Saturday, February 27, 2016

Swine Line-Up at the Port Trough

Saturday evening, and it's time to slop the hogs! Translation: They've announced the seven applicants to fill Jim Hallett's big, hungry man sized shoes down at the Port...And there are some obvious bottom feeders coming up to try and dine.

First and foremost - swine before pearls - is the one and only Jim Haguewood, well-known publically-funded bloodsucker, and former "Executive Director" of the EDC. Jim's never met a public dollar he didn't like, and I'm willing to bet he's positively drooling at the thought of getting in at the Port - especially without the bother of an election. As you may recall, Jim is a close criminal cohort of Karen Rogers (no stranger to the trough herself), and, with her, he was the brains behind the totally bogus "CEO Group" that tried to hijack the whole lamebrained "PA Untied" thing a while back. Now Jim's back! Oink, oink, piggy!

I'd say good ol' boy Jim Haguewood is a 2-1 favorite to get the slot. (Feel free to place your bets below.)

Also on the list is Randy Johnson, the President of Green Crow. Yes, the President of Green Crow. (Have you fallen on hard times, Randy? Call me!) If you know anything about Green Crow, and their political activities, and/or Mr. Johnson and his political activities, you'll know that's he's also a member in good standing of the good ol' boys who are good at standing in the way of progress. He's also the current board chairman of the - wait for it - EDC. As a true believer in log it and hog it capitalism, Mr. Johnson is prime porcine competition for Jim Haguewood.

I'll say Randy's odds run about 3-1 for getting in. (Randy, call me!)

Next, we have Brent Berry, who, so far as I can tell, is in his 70s, really likes to play online poker, and, so far as I know, knows nothing about running a Port. (Needless to say, I could be wrong.) But, being a fool for a bet, just like Mr. Berry, I'm guessing his seeming lack of experience might be very, very attractive to the Twicked Twosome who are on the Port Commission. Patsy, ragdoll, sucker - whatever. They could just roll right over him and blame him if something goes wrong.

A longshot favorite, ol' B. Berry is running 5-1.

How about Mel Rudin, you ask? He's a pilot, and say, doesn't the Port have an airport or something? (Let me check into that...) On the plus side, Mel's a PABA member, which shows a good willingness to swallow massive doses of unadulterated BS. On the other hand, Mel and his wife Vicci have been very generous to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, which might make him some sort of damned Commie or something.

Still...PABA! Pilot! Let's give Mel a 10-1 shot at making it.

Steve Burke...Steve Burke...The Executive Director of the William Shore Pool. Doesn't that count as already having a full-time job, Steve? I know that water flows downhill, but still, moving from the Pool to the Port seems a stretch, all things considered.

Steve Burke currently comes in at 12-1.

Then we come to David Sellars, the "On the Waterfront" columnist for the much-maligned and utterly contemptible Peninsula Daily News. So, sure, he knows the waterfront. No doubt about that. But the Port is, shall we say, generally hostile to transparency, openness and the, you know, free press. So it might just make them shudder to even consider putting Mr. Sellars on the inside.

So Sellars ends up a buyer's market at 20-1.

Finally, we come to Thomas Pope, who is an Accredited Marine Surveyor. That sounds like something that requires education, and possibly some sort of professional standards. Yikes! It also hints at someone who might have some sort of knowledge related to running a Port. Yikes again!

Thomas Pope is accredited at 25-1.

And ladies and gentlemen, the house is open for all bets, and the free - yes, FREE! - exchange of information.

Friday, February 26, 2016

You Might Think, But You'd Be Wrong

Thanks to the Port O Call for providing us some compare and contrast info from our neighbors to the north. So in case you're wondering what's up in Calgary, they've just voted to remove fluoride from their water. By a 10 to 3 vote of their elected aldermen. As in, by a very decisive majority. I think their Ward 7 alderman Druh Farrell sums it up simply and clearly:

"What this really boils down to for me is the question of ethics. Should we have a right to impose what many people see as a medication through the water supply that those same people also pay for?"

Well said! And given that the PDN has yet to print a single word about the efforts to fluoridate the entire county's water supply, I'd like to rephrase Farrell's question:

"What this really boils down to is a question of ethics. Should a newspaper have the right to knowingly censor the flow of vital information to the people of a community who financially support that newspaper?"

