Archive for May, 2011

May 24, 2011

Let the Day After Memorial Day Be the Beginning of the Summer of Recovery

by lewwaters

Once again, Memorial Day, a day that has been set aside to pay homage to those who have fallen in service to our country and have given us the freedoms and liberties we enjoy with the sacrifice of their lives is upon us. Some communities may still hold parades; most all will hold some sort of ceremony to honor our fallen.

Like the last couple Memorial Days, this one will be held under the shadow of not only an ongoing war, but a deeply depressed economy and divided nation. Politicians, many of whom have gotten us into this mess, will undoubtedly step forward and make their speeches and no doubt, some will take advantage of the day to score a few political points.

But, who will actually take the bull by the horns and do what is needed to correct this elongated Great Recession we remain in?

As well as being a day to honor our fallen heroes, Memorial Day is also considered the official kick-off to the summer, where people across the country will go on vacation, visit relatives and friends far distances from them and get out and enjoy the countryside as much as they may.

With gas breaking $4.00 a gallon, unemployment still riding high, taxes going up all over, business still failing and the dark mood of the nation because of it, many less trips will be taken than was just a few years ago. Ultimately, that will result in making the situation worse as even less tax revenues from summer purchases will be made.

May 24, 2011

Free Speech for All, Except Conservatives

by lewwaters
May 24, 2011

The Columbian: Bankruptcy, Restructure, Tax Breaks and Still Late

by lewwaters

I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised to see our local newspaper of record once again reporting news after others do. It seems to be the pattern down there for some time now.

Be it the news of death threats against former congressman Brian Baird being found not credible before his August 18, 2009 town hall, uncovered by blogger Kelly Hinton weeks before the Columbian reported it or ongoing problems at the Hazel Dell Value Motel, reported on and uncovered by Marcus Griffith of the Vancouver Voice, not to leave out the numerous times KPAM, KATU, KPTV, KUPL or KGW news teams scoop them on local Clark County news, the Columbian continually comes up short when it comes to getting news out in a timely fashion.

Editor Lou Brancaccio has said they will not run with rumors or publish speculation, which was highly noticeable in the case of former 49th legislative district representative Jim Jacks abruptly quitting the seat, mid-session and just weeks after being sworn in for another term.

Others weren’t so fortunate to have the local paper of record in their pocket that spared little ink in speculating or questioning the truthfulness of their claims.

In the case of Marcus Griffith of the Vancouver Voice, someone I have had my differences with, he did make the effort to confirm what nearly all of us in town knew, that there were serious infractions and shady dealings going on at the Motel. I believe he could have accomplished that without spending the night there, but have to credit him with actually going in there and doing his own investigation and then reporting on it, once again, before the Columbian reported about it.

May 24, 2011

Legalize Potholes

by lewwaters

Today’s Columbian has yet another tale of woe crying about decreased revenues and how taxes not being higher has let the county and city roads fall into disrepair. Vancouver pavement on road to ruin Engineer warns that years of neglect make repairs more costly

As is usual, the “cure” is come up with some way to take even more hard earned tax dollars away from the struggling population, facing high unemployment, devaluing of the dollar, fighting to keep their homes and food on their table and not to forget, fearing any medical setbacks that could also bankrupt them as well as paying more and more for gasoline to power their vehicles just to get to work.

No mention is made of how for so many years now, our tax dollars have been squandered and wasted when the economy was in better shape on an amphitheater, a convention center, buying a new building to house city government and endless studies on how to force Portland’s Loot Rail upon us whether we want it or not.

May 22, 2011

GOP Congresswoman: Clueless or Pandering?

by lewwaters

It’s no secret that I did not support Jaime Herrera Beutler for the seat she sits in currently. The above video is a prime reason why, beyond the nonsense thrown at me by her staff and the Clark County Republican Party because I had the audacity to actually support a Conservative Republican in last year’s election.

