Sunday, October 4, 2015

Clallam County Crazy (and Clueless) - AGAIN

I've seen many odd things go down at debates. I've seen people ignore questions, crash and burn in trying to answer questions, and even leave when asked a question they didn't like. Needless to say, I've seen debates where one (or more) candidates just didn't show up.

But I have never, ever seen or even heard of a debate where one of the candidates didn't show up, but sent someone in their place - but that person wasn't allowed to speak for the missing candidate. But that's just what happened at a recent forum in Forks, when Dim King Jim was too busy (he said) to attend, but he sent decrepit Phil Kitchel in his place. To, apparently, sit there silently, since he was "prohibited from responding to questions on McEntire's behalf."

Maybe Mr. Kitchel would hold up an 8x10 glossy photo of Dim King Jim when it was his turn (not) to speak? Whatever. Weird, very weird. Because I doubt very much that this was all done as a piece of political performance art, I can only assume it represents Dim King Jim's arrogance and confidence that he's got the West End, and the election as a whole, all sewed up.

In any case, less than a dozen people even bothered to show up, which may show that they also think Dim King Jim has got it all in the bag. Of course, it could also be a case of the widespread and all-purpose political apathy in Clallam County. But whatever it was, it sounds very, very odd. (And I guess the subtext is that, while we're supposed to believe that Dim King Jim is too busy to attend such things, Phil Kitchel has nothing but time on his hands. So, if you have any yard work or chores that need doing...)

Then we have the article about the somewhat off-target folks up at Peninsula College practicing to "avert the kind of carnage that wracked Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon last Thursday." I say this is a missed target because, simply put, the Clallam County Courthouse seems like a much, much likelier target for some sort of tragedy like that.

Think about it: The Courthouse is the focal point for people who have a bone to pick with government, the planning department, etc. Clallam County is also rich in anti-government/pro-gun zealots, the folks who gripe about paying taxes, and then gripe if their road isn't plowed when it snows. You know type.

Those types of anti-government, anti-tax, anti-authority whackos are also enabled and encouraged by the political posturing and pandering of people like, well gee, the aforementioned Dim King Jim. They stir the pot whenever necessary, and therefore constantly run the risk of having that pot boil over.

Needless to say, the Courthouse is also the Courthouse, where emotions run high, and stress and anger are inevitable by-products. Yet, despite all that, the County Courthouse is also woefully unprotected. Lots of entrances. No metal detectors. No security plan. Employees who don't know where the closest emergency button is. And it's also unclear who is expected to respond should some employee find and hit an emergency button. In the past, both the County and the City have said the other is responsible for responding in the event of an emergency. This chain of command confusion does not inspire confidence.

And, of course, the rotten cherry on top of all of that is the fact that, on any given day, two or three or the current County Commissioners may be carrying a concealed weapon, as well as Jim Jones. In other words, on any given day, no matter what, there are already three or four nuts in the Courthouse with guns. Every day.

Given the volatility of that situation, Barney Fife and his one bullet would actually be an improvement.

All of which is not to say that it's not a good idea for schools and all sorts of places to have plans in place "just in case." But given all we know about Clallam County, the betting would have to strongly favor the County Courthouse as the likely scene of carnage and chaos. It's really a matter of when, not if. But the County Commissioners not only ignore the elephant in the living room, they feed it, grow it with their apathy.

Yes, apathy to them, and nuts to you.


  1. And, to add to the craziness (who can top a stand-in for a candidate forum??), we see that Serenity House has opened a shelter for homeless folk, miles from downtown where all the social service agencies they rely upon are. And, it only opens after 10 pm, 3 hours after the last bus runs out there.

    This follows on the Port Angeles Police Department guy who commented on the closure of all homeless shelters in Port Angeles with something to the effect of "Well, it doesn't get that cold here in the winter, anyways"!

    And, Revitalize Port Angeles must be thrilled with this news, as it was that group who openly spoke of how to get the homeless people out of their business district. People with problems are bad for business, don't you know.

    Yes, crazy and clueless. And selfish. And arrogant. And insensitive.

