Sunday, September 20, 2015

Shell Game

City officials estimate approximately $1 million was injected into the Port Angeles economy while the Polar Pioneer was in the Port Angeles Harbor this spring, according to a report released by Shell Oil.

Well, first of all, if City officials are doing the estimating, how does it end up in a report put together by Shell Oil? Is that lazy writing? A jumbling of the facts?

Oh, never mind. It's only the PDN, after all. No one expects truth or clarity from that source.

But, I post this for two reasons. First and foremost, when the Chamber, or the City, or anyone, starts crowing about tax revenues being up (if they in fact are), then remember that this is likely the source of 90-plus percent of that bump. As in, a bump. As in, a singular, not reoccurring event. As in, Port Angeles may have gotten lucky (once), but it's still lagging in almost every respect.

Ah, but wait, the oil rig boosters cry! Maybe, just maybe, it won't be a one-date-and-done kind of affair. Maybe, just maybe, the Polar Pioneer, or one of its equally attractive cousins, will make Port Angeles a regular stop. Maybe, just maybe, they'll even end up going steady! Gosh!

But how will that affect the visitors who come through Port Angeles on their way to the ONP or other green and natural places? Port Angeles has the Turd Tank on the shoreline, and the log yard, and the mill. Could a prominently placed corporate oil rig be just the thing to ignite the downtown economy? Or, could it be the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back? Golden goose or kiss of death? I think it could be argued either way, which means that the economic boost from having such things in the harbor absolutely doesn't come without risks - financial and otherwise.

What if Nathan West's Million Dollar Beach Boondoggle simply becomes a viewing platform for oil rigs? As the City tries to promote said beach, and their proximity to the ONP, to entice environment-loving visitors to come on down, also being known for giant floating oil rigs might be, hmmm, like trying to mix oil and water.

Because when you think about the words "beach" and "oil" together, well, the images that come to mind aren't especially pleasant.



  1. Once again Port Angeles thinks resource extraction will save the day. Once again Port Angeles embraces a perspective better suited to 50 or 60 years ago.

  2. That's the trouble with having no identity, no real core vision or values. You end up grasping at any and all straws in the quest for "economic development." But then you end up pursuing ideas that cancel each other out, which leads you right back to ZERO.

  3. The only reason America has any prosperity at the moment is because of oil and gas development. We know fossil fuel use is killing the planet we live on, but money is more important than our children's future.

  4. Port Angeles: We're so desperate, we'll do anything for money.

  5. A red letter day for Port Angeles! Gov. Inslee comes to break ground on the $6.5 million toxic waste reprocessing facility, AND we get the possibility that we can have Shell's oil rig serviced here, too! Wow!

    That sounds just like the kind of place an environmentally concerned person will want to visit.

    While we're at it, how about supporting the manufacture and sales of heroin? I hear there is a lot of profit to be made in that. As long as we are going to engage in businesses that are harmful to people, why not? Far more damage is done to people, their homes and businesses, and the environment by petrochemicals than has EVER been done by heroin.

    I mean, if we are just going to ignore the harms done by something we want to make money off of, why stop at oil rigs?

    (You think others, like our children, don't see the glaring hypocrisy of what we do?)

  6. Let's do some simple math.

    Port Angeles is 150 million dollars in debt, according to the PDN article.

    The oil rig brought in one million dollars.

    Therefore, assuming the city and county stop spending money from this moment on we would need only 149 oil rigs visiting Port Angeles and we'd be debt free.

    So let's turn those frowns upside down and hope and pray for 149 more oil rigs!

    1. This may sound crazy, but...Could we bring those oil rigs in in say, groups of six or eight, and then race them around Dan Morrison's stupid, illegal, redneck racetrack? Boy, that'd generate some tax revenue - and media coverage, to be sure! You betcha!

  7. Well none of these tourists are stopping by Port Angeles anyway.

  8. Interesting so much of this threads through one name. Nathan West.

    Nathan West stand before the County Board of Commissioners urging them to approve the controversial "Opportunity Fund " grants.

    Nathan West is the person pushing the millions spent on the cement promenade and fake beaches.

    Nathan West is coming up with all these numbers supporting the Shell oil rig in the harbor.


    1. If you go back to the fifth topic posted on this blog way back when, you'll see that we've long been skeptical of dashing young Mr. West. Nathan is a soulless automaton, and should never be believed or trusted to any great extent. The fact that he seems to have a burning ambition to be City Manager of Port Angeles as his "dream job" speaks volumes.

  9. Says the governor:

    “The coolest place to be in the whole state of Washington is in Port Angeles at the Composites Technology Recycling Center,” Inslee said.

    Said saying was said at the groundbreaking for the Port's Composites Recycling Technology Center. The groundbreaking drew a whole flock of "dignitaries" to come and preen for the press, and reminds me of the groundbreaking ceremony for Pen Ply.

    And we all know how well that worked out.

    1. Governor Inslee has done his job. He got Boeing off the hook for its costs of toxic waste removal. He got the local rubes thinking this is an economic coup for the county. He got several million dollars out of the taxpayers to cover Boeing's toxic waste problem. He probably got large amounts of donations from Boeing spread out over the entire Washington delegation. He set us up for another multi-million dollar clean-up when the Port finally throws up its hands and says, "we didn't have sufficient support to make toxic waste into a silk purse." Hey, this is economic development--for clean-up crews.

    2. I'll say it again, It must really suck to be many of you. All negative all the time! At least people are trying to make something better. Recycling, reusing, even "toxic waste" has got to be better than continuing to put it in a landfill. It really does work to pause and give thanks for all the good things we have in our lives. Life could be (and is in lots of places) way worse than we have it around here. Observations about what could be better are fine, could even be useful if they lead to action, but always negative about everything?? Pretty pathetic.

    3. This is the same scenario that has gone down at every one of the State/taxpayer funded "let's help poor Port Angeles" events so far. That is the game.

      Everyone knows it is just fluff. Everyone is skeptical of anything real or enduring coming from any of these staged photo ops designed to make elected and non-elected officials look good kissing babies, and shaking hands.