Or, to put it in the form of yet another question: Is it possible to file an ethics complaint against a newspaper? On less than vital issues, we get a steady flow of fluff. They have stories on things of no consequence. ("Breaking News: Scott Nagel STILL wants to buy the Lincoln Theater.") They have maybe stories about things that maybe might could happen in the future. ("Jeepers! The Port is trying to hoodwink another air carrier to come to Port Angeles.")

But elected officials talking about chemically altering the water supply for the entire population? Nothing to see folks, move along...

What this really boils down to is that any last little shred of journalistic credibility the PDN once may have had...Has boiled away.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Clallam County: Where the Money Flows LIke (Fluoridated) Water

The Board of Health held their last meeting on February 16th. That's when the now infamous not-on-the-agenda fluoride resolution was put forth, and a great new fountain of bullshit flowed forth.

That was the 16th. Today is the 24th. And there STILL hasn't been a word about this put out by the guardians of the dysfunctional status quo at the PDN. We're talking about it. The Port O Call is talking about it. KONP is talking about it. But the PDN...Nadda. Zip. Zilch. "We know nothing, nothing!"

Oh, and there is another source talking about it: County Commissioner Mark Ozias, who may be realizing that he has not just stepped in it - he jumped in with both feet. Below is the vague, non-committal, mealy-mouthed, does-it-feel-like-I-feel-your-pain response that Mark Ozias sent out...
As a “lay” member of the Board of Health I have worked hard to research this important issue.  To be very honest, it has been difficult for me (and perhaps this is simply inexperience talking; this was only my second meeting as a member of the BOH) to weigh the huge bulk of professional information coming from the medical community with the emerging science that’s raising questions and concerns and then know with certainty what to do as a responsible member of the BOH.
To the extent that the BOH continues to engage in this conversation (which may be not at all) I promise that I will work to ensure that we do not simply parrot the support of the medical community but find a positive way to publicly address your extremely valid concerns.  I agree that we have much more important public health issues to pursue, and that is exactly what I am working to do.
In the meantime, please know that each municipality who manages a public water supply will continue to grapple with this issue in their own way, and that the County controls no public drinking water supply and has no plan (or ability, or authority, or desire) to take any action.
Thank you for your engagement,
Mark O 
I think the lameness of this message speaks for itself. It's like a Greatest Hits email from Politics 101: "Find a positive way," "continue to grapple," "Thank you for your engagement," etc. But note that Ozias actually says essentially nothing - other than that he should be cut some slack because these are hard decisions to make and he's new on the job.

Meanwhile, the three County Commissioners have unanimously agreed to give the useless - and more! - EDC, well, more. As in more money. As in $150,000 worth of your money. I guess that's the only way they can continue to do the impressive non-results producing work they've been doing for years now. You've got to reward success, right?
So, in terms of the whole fluoride issue, it's clear that it doesn't matter what the citizens want. The Commissioners (who make up the bulk of the Board of Health) know best. As regards the EDC, the facts (as economic engines go it's a dead battery) don't matter. Again, the Commissioners know best. Sure, these issues involve your health, your money, and your right to be heard. But hey, give them a break, okay? After all, these are difficult decisions! And some of them are new on the job.
New, but learning the rotten ropes pretty fast...

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Picture is STILL Worth a Thousand Words...Unless You're the PDN, and Choose to Have Neither Pictures Nor Words

We've been discussing the whole county-wide fluoridation idea since last Wednesday. Heck, even a County Commissioner has been posting here about it. And yet, not a peep, not even a hint, about this has yet to appear in the Peninsula Daily Lose.

This is something that would literally affect every single person living in Clallam County, and yet...Not even a whisper.

Which raises the obvious question: Just how much can one small town, so-called newspaper suck? How few actual facts can it contain and still call itself a source of news? I mean, yes, its offices are located on the Peninsula, I'll grant them that. But it doesn't, in fact, come out on a Daily basis. And it very frequently avoids, avoids, avoids covering real, actual News. So right there, you can see that only one-third of the name of the shameful rag is even true.