At her May 16, 2011 Town Hall, Jaime faced a crowd of angry Democrats fearing she will vote like a Republican. The above comment was the normal run of the mill leftwing tripe on ending tax breaks and subsidies for corporations, the job creators. Hearing this particular part of her reply, I can only ask, “Jaime, are you clueless or pandering to Democrats again?”

She specifically mentions ExxonMobil and GE as corporations not paying taxes. Leftists, Moveon.org and several others have been making that claim, based in large part to admitted Socialist Democrat Bernie Sanders from Vermont releasing his list of Top Ten Tax Avoiders, where it is claimed the companies posted large profit increases, and pay no taxes in the U.S.

May 22, 2011

Just Because the World Did Not End, It’s Not the End of the World

by lewwaters

No doubt, a few people woke up feeling dejected and dismayed, realizing that predictions of gloom and doom and the world coming to an end made by 89 year-old preacher, Harold Camping did not happen. Why anybody took it serious escapes me as anybody with an even rudimentary knowledge of the Bible and Christianity knows that it says no one knows when that will happen, not even Jesus, only God.

Throughout the years there have been literally hundreds, if not more, end time predictions made and if you are reading this, none of them came true. To me, it shows that there are some, declaring themselves devout Christians, who end up, unwittingly, placing more faith in the words of a fellow man and not God’s word.

But, my intent here is not to point out shortcomings in people’s faith or the Church. Someone’s religious beliefs are very personal and even if they are what I would describe as “fringe,” they are their beliefs. What does bear pointing out is the reaction of some non-believers, atheists on the left, human secularists or whatever you wish to call them. Knowing full well that the majority of believers did not fall for Camping’s nonsense, this is ignored so they can take a slap at all Christians.

As I suspected was going to happen, John Laird of the Columbian, even toned down from his more usual ‘I hate any and everything Republican’ rhetoric, made his Sunday column about the latest end of the world failure with his column, How did Judgment Day go for you?

May 19, 2011

Former Prairie Principal Lets His Left Wing Bias Show

by lewwaters

For some time now, conservatives have been scoffed at whenever we mention that there are too many involved in education that place leftist ideals above actually educating our children. Unwittingly, Bruce Matheny, principal at Prairie High School from 1995 to 1999 provided support for our claims as he confronted a former student, Jaime Herrera Beutler at her recent town hall, May 16, 2011.

It was previously reported that the town hall was contentious, Ms Beutler being confronted by angry leftwing Democrats calling her a liar and just being obnoxious, undoubtedly some recruited by Don’tEndMedicare.com, set up and funded by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, complete with downloadable protest signs, bogus talking points and preformed letters to the editor.

What didn’t make the initial reports is that one of those confronting Herrera Beutler was none other than her former High School Principal, Bruce Matheny who said to her, “I’m proud of what you’ve done with your career, but I’m really disappointed with your politics. I think you mean well, but you’re drinking that Republican Kool-Aid.”

Anyone who knows me also knows that I am no fan of Jaime Herrera Beutler and do not see her as a conservative. Establishment Republican who goes to the left at times, yes. But a conservative? No way. So, her being confronted by angry constituents does not really disturb me. She wanted in the big leagues and she made it, by dirty politics, but she made it.

But, for a High School Principal, who for years had charge of educating children and supposedly not imposing his political views to stand, identify himself as her former Principal and launch into a tirade of her “having drank the kool-aid” goes a bit too far.

Is that how he spoke to children under his charge and with conservative parents?

Is he disappointed that someone might think differently than he does and walk a different path?

Did he confront her at any time as she supported and voted for legislation that would have forced child care centers into public unions, charging that she must be drinking that SEIU Kool-Aid?

Did he ever step and charge her with drinking that Democrat Kool-Aid when she joined forces with Democrats in Olympia in stripping the last $229,000,000 from the rainy day fund?

Did he object when she declared herself “a friend to organized labor” when seeking the appointment to replace Richard Curtis in 2007?

Something tells me no, he had no objections then and was probably quite pleased with the flavor of her Kool-Aid then.