      We all know that at the next election cycle any of those at that photo op yesterday face, we'll be flooded with color glossies of them smiling away, talking about how they helped poor Port Angeles.

      So, what is the real take-away from any of this? As CK correctly points out, look at Pen Ply, or Graving Dock, or Harbor Works, or Fairchild Airport, or the rest of the many times the State delegations have come to poor Port Angeles to make our lives great.

      Keep up the Happy Talk. It will keep a few of the locals quiet.

    4. Anon 6:48 PM: I think you've summed it up pretty succinctly. Port Angeles isn't actually a city at all. It's a facility to store waste, both human and otherwise. Petty crooks and industrial slag.

    5. @Anon 7:45

      Now there is the way to win friends and influence people! Start with: " I'll say it again, It must really suck to be many of you."

      I'm a bit puzzled. What of the things said here are untrue or wrong? You may think that bringing toxic waste to Port Angeles is a great idea. Fine.

      You don't require a business plan, or any of the usual things most people do. Fine.

      Some people think shit smells like roses. Fine.

      And others are willing to over-look the bad decisions, done over, and over, and over, like spending millions of taxpayers money on frivolous projects like fake beaches in a "distressed" community that can't even to afford to keep homeless shelters open in the winter.

      Sure. You can think many of us suck because we care enough to be concerned. We're not the ones doing all the stupid things we point out. I guess thinking the people pointing out the on-going bad decisions makes them "suck" in your eyes, makes some kind of sense to you. Fine.

      But "pathetic"? Okay. The area's leadership makes one bad decision after another, year after year, and we're "pathetic" for complaining about it. We try to stop the bad decisions and the millions spent on them, and are consistently ignored by the area's leadership, but we're "pathetic" for complaining about it.


    6. @ 7:45 am - Sounds like you're the one throwing a pity party. I am rightly concerned that we are just becoming a repository for other cities' waste under the banner of "recycling" but we will still be left with the toxic leftovers to deal with that, if history is any indication, we will just remain onsite, polluting our local soils and waters like all the other abandoned sites. From my perspective, I see the majority of people here on this site as local hard working individuals who DO contribute positively to the best of their abilities, and they come together here to share information that mainstream media would not care for us to know, and the odd bits of sarcasm and humor are a naturally dark way that those under stressful environments have to cope with the pressures. Many of us are not able to complain directly or effect change in our work environments for fear of retribution, and yes it is extremely frustrating to see our so-called local leadership not just apathetic, but actively ruining this area. Just look at today's article in the PDN about McEntire and Ozias debating. Mr. Ozias would like for us to prepare for future uncertainty in water supply. Our incumbent McEntire just says that we shouldn't worry or conjecture. Which position do you think would you rather go with and have them be WRONG? At least being cautious and preparing for the worst will always serve us best. If we have ample snowpack, aquifers, river runs and salmon in the future forever and ever, then great, but at least we will have been prepared and not chance being caught off guard.That debate captured perfectly the fingers in ears, eyes shut attitude of our "leadership" and why it is so important to vote these idiots out of office and bring in some of these new forward thinking folks to make a difference. Then and only then can we be offered any hope that our own individual efforts may make a difference. Until then we are stymied.

  10. Meanwhile, the Lincoln Theater is, shockingly, STILL FOR SALE. But Scott Nagel is hosting - wait for it - another meeting...

    "At first, Nagel wasn’t crazy about the date of Arts & Draughts, coming as it does two weekends before the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, the downtown Port Angeles event he produces every October."

    Ah yes...Could our cream cheese and pox Nagle bagel have to learn how to play nice with other events, other groups? You can find out for yourself, if you so desire, next weekend - and there'll be free candy.

    And lots of seats to fill, I suspect.

    1. Remember when the Sequim lavender festival split in two? That's the kind of "getting along" Scott Nagle facilitates. Anyone who believes he'll "play nice" with others, or that the Lincoln is anything other than a new con and ego stroke for him, is going to have a rude awakening.

    2. Scratch the surface and all the pettiness, jealousies, bitterness, rivalries and hatreds that make up the psyches of our "civic leaders" come bubbling up and spewing forth like pus from a gangrenous wound.

    3. So one thing you could do is go visit the Lincoln Theatre Open House from noon-4, listen and read about the plans, ask all the tough questions you want, learn about all of the other places this has worked... then form your opinion and if you still think it is a worthless proposition then at least you will have informed yourself about the project, but then again you might see the exciting possibilities for our community, you might even volunteer and make a pledge! There is no question that we have lots of problems, many of them well documented here, but where does that get us? Nowhere. Better to work for a better future for our community, sometimes we will succeed and sometimes we will fail,but at least we will have tried to make PA a better place to live.

    4. Anon 12:40 AM...They haven't been able to raise the money they need just to buy the theater, even after all this time. It will cost EVEN MORE to repair, restore and maintain the theater, and on an ongoing basis. So, how do you see this succeeding? Please, do tell.

    5. Could you enumerate the "exciting possibilities for our community"?

      Even one.


    6. @ Anon 12:40 am

      Perhaps you might consider this from Nadia:

      As much as supporters can conjure exciting images of what a restored Lincoln Theatre might look like, it will never sport glittering gold leaf replicated on the interior walls of the old Lincoln movie theatre.

      And, maybe this points to the very problem with the proposal to buy, renovate and operate the building: trying to entice involvement with examples that do not apply or are not viable in Port Angeles.

      Boosters of the “light up the Lincoln” project point to communities where beautiful old buildings were restored to their former glory. But the building in Port Angeles is no beautiful treasure waiting to be lovingly re-crafted. It is just another empty building, one of many in Port Angeles.

      As it is, Port Angeles already has a lot of performing arts venues, art spaces of one form or another, and public meeting halls. The Little Theatre at the Peninsula college offers far more than the Lincoln proposal ever could, with ample parking, far more actual seating and stage space, and is currently built, funded and staffed. And, the Port Angeles High School Performing Arts Centre?

