occasional comments about seattle other blogs and site of mine are:" http://handke--revista-of-reviews.blogspot.com/ .MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name This LYNX will LEAP you to my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS http://www.handke.scriptmania.com/favorite_links_1.html http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html http://analytic-comments.blogspot.com/ http://summapolitico.blogspot.com/ http://artscritic.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 4, 2007

RE-ELECT ALEC FISKEN AS WHALE OF THE PORT COMMISSSION

Once more:
RE-ELECT ALEC FISKEN PORT COMMISSIONER
I find Alec smart, patient, by no means obstinately independent such as I can be, and understanding of what constitutes that complicated ball of wax, "the public interest." Alec is one of the few commissioners, I believe Lloyd Hara is one other, who takes a close look at the provisions of some of the contracts, quite a few of them no-bid with SSA Marine/ Carrix the 889 pound Orang Utahn that no paper here will do a close story about!

I have, meanwhile, tried to check out his opponent, Bill Bryant, and he does not appear to be what he presents himself as being: Alec "light", a potentially more co-operative, consensus building commissioner in a consensus fetishized * great dank Norwest [* : note my note on the history of major consens - suses? si? ae? - suggestions from all those suffering from obsessive compulsive grammaticalites welcome !] since its invasion by the empire builders around 3000 + moons ago]

First of all, he was put up by ex-Port Exec Mic Dinsmore [whom I happen to dig if only as a throwback to more royal days] and "ethically challenged" "memory challenged" anyhow thoroughly challenged Commissioner Davis, who also needs a hairpiece! Will she have the chutz pah to run agin in two years! Don't bet against Pat!

Dinsmore had vowed to to replace the fractious Fisken, as an act of vengeance for
giving the "royal" Mic a hard time! Alec smiled all the way.
Even so, Bryant might be all right.
Unfortunately he is not, I regard him to be a demagogue. For one look at his tendentious primitive website: http://www.bryantforport.com/menu.php
For two, regard his false claims: ah another one who has turned all green - actually the port years ago took a green policy, and Dinsmore, the child of that chemical cesspool, that wonder of the accumulation of capital on the backs and intestines and lungs of American labor, the well named Butte Montana,
was in the lead as much as Alec. Green is the slogan when the Port for years now has been going in that direction.
It's an instance of the lazy editorial boards
who don't know what close examination is
who never take a close look at and compare contracts and who thus
who lag behind when they have their sessions: Mr.Malarkey's PCPs in the Duwamish - that the once consensus - beloved of roofers hereabouts for about a 100 years - started being cleaned up several years ago.

To be pro-business? It is hard to be pro-port and anti-business. However, the part of the business community that prefers Bryant likes the status quo of being able to live off the tax subsidy; a tax that doesn't amount to all that much and that keeps the bond rating high but which the port, if run just a tad better and more efficiently, wouldn't need.

Current Port Commission President John Creighton felt that I ought to get to know Bryant, and since John C. is a Republican for whom I have some real liking, and since I was not disposed against Bryant at the time, I sent Mr. Bryant an e-mail asking for a meeting, or maybe we'd just chat for a while - I trust my analyst ear. Despite Creighton's wish and his then intercession Bryant failed to reply. I mean I am of course a real power house, all I can do is persuade my various feathered friends to stuff the ballots with horse feathers, that's about it. I then went to the Transportation Club's luncheon for the candidates. http://www.transportationclubofseattle.org/
After watching Bryant I had not the slightest interest, nay an aversion to make any kind of physical contact; that does not happen often, not often enough unfortunately that my detector gets it right right away.

It's a really weird entity The Port of Seattle, $ 300,000 is backing Bryant, chiefly from interested parties in the bi community. That kind of backing comes for interested reasons. Bryant himself has exclusively given, rather large amounts, only to Republicans, Cheney-Bush being the cut off line for me to trust his good sense. The port buys a rail line from BSNF and then turns around and sells it to King County; it gets into all kinds of strange matters ... a very odd semi-governmental entity.

Here are a few other links to other views of the matter:
http://www.seattleweekly.com/2007-10-31/news/right-leaning-port-candidate-claims-green-but-why.php


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/337851_port02.html

In the other race, I now prefer Bob Edwards, a bit of a local politico, but an awfully nice one, over National Security wonk Gael Tarleton who is running for Secretary of State, Ayn Rand always gave me the willies and so does Gael.