But, to hear an educator stand up in public and charge a former student with “drinking that Republican Kool-Aid” because she doesn’t follow his politics lock-step is irresponsible and disrespectful.

I can only imagine how he spoke to students inside a classroom or the principals’ office.

But, I do thank Bruce for providing support for the many times we conservatives have spoken about the conduct and actions of leftwing educators.

May 18, 2011

Delavar Cries Foul in Hiring of Camas Mayor to New Job

by lewwaters

Camas and Washougal may not be big cities, but their elected leaders are never at a loss for supplying controversy.

As in the video excerpt from the 1939 Jimmy Stewart movie, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” Washougal city council member Michael Delavar seems to be standing alone right now as he alleges ethics violations against the hiring of Camas’ soon to be ex-mayor, Paul Dennis to head the proposed Camas-Washougal Economic Development Association.

Camas mayor’s new job causes stir

May 17, 2011

Sorry Jeanne, No Apology Due

by lewwaters

Vancouver city council woman Jeanne Harris at the May 16, 2011 council workshop where changes to the city council ethics policy were being discussed. Just a portion of the over all exchange, but the portion I now believe she expects and has asked to receive a public apology for, as reported in the Columbian newspaper.

Ms. Harris, known for last years “Gavel Down” incident accepted the slap on the wrist deemed appropriate by the first ever council ethics committee. As Larry Smith states, it was imperfect but what council had been given to work with.

Telling her that it was her behavior, not his behavior that brought it about is not verbally attacking, it is pointing out the error of her way.

I am left wondering, will we now see Ms. Harris continue her bizarre behavior while sitting on council? Will she jump at any and every opportunity to “get back” at those she has now decided “wronged” her?

Larry Smith says she has no apology coming and I agree.

Move on, Ms. Harris. Or resign.

May 17, 2011

Giving Jack Burkman Credit When It Is Due

by lewwaters

As critical as I often am of council members, I also enjoy giving credit to them when I feel it is due. Such is the case with council member Jack Burkman for taking his time at last evenings city council meeting to address the issue of the proposed acquisition of the Yakima Bears and the proposal of a brand new stadium built adjacent to Clark College to be financed in part by an entertainment tax on nearly all admissions tickets throughout the county.

Mr. Burkman mentions some of the concerns many in the community have, especially the haste being put on a commitment for this to move forward.

May 16, 2011

Can You Hear Me Now?

by lewwaters

An Iowa voter speaks to Newt Gingrich.

Would somebody please pass the message along to Ron Paul.

May 15, 2011

C-Tran Board, “We Always Get Our Tax Increase”

by lewwaters

As TV and Movies have claimed for many years as the Canadian Mounties motto, “we always get our man,” the C-Tran Board has the same tenacity when it comes to always getting whatever tax increase they want, regardless of what taxpayers vote.

This was seen in 2004 when C-Tran spread the fear and dread of needing a .03% sales tax increase to expand and keep operating, still blaming citizens who voted for I-695 in 1999 when we rolled back the outrageous excise we paid every year to re-license our cars.

They put together Proposition 1 for the 2004 General Election and in spite of appearing at advocacy groups to tout the need for more of our money, threatening drastic cutbacks in service and lay-offs, the proposition failed by a vote of 54% against, 46% for.

The bus drivers union voted no confidence in Lynne Griffith, the agency’s executive director then. The Columbian editorialized on the loss and began making suggestions, joined by riders of C-Tran and legislators of holding off on cut-backs and to try again.

The County-wide vote showed 85,684 against to 73,959 for. Take note that I mentioned “COUNTY-WIDE vote.” That’s important because as is seen below, the C-Tran Board came right back with Board Resolution BR-05-001, “A RESOLUTION of the C-TRAN Board of Directors conferring upon itself the status of a public transportation conference for the purpose of convening a Public Transportation Improvement Conference to redefine the PTBA boundaries.”

