Professor Dean Addresses CRC Concerns to Herrera Beutler

by lewwaters

Robert Dean, know for his humorous posts here concerning the state of our community in regards to CRC also has very serious side and is very serious on concerns of the potential damage this massive, overly expensive project could cause our community.

With the release of Forensic Accountant Tiffany Couch’s assessment of CRC handling of financing and seeing how WSDOT and CRC are going into damage control mode, we taxpayers who will be forced to pay for this monstrosity deserve answers, not more rhetoric.

In that light, Dean has addressed many of these concerns with Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler in a letter he has authorized to be shared with the public.

January 20, 2012

The Honorable Jaime Herrera Beutler,
United States House of Representatives

Dear Ms. Herrera Beutler,

As you contemplate the merits of funding the CRC project please factor in the true costs in terms of costs to the impacted communities – indirect costs. It does not take much imagination to realize that if Downtown Vancouver and Jantzen Beach are torn up with construction for 6.3 years, businesses will suffer – residents will be inconvenienced or their health and well being will be compromised.

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires the same level evaluation for both (direct and indirect effects), including disclosure and determination of significance.” Interstate 5 Columbia River Crossing Indirect Effects Technical Report for the Final Environmental Impact Statement Section 1.2 Page 1-11

I know you must have serious reservations about the project yourself, as I do. If you and your staff have questions you would like to ask CRC staff please draw inspiration from the above quote and from those I have compiled here. Please also ask CRC staff the following questions on my behalf:

1) Has the CRC FEIS given indirect effects on communities, commerce and the human environment the same level of evaluation and study as it has given to direct effects?

2) Has the CRC tabulated each business in the project influence area with an estimate of potential direct impacts from construction of the project?

3) Has the CRC tabulated each business in the project influence area with an estimate of potential indirect impacts from construction of the project?

4) Will businesses and residents in the project influence area be financially compensated for indirect effects?

5) Has the CRC FEIS studied the possible indirect effects of construction on the health and well being of residents within the project influence area and is there a monetary estimate of the claims that might be submitted if the government were required to compensate for those indirect effects?

6) Does the CRC FEIS have an estimate for the total amount of compensation that would be due to businesses and residents in the project influence area if all claims for compensation for indirect effects were required to be paid?

7) Does the CRC FEIS have an estimate for indirect effects on commerce within the project influence area of traffic diversions away from the project influence area during 6.3 years of construction?

8) Does the CRC FEIS have an estimate for how long each business in the project influence area can endure during construction?

9) Has the CRC FEIS compiled a comprehensive list of possible indirect effects with estimates of the likelihood of each one occurring and the likelihood of each business in the project influence area being affected?

10) Under present law is the government permitted to financially compensate residents and businesses for indirect effects?

11) What legislative changes would be required to allow the government to financially compensate residents and businesses for indirect effects?

12) Did the City of Vancouver, as a condition of approval of the LPA, require the CRC to study indirect effects and provide financial aid to affected businesses (Resolution M3663 Attachment A pages 10 and 11 “Construction Disruption”)?

13) Did the CRC FEIS address each of the concerns raised in Resolution M3663 Attachment A pages 10 and 11 “Construction Disruption” and is that analysis published?

14) Will the government compensate businesses or otherwise fully mitigate for loss of on-street parking?

15) Has the CRC planned for truck detours and haul roads to divert construction traffic away from businesses and residential areas?

16) Will the government compensate businesses or otherwise fully mitigate for loss of general access to businesses during construction?

17) Has the CRC coordinated with other agencies to predict the likelihood of cumulative effects from other construction projects that may further isolate communities and businesses within the project influence area during the 6.3 years of construction?

18) Does the CRC FEIS have an estimate for the indirect effects of construction on property values within the project influence area and in the greater region during the 6.3 years of construction?

19) Does the CRC FEIS have an estimate for the indirect effects of construction on federal, state and local tax revenues from within the project influence area and from the greater region during the 6.3 years of construction?

20) Does the CRC FEIS have an estimate for the indirect effects on the regional transportation network of traffic diversion from within the project influence area to the greater region during the 6.3 years of construction?

21) Does the estimated $3.2 billion project cost include direct effects that must be mitigated or compensated under the Uniform Act?

22) Does the estimated $3.2 billion project cost include indirect effects that are not required to be mitigated or compensated under the Uniform Act?

23) Did the CRC obtain approval of the FEIS in principle from the 4 local agencies before the FEIS was published and released to the public?

24) What reasoning drove the decision to obtain approval of the FEIS in principle from the 4 local agencies before the FEIS was published and released to the public?

