Category Archives: News

Ferguson v. Port of Olympia, Part II

Ok, jumping back in on the Port of Olympia. If you want to start at the beginning, go here for Part I.Logs Oly port 2011July1 (3)

If you want to start with Part II and not look back, the story is that former finance director Kevin Ferguson has sued the Port of Olympia and Edward Galligan for wrongful discharge, violation of whistleblower law and other tortious conduct.

So, working from the lawsuit Ferguson v. Port of Olympia again, I note/quote from the lawsuit:

  • “In approximately late June/early July, 2011, plaintiff (Ferguson) met with two Commissioners to alert them to what plaintiff considered to be some of the serious issues that he had reported to Galligan (Port Executive Director Edward Galligan) , and advised them that Galligan had failed to take any remedial action.  The issues that plaintiff reported at that time included the failure of Galligan to follow Port personnel policies, and the apparent nepotism and increased technology expenses in a potentially unlawful awarding of a technology contract.”

and

  • “on August 16, 2011, plaintiff was compelled to submit a written report via email to Port Commissioner Jeff Davis, which laid out plaintiff’s reasonable belief about violations of law or policy and waste of Port funds, most of which implicated Galligan.  The written report identified a variety of matters with details information, including but not limited to the following:

(a.) Nepotism in the award of the Port’s IT contract to the brother-in-law of Galligan’s former secretary and the Port’s HR Manager, who was directly responsible for all information technology at the Port, which appeared in conflict with Port Policy 108.

(b.) Change of the IT award/oversight from the HR Manager to a staff person, who was nevertheless supervised by the HR Manager, continuing to appear in conflict with Port Policy 108.

(c.) Waste of Port funds in paying an excessive amount of $10,000 per month to maintain the IT system, and payment of such amounts with lack of adequate service by the IT consultants – one who resided in Vermont most of the year and the other who left the Port without local technology support while out of the area.

(d.) Award of the IT contract to an entity which has a statutory two year ban from public work due to previously operating without a license

(e.) Payment to the IT contractor after the contract expired, and renewal of an expired contract without first requesting new proposals for qualifications or bids.”

In reading through the 17 page Ferguson complaint, it becomes clear that the IT contract is a somewhat central thread that should be subject to public scrutiny for the purposes of deciding if the Port is operating in an ethical and forthright manner.

So, how would we start to get to the heart of this story?   Why not start with a quick look at the contracting entity and the contract?

Sorry, need to go to work, will be back with a look at the contracting entity and the contract in a day or two.

We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

Hey, Toto.

2 big blizzards in a couple of weeks.  One of the complications of global warming is that the warmed atmosphere holds more water vapor and guess what?  More water vapor means heavier snowfalls.  Thanks to KansasCity.com

I scanned this piece quickly and did not see any mention of global warming or climate change.

Same thing last week in the mainstream coverage of the snowstorm.   Is it irresponsible not to give readers the background information?

Last week was Storm Q (I like the Blizzard of Oz name better).  This week is Storm R.

I did spot some coverage that referenced the fact that the last 100 year snowstorm was two years ago when I was scanning the news for mainstream connections to the largest global story – global warming, but I think that coverage did not mention global warming either.

Here is what Yahoo News is running on the second storm in two weeks:

DODGE CITY, Kan. (AP) — Blizzard conditions slammed parts of the central Plains Monday, forcing the closure of highways in the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles and sending public works crews scrambling for salt and sand anew just days after a massive storm blanketed the region with snow.

National Weather Service officials in Kansas and Oklahoma issued blizzard warnings and watches through late Monday as the storm packing snow and high winds tracked eastward across West Texas toward Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri. Forecasters also warned of possible tornadoes further southeast.

Snow covered Amarillo, Texas, where forecasters said up to 18 inches could fall, accompanied by wind gusts up to 65 mph. Paul Braun, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Transport, said whiteout conditions and drifting snow had made all roads in the Texas Panhandle impassable. Interstate 40 was closed from Amarillo to the Oklahoma state line.

