Friday, October 9, 2015

Who Says There Are No Jobs in Port Angeles?

Now, obviously, no one wants to go without paramedics, or badmouth their profession. When you need them, there's no one you're more glad to see.


Website ranks Port Angeles as a prime spot for paramedics, EMTs

In the continuing Internet cavalcade of “best places” to live, work, hike and bike, Port Angeles late last month fetched up in the top 100 cities to be an emergency medical technician (EMT) or the more highly skilled paramedic, according to the data-analyst firm

The city ranked as it did primarily because of its popularity with job candidates, meaning competition is keen for the jobs GoodCall said pay $58,670 per year, third-highest among departments it surveyed across the country.

GoodCall listed Port Angeles’ salary for EMTs and paramedics at $58,670 — third best in the nation — according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ occupational employment tool.

Also included in Port Angeles’ ranking was a housing affordability index of 18.89, the percentage of the aforesaid income that goes to buying or renting a home.

However, Port Angeles’ amenities per 1,000 housing units — theaters, concert halls, libraries, museums and galleries — came in at 5.98. The top score in the country went to artsy Santa Fe, N.M., with 18.17.

So, yeah, you want paramedics, and you want them to be qualified, but...Does Port Angeles really need to pay the third best salaries in the nation? More to the point, can Port Angeles afford to pay the third best salaries in the nation?

As an indicator for a community, this ranking is actually really bad news, illustrating as it does so many of the problems plaguing the City. First, of course, there's the overspending, and lack of budgetary discipline or reality.

Second, look at those low, low prices for housing. The housing stock in Port Angeles is generally rundown, and sells for cheap. Great for money-saving EMTs who want to put in a few years and then buy elsewhere with their bankroll, but not good for the community as a whole. (As a hole?)

Meanwhile, Port Angeles, once again, rates almost off the charts low in cultural amenities. That's a quality of life killer, and a barrier to attracting tourists.

Finally, why does Port Angeles need so many paramedics and EMTs? And why is it such a great place for them to train and get experience? What keeps them so busy? It's the double-whammy of an aging population and extremely high rates of drug abuse.

So a sincere thank you to the first responders of the world. We hope you enjoy your nice house in Poulsbo in a few years. In the meantime...


  1. It's all very simple CK. They have to keep hiking the incomes of the paramedics so they can justify the obscene salaries they pay the department heads. See, they think the department head MUST make more than the worker bees or they will not respect them in the morning. So, they keep giving them a raise which by extension gives the department head a raise and, like a dog chasing its tail the salaries go up and up and up. Secondly, this must be the best gig in the country since the emt's roll up, wait for the other private ambulance company and then go back to the fire hall while Olympic does the heavy lifting. What a sweet deal. No wonder they flock here.

  2. I'll guess that the high number of EMTs has something to do the area, mostly Sequim, being a retirement community?

    There is a lot of unknowns with this. Are these positions all privately funded, city funded, government/insurance funded? We know the medical industry throws money around like all the disposable materials it uses.

    Are the numbers proportionately high because the county has a small over all population?

    But, you're right on about "run down". Look at Trip Advisor to see what visitors think about the Red Lion, AirCrest or the other hotels in Port Angeles. I stumbled across this yesterday while looking for something completely unrelated on the internet. A recent tourist's review popped up in the search results with big letters " Run Down... Dirty Rooms.."

    You want to know what keeps tourists away? Many tourists now look on-line at places before they go there. The reviews of the hotels and motels in Port Angeles are not good. In reading the few I saw yesterday, most from only a couple days ago, I wouldn't come to Port Angeles!

    1. The best worst one I've seen was from the person who stayed at the Red Lion, found used syringes under their mattress, then got grief from the hotel staff when they asked to change rooms.

    2. You just can't buy publicity like that!

      Port Angeles: We got used drug needles waiting for you!

    3. come to Port Angeles -- get the point?

    4. Ediz Hooked--John arrested

  3. Crab festival staff will be wearing t-shirts that read:

    "The Dungenous Crab & Seafood Festival"


    Who needs correct spelling, we're from Port Angeles!

    1. So long as the word "dung" is part of it, you'll know you're eating crab from Port Angeles.

    2. We can expect "Light Up the Linkun" next.

    3. Geeez! Does it ever end?? Can they do ANYTHING right?

    4. Vote yes for PA school'z.

    5. Fed a lot of people, turned over a lot of money. I say they can do something right. How much did you take in today?

    6. @ Anon 5:18

      Seriously? You honestly think this poor example of a "festival" is what we should look to as doing "something right"???

      I drove through town a few times today while running errands. I also happened to drive by Walmart, too.