Far from being an asset to the community, the PDN is instead a sort of combination of leech and cancer. It sucks what resources it can from the town, and has spent years withering the area down, down, down into a weakened and unhealthy state. Journalism? Only if you're talking about some sort of medical journal about pathology.

Meanwhile, the community continues to be engaged and enraged over the fluoride issue, and the failure of elected officials to listen or respond in anything approaching a rational way. Even those who were thought to be on the side of the angels, like Mark Ozias, have too often turned out to be more like petty devils, searching for spare cash they can pick up with their pitchforks. It's all about the money to these aspiring "professional class" politicians, and service to the community isn't even a distant second. Find the funds, circle the wagons, and the people be damned.

But Mark Ozias didn't find this new, dark path by himself. As has been pointed out by numerous people here, he's had guidance, instructions in the art of the backroom deal from mentors Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege. And, in regards to that, a picture is still worth a thousand words.

At the back of the room, with his back to the people...
Getting instructions from Steve Tharinger.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Gee Whiz, Things Keep Going Wrong - Is It Something In the Water?

Here's the thing....Obviously, any person is free to hold any view or opinion that they like. It doesn't have to make sense to other people, or seem to clearly match your other points of view. We're all complex individuals - even seemingly simpler forms of life like politicians.

That being the case, supposedly liberal young crusader Mark Ozias is perfectly free to favor fluoridating the water supply of the entire county - even if that position doesn't seem to jibe with how he presents himself in other areas.

You might think long-haired, tie dyed hippies would be against fluoride, man.
You might think tie dyed hippies would be in favor of openness, man.
But you would be wrong on both counts, man.

But...I do have to wonder and worry about someone who behaves like Mark Ozias has on this issue. He has expressed his support for fluoridating the county's water supply, yet he ducked out of the Board of Health meeting before having to vote and go on the record as supporting the idea. And he does so in the context of his handlers - Steve Tharinger and Kevin Van De Wege - having received the maximum amount of Dental Dollars as campaign contributions. And in the context of the ongoing fluoride fight in the City of Port Angeles. (Oh, and let's not forget that the fluoride issue never even made it on to the agenda for that Board of Health meeting, either.) All of which, to put it plainly, stinks. It doesn't pass the smell test. It doesn't look right. It looks like someone who's trying to have it both ways: "I may have said I was for it, but I didn't vote for it."

Which is to say, it sure does seem like Mark Ozias is acting like another Clallam County politician who lies (literally) somewhere on the continuum between "typical," "lacking in vision" and "easy to manipulate."

And, it should be noted, for further context, that he does this with the full aid and comfort of the snoozing, toothless "watchdog" called the PDN, where they still haven't published anything about this latest battleground in the Fluoride War. After all, it's only public officials making decisions that affect the water supply for everyone. Why bother with such a nothing story, right PDN?

Or am I wrong to find this set of circumstances alarming?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

If At First You Don't Succeed...Try Again And Piss Off EVERYONE

Well now...Okay then...I guess the Fluoride Four have a new ally (or two) over in the County Courthouse. Below is the text of an email that County Commissioner Mike Chapman apparently sent to Jim Jones sometime in the last day or so. How's this sit with you if it's legit?

I forgot to ask you earlier today to please make sure the Health Dept schedules a work session with the proper public notice if they plan to ask the Commissioners to proceed with mandating fluoride Countywide. If the Health Dept doesn't need the BOCC approval then please have them schedule the necessary public hearings before moving forward.

Also at some point we will need the Prosecutor's Office to advise, if the Health Dept wants to move forward, as to the authority and legality of countywide fluoridation.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

All right then...In response to several requests, this topic is hereby thrown open for the purpose of: A) Finding or suggesting potential new members of the City Council, to be put forward to replace any of the current members who should (and they really should) leave office, and B) To serve as a forum or clearinghouse for those who wish to present or discuss current or (relevant) past City of Port Angeles scandals.

If you have documents related to the above, feel free to email them to me, and I'll do my best to insert them into the conversation. Needless to say, links to articles or information are welcome.

This should be a great segue into tomorrow's City Council meeting, with the issues of thieving employees and ethically challenged deputy mayors bubbling right along. It doubtlessly will be an interesting meeting, eh?