Want to read the whole story?  Go ahead.  Please let me know if they mention global warming.

Extreme Weather Events! Get Used to Them.

Lots of news coverage of Frankenstorm, but not much mention of the role that our carbon economy plays in the production of this storm.

Hey, mainstream media,  can you say Global Warming?

Here is what Joe Romm has to say about Hurricane Sandy:

Why Hurricane Sandy Has Morphed into a ‘Frankenstorm’ — And Why We Should Get Used to Catastrophic Weather

Here’s how manmade carbon pollution is making many of the most destructive kinds of extreme weather events — Frankenstorms — more frequent and more intense.

October 28, 2012  |

 

This GOES-13 satellite image provided by the US Naval Research Laboratory shows the eye of Hurricane Sandy it churns just off the eastern coast of the US.
Photo Credit: AFP

 

 

 

What would you call an “ unprecedented and bizarre “ storm that is:

  • The “largest hurricane in Atlantic history measured by diameter of gale force winds (1,040mi)” [ Capital Weather Gang ]
  • “A Storm Like No Other” [National Weather Service via  AP]. NWS“I cannot recall ever seeing model forecasts of such an expansive areal wind field with values so high for so long a time. We are breaking new ground here.”
  • “Transitioning from a warm-core (ocean-powered) hurricane into an extra-tropical low pressure system, a classic Nor’easter, fed by powerful temperature extremes and swirling jet stream winds aloft to amplify and focus the storm’s fury” [meteorologist  Paul Douglas ]
  • Being fueled in part by “ocean temperatures along the Northeast U.S. coast [] about 5°F above average,” so “there will be an unusually large amount of water vapor available to make heavy rain” [former Hurricane Hunter  Jeff Masters ]
  • Also being driven by a high pressure blocking pattern near Greenland “forecast to be three standard deviations from the average” [ Climate Central  and CWG]
  • “Stitched together from some spooky combination of the natural and the unnatural.” [ Bill McKibben ]

Read the whole thing?  Good idea.    Alternet is carrying the story, but Joe Romm sets up shop at Climate Progress.

Big Storm Coming to the East Coast

Global warming?  Sure.  More storms, bigger storms.   Talk to folks who can vote in 2014 to elect the Climate Congress.  I don’t care if the folks you talk to are republicans, democrats or have never bothered to vote.  If they know in their gut that global warming is real and not good news, then we need to mobilize them.  The quadrennial electoral show is staggering to a finish, but at that finish we will not have a president or congress that understands that we need to address global warming.  Our next chance is the midterm election in 2014.  That campaign is underway.  I started.

Climate Congress 2013 – the Contract with Climate

  1. Carbon tax
  2. what else belong on the contract with the climate that a carbon tax does not address?

from WAPO:

 

 

 

Hurricane Sandy continues its march to the East Coast

 

View Photo Gallery — Hurricane Sandy: The storm has been raging up the coast after leaving more than 40 people dead in the Caribbean. A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maine, New Jersey and Connecticut.

 

 

 

 

By ,   Published: October 27 | Updated: Sunday, October 28, 7:47 AM

 

 A hurricane of enormous force continues to march north today, ready to hammer the D.C. region sometime on Monday and disrupt life for millions as it sweeps across eight states toward Canada.

From North Carolina to the coastal edges of Maine, public officials are urging residents to fortify themselves against Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to unleash torrential rains and winds of up to 75 mph, even for those residing as far as 100 miles from the storm’s center.

Read the whole piece?  Why not?  See if you can find any mention of global warming in the piece on Hurricane Sandy.  I scanned it quickly, lots of talk about shopping in advance of the storm, the campaigns adjusting to be elsewhere, nothing on global warming that I spotted.  It’s like Where’s Waldo?  Where is the mention of global warming in this article?  Let me know if you see it.

Grand Jury Resisters Need Your Support

Friends are in jail.  We don’t know how long they will be there.  We don’t what criminal activity is being investigated that leads to these folks being jailed for refusing to answer Grand Jury questions.

Land of the Free.  Home of the Brave.

