Sunday, July 31, 2016

That's Right, We're Wrong...Maybe

Though the Peninsula Daily News, in their own inimitable fashion, phrases the idea in a confusing way...

Port Angeles City Council members will consider a proposal by Mayor Patrick Downie to stop fluoridation of the municipal water supply and to hold a Nov. 7 advisory vote when they meet Tuesday.

Will Professor Pat REALLY put on his thinking cap?
Be sure to stay tuned to find out...
I think you get the idea. Now, well after the fact, and deep into all sorts of complaints, controversy and ever-mounting headaches and expenses in the service of defending the Fluoride Four's indefensible position...Suddenly, doddering Pat Downie wants the members of the City Council to do the right thing...

Downie has proposed that City Council members pledge to abide by the results of the advisory ballot.

Gee, ya think? If - and it is an IF - grandpappy Pat flips his vote, then the majority could be in favor of taking the fluoride out of the water. (Though it won't remove all traces of it from the water system...) So if - IF - Downie syndrome manages to stop prattling on and on long enough to get this idea to a vote and flips his, will any of the other members of the Fluoride Four change theirs? It's hard to imagine Gavel Gertie reversing course, but what about Dan Gase or Brad Collins? They aren't so much men as they are towers of jello. Will they get spooked if Pat goes over to the other side?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Breaking Down Bob's BS aka Got The CRTC Blues

There's another big, semi-triumphant article about the very dubious Composites Recycling Technology Center in the Peninsula Daily News today...A dubious news source covering a dubious non-profit.

Anyway, let's boil down the rah rah boilerplate to the essential elements of the story.

The fledgling Composite Recycling Technology Center will unveil plans by Oct. 31 to begin producing its first commercial product, CEO Bob Larsen said Monday.

Larsen predicted that income from total sales is expected to be $100,000 by Dec. 31.

Larsen said, “We have an idea, a design."

“We’ve got to nail down the sales and distribution network and got to get people outside of our organization to test and make sure the product does what we want it to.”

By day, he's Bob Larsen, bullshit baffler of boards...
Larsen said the CRTC, a nonprofit whose new home is largely financed with public funding, including a $2 million U.S. Department of Commerce grant, will move Aug. 1 into 2220 W. 18th St. and begin prototype development by mid-August.

Further funding came from a $1 million Clallam County Opportunity Fund grant and $1.35 million in Port funding in 2015-17 for economic development services.

The inability to obtain a government Clean Energy Fund grant “really hurt” the CRTC’s progress, Larsen said, adding it stalled development by three or four months.

Third-quarter goals include completing and validating a prototype of a product, finalizing a “market channel” for the high-performance sports-equipment item and hiring an engineer and a technician, according to Larsen’s PowerPoint.

But production efforts will encounter a “significant barrier” if no Clean Energy Funds 2 are awarded, according to the presentation.

...But by night, he's Karen Goschen,
a government grant grabbing good time gal.
No actual product...A two month timeline in which we're to believe that they're going to make $100,000 on this non-existent product...No private funds being invested in the project...Government handouts funding the whole operation...And everything comes to a halt soon if even more government freebies aren't forthcoming.

I thought these Free Market, Trump-voting Republican business types hated government handouts...I guess it just depends on whose hand is sticking out, eh?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Port Angeles: A No-Account Town

Let's start with a headline from today, and work backwards from that, shall we? (After all, Port Angeles is so good at working backwards.)

Attorney general declines to file perjury charge against Port Angeles deputy mayor

Yes, once again, Gavel Gertie has skated out from under a threat, however minor. Despite there being video evidence of the fact that the meeting she was chairing was, in fact, not dangerous or out of control, she has been given a free pass because she shouldn't be penalized for "expressing" her "opinion" about what happened. That's quite a free pass. To tie it in to a number of national stories, I guess it's no different than police officers being given a free pass for shooting, unarmed and/or handcuffed black men, because they felt "their lives were in danger."

Obviously for Cherie Kidd, the danger threshold is much, much lower - to match her IQ, I suppose.

In any case, once again, we have a situation in Port Angeles that clearly demonstrates that it is a community without real law and order, without consequences, without accountability.

Which brings us back to another story from the last few days. You may have seen this one under the headline: Port Angeles police investigating assault as hate crime.

