Weekly wrap up June 13th 2014


Ok….so this Sheriff Deputy, off duty no less, gets up at the last Montesano City Council Meeting and blasts away at our public works director and city administrator for not following traffic laws. With me so far? Soooooo these two city employees decide to find out the home address of the County Sheriff and write him a letter complaining about it….at home. Pay attention now because here it gets interesting. The Sheriff releases the letter to the Vidette and the Vidette goes to the Mayor, and the Mayor goes to the city employees…..oh forget it.

INCOMING - Commissioner Candidate Vickie Raines got into it with sitting Commissioner Frank Gordon this week on the radio. “Did to….did not.” I swear I am going to vote for Vickie just to see the sparks fly up at the Commissioner meetings. This site thrives on drama. There is a bigger issue here. Raines is in nobody’s pocket. Candidate Al Smith (D) needs to come clean on his relationship with Gordon. There are rumors that one of the other candidates was “encouraged” to run for no other reason than to syphon votes away from Raines. I don’t like sneaky stuff. We the voters need to know if we are voting for a Frank Gordon clone….or an independent voice on that dias. So far, you couldn’t slide a piece of paper between Gordon and Smith.   A thin piece of paper.  Score one – Raines.

If you have suffered through listening to the audio of the recent Port Commissioner meeting last week you share my pain. It was like sticking pins into your head listening to the representatives from the train companies spin their way quickly in and out of the harbor. Genesee and Wyoming itself decided to show up! Get this, the G&W guy was looking for sympathy from us for the recent rail disasters here in the harbor. They didn’t “kick the tirScreen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.24.43 AMes” enough when they bought the tracks from Rail America 18 months ago. Gee, I don’t know. I think you would run a guy down them prior to writing the check. Anybody buying this? Didn’t think so. The highlight was the G&W guy claiming the big derailment and grain spill outside Montesano was caused due to a “thermal kink”. Let me translate. The sun heated the tracks and threw it out of alignment. THE SUNSHINE. You can’t make this stuff up kids. You just can’t. Remember, you are trusting the lives of your children to these people and the port commissioners, not to mention the entire eco system of this county to these people.

I wish I could give you all an update report for the current Waterfront issue that has the potential to tear the town apart. However, the city council decided last meeting that there wasn’t enough going on here to have twice a month meetings.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 9.12.57 AMHey, the only reason I am even writing about this is that the  publisher of the Daily World and Vidette, Bill Crawford,   resigned and a new one came in as reported in the papers.  Well, I can only speak to my personal interactions with Crawford (don’t worry this won’t take long)  as to if this is a good or bad thing for us Montesano residents. I have written about 200,000 words for the paper via my About Town column since 2011.  Had countless photographs printed in the paper.  Even had the chance to work with two Vidette editors on a few feature stories. Here and there I have had stories cross posted along with many photographs into the other paper he is publisher of, The Daily World.   There is one in both newspapers that came out recently,  which I find somewhat amusing as I write this.   In addition, I had the honor to receive a state wide cartoonist award for my cartoons in the Vidette, and up for another one this year,  bringing an award home to the paper. I am in and out of the Vidette offices constantly with this or that. I’ve never seen Crawford.   Anywhere.    And he lived in Montesano.  The newspaper offices, any city / county meeting…nothing.  Don’t have a clue what he even looks like.   Hey, If I had someone providing that much content for my paper, I would have at least sent him an email and said “hey”. Miss him?  Hell, I never even met him. So to the new guy coming in, Sean McDonald, welcome. I hope I see you around sometime.
Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.29.21 AMVidette Editor Stephen Friedrich exposed his flaw this week. Yes he does have one. Let me elaborate. He is too fair. I’ve tried everything to break him of it and short of aversion therapy (think Clockwork Orange), I don’t think it is possible. In a desperate attempt to find someone….anyone…not connected directly with the port to speak in favor of the coming oil trains, he was forced to rely upon “anonymous” supporters. These supporters are apparently afraid of the evil people wanting the oil train companies to actually make the tracks safe. I was curious about these dangerous people that frightened the oil train supporters so much and traveled this week to one of their meetings. I have to report they were right! Why, these crazed dangerous people actually bake cookies to bring to their meetings. The horror! No, our good editor was hoodwinked by port employees  and their friends masquerading as concerned citizens. And I stand by that. One more thing on the subject, a few weeks ago I was standing next to the KIRO TV reporter that came down to cover the Montesano train derailment. He asked me if I could point him in the direction of someone around here in support of these trains for his piece he was filming. I stood there and thought…and thought….I thought really hard. I couldn’t think of where to send him other than the port offices. Kudos to Carol Seaman for her letter to the editor that appeared in  the Vidette this week countering Freidrich’s editorial. Golf Clap.