    1. Since it's near the airport, maybe this is a way to get (homeless) people to fly in?

  2. What an insult!! Run for office, and send somebody else to answer voter's questions? This is how Jim McEntire treats voters?

  3. Some Arts & Draughts footage found on Youtube:

    I remember seeing a drone on Saturday afternoon. It got a lot more crowded as the day went on. Pretty good event for a first year. Beats the hell out of Crabfest and the other boring festivals for old people we have here.

    1. That is pretty pathetic. Really. Once the camera is up enough to see the surrounding area, you see empty sidewalks, empty streets.

      I notice it was posted by Mark Ohman, the website manager for Revitalize.

      Anyone who thinks that amount of people is helping Port Angeles knows nothing about business.

    2. If you're trying to convince people here it was a success you might as well forget it. We've already had people hoping it "fails miserably" and then listed all the reasons why it sucked. Including that they sold beer... at a beer fest. And the bands all sucked. And the parking sucked. And one person implied that the photos were staged somehow. And anyone who was there didn't really enjoy themselves. And it was just more grandstanding by the Revitalize Crowd. And anyone who thinks people came downtown for this is a mindless moron who repeats "Port Angeles is the best ever" over and over and over again.

      Might as well face it, Port Angeles was as empty that weekend as it always (supposedly) is. "Worst ever!"

    3. I've seen more people at any given Nasty Habits show. This looks pretty sad.

    4. @ 6:19

      Really, who are YOU trying to convince? Do you think there is some kind of on-line contest going on?

      Contrary to your snarky comments, the very real observations that the efforts to increase patronage of Port Angeles businesses are a failure ins not some kind of contest. Yes, I'm sure the cheerleaders at Revitalize see things as simple as they demonstrated by voting for themselves as "The Best Ever". You don't need real success, as measured by real people not affiliated with Revitalize Port Angeles and its supporters actually filling the streets, sidewalks and businesses. You just need to fill the vote count with your friends, to make it look like people know anything about Port Angeles.

      Do you get it? Saying "We're the Best" doesn't make it so. Having your friends say you were innocent doesn't make it so. You either are, or you are not.

      And thinking a couple hundred folks lining up for drinks means ANYTHING for the success or viability of Port Angeles just shows how shallow your understanding of what "success" actually means.

      The videos showed the streets were empty within a hundred feet of the Big Success Beer Fest. Do you think any merchants in Port Angeles made any significant money from the event? The stores had increased foot traffic?

      But, if the downtown businesses think that it was a great success, then what else matters?

  4. Oh, good lord! yet ANOTHER article in the PDN flogging the "Light Up the Lincoln" so-called campaign. The same story, with the same photos, over and over again. Why???

    1. And everyone quoted in that article is part of Revitalize.

    2. I saw the title, but didn't bother to read it.

      Yes, Why? If it takes this long, and funds are acquired so slowly, imagine how many years of fundraising it is going to take before the place is operating?

      And, as was pointed out previously, what about all the other venues in town? Are they to sit empty after the Lincoln is set up as a performing arts center? Or, do people think there is enough of a population to support an unlimited number of performing arts centers in town?

  5. And the Port Angeles City Council sure is making this whole yes or no question about fluoridation convoluted. Forums, pre-selected questions, complicated scoring systems...All for a simple yes or no vote.

    Which means they're trying to cover their (big, fat, lazy) asses before voting to maintain the status quo. But, gosh, look at the "process" we went through!

  6. To stop fluoridation immediately, or at least at the end of the contract in May of 2016, rate payers need only stop paying for toxic water. Two months with a couple thousand people not paying their utility bill will bring this city council to its senses.
    Don't fear your utilities will be shut off. They have let so many go without paying for so long they cannot rationally decide to turn off the utilities of protesters. Equal protection under the law and all that stuff.

    Council member Brad Collins was a city employee when he issued a statement of "No consequence" as related to beginning fluoridation. Immediately thereafter he called up his daughter and told her to avoid city water when making up the formula for his grand child. This kind of two-faced representation is not going to be rectified by a goofy debate. This debate is to allow folks to "vent their spleen" hoping to buy a little time so Cherie Kidd can get re-elected and become mayor again.

    The fix is in.

