Monday, May 8, 2017

Benched

Hey, give credit where credit is due. It's not a bad idea at all, really, especially by the standards of Port Angeles ideas...

The City Parks and Recreation Department is providing $10,000 in seed money for a pilot project with the Composite Recycling Technology Center to build a first-of-its-kind park bench.

Park benches have to be pretty durable, so this seems at least like a seed of a good idea - even though the whole "tax dollars from the Parks Department to try putting on a show" angle is, of course, classic Port Angeles and very suspect. (What, the City hasn't got any "clean" economic development dollars? Nathan's getting stingy in his old age? What?)

Ah, but this is still Port Angeles we're talking about, where success is not exactly King. And this is the taxpayer-funded boondoggle called the CRTC that we're talking about, after all. So what does their track record look like?

CTRC Chief Operations Officer Dave Walter said that, if successful, production of benches...could add 10 jobs to the fledgling nonprofit's employee roster, almost doubling its current staff list. Walter said it would be the CRTC's second manufactured product, following the recent production startup of a $99 pickleball paddle, about 100 of which have been sold...

A whole 100 pickleball paddles? Wow! They must have someone running off to the Post Office or UPS for shipping every day! Well, every week. Okay, okay, once a month. But still "about 100" is a lot more than "about a dozen" so...

We all know Port Angeles is already capable
of supplying at least half of what you see here...

Needless to say, pickleball paddles are also lighter than, say, a park bench. Which would keep said shipping costs down. I know from my experience trying to get the City to put one bench in Jessie Webster Park how expensive (regular) benches are, and how many standards they have to meet - and how many roadblocks the City itself kept putting up rather than putting up a bench.

My point being, any new composite benches will have to overcome the distance/shipping/expensive hurdle, the headaches of meeting all sorts of (varied) codes and standards, as well as just the general bureaucratic inertia and fear of doing something new or different that is endemic in City Halls across the country.

In other words, though this at first glance might seem like a good idea, I suspect it has a low chance of hitting the field, and is instead more likely to just get...Benched.

26 comments:

  1. This city is binge drinking taxpayer money. Time for some much needed intervention when next elections come up.

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  2. It might also solve the homeless problem, when they cut themselves on the unlabelled DoD waste material and get infected with nanoprobes...(and you think this is fiction?)

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  3. Bob Stokes is involved. He's a notorious self-promoter. The CTRC is involved. They're a notorious scam. And the city of Port Angeles is involved. They're infamously incompetent.

    So yeah, how could this NOT turn out to be a good thing, right?

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  4. $10,000 of our money, so the City can help prop up the Composites scam?

    Lets remember what the project is supposed to be about. It is supposed to show that the waste from the airplane business can be used in an economically viable way. Pickle ball paddles? Park benches? This is what the miracle materials of the modern high tech age are best used for? This is what we get after transporting the toxic waste hundreds of miles out to this remote town, and have paid millions in tax money supports to come up with?

    "Seed money"? As if they haven't already been given millions?
    This is just classic Port Angeles buffalo them with bullshit" scam-o-rama.

    Maybe Dan Gase can get them to pay him another $6,000 a month for the next year to learn what park benches are good for.

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  5. Corey Delikat states that there is a $20,000 park bench maintenance fund. Is that an annual expense? Are we actually spending $20,000 per year on bench maintenance for 197 benches?

    That would work out to about $100 per bench per year. It seems like that would be generous for yearly maintenance, and the benches don't appear to be receiving any maintenance. It's stated that they have a 20-25 year lifespan, but look decrepit at 15 years. Have they received any maintenance at all? How much?

    And by the way, why are there 127 benches along the trail in the first place? That's almost twice as many as the rest of the city. Not to mention the waterfront trail is in shade almost all day long with plenty of wind, making it a pretty unpleasant place to sit. And now we have to spend even more to maintain benches in the harshest environment when they're unlikely to be used. Whose idea was that?

    Dumping half the annual bench maintenance fund into an experimental bench design, and getting only two benches out of it seems irresponsible.

    The test panels are being placed where they'll experience the worst weather and wear at the waterfront and skate park, but the actual benches will be installed at the Gateway Center boondoggle and Jessie Webster park, where durable benches are not as important as the waterfront trail. Wouldn't it make more sense to replace existing "decrepit" benches that reduce our maintenance costs instead of expanding the number of benches we have to maintain?

    Has anyone checked with the Farmers Market to see if the location of the planned bench is going to impact their operations, considering they're the only group that actually uses the Gateway Center boondoggle?

    Taking it from another angle, say I'm a Parks and Rec director and I'm looking at replacing all of my benches. If I'm at all competent then I'm looking at the total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the bench, including disposal costs.

    How much do they estimate these benches will cost to purchase once they're in production?
    How much will it cost to ship them?
    How much less will it cost to maintain them versus other types of benches?
    How much will it cost to dispose of them, considering carbon fiber is a hazardous waste?

    The specific numbers may not be available if this is a new use, but they can certainly be estimated and it doesn't appear that this kind of analysis has been done before deciding to pursue the development of a new product. This is the kind of analysis that a business would do to see if it makes sense to develop a new product, rather than being propped up by taxpayer money.

    Finally, Bob Stokes is involved. This should be enough of a red flag for anyone that remembers how much he got paid for the atrocious rusty metal "art" scattered around downtown. He admits the new benches are "based on the designs he did for the west end park benches" and from the picture they appear identical to me. So how much is he getting paid to reuse an existing design with a new material? Doesn't seem worth anything to me.