May 14, 2011

Baseball Team or Another White Elephant? If We Don’t Ask, We Don’t Know

by lewwaters

For several years many Vancouverites have longed for a pro-baseball team to be located in Vancouver and it looks now as if their cries might be answered. Mayor of Portland’s Vancouver, Tim ‘no show’ Leavitt has announced the likelihood of the Yakima Bears relocating to our community after several years in Yakima.

Many are elated and ready to jump headlong into the project while strongly objecting to others who raise questions about the move, especially where a portion of the project will require the use of tax dollars. We hear comments like “I am not quite sure why every aspect of this project needs to be so thoroughly parsed and vetted” from many of the same people who strongly object if a company like Wal-Mart announces plans to build a store with all private funds.

The Yakima Bears is a Class ‘A’ team affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been playing out of Yakima for 21 years. Financially, they have been losing money for at least the last 9 years, a loss the team owners claim is due to an undersized stadium resulting in “to low in-stadium spending” according to Team Owners.

While game attendance is said to have been increasing, the Yakima Herald reports that game attendance averages less that 1,800 per game, about half of that of other Class ‘A’ Teams.

The Portland Beavers left due to their attendance averaging less than 1,900 per game.

May 13, 2011

Leavitt to Announce A Ball Team Coming to Vancouver?

by lewwaters

KPAM News has reported ‘no show’ Leavitt has announced a press release for 1 PM to say a deal has been reached to bring a Minor League ball Team to Vancouver.

Updates will be following, but I have to wonder, since a stadium will have to built to accommodate them, how much will taxpayers be on the hook for that, where exactly where it be built?

Initial word was it would be built on Clark College property in the Arnada Neighborhood. But, isn’t that where they also announced a parking facility for Loot Rail once it is shoved down our throats?

I’m not opposed to a ball team coming to Vancouver, but I am concerned on just what this will cost Clark County taxpayers on top of every other pie in the sky scheme this Mayor is proposing, CRC, waterfront project, acquisition of the new city hall building, while closing fire stations.

Has he bought a printing press to print his own money?

Public to hear details of baseball proposal Friday

May 13, 2011

Obama’s Energy Plan – Hot Air

by lewwaters

From the NRSC,

May 12, 2011

Herrera Beutler Joins Call for Countywide Vote on Light Rail

by lewwaters

C-Tran Board members have received a letter from Washington 3rd Congressional District Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler indicating her support of allowing a countywide vote on the issue of raising a sales tax to fund light rail maintenance. In spite of Clark County citizens being promised a vote on the in September 2010, Mayor of Portland’s Vancouver Tim ‘No Show’ Leavitt has steadfastly worked to ensure only a small portion of taxpayers would be allowed to vote on that sales tax, which inevitably would spread countywide.

The Columbian’s Andrea Damewood has supplied a copy of the letter in her post on All Politics is Local.

Bringing light rail from Portland into Vancouver has been a very contentious issue and as is noted by Herrera Beutler in her letter, without a countywide vote, it is impossible to gauge the true public sentiment on the issue.

Of late, under the guidance of ‘no show’ Leavitt, the promised vote that Clark County citizens was supposed to receive in the November 2011 election has stalled under threat of a block veto by Vancouver’s city cartel comprised of Tim ‘No Show’ Leavitt, Bart Hansen and Larry Smith, all in lock-step with ‘no show.’

May 12, 2011

Leavitt Bails on Scheduled Interview

by lewwaters

All week long Victoria Taft has been announcing a scheduled interview with Mayor Tim Leavitt of Portland’s Vancouver for 11:25 AM Thursday, May 12. The scheduled interview was accepted earlier this week.

When Eric, Victoria’s producer called Mayor Leavitt, he did not answer and after first saying they did not know where he was, Eric was told the scheduled interview had been cancelled. Wouldn’t it have nice of the Mayor’s office to inform KPAM 860’s Victoria Taft.

Why is Tim Leavitt afraid to face voters and answer questions on his many changes since lying to get into office?

Leavitt says, “I would urge this board to hold off on making those decisions until we better understand the climate and have the facts and details at our fingertips.” Concerning voting on light rail maintenance funding Leavitt said, “There are a lot of complex machinations that are happening. Locking us into a decision either way is way too premature.”