      The Vern Burton Centre, the Landing and the Port Angeles Senior Centre, sit under utilized most of the year. The Elks Lodge, right across the street from the Lincoln offers a large space used for public events. But it sits empty most of the year.

      It is easy to understand the desire to have a beautifully restored 1800’s theatre with ornate decorations and glittering goldleaf, but the Lincoln in Port Angeles is not that.

      Beyond the lack of architectural beauty, and it only adding to an inventory of under utilized buildings in the town, what does it offer? Boosters paint a picture of a busy downtown with theatre goers stepping out on the town after an evening of wonderful performances. That a restored Lincoln will be the catalyst for a transformed community.

      Perhaps, but the reality that only a half a dozen people out of a town of nearly 18,000 show up to meetings to even listen to the pitch for the Lincoln reveals the level of community support. That, after many months, many presentations and many articles in the local press that not even the relatively meager purchase price has been raised should ring loud warning bells for those supporting this proposal.

      The recent decision by the City to stop funding the Webster Fine Arts Centre should also be of concern. Why? Because it was the result of a survey of what residents wanted to fund, or what they saw as “less important”. Hear: residents said they were not interested in continued funding of the Fine Arts Centre.

      Port Angeles has a bit of a history of jumping into projects that have been pitched to the community in a similarly enthusiastic manner. Think of all the benefits to Port Angeles the Graving Dock projects were to create. Harbour Works also garnered support from community groups, with millions in tax money spent, administrators salaries paid, but with no successes achieved.

      There is no doubt of the sincerity and good intentions of those that support “Light up the Lincoln”. Good intentions are obviously not enough to raise the purchase price, much less the renovation costs estimated to be more than the purchase price, or the on-going operational costs.

      If the proponents are having this much difficulty in raising just the purchase price, imagine the constant fundraising efforts that will be required to restore and operate the facility. Constant.

      The ideas are nice enough, but the reality must also be considered.

    7. I don't need to go look at that dump to know that it is useless as a live theater (no back door to load in equipment/sets/etc). It is a cement building that is never going to be sound for seismic (it's a series of cement pours, probably with junk "filling" and no rebar). It has no fire egress from the balcony, and the fuse boxes are there (not to code)

      AND, it isn't ADA compliant.

      It is unable to be historically registered.

      It is an ugly old building that has been stripped of any appeal by a cheap owner (who sold all the light fixtures on ebay years ago).

      The building should be knocked down and a new building built. A theater that we could really use -- something modern, and acoustically designed -- for multi-use.

      This town should look to the future, not cling to the shoddy past.

      The owner of the theater should get his ass eminent-domained, since he's too stupid to just donate it (and get a tax write-off).

      Saving the building is about as stupid as the turd tank.

    8. Port Angeles needs a community-use theater, however, that is not it.

      What kind of drugs does Nagel pass out around here? Whatever it is, stop smoking it.

    9. "All the other places it has worked" Anony 12:40am aren't the same as here. All the other places have some pretty spectacular theaters to work with. Ours is a dog. Cheaply built, never gussied up, just the basics. It's trash.
      Meanwhile, when the thousands of little theaters closed up -- it was already too late. Too bad the greedy old bastard who owns the place didn't do the area a favor and sell this white elephant when there were still grants to be had. But, he had to milk the last drop out of it.
      But, hey, he's just build a big new theater in Wenatchee, complete with bar service at your seat. So much for "not enough money" to upgrade to digital in Port Angeles.
      What does that tell you?
      I don't really like to stuff MY MONEY down a rat-hole.

    10. This is in 2 parts to cover all the comments
      We appreciate the comments posted here. These are good questions from concerned people and not the total negativity and hatred often found in this blog. Well, since you asked, and yes it takes awhile to raise money, so what else is new? Of course come to the open house and read the material on the website, it is all there, but a few things”
      Once we own the building there are a wide variety of funding sources for arts buildings - private foundation and government grants especially dedicated to - no surprise - economically depressed locations including the WA State Building for the Arts
      Fund. (you can get funded every two years for capital projects that could, for example cover a new roof or new seats); the traditional capital campaign effort for private and business tax-deductible donations; the PADA B&O tax rebate program (75% of the donation is given back to the business by the state as a dedication of B&O tax -- A $1,000 donation from a local business only costs them $250); and there is crowd-funding for specific elements like the projector and screen for the film crowd. So, a variety of funding possibilities including memberships, the core of any nonprofit arts group.

      This is not like building a new theatre, it is already a theatre and a building that is in good shape (just not pretty). The renovation can proceed in stages, and the building itself might open fairly quickly for films and other low-tech events that would begin to cover monthly operating expenses. So as stages are completed the activities will expand. For example, perhaps the facade might not be done for 2 years, but the inside of the theatre could be totally functional (also the city has a facade fund)

      And there are the revenue streams, which is the key to success of all of these theatres. This has been done all over the country, in communities large and small and not always gorgeous halls. So - live performance (music, symphony, Juan DeFuca, visiting artists, theatre, etc.), film festivals and series including special topics that relate to our area like marine/environmental subjects with the Feiro, Native American with the tribes, Twilight, etc. Live broadcasts such as Metropolitan Opera, conference and conventions for keynote speakers, special events, local groups doing awards, seminars, training, church groups, nonprofit fund-raisers and more -- think of all the events at the High School that only draw 300 people in a 1,000 seat hall - they will move downtown to a beautiful venue with all of the downtown venues before and after the event. And of course concessions are a major source of revenue and alcohol will be available depending on the event. And once the facility is producing events there are more grants for concerts, education, etc. Oh and with the stage and open area the venue can be rented for classes and rehearsals. Whew, lots of exciting possibilities.

