom of the harbor that pours down from the fish farming pens in the harbor.

      Oh? Farmed fish in the harbor?Yep. Yumm!

      And "Actually, the crabs probably are a little less polluted now, if only because more time has passed since the source of the pollution was shut down."

      Probably just doesn't make it. Yeah, opinions based on "probably" are fine for idle conversation, but when it comes to eating things that are polluted, not so much.

      The source of the pollution the crabs run around in has not been cleaned up yet. The harbor is to be the subject of a multi-million dollar clean up, which hasn't happened yet. FYI.

    4. The timing was damn peculiar. As you say, it's a ten year old report. Why wait until just a few weeks before the Crab Fest? Of course this is the PDN, when they get pissed off with someone they really let them have it. Is Brewer pissed off with Nagel? I wouldn't think so with all the rah-rah Lincoln press.

  3. boost and then bash is classic wife-beater, brain-washing mentality. Make it so they don't know if they're going to get a kiss or a slap.

    What is it about Port Angeles and it's desire to brainwash the public?

    Classic brainwashing techniques include:

    1. Suppressing doubt and resistance to new ideas by exploiting the need to belong.
    2. Encouraging blind acceptance and rejection of logic through complex lectures on an incomprehensible doctrine.
    3. Encouraging child-like obedience by orchestrating child-like behavior
    4. Maintaining vulnerability and confusion by alternately rewarding and punishing similar actions.
    5. Accomplishing automatic acceptance of beliefs by discouraging questions
    6. Maintaining loyalty and obedience to the group by threatening soul, life or limb for the slightest 'negative' thought, word or deed.

    Perhaps living in Port Angeles is more like living in a cult than it appears?

  4. your final analogy between PT Townsend and PT Angeles re. the world traveler vs the classic American tourist is the best ever!......and as a Canadian born Port Angeles resident....I'm having a double-good guffaw ....ain't it the truth.

  5. Brewer is having his last laugh. He'll teach those bean counters to cancel his check. It's called "shitting in your nest on the way out."

  6. I yield to no one in my contempt for McEntire and Peach's shenanigans, but it is not fair to compare PT and PA, as their situations are too different. PT is only a little more than an hour from a huge population cachement. We, on the other hand, are way the hell out. In addition, PT, due to one of those "silver linings" accidents of history, has a gorgeous treasure in its Victorian era downtown. There is just so much more money in PT than there is here, and the money - and this is crucial - is not tied to resource extraction. I hate to say this, as I have smart friends in the timber industry, but resource extraction makes you dumb. It doesn't matter if it's oil or timber or copper or gold. It just makes you stupid.

    1. You say Peach am stupid? Jim MacEntire am stupid to? Ha! You just jell us!

    2. @ Anon 8:00

      I don't think it is quite so easy. Port Angeles has made it's choices, as has Port Townsend. And what we now talk about, and compare, are the results of those past choices. With an eye to current choices, and decisions being made.

      You say that Port Townsend ; " due to one of those "silver linings" accidents of history, has a gorgeous treasure in its Victorian era downtown." And as a result, has more money to work with.

      Good planning is no "accident". Let me share a real life story with you, to make the point.

      About 10 years ago, I attended a Port Angeles City Council meeting during which a presentation was given on planting trees along the roads coming into the city, with the goals of beautifying the city. The presentation was very thorough, and showed artists renditions of beautiful landscaping for visitors to pass through on their way to downtown, and elsewhere. Everyone was all smiles until one of the Council asked "What about the leaves?"

      He said "We are going to have to pay somebody to pick up the leaves in the Fall, when they fall off!" That was it. The proposal was nixed, and no beautification project was undertaken.

      The Council was too stupid to understand that by making the community more attractive, property values would increase, and there would be more than enough revenue to pay for the Fall clean-up. Look only to the tree lined streets in beautiful Victoria, as an example. Look at the costs of housing, and scale of tourism in beautiful Victoria, as well.

      My point is that is doesn't help to make excuses for the state of Port Angeles. It is no accident. We're in the poor state we're in because of bad choices made by our supposed leadership. Year after year.

