I’ve recently reported that there’s an anti-charter commercial making the rounds, paid for by the Don’t Lose Your Voice PAC. People curious about the commercial can view it and other anti-charter videos curated by the group on the political action committee’s website, http://www.votenocharter.com/.
It’s also embedded here:
It’s a pretty slick commercial that sticks to the PAC’s message that the charter would build a wall between constituents and their government. Pro-charter factions, like Auditor Greg Kimsey, find the argument “ludicrous,” and have said so publicly. But still, a “wall separating officials from the citizens” is the prevailing message for folks who believe the charter would do bad things.
The commercial represents county government as a collection of blocks stacked together — basically, county government as the game Jenga. The blocks are stacked in a dimly lit warehouse straight out of a “Saw” movie (although with fewer dismembered body parts).
A disembodied voice chimes in, as the camera pans past the blocks. “This represents Clark County government. It’s thriving and stable.”
Then the camera zips over to another set of blocks. These are red and the word “charter” is stenciled on them. “Yet special interests want your vote for a charter that would bring harmful changes to county government,” the voice says.
The red blocks disassemble and slither their way to the other set, representing county government, where they insert themselves. “This charter builds a wall of separation between your elected representatives and county staff and transfers unprecedented power to an unelected county manager not accountable to you,” the voice continues.
At this point, the blocks are stacked high and teetering. “This charter (dramatic pause) doesn’t stack up.” Then all the blocks fall over.
The commercial was produced by a company called Pachyderm Productions. The company doesn’t show up on the secretary of state’s website. However, a search of previous videos produced by Pachyderm Productions indicates they’ve been at this for a while. A few weeks ago the same folks posted an anti-charter video in what appears to be on ongoing series called “Morning Coffee with the Rohans.”
From what I can tell, the series tells the story of two coffee-swilling insomniacs who have awkward conversations about local political issues in their bathrobes. The anti-charter episode of “Morning Coffee with the Rohans” has the titular couple reading the charter and barking lines like, “You know what it sounds like! It sounds like someone is sitting here and promising you something like free health care and free phones,” followed by unconvincing laughter.
A search of previous episodes of “Morning Coffee with the Rohans” revealed another good one from a year ago. It’s centered around the berobed protagonists talking about who they should vote for in the Vancouver City Council races. It features some pretty hilarious humor. (Sample joke: “I was at that new open-carry coffee shop, Stand Your Grounds, and I saw these Columbians in the trash.” I hope you can continue reading this post with those tears of laughter streaming down your face.)
The best line comes at the end of the video, when the Rohans give their endorsements for city council candidates. The male Rohan tells his wife that his research indicates they should vote for Micheline Doan, Frank Decker and Jeanne Stewart. His endorsement of Stewart is, in a word, bizarre.
“You know the great thing about Jeanne?” the male Rohan barks in his joke-telling voice. “You don’t have to rub a magic lamp to get your wishes.”
A group of a dozen or so community leaders and activists opposed to the oil-by-rail terminal proposed for the Port of Vancouver have taken their campaign to the streets with signs that say “Danger: Blast Zone.”
The anti-oil train campaign placed signs along the railroad tracks next to Fruit Valley Road and Lakeshore Avenue, where Vancouver and unincorporated Clark County meet.
Several mile-long unit trains loaded with highly volatile Bakken crude are already traveling that route daily.
Clark County code enforcement told the campaign the signs violate the rules and must be removed, while the city of Vancouver deems the signs to be protected political speech.
Paul Scarpelli, who heads Clark County’s code enforcement office, said campaigns wishing to place political signs must file an application with the community development department. The county received “a basketful of complaints” — which he clarified to be four — about the oil train signs. People who hope to sell their nearby homes were among those who objected.
Scarpelli said the signs are not political speech because there’s no ballot measure about oil trains before voters. Further, he said, the design violates a state law that prohibits signs “simulating directional, warning, or danger sign or light likely to be mistaken for such a sign or bearing any such words as ‘danger,’ ‘stop,’ ‘slow,’ ‘turn,’ or similar words.”
Chad Eiken, Vancouver’s development overlord, said his department turned to the city’s legal team. “Their position is that the anti-oil train signs are political signs and can’t be removed unless they violate our guidelines,” he said. “In their opinion, it’s a matter of free speech under the First Amendment.”