      Of course it will take a couple years to build it up and it will be a lot of work. And for those who don't get how the arts works: the national average is that tickets sales provide around 50% of revenue for nonprofit organizations, the rest comes from memberships (which will be a major revenue stream), grants and rentals. There is not a lot of money to make, nobody will get rich, except the entire community. And the cross-border possibilities are endless – artists going back and forth often have to stop for the night to catch ferries and they would rather perform at a reduce fee that sit around in a hotel room. So no matter who you are, there will be something from this varied list of activities that will draw you to the theatre.
      I am happy to talk or meet with anyone who wants more info: 360-808-3940,
      See part 2

    11. So Scott...You don't really address ANY of the points that have been made here, such as the Lincoln being terrible acoustically, there being no backstage doors to load into, the ADA and earthquake problems, and the fact that the Lincoln is architecturally uninteresting and aesthetically bland at best. (It is not a "beautiful venue" by any stretch of the imagination.)

      And it's interesting to note how much you talk about poaching events from other venues, as opposed to creating events and "excitement" of your own.

      So thanks for the smokescreen, but...I don't hear any pertinent facts that sway my opinion.

    12. @ Anon 4;23 Who we will guess is Scott Nagel, but, whatever.

      How about addressing the issues brought up by Nadia? Like, there are already a lot of under utilized performing arts and public use venues in Port Angeles. That the Little Theater at the Pen College has WAY more parking, is set up for stage productions, etc Or all the other buildings sitting, waiting for use?

      Or that the community has "voted down" support for arts, recently?

      Why face what the real situation is, when you can blow smoke?

      Other people's money is sure easy to spend, right?


    13. No shit, Scott, you just keep spouting this crap. Have you ever, actually, been INVOLVED in a theater for profit? I have, and it's a shitbox. The acoustics can't be fixed (easily), the cave of a place is garbage.

      It has no ambiance. It is a cheaply built building with absolutely no charm.

      It has NO BACK DOOR, and the only way to (for instance) load in a full load of gear for a show would be from the "no parking" area of a main street.

      Do you know how much of a pain in the ass this is, logistically?

      It is going to cost a mint to heat.

      It has serious seismic issues. SERIOUS. That is NOT "cosmetic". It's a serious, serious issue. (One good shake and you have a theater full of squished dead people.)

      fyi: That back wall is part of the hill retaining wall, and it's so out of current code it isn't funny.

      Most theaters only have 4 nights a month where they can hope for a "sell-out". Saturday nights are better than Friday nights. But, even the BEST of the Seattle Venues rarely sell out. What is the cost point to break even? Theaters that try and run on donations alone have failed -- in much bigger towns than this.

      And, consider that the average cost to renovate these old theaters is to the tune of several-million dollars. The Genessee in Waukegan, Il is at the $15million mark, and 3 years down the road, and still not open. (Grants barely covered a fraction of that, and all the grants were "matching" money grants.)

      The Coliseum Theater (Washington Heights, NYC) was a magnificent movie palace. It could never get enough funding, and the price of renovation was pegged so high, that it's now getting torn down.

      The Varsity Theater in Honolulu was found to be in too poor shape to be refurbished, and has been torn down.

      The Fox Theater in Oakland took $75 million to restore it (and it wasn't in bad shape) and more than 25 years to accomplish.

      It is always less expensive to build than retrofit. More than a FEW theater projects around the country (that have raised millions of dollars) have found this out.

      I've followed the restoration of a few hundred different theaters, and ours is a dog, by comparison. A real BARKER. Ugly, cheaply built, and never a "movie palace" at all.

      It is going to take way more money than this community is willing, or able to spend, to get that theater into any kind of shape, and, honestly, why? It isn't situated right. It's lacking too much.

      And, who is going to run it?

      YOU? I'd be less incredulous if your Crab Festival wasn't still on the public tit looking for hand-outs. I have no belief in YOUR ability to do this.

      Small thinkers always have big egos.

    14. Hi, Scott! Is there a part 2 (as promised) coming? CK? Part 2? Anyone? Anyone?

    15. From today's PDN: "A number of prospective buyers have walked through the theater, Gase has said, but Nagel is the one who has put together a concrete plan for its rebirth."

      THIS is a concrete plan? I'd say that's some pretty porous concrete, what with all the holes and blank spots in what Nagel is talking about, or, in the case of his posting here, talking around.

    16. "Port Angeles needs a community-use theater"

      Yes, we NEED a theater like we NEED a convention center. Because there are all these people walking downtown that NEED something to do.

      Have you not been paying attention? Have you not seen all the pictures posted on this blog? Downtown is DEAD. Spending millions re-opening a crappy theater isn't going to change that. Spending millions buliding a convention center isn't going to change that. Closing an entire street for some drunk fest isn't going to change that.

      We NEED to realize downtown is dead. We NEED these idiots to stop wasting money to "revitalize" it. We NEED the Lincoln bulldozed. We could use homeless shelter or rehab center instead.

    17. You have to pity the poor people, who I really think mean well and want the community to move ahead, who get suckered by Scott Nagel and the boosters. And, it IS "suckered".

      Port Angeles is a lot of things, and REMOTE is one of them.

      But, if people want to ignore the warnings, and want to give money to this Light up the Lincoln con job, who am I to care? I won't throw my money away on that.

      Like the Composites con job, if either of these were really viable, they wouldn't need vast amounts of public money.

    18. Worth repeating from the previous poster:

      "Like the Composites con job, if either of these were really viable, they wouldn't need vast amounts of public money."

      Think about that, folks. Really think.

    19. So Scott, I think it's safe to assume there's no Part 2 coming from you, despite what you said. That sort of lack of follow-through from you is, well, at the very least, emblematic of the doubts people have about you and your Lincoln plans.

      And, on a related note, I couldn't help but notice that the new PDN article about the Lincoln's "open house" you hosted didn't mention any numbers - as in, numbers of people who came to hear your latest pitch. One photo had one (very elderly) person talking to Mike Gentry. The other photo had two lonely people sitting in the theater, with no one else visible behind or around them. So I'm guessing that not many people stopped by to hear you, Scott. Maybe they get enough hot air and magic beans stories from the local elected?

    20. Interesting new pitch in that article. Now we need a "mid-sized theater" because we have a smallish one, and a large one. (No mention of the Little Theater, though. It is pretty large)

      Also interestingly, the only person in the article about their "Drink 'Em Up" "festival" that was, not surprisingly Leslie Roberts. The vendors weren't doing well, but made polite comments.