Below , if you care to read on, an op-ed type piece of mine that expresses my views on the Port Commission, on what is I think an outmoded, anachronistic alderman way of running, over-seeing something as complicated as a sea and airport in these times. Myself, I'd rather canoe and have the 520 covered with dirt for my burro, Durango.
=====================================================================


--
About 150 years ago it was the consensus to string up Indians to show them who was boss....
Then it became the consensus to break those great treaties with them, which could get a street such as Stevens Way named after you...
The names of the original thieves and robbers are Yessler, Denny, etc... and their descendants are amongst us...
Then it was a consensus to run the Chinaman out of town after he had dug the "ship" [yes "ship" not" birth" ] canal to Lake Washington
which lowered the water table by nine feet...
And opened up a huge marsh morass where it became "the consensus" to deposit all that industrial shit....
It became the consensus to hose down them thar obstreperous hills and make a lot of landfill that became Harbor Island....
Then it became "the consensus" to drive automobiles and submit to the cement and rubber and oil industry and then to eliminate the street cars...
Now it is the consensus to be green... and to vote for Prop 1...
These are the bad old times to come as the consensi / ae/ uses/ keep piling on and up....

==================================================================

John, if you could forward this to Mr. Yoshitani, for a more focussed and briefer version of what then spilled out of me yesterday late afternoon..it will endear you to me for a certain duration.
I certainly was impressed with the way your new CEO handled a number of issues.
Then had a wonderful two hour chat with Bob Edwards outside Pier 69 in the settling dusk which I will write you about separately.
xxx
michael


ED PORT [draft]
I became involved in Port of Seattle matters during the 2005 election as supporter of a candidate whom his firm then forced to withdraw when it prohibited all employees from holding public office. Meanwhile I've made pleasant and more or less thorough acquaintance with the various commissioners and the CEO preceding the ascendancy of Tay Yoshitani; and with the by no means uncomplicated issues facing the port in the world such as it is - ah, yes, "the world such as it is!" As the child of a father who ran a fishing fleet I have always found ports sexy, and I think, perhaps mistakenly, that my take on the Port is benign and not colored by immediate self-interest.
In light of these considerations, I am wondering whether the Seattle Port Commission is still able to do the job for which it was designed. Something certainly is quite puzzling, if not amiss, about the way it is currently set up. Judging by the 100s of thousands invested in the last and current commissioner campaign you would assume these offices to be worth more than 6 k per annum. What is really at stake? Not only does the job pay a pittance, commissioners who take their jobs seriously, lacking support staff or a budget for over- and insight, will - on top of whatever other job they have - spend many many hours at slave labor wages poring over contracts and the like; something only millionaires and the retired can afford - unless civic minded beyond the call of duty. The Port C.E.O., knowing of the comparative ignorance of the commissioners, has little choice but to want them to be compliant. However, under these circumstances the commissioners would seem to be easily beholden to the businesses with interests before the Port, which pour such large sums into these elections; certainly not entirely unselfishly I don't think.
The commissioners only perk are much derided junkets to air and sea port related cities where you can either have a good time or, once again, take your job seriously; that is, you can get yourself a translator and, say, haunt the docks; certainly a good thing to get out of Seattle to get an other than rain-drenched p.o.v.!
Thus I ask myself, ought not the commissioners, when their supporters' contractual interests come before the P.O.S., recuse themselves, as some candidates with multiple interest already promise to do? If the answer is yes, would the commission still be a functioning entity?
But what if it were an appointed commission of specialists in the various areas that the P.O.S. touches, and if such a commission were sufficiently funded and staffed, might it not do a far better job? And work far more cohesively with the executive? That certainly is the case at other Ports that also run their affairs far more efficiently per cargo ton.
The second matter of ethics that I find odd is that the previous Port CEO promised to raise money to defeat the re-election of a sitting commissioner, as in the 2005 election he had campaigned for the re-election of a different commissioner. Ought the Port C.E.O. be permitted political activity; no matter how justified it may seem to him from the point of view of running the port? The commissioners themselves also take action to support or defeat each other. Not the sort of thing that is needed I don't think in this instance. It strikes me as though the commission is about to implode.



Taking a less than Seattle-centric p.o.v., I also feel that a regional or perhaps state-wide perspective ought be taken. The age-old {!} competition between the ports of Tacoma and Seattle makes little sense; together they could draw far better contracts with the big stevedoring and shipping companies. Taking the ports of Everett and Olympia, and the birth place of grunge, Grey's Harbor, into state-wide consideration might even make better sense.

Monday, August 13, 2007

OP-ED = THE SEATTLE PORT COMMISSION, ETC

OP-ED PORT [draft]

I became involved in Port of Seattle matters during the 2005 election as supporter of a candidate whom his firm then forced to withdraw when it prohibited all employees from holding public office. Meanwhile I've made pleasant and more or less thorough acquaintance with the various commissioners and the CEO preceding the ascendancy of Tay Yoshitani; and with the by no means uncomplicated issues facing the port in the world such as it is - ah, yes, "the world such as it is!" As the child of a father who ran a fishing fleet I have always found ports sexy, and I think, perhaps mistakenly, that my take on the Port is benign and not colored by immediate self-interest.

