Sunday, April 10, 2016

Port Angeles, I'm Failing for You!

There are all sorts of different benchmarks or measurements for assessing success, in all aspects of life. How was dinner? A) No comment B) Okay C) Nice D) Great! The operation was considered a success! Or...The patient died.

When it comes to Port Angeles, almost every time there is an honest assessment of the town, it comes up short, to say the least. Mind you, all those in charge give endless lip service to their hunger for, desire for, striving for success in any and all forms for the community. But...They keep coming up short.

Jobs, shiny new jobs, is one of the most frequently used markers for success. However, in the awkward, backward world of Port Angeles progress, adding or creating new jobs hasn't exactly worked out. Many at the City were all excited by the "$70 million upgrade" of the Nippon facilities. They - and especially Gavel Gertie herself, Cherie Kidd - touted it as a real "investment" in the town, a sign that Nippon cared, blah blah blah. But they missed the fact that half of that money was U.S. tax dollars going to subsidize a Japan-based multinational. And they kind of glossed over the fact that, long-term, those upgrades meant fewer jobs for Port Angeles, not more. (As a consolation prize, though, Port Angeles gets to keep the downgraded air quality and visual blight associated with the Nippon plant.)

Then there's the whole NOAA thing. If NOAA has decided to come to town, that would have meant some jobs, and a little prestige to boot. Ah, but, NOAA didn't come to town. Citing a lack of "quality of life," NOAA instead picked Newport, Oregon. Their honest assessment of the town, though, still is relevant.

More recently, the first Ethics Board assessed the actions of the Deputy Mayor, Cherie Kidd, and found her lacking. Then, a jury of locals assessed the City's actions in the treatment of Yvonne Ziomkowski, and found them lacking as well - a million and a half dollars worth of lacking, to be precise. Even the PDN's slanted, skewed and incomplete "coverage" of local events is an assessment of the ability of local leaders to deliver. If said local leaders actually could or were delivering, then the coverage of them wouldn't have to be slanted, skewed and incomplete, would it?

And, on a related note, if the PDN weren't afraid of being outed (again and again) as a deficient news source, then they wouldn't disable the commenting function on so many articles. It's not as though they're worried about racist, sexist and/or crazy comments making it through, because they allow those kinds of comments to stay up all the time. But they clearly are worried about countervailing facts getting through, or simply facts of any sort. This fear serves as a sort of self-assessment, one that they fail.

(You could even say that the Port Angeles Fire Department has assessed the dangers of house fires on the bluff...And found that, bizarrely, it's too dangerous to put out a fire in parts of Port Angeles, including, of course, at the hospital...)

All of which leaves the community suffering. All of which leads to the shrinking population you see in Port Angeles. All of which leads to the angst, anger and frustration with business as usual in Port Angeles that is so common, and so visceral.

Yet the business as usual crowd, the Fluoride Four and their fellow travelers, keep on steering the ship like they were in the business of hitting icebergs. It defies logic, it confounds rationality.

For generations, McDonald's made billions of dollars pushing crappy hamburgers, greasy fries and soda. However, as the world has changed in the last ten or twenty years, they've seen their sales dropping, their market share being (no pun intended) eaten into. So they are changing. They aren't doubling down on burgers, fries and damn the torpedoes full speed ahead! No, they are listening, learning, and evolving. In other words, they assessed their position in the marketplace, found it lacking, and are making adjustments to succeed in the 21st century.

If only the so-called leaders of Port Angeles were able to do that. If only they could see that failures are, in fact, failures. Shortcomings are not points of pride. Apologies are sometimes required. Meaningless online contests to be "the best fill-in-the-blank" are a waste of time because they are meaningless. Port Angeles has gotten all the feedback it needs, from multiple sources. What it needs now are people who will listen, learn and evolve. It needs leaders who are smart enough to realize that reality is what it is, and that trying to deny reality will only lead to stagnation, ruin and oblivion.


  1. Please also note the number of businesses, from florists to car dealers, who have moved out of Port Angeles into either the county, or to Sequim.

