Telling the truth about one of the worst, most corrupt places on Earth, and providing more information than the Peninsula Daily News could ever hope to.
Has Haguewood, Johnson, or Campbell gotten involved with this project yet? That's when the real $$$$ gets sucked out.
It would appear that someone had this all planned well in advance, just waiting for the right moment. The bequest from Donna M. Morris was just what they needed. The toxic Niichel property and it's balloon payment won't be the City's problem anymore, the good old boys finally get their convention center, and it looks like they've prepared their budget to maximize the amount of grant money they can get at 100% matching of the $10 million in donations. I mean, if it's free money, why not take all that you can get?When Brooke Taylor says this will make it self-sustaining in direct opposition to all the evidence we have about convention centers, you know he is lying and is absolutely complicit in this criminal theft of taxpayer money.The consulting firm that specializes in designing convention centers says there are "18,000 to 22,000 people locally who would attend performances" we all know they literally got paid to lie about this.Disgusting. Everyone involved is complicit. If anyone involved thinks of themselves as a decent and honest person now is the time to publicly distance yourself from this project. Any local candidates should denounce this project. Any groups involved should pull out and denounce the co-opting of Donna M. Morris' legacy.Just for the record here are the members of the committee behind all of this, and the organizations they represent:S. Brooke TaylorJudith MorrisKaren McCormickDorothy FieldBill KindlerDan Wilder, Sr.Nathan WestPeninsula CollegePeninsula College FoundationCity of Port AngelesPort Angeles Symphony OrchestraPort Angeles Fine Arts CenterPort Angeles Community PlayersJuan de Fuca Festival of the ArtsIf you are involved with any of these people or organizations, let them know how you feel about their good name being associated with this project that will be remembered alongside all the other boondoggles in Port Angeles (the Gateway, Turd Tank, PenPly, the esplanade, fake beaches and wind turbines, composites recycling, the business incubator, HarborWorks, eroding landfill bluffs, smart meters, and many more).Dorothy Fields deserves a little more responsibility for this too. Either she's in over her head with all these practiced grafters taking advantage of her, and needs to ask for help. Or she is complicit in this theft by contributing her own money and trashing the legacy and trust of her friend, Donna M. Morris.
The following is a comment from "peninsula troll" on the PDN's article:"So this new "Performing Arts Center" will seat 300. We have the Lincoln Theater for that as well as the theater at the college. The High School Auditorium seats 1100 or so and we sell that place out all the time. We need a place that seats like 2500 people. I have tried to bring in bigger names and they will not come as we do not have a venue large enough. They often have riders stating the minimum size they will book and you have to have that many seats to cover the costs."Because, yeah, right, a community of something like 20,000 people, that's in the middle of nowhere, NEEDS a performance space that seats 2500 people...And the BS behind this continues to roll out, blown forward by the hottest of hot air.2500 seats? For what? The needle exchange program?
And yes, doubling the scope of the project just means double the funds to rip off, and all at the expense (literally!) of one woman's attempted gift. Shameless.
And, we know Judith Morris. She is the local staff member for Kilmer. She has been the local rep for who ever is in the seat, for? years, and is well entrenched in the system that generates the grants. Donna Morris. Judith Morris. Hmmm.
On one hand, I always thought it was so bizarre that Judith Morris just rolled over to work for Kilmer, rather than him hiring his own staff.But then, when you think about how much of an obvious dupe/puppet Kilmer is, it makes perfect sense. He's just there to do as he is told, and Judith is VERY familiar with that situation. She has always lived in the castle, right? Kilmer is the corrupt, fixed result of an "open" primary that wasn't. Do I remember that there were something like a dozen Republicans running for that open seat, and on the Democratic side...There was just...Kilmer. Could it have been any clearer that the Almighty Fix was in?
That sums things up pretty well!
And the local arts orgs are all for this, because what? Arts is arts is arts?Just more stuff that doesn't add up. Will they really be giving their respective performances to a handful of patrons, in much too large a venue to ever fill?And just who would ever fill such a venue for a keynote convention speech?Oh wait, it's more and more grants to fund payrolls. But this local business model of grant-whoring is going to fail because the grants will not continue with the true state of the economy.