But if you can't wait for this week's episode, then feel free to revisit the last one. The link below will take you to Cherie Kidd's finest hour. The video is now just shy of 750 views.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

It's Only Stealing AKA City Light Slush Fund Follies

If you've followed the recent articles in the PDN about the investigation of the City's electric utility, well then, you already know that the State Patrol was, well, investigating the City's electric utility. It turns out that employees in that division have been engaging in unethical (and I would argue illegal) activities on the City's dime and time - for years. As in, many, many years.

There were a number of very interesting findings in the final report, such as that City employees have been taking home tools owned by the City for their own personal use. Such as that that City employees, on the clock, mind you, have been taking (and burning!) old power poles that were supposed to go to the landfill. (Anything to help the local air quality, right?)

Furthermore, said City employees also were taking and recycling spent fuses that were supposed to be thrown away. The proceeds from said sales were kept in a bank account - an account that the bank had listed as, I'm not kidding, the "City Light Slush Fund" - and were used to pay for things like "extravagant barbecue events" attended by upper management. You know, the people who are supposed to be watching over those working below them. But I guess in Port Angeles the only checks and balances were the checks written to pay for the catering.

Food just tastes better when it's paid for
with Other People's Money.

Again, this has been going on for a long, long time. (The "City Light Slush Fund" account dated to 1995!) And yet, no one said a thing, no one had any problem with all this pilfering and misuse of the City's time and materials, until Corey Delikat raised the issue in April of last year. Now, good for Corey for doing that, right? But he's worked for the City for 10 years. This has gone on for at least 20 years. No need to hurry, right?

This is the kind of lax, entitled atmosphere that permeates City Hall. This is the kind of do as we say not as we do attitude that manifests itself in things like the behavior of the Fluoride Four. (Critical public commenters are "rude"; Gavel Gertie interrupting them and gaveling them down is just "keeping order.") Slipshod, rule-averse thinking like this results in compromised ethics, public and private lies, mistrust, dysfunction and a whole host of pathological outcomes. How does a small city like Port Angeles end up in such bad shape, with so much debt, with so little to show for it? Because much of the decision-making and priority-setting has been, to be kind, a con. The guiding principle for a long, long time has been so long as a few well-placed people get their pockets lined, then everything is fine.

So really, the entire City has been a sort of Slush Fund. For Karen Rogers. For Glenn Cutler. For whoever came along and was selfish enough and ruthless enough to go there. And the whole semi-criminal enterprise has been very much aided and abetted by the compliant local (non) press.

But you know what? I think it's entirely possible that people have had enough of this. So keep the pressure on, and let's see how many rats flee from City Hall.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words...

...Though, admittedly, the picture itself contains some words.

And meanwhile, soon to appear in dozens of locations around town...These lovely, professionally-made signs, as seen below. Ask for one for your yard or business window today!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Grading the Guardians and Oh, Laudy, Laudy!

Now that the bold and indefatigable Marolee Smith has filed her ethics complaint against Cherie Kidd, the next step will be for the members of the City Council - minus Gavel Gertie - to pick three people to become the "citizens' ethics board" provided for by City code.

Needless to say, with a split Council, this should be an interesting process.

And so, at this time, the pool of potential ethics board candidates consists of:

Jerry Dean

Roy Gotham

Grant Meiner

Frank J. Prince, Jr.

Danetta Rutten

Diana Tschimperle

Kenneth Williams

William Yucha

Edward Zoble

Anyone have any thoughts? Background info on these folks? Predictions?

Meanwhile...In a parallel universe...

Cherie Kidd says - and the PDN repeats it, without any sort of proof or context, not a word - that she has been "lauded for her actions." She says she's received an outpouring of support, and people telling her that they're sorry their fellow citizens have been so "contentious."

Translation: Scores of people have expressed their righteous frustration with the City and the Fluoride Four, which is their right and possibly even their duty as citizens. This means they are "contentious." Afterwards, Cherie's husband and Dick Pilling both probably said something soothing to her. This means she's seen an "outpouring of support" from "people."

Me am popular and respected!

I've always said that the hardest thing for a politician to say is "I'm sorry," or "I was wrong." And yet, it can be the most powerful thing a politician can say. It shows they can listen, and learn. It shows they recognize they are not perfect. It shows they can acknowledge that situations change and evolve. Gavel Gertie's total lack of even a hint of contrition for the part she's played in this only increases the impression that she's arrogant and out of touch. Her complete inability to empathize, sympathize, listen or learn only tightens the noose around her neck a little bit more each day.