The Vancouver City Council has gone on record opposing the $210 million oil terminal proposed by Tesoro Corp. and Savage Companies, which would handle an average of 360,000 barrels of oil a day.
Vancouver resident Linda McLain, one of the organizers of the anti-oil train campaign, said the group has “no problem with the county.” The campaign placed only five or so signs outside city limits and those have all been stolen, she said.
“We have had approximately 200 signs stolen out of the 250 we bought. It is very bizarre — we put them up and within hours they are gone,” McLain said. “There’s obviously someone who doesn’t want those signs up.”
The campaign is a small group of people from all walks of life, according to its web site, which is deliberately vague. But these are the people who show up during the port commission’s public comment period to voice their opposition to the oil terminal project, said McLain and another organizer, Michael Piper. They contributed $1,200 of their own money to buy the signs.
Piper takes credit for the idea, a tactic he said he swiped from his days with Greenpeace opposing the so-called “white trains” that carried nuclear material.
During an Oct. 6 workshop about how the city’s taxicab ordinance should be expanded to include Uber and other transportation network companies, a few councilors did indicate they were less than impressed with Uber.
The company started operating in Vancouver in the summer. Subsequently, it was notified that its smartphone-based ride service, featuring a network of drivers who use their personal vehicles and charge flat fees, doesn’t fit under the city’s taxicab ordinance. As Assistant City Attorney Brent Boger opined in a July 25 memo, Uber is undeniably a taxi service and needs to comply with city regulations.
Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle said she was a little concerned that Uber continued operating in Vancouver despite the letter describing the city’s legal stance.
“As good of a company as they are … I’m wondering if there is good faith there,” she said.
Councilor Alishia Topper said she used Uber to get to Portland. She said it was incredibly efficient and the business model makes sense.
One negative thing did happen, she said. Knowing the Rose City doesn’t allow Uber, she knew her driver wouldn’t be able to come pick her up in Portland and bring her back to Vancouver. She asked her driver what her options were for getting back home.
“He says, ‘Well, for the right price, I can come back and get you.’ And he handed me his own transportation card,” Topper said. She said she’s heard from two other people who had Uber drivers make the same offer.
“I don’t think it was an isolated incident,” Topper said.
She said the city needs to ask Uber about what it does to stop drivers from going rogue and starting their own transportation networks.
Mayor Tim Leavitt asked Boger what steps the city could take to stop Uber from operating.
Boger said the city could do a sting or get an injunction from a judge. Leavitt said he didn’t like either of those ideas and just wants to amend the city’s taxi ordinance as quickly as possible.
The council was also told the Vancouver Police Department has greater priorities than cracking down on taxicab code violators.
But it might be a good idea for Uber drivers to memorize the names and faces of city councilors and not do anything to further harm the company’s reputation among the city’s policymakers.
Political observers were waiting for County Commissioner David Madore to throw his money behind one of this year’s campaigns. He has so far given money to several Republican candidates, but he waited until recently before really dipping into his bank account to fund a campaign (like he did with his own run for county commissioner in 2012).
According to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission, Madore has given the Political Action Committee that’s opposing the proposed home rule charter, Don’t Lose Your Voice, $37,000 in two contributions last week. Previously, Clyde Holland, a local real estate developer and chairman of Holland Partner Group, donated $27,500. The PAC now has collected $81,700 in contributions.
Madore’s influx of cash means the Don’t Lose Your Vote PAC has almost generated as much money as the pro-charter PAC, ClarkForward. That PAC has taken in a little more than $91,588, including in-kind contributions. The pro-charter PAC has it’s own deep-pocketed donors, including David Nierenberg, Ed Lynch and Ken Fisher.
More information will be added to this blog post.]]>
A recent topic of conversation among county commissioners has been whether to lower, or alter in some way, their monthly car allowance. Currently the commissioners receive $600 a month. Next year, that will bump to $700, but commissioners have discussed whether to lower it.
So far, Commissioner David Madore has been alone in supporting a decrease. He has suggested that maybe the commissioners don’t need nearly $10,000 a year, on top of their six-figure salaries, for gas. However, commissioners Tom Mielke and Ed Barnes want to keep the car allowance where it is.