the keynote business is flat. Many of the speakers bureaus that filled the open slots have long since closed up shop. Only the really BIG old-time bureaus are still open, and of those, they have cut staff. VERY FEW conventions actually happen, and of the few, very few have big-name keynote speakers. Meanwhile, we still don't have enough quality hotel rooms for a major trade show or convention. What we have is enough room for the really LOW END meetings -- the smallest trade shows, and the most insipid of events. Without an airport we will never have much in the way of anything -- because most trade shows, now, have people who fly in for a day, rent a car, and then fly out. The small trade show participants spend as little money as possible. It will NOT be a huge boon. And, we have zero "meeting planners", zero event planners, and no one in town who has any experience in any of this. (I do, but I'm retired, and have no desire to get into a failing business.) ARTS is a performance space. However, even that is limited. It would be good to have something instead of the PA Playhouse (on Lauridson) that has a staff of nincompoops who don't "get it" that they shouldn't hold the space with an iron fist (because if they didn't we'd have a vibrant theater community, like the Sequim venue). The high school auditorium, while decent, has bad acoustics, and it's so far off the beaten path, that it is highly undesirable as a show room. Oppelt may never get his pot-grower/seller, silent partner (can we say money laundering?) financial backers to pump in enough money to get the Lincoln Theater out of the drawing board stage (and lacking a "load in" area...it is fraught with issues. No way to get large bands, or theatrical scenes into the place -- except the front door, and no stage workers union rep would allow anyone to do that. (Seriously, there are rules against dangerous working conditions. Maneuvering heavy objects through a narrow front door, and sashaying through an entire building is fraught with issues.) What we need is what was envisioned: a performing arts center. A smallish theater (under 1500 seats) with a versatile floor plan. No need for a fancy architect. These plans exist. They've been built all over the country. What we see here is a 'let me stick my thumb into the pie'. No vision. No rational concept of what this town really needs.
The smell of money lures the rats out of their holes.
At least we've outed the crooks and grifters.
Judging by the lack of outrage over this and every other scam over the last few years (decades) I'd say that the vast majority of people here just don't care. Anyone smart enough to see the situation for what it is has already left town. We're left with the scammers, well-meaners and dupes.
Sure we have, sure we have. Here is the thing. Just saying their names doesn't make them stop. The skids are greased for the same people to take their small, pathetic cut (because welcome to small-time, small town, small ball, dinky dick graft).
I saw the situation for what it is, and I left town. Because, yes, life is too short to live in Port Angeles.Really. It is so much better elsewhere, folks. Pick a place at random and GO. You're just about bound to do better.
If this is a scab organization (which I am going to assume it will be) without IATSE Local 15 (International Alliance of Theater and Stage Employees) there will be NO WAY that any major traveling event could perform there. That means no large "conventions", no big musical acts, etc etc. I somehow doubt that any of the powers-that-be understand this. It is the number one reason that most of the out-of-the-way theaters must survive on donations. This cheap mentality that means "oh we can hire someone" (for minimum wage) instead of doing it the right way. This is going to be a big white elephant on the waterfront. Welcome to Port Dummy
That the powers-that-be can find the money to build this pervention center is not much in doubt. There are so many groups, foundations and governmental agencies that offer grants these days; you just have to use the right words, strung together the right way. You know " Arts", "distressed community" "enhance cultural opportunities", "poor", "children", "educational", etc, etc, etc. That they can get the money is not so much the issue. Whether the center would be economically self sustaining, and how many of the existing restaurants, hotels, motels etc will be closed by it, are other important considerations. Who pays to keep the center open, if it follows the same pattern of every other "great idea" that got built in Port Angeles? You know, like the Gateway, the fake beaches, the Incubator, etc, etc, etc. And increases in crime, downtown? Conventioneers and "good times"? Prostitution and convention centers are like white and rice. Prostitution and drugs? Prostitution, drugs and crime? Those things are never associated with each other, right? But, nothing is changing, locally. Why should we expect the patterns that keep Port Angeles on the top 10 worst places to live in Washington (out of 188 cities), to change?
Say, what about a connection between drugs, prostitution and gambling? Any nexus there? Hmmm...Say! Don't the Elwha have a casino? And aren't they planning some sort of something for downtown Port Angeles? Hmmm...Is Barb Frederick still looking for work?
Barb would sure be a budget, cost-effective horizontal escort, wouldn't she? Come to Port Angeles...home of happy endings.But seriously, why does the Elwha want to BUY property downtown? Since when does that sorry excuse for a tribe (have you BEEN to their third-world reservation?) suddenly have $$$$? Who is backing them? What major casino backer is behind this? Who is telling them to: Build a hotel -- okay. Buy the land -- okay. Transfer it to the Federal Land Trust -- okay. Now, change that hotel to a casino -- okay. All the while the tribe "leaders" say that they have no intention of screwing over Port Angeles. Sure, they don't. The backers don't care at all.It has happened all over the country. There is big MOB money behind casinos. Shock!! Dismay!! And, they are a whole lot better at running roughshod over a town and the people.WAKE UP Port Angeles.
Is it just another case of wholesale apathy in PA, where the crooks tend to roost without much bother from the public? Or is it that the people there simply cannot agree on which of the many ways to take back their town?This coming week (candidate declarations) will tell.
Do NOT get your hopes up.
Those that have filed thus far are a less than inspiring lot. Jim Moran? Yikes! And some of them haven't even been intelligent enough to know whether or not they actually are eligible to run. Duh! When it comes down to mostly Yikes! and Duh! I don't see how that would be a change from the current City Council.
It is interesting to see, after all the exposure of the scams and problems over the last couple of years, that a couple of honest and caring new faces haven't stepped up to run. Why?
Why? Because they can see it's hopeless.
I hate to believe you're right, but everything points to that being the case.
Any potential good news in Port Angeles in always leavened (or weighed down) with the bad news of reality. Case in point: the story in the PDN today about the guy who wants to move his company here and is promising to create 100 jobs in five years. Except that he's in bed with the port.Except that local businesses already have trouble finding people who can pass drug tests and/or do the job.And except that...we've heard this one before, and it never works out.So...
Maybe he'll offer to pay people with painkillers? That would at least cut out the middleman.
Dan should get involved, and see if he can tie his Fantasy Tram to the Fantasy Convention Center. Oh! Maybe he already is! That explains why such a Fantasy Concept continues to be discussed. We just have to wait for Dan to "pull the trigger", and "drop the hammer".
Just imagine all the cockamanie ideas that have been floated around here simply due to the potential for grant money. Now a convention center? That's as bad as windmills that don't turn. Nothing but more blight.
Not just "imagine", but remember. I was just thinking the same thing as I read CKs headline for this thread, remembering as many of the proposals and failed projects as I could. And, it is not just blight. Sure, the odds are high the city will have a crowd for their upcoming "Waterfront" event, only because the weather is finally supposed to be decent, that day. But, for the other 364 days of the year, the place remains as empty and un-used as the Gateway. Even less so. Yet, the taxpayers have to pay every day for the upkeep of both of these multi-million dollar projects. A "conference center" will sit empty for most of the time, and will require far more in maintenance costs, every day. As we know, if it were not for these projects, the City would not be getting all these millions in grants. It would be interesting to examine the City's budget, and see if the City could survive without all the grants it gets. I guess it means we can expect a continuing stream of grandiose and inappropriate projects, in order to keep the City afloat.
Take away the grants from the City...And you pretty much take away the City, such as it is. At least budget-wise. Unfortunately, there aren't many grants out there designed to help dumb, down on their luck cities pay off their debt loads. And let's remember: Conference centers run in the red well over 90% of the time. So more debt is being built...right...in.
Every government has internal financial issues; the urge to spend public money and inflate the employee payroll is just too great. It seems though that Clallam County has an added penchant for enabling the diversion of public funds for very private purposes and pockets. This being a wholly separate issue from everyday mismanagement and grant-whoring.So who's declared for the races thus far?
I think we have to look at the whole picture, not just bits and pieces. It isn't just grant whoring, or inflating payrolls. It is the attitude that permeates this town. That smiles politely (most times) while figuring out how to stab you in the back, if there is something to be gained. The attitude of self righteousness that enables so many to pass judgement, and do all the nasty things from Cherie Kidds' gavel pounding, and the council's subsequent silencing of the public, to the dozen (or more) churches in town who sit by and do nothing to help the poor and homeless. Who has declared for the races? On one level, who cares? Who is in office will make no difference on whether the church patrons extend a hand to help the needy in this town, for example. This town reminds me of those movies from long ago, where the townspeople appeared "normal" on the outside, but actually where under some kind of spell, and did all kinds of nasty things.
Pianist Michael French has filed to run for PA city council. That's all that's new that I can see at the link above.
Can he do a rendition of "When The Grant Whores Go Marching In"?
Did the Port Angeles Whale Watching operation go out of business? I don't see any sign of them, anymore. Driving down that area of Marine drive looks pretty barren. That restaurant at the boat launch closed down. Nippon is shut down. The Port is doing such a great job, it looks like!
Whale watching company moved to the Landing Mall. Much better location with an office and retail.
Thanks. Yes, definitely a better location. The Marine Drive area is so depressing. Ratty and run down.