    21. I read the article on the weekend festival - and I use the words "article" and "festival" very loosely here - and noticed a similar lack of specifics and an abundance of generalities. It seemed the writer had some difficulties going beyond two paragraphs and creating the impression that this sow's ear was a silk purse.

    22. I hope CK will let this through, because it's really not intended to be as snotty as it might seem. Anyway...

      I understand people not having faith in this "Light up the Lincoln" campaign for all the reasons that have been listed here. All are valid concerns. But I look at this project, and the driving force behind it (Scott Nagel), and wonder how much drive that force has left.

      Let's face it: this has been Scott Nagel's baby. His dream project. But I look at Scott Nagel, who is somewhere near 70, greatly overweight, and I can't help but think he's not going to be around for long. Or at least around and actually able to lead this effort. To me, he looks one or two more cheeseburgers away from a major cardiac emergency. When that happens, I could easily see this whole thing losing all steam (such as it is) and fizzling out completely.

      In other words, I guess I'm skeptical enough to say that, even if Nagel got a million dollars, I don't think he's in shape to pull it off. And of course, he doesn't have a million dollars, and no one is going to just give him a million dollars.

      This Lincoln fantasy just has too much going against it to ever succeed. Asbestos, no ADA compliance, no digital projectors, not being earthquake ready, not being a grant attracting building of historical or architectural significance, Port Angeles being so off the beaten path, the city being so hostile to the arts, the building being in such sad shape overall, and Scott Nagel being in such sad shape. His (financial) history with both the lavender and crab festivals are also red flags.

    23. I wonder why my replies and notes have not been posted. I see other posts today? Did you get anything from me?

    24. Are you going to publish my comments? If not let your readers know. Thanks

    25. Scott, these are the ONLY comments I have received from you in the past couple of days. Here they are. No others have come in. Whatever problems you're having with communication are happening on your end, not mine.

  11. Latest search term to bring someone to this blog: "nudist shop port angeles."

    Please, PLEASE tell me this isn't Barb Frederick's new "shop."

    1. Okay, so, remember how I asked if anyone was available to take photos to share of the upcoming new "arts" festival? That request does not, repeat, does NOT include anything that might be the "nudist shop," alright? Are we clear on that?

      Thank you.

    2. Well now I'm partly curious, partly horrified. Not sure which is going to win out here, but I'm leaning towards horrified.

  12. Anon, 7:45 am, thanks, and don't give up commenting. You have a point about recycling vs. landfill. Personally, I fear that our competitive disadvantage in terms of transportation may doom this effort, but it is not, on its face, the same kind of obvious disaster that PenPly (no money, no expertise, no business plan, no hope) or Harbor Works (insane Polly Anna thinking run amok) were. As for the Graving Yard: that would have been an economically reasonable and helpful project for this town, but a toxic stew of historical ill will, vicious anti-Native American prejudice, and plain bad leadership on the part of both Port Angeles and the tribe involved, doomed what would have been a sensible economic enterprise for PA.

    1. Without question, the biggest problem we have in attracting/keeping family wage jobs is the problem of costly transportation to and from our area. That is the real reason that 4 local mills closed this last year, the lack of wood from DNR is just a political smokescreen. The Port has been talking about putting in a commercial Barge Dock for many years, which would help incredibly with shipping costs to domestic markets, and I think, make those mills viable once again. It is hoped that the composite recycling shipments from Everett will be enough of a guaranteed user that they can finally justify building the dock.

    2. Hunh? My head is spinning!

      Anon 7:45 has a point? Recycling vs landfill? What?

      Since when did it become our community's responsibility to "do the right thing" with the toxic waste created by Boeing and it's subcontractors? If it is a viable enterprise, why does it need $6.5 million of public money to get it going? Any private businesses downtown getting $6.5 million in public money to help them out? Oh? You're not one of the "special people" to warrant that kind of help?

      And, the "Composites Recycling" project isn't like Pen Ply that you say had "no money, no expertise, no business plan, no hope"? Hello? The CR project has no money, hence the $6.5 million hand out. No expertise, hence the plans to build teaching facilities. No business plan, which has been pointed out for months now. And hope? With the prior three issues, who is hopeful?

      Not like the Harbor Works debacle? The only difference is MORE public money is being spent on the Composites Pork Project than was spent on Harbor Works.

      But the real head spinner is your description of the Graving Dock fiasco. You say: ".. plain bad leadership on the part of both Port Angeles and the tribe involved, doomed what would have been a sensible economic enterprise for PA."

      Never mind they dug up 335 bodies before being FORCED to stop the desecration! That they dug up another 10,000 bits and pieces of people the machines had torn apart.

      Never mind the fact that the First Nations' village and graveyard have been there since before the time of Christianity. Never mind the incredible upset the unearthing of their ancestors the project was creating. There was money to be made, and that is what you seem to think is the only thing that matters.

      The common theme through ALL these proposals and resulting travesties is the desire by the few who will benefit to ram through bad projects against the vocal opposition of the general public.

      The projects fail, but the beneficiaries walk away with fat bank accounts.

      It is exactly this kind of rationalization that keeps Port Angeles and the region from actually becoming prosperous.

    3. There are a number of local businesses that could recycle prepreg fiberglass. If A.C.T.I. hauls their locally made aviation parts to the mainland, the Toray prepreg waste in Tacoma will get backhauled for recycling.

    4. This is why ACTI complains of not being able to find qualified people to hire, right? Because we have businesses here waiting for waste to work with?

    5. they have very bad reviews as employers. I've been told ACTI treats their employees like crap.

    6. The employers around here have a hard time filling vacancies because they set their two standards so high-you must show up unstoned.

  13. So now the Port wants to raise property taxes to fund multiple projects, one of them being clean up of petroleum contaminated soils at the K Ply site. This is a completely perfect example of privatizing the profits and socializing the losses. Those who profited from the contamination have long since disappeared, dollars in hand, leaving the entirety of the county population to pay for cleanup (socializing the losses).

