Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Correction: $300,000 - It's Only (Your) Money

Well, it appears previous  reports were exaggerated. Clallam County is not going to spend $550,000 to try and sweep their failures and fuck ups under the rug. They are going to pay a mere $300,000 to do so.

Thanks to the "screw the process and spend the money" duo of Bill Peach and Mark Ozias.

Transparency? Accountability? Fiduciary responsibility? Proven need for a new park? Demonstrated ability to pay for maintaining a new park? Public comment?

All totally unnecessary - at least from the "let's hurry and get this done" perspective of Peach and Ozias.

How messed up and irresponsible is all this? Let's leave it to Mark Ozias to - unintentionally - sum it up:

"What we are talking about here is a systemic failure. There are a number of individuals, well-intentioned over the course of time, that have made decisions that have led us to be where we are now."

So sure, we're talking about a systemic failure, engendered by (supposedly) well-intentioned people. In that context, I guess go-along-to-get-along Mark Ozias is just trying to fit in by engendering one more piece of the failure pie. I don't know if he's a conscious hypocrite, or an unconscious idiot, but either way, Mark Ozias sounds awfully stupid saying these things. For a would-be progressive, he sure seems most comfortable with progressing backwards into the good ol' days of the good ol' boys in the backroom.

Or, as another well known political figure might say: "Sad!"

Sunday, June 26, 2016

$550,000 - It's Only (Your) Money

What does a half a million bucks buy you in Clallam County? Or, putting it another way, what in Clallam County is worth buying for over half a million bucks? Would you advocate spending that much to get a new park? How about to protect your reputation?

What if you could get both for that one price? Would that be a wise and prudent use of taxpayer dollars?

Please, please check out the recent article at the Port O Call at the link below. It's interesting stuff, and raises a lot of pointed questions. Just how pointed said questions are can be seen by the County's willingness to spend over half a million bucks of your money to try and dull that point - and bury it all under the heading of a "budget emergency."
Well, it's not actually fabulous, but it absolutely
is a cover up.

Then, once you've read the article, and considered the depths of dysfunction and desperation it outlines, ponder a little more about just how many people are likely to come out to a meeting to discuss it on Tuesday, July 5th. It's hard not to think that that date - so close to a big, distracting holiday! - was chosen very intentionally.

Be that as it may, hopefully some people will save some of their fireworks for the 5th...

Thursday, June 23, 2016

You Can't Make Stuff This STUPID Up (Unless You're Cherie Kidd) ***UPDATED with Photo***


Someone done went and turned Cherie Kidd's idiot switch to "Full Power" at the last City Council meeting, especially during the discussion about homelessness...

Kidd repeatedly described panhandlers as entrepreneurs at Tuesday's meeting..."We are talking about people who are entrepreneurs and stand there with a sign and make cash. These are people who want to live a lifestyle by standing on corners and getting tax-free money."

Though, really, he couldn't hope to even be competitive with Cherie in the moron's race to the bottom, Dan Gase at least gave it a try...

"I am hearing our citizens are afraid to walk downtown and shop in downtown stores," Gase said.

If this guy is really an entrepreneur, maybe Cherie
could recruit him for the EDC Board?

But Kidd was at the top of her game, spewing forth her predetermined and fact-deficient views again and again. When they conflicted with reality, she just bulldozed ahead. When Jennifer Linde, the EDC rep from PA Forward, reported that 96 people had signed a petition calling for "tougher measures" Kidd smacked her down by saying that "more than 200 people had complained" about "aggressive begging."

And when the City's own police officer, Sgt. Jason Viada, said that no one had ever - as in ever - described panhandling as a job, or a way to avoid paying taxes, his words couldn't penetrate the forcefield of fake facts Gavel Gertie had surrounded herself with. Still in full-on stupid mode the next day, Kidd just regurgitated her same set of fantasy facts...

"They get tax-free money," she said. "They are living a free lifestyle. They panhandle because it pays off."


Be sure to add your sign to the Fence of Folly. This is a limited time offer, and spaces are going fast!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Whose Pan Are They Handling?

Hey, here's a simple question for the simple minds that make up the majority of the Port Angeles City Council:

If you're going to pass "enhanced" restrictions on panhandling in Port Angeles, will you make yourselves subject to those very rules? In other words, will you stop coming at your tax and rate payers all the time with harebrained projects and wastes of their money? Will you stop spending inordinate amounts of money on unnecessary vanity projects (like Nathan West's Boondoggle Beach) and start budgeting wisely? Will you instead spend to maintain essential (if unglamorous) infrastructure?