In light of these considerations, I am wondering whether the Seattle Port Commission is still able to do the job for which it was designed. Something certainly is quite puzzling, if not amiss, about the way it is currently set up. Judging by the 100s of thousands invested in the last and current commissioner campaign you would assume these offices to be worth more than 6 k per annum. What is really at stake? Not only does the job pay a pittance, commissioners who take their jobs seriously, lacking support staff or a budget for over- and insight, will - on top of whatever other job they have - spend many many hours at slave labor wages poring over contracts and the like; something only millionaires and the retired can afford - unless civic minded beyond the call of duty. The Port C.E.O., knowing of the comparative ignorance of the commissioners, has little choice but to want them to be compliant. However, under these circumstances the commissioners would seem to be easily beholden to the businesses with interests before the Port, which pour such large sums into these elections; certainly not entirely unselfishly I don't think.

The commissioners only perk are much derided junkets to air and sea port related cities where you can either have a good time or, once again, take your job seriously; that is, you can get yourself a translator and, say, haunt the docks; certainly a good thing to get out of Seattle to get an other than rain-drenched p.o.v.!

Thus I ask myself, ought not the commissioners, when their supporters' contractual interests come before the P.O.S., recuse themselves, as some candidates with multiple interest already promise to do? If the answer is yes, would the commission still be a functioning entity?

But what if it were an appointed commission of specialists in the various areas that the P.O.S. touches, and if such a commission were sufficiently funded and staffed, might it not do a far better job? And work far more cohesively with the executive? That certainly is the case at other Ports that also run their affairs far more efficiently per cargo ton.

The second matter of ethics that I find odd is that the previous Port CEO promised to raise money to defeat the re-election of a sitting commissioner, as in the 2005 election he had campaigned for the re-election of a different commissioner. Ought the Port C.E.O. be permitted political activity; no matter how justified it may seem to him from the point of view of running the port? The commissioners themselves also take action to support or defeat each other. Not the sort of thing that is needed I don't think in this instance. It strikes me as though the commission is about to implode.

Taking a less than Seattle-centric p.o.v., I also feel that a regional or perhaps state-wide perspective ought be taken. The age-old {!} competition between the ports of Tacoma and Seattle makes little sense; together they could draw far better contracts with the big stevedoring and shipping companies. Taking the ports of Everett and Olympia, and the birth place of grunge, Grey's Harbor, into state-wide consideration might even make better sense.

Michael Roloff

[is a writer, the former co-publisher of Urizen Books, former visiting scholar in Germanics at the U.W; and member of the Seattle Psychoanalytic Society

http://www.roloff.freeservers.com]


Monday, August 6, 2007

RE-SELECT ALEC FISKEN FOR PORT COMMISSIONER



Alec,
the essential pest to keep its workings honest! Alec, no Lute Fisk, cured in Brine!

Few of you know that I got quite involved in the 2005 Port of Seattle Commission Election. During this for once delightful adventure, I made acquaintance with near everyone at the Port.

http://www.portseattle.org/

One most pleasant surprise was getting to know Alec.
HTTP:// www.alecfisken.com/

He has been the sole stalwart, knowledgeable voice asking for detailed, nitty-gritty transparency in a public agency that conducts its typically Seattleish, nepotistic business practices not only in obscurity, but incompetently, at great waste of resources, with endless boondoggles. -- {Sounds like the Federal Government, doesn't it, the good olde forever SNAFU U.S.A} -- E.g.: The Port has managed to loose money on its "We must have Cruise Ships" venture, looses money on each passenger that is taken straight from the airport to embark on the cruise ships! Now the cruise terminals, at the most accessible part of the waterfront, are going to be converted back to freight and new passenger terminals will be built further north, at the cost of yet another $ 120 Million - at an entity that is 3.1 billion in debt - a foolishness that, to be fair to Mic Dinsmore the Great narcissistically vulnerable Sea Lion, even he opposed, not just Alec!


http://www.munileague.org/cec/ 2007/report/PortComm.htm

http://www.progressivemajority.org/stateprograms/wa/?lk=7092766-7092766-0-28074-BSIDMqXY2CRligZi5EIjnSwUqtp7TkTI

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/325975_vandyk02.htm
Tells us that outgoing C.E.O. Mic Dinsmore promised to raise money to defeat Commissioner Fisken. Just as he raised money to help keep Commissioner Pat ["Foxy Lady"] Davis on the commission during the 2005 P>O>S election. Not only is such an intervention illegal, I meself find it astounding that a C.E.O appointed by the commissioners then injects himself in those races! I hope this backfires good. However, all things being unequal, why don't the activist members of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce who constitute its P.A.C. , the Alki Foundation, and the Port's 8000 pound Orangutan, SSA Marine/ Cerrix Corporation, the one and only major port operator in the entire nation, and then some, really tell us - in the small details at the back of the contract - what their short and long terms interests are in having pliable, entirely underpaid [5 K per annum] and unstaffed commissioners???