To sum up: A week ago, a young black man was jumped and assaulted by a group of young white morons. The victim got a photograph of the license plate of one of the cars these cowards were in. The police have talked to the owner of the car. No arrests have been made.

Sound familiar? It should, because it has more than faint echoes of the recent fatal hit and run accident in which the car in question has been identified, found, and...Nothing has happened. No arrests have been made. And someone died in that case.

Just like someone died the first time Amber Steim hit and killed a pedestrian while (presumably) driving drunk. But she was protected by the fact that she was, at the time, sleeping with a local police officer.

No such excuse was offered when the PDN's own Paul Gottlieb also hit a pedestrian and didn't even have to take a sobriety test. (Neither did Amber Steim after her first accident.)

This is the culture that comes from the top in Clallam County. Sexist harassment and violent behavior in the County Courthouse? No accountability. Across the street in City Hall, when Yvonne Ziomkowski was subjected to sexist harassment (among other things) she was fired for simply standing up for herself. A jury of her peers later found her version of events to be more than credible. But were any of those who had insulted, bullied and belittled her ever held accountable?

Glenn Cutler spent years being a hateful, spiteful bully, making enemies, burning bridges and wasting the City's money on crackpot projects like the Turd Tank. But he was allowed to retire on his own schedule, with no scandal or accountability.

Kent Myers was such a lousy City Manager that he got spit out by the City Council. (One of the many reasons being that he passed on the State's investigative report on Karen Rogers to...Karen Rogers, thereby doubling-down on the no accountability factor, for both him and her.) But he still had plenty of hands greasing the rails running him out of town. He was allowed to leave, rather than being fired. He got a sweetheart deal on the short sale of his house. Again, no scandal, no accountability.

Like Grant Munro, who essentially stole valuable equipment from the corpse of Pen Ply - equipment that could have covered the bills the dead company owed the City, for instance. Instead, the City's utility customers had to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid Pen Ply bills. All Munro had to say in response was the now legendary "pound sand." No accountability.

Who has ever - ever - been held accountable for the millions fritted away in Clallam County? Did anyone's head roll over Harbor-Works? The EDC? The dead on arrival "seawall" under the Garbage Bluff? Who's ever been held accountable for allowing the Garbage Bluff to be born in the first place?

And on and on and on. Hundreds of people wasting their time on public comments and going to meetings. Thousands of people disappointed in their elected (non) representatives. Millions and millions of dollars wasted, gone, vanished, with not a single positive or concrete thing to show for them.

I am cutting this short now, because there are so many more examples I could reference, but you get the picture - and doubtlessly know many of the other instances yourself. The hard to dispute fact that the upper levels of government in Port Angeles and Clallam County are too often held by out and out criminals, has created a culture and community that is in many respects lawless. No oversight, no accountability, and no hope.

To say this is unsustainable is a massive understatement. To say that it is unhealthy for both individuals and the community is just a starting point. It is poisonous to hope and health and trust and success. There is a direct connection between the sexist, racist morons in City Hall and the County Courthouse and the morons who commit criminal acts on the street. The only differences are order of magnitude, and the amount of cover or deniability they have.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fluoride, Opioids and an Empty Airport

I'm just going to cut and paste several reports from the City Council meeting last night, to give you an overall view of what (didn't!) happen. Who knew that fluoride was an explosive?


The Mayor proposed an idea to unite the masses, and calm everyone down so we can all go back to discussing something OTHER than the F-word. Unfortunately, those council members who are bound to their masters balked at the vote proposed by the Mayor (to take fluoride out of the drinking water, until it can be properly voted on by the people in 2017).

So, instead of allowing people a reason to back away from the change of governance, looks like they're adding more kerosene onto the fire, and more copies of the PDN, and some presto-logs, and some gasoline. Instead of even talking about it -- the cockroaches on the council scurried back into the dark, and pushed the discussion OFF. Wouldn't even entertain the exchange of ideas.  

So, next council meeting it is (theoretically) going to be discussed. Watch Delta Dental come out -- in force -- to keep their minions on our council in check.