25) Did the CRC staff discuss the legal imperatives that Washington joint operating agencies, such as CTran and RTC, must conduct business openly and with public input (RCW 43.52.383 The legislature intends that the business and deliberations of joint operating agencies conducted by their boards of directors, executive boards, committees and subcommittees be conducted openly and with opportunity for public input.)?

26) Has the CRC considered the advisability of constructing detours or adding capacity to the transportation system before disrupting the vital I-5 corridor with 6.3 years of construction?

27) Has the CRC revisited previously rejected alternatives as possible solutions to apparently insurmountable obstacles in the way of indirect effects of construction on the human environment?

28) What is the true cost of building the CRC?

Please ask the CRC staff to respond in writing and allow follow up questions. If the CRC does not answer these basic questions to your satisfaction please consider withholding any funds for construction until the studies of indirect impacts on commerce and the human environment have been done. Please hold the contractors to the terms of their agreements. Then, when the amounts are known, please consider amending the law so that citizens, landowners, and businesses may be compensated for indirect impacts due to construction of the CRC project.

Thank you for your service to our community.

Robert G. Dean
Vancouver, WA 98662

18 Comments to “Professor Dean Addresses CRC Concerns to Herrera Beutler”

  1. I’m sure he’ll be getting her worthless, sincere non-response back directly.

  2. Thanks Lew!

    Several legislators have taken an interest in this aspect of the CRC issue. I believe that if the CRC has overlooked or minimized indirect effects of the project on our citizens funding will be in further jeopardy. If they answer each question satisfactorily and the vote passes – God bless them.

  3. K.J.

    Jaime’s local office received my letter last Friday. Friday afternoon they responded that it would be passed on to D.C. Monday afternoon they informed me that the letter had been forwarded from D.C. to the CRC. I don’t know how much more responsive they could be than that. Jaime has my vote!

  4. Mr. Dean, it’s the build it and they will come mentality of this community and no one looks at the cost. How many trucking companies left the Fruit Valley area when the new Mill Pain extension went in? Here is the key when you look at the trucks that will be using this route as this project moves forward. What do you have down town that will loose out on business? I see bankers, attorneys and gov. folks mainly, some small business that rely on these types of customers? Folks will get fair market money for their property and we have seen what this has done to Jantzen Beach already as some of those buildings sit empty. A royal pain to get in and out as it sits now so what will happen when the new bridge gets put in? Folks will head for I 205 to do their shopping and that is already reaping what JB is lacking, just look at the new shopping centers that are already full.

    As for letters being sent off, wishing you the best of luck. These folks know what is going on and they tend to look the other way.
    How many times have folks here pocketed from what the power that be move their projects forward on? All one needs to do is take a serious look at the Ashley Heights development, how for years this area was denied building upon due to issues. The we see a certain couple Commissioners come along and boom the goes is, even a roadway for this development was slated, partnerships, funds diverted and now there is problems??? This was all doc. and sent to the State’s AG office, nothing is being done!

    Just wishing you the best!!

  5. Karmaht
    You have aptly summarized business as usual here in River City. The Identity Vancouver types tried it again with the CRC. The grossly deficient FEIS was pushed through C-Tran and the RTC without public input – before it was even published. As usual, only the most involved policy wonks among us have seen what is happening, again. This time, though, we have alternative media sources – this site among them. This time, the politicians, or enough of them, are a little more wary about steamrolling citizens to please their wealthy donors who will profit from the project.

    Don’t be too hard on the politicians, though. They hear from their donors and lobbyists every day. They need to hear from us. When they respond – thank them.

    Thanks for your good wishes. Here’s hoping.

  6. Nice job on the letter Robert! When all else fails, make them eat their own baloney.
    As a side note I think the anti-Jamie rhetoric out here is way overblown. She wasn’t my first choice either but I think she’s really grown in her position, and have found her generally quite responsive. She often votes the same way I would have too. Those things make her better than 90% of the other politicos in my book.

  7. “How much more responsive?”

    I indicated that you will, in fact, receive a “SNR.” That’s not “responsive.” That’s eyewash.

    You heard it here first: you will NOT receive specific answers to your specific questions.

    And that you vote for her shows a level of gullibility that I find surprising… but it’s also your decision.

    Herrera continues to be the political waste of skin in DC that she was in Olympia, where she managed to get a single bill passed (her “kiddy” bill that all legislators get to teach them the process) while she co-sponsored SEIU legislation and voted with the democrats to clean out the last $229 million in the state emergency fund.

    Her documented lack of courage in refusing to face her constituency unless they bring a checkbook would be enough to kill the deal for me even if she wasn’t an abysmal failure as an elected official.

    But I guess I have higher standards than you. To each his own.