Will you, in short, stop looking at your tax and (especially) your utility rates as a big, juicy cash cow to be milked, and instead try to see the mountain of existing debt you're all already sitting on? Will you please, please try to grow up, and govern with some small amount of sense and accountability?

In other words, will you listen, really listen, to the many, many, many voices in your own community who keep shouting "Throw the bums out!" and realize that they're talking about you and not some homeless guy downtown?

Sunday, June 19, 2016

(No) Sign of the Times

Yeah, yeah...To no great surprise, Cherie Kidd, Deputy Mayor and Major Ignoramus, has been cleared in the latest round of ethics charges leveled against her - this time centering around her heavy-handed, go-it-alone, cowardly and un-American banning of signs in the City Council chambers during "that meeting."

Though we can all understand the urge to want to "get" Gavel Gertie for any number of her failings, transgressions and crimes, it was always a stretch to call her unilateral and unnecessary banning of signs an "ethics" violation. Thus the outcome is, as stated above, no great surprise.

But once again, this could have been an opportunity for Cherie Kidd to fill in some small portion of the vast empty space in her head and learn something. That, apparently, did not happen. "I really think the charges themselves are rather frivolous," says Kidd, missing the point that her banning of signs might also meet that criteria, and, again, missing the chance to learn and grow. Instead, she's "very grateful that the community has given me so much support and encouragement through this time. I do my best to serve...I try to serve appropriately and I did my very best."


Just imagine that the frying pan is a sign, the brown cat
is a City Council member, and the garbage can is City Hall,
and you can see that Cherie was justified to be cautious.

I guess for me it all comes down to what the hell Cherie Kidd, Deputy Moron, was so fearful of at "that meeting" on that night. Was she afraid that someone was going to swat her down with a sign? That people would pile their signs up and start a revolutionary bonfire in City Hall? What was the potential, theoretical dreaded outcome that she was just so motivated to avoid? Certainly it couldn't have been merely to protect her own fragile (but steel panty-clad) ego?

And going forward, I have to wonder just what a sign is. Can a t-shirt be a sign? A lapel pin? A political button? Will she want the police to check cars in the City Hall lot before a Council meeting for bumper stickers?

Given Cherie Kidd's failure to lead, learn, grow, govern or apologize for her many, many weaknesses and shortcomings and blind spots and her embrace of obstruction, rudeness and ignorance, I can think of only one sign that would be appropriate to show her...

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

$4,645 is More Than $650, but Less Than $7,361

Here we go again...A fat boy and three stale leftovers talking nonsense...

Four Clallam County commissioner candidates discussed timber management, the economy, jobs and climate change at a primary election forum Tuesday.

Gabe Rygaard, Randy Johnson and Maggie Roth said the economy and jobs are top priorities, while Ron Richards said addressing climate change is his No. 1 goal.

Richards also told the group he can’t afford the kind of spending on political signs that Roth, a former candidate for the position, has purchased.

Richards has raised $4,645 in campaign contributions to Roth’s $650, Johnson’s $7,361 and Rygaard’s $3,700, according to state Public Disclosure Commission records as of Tuesday.

Richards also expressed confidence that a majority of District 2 residents vote Democratic most of the time, adding, “I feel a little outnumbered by all these Republicans.”

Johnson disputed that the GOP party affiliation applies to himself, saying he is an independent.

He said he believes in collaborative leadership and that the county is “on the cusp of great growth.”

On climate change, he said people should be “careful about what we think about climate change, about what happens.”

Richards, who will be 71 by Election Day and a Democrat, is a commercial fisherman who was elected Clallam County commissioner in 1976. He served one term before going into law practice.

Johnson, who will be 73 by Election Day and who registered as a candidate with no party preference, is former president of the timberland and wood products company Green Crow Corp. of Port Angeles and current chairman of the board.

Roth, 62 by Election Day and a Republican, is a civil process server and a former owner of Northwest Duty Free and Currency Exchange in Port Angeles who ran and lost against Chapman in 2012.

Rygaard, 45 by Election Day and a Republican, is co-owner of Rygaard Logging Inc. and a former reality TV star on the canceled History Channel TV series “Ax Men.”