  14. We see County Commissioner Jim McEntire pandering to the "climate change is a UN Environut conspiracy" types at the recent candidates forum held by the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce.

    " He questioned the motivation of United Nations policymakers who make recommendations based on scientific reports.

    “Policymakers always have an agenda,” he is quoted saying, but is he really talking about himself and his agendas?

    He goes on to say: “So in plain English that means the surface temperature models don't work as far as their predictive ability as against observed climate information, observed temperature data, over the last 10, 15 years or so.

    “So how can we plan with any certainty if the scientists say that their models don't work about the central issue with this thing called climate change, or global warming, whichever you prefer?”

    Gee, Mr. McEntire, how about the observable physical reality of the disappearing glaciers in the mountains above Sequim, Port Angeles and the rest of the Olympic Peninsula? The glaciers provide much needed water during the summer and fall to area streams and rivers, and recharge the groundwater and aquifers wells rely upon.

    These glaciers have been disappearing over the last 100 years, more rapidly in the last 30. Some are virtually gone, others a mere fraction of what they were when the area was first settled and developed. A resource we built around, is now all but gone. This is not computer modelling, Mr. McEntire.

    You can see comparative photos of Olympic Mountain glaciers here:

    But, that is not the only observable physical reality of how the climate is changing to a hotter and drier one. 10 of the hottest years on record have been in the last 15 years. This is not computer modeling, Mr. McEntire.

    As a champion of the timber industry, Mr. McEntire might have heard of this thing called the Mountain Pine Beetle. A natural resident of forests, it has been kept south by what used to be cold winters. But, starting in 1995, the winters are no longer cold enough to kill off the beetles, and they have been decimating North America's forests since. Billions in damages, mills closed down, jobs lost. This is not computer modeling, Mr. McEntire.

    As Mark pointed out, area shellfish farmers have lost millions because of the increased acidification of the regions oceans. No longer able to raise larval shellfish here, they have set up hatcheries in Hawaii. Lost jobs. This is not computer modeling, Mr. McEntire.

    It is embarrassing to see Jim McEntire's comments in print. It is one thing to be a know-nothing rightwing crackpot who seeks out selected data to quote to convince themselves of some conspiracy, but Mr. McEntire is supposed to be representing the interests and future of the whole community.

    Refusing to see the growing problems associated with our decreasing water supplies is just outrageous. Yes, Mr. McEntire, YOU are supposed to be a policymaker, using all information available to you, to look out for OUR best interests. Not use your elected position to impose your personal views on us, especially for an issue so critical for our future.

    1. Thank you for your lengthy and passionate post. You've stated things very well. And per one of your opening points...It's always wonderful to see an elected policymaker talking about how "policymakers" have agendas, as though it didn't apply to them as well. Hypocrisy? Plain stupidity? Who cares? Dim King Jim is a loser whatever way you look at him.

    2. What really bothers me about what Anon 11:54 has pointed out is the extent to which Jim McEntire is intentionally deceiving people who don't know much about this stuff.

      He talks about business and jobs being his priority, but he uses irrelevant information intentionally to convince voters there is no need to be sure we have water. How crazy is this? What kind of person does this?

      We read in the paper how he is all about the timber business, but pretends the Pine Beetle isn't causing billions in damages and losses? Is he really that stupid? I don't think so. He is misleading people.

      What kind of people can vote for somebody that is lying straight faced to them?

  15. I drove through this morning shortly after 10:00.

    Good grief - downtown is DOA. Lots of curbside parking, NO ONE on the sidewalks, a few businesses had their doors open, but most didn't - and many stores weren't even open. Oh, and the Lincoln Theatre is still for sale.

    I'm guessing everyone's saving their energy for the big wingding this weekend - business owners and potential customers alike.

    1. How do they stay in business??

    2. Yes, it's another Great Day To Do Business In PA!

  16. I may be a bit of strange duck when it comes to these things, but if I saw an oil tanker in the harbor with a bunch of windmills farther out I would be pretty happy with the combination: a modern city of industry, providing for current mega engineering and working on modern alternatives. I think having an identity as a green, modern, forward looking city would allow the city some leeway when it comes to stuff like oil rigs in the harbor.

    Of course the politicians are the problem.

    1. You aren't serious, are you? Really? Oil tankers are a good thing to aspire towards?

    2. a ship repair industry is a good thing to aspire towards.

  17. I think that several writers are asking where's the balance with regard to addressing our community's problems. Anyone who has lived here for some time and paid attention to the challenges and lack of progress - would have to admit there are fundamental reasons for this. How we choose to address these issues, whether it be with harsh criticism or a diplomatic approach, says as much about us as it does about our community. I have to admit, the endless "gee ain't it awful" criticism I often hear sounds more like whining than a true desire to change things in a constructive way. I agree with virtually of the issues that are discussed here - and maybe there is no constructive way to change certain things. But at the same, ranting for ranting sake, isn't going to change anything. And I'm sure there are people who would rather just bitch and leave it there - which is one of the dangers of this blob - this becomes a "pissers and moaners club". Personally, I'm doing what I can to help in a positive way, yet at the same time, knowing we have some clowns running the show at multiple levels. Let's work toward more cooperation - we'll get further. Things are not hopeless here and this town is certainly not one of the worst places on earth.

    1. So, you hear McEntire deny any problems, and you think we should all just "cooperate"? Cooperate so that the same cronies can continue to rape, pillage and plunder the region?

      I'm not trying to be mean, but have you been paying attention to what has been going on in this community? For the last year? For the last ten years?

      Cooperation is a two sided agreement (at least). Is there anything you've seen in the last ??? years that indicates the powers-that-be have the slightest interest in "cooperation"?

      There are all kinds of things offered as solutions, but it seems everyone is waiting for somebody else to save their bacon.

      The only "progress" we ever see around here are projects that provide pork funding for the select special people. The Lincoln is another example, where Scott is making sure he convinces the community to pay him to be the Ex Dir of the foundation he will run.

      I'm sorry if I come off rude or "moaning", but your comments seem like more happy talk.