    The city is so deep in debt they cannot operate for long without rate payers paying the freight of city government. Why should rate payers pay for being drugged in their own homes? Sixty-two percent voted against fluoridation before it ever started. What makes you think this goofy debate is going to sway any of the goofy council members who believe anything a doctor/dentist says. Big Pharma has them doped already. Check their medicine cabinets. They are already befuddled and unable to make rational decisions--as evidenced by the debt load we have for a town this size. Start a bank account called "Utility Escrow" each month deposit an amount equal to your utility bill. Send a copy of the deposit slip to the city. Tell them they can have the money when you start getting fluoride free water. If one tenth of the population would do this we would see a quick action to end fluoridation.

  7. I notice the PDN finally picked up that "PA is in the list of worst cities" article, what, a week at least after it was discussed here? Way to be on top of news!

    1. I also noted that the usual boosters were very, very quiet - no, SILENT - about that article. When I saw it there were no comments at all.

  8. Good point CK - the County Courthouse is virtually unprotected and yet here the Commissioners are just looking for ways to give money away out of their opportunity fund. Years of showing they can't take care of their own employees, nor do they care. Just keep on boosting that morale...

  9. Now we've got the chamber trumpeting how tax revenue is up, up, up, even though it's not, really. Their tax rates have risen, which means more money is coming in, yes, but that's like a restaurant saying they're more successful because more money is coming in, when they're only making more money due to having raised their prices. If no or very few new customers are coming in, that's still a worrisome trend.

    Also look at those tax collections and occupancy rates with this in mind: after all the fuss and attention given to that stupid "Best town ever" contest, the numbers for August were essentially unchanged from last year. So whatever drives people here, it obviously isn't idiotic contests like that. But watch the chamber and revitalize fall all over themselves to say things are all rosy, and that the contest non-victory is really paying off.

    Reality has never been their strong suit. And the long-term trends are still worrisome. Look at our high unemployment rate. Look at our high rates of substance abuse. Look at the shrinking population of the town. A false bump in tax revenue doesn't offset all those negatives.

    Not by a longshot.

    1. Yep, it's all in the way you shade things, present them. It's not a lie to say room tax collections are up - but it's deceptive to say that without giving a full context for why that is so.

    2. Oh, Geeezz! Where to begin? This "story" is so flawed.

      Let's start with the how the PDN starts off with the references to the "Best Town EVER" campaign. As if the increases in the tourism are related to that effort.

      But, gee-whiz!? Was Port Angeles stuffing the on-line ballot boxes the previous year, that also supposedly set the record that year?

      Or, golly-gee! The biggest single month bump was when the oil rig was parked in the harbor. Was that the result of that "Best Ever" campaign? Did Revitalize, PADA or the City have ANYTHING to do with the oil rig being parked there?

      And even though the PDN article second sentence says :" Perhaps buoyed by its publicity in Outside magazine's online contest — which it lost to much larger Chattanooga, Tenn. — the city's take from motel taxes already is almost $41,000 ahead of 2014 figures.", does Port Angeles stand out from the pack, as a result of the contest? You know, like, is Port Angeles showing a clear difference anyone can credibly attribute to the on-line contest, the "publicity", Revitalize, PADA, the Chamber or, well, you know who?!

      As an example, let's consider the following (note the date):"Feb 2, 2015 - A record 56.4 million visitors came to New York last year, generating an all-time-high $61.3 billion in overall economic impact".

      And :"New York City Sees Record High Tourism in 2013 - WSJ".

      And:" Dec 31, 2012 - New York City welcomed a record 52 million tourists in 2012,

      And:" Sep 8, 2011 - What a difference 10 years makes! A record 48.8 million people visited New York City last year."

      Oh?! Record increases every year, year after year? Did New York come in second place in some on-line contest?

      Only New York? " Cleveland Tourism Industry has a Record Year
      Aug 20, 2015 - The report states that the Cleveland area tourism industry grew by 4.5 percent year over year in 2014, a five-year record increase.."

      " Aug 27, 2015 - It's been a great year for the tourism industry in Oregon. ... rate surpassed 90% in July and 2015 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year."

      "Aug 17, 2015 - ASHEVILLE – Buncombe County tourism officials celebrated “another record-breaking year” .."