Just came from the city council meeting. Mayor Downie pulled a stunt only he could manage. He jumped the agenda, read an article by the PDN about how the town is torn up and dysfunctional and how the city needs to be more responsive to the people who took the time to vote, advise, beg, plead etc. (I added that last part) Anyway, Downer hijacked the agenda and suggests the council agree to discontinue fluoridation until the 2017 election. Then they would put fluoride on the ballot and promise to abide by the results. Brad Collins, phoning in from the east coast, as is his recent habit, jumped in and said "but nooooooo, it ain't on the agenda..." Cherie chirped "we need more time to think about this, oh my." ( I added that last part)

Then Gase objected and wanted more time to pretend to think about it and for good measure insulted Dr. Eloise Kailin for being so bold as to represent Our Water Our Choice when she's from Sequim. Naturally our three stalwarts were good to discontinue fluoride for 16 months and let the people decide if they want to re-start it in 2017. I'm thinking "Damn. That's Sissi, Michael and Lee, and Downer brought it up so it's going to pass, they are going to discontinue fluoridation" and it goes to the vote and Downer voted against his own motion. No, really. So, after Downer's impassioned speech, most of which he quoted from PDN, and asking the council to shut down the fluoridation unit, but keep it maintained, ready for action if it was restarted in 2017, but for now lets stop it. He had a chance to do it, he had the votes, he choked and all was lost. Step down, Downer.


Meanwhile, during the second public comment period a speaker went after Gase. They asked him questions, which he answered (because he's an idiot).  He had said, in comments earlier, that Eloise was NOT a resident of Port Angeles, but she's interfering with our city. Then he said it was her fault that the city spent so much to fight fluoride. He threw out a couple of dollar amounts. He said the city spent something like $125k, then added, "and Delta Dental spent another $600k." Whoa! What? He was then asked, "So how much would it have cost if the city didn't fight it and it was just put to the vote of the people?" Then he was taken to task: "So then you all spent $10k of our money to do a flawed poll, that you could have made perfect, and not flawed.  YOU give the excuse that it was flawed for not following it.", now it is clear there is $$$$ in this. How do we figure out how much Delta Dental has paid Cherie and Danny, and/or Collins? 
Also...In other sure-to-be-(un)surprising news...Clallam County has an opioid problem (41 known overdoses in the first six months of this year) and does not have an air carrier.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

"I'm not going to do anything to help support the city becoming a second-class city."

On one hand, the headline says this:

Port Angeles City Council to mull change-of-government petition tonight

On the other, you've got a clear majority of the City Council already saying things like:

Pat Downie: "I absolutely do not support it."

Brad Collins: "I'm not going to do anything to help support the city becoming a second-class city." (Memo to Brad: You've already done ever so much to make Port Angeles a second-class city in so many, many ways.)

I don't know how much room that leaves for actually "mulling." There'll be plenty of room for venting, griping, sniping, etc. But mulling? Probably not so much.

Second? Got it. City? Check.
But hey, Port Angeles - where's the Class?

Anyway, on one hand, you've got the people advocating for the change in government, and their attorney, saying the issue needs to be on the ballot this November.

On the other, you've got Bill Bloor saying it doesn't need to go to the voters until November of 2017, when four City Council seats will also be on the ballot.

So, it looks a little like a battle between Right Now! and Never! All of which should, if nothing else, make for a very interesting City Council meeting tonight.

Anyone think any of the Fluoride Four will move even the teeniest, tiniest direction towards an apology, or public display of humility, to try and defuse the situation?

Naw, neither do I. So if you can't make it to Cleveland this week, don't worry; there may be some cheapo political fireworks closer to home.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

How Come Everything Associated with Port Angeles Seems to Go Worng???

As many of you readers may have noticed, there's been a persistent (though not quite trollish - yet) voice here lately, pushing the "Everything's fine!" party line for Port Angeles. This person's position is, put simply, the fact that a small handful of businesses have done or are doing well, is a sign that all is well in Port Angeles. Full stop. The New Age of Prosperity is upon you, Port Angeles!

Others, however, take a little more of a  long-term and skeptical point of view.

So, with those two worldviews in mind, what are we to make of this article?