      Without ANY exaggeration, I can say the parking lot at Walmart had a similar volume of cars I saw in downtown streets and sidewalks. No BS. Really!!

      Now, that isn't to say there were no people at the "Dungenous" Crab Fest. But, so what?

      As I drove through town numerous times today, I made a point of looking in the parking lots of local stores, restaurants, and hotels. Empty. I don't give a damn what the Chamber or paper says, other than the block or two around the tents, there was NO activity. I was there, I saw.

      So (and you sure sound a lot like that troll others talked about here), you may think these "festivals" are doing something for Port Angeles, but I'm sure not seeing it.

    7. @ Anon 5:18: Does that mean the festival will be solvent this year and not need to be financially bailed out as in the years previous?

    8. The problem with these "festivals" is that the people who attend them rarely bother to go anywhere else in the downtown area. Hundreds or thousands of people attending an event do not equal hundreds or thousands of people visiting the downtown area and spending money with the area merchants.

      The Crab Fest is in the parking lot of the Red Lion, which is far removed from downtown. As we saw with the video footage of "Arts & Draughts", you can have a festival in the middle of the downtown area and no one will venture past the perimeter of the event.

      It's great to trumpet the "news" that hundreds or thousands showed up for an event or that you "took in a lot of money", but unless the downtown retailers can say the same thing the event might just as well have not happened.

    9. It would be real interesting to tally up all the hours of work done by volunteers to make CrabFest happen. Some people are getting paid, but a lot more are not.

      So, the volunteers help the few make money on an event that officially loses money?

    10. Time for a change in PADA leadership.

  4. I just cannot understand how the median income is reported so high. It doesn't fit with my experiences in this town. I could see average. There are a few very well off people here which, combined with the government workers, would skew the average higher. But I have a very hard time believing that half the population makes over... sorry, I don't have the figures in front of me, 41k?

    Of course I don't understand how people can claim there are hundred of entry-level $45k+ jobs in Port Angeles, if only the lazy, unedjookaytid people would only show up for them.

    I wonder how that median wage would fare if the sample was extended a few miles outside city limits. There are a lot of people just outside city limits and I have a feeling that would move the median wage downward. Given how expensive property can be in the town, I would guess the ones making the higher amounts are the only ones who can afford to live in town while other Port Angeles workers have to live outside.

    Well, whatever. The figures as they are sure look good on paper!

  5. To add, as I drove through town a few times today, I looked to see how full the parking lots of the various hotels and motels were. None were close to full. Most were quite empty.

    But what really caught my eye, and I so wish I had a camera with me, was the black mould stained mattress leaning up against the wall outside one of the rooms of the Air Crest Motel. Yes, for all tourists to see as they drove in for "CrabFest" on Hwy 101 leading into Port Angeles.


    1. Were there any free syringes under the mattress?

    2. Will look to see the reviews!

  6. And then we have today's priceless quote from Evan Brown in the paper, talking about the homeless, pan-handlers and local crazies:

    "Friday was the first day of the three-day Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival, centered just north of First and Lincoln.

    “I'm more worried about the image of the town, with all these people coming for the Crab Fest,” Brown said.

    “What will be the impression they have of Port Angeles when you have all these people like this?"

    Impressions people are going to have of Port Angeles?? Who thinks it matters one whit?

    The people are coming to eat crab, and go home. They are not patronizing other businesses, coming to start a new business here, or move here. The Coho folks advertised the crap out of "Crabfest" in Victoria, because it is a big money maker for them. People pay to come, and pay the Coho to leave.

    This is the what? 14th annual Crabfest? Have we seen any enduring economic benefits to it so far? Despite the cheerleaders saying things are so wonderful in PA, the reality is as we see in today's paper: "Do something about those un-sightly people walking around our businesses."

    Maybe somebody ought to let the lawyers know about Port Angeles' plans to harass "certain people".

  7. Oh! Another contest where Port Angeles can proclaim itself "The Best".

    But first, let's pass some laws so that we can put those poor people, those with mental problems, those we don't want to see in jail. (Never mind a number
    of those "offensive people" actually live downtown).

    We got the over night shelter moved out of town. Now, let's work on moving all the service organizations for "those people" out of town. Close the Lee hotel, and make it illegal for anybody to rent an apartment downtown to anyone that makes less than $100k a year.

    Will that make Port Angeles "The Best"?

  8. Speaking of "festivals", here is a video of "Symphony Splash" in Victoria, where 40,000 people showed up just to listen to some free music.

    Or, the annual " Moss Street Paint In", where artists set up on the sidewalks, the street is closed, and 30,000 people enjoy the "festival":

    Or a Ford Hot Rod show in Victoria, where people came from ALL OVER North America to look at old cars. Want to try counting how many thousands of people attended?

