Archive for April, 2013

April 30, 2013

As the Columbian Squirms

by lewwaters

Monkey, EmbarrassedIt is well known now that the CRC is a very unpopular project among citizens and many business owners. We know it, elected officials know it and of course, even though they try to deny it, the Columbian knows it.

We also know the Columbian is in the tank for the light rail project and instead of investigating numerous concerns reported over the years about the CRC, will run damage control trying to minimize those concerns.

They also have shown themselves unfriendly towards candidates running for office that openly oppose the CRC light rail project and many can attest, do not treat those candidates very equitably, digging up dirt, casting aspersions and opposing just about any candidate who runs against the CRC.

And yet, the Columbian was puzzled when some candidates began bypassing them during campaigns, seeking other outlets to reach voters.

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April 30, 2013

Cleveland, Wylie & Moeller Vow to Screw the Middle Class

by lewwaters

screwedIgnoring the concerns of their constituents in the 49th Legislative District, all 3 Democrats elected to represent us have now vowed to cast our concerns aside, continue ignoring our voices and work as hard as possible to screw us over to ensure funding of the highly unpopular Columbia River Crossing light rail project.

An email received from rookie Senator Annette Cleveland today says, “We are working hard to fund the Columbia River Crossing”, concluding with “Rep. Moeller, Rep. Wylie and I will continue to work on CRC funding throughout the special legislative session to ensure that our state meets the September deadline and qualifies for the $850 million in federal funds. Anything less would be fiscal lunacy and a terrible mistake for our community’s future.”

That voters have rejected every funding measure proposed and outright rejected light rail itself back in 1995 doesn’t enter into the equation.

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April 30, 2013

Making Clark County Government Better

by lewwaters

CCBGClark County Washington sits in an awkward position at the southern most point of Washington State where the Columbia River separates the state from its Southern Neighbor, Oregon.

Positioned where we are, Washington State often ignores us, except of course when the time comes to want taxes, and Oregon treats us as their bedroom, the hicks to north they like to poke fun at.

All too often our elected officials, seeing Portland, Oregon as that “economic powerhouse” south of us, cater to the whims of Oregon over the desires of Clark County citizens.

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April 27, 2013

Watergate, Journalism and then there is the Columbian

by lewwaters

Boris ColumbianYou might say 1974 was a watermark for the media, Journalism in particular. The diligent investigative journalism of the Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein resulted in the only resignation of a sitting U.S. President as Richard Nixon was forced to resign over the scandal.

I missed much of it as I was stationed overseas in Germany during that time, after completing my tour in Vietnam. But we heard of the relentless pursuit of information on the cover-up and illegal actions of President Nixon. It was clearly a fine example of how dogged determination of scandal by the media could change the course of a country.

With that in mind, I find it peculiar to see Columbian editor Lou Brancaccio leaning on the investigative journalism of Woodward and Bernstein in his Saturday, April 27, 2013 editorial, Of Watergate, awards & stress. I find it so peculiar because the Columbian is anything but serious investigative journalism.

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April 26, 2013

Suck It Up, Oregon. Bail Out Light Rail Yourself

by lewwaters

CRCAs we see more and more Washington citizens and businesses joining in opposing the Columbia River Crossing light rail project, the desperation seen from Oregon in wanting to tap into our tax dollars to bail out their folly of light rail increases.

From Governor Kitzhaber’s proclamations published in the CRC mouthpiece Kitzhaber: Without light rail, new span across Columbia is history and Kitzhaber: Removal of light rail will kill CRC project to now an editorial in the April 25 Oregonian, Hey, Olympia: Suck it up and help build the CRC demanding we just ‘get onboard’ and do as they say.

Kitzhaber’s call showed that the calls of “decrease congestion,” “unsafe bridge” and “improve freight mobility” have been nothing more than lies and reaffirmed what this blog and several others have been saying for several years, light rail is the only factor driving this project.

