Posts tagged ‘Robert Dean’

June 30, 2013

Open Letter to SW Washington

by lewwaters

Submitted by Professor Robert Dean

Professor Dean, known for his contributions to this community in bringing issues to light that helped bring about the demise of the Columbia River Crossing light rail project now writes an open letter to our legislators addressing, “what should we do now.”

An open letter to all the brave and clear-thinking elected representatives of SW Washington who stood up to the pro-CRC juggernaut and brought it to its knees. We thank you!

Some were clearly on the front lines taking the barbs from the Columbian and threats from formerly faithful, though self-interested, contributors.

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January 8, 2013

HCT Act; is C-Tran in Compliance?

by lewwaters

 

C-TranSubmitted by Robert Dean

Actions and public statements from C-Tran indicate that they are aware of RCW 81.104 but either did not take it seriously or forgot many of its provisions. Similarly, CRC officials acknowledged the Act but did not plan the Project accordingly.

CRC Co-Director, Don Wagner, observed in 2010 that each one year delay in construction costs the public $100 million with 3% inflation. When he made that observation  he was expecting the C-Tran public vote on funding operations to take place that fall. If he had been familiar with the Act he would not have had that expectation.

C-Tran has recently scurried to comply with the Act:

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October 31, 2012

Vancouver’s ‘Teflon Tim’

by lewwaters

Teflon, the coating we have known for many years now in cookware and renowned for its non-stick capability. Whatever is being cooked just slides off easy as can be leaving little if any trace behind.

In politics the term is also widely known and has been used to describe several politicians of all parties that scandals just slide off of, not sticking, not being held accountable. President Reagan, Tony Blair, B.J. Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Ma Ying-jeou and Angela Merkel for just a few of the more well-known examples.

We also cannot forget well known Crime Boss, John Gotti was referred to as the “Teflon Don” for his many scrapes with the law that he slid through until finally convicted of murder in 1992.

The term “Teflon” has been used numerous times to those “slippery” characters that seem to just do whatever they wish with total impunity, either from the law or scrutiny by the media or fellow public servants. But who would have ever thought that our small community, Vancouver, Washington would find itself being able to apply it to one of our own public officials, the mayor Tim Leavitt.

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September 28, 2012

CRC Demise? The Broken Third Leg

by lewwaters

Guest post by Professor Robert Dean

Klineline Bridge, Vancouver, WA, circa 1955

Has the CRC tripped over the HCT Act?

I once asked the Columbia River Crossing Project Director, Don Wagner, what would cause the project to fail. He looked pensive for a moment and then blurted out, “failure of funding.”

I sensed that he seemed somewhat melancholy. Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler had just been elected to Congress and the Columbian newspaper had endorsed the opponent of Democrat State Representative, and CRC booster, Jim Moeller. Various citizen movements were ascending to public prominence and the Vancouver City Council was still reeling over an infamous “meltdown” incident. There was, at the time, January 2011, a palpable disenchantment for the project brewing in the community.

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June 20, 2012

“We Can’t Afford the Local Contribution.” A Conversation Between Robert Dean and Mayor Tim Leavitt

by lewwaters

 

Presented in whole by request and as sent to me by Robert Dean:

From: Robert Dean

Sent: Monday, June 11, 2012 8:07 AM

To: Leavitt, Tim

Cc: Smith, Larry; Holmes, Eric; Burkman, Jack; Harris, Jeanne; Stewart, Jeanne;

Hansen, Bart; Turlay, Bill

Subject: Funding for light rail – we can’t afford the local contribution

In the Columbian – “The project expects the federal government to contribute the $850 million needed to build the line.”

Sound enticing? Not if it’s going to cost us, the local community, Clark County taxpayers a minimum of $2.6 billion to get that $850 million from the feds (gas tax money we have already paid).

Tolls are slated to pay for the $1.4 billion local contribution. According to the CRC here we will have to pay $2.6 billion (46%) in tolls in order to raise the $1.4 billion principal on the bonds. Note, that does not include interest at 5% over 30 years, operation and maintenance of the bridge, highway and light rail system, cost overruns (usually 30%), and the fact that Oregon wants to raise its share ($750 million plus interest) with a TIFIA loan paid back by Clark County commuters with tolls.

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May 2, 2012

CRC: No Financial Compensation for Businesses

by lewwaters

Authored and submitted by Professor Robert Dean

Nothing much gets by “The Hounds of Whinerville.” A recent letter from Columbia River Crossing Director, Nancy Boyd, addressed to Shari Hildreth, Deputy District Director to Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler, who asked 28 pointed questions on behalf of constituent, Professor Robert Dean, makes it clear that Downtown businesses will not be financially compensated for general loss of access to their establishments or for diminished incomes during 6.3 years (or 5 years or 15 years) of construction on the CRC project. The letter also reveals that the problem was not studied for the $150 million Environmental Impact Statement.

CRC critic, and master “ankle biter,” Larry Patella, likes to ask the rhetorical question: “who is minding the store?” How prescient and appropriate have his observations been when it comes to the impacts of the CRC and light rail on Downtown Vancouver? It turns out that nobody has accounted for the indirect impacts on businesses during 6.3 years of construction.

Nobody?

Didn’t Downtown businesses flock to the City Council with concerns about disruptions to commerce during construction?

Yep!

Didn’t the City pass resolution M3663 back in July 7, 2008 instructing the CRC to study “possibly severe” disruptions to commerce during construction of the bridge, I-5, light rail and the three parking garages?

Yep!

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January 24, 2012

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.

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November 8, 2011

Editorial spoof Free Speech play‏

by lewwaters

Submitted by Professor Robert Dean

Students, Free Speech 102 is now in session. Today, we have a guest lecturer, Professor Robert Dean, from Australia. Professor Dean is a distinguished graduate of the Dan Rather Excellence in Journalism workshop and of the Pol Pot Reeducation Camp program at the University of Phnom Penh.

Professor Dean: Before we start, I want to make sure you all have the prerequisite History and Constitutional Law classes. Good! As you know, the US Government did not grant us the right to free speech, as many believe today. No, freedom of speech is a fundamental human right granted to all humankind by our Creator. Does anyone here know who our Creator is?

Tom H: Yes, but I’m not allowed to say or I’ll lose my government scholarship.

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