    Victoria is on an ISLAND, and they still get millions traveling to go there every year. Port Angeles has millions passing by every year, but they aren't coming FOR Port Angeles, and what it is. Even the ads for Port Angeles show the surrounding county and national park.

    But, the boosters will claim it all a great success. A few thousand traveled from all over to Port Angeles, ate crab, and left. And Port Angeles will continue to be a "distressed" town, because so few are looking at what is really going on here.

    1. Festivals that bleed money while drawing a few outside people to a town...Are unlikely to become the lifeblood of a town.

      Especially when the quality of life in said town is so severely distressed.

      Once bitten, twice shy...And that goes double when there's a sewage overflow the week before CrapFest.

  9. You hit the nail on the head, CK. The boosters seem to overlook the Big Picture evaluations of Port Angeles by those who have concluded Port Angeles doesn't have adequate quality of life.

    It is embarrassing that the city can be talking about traveling to another city to examine their "panhandling" ordinance, with civic leaders openly saying they don't want the poor on the downtown streets because it looks bad! WTF? Cities are only for nice, good looking people?

    As if the poor on the streets are what makes Port Angeles unappealing to all those millions that drive on by, every year? Do these folks really think that is why Port Angeles is empty most of the time? Given the poor downtown are what the Revitalize people keep focusing on, and trying to get rid of, it would seem so.

    After all the decades of advertising the Chamber and everyone has done to get people to come to Port Angeles, you would think they would have learned a thing or two by now about what is working, and what isn't.

    But, they happily keep spending other peoples money.

    1. If they're going to institute some sort of attractiveness standards for downtown Port Angeles....They've got their work cut out for them. Goodbye, Edna. Goodbye, Barb and her "new" shop. Goodbye, Harpers. Paul Gottlieb at the PDN? Goodbye! I mean, really, if you want to know what makes the downtown ugly, in every sense of the word, look at the creeps who live and work there. Look at the morons who set the standards in this town. Look at the landlords who let their buildings decay.

      Saying downtown is unattractive due to the homeless or panhandlers is like saying your whole meal looks terrible because the little sprig of parsley on the side for decoration is a little wilted. You're missing the bigger picture.

  10. I didn't go to the event itself. Why? I can have Dungeness Crab pretty much when ever I want.

    But, in doing various errands over the three days that took me through town, it was easy to see virtually all the activity was over by the Red Lion and City pier. The restaurants, of course, were empty. People came here to eat at the tent.

    I'm guessing that if people spent money on stuff other than eating crab, it was with the vendors. Where most of those local folks, selling locally made products? Or silly crab hats made in China?

    1. In the past, the vendors were almost entirely from outside the area. They travel circuits of events like these. Can't speak for this year, because I didn't go. But if prior years are any indication, the dollars spent left town with the vendors.

      Except for the dollars that Scott Nagel gets to keep this thing afloat, so that city council members can point to a "successful" local event.

  11. Sounds like it's almost unanimous. These festivals have no value and waste money. The question is "now what?" Would anyone on city council have the guts to de-fund the Crab Fest and the Juan de Fuca? They'd take away all funding for the art gallery but will still prop up those two. How long would they last without public money? What about Arts and Draughts? I don't know who funded that, is it the PADA? Is it public money? It was hard enough to get rid of Barb how can we get rid of the PADA? They obviously aren't bringing people downtown and the merchants are probably sick of propping them up for no reason. What are the solutions here?

    1. I was thinking the same thing. At what point are people going to want things better, here?

      Was thinking of a "Big Tent" event of some kind. A real old fashioned Town Hall meeting where members of the community come and voice their ideas. No politicians. None of the established so-called leadership. We've lived with their ways of doing things for too long, and it has gotten us nowhere.

      A town is what people make it to be. If we want or allow junque, we get junque. This is what we allow it to be.

      I think it would take some effort and planning to do something like a real Town Hall meeting. The first question to be asked is " Who is interested?

  12. There is the real problem we have. NO ONE WILL SHOW UP! Everyone is just too busy to do anything except to complain in blogs about anybody who actually does try to get something done.

    1. Eat your Dungenous crab and be quiet!

    2. Because people see that the things that get promoted to "get something done" to improve the situation here are SO STUPID.

    3. Painting a mural on that water tank by the FAC is certainly a top priority in getting this town back on track.

    4. Without Revitalize Port Angeles spearheading projects like this, how could anyone expect this town to get out of the "distressed" designation it currently enjoys?

      I KNEW there was a reason all those millions of people were driving by and not patronizing Port Angeles businesses. It was that damned unpainted water tank up there!

      Thanks Revitalize PA. Just think where we could be without you!