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April 25, 2013

What Happens in Olympia Doesn’t Stay in Olympia

by lewwaters

washington-sealOnce again we see another legislative session in Olympia, Washington winding down with the usual prospect of going into special session to get important matters finished that for some reason, couldn’t be finished in regular session.

We see prospects of the special session centering around budgeting even though revenues are forecasted to exceed expectations by some $2 Billion, but are still over $1 Billion short of what spending is projected to be.

Last session the budget was put off due to focusing too much on homosexual marriage. Previous years we saw it put on hold until towards the end for a variety of reasons. We saw other pieces of legislation being placed in front of it, from tax increases, selection of a state rock or an official state dirt to drivers’ licenses for illegal aliens, several matters seemed to be placed before working out the budget.

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April 24, 2013

Kitzhaber Puts On His Bully Pants

by lewwaters

Kitz BullyJust as opponents of the Columbia River Crossing light rail project have been saying all along, Portland, Oregon is calling the shots while Clark County Washington will be bearing the lion’s share of expense.

We have been saying for some time now that this is not a bridge replacement project, that is only the carrot used to force Clark County into not only accepting Portland’s financially failing, deep in debt light rail against our wishes and now we once again see the truth of that coming out of Oregon.

As published in the Columbian evening online edition, Kitzhaber: Without light rail, new span across Columbia is history and Kitzhaber: Removal of light rail will kill CRC project as our state legislature is going back and forth over funding and light rail on the project.

Even opponents agree a new bridge would be great, but as was indicated in the Columbian’s recent poll, 87% of county residents want a third bridge first.

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April 21, 2013

Updated: A Bird In The Hand Beats a Bridge Too Low

by lewwaters

Bird, VultureMore and more it appears as if proponents are following Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s admonition of “increase the decibels” in a late effort to finally ram the Columbia River Crossing light rail project off onto Clark County citizens, even though every indication shows they strongly oppose it.

Of course, “increase the decibels” we know to mean shout down opponents, marginalize them, ignore them and just blindly push ahead, shortcomings be damned.

Editor of the Columbian mouthpiece, Lou Brancaccio says, “There have been so many missteps on this Columbia River Crossing project that if it was entered on ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ it would be voted off before Mike Tyson. It’s just mess after mess. The tomfoolery is epic. Even its most ardent supporters would agree with this. For me, I hold my nose and close my eyes, and say we should move forward.”

49th Legislative District Representative Sharon Wylie says, “We can always wish for a better process, however, we wound up with a process of our own making, based on the quantity and quality of our participation. The process may not have been perfect, but it was open and it was fair.”

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April 21, 2013

Veterans Courts Successful: With Your Help

by lewwaters

Comedian George Carlin said the above in 1990 as part of a much longer routine, Euphemisms, on how we have taken the humanity out of words to make them sound softer and with less importance.

While I do not fully agree with his assessment of the Vietnam war as “lies and deceits surrounding that war,” he does make a valid argument on Veterans in the past not having the help they would need in dealing with the horrors they might have been subjected to when they try to return to their previous lives.

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April 19, 2013

Terror Revisits America: UPDATED

by lewwaters

OBAMA-PHOTO-BOSTON-BOMBING-570Once again Americans were taken by surprise as bombs exploded at the finish of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring hundreds, to include catastrophic amputations of several.

As we have gotten all too accustomed to today, speculation immediately focused on unknown conservatives, creating false links to “right-wingers” and “Tea Party” to smear conservatives in America as leftwingers continues their assault on traditional minded Americans.

Late Thursday and early Friday morning the smoke began to clear as we heard of a raging gun battle occurring in Massachusetts where two individuals seen walking through the crowd at the marathon were acting suspiciously and appeared to leave backpacks in the vicinity of the explosions were located.

One was killed in that gun battle and the younger brother is the effort of an intense city wide manhunt as I write this.