Is this yet more bad news (and bad publicity) for the Little City That Couldn't? Or is this the kind of Federal SNAFU that could be expected from a project of this scale? Is this the City's bold attempt to shake the Feds down for a few more dollars? Or, is this the forward and vigilant City Council trying to protect their ever-more-burdened ratepayers?

And if it all ends in tears...Will they be potable?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Comments Welcome!

The PDC (Public Disclosure Commission) has rejected the anti-anti-fluoride attempt to stifle the voices of the just plain anti-fluoride people in Port Angeles.

This is good news, both for public health and for freedom of speech.

Well...Except for the fact that, of course, the PDN has disabled the commenting function on their online version of the article.

Which is bad news, of a sort, both for public health and freedom of speech. Their kneejerk need to try to protect the Fluoride Four is both pathetic and futile.

So, if there are any further thoughts you have on the whole fluoride issue, or this PDC decision, or the PDN's continuing campaign of wrapping the Fluoride Four in a protective bubble, feel free to share them here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Open for Business...But Where's the Business?

I'm stitching together a couple of recent posts that are both asking the same question. Maybe some of you readers will have answers or insights...

I thought it worth noting that when I came into Port Angeles on the Ferry (the family and I went over to Victoria Friday) on Sunday, arriving downtown at noon, the place was a ghost town.

As the Ferry cruised into the harbor, I could see the waterfront trail from Rayonier to the Red Lion. Not a person to be seen. The weather was beautiful.

I purposefully looked over at the pocket beaches. And that new waterfront park next to the Oak Street property. Not a person to be seen.

Driving off the Ferry and into downtown, virtually no one. Anywhere.

The Ferry itself was packed. It was sold out at 8:30 in the morning, for the 10:30 crossing. Living here, I was interested to see where everyone on the Ferry went, when they got off. They had announced the Hood Canal bridge was closed, so, going East was going to be challenging.

But almost every vehicle getting off turned eastward, and headed out of town as directly as possible. Out of curiosity, I turned up Laurel, and drove down Front, then back on First to see if there were people taking those streets. Empty, everywhere.

Driving east, I looked in the parking lots of the hotels as we drove by. Again, incredibly empty for the height of the summer tourism season.

It isn't that there are no tourists in the area. But downtown? How do those merchants stay open?

And also...

Awhile back I asked the question how places like Budget Tapes and Records and The Family Shoe Store stay open. Somebody in the know was nice enough to answer my question about BT&R. It's obviously gone now. Like the poster above I'd truly like to know how some of these places remain. Anyone?

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Two Balls, One Board

Thanks to FYVM for prodding me to go check out the website of "Puget Sound Collegiate League Baseball." It really, really is as lousy as he says! Wow! Or, as they might put it on their website - W oww!

You can check it out yourself, which is probably more than the members of the City Council did before signing up with these...Well, more on that in just a second. Here's the link to their website, though...

Anyway, in checking out their website, I learned who the people behind this are. Both of them. Here's an almost complete listing (minus the typos!) of the PSCL Baseball Board of Directors:

President: Matt Acker
Director of Player Development: Brady Hoover
Tournament Director: Matt Acker
Camp Director: Brady Hoover
Youth League Director: Brady Hoover
High School Fall Ball Director: Matt Acker

Busy, busy Matt Acker. He also serves as
Bat Boy, Spittoon Shiner and Washer of Socks.

Yes, yes, I know - this doesn't look like a traditional "board of directors," does it? In fact, in looking at their website, I don't know what it all looks like, other than a mess. The kind of mess that a city like Port Angeles would go for wholeheartedly. (Well, six to one, as the case may be...) It's so shoddy and so incomplete and so utterly nonsensical a website that one would think that it would, at best, frighten and confuse a member of the City Council. But, addled though it may be, here we are, with the City in bed with Matt and Brady (those "fine young men" of Pat Downie's dreams), so I have to assume that no one from the Council, other than perhaps Lee Whetham, even bothered to look at the website at all.

Oh, and speaking of looking at their website...Other than a tab generically marked "Name the team," which links to the opportunity to name the Port Angeles team, I couldn't find any mention of Port Angeles on the website. Hmmm...In any case, here's the link to the "Name the team" page again.