However, he seemed perfectly willing to be locked into a decision last year when he pulled his sleight of hand trick to combine voting for light rail maintenance funding in with a vote for C-Tran funding.

And now, he reneges on a scheduled appearance where citizens would have the ability to confront him outside of the confines of the Vancouver City Cartel? He sends notice of cancelling two minutes AFTER the time scheduled to be on?

Bad form, Mayor Leavitt, Very bad form.

In lieu of the actual Mayor, callers to Victoria Taft’s program chimed as if they were him.

Part One  Part Two

May 12, 2011

Dump the Vancouver City Cartel

by lewwaters

With the latest stunt of Vancouver, Washington mayor Tim Leavitt and the city council, which more resemble a cartel than an elected body of representatives, it has come time to vote out any up for reelection.

Last September Mayor Leavitt, now known for his blatant lies to be elected as the Mayor in opposing tolling the new bridge that will eventually be constructed across the Columbia River, engineered a little sleight of hand trick, combining a citizen vote on extending Portland, Oregon’s financially failing Light Rail in with a vote for a sales tax increase to “preserve and expand existing C-Tran bus service” in Clark County.

One lone council member, Jeanne Stewart, gauging strong public sentiment against light rail from Portland, cast the deciding vote to split the ballot measures, correctly seeing that the public wasn’t going to fall for Leavitt’s trick and that C-Tran would most lose a significant portion of their funding.

Leavitt and the rest of the city cartel ungraciously voted to oust her from the C-Tran board, replacing her with Larry Smith.

May 10, 2011

C-Tran Board Caves to Leavitt & Crew

by lewwaters

From the Columbian

Stalled by the threat of a bloc veto by members of the Vancouver City Council, the C-Tran board agreed Tuesday to put off deciding the boundaries for a 2012 sales tax vote on light rail and bus rapid transit.

Before the board Tuesday was a proposal put forward by board member and Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart that called for a 0.1 percent sales tax vote go before voters in all of C-Tran’s service area in either August or November 2012.

But on Monday night, the Vancouver City Council, led by Mayor Tim Leavitt, said it wanted more time to hear details on a districtwide vote versus a narrower subdistrict before making a call. The council threatened to vote down Stuart’s proposal as it stood.

Less than 2 weeks ago, newly announced CRC Director Nancy Boyd said,

“We are shifting into delivery mode. We’re transitioning from planning … into how are we going to deliver the project. It’s really an exciting time, and we’re refocusing the staff on getting all the plans put to reality.”

CRC is going into delivery mode while Leavitt stalls a citizen vote?

I’m voting NO on anything related to C-Tran. No vote, let it go broke.

May 9, 2011

What’s Leavitt & Crew Up To Now?

by lewwaters

UPDATE: Latest tweets from Andrea Damewood

Interesting tweet from the Columbian’s Andrea Damewood tonight.

Do voters and taxpayers mean anything to Mayor Leavitt and the city council?

Vancouver might veto countywide light-rail vote

“Led by Mayor Tim Leavitt, the Vancouver City Council indicated Monday that it may use its block veto powers to keep the C-Tran board from making a final decision on just who will get to vote on a proposed sales tax for light rail and bus rapid transit.”

Candidate Leavitt Said,

“Our vote at CTRAN came with siginificant deliberation and consideration of the data, alternatives and estimated costs of the project. I was extremely pleased, as Chair of the Board, that 8 of the 9 elected officials arrived at a conclusion that they could support. It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure! As a Board, we supported (in general terms) a replacement bridge with light rail transit. However, we did place conditions on our approval; most of important of which (in my opinion) is that a) CTRAN won’t ask the voters of Clark County for additional tax to pay for light rail construction, and b) additional tax to support the operation/maintenance of light rail in Clark County would require asking the voters to approve. I believe those are reasonable caveats for the high capacity transit component of the project.”

LRT into Vancouver January 2, 2009

It is time a recall was launched on this egomaniac.

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