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April 18, 2013

Judges and Voters and Scares, Oh My!

by lewwaters

 

College 4Submitted by Professor Robert Dean

The 170’ high Crescent City Connection Bridge blocks passage of a Carnival cruise ship on the Mississippi River at New Orleans

The 170’ high Crescent City Connection Bridge blocks passage of a Carnival cruise ship on the Mississippi River at New Orleans

Paul M: Tap, Tap, meeting in session.

Paul M: I’ve called this emergency meeting of Identity Vancouver because, as you’ve already been told, the judge ordered us to let the people of the City of Vancouver vote on light rail.

All: Grumble. Shocking. Tea bagger…

Jim M: Yay!!!

Paul M: Excuse me? Jim, did you say something?

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April 16, 2013

The Rose Quarter Conundrum for ODOT

by lewwaters

 

Prof Dean

 

 

Oregon Welcomes You

 

The Rose Quarter conundrum: how to reduce I-5 congestion and get Clark County commuters to pay for it?

The solution seemed so obvious with the CRC – light rail and tolls.

1) Build humungous parking garages for Portland employers on the cheaper Vancouver real estate (paid for by the Clark County commuters who work in Portland; sort of a user fee) and build a light rail employee shuttle service from the Vancouver parking lots to the Downtown Portland office towers. Let’s see, with 2,900 parking spaces (provided we don’t let anyone else use them, like Clark College students, shoppers, or those new apartment dwellers) we can take 2% of the daily traffic off of I-5.

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April 15, 2013

Applying the Paul Montague Method of Interpretation to the CRC Poll

by lewwaters

CRC RobberAs first mentioned on the Columbian and this blog in Of Increased Decibels, Cutting Bait and the Four P’s, the much anticipated poll results are in with Editor Lou Brancaccio claiming, “the poll showed slim support for the entire project.”

Of course, given the polling method chosen, targeting certain zip codes where support might be stronger than outlying areas within the county, it is no surprise and actually a result I would expect to show an even larger degree of support.

But is this really how the County feels? Does this interpretation really give the outlook of the majority within in Clark County? Lou Brancaccio seems to think it does. But what if we applied the same logic to this poll that Identity Clark County President Paul Montague applied to the overwhelming defeat of last year’s C-Tran Proposition 1 to increase sales tax to fund light rail operations and maintenance? (Video after jump)

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April 15, 2013

John Laird: A Victim of Malaplexia?

by lewwaters

College 4By Professor Robert Dean

People read his weekly column and think he’s just an idiot and dismiss him out of hand. But, what most people don’t realize is that he has a lifelong learning disability called Malaplexia.

Malaplexia is a rare condition that causes those suffering under it to always use the wrong word; even though they don’t mean to. For instance, try as he might, John will always use the word “coalition” to describe the self-interested CRC boosters when he means “cabal.” “Snakes” comes out as “stakeholders.” He tries to write “elites” but all he gets is “alliances.”

And don’t question his motives, either. You might think he is pandering to his boss, Scott Campbell, and responding to the call to “raise the decibels.” In fact, he is secretly screwing his boss and the Newspaper by spiking his retirement; working overtime.

As you say, John will retire soon. I can’t imagine he’ll get much true love at his send-off. Maybe, Clark County Conservative could pitch in and buy him a leather-bound and embossed thesaurus – give a little speech and explain to him that it’s not an extinct reptile.

April 14, 2013

Of Increased Decibels, Cutting Bait and the Four P’s

by lewwaters

CRCUnable to read the tea leaves, by all appearances proponents of the costly and controversial light rail project, falsely promoted as a bridge project, the Columbia River Crossing are responding to the call of Governor Jay Inslee to “increase the decibels” as if they were trained seals blasting on a horn to be rewarded with a small piece of fish.

Increasingly we see elected officials fall in lock-step along partisan lines to promote this boondoggle, falling back on all of the disproven talking points and at times, gross exaggerations if not outright lies.

Early last week we saw outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood parachuted in to manipulate the State Legislature into voting for and supporting this project where he said, “This is the 11th hour. Fish or cut bait. Make a decision.”