    2. It is becoming more like a blob than a blog. But your point is good and important. When this blog started it did important work. The emperor was naked as a jaybird, but no one would say a thing. CK yelled the truth from the rooftops, which was great. Well, the emperor is still in the pink, so to speak, but now we all recognize that, and we need to move on and do something about it. It is great to point out the weak thinking, the willful blindness, the corruption that continue to plague our town, but it is not great to revel in these things. Some of the posters are positively gleeful about PA's problems and want it to fail. A few have really gone beyond the pale - spoofing Outside Magazine, relishing the closure of a business whose owners have lost a child. We can do better than that.

    3. If the shoes fits . . . . wear it!!!!

    4. @ Anon 5:03

      Really? You seriously think that everything in Port Angeles or Clallam County will get better if only we think positive thoughts, and listen to Leslie?

      Have you been around for any period of time? Do you think all the efforts made by all the civic groups and millions spent were just for fun? Are you just so righteous to dismiss all the work by everyone that preceded your awakening?

      Go ahead and "move on". See if that makes Port Angeles less remote, or more competitive than any of the hundreds of communities so much less remote, all looking for companies to move to their communities.

      Do better? Get a flippin' clue! We have literally millions of people, every year, driving through, and driving by Port Angeles. 80 years or so ago, there was a train bringing tourist out to the ONP and Sol Duc resort. We couldn't keep that going.

      Now we're supposed to get all "kumbaya" about the run down featureless Lincoln theater as a way to make Port Angeles vibrant again? We're going to promote Port Angeles to the outside world by promoting all the natural beauty outside of Port Angeles? Didn't we do that 80 years ago?

      I find it interesting you come to this blog to criticize what it is about. If you think it is a "blob", then go hang out with the cheerleaders over at Revitalize, where never a critical word is allowed.

      You say: " When this blog started it did important work. The emperor was naked as a jaybird, but no one would say a thing. CK yelled the truth from the rooftops, which was great." You seem to think things have changed, somehow. That now, we should all be something we are not, yet.

      The problems this blog highlights have existed for many years prior to CK creating "Port Angeles Unearthed". As of today, they continue unabated. Nothing of substance has changed.

      But, you can still think we just have to be positive. Leslie will thank you.

  18. Having attended Revitalize Port Angeles meetings, I thought I'd share a few observations that seem relevant.

    First and foremost is what we have seen here recently with a few posts. The focus is on getting more people to come to Port Angeles to improve business activities, but no recognition that there is a reason why people are not attracted to Port Angeles. Yes, some will say things like "we know Port Angeles isn't perfect, but no town is." Or, " Port Angeles is the victim of The Great Recession, like towns across America".

    They suggest changing road signs and having events like this weekend's. But these efforts do nothing to face the fundamental problems Port Angeles has.

    As other people have said, Port Angeles is not ready for prime time. Obviously, as literally millions of travelers drive right by Port Angeles, with very few spending time or money here.

    Who is talking about the reasons why Port Angeles is avoided by so many? Who thinks more advertising is going to make travelers like Port Angeles any more? Any actual plans to identify the real problems, and do anything about them?

    1. "They suggest changing road signs and having events like this weekend's. But these efforts do nothing to face the fundamental problems Port Angeles has."

      No, they don't. They're just baby steps. They're reasonably inexpensive things that will incrementally improve the town. Perhaps "improve" is too strong a word all things considered, but they aren't bad things, they're not worth fighting against.

      The important thing is to have a sense of perspective. I'm all for fixing the little problems while we can, like the street signs or painting the benches. Those need doing and we might as well get them done. But we need to keep in mind there are several very large problems looming over our shoulders.

    2. Here's a real problem. Attitude. When I go in a store in Sequim they greet me with an enthusiastic greeting. In Port Angeles I feel like I'm under surveillance. What gives?

    3. It's pretty obvious that locals don't go downtown. We've had several posts in the last few months, and photos too, about how desolate downtown is at various times of the day.

      The lack of parking is clearly an issue. Also, a majority of the stores downtown close at 5:00 PM or just after, so who's going to stroll around and look at closed shops?

      The fact is that in today's internet economy there's very little available in downtown that you can't get online. Books, clothing, antiques, office supplies - you name it, it's available online. And then there's Wal-Mart which has everything from computers to groceries to clothing to gardening supplies.

      The passport requirement to get into Canada has effectively killed the summer season for PA, as have the rising gas prices. People aren't travelling like they used to.

      If the locals don't shop downtown and there are no tourists, what is to be done? Revitalize, in all it's naivete, seems never to have asked this fundamental question.

    4. Lack of parking??? With no one downtown? How is that even possible? What I suspect you mean is the lack of parking RIGHT IN FRONT OF WHERE YOU WANT TO GO. Which is to say, the classic American problem of not wanting to walk more than ten or twelve steps, if at all possible.

      I've always seen lots and lots of parking (and lots of empty parking lots) in downtown Port Angeles. But I constantly heard the refrain about the downtown "parking problem."

      Sigh...But I agree with the previous poster that the differences in attitudes of shop owners between Port Angeles and Sequim is great. A welcoming smile versus the squinted, suspicion-filled eyes.

    5. $12 to park in the lot next to the Transit Center probably drove a lot of people away this weekend. I wound up parking behind Coog's - and it didn't hurt that I had to bring back my drums to his back room, which is our rehearsal space. I'm certain that it kept that sheriff's deputy that was patrolling the alley from ticketing me.

  19. I agree with some of the previous comments about the need to move ahead. Some how.

    I don't think there are many that disagree, contrary to what some think. Most everybody wants things to get better.

    That is why people here have been pointing out how wrong headed the solutions offered by the same old, same old are.

    Are we looking to Cherie Kidd or Pat Downie for the way to a better Port Angeles? McEntire or Peach for a better Clallam County? But they get voted into position.

    Does anybody think Revitalize Port Angeles is doing anything to make things better in Port Angeles? The sidewalks are still empty, more than they used to be.

    If not them (and they clearly haven't accomplished anything that has changed things here for the better), then who? If it is "up to us", then what have we been waiting for, all these years?