Give 'em enough rope? Cherie's grabbing for it hand over fist.

Meanwhile...In a neighboring galaxy...

SeaPort Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, at almost the exact same time that the Port will be starting the search to replace (former) Port Commissioner Jim Hallett.

Here's a friendly tip: Find someone to replace Hallett who has a pilot's license and owns a plane. That'd be a win-win.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Cherie Kidd Ethics Complaint: “I am fully confident everything is going to be fine.”

Gavel Gertie rides again! It's old news here, but BREAKING NEWS at the PDN: An ethics complaint has been filed against Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd for her shameful, disgraceful, rude, unprofessional, antagonistic and humiliating performance at the last Port Angeles City Council meeting.

As ethics complaints go, this one is a pip - detailed, well-written and it names names and cites citations. Well done, Marolee!

And yet, despite all this...Despite the documentation of her arrogant and out of control behavior (captured on video from multiple sources, as well as the City's own audio recording)...Despite the embarrassment of breaking so egregiously with decorum and civility...Despite the well-substantiated complaints lodged against her...And despite the fact that she decided to essentially put her own head in a noose in front of a packed house and the press...Gavel Gertie apparently remains more upbeat than beat up.

Sayeth disgraced Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd, when asked about all of the above: "I am fully confident everything is going to be fine."

Given Cherie's general befuddlement and lack of understanding of the many issues she has to deal with, this simplistic riff on "What, Me Worry?" could essentially serve as both Cherie's motto and modus operandi. Out of control staff? Out of control spending? Out of control debt? Out of control populace? No worries: "I am fully confident everything is going to be fine."

Clearly, a great many people in Port Angeles would respectfully disagree with you, Cherie.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

It's Official: Cherie "Gavel Gertie" Kidd Has Lost Her Tiny Little Mind

The following is a first-hand report from last night's Port Angeles City Council meeting. Thank you to the original poster, and to the second poster who also documented this...this...Well, this.

Tonight was a red letter day at the Port Angeles city council. You'll be able to see the way the council, lead by Cherie Kidd, overtly tried every thing they could do to shut out the public.

First, signs were put up telling the public THEIR signs would not be allowed in the council chambers. No prior notice. No discussion. No public consultation.

Then, Cherie did everything she could to interrupt and disrupt what speakers tried to say. "Your time is up," she told the first speaker after a minute. The speaker replied: "I'm timing my comments, and I still have 2 minutes." She did this with every speaker, obviously intentionally harassing them.

Then Cherie cut off public comment after a half an hour, although there was a long list of people signed up to speak. People who took time out of their lives to come and speak to their elected representatives at the advertised time. No prior notice. No discussion. No public consultation about the changes. Only weeks after the council expanded the public comment time, because "we really want to hear from you." Only if you say things they want to hear!

But, even though Cherie cut off the public, most all stayed because she said " There is an opportunity later in the meeting."

Cherie cut off the first speaker at the second round of "Public Comment," and adjourned the meeting unilaterally, without a vote.

The place went wild.

Cherie and Gase left, The public wouldn't leave room or the podium. Collins left his seat, but stayed to hear the speakers.

Lee took over, and invited anyone who wanted to speak, to continue.

Everyone who wanted to speak, did. Sissi Bruch, Mike Merideth, Lee Wetham and most of Staff stayed to listen to the public. To their credit.

One person spoke, saying what happening tonight was "intolerable" and served to prove the four have to be removed from office. Absolutely.

It will be interesting to see how the PDN spins what happened tonight.

Cherie could not have done more to justify all efforts to have her (and her cronies) removed from office. No one, regardless of their political persuasion, can defend what she/they did tonight.


In other news sure to shock no one...Scott Nagel has not met his fundraising goal for the Lincoln Theater...And has lowered his fundraising goal for the Lincoln Theater...AND now says it's not worth the price they agreed to pay for it anyway, so no, really, it's all good...No, really...AND he now is trying to raise $1,000 a day by the end of the month...To purchase the Lincoln Theater...For a lower price...He hopes...