 Jump in, you can help.  We are the ones we have been waiting for.

 

 

 

Committee Against Political Repression

 

 

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 Compilation Album Created in Support of Grand Jury Resisters

Posted on October 26, 2012 | 2 Comments

 

 Musical Impressions has created a compilation album called “Black Clothing, Anarchist Literature, Flags, Flag-Making Materials, Cell Phones, Address Books, & Hard Drives” in support of the Grand Jury Resisters.

You can buy it here. Proceeds go to support the legal and material needs of those resisting the FBI investigations of anarchists in the Pacific Northwest.

Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate

The election season is in full hysterical mode.  The dems are beating on progressives who are fleeing to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, the repubs are beating on the dems with all the corporate money and psycho-linguistic technology they can muster and behind the scenes somewhere we have a bunch of faceless (poor things, they don’t have faces) IT folks who are gearing up to do whatever they are supposed to do with the vote-counting technology to tabulate votes on November 6th.

Michael Connell will not be available to help with the information technology tasks in this election cycle.  His private plane crashed and he was killed before he was available to testify about the 2004 Ohio vote-counting, “man in the middle” controversy.

There is lots to worry about in this election cycle even with the tragedy of Michael Connell’s death in 2008.  But let’s get real, this election is in the can.  Yes, we should all work on getting out the votes for progressive candidates, for local initiatives that might produce change, but the change is not coming by defeating Romney, the change is not coming in this election cycle.

Our best progressive shot happens with the mid term election of 2014.   I believe we have three primary branches of govt here in the US of A.  The judicial is captured by 4 solidly corporate, reactionary justices, with a conservative swing vote held by Anthony Kennedy.   The remaining justices are solidly liberal, but are aging and out-numbered 5 to 4.  This is the 5 to 4 court, not the Roberts Court.  And it will be the 5 to 4 Court for a very long time.  Right wingers do not have to control the Senate to keep a Dem president from appointing a William O. Douglas or Thurgood Marshall type justice to the Court, they only have to obstruct appointments in a manner that the Dems will never do to a Republican potus.  Need evidence of that?  Samual Alito?  Clarence Thomas?  John Roberts?  Do these names ring a bell?  Yes, the dems borked poor Robert Bork, but that was a long time ago and poor Robert Bork had served Richard Nixon too well.  Robert Bork borked himself in the Saturday night massacre, he was just a late victim of that miserable public affair.

The pick at the top of the ticket in this election is a hobbesian choice.  Both of the candidates are firmly in the control of the big money folks, the have-mores as George W called them.   Romney might claim to be the candidate of the 53%, but that’s not true, he is the Emperor of Bain Capital.  Read’m and weep.

Obama?  Sad sack.  I voted for him once upon a time.  I didn’t believe in him at that time, but I was willing to give it a shot.  The Dems are always saying, please, just give us one more chance.  I thought why not? in 2008 and voted Obama.  I wanted Dean or Kucinich, but the Bainsters who control our political system are not going to allow that kind of option, so I voted Obama.  I used to say that the only republican I ever voted for as President was Bill Clinton, but now I have done it twice.  Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice…    I won’t get fooled again or something like that, Bushisms are so complex in their inanity that they approach genius.

Here is an interesting video that makes the point that the electorate really is trying to choose between pepsi or coke for potus.  Tastes better, less filling, tastes better…

Leaves a bad taste.  Thanks to Slate, David Weigel, and Luke Rudowski at We Are Change for this work.

I will be back in a day or two to talk about Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate.

Top of the list?   Carbon Tax, baby!   A twofer.  We jam the environmental destroyers, the petro-bainsters and we fix the deficit in one fell swoop.   I love a fell swoop.

Ocean Report

A couple of items on things oceanic came to my attention this week.

NYT had a story on collapse of the cod fishery:

The Shocking News About Cod

The ideal fish for human consumption would mature quickly and reproduce in staggering numbers.