The winner of the general election will make $69,864 in salary and $95,032 in salary and benefits in 2017.

Ron Richards is NOT a commercial fisherman.

Randy Johnson IS a Republican, NOT an "independent."

Maggie Roth serves NO processes.

Gabe Rygaard...Ugh...Just obviously, desperately needs a job. And craves attention.

And look at the salary one of these people will be pulling down...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dead Air, Wet Streets

Just a quick note that you can feel free to comment on if you like...I just really need to note that I have never lived or heard of a place that has SO MANY water main breaks as Port Angeles has. It's a regular, almost scheduled occurrence.

"What time is it, Ma?"

"Gettin' close to noon, Pa."

"Oh, alright then. 'Bout time for the water main to break, I reckon."

Now, I know that this could be a false impression. Maybe water mains are breaking all around me every day and I just don't know about them. Maybe they're just so noticeable in Port Angeles because the Peninsula Daily News does such a great, great job of covering local issues both big and small.

Broken water mains are just a symptom
of a totally broken system.

Or maybe...Just maybe...There really are a disproportionate number of water main breaks in Port Angeles because the City Council (at staff's direction, of course) directs a disproportionate amount of money away from basic infrastructure projects and into crazy, loco, lunatic, needless and pointless projects.

Maybe? Ya think?

Dead Air

Riddle me this: What do you call it when a slimeball hosts a do-nothing?

I call it Monday's Todd Ortloff show on KONP, when Todd's action-packed guest will be Bill Greenwood, executive director of the Economic Development "Corporation." This sure-to-thrill combo will be befouling the airwaves from 1:05 PM to 2 PM. Here's hoping that some real people call in with some real questions, to put both Todd (good old boy lapdog) and Bill (ditto) through their paces.

In the meantime, here's the question I'd start off with, if I was that renowned journalist Todd Ortloff: "So, Bill, can you tell me, in clear and detailed terms, what concrete and undeniable results Clallam County has to show for the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been poured into the EDC over the years?"

Thursday, June 9, 2016

In the Spirit of Fair Play and Healthy Competition - NOT!

Courtesy of the Port O Call, here's a story worth discussing and underlying issues worth worrying about...

Recently, in response to an article in the June issue of Port O Call, about the Economic Development Council, Port O Call heard chatter about not having its papers printed locally.  We tried that.  Here’s the story.

Back in 2013 when casting about for a local printer for our first edition we were referred to Sound Publishing, the parent company of the local daily paper.  Port O Call contacted them, got a price, agreed upon a date and time of delivery and waited like a proud parent in the delivery room.

The agreement was for them to deliver the papers at the same time they delivered the daily paper.  Port O Call was told to be at the loading dock downtown around
midnight when the daily paper arrives.

Just before close of business we got a call from the printer and he said there was a change of plans.  Now they wanted to deliver the first edition of Port O Call to my home instead of downtown at PDN’s loading dock.

We agreed, gave them the address, and waited, and waited, and waited.

3:00 am Port O Call decided to take a ride down to the loading dock  at PDN to see if they went back to the original plan.  Upon arrival at the PDN loading dock it was dark and quiet.  Port O Call knocked on the door and eventually a kindly gentleman came to the door.  When asked if the inaugural issue of Port O Call had been delivered by Sound Publishing he invited us in to look around.  It is a big warehouse but was mostly empty.  There were many nooks and crannies to be searched and in a few minutes we found them.

They were as far from the loading dock as could be and hidden under a tarp.

The kindly gentleman got a forklift and brought them to the dock and we rescued our first issue from the grasp of Sound Publishing and PDN.

Later that day I ran into then publisher of the PDN, John Brewer who said, “I see you found your papers.”

That was my first foray into business locally and silly me I thought we could all compete in a friendly manner and try to serve the public from our different perspectives.

Now, if the daily paper, a long-time member and cheerleader of the EDC, will go to such extraordinary lengths to quell competition what does that say about the larger community represented by the EDC?

For instance we all know that healthy competition along with supply and demand are what make an economy thrive.  Good honest competition is good for all business because in order to succeed a business must remain focused on the customer.  When two businesses compete for the same customers they must offer the best goods at the best price.  The customer benefits from good healthy competition.