Now, I'm not a baseball fan, and I never thought I'd be talking about it so much here, but...This whole scheme does seem to perfectly illustrate how the City Council will A) Latch onto any harebrained idea, no matter how farfetched, without B) Doing their homework, or C) Charging fair prices for their resources, while at the same time D) Trumpeting the whole harebrained, longshot, ripped off deal as some sort of success or sign of Great Things to Come.

But hey, maybe I'm being too cynical. Maybe this will all work out swell, just swell, and crowds of wealthy tourists will be taking the Aerial Tram from downtown to their box seats at Civic Field to watch the Port Angeles Panhandlers play.

Or maybe...

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Play Ball!

Attention Port Angeles residents! Your city needs you! For something really, really...Not that important.

And maybe they'll just disregard what you have to say, anyway, like a certain fluoride questionnaire that went out once...

Anyway, though they cited their lack of information of or involvement in the process, the Port Angeles City Council have voted 6-1 (Lee Whetham said no) to Play Ball! Or, as Mayor Pat Downie put it: "One of the ways we weave the community together is through a fun, winning baseball team with fine young men..."

Pat may be weaving something with "fine young men," but it sounds like those citizens who were watching weren't having it, being that the vote was immediately criticized by some of those in attendance (the whole hurrying into the deal or scam thing), and said criticism was met with applause by the rest of the audience.

I guess those applauding were either un-American commie lovers who hate baseball, OR, maybe, just maybe, they're overburdened citizens who are rightfully leery of the City making another boneheaded move. I'll let you sort out their motivations. (Though the City is clearly getting rolled on the prices and fees they're charging...)

Baseball is coming to Port Angeles!
Can indoor outhouses be far behind?

Now that this is a done deal, and some "fine young men" will be coming to make Pat Downie happy, they need a name for the team. And they want YOUR help to find one. Go to the link below and you can make all the suggestions you like.

What do you think? The "Port Angeles Poorhouses"? The "Port Angeles Chicken Coops"? How about my personal favorite, given the incestuous nature of the power structure in Port Angeles - the "Port Angeles Inbreds"?

The sky's the limit, and your vote counts. Help Pat Downie's fine young men find their name!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Mark Ozias: Ain't He a Peach?

I've had the idea for this posting in my head, and reading Tyler's thoughtful and spot-on comments on the last topic (you should make sure to read them if you haven't already) make a good transition to this new one.

Put simply, the question is how does a tie-dyed, long-haired, natural food and food bank loving hippie like this...

End up turning into a secrecy-embracing, backroom loving, status quo maintaining and public concerns ignoring piece of fruitcake like this?

It would seem to defy logic, to cancel out common sense. "But...But...He was one of us! He was on the side of the angels! What happened?!?"

But this is hardly the first time this has happened. Betsy Wharton, anyone? She too was a groovy, peace and love hippie type who quickly became chummy with the crummy Karen Rogers. Brad Collins? He was done the dirty and forced out of City Hall as an employee by the rotten crew there. You'd think he'd have wanted to get a little getback, and maybe turn some tables on that same rotten crew once he got onto the City Council. Vengeance is mine and righteous justice and all that. Instead, he self-neutered and has been content to be the fattest of fat cats for the Fluoride Four.

And now we have the Son of Peach, Mark Ozias, the latest and greatest disappointment to come sliding out of the political bowels of Clallam County. So yeah, what happened?

Well, per Tyler's comments, I'd say that there's an ingredient missing from that Ozias Peach pie: Pressure. Real, sustained public pressure, both on Ozias himself, and the County, and (perhaps most importantly) on the Clallam County Democratic Party. Without eyes on the prize, boots on the ground, and letters to the editor (or something like that), we all know that the political establishment here will quickly and easily sleazy slide right back to...Well, to that backroom.

Lord knows there are enough examples of that as well. (Good morning, Steve Tharinger!)

My point being...Tyler is right. It's not enough to invest your hope and vote in someone and then just let them go. They're going into a corrupt and cynical environment, a poisonous atmosphere. If they are just left on their own to "adjust" to holding office, you're only going to keep getting more versions of Betsy Wharton-Rogers and Mark Peach.

They need to know you're watching. They need to know what you're thinking. And they, and their party handlers further up the food chain, need to know that you won't be voting for them again if they don't live up to expectations.