Courtesy Wiki Commons NOAA

This does not describe the Atlantic cod. Cod mature late — at 4 to 6 years old — and they can live as long as 25 years. Female cod do, in fact, produce astonishing numbers of eggs. But older cod lay two or three times as many eggs as younger cod. This means that a healthy cod population must include relatively large numbers of older fish.

For Op-Ed, follow @nytopinion and to hear from the editorial page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, follow @andyrNYT.

A recent survey of cod catches in Northern Europe shows exactly the opposite. Extrapolating from survey numbers, scientists at a British government fisheries agency estimate that there are nearly 200 million 1-year-old cod in the North Sea but only 18 million 3-year-olds. As for older cod, the numbers are shocking. The survey team estimates that in 2011 there were only 600 12- to 13-year-old cod, a third of which were caught, and not a single fish older than 13 has been caught in the past year.

Read the whole article?  Important stuff.

Paul Pickett in Oly shared this new NOAA app that shows sea level rise and coastal impacts. We have been talking in Oly about actions by the Washington State Department of Ecology.  DOE has blocked a shoreline plan in Jefferson County that prohibited pen fish farming.  This is the industrial practice of raising fish such as Atlantic salmon in pens.  We don’t healthy fisheries if we can raise fish to eat in pens.  Ecology is also stepping in on the the Olympia shoreline plan in ways that may help the Port of Olympia and thwart environmental action that has wide public support.  We are talking in Olympia about how regulatory agencies can be captured by the industries they regulate and what we can do about it.

I think we have to ask the right question and that question is “why would regulatory agencies thwart reasonable environmental actions?”  The answer is profit, capitalism; economic interests are in control and dictate to us all.  Disaster capitalism.  Disaster, capitalism.  Disaster. Capitalism.

Here is the sea level rise app.  NOAA is not a regulatory agency per ser, more of a pure science agency.  It’s harder to capture science agencies than it is to capture regulatory agencies who are able to weigh science against economic interests.

It’s kind of tragic and ironic that we are both depleting the ocean and increasing the ocean’s coverage of the planet at the same time. The Greenland ice cap is melting.  Start looking hard at the sea level rise application and plan accordingly.  There are going to be some opportunities for profit in the coming troubles.

Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer

NOAA Coastal Services Center

Features

  • Displays potential future sea levels
  • Provides simulations of sea level rise at local landmarks
  • Communicates the spatial uncertainty of mapped sea levels
  • Models potential marsh migration due to sea level rise
  • Overlays social and economic data onto potential sea level rise
  • Examines how tidal flooding will become more frequent with sea level rise

Overview

View the current status of the tool.

Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful teaching and planning tool, and the Sea Level Rise Viewer brings this capability to coastal communities. A slider bar is used to show how various levels of sea level rise will impact coastal communities. Completed areas include Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, with additional coastal counties to be added in the near future. Visuals and the accompanying data and information cover sea level rise inundation, uncertainty, flood frequency, marsh impacts, and socioeconomics.

Launch Now

Acknowledgements

The NOAA Coastal Services Center would like to acknowledge those organizations that provided direct content used in this tool or feedback, ideas, and reviews over the course of the tool’s development. Specifically the Center would like to acknowledge the following groups.

Here is the link to the main page for this NOAA app.

Pinata Economics

I have been thinking about Romney and the general casino-style financial sector that has been preying on the US and the world over the past decade and the image of a pinata came to mind.  Pinata economics.  The willingness, the glee of smashing something pretty to get at the goodies inside really seems to fit with the get really rich really quick schemed of leveraged buyout.

In These Times has a couple of good articles in the September 2012 issue.  One is The Bain Legacy and the other How to Succeed in Business Without Adding Value.  Both by David Moberg.   I recommend reading them both.

Courtesy Paul Sapiano and Wiki Commons

 

 

Courtesy Gage Skidmore Wiki Commons

 

 

 

 

    Pinata Economics.  I should probably claim intellectual property rights to that term and sell it to the highest bidder.  Isn’t that the way these things work?

Wish I knew how to put the  ~ symbol on top of the N.

Lo siento, amigos.