When it comes to wages the workers come out better when there is competition for labor.  If there are more jobs than there are workers then business owners must compete for labor.  If there is no competition then there will be more workers for limited jobs and the workers’ wages will become stagnant and even fall.

The EDC while promising to bring in new companies with new jobs and stimulate an increase in wages actually does the opposite.  Imagine the EDC courting Weyerhauser Timber company to locate a branch here and compete with Green Crow.  Ain’t gonna happen.  Imagine a competitor of Interfor seeking help from the EDC to locate a new plant here to make plywood and compete with Interfor for wood product and workers.  Ain’t gonna happen.  Imagine a gift shop attempting to open up down on Railroad Street.  Reckon they would roll out the red carpet and help them get financing and train workers?  Ain’t gonna happen.

Try to imagine how much assistance the EDC would offer to Home Depot if they wanted to open a branch store here and compete with EDC member Hartnagel for customers and workers.  What if the corporate honchos of Whole Foods reached out to the EDC for assistance in opening a new natural foods store in town.  Would the EDC roll out the red carpet for these new ventures or would they do like the PDN did and attempt to thwart the launch of a new competing business.

Thus far the “new and improved” EDC has not landed one company to bring jobs here.  They have done nothing to stimulate better wages.  In fact they are working in the opposite direction.  They brag about how many new members they have.  Are we to be excited they have new business members supporting closed markets and slack wages?  Can't these new members fund the EDC without taxpayer money?  Green Crow President, Randy Johnson, chair of the EDC has given over $100,000 in contributions to Republican candidates and causes.  Has he made a similar investment in his local EDC?  Hardly.

Johnson is running for county commissioner in District 2 as an "independent."  Yeah, right.

If the EDC was standing on its own two feet and not using taxpayer money for its control of the local economy there would be not a peep from Port O Call.  However, when an organization takes up to 70% of its budget from hardworking taxpayers and uses that money against the best interests of the taxpayers there is a real problem.

Either we compete on a level playing field or we become stagnant and a few companies will forever control the local economy and the wages paid in that economy.  Let’s stop putting in more and more taxpayer money to prop up a losing proposition.

Speak to your county commissioner and tell them to end this charade.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Too Depressed to Eat

Once again, a headline in the Peninsula So-Called Daily So-Called News manages to sum up the entire story and situation:

Wednesday Farmers Market in Port Angeles discontinued after decline

What more is there to say, really? People have to eat, but still...decline. They've been pushing the whole "buy local" thing for years, but still...decline. In other cities, small and large, Farmer's Markets are going great guns two or three days a week, but in Port Angeles...decline.

First you dry up, then you blow away...

And this is the sort of thing you've so adroitly enabled, Cherie Kidd. This is the sort of downward spiral you've helped to craft, Nathan West. This is the kind of negative growth you've engendered, Pat Downie. This is the sort of laughable non-leadership you've provided cover for, Dan McKeen.


I feel sorry for the farmers, though. They work hard, very hard.

Still, on the bright side, this will free up one more day at one more empty space for Cherie Kidd to film her rah rah public access show touting how fabulous everything is in Port Angeles.

Port Angeles: Come for the open spaces, but stay for the decline.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Change Train Has Left the Station - Get Aboard or Tear Up the Tracks?

Thanks to the folks at the Port O Call for sending the following info along:

This just in...

The petition to change the status of city governance in Port Angeles passed two important hurdles in its race to be on the November ballot.

County Auditor, Shoona Riggs' office completed the count of over one thousand names on a petition circulated by Jess Grable and Edna Wiladsen and others including representatives of Our Water Our Choice.

The total number of signatures was more than twice as many as needed to be placed on the ballot in November.

The second hurdle involves the language of the petition. The Clallam County Prosecutor's Office determined the language sufficient to identify the intent of the petition.

Rumors aplenty of secret meetings seeking a way to forestall such a momentous change for the city. According to sources, the sides are "dug in" and the process must run its course. " That train has left the station..."

If the change of governance petition is approved by city voters in November there will be a wholesale change in the city government. All seven seats will be open seats and any registered voter in the city can be a candidate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Keep On Truckin' Up, PA

Anyone in favor of a truck route on Lauridsen?

Anyone thinking about the impact on Race St.?

The impact on tourists trying to get to the ONP via Race St.?

Anyone? Anyone thinking at all in City Hall?

This message brought to you courtesy of Traylor's.