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April 14, 2013

Cross Post, Common Core and the Hitler Youth-Can it happen here?

by lewwaters

Common Core and the Hitler Youth-Can it happen here?

by Jennifer on April 14, 2013

A universal set of educational standards that challenges students to become better critical thinkers sounds great, right? As a college instructor I would frankly welcome just about anything that would help my students come into college as life-long critical thinkers-note that I said “just about anything”. The one thing I cannot, and will not, welcome is what is being called the Common Core standards. It sounds great when you look at their website, it is filled with top-notch marketing copy that would make most parents grin from ear to ear (and keep in mind I say this as a marketing professional). Here is some of that copy:

The Common Core State Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. The standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers. With American students fully prepared for the future, our communities will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy.”

That sounds amazing, right? Standards that will help parents understand what their kids are studying in order to help them-anyone remember the “new math” our parents struggled with? Who doesn’t want their children to be better prepared and positioned to gain employment after college? The problem with common core, as with so many other things, lies beneath all that shiny, slick marketing copy and brand messaging.

Read the rest at Victory Girls Blogsite

April 12, 2013

SW Washington to CRC, Please Do Not Resuscitate

by lewwaters

CRC, KnotsFriday, April 12, 2013, a stunning day for all opponents of the Columbia River Crossing filled with enough good news to make Jim Moeller & Tim Leavitt’s head swell up and explode from anguish.

The Columbia River Crossing appears to be in a death roll.

We first read of the actions of the leadership in the State Senate Coalition Majority, who have been pressured all week to roll over and fund $450 Million to be used as Washington’s portion to begin work, calling upon Governor Jay Inslee to convene a fully independent, outside audit of the Columbia River Crossing project.

Music to my ears as I and several others have been making the same call for some time.

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April 12, 2013

Liberals Go Berserk Over GOP Auctioning an AR-15

by lewwaters

AR-15We have long referred to Liberals as “looney” and nothing shows this more than the reaction of Liberals in regards to the Washington State Republican Party auctioning off an AR-15 rifle for fundraising.

That an AR-15 functions absolutely no different than any other semi-automatic rifle, one shot per trigger pull, mean nothing to Liberals. It “looks scary.” That it fires a relative small diameter bullet means absolutely nothing, it “looks scary.”

In an obvious attempt at a hit piece, the Friday April 12, 2013 Columbian includes a reprint of Jim Camden from The Spokesman-Review article AR-15 sale will raise GOP funds after editing the title to State Republicans to auction Newtown-style assault rifle.

“Newtown style?”

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April 11, 2013

Who Needs to Get a Life, Hanoi Jane?

by lewwaters

Jane Fonda, aka ‘Hanoi’ Jane Fonda for her treasonous exploits offering aid and comfort to our enemy at a time we had Troops in harm’s way doesn’t seem to like that so many Vietnam Vets still despise her. Part of why was stated in Hanoi Jane, It Wasn’t a ‘Mistake,’ It Was Treason

She clings to the canard that all she did wrong was succumb to the moment, posing for a very inflammatory set of photos of her sitting at an anti-aircraft gun. The below video should explain why her actions are considered “treasonous” by us and that it goes much further than those photos.

She expressed “regret” for the photo, but stands by her other actions and today, claims, “I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us.”

And now, she says that we need to “get a life?”

 

April 10, 2013

CRC Supporters Scurrying Like Cockroaches

by lewwaters

Barking CockroachThis past Sunday, April 3, 2013 saw yet another insulting editorial written by soon to be retiring Columbian Editorial Page Editor, John Laird: We should all live as long as the Third Bridge Cockroach.

Laird, a strong supporter of the Columbia River Crossing has now added “cockroach” to his repertoire of derogatory titles assigned to taxpayers that dare actually look behind the shroud of secrecy long enveloping the CRC and stand against it.

BANANA (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything), Ankle Biters, Hounds of Whinerville, NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard), CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) and now Cockroaches to describe those who they also want to buy their newspaper.

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