Alec's opponent Bryant, a lobbyist for the food exporting industry, with an interesting resume, a die-hard Republican until now, makes me uneasy for his backing from the same forces - the Alki Club [that combine of the original thieves that came ashore there about 150 years ago, is one way of regarding them!] that supports the nepotistic, insider dealing and trading status quo and that has been feeding off the seigneural Mic Dinsmore trough? The fixes are in, not of course as in New York City or Chicago or Ohio or Florida, but still. Whether for some ultimate good? And it might take a Cy Hersh to unravel them, none of the local papers, but none, are doing sufficient investigative work or are willing to fine tune their lenses, unravel the intimacies of the connections. So no wonder, then, at some sweetheart deals being floated so openly.

With the coming this year of, so I hear, sharp Port C.E.O. Tay Yoshitani, a new day may have dawned, no longer "biz as usual," so one hopes. E.g.: The Boeing Field, trail deal negotiated between BSNF, Ron Sims and the Port, by Tay's his predecessor Mic Dinsmore - whom the novelist in me greatly appreciates for his career and color in this city of mallards - has been shelved. A more regional, less parochial approach may be in the offing. To support those objectives, a second term for Alec is essential.

One vote on a five person commission can make a huge difference. What if Jack Jolley had replaced the "Foxy Lady," Pat Davis, at the last election, who came in at 50.5 % in the primary and staid there at the general election. Maybe the electorate was beginning to smell something.

And what a pleasant surprise current Port Commission John Creighton is! A maverick Republican!

http://www.washblog.com/story/2007/7/29/205212/093

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/325761_fisken31.html

http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19322&s=4 a7139b36b42524d050cafd1ea54ede1&


and here the link to the Port's 8000 pound Orangutan:
http://www.ssamarine.com/
============================== ==============

Regarding the 2nd race for Port Commissioner where Bob Edwards is running for re-selection, I feel equivocally torn between
Geal Tarleton
http://www.voteforgael.org/
who has some serious overlap of interest issues.
http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/03/spyagency200703

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/06/19/news/ports.php

and Jack Block:
http://www.washblog.com/


Sitting commissioner Bob Edwards strikes me as a perfectly personable fellow, but then who isn't hereabouts except for meself! He used to be a rubber stump for Mic the Great and, I gather, he now channels County Executive Ron Sims - no doubt an interesting experience if you look at that photo of the two of them http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/zoom/html/2003747131.html
embracing on a railway track, playing chicken with an oncoming BSNF loc! As to channeling he could do a lot worse. But wouldn't it be better if he had a self of his own to chunnel? Jack Block, JR looks interesting, as does Thom McAnn if only for his position that the ports of Tacoma and Seattle ought to combine and so swing a lot more weight, also when it comes to moving stuff, no original native ever needed, to those insatiable consumers to the east.

The born-agin copy editor in you will indulge my punning?

Friday, July 13, 2007

PORT OF SEATTLE/ CROSSCUT

*Hi David,
re:_ Your Crosscut piece on The Port of Seattle:
_ **The Mic Dinsmore flap reveals deep
differences at the Port of Seattle
<http://crosscut.c.topica.com/maag1TrabzOJ1b8wTofcaeht2k/>

http://www.crosscut.com/port-seattle/4978/

**I must say that your piece appears to be chiefly based on quite a bit
of stale bread from the other local publications. I see little if any
attempt to dig deeper.
*
*Why the hell would I know something about the port of Seattle? Well I
wouldn't have if I hadn't been in the kitchen cabinet of a candidate who
had to withdraw for conflict of interest reasons. I then switched
support to Jack Jolley and followed the campaign closely. But in the
process of seeing whether there might be an overall story, going back to
the port's hoary beginnings, I then learned quite a bit, attended the
major forums, penetrated the warm and hard working heart of the
democratic party machinery, but then never got a paying gig, and decided
to step back. Besides, my way of going about these things can be pretty
different.

I interviewed Mic Dinsmore at length, an interesting man, exceedingly
knowledgeable about the world wide workings of these matters, and with
novelistic features. Two of the most interesting people I talked to were
Frank Clark at SS Marine [Carrix], perhaps the most impressive person
I've met in Seattle these 14 years, and the now retired David Olson of
the U.W. Carrix, the major major player, gets nary a mention in your
piece. Nor do the railroads, the BNSF. Dinsmore - lunch at Rice and
Spice, courtesy of his largesse [he had brought along p.r. ex-reporter
David Schaefer] cost the Port of Seattle $ 40.00, Mic had just come from
a meeting with the BNSF C.E.O. I see no mention of railways in your
piece. Olson, frequently consulted, also by the commission, sure knows
labor.

Also much like Alec, far more than a Tim Eyeman with a Yale degree, cute
phrase as it is, though I do wish