I will close this wrap up with re posting the video of these fanatic monsters ….I think after viewing the video you too will be frightened. Good grief.


Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 10.33.24 AM


6 thoughts on “Weekly wrap up June 13th 2014

  1. Now, that’s good film, Tom! Real people, real opinions, common sense restored on the anti oil issue and who stands where instilling fear. No evil lurking at the Furford Building in Aberdeen last night! However, I regret you did not capture comment from Jack Thompson, Port Commissioner on this video. He was there, at the Furford Building and he did not look fearful of us: scary, cookie eating people that we are. You don’t suppose he was scouting for supporters? Why WAS he there? Wooing us to his side? Having 2nd thoughts about his favored oil proposals at the Port? Seeking legal advice on withdrawing the leases to Westway, Imperium and U.S Development? We can only hope. Nevertheless, he had the good fortune to hear attorney Knoll Lowney explain the status of our appeal to the SEPA documents & that (mis)ruling of MDNS (Mitigated Determination of Non Significance) by Brian Shay, last May 2013. A ruling now known as an obvious miscall and shamefully supported by our guardians of the state environment–DOE (Dept. of Ecology). With barely a glance, they stamped approval…yep…MDNS. Brian Shay is good to go with those 2 oil projects! Spread the word far and wide. Hear ye. Hear ye, City of Hoquiam–People of Grays Harbor–you have just received the shaft. Sigh–makes me wonder. If we can’t trust the guardians/DOE…who can we trust? We are on our own in this fight to the finish against 2.7 billion gallons of crude oil by rail to Grays Harbor. In the words of Fawn Sharp, Quinaualt Nation leader, “We are in this fight to win.” More DOE decisions coming October 1st? Regarding the EIS(Environmental Impact Statement): How can they finish so quickly, reviewing 18,000 scoping comments; promising to respond to each and every one? Better not be another rubber stamp=MDNS. That would be fearful.

    ED NOTE: don’t be naive Carol. Politicians fear accountability. And this oil by rail has accountability written all over it the first time a small town is vaporized or a river ruined. They can’t claim ignorance, due in large part to the good work by the Quinault tribe and the efforts of cleanharbor.org. No, I am not as forgiving as you. From the get go everyone knew this was bad ju ju, and they did it anyway. No sympathy. If they do pull the contracts, it will be to save their own hides. They have already shown what little regard they have for ours.

  2. Well Tom, there must be some anti-logic brain-bug that’s contagious in your neck of Montesano, cuz you’re showing the same weird symptoms as Steven.

    If Al and Frank are friends, that does not necessarily mean they are joined at the hip. Might be a bit more fair to look at Al’s positions on the issues and make a judgement based on that?

    Here are Al’s positions from his website:

    To bring stronger representation of District 3 to the County Commission.
    To be pro-active in efforts to bring new jobs and industry to the Harbor and reestablish the Economic Development Council seeking wide community input.
    To encourage fiscal restraint and accountability to keep property taxes sensible.
    To find strategies that maximize local services while keeping costs low (such as economies of scale, cooperative agreements, restructuring) and pursue a county wide citizen-led Strategic Planning process.
    To be a strong advocate for quality, transparency and accountability in GHC health care system.
    To provide a strong voice for our local fishing, maritime and tourism industries and defend them against risky projects such as Crude-by-Rail and global threats like ocean acidification.
    To challenge Land Banking and new land use policies by Timber companies which restrict hunting and recreational use to the few who can afford high fees.

    But if you really prefer Ms. Vickie’s “Social-lite” party I’m sure that’s fine too, but please give us a better reason than who Al knows- he’s lived here all his life and that’s probably plenty of people.

    ED NOTE: I want to know where he differs from Frank Gordon. If there is no difference between Frank’s tax them till they bleed bent, why should I put him in office? I’ve told him this to his face. If Vickie wiggles out of a tax position, in my mind, who cares which one gets in there….it won’t make a bit of difference. Another four years of screw the homeowner.

  3. Hey I didn’t write that ED NOTE- don’t blame me! LOL

    And I’ll certainly find out where they disagree and report back. I do know Al puts a lot of energy into finding ways to save money. He wants to get people together to work smarter- in fact I doubt anyone on the Harbor is really in favor of higher property taxes, so you might look for a new tune for that Johnny-One-Note.