  2. Sadly, pathetically even, the only metric most people probably use here is, "Can I manage to hold onto my lousy job?" That goes for the folks just barely making it working waiting tables and at Wal-Mart, and for the idiots in city hall.

    If you can manage to hold onto your job for another day, then yeah, "it's another great day in Port Angeles!"

  3. Interestingly, there's been no further word on the "sale" of the Lincoln Theatre.

    1. You've read my mind! I've just been finding an appropriate image for a follow up to that...Well, it's not a breaking story...Maybe a broken story?

  4. Well said, CK. Yes, if only.

    I'm not holding my breath. As the story in the current Port o Call points out, look how brain dead the leadership was during the greatest real estate debacle in memory, with Harbor Works.

    The world financial institutions are collapsing, houses "under water", and the bright lights in Port Angeles think THAT is the time to spend millions of tax dollars to get into the real estate development business! Seriously?!

    There has to be a real changing of the guard at a lot of levels in this town. It isn't just the City Council members, but the people in the various civic groups that support them, and the views they hold.

    It can be done.

  5. Evidence of change afoot:
    Port Angeles United--throttled in the crib
    Russ Veneema--gone
    John Brewer--gone
    Jim McEntire--gone
    Chamber of commerce feeding off the city--over and done
    Cherie Kidd--pilloried before her peers
    There's more I just can't think of right now but change is in the air. It took a hundred years to get to this point so the last two years of change is encouraging. Dig in and keep their feet to the flame if indignation. Make them aware their bullshit doesn't go here no more. We've decided to take back our city from the assholes and greedy beasts. Celebrate the few victories and plan for the next.

    1. Not so fast malcontent.

      You don't spar with McEntire but now attack Chapman, Veneema replaced by Abshire who you will grow to dispise. Brewer replaced by Ward and you can't stand him either. The chamber doesn't get your money you have them sending it to Porland. Hallett and Calhoun are out but you still aren't happy.

      You're no more satisfied than you were when your mother found you at the mouth of Peabody Creek.

    2. Malcontent, and proud of it.

      At least I'm awake, looking, taking notes, and talking with my neighbor about how things can be different.

      Malcontent because I'm not satisfied with watching the town I've invested my money into being openly corrupted and wasted by the crony culture that makes up the old guard in this town.

      Being a malcontent motivates me to do things. Get off my ass, get out in the community, and do things to counter the old guard.

      And you?

      But if you think we have had no victories, you're more asleep than even you realize.

    3. You aren't awake and haven't accomplished a thing. Change has happened because change does happen. Not because you complained.

      You didn't like Kent Myers and you don't like Dan McKeen. You don't like the Port Commissioners, County Commissioners, City Council no matter who is sitting. You don't like the newspaper or the editor regardless of what day week month or year. You don't like the economy regardless of if we are selling logs or not, having visitors or not.

      So where has been your victory?

    4. Interesting to see what you list, isn't it? All the things we complain about. Why? Because they are self-serving, corrupt, backwards and have only served to hold the region back, if not to outright plunder what it has to offer. You pretty much make my point!

      And, of course you attempt to belittle those that have been victimized for so long, and that are now mobilizing. Of course the people don't like to be told to sit down and shut up. Of course they object to the sweetheart deals between the Port and Grant Munro, that end up costing local taxpayers. Of course they don't like a "newspaper" that distorts, lies, and hides. And you find those objections bad somehow?

      Victories? Look what is happening in this town. Now there are independent mediums to learn about and discussions local events, that didn't exist only a few years ago. You're here, reading and trying to make your points, aren't you? The Port O Call reaches 10,000 households at a throw, and people I talk to love it. These sources of news, information and discussion are victories over the total control the PDN and KONP used to have.

      As a result, people got mobilized, and started going to council meetings to complain about the un-American tactics of their elected representatives. It was such a success that both the sitting city council AND the local paper went into complete freak-out mode, and reacted in predictably heavy handed ways. The resulting new ordinances restricting public comment ring loud and clear. The PDNs lies, distortions and intentional lack of coverage is blindingly clear, now. Few could see it before, when they were the only game in town.