    As far as the pickleball paddles, I'm guessing "sold 100" means they sold a box to the Pickleball Central retailer and there's no telling how many have actually been sold to customers. If you go look at their website you'll find 66 different paddles in the "composite" category, so there's plenty of competition. Interestingly enough, you won't find the CRTC paddle listed in that category. The only way to find it is by searching for "carbon fiber". It only has 2 reviews from people who got the prototypes for free, nothing from actual customers.

    And as a final "fuck you" to the homeless they're designed to be uncomfortable to sleep on. Wonderful, Jesus would be so proud.

    Sorry this is such a long post but it's just so amazing how Port Angeles continues to churn out stories that encapsulate all of the things that are wrong with the area.

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    1. Well stated. You are so right.

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  6. And from the looks of those lined up to run for city council there will be four more years of the same or worse...
    It is not too late for a sane solid citizen to sign up to run for city council. The only qualification is a pulse.

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    1. You need more than ONE.

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  7. The scamming goes on here because the folks are too poor to hire lawyers & experts to look into all this crap, plus Mr. Nichols enables it all. So they get away with stealing public funds for the pockets of a few time and time again.

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    1. Well, yes, but do remember that government agencies and politicians are enabling this from afar. Virtually all of these scams that have lined the pockets of the well-connected have been possible because of big chunks of money from the State and/or Feds.

      The city and/or it's representatives cry poor, "distressed", and what ever else it takes to qualify for the grants intended to help the truly needy. (This is one of the great ironies that is Port Angeles: The City that relies on being seen as needy, does nothing to help the truly needy!) The City employs full-time grant chasers, and who would be surprised to read through the applications and see how desperately needy the City is depicted within those pages? Those grants assure the grantor all kinds of wonderful outcomes that are benefiting one needy population or another.

      Except, nothing ever changes! The money gets spent, and things get worse.

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    2. So the fault lies with the State and/or Feds for offering grant projects wich are doomed to fail? I think not. The choice of how to spend that grant money is local, any combination of vendors will meet the grant conditions. If there is a problem with the grantors, it's failure to follow up and determine whether the grant truly succeeded. Until such things are done (which admittedly may be never), PA will remain the whore because the guys in power are, at heart, hardened crminals who care absolutely nothing about their own community.

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    3. Anon 8:26 It is all about "intent".

      Who really thinks our elected representatives, at ALL levels of government, from Port Commissioners, City Council, State and Federal reps, are not all looking at how "bringing much needed funding for projects to help the needy in Port Angeles" is helping their political careers??? It is not their money they are spending!

      I think "hardened criminals" is over stating the situation. Let's recognize "institutionalized corruption" where we see it. They are so used to using the established system to further their own careers, they just don't see the corruption they are involved with. They all, within the system, convince themselves of how righteous they are in their efforts and actions, and the rest of us "just don't understand". They sit up there, looking down on us so condescendingly, smiling politely. They know they are right in all they have been convinced of, and we mere peons are just not as specially as informed on all the details as they are.

      This is the reality of "governance" as we now endure. From every level.

      It can be different. They ALL only have the powers over us and what we want and do, that we allow them.

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    4. Criminals because they skim off of the project's grant and/or tax money. That's called a crime.

      Any ideas on how "it can be different"?

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    5. Hey Anon 9:23, as you likely know, many of the include funds for "administration". So, it isn't skimming. They just have learned how to use the system and the circumstances to their advantage and benefit.

      The "better" is us getting more informed and involved in our own communities, instead of sitting back and complaining about the corrupt system.

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    6. Not just "administration." Some goes into private pockets, with thinly disguised lip service. Remember that there are private companies involved in these grant projects, and they always claim that to avoid any transactional accounting. Oh wait, the government nevers accounts either! So you're left to examine the players & circumstances involved.
      White-collar crime? Absolutely. We are all being extorted. Don't sugar-coat it.

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    7. Oh, and the extent of the fraud involved with the city projects that get funded by these grants? I can easily show where the Port Angeles City staff completely misrepresented the issues the grants they were applying for were supposed to be applied to, to resolve in the public's interests. In color slides.

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    8. So you'll just LOVE it when they tear up Race Street for the new grant. Median and bike lanes, and no parking on either side of the new "boulevard" of broken dreams.

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    9. Because, you know the people using Race Street on their way up to the park will really be impressed. They'll forget all about the park, and decide to explore the wonders of Port Angeles! They'll stay in the hotels, instead of returning home. They'll go to the performing arts center, and fill seats by the thousands.

      All because of this grant. See how wonderful it all is?

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  8. My idea is a carbon-fiber beach. Pay me.$$. :D

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  9. Just apropos of nothing, I'd say that a nice park bench would be a good place to see Adam Chamberlin, bully, thug and convicted felon, having to sleep one day. That would be a kind of poetic justice to see him down and out. Just, you know, apropos of nothing.

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  10. Whether you look at the online comments about $10,000 composite benches (all negative) or the scores of people who packed the Council chamber to sound off about Clallam County's opioid epidemic (all encompassing), it sure seems like a huge chunk of the local population is pissed off, disappointed, cynical, etc. Certainly there are lots of reasons for them to feel that way, hundreds of 'em.

    But will that actually translate into meaningful change? If so, how? Anger is an energy, yes, but when it's not a targeted energy...It can just go round and round.

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    1. Which is why names must be named...

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    2. Did you see this video that was made last year? Port Angeles makes the list. https://www.homesnacks.net/10-worst-places-live-washington-128356/

      They didn't talk about parents branding their children, here. Or so many of the other things that make the Port Angeles we all know. Just went by facts and figures.

      And look at the number of views!

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    3. Yeah, but ask why the first few pictures were of Oakland California. Really? The BEST they could do? Oakland Tribune building in the background and all.
      It was dumb.

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    4. Yeah, I can see how the images used negate the realities of the statistics.

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