  8. K.J

    I bow to your experience for sure. I’m not entirely gullible as I’ve taken some precautions to make sure the CRC does respond – among them, posting the letter publicly. Other legislators are also following up on this issue. As things progress I’ll publicly thank them on behalf of the citizens who were otherwise slated for sacrifice to the CRC.

  9. So, K.J., you voted for Denny Heck? Or you didn’t vote for either candidate? I voted for Jamie because I thought she’d be better than Denny. But then, I tend toward being practical, rather than high-and-mightly.

  10. Did anyone watch the focus interview with Boldt?

    Thanks Mr. Dean for your reply, glad we are on the same page?
    Some days I wonder if I should blog all this junk?

  11. Nope. I voted for Castillo in the primary and didn’t vote in the general.

    That I knew about her as the woman who was parachuted in here after an 11 year absense to run for congress; who knew absolutely nothing about the district and the issues confronting us as a result; who told me to my face that her going to college for 4 years and serving as an intern and going to parties was “the same thing as being in the military” (Guess what…. it ain’t) and who was sent here by a congresswoman ftom the other side of the state and who was then appointed to fill an unexpired term because my commissioner brother-in-law made a deal with two democrat cowlitz county commissioners, one of whom now works for him… (Axel Swanson) isn’t a case of being “high and mighty.”

    It’s a case of being aware and not desiring an utterly worthless legislator who accomplished absolutely nothing in Olympia, who bought the Clark County GOP because she promised Ryan Hart a $60K per year job, to be an equally worthless member of congress.

    I was right in the first instance and I’ve also been right in the second.

    Since you asked.

  12. Has a light rail vote been scheduled? Will it be district or county-wide?

    Another impact overlooked is converting even more of downtown Vancouver to yet another high cost Portland parking area.

    As it is, Vancouver parking is overbuilt and underutilized. Jack Burkman explained that the projections for parking demand haven’t panned out.
    “Debt from Vancouver’s parking program pulls nearly $1.25 million a year from the city’s general fund,”

    The above facts appear overlooked by the CRC who seem to ignore the abundance of parking already available in downtown Vancouver, and plan to take up even more real estate for more parking garages. What if the traffic projections that are criticized as overly optimistic don’t pan out?

    There may be few businesses left standing, but plenty of parking.

  13. People! Please…
    Let the woman be and continue to ask and expect responses from her. I am certain she will pull through or at least truly try. I am not gullible so please….
    She has demanded a vote for us and I hope that we get it.

  14. Sigh.

    She has “demanded” nothing.

    She has engaged in bogus eyewash in the hope that many of the more gullible will BELIEVE she’s made such a demand… but if such a demand HAS been made (where is it?) WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES IF SHE DOESN’T GET THE VOTE, AND WHY IS HER “DEMAND” ONLY LIMITED TO THE GERRYMANDERED CTRAN DISTRICT?

    “Demands” are worthless without spelling out specifically what the consequences are if the demands are not met. And where has she done that?

    If you’re Tim “The Liar” Leave-it, for example, why would you hold any vote on this, since she’s done absolutely nothing except get her head handed to her in public by playing “nice” with that snake?

    Unless Ridgefield Barbie is willing to step up and lay it all out NOW, then her babble will have been worthless.

    “Demand?” She has the power to kill this scam, all by herself.

    Yet, where’s the letter that says something cryptic like:

    “Dear Tim, Steve and the rest of you CRC slime:

    If you don’t hold a county-wide, up or down vote on this entire project this November, I will kill this deal in its entirety,

    Love Babs”

    It’s nowhere. Because, as I’ve pointed out, she has “demanded” nothing.

    And she has made no such demand because 1. she supports this project, loot rail and all, and 2., she supports the tolls to pay for it, tolls that will be on BOTH bridges and will last forever.

    Let’s remember, kids… it’s not what politicians SAY that matters. it’s what they do.

    And in reality, except for allowing Leave-it to kick her face in, the only question of substance here is this: what has she done… and what WILL she do?

    And the answer to that is nothing.

    So, no, I WON’T “let the woman be.” She is screwing us all, and “us all” includes ME. And nobody does that for free.

  15. Margaret,

    Parking is a huge indirect cost. When I built my building everything about the building design hinged on how many parking spaces I could provide for my employees and customers and those of my tenants. Portland employers don’t have that problem. Vancouver will build them parking structures over here on prime Downtown commercial real estate and build them a light rail shuttle to jobs in Portland. Generous us!

  16. According to Commissioner Boldt in the Focus video, I believe he stated a November vote?

  17. Robert,

    Please add building more parking garages without due consideration to the current parking/human environment to your list. Thank you.

  18. Margaret,

    This might set everyone off – but, I called the Columbian and asked them to add parking garages to the list of indirect costs.

    K.J. if I turn blue it’s not because I’m holding my breath – call 911.

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