    3. Ah yes...I remember the leaves meeting. It was a classic.

  7. Leslie Roberts and her Revitalize Port Angeles cheerleaders must be thrilled at the news that the Salvation Army over night shelter is closing, just in time for the winter season.

    But, we don't have to worry about those living outside, because, as the Port Angeles Police Department tells us:

    "As Port Angeles’ weather does not tend to be cold or severe, his department does not generally play in role in getting homeless off the street when the weather gets bad, he said."

    Oh good! It is like Hawaii out there in December and January! The homeless will sit on the new beaches downtown, and watch the beautiful tropical sunsets.

    But we have millions to spend on all kinds of things. Like fake beaches. Cement promenades.

    As the homeless services close for lack of funding. The Fine Arts Center funding is cut.

    "Quality of life"? Hmmm..

    1. I really doubt that most of the people in charge of things in Port Angeles and Clallam County even know what "quality" actually means. They're the type of people who think going to a soulless, corporate chain restaurant like Olive Garden is really fancy and fine dining. They're not worldly, not educated, and are painfully unsophisticated. Low standards, to be sure, enabled and practically enforced throughout their kingdom.

  8. Don't forget that the "Arts 'n Draughts" shindig will be rockin' the block next weekend. There will be wall-to-wall crowds downtown, all eager to explore the wonder and magic of the commercial hub of Port Angeles. Tourists will come from a far. The sidewalks will be made of gold and unicorns will wander freely amongst the joyous throng farting glitter. Let joy be unbounded and prosperity arrive thereafter!

    1. Is this "Arts in Action" redone? Is this an example of the "new" PADA, and their "out-of-the-box" innovative new ideas on how to improve things?

    2. Since it's a given that the PDN and Revitalize will play this up big time, someone should be on hand to photograph the "event" in order to demonstrate the minimal turn out.

    3. Tyler? Anyone else with a camera? Click away and I'm happy to share the results...

    4. I would love to accommodate, but I'm out of the country. I can only be around Port Angeles for so long, and then I need to get away, and remind myself what life can really be. Tyler

    5. I was skeptical of this event up until yesterday. The PADA has been doing a terrible job communicating what the event is actuly going to be. The beer and wine garden will have $25 tickets but no list of brewers or details of what you get for your money.

      Last night I heard that there will be 30+ beer and wine vendors pouring and the event organizers told them to just start pouring since they can't manage any kind of token/ticket system this year. So it sounds like a pretty good deal.

      I really hope it suceeds because its the kind of event that we need more of around here.

      I plan to attend and can submit pictures.

    6. I don't doubt people will show up to drink beer. A once a year event may be nice, but, that doesn't create economic prosperity where there is none.

      This is why the PADA and Revitalize fail. They look at other communities, see their festivals and events, and think their prosperity comes from the events. It doesn't.

      It is one thing if you are Poulsbo, and you have the Viking Fest (or whatever it is called). People that are 1/2 hours drive away or so will pop over on any of the many ways to get to Poulsbo. While there, folks living on the relatively nearby I-5 area may see how pretty it is, that it is a do-able commute, and may move there.

      Or, seeing what is available in the area, decide that visits for Norwegian oriented foods and goods is do-able. It boosts their economy. They have a large population within a relatively small area.

      But Port Angeles, with it's one lane roads and industrial pall is not easily accessible, nor pretty to look at. Yes, people will come to eat crab and drink beer, but as we see all the rest of the time, the other 360 days a year, the sidewalks are empty.

      Beer for locals? Crab for locals? Sure. But, we got that, anyways.

      I'm sure the pictures of the event will be pretty. And then what?

    7. I'm actually looking forward to the Arts & Draughts, and the Big Hurt's return. Definitely not participating in the Big Hurt though lol.

      I don't think it's going to be as big a deal as Revitalize thinks or even as big a crash as this blog thinks. It's just an area Octoberfest celebration. It might be a fun event for locals to do locally instead of wondering why we never get events like this.

    8. "Unicorns Farting glitter" I kinda like that image.

  9. Sour grapes much, Tom Harper?

    1. Sigh...Yes, yes...You're all just figments of my imagination...Yes, yes...Heard it all before...Sigh...

    2. Tom can't compete, but he clearly can whine. Pretty pathetic. Keep up the good work here, CK. Thanks.