Mielke, in particular, has been adamant that the commissioners deserve nearly $1,000 a month so they can buy gas. They travel all over the county, he says, and they shouldn’t be expected to do so on their own dime. In case you’re wondering what Mielke has been driving recently, this is it (hat tip to a reader who passed the photo along).
In case you’re having trouble seeing the picture, it’s a white Chevrolet Corvette (I believe) with a vanity plate that reads “Mielke.” This makes sense. I mean, when you’re rolling through Amboy or, I don’t know, Brush Prairie, you want to do it in style. You want it to be the jazz hands of cars, something like a 20-year-old Corvette — blasting, I imagine, some outlaw country, like early-era Waylon Jennings. And don’t forget the vanity plate displaying your name. You want everybody to know who that sweet ride belongs to.
It’s a real eye-catcher.
So if you ever see this vehicle cruising around, try to flag it down and grab a ride. After all, the $7,200 a year the county gives Mielke so he can gas it up (and, presumably, the rest of his fleet) is your tax money.
In April, the city of Vancouver disclosed the incentives used to lure Banfield Pet Hospital from Portland. On Monday, development overlord Chad Eiken was going through the incentives with the council, which needs to formalize the commitments. Eiken mentioned a few changes, including the fact the city will do longer be spending $150,000 to build a 1-acre dog park with “base level improvements” adjacent to Banfield’s new corporate headquarters at Columbia Tech Center.
There will still be an off-leash dog park, Eiken told the council, but it can’t be considered a public park because of the requirements Banfield has for dog park users.
Banfield had always been interested in paying for a “higher level of improvements,” to what the city was going to build, Eiken said. He and other staff members took a field trip to Banfield’s current dog park.
“It is an amazing facility for dogs,” Eiken said. (After the workshop he told me that it’s “like a country club for dogs.”) But once the overlord learned about Banfield’s screening requirements for users, he realized this was not a park that could be built with any public money.
While the park will be available to the public, owners first have to have their dogs screened. And not just show proof of shots. The animals have to show they are “behaviorally adjusted so they can interact in a positive way with other dogs,” Eiken said.
Eiken said the city will take what it was going to spend on the park and put it toward infrastructure that will benefit the public, such as pedestrian improvements, but the details haven’t been worked out.
Here’s photos (taken from Yelp) of Banfield’s current dog park.
Nice doggie shower.
And the rules:
Banfield, which bills itself as the nation’s largest veterinary practice, plans to bring 560 employees to east Vancouver in late 2015. The company, a subsidiary of the family of companies owned by candy giant Mars Inc., is a franchise chain of more than 850 pet clinics and hospitals across the United States and Puerto Rico, including some in-store hospitals within the PetSmart retail chain.
On Sept. 19, Banfield signed a 15-year lease with the landlord, PacTrust Realty, Inc., and on Sept. 23 Banfield submitted a site plan application to the city.
Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt said today he’ll ask city councilors at Monday’s meeting if they want to discuss possibly taking a formal stance on the proposed Clark County charter that will be on the November ballot. If they do, the council would vote at its Oct. 20 meeting.
Leavitt said Councilor Anne McEnerny-Ogle emailed him and asked if the city council could discuss the proposed charter, which, among other things, would expand the number of county commissioners from three to five.
The Camas City Council unanimously endorsed the charter on Monday.
Both Leavitt and Councilor Larry Smith are listed among people who have endorsed the proposed charter. Leavitt even made it Facebook official. Leavitt said he doesn’t have any preconceived ideas about what, if any, action the city council will take. But c’mon, he knows not to ask a question if he doesn’t want to hear the answer. I think we all know how this will end.
I’ve heard and written the phrase “downtown revitalization,” too many times to count. After it appeared in business reporter Aaron Corvin’s Sept. 28 Q&A with Teresa Brum, the city of Vancouver’s economic development division manager, Aaron and I both wondered: When will downtown Vancouver be “revitalized?” Is it all tied to density requirements in the state Growth Management Act? Will it be when Block 10 is developed? Or when Barry Cain’s sketches have come to life? When people from east Vancouver come downtown for something other than jury duty?
I’d say revitalization isn’t a new idea, but that was already said. In 1972.