      Now, even more people see the city council and the PDN for what it really is. There is no pretense that these are reasonable and decent people that mean well. Cherie and those that supported her actions revealed clearly who they really are, when pushed.

      Once out of the bottle, the genie of knowledge can not be put back in. The line in the sand in this community has been drawn by the Council, their supporters, and the PDN.

      This is the way change happens. This is the way dictatorships everywhere have fallen. Sooner or later, everyone sees it for what it is.

      Stay tuned Anon 12:52. It is going to be a different year than last. We'll talk again.

  6. Comprehensive Plan update at City is occurring now. City is requesting public input. Go to City website for more info.

  7. You gotta identify the problem in order to see it.

    City hall? That's easy. Fluoride Four + Bloor + ???, all got to go.

    But who exactly are the "old guard" (for lack of a better term) that are the actual real live people propping up the status quo here? We need to discuss this out in the open.

    For example, everyone can see the changing log piles on prime waterfront property (who is the owner?) ready for shipment over to China & parts east. Someone selling logs while selling out the city with indirect tax dollar subsidies? That might be ol Grant Munro, owner of Munro L.L.C.? Looks like a player to me. Tell me, how does his personal profit fit in with the community? Where is he giving back? Where is he supporting kids' programs? Just asking.


    1. For a quick list of the "old guard" look at the list of membership for the EDC. There you have most of them. Look how the city and county keep kowtowing to this ridiculous body of self-important creeps. They have done nothing but pad their own pockets at the expense of the entire community. If they hire anyone it is at slave wages and only because they need the slave. They are not working for the community but for themselves. They let the community work for them and, so far, it's working.

    2. Just look at the old farts around here. Munroe, Floodstrom, Haguewood, the family that owns Traylors, everyone on the board of the Lauridson Trust, the key attorneys in town...and the Real Estate idiots. Those are the so-called "power brokers".

    3. OK, but again, what exactly to do about these self-absorbed idiots, other than sit back & hope that good people run for office next time? It's good to have "The List" of them so we all know who the players are, but then what?

  8. Your assessment of the PDN is right on the money.No pride, no shame, no facts. A newspaper in name only, and even that's a lie, since they aren't actually a daily paper.

  9. I'm not falling for it. Certainly several pigs have been identified but it is only a matter of a short period of time before they will be lipsticked, poked in the ass with a stick and sent out to dance, dance dance. The evening will end with everyone including the pigs congratulating each other and much patting on the backs for a job well done and a lipsticked promise to keep up the good work.

    1. You're right. Just go to any meeting of the PABA to see who is next. Remember, Cherie is their Membership Chair.

    2. So what do we DO then besides read this blog & whine?

      In addition to the CorruptionStoppers idea, why don't we the citizens start our own, real actual EDC? Actually research & target businesses, artists, sustainable urban farmers, techhies, etc. - the kinds of businesses WE would like to see here?
      The old guard EDC doesn't offer anything of any substance to anyone, so we can't do worse.

      Just a suggestion.

      Maybe we start even more fundamental, schedule a room at the library for an hour, invite all, and garner ideas about our vision for PA? We don't need a specific leader, just a small group to keep the conversation on track. Nothing more.

      But I say again, to simply whine about the criminals does nothing to push them aside.

    3. I agree with what you say. I'd show up to explore ways to do things differently here. It's amazing how easy it really is to just take control of your own efforts. Not to play along with those that are the problem.

      Like a "shadow government", we can set up anything we want. Have our own city council. Our own planning commission. Our own Chamber of Commerce that attracts, and group advertises for it's own interests. Already, "Block Watch" is essentially your own policing system.

      Remember that kid, who looked at the adoring crowds and said "Hey, the Emperor has no clothes".

    4. The group could meet at Joshua's. Just don't forget to order a meal. We all know what they charge if you don't. Lol. :D

    5. LOL, that's exactly what this town needs, a benevolent shadow government!

    6. @ Anon 10:03

      Few people are laughing right now.

      Given how bad things are in Port Angeles, I would support pretty much anything that will help steer this town in a better direction.

      Or, we can just keep things going like they have been.