It seems that Port Angeles can’t do any kind of city project without cost overruns or scandals. It makes one wonder is overseeing their project management and bid process. It’s worth noting that a leading environmental activist over there, Darlene Schanfeld,argued against spending the money on this project in the first place, as it’s being built on a piece of property that is very likely to be inundated in any kind of major earthquake. The taxpayers of PA can only hope that comes later than sooner.
A $1 million dispute centered on building delays and construction costs has bubbled up between city officials and the builder of key components of the city’s new $47 million Combined Sewer Overflow system, the priciest public works project in the city’s history. An auditing firm will review Bellingham-based TEK Construction Inc. records today for the city, Public Works and Utilities Director Craig Fulton told City Council members at their regular meeting Tuesday. Paul Gottlieb reports. (Peninsula Daily News)
Just got out of the world premiere of ‘Return of the River”, the film that likely will be considered the definitive work on the Elwha Dam removal. This film, years in the making, was a labor of love for the two Peninsula based filmmakers, John Gussman and Jessica Plumb. And it was great to see it premiered here at the Port Townsend Film Festival.
The film tracks in detail the history of the dam, but more importantly the place that is the Elwha River, the feel for the Olympic Peninsula then and now, and a great depth of interviews with people that were instrumental, on both sides of the controversial project. It is impossible not to come away impressed with the idea that hard things to do take a long time, and a lot of consensus building. From the interviews with leading politicians, mill managers, environmentalists, writers, biologists, and most importantly, the tribal members of the Lower Elwha Tribe, who never gave up hope to bring back the historic runs. There were so many people who played significant small roles in this drama. Gussman and Plumb treated all with the respect they deserve. There are no demeaning ‘heroes and villains’ caricatures.
It is almost trite to say that certain stories are ‘epic’ and ‘pivotal’ but the removal of the Elwha Dam has been just that. It has galvanized world attention more than almost any other single environmental event of the last ten years, because it is a message of hope. Hope that we can restore what we have destroyed. Gussman and Plumb have captured that story, distilled it to 70 minutes, and given fair treatment to all sides, and points of view. More than ever, we need stories of hope in the face of ever mounting environmental problems to solve.
In the last week, I’ve posted the story that bull trout have been seen in the upper Elwha for the first time in a century. Also that the shores of the Elwha estuary are turning back into a clam bed capable sand spit. The power of restoration is an amazing thing to watch. The restoration of this river, with it’s unique short run from sea to protected park, is possible, and is happening, right now, in front of our eyes for just taking the time to go look.
Gussman and Plumb, along with the rest of their crew, have given us the story, in all it’s facets. A well crafted storyline, beautiful filmmaking, solid editing, a wonderful original soundtrack, animation when needed of the hard concepts.
Congratulations for a remarkable piece of work. A 5 star must see film.
“Tides of Change” is a new Science Minute Movie by the North Coast and Cascades Science Learning Network that takes viewers behind-the-scenes of Olympic National Park with coastal ecologist Steve Fradkin as he traverses “one of the most wild, scenic coastlines in North America” to monitor the health of the park’s rocky intertidal community. (Peninsula Daily News)
Read the whole story:
The Skills Center Natural Resources program gets you outside doing real work in the environment. We offer project-based classes to high school-aged students (up to 21 years old without a diploma) across the North Olympic Peninsula. All classes include hands-on field work, offer high school and college credit, and help students transition to the next step of internship, college or career.
Enrollment is open now for second semester, which starts at the end of January.
Classes in Port Angeles include the new ‘Cultural and Natural Resources 1’ class, which meets after lunch daily, and 5 different ‘Natural Resources Options’ that meet after school one day per week. Sequim and Forks each have three different ‘Natural Resources Options’ that meet after school one day per week.
Clallam County Community Development Director Sheila Roark Miller could face a variety of charges stemming from a complaint about her allegedly altering records. The original complaint appears to have been for forcing unpaid overtime, but now is expanded to include what is believed to be a possible charge of back-dating a development permit to ensure the developer would not have to comply with rigorous new water conservation rules that went into effect in Jan of this year, according to my sources. If accurate, that charge apparently could be one of the felony charges mentioned. Ms. Miller, in her role as DCD head and a landowner/river water user with her farm in the Sequim Valley, has been a member of the Dungeness River Management Team, and originally ran against an environmentally supportive (and supported by the environmental community) head of DCD. DCD has also been overseeing the Clallam County Shoreline Master Program update. Likely Ms. Miller will take a prolonged leave of absence, and probably resignation would follow while she awaits the pending charges. It would (and likely already has) put a serious cloud over the SMP update. We hope that these charges are unfounded, as it would bring into question much of the work done by her office since she took the reins.
Why does this matter to Jefferson County? Because the movement to create a “Charter County” would make the DCD position an elected position, and lead to inevitable politicization of the position. Currently we do not elect our DCD head, it is a typical county position hired by looking at experience and related job backgrounds. In fact, the PDN has mentioned in the past that this is the *only* elected DCD official in the US. The fact that Clallam County is a charter county allows this position to be made into a political, rather than professional one.
From our friend Jac at NOSC. A person who never seems to be without a smile. You’ll enjoy the day. A great way to learn about your local watershed.
***MULTIPLE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED***
WHAT: Stream Surveys with the North Olympic Salmon Coalition
WHERE: Morse Creek, just east of PA
WHEN: Wednesdays, Thursdays & Fridays from Aug 29th to Sept 30th
9am-1pm and/or 1-4pm. Volunteer for a partial day, full day or multiple days
WHY: NOSC will be collecting post-project monitoring data for the 3rd consective year after the Morse Creek Re-meander Project
NOSC will be measuring different stream characteristics and habitat features such as pool and riffle lengths, large woody debris, stream depths and pebble sizes. No experience necessary, training will be provided. Volunteers need to be comfortable working in water for an extended period of time. Visit www.nosc.org for more information.
RSVP: Email Jac at email@example.com or call (360) 379-8051 to get involved and scheduled.
PLEASE BRING: Chest waders and boots (NOSC can provide some). Please bring plenty of water, snacks and warm clothes.
DIRECTIONS: We will meet at 651 Cottonwood Lane, Port Angeles. or click to see map: http://mapq.st/oB2MW7.
DAY OF EVENT CONTACT: Jac at (518) 312-2658.
Volunteers can either join us for a morning shift (9-1pm), afternoon shift (1pm-4pm) or all day (9am-4pm). It those times don’t work, let us know we are flexible. We need at least 4 volunteers each day. It is extremely helpful if you are able to volunteer on multiple occasions. This is one of my favorite events all year – great excuse to spend all day in a beautiful stream!
Thanks – Hope to see at Morse Creek