Please note: There are exceptions to this rule. When you've elected someone without a functional brain, a la Cherie Kidd, then all bets are off and logic has no part of any discussion.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Correcting the Correction: $550,000 - It's Only (Your) Money

Oh, oops! Did the County FUCK UP? Did they do so in a way that was originally touted as costing (you, the taxpayers) $550,000? Yes they certainly did.

Then, aided and abetted by the Peninsula Daily News, did they briefly try to spin said FUCK UP by lowballing it down to "only" $300,000? Yes they did.

But say, isn't the reality that dealing with this public records FUCK UP, the one that violates State law, will, in fact cost (you, the taxpayer) $550,000? Yes, that is the case. (That's what happens when you have a "systemic failure" with your records keeping.)

Do you know how big a fireworks display you could
have for $550,000?

So, when does the PDN run the big, tell it all and close the case story about this massive, avoidable and expensive FUCK UP? In a Monday paper. On Monday, the 4th of July. When, let's face it, even fewer people than usual will be paying attention. It's not quite a COVER UP of the County's FUCK UP, but it's the closest the PDN could get.

Fireworks anyone? Say, at the public hearing on all of this mess tomorrow? The one that's at 10:30 AM at the County Courthouse? Anyone?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Shamelessly Aggressive Panhandling in Port Angeles!

Here's the deal: The Port of Port Angeles has managed to snag a $200,000 Federal grant to "help improve local air service." You know, the kind that is totally nonexistent in Port Angeles for a variety of reasons.

Were Port Angeles a desirable destination, of course there would be no need to "juice the engine" to entice air carriers, and/or customers. If the economy in Clallam County were thriving, again, there'd be no need to "pass the hat" to try and drum up financial support for carriers and/or passengers. If Port Angeles were enough of a cultural destination, hot real estate market, or happening or successful fill-in-the-blank...You get the picture.

Now, if Cherie Kidd got all put out and bothered by her (make believe) bum who supposedly raked in $200 - enough so that she made it a topic of City Council discussion and raised the threat of "increased penalties" for "aggressive panhandlers" - why then she must be terribly, terribly upset by the Port's overt and aggressive panhandling of the Feds. After all, if her figures and their figures are correct, then what the Port's done is a thousand times worse than what Cherie's tax-free freeloader did.

I can hear her now: "That's not what a proud, independent and American community would do! It's, it's unproud, and undependent and practically un-American! Mister Bloor, isn't there something, I mean, anything, something, we can do to stop this terrible blight on our thriving, beautiful and and and self-sufficient community?"

After all, begging is begging, isn't it? A hat in hand is a hat in hand? Surely the city of Port Angeles is too proud to be looking for a handout...Like a common bum?

Surely? Cherie? Anyone?

Friday, July 1, 2016

You're Not the Boss of Me!

It was like a minor time warp reading the article about the City's Light Operations today. For just a minute, it was like the arrogant and bullying Glenn Cutler had never left when I read...

The City's Public Works and Utilities director, Craig Fulton, balked this week at a recommendation by the State Auditor's Office that his department's Light Operations scrap copper and aluminum wire should be better protected from theft.

Craig Fulton's just an anagram for Glenn Cutler.
But has he also taken on the icky duty of being a
father figure for Paul Gottlieb?

Balked? At a recommendation from a State agency that has a great deal of leverage to tug on your leash? And that is riffing on a past problem your department had? And you balk?

Meanwhile, coming out of the mouth of the person who is supposedly in charge of Mr. Fulton, we hear both a different story and tone...

City Manager Dan McKeen said at Wednesday's City Council meeting that ensuring public trust in the City exceeds the monetary value of the copper and aluminum wire. "We are on the same page," he told the Auditor's Office staff...

Yes, but what page is your own Public Works director on? Don't you two talk before he goes out to shoot his mouth off in public? Has he no shame for the trouble he has brought to the City? Who is really in charge in City Hall? Is it you, Dan McKeen, or the malevolent Ghost of Glenn? Progress? Learning? Growth? I don't think so. What year is it in Port Angeles City Hall?

And speaking of time warp questions...How much time does it take to charge someone in Port Angeles for hitting, running, and killing someone? From what's been presented to the public, you've got the victim, the car, and the driver, all identified. So..?