Saturday, November 5, 2011

Guest opinion

Below is a letter to the Leader editor submitted on 18 October 2011 that has not yet appeared in print. It is printed here with the author's permission to provide another citizen's perspective on the current dilemma.

Dog bones

Never give a dog two bones at the same time. It will just get confused, run back and forth, and never know which one to chew on.

The Port of Port Townsend Commission has two bones. They are both otherwise known as “Taxpayer Money”.

The first bone is the grant money for investing in aluminum scrap futures. First they have to build a boat, and after using a lot more taxpayer money to underwrite a private enterprise so that it can be run as a “profitable” business, the boat can then be turned into scrap. It won’t be the first time that has happened in this town.

The recently spun notion that the “fast ferry” might be used to bring tourists from the cruise ships that dock in Seattle is the type of lunacy that only a politician could come up with. Cruise ships dock in Seattle for a limted time, and there is plenty to do in that city- Pike Place Market, the Seattle waterfront, Westlake Mall, Seattle Center, the Space Needle, Pioneer Square. No tourist will get off a cruise ship and then spend half the afternoon in an aluminum can flying to and from Port Townsend. It just won’t happen!

First it was going to be a commuter, and now it will be a “Destination” boat. According to director Pivarnik (Leader October 12), “If we don’t sell any tickets, we won’t make the run.” Any tickets? Does that mean one ticket, or at least 20? What if 19 show up? How do you draw the line? If a ferry did not make sense for Kingston, then it will make even less sense for Port Townsend. But this is just one more piƱata that everyone has to take a swing at.

The second bone is that bundle of taxpayer money that the Port has decided they will use to hire lawyers  to fight the US Government in court. It just doesn’t seem to matter how many clear cut decisions have been made regarding the preservation of Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park. The commissioners just won’t let go of that bone. And we, all of us, will have to pay for this relentless assault on sanity. Why? Don’t ask that question. There is no “reason”. Some well known person said, “facts are strange things.” The Commission is not going to let facts get in their way!

BRIAN YOUNG Port Townsend

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