I posed the “When will downtown Vancouver be considered revitalized” question to Chad Eiken, the city’s development overlord. Here’s his response:
Downtown revitalization may be more of a process than a destination, but there are goals and policies in the Vancouver City Center Vision (VCCV) Plan which are intended to result in a vibrant and healthy downtown. The success of the Esther Short Plan (which preceded the current VCCV Plan) brought significant vitality to the downtown core in terms of new housing, office space, a vibrant historic park, restaurants and popular events, but there is still a lot more that needs to happen in order for the entire downtown to “feel” revitalized.
Some of the key benchmarks in the VCCV Plan (keep in mind this is a 20-year plan) include 401,000 square feet of new retail, 4,551 new housing units, and 2.425 million square feet of new office space. But hitting these targets alone won’t result in a revitalized downtown. For example, there are a number of policy statements in the VCCV Plan (see below) which serve as key ingredients that in making an active, revitalized downtown. No one thing (including the Waterfront project, or Block 10 being redeveloped) will result this desired end state, and it may take a number of years, but as we continue to make progress in implementing the many policies of the VCCV Plan, at some point people who live in, work in, or visit the downtown may feel like downtown has indeed been “revitalized.”
Here’s more from the Vancouver City Center Vision Plan.
A sheriff’s race can, at times, appear like a battle of endorsements. Sides are picked and alliances made. Guilds skew one way or the other. And with each well-known name that voices allegiance, a candidate considers it a small victory.
Sheriff candidate Shane Gardner picked up a big endorsement for his campaign earlier in the week, landing Erin Nolan, the chief civil deputy for the sheriff’s office.
It’s a particularly prominent endorsement for Gardner, who’s running without a party affiliation. While he’s picked up some notable names over the past months, few come with the same bipartisan cache as Nolan. Meanwhile, his political challenger, retired Cmdr. Chuck Atkins, has picked up a plethora of endorsements from within the office, including a whole list of deputies and supervisory staff.
In a statement, Nolan said she made the decision to endorse Gardner after much consideration. She also made a dig at the Sheriff Frank Kanekoa era, which old-timers may remember.
It is well-known that I know and like both candidates. I have worked with both over my nearly 30 years with the Sheriff’s Office, and I am well aware of their strengths and weaknesses. I have also weathered the storm of the “good ole’ days” and spent many of my years working with “the good ole’ boys”. I am one of the few remaining deputies that worked for Sheriff Kanekoa, and I marvel at how far we’ve come.
The next Sheriff will face many challenges, not the least of which will be the huge transition to a new administration – something that hasn’t happened during the careers of most current Sheriff’s Office employees. The next Sheriff will need to continue to grow the department, facilitate healing within the ranks after a significant transition, foster diversity and encourage everyone to work better together.
– Erin Nolan
A series of emails, released as part of a public records request, is shedding light on what happened before and immediately after the Clark County Fair disinvited controversial rocker Ted Nugent to play an August show.
I did not file the records request, but I am privy to the emails.
At the time of the decision, in May, Fair Manager John Morrison said it was prompted by a contractual issue. Fair contracts typically prohibit artists from performing other shows within a certain distance and time of the fair. The Nuge was set to swing through Washington as part of his aggressively named “Shut Up & Jam Tour!” and was scheduled to appear Aug. 2 and 3 at the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma. For the fair, that was too close — in terms of proximity and time — to his Aug. 5 show in Clark County.
Nothing in the emails indicates that the fair’s stated reason for nixing the show was disingenuous. At the time, Nugent’s fans said the decision was politically motivated after people complained about the booking and an anti-Nuge petition began circulating online. But for those interested in how the right-wing rocker — and noted long-time sufferer of a feline-related fever — took the news, the emails are illuminating.
In a June email presumably from the Motor City Madman himself, the writer of such songs as “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang” offers himself up as a humble family entertainer with a “hardcore message” of being clean and sober.
Ted Nugent here from the wilds of TX hoping to connect with you in serious hopes to reinstate our concert at the Clark County Fair Aug 5.
As you know our last performance there was a resounding success on every level, and certainly you know that my concerts are the ultimate PG13 family events as proven at 100’s of county & state fairs all across America, as well as perfect family events like RibFests, RiverDays, Stampede Days, other wonderful family events of every imaginable description and geographical location.
And I dare say that NO other artist better represents the positive spirit of state and county fairs at events that celebrate ranching, farming, animal husbandry, a respect for the land and nature, real conservation, a positive work ethic, the great outdoors lifestyle, and most importantly my lifelong hardcore message of being clean and sober and always striving to be the best that you can be.
