Many of us have alleged for some time now that the Lazy C is totally out of touch with the community they claim they serve. If subscribers that do not buy into the agenda’s pushed by the Lazy C aren’t being labeled ‘Hounds of Whinerville,’ they’re censored in commenting under certain articles.
The Lazy C shows just how out of touch they are with Clark County in the headline run in their Monday June 10, 2013 edition.
With everything happening in the world and even Clark County, Light Rail Blight or Bliss is the major news story? And the most pitiful part of it is that it doesn’t even matter whether or not light rail brings crime or not.
Reading under the article you find the usual slate of ‘light rail at any cost’ crowd crowing how much they love it and demeaning any not ‘enlightened’ enough to fall for the gimmicks being used to force Clark County into accepting Portland’s financially failing light rail extended a short distance into our community.
And again, it doesn’t matter.
The article begins with,
“Love it or hate it, light rail’s tracks are firmly embedded in plans for the Columbia River Crossing. But what will that mean for Vancouver?”
“According to estimates by the Federal Transit Administration, light rail in Vancouver could spur rapid changes to downtown, attracting 1,400 new residential units within 10 years. If Oregon’s experience suggests anything, it’s that if light rail arrives, it will carry new arrivals and change — some welcome, some not — to neighborhoods along the tracks.”
Wishful thinking at best, but again, it doesn’t matter.
Left out of the article is that in order for them to force light rail into Clark County, the new bridge must have an unsafe clearance for river traffic, dropping a 178 foot clearance when the current light spans are raised to a fixed 116 foot when the river is running at its lowest level, ignoring that the water level rises significantly every year.
Much fearmongering has been in play since the oversized truck load struck 10 structural beams that caused the Skagit River Bridge collapse on May 23, 2013 with efforts to compare the twin spans here with the one in Skagit County that collapsed.
There too what is ignored is the unsafe clearance for all river traffic designed into the Columbia River Crossing light rail project to accommodate light rail, it being unable to climb a steeper grade to raise the bridge to a safe level.
Ignored too in all of the fearmongering that has been going on is the oft repeated phrase from proponents, “no light rail, no bridge,” holding a “safe bridge” they claim to support hostage to light rail.
Not mentioned in the fearmongering effort to scare Clark County into supporting the light rail project is previous collapses of bridges in America, very few caused by land based vehicles while one fourth of those collapses since 1940 being caused by collision from water vessels.
Also left out of the estimates is taxpayers being left on the hook for lost profits to businesses negatively affected by the unsafe bridge height as well as the very real potential of taxpayers left holding the bag for paying for hundreds of jobs to leave the community, after some 5 years straight of double digit unemployment.
We have seen the Lazy C ignore much data that contradicts claims made proponents as well as demean those in office who shed light on several questionable practices revealed through independent hiring of a forensic auditor to pour over a massive document dump that was due to a FOIA request.
We hear and see demands for “transparency” in just who funds groups organized to speak truth of the CRC light rail project while no similar transparency is provided or called for from supporters of the massive taxpayer rip off from the Lazy C.
But none of this shows just how out of touch the Lazy C is with the community they say they serve. What does show it begins back in 1995 when Clark County voters defeated a measure to fund extending Portland’s folly into our community by a two to one margin, prompting the Lazy C’s Thomas Ryll to write then on February 8, 1995 article “VOTERS SNUB LIGHT-RAIL PLAN,”
“Meanwhile, the light rail issue failed with a 2-1 margin, despite dire warnings that river-crossing congestion by early in the next century will strangle Clark County, prompting residents and industry to leave.”
He continues, “
“The rail rejection was accompanied by a voter turnout that was soundly underestimated by county elections officials. Some 30,000 residents were expected to go to the polls or vote absentee; turnout totaled 52,864, with absentee ballots accounting for nearly 11,000 of that. The total represents 37.4 percent of the 141,269 registered voters in the county.”
“‘A lot of polling stations used emergency ballots because they ran out,’ said Tim Likness, county elections supervisor. ‘We also took some extras out to other polling stations because they’d used up their emergency ballots rather early’.”
Clearly, the issue drew a lot of attention from Clark County residents. Even though soundly rejected, much as we see today, we read back then,
“Supporters, in the form of the Friends of Light Rail group, had $200,000 to spend to promote the issue. ‘It was a failure on our part to communicate to voters the real impact of what it will mean to have 120,000 more people in the county in a few years,’ said Joe King, co-chairman. ‘I don’t think people realize how fast and hard that growth will come.”
“From here on out, ‘It’s going to take a lot of thought on the part of the C-Tran board to figure out where to go,’ King said.”
“‘We need to take some weeks and see what the voters are telling us,’ said John Magnano, a county commissioner and C-Tran board member. ‘This may have been too big and complicated for voters to digest’.”
As usual, voters are just too stupid to understand what is good for us, even though voter turnout was unexpectedly high. Perhaps voters understand more than certain officials then or now understand?
March 2001 saw former Mayor Royce Pollard deciding to bring light rail back into discussion with the Oregonian citing,
“Clark County has grown by 54,000 people since 1995, with many of the new arrivals moving from the Portland area. These newcomers may not share the same opposition to light rail and to a closer Portland connection that many voters did in 1995.”
In the subsequent 12 years, we still have not been asked directly if we want light rail and instead are met with words of “light rail is coming, deal with it,” and similar degrading and demeaning words written in the Lazy C.
Hence, every single measure perceived by voters to fund light rail or its operation has been also defeated by voters, the latest just this past November election where light rail operations and maintenance funding went down in flames.
Not getting the message still, the Lazy C treated us to Another light rail vote on horizon? C-Tran, county seek clarity on paying for transit system quoting current Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart,
“It’s always good to get clarity. To get clarity on this subject will help for us to have a better discussion.”
What part of light rail or funding of light rail being drug into Clark County being defeated in 1995, 2001, 2004 and 2012 is unclear?
And in spite of a call from Commissioner Stuart of “clarity,” a citizen effort in Vancouver to place a direct vote for or against light rail remains blocked, even though a Cowlitz County Judge ruled the City of Vancouver’s rejection of the petition calling for the vote was unconstitutional.
And now, the Lazy C runs an article to attempt to convince us that light rail associated crime is not a worry?
From where I sit, the real crime associated with light rail comes from elected officials who continue to ignore or bypass voters in an effort to force them into not only accepting the very light rail they have repeatedly rejected at the ballot box, but to force them into generations of massive debt to pay for it.
There is no worry about any aging unsafe bridge on the part of proponents. It’s all about forcing us into taking light rail. If safety was their issue, they wouldn’t be holding a new bridge hostage to light rail.