      "Sep 24, 2015 - LAKE GEORGE — The village of Lake George has apparently experienced a banner year for tourism,"

      Google search pretty much any town's name with "Record setting tourism 2015", and you will see similar headlines.

      US only? "Aug 21, 2015 - A record number of overseas visitors arrived on New Zealand shores in the year to July.."

      " Aug 8, 2015 - With five months left in 2015, Ireland is set for a record-breaking year in tourism."

      " 5 days ago - If present tourism trends are upheld until the end of the year, Portugal could be looking at a record-setting 2015.."

      These news stories all sound the same.

      In the end, it is still appalling that being the one of the few towns of significance with tourism services, with literally millions passing by each year, the occupancy numbers are so low. Yes, the boosters will point to these numbers as if they mean something, and they do.

      Just not what they think they do!

    3. And they used the now-tired phrase "Best Town Ever" within the first paragraph.

      There was no writer credited for that "article". Did Veneema write it himself?


    4. Well commerce will really pick up when we start getting all those truck drivers bringing all of Boeing's toxic waste here for recycling into our dump instead of paying the high prices for the toxic waste site they are supposed to use.

  10. The latest search term to bring someone to this blog? "Why isn't port angeles larger?"

    Well, welcome, and if you read a bit here, you may get some ideas as to why Port Angeles isn't larger - and is, in fact, shrinking.

  11. As usual, more whining without suggestions for improvement. At the very least, the people you all criticize on this blog are trying to do something. "It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness"

    1. I think you mistake "trying to do something" as a positive thing. Here in Port Angeles, those "trying to do something" are feathering their own nests, often with public funds.

      And, "trying to doing something" that is obviously stupid and bound to fail deserves to be criticized. Stupid is as stupid does.

    2. Anon @ 7:22 I'm guessing you're the same puppet who keeps repeating that same accusation and I'm not going to waste the energy explaining it to you YET AGAIN. Go back and re-read the responses to your same whining in previous posts. Leave those of here who have productive lives and contribute our time and energy to worthwhile endeavors DESPITE the idiots around here alone. If you dislike it in this blog so much, why do you keep returning? You know what they say about the definition of insanity...

    3. I actually agree with your "same definition of insanity..." comment, and right back at you. All of you who think complaints on this blog (WITHOUT HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS) are going to make any difference to the "powers that be", are either deluding themselves, or really just don't have any interest in being part of any solution (like our moderator always contends that he (they) is only trying to warn people about the worst place on earth). At least they (he) are honest about their motivation.

    4. Unfortunately, there's a lot of darkness in Port Angeles to curse.

    5. @ Anon 12:05 PM

      Not to put too much effort into responding to your very troll-like behaviour, I think it is important to point out that, actually, this blog almost always generates "HELPFUL SUGGESTIONS".

      Most will consider it really HELPFUL to be told of the health complications resulting in taking certain medicines, or eating certain foods. Obviously, you would see such warnings as "more whining".

      Most would consider information about a potentially bad investment as HELPFUL. You would obviously see such warnings as "negative".

      Most consider information and evidence of people who are corrupt, inept or un-able to adequately perform their jobs, as it pertains to services they pay for, or actions taken on their behalf, as HELPFUL. You obviously see such warnings as "deluded".

      Instead, you think working with clearly corrupt, naive, self-serving and inept community leadership is a "positive". To "put your back into it" helping to "turn this ship around", when in reality the ship needs to have it's holes patched before it sinks!

      Working hard on a dumb idea is not honorable. Supporting inept and corrupt people is not a good thing for any community.

      You may be blind to your own negative views of what is discussed here, and blind to your own expectations of what HELPFUL is, but that doesn't make you right.

  12. My apologies to you all for not keeping this blog more active with newer topics as regularly as I'd like...Right now, I'm extremely busy at work, and am knee-deep in an extracurricular project that is also eating up great gobs of time I know it's the lead in to election time, so I'll try to do better. Again, sorry, and thanks for understanding.

    1. Thank YOU for all you do. It is much appreciated.

  13. I agree. This blog is amazing! The owner is a genius. :D