How on God’s earth those that hate those basic American & Great Northwest principle got their hateful lies across to the Clark Country Fair BOD is rather surprising. There is still time to make this right, for we know that Night Ranger, myself, Blue Oyster Cult & others were allowed to perform at the Clark County Fair even though they played other gigs nearby.
I respectfully recommend you do the right thing to avoid a wasteful & ridiculous long drawn out legal action to finally get to the right thing.
Ted Nugent & family
If you’re wondering what sort of “long drawn out legal action” this traveling troubadour is referencing, an attorney working for the fair explained in emails to Morrison, the fair manager.
From May 27:
John, here is my proposed response to Vince (editor’s note: That’s Nugent’s attorney):
Vince, in your email below you seem to be arguing that the Contract and Rider are enforceable but not Addendum 1. That does not make sense. Paragraph 11 of the Contract provides: “Attached addenda and Artist’s Rider are made part of this contract herein.” As stated before, FSMG executed the Contract, Addendum 1, and Rider at the same time (April 7). FSMG never would have, and did not, agree to the Contract without Addendum 1. In other words, either the agreement includes Addendum 1 or there was no agreement between the parties.
Assuming there was an agreement, per the terms of Addendum 1, the Contract and Addendum constitute the entire agreement of the parties. Accordingly, any alleged waiver of the Radius Protection clause prior to the signing of the Contract and Addendum 1 is not enforceable. Addendum 1 provides: “Any amendment or modification to the Contract or Addendum after signing shall have no effect unless in writing and signed by both parties.” There was no amendment or modification of the Radius Protection provision in writing signed by both parties after the execution of the Contract and Addendum 1.
You are correct that FSMG believed that it had an agreement with Amboy Dukes consistent with the terms of the Contract and Addendum 1. Based on the recent information provided by you, it appears Amboy Dukes never agreed to those terms. So, either there was an agreement that included a Radius Protection provision or there was no agreement at all. Either way, there is no basis for the claims being threatened by your client.
John, let me know if you approve and/or have any questions or comments.
Joseph Vance, P.C.
On June 4, the fair’s attorney wrote that some of the confusion might have happened because Tom Fohn, president of Northwest Events & Marketing, didn’t provide paperwork on time.
John, I hope your recovery is going well. FYI, I received a phone call this morning from Vince Chieffo, the attorney for AIG and Ted Nugent. He indicated that they never received any signed documents from Tom Fohn (which is not entirely surprising given Tom’s story that he mailed them without any cover letter, etc.).
Vince said his client is prepared to pursue litigation. They believe that the real reason for the cancelation is political and not the radius protection clause. He indicates that makes them mad and they will fight it. As he has done before, he suggested that the fair simply resolve the conflict by putting Nugent back on the schedule.
I rehashed all of the same arguments made to him before. In addition, I suggested that prior to filing litigation he might want to reach out to Tom Fohn to see if Fohn was willing to pay some sort of compensation to avoid litigation.
We ended the conversation with him indicating that he would discuss that with his client and that I would pass on his message to you. So, I have passed the message on. . .
My view is that the only reason there is any sort of ambiguity in this matter is because Tom did not take care of getting the documents executed as he should have done. At the very least, he should have sent our executed documents to the other side. I think we have a very strong argument that he is liable for his failure to do so.
Let me know if you would like to discuss further. Otherwise, I assume that we are to hold our course. . .
Joseph Vance, P.C.
Miller Nash LLP
Nugent’s agent, New York-based Adam Kornfeld, also got into the act, asking the fair board to pay his client the fully contracted amount of $61,500 to prevent litigation. I’ve placed a request with Morrison to see how this was resolved, or even if it’s been resolved. I will update the post if I hear back.
This isn’t the first time that Nugent has threatened to sue, or actually sued, a venue for canceling a gig. In 2005, he sued the Muskegon Summer Celebration for putting the kibosh on a show. That lawsuit finally ended in 2008 with the festival paying Nugent $80,000.
There are some other interesting insights gleaned from the email exchanges, which date back to January. For one, Nugent absolutely does not participate in meet-and-greets, according to his agent. But if you’re willing to pony-up some cash, he will meet with you on-on-one — after the sound check.