    It is all fine and dandy to say people should stop pointing out the bad decisions that continue to be made, but who is pointing out the alternatives? What is the path forward? Where is the plan? Where are we headed (besides the obvious)?

    Absent somebody stepping forward with the approved plan, we are left to try and hold local decision makers accountable for the messes they continue to make.

    If any of you reading have ideas, then lets debate them, and see if they are really viable. Pipe dreams like wasting time and effort on the Lincoln, or Dan's Fantasy Tram don't need to be discussed further. Any intelligent person can see those are going nowhere. So, don't waste time complaining about people being "negative", tell us your solutions.

  20. Thank you CK for providing this venue. I have read and watched this for a while and commented as well. I also would like to thank Dale Wilson at Port O Call for including you and also having a brave voice alternatively to the PDN. He seems to be trying to undo some things from the ground up "guerrilla journalistic" tactics" by attending council meetings and speaking out. Exposing the old time "good ol' boys network" around here is a daunting task. Especially with the naive Revitalize Group blowing their old horn of "Best Ever Town" BS. Keep up the good work and Thank You.

  21. Middle East music and belly dancing in the Pacific Northwest Timber town drinking cider. Sure. I can see why there were no people in the background of that picture.

    Or, why they spoke about "the Surge". It worked so well in Iraq!

    1. Well whenever I see Keith Thorpe's knees and fishing vest walking around camera in hand, I make myself scarce too. Got to love the article, it's all "well it's nice out but we aren't selling anything!" Hope we had someone here to photograph how miserably this event failed!

    2. No photos in my inbox, at least not yet...

  22. Love the contrast.

    The PDN covers both the first PA beer bash festival today, as well as the local school district needing to hire not one but two drug and ALCOHOL counselors.

    We're really working both sides of that equation, eh?

    1. The festival was craptastic. $25 a head to enter the beer garden is ridiculous. And their live entertainment was..... well, it was live, but aside from our friends in the belly-dancing troupe it wasn't all that entertaining. Worst of all was the acoustic folk-grunge act that my punk band utterly destroyed the night before at the Metta Room. I'd say their music could be used as a form of capital punishment, but it'd violate the rights of the condemned under the Fourth Amendment - cruel and unusual punishment.

    2. The Revitalize Face Book page has several photos up showing a "crowd" of people. Naturally, they want to accentuate the positive.

      I've also seen some photos taken by non-Revitalizers which show extremely sparse attendance.

      Nothing in today's PDn, so it was clearly and underwhelming experience.

    3. So Revitalize packed the photos with their friends or something to mislead everyone into thinking people actually attended this?

    4. Let's see how downtown is doing the last week of January, and the first couple of weeks of February. Maybe they'll hold another beer fest, then.

      Given the Coho will be out of service for those two months, and all the people who otherwise wander around downtown waiting for the next ferry won't be there, it will be a good indicator how much PADA and Revitalize have really accomplished.

      All well and good to be positive when there are people (how ever few) around.

      Success isn't about convincing other how great things are, it is about how great things are.

  23. The Arctic drilling rig's last day to drill was yesterday and they got zilch-packing up and not returning.

  24. I want to be positive about the event, and I know friends that went and had a good time, but that was probably because the $25 got you all you could drink and they were counting on the servers to not serve if the person was inebriated. Personally I did not go because I was aware that if I drank $25 worth of beer I would not be ok to drive so $25 would have indeed been a ripoff to me, being responsible. They just didn't get organized enough in advance to plan to give out only so many tasting tickets with each purchase. The headline in the PDN saying "hundreds" attended was kind of sad because a successful event like that should have drawn thousands. I'm glad they tried, but hope they learn from it. Other communities put on successful events like this all the time - they could have just asked for a template, they don't need to reinvent the wheel.

    1. I guess they didn't learn from the failed " Arts in Action".

      I guess they didn't listen to Port Angeles residents who said "Arts" was a low priority for them, when recently polled.

      Like the "Light up the Lincoln" effort, also supported by the PADA and Revitalize Port Angeles, the supporters think they can ignore the realities of Port Angeles, and just wishing and hoping things will be different is enough to MAKE things be different in Port Angeles.

    2. Scheduling the A&D festival on the same weekend as the Film Festival in Port Townsend was a big mistake. I've also heard complaints about the lack of non-alcoholic beverages for those who don't drink or didn't want to.

  25. ok, I give up. Apparently I have a problem sending my longer answers - but still under the character limits. I cleared all formatting, etc. I know you need your anonymity to attack people but anyone can email me at So I will go back to a more positive world. Its been fund.

    1. No Scott, it hasn't been fund. That's the problem. You can't raise the funds. Not to buy the Lincoln, not to restore the Lincoln, and not to run the Lincoln. If you can't figure out how to send comments to a blog, Scott, I really doubt you're going to solve the mystery of how to buy the Lincoln.

      But enjoy that positive world, okay?

    2. Gee Scott, it really isn't difficult to post. People do it every day.

      And, you had no problem posting your shorter comments. Maybe learn from that? Oh, that's right, why learn from observable reality.

      I've heard about that "positive world" where everyone supports you with smiles and happy talk, no matter how utterly stupid your proposal is. It doesn't actually create any self supporting successes, but the participants enjoy themselves, and that is all that really matters, isn't it?

      I hear a large percentage of the population is on anti-depressants, these days. "Happy pills" that make people happy, no matter how screwed up the situation has become. Very popular in our current culture.

      Why actually do what is necessary to correct the wrongs we wreak upon the planet? Why stop destroying our children's future with the rape, plunder and pillage we depend upon to live the lives we enjoy? Why spend any time feeling guilt or remorse for what we do? They have a pill for that. They have "medicalized" guilt and concern. Now, it isn't about being a selfish jerk; you have a medical problem just like diabetes, and no one questions a diabetic having to take THEIR medicine?!?

      So, yes Scott, you probably should retreat to the comfy happy talk of Revitalize Port Angeles. Facing reality can be so uncomfortable.