  4. Ya i’m not playing around anymore Claudia. I have had it with these politicians looking at my house like a piggy bank to fund their pet projects. I don’t care who they are. As far as I am concerned Frank would be the perfect politician if he would lay off my house. We can’t afford two votes on that dias that will continue the never ending assault on those of us who actually work for a living. The ball in in their court to convince us, not the other way around.

  5. If Vickie Raines is so concerned about government spending why did she use the flood control authority to obtain millions of taxpayers money to fund a new damn to replace the broken down damn on Mill Creek. The last damn that was built on Mill Creek was funded by Parks and recreation so that there would be a fishing pond. There hasn’t been a flood since 1995 because of the dikes built by the City of Aberdeen. She is pursuing aggressively to place a damn on the Chehalis, who do you think is going to fund that horrific project the taxpayer. How can Ms. Raines talk about creating and encouraging new jobs when placing damns in the rivers and creeks will destroy the fishing spawning grounds which will eventually hurt our fishing and tourism industry. Al is his own person. A born and raised harborite he understands the hardships we are going through because he knows and goes through the lean months just like everyone else when there are not any business projects. He is right in the mix with everyone else who’s budgets are fixed and can’t take on anymore taxes. Al is also a team player wanting the county government to be fiscal responsible working together to bring in new and innovative ways of managing and saving to develope a budget doesn’t utilize new taxes.

    You state that Ms. Raines is in nobodies pocket and you would be correct. Ms. Raines has stated that she like to be in control. So much so that if her puppet Wes Comier doesn’t start showing some backbone and stand up to her he may find that he is a one term commissioner. I have no tolerance for people who use bulling and passive-aggressive to achieve their goals. Yes if Vickie get elected sparks will fly and nothing good will be achieved. I am tired of where career politicians from city all the way to federal levels have done to this country. I am irritated by not being heard and basically ignored. I believe we as citizens need to send a message that we are fed up with career politicians pursuing their own agenda and hell be damn the needs of the people who elected them. I believe that this commissioners position is just a stepping stone for bigger and better opportunities for Ms. Raines and I applaud her ambition . I do not believe she truly listens as evident by chastising Frank Gordon for speaking out against the oil by rail project because he’s a commissioner. Frank listened to the community he heard their disapproval and has supported them. He also has stepped up the plate and spoke against as a private citizen. I believe that the only reason Ms. Raines is now speaking up is the potential of losing a lot of votes. Al Smith has been an opponent against oil by rail from the very beginning. His involvement is pure and honest he cares about our community and knows the dangers, risks, and destruction this project could potentially cause. He is fighting to protect the seafood and fishing, and the beaches to maintain their livelihood . Al will bring vast experience as a business owner, intelligence and a wonderful common sense. His years as a volunteer demonstrates his commitment to this county. there is no pretense with Al. Smith when he is involved he puts hi whole heart and passion into any project he is involved with. His goal is to be of service to his community not relish having to have his ego stocked. Mr. Smith will be a vast asset to the commissioner’s office if elected.

  6. Right on! You described Al Smith, perfectly! Crossed all the t’s and dotted all the i’s. Additionally, Al is not a career politician, he is a businessman, a volunteer and a problem solver in this county, a good neighbor, already and wishes to do more for his community. These attributes are important as we look at the oil issue and the Chehalis River Authority–very closely. Why? Because they are coming for our wallets here in Grays Harbor.

    If leadership of The Chehalis River Authority, is one of Vicki Raine’s claims to fame we should look elsewhere for County Commissioner leadership. Over the last several years, The Chehalis River Authority has demonstrated a complete waste of funds, called to task by the state, almost cut off, implementing study after study, spending millions, accomplishing little, backbiting and disagreeing along the way. At one point, alienating the Indians. The meetings I have attended have been alarming as no real progress was ever made answering the public questions about the dam, or levees proposed upriver, and how those proposals might affect us downriver.The representatives from the Corps of Engineers continued with their answer, same answer, “…not yet mitigated.” As far as I know–still not mitigated. We know how that goes…I was called out of order at one point for asking questions at the wrong time–but I simply wanted to know the answers to my frustrated concerns–which they did not have and still don’t–but still talking about dams! I quit going to the meetings due to a lack of confidence in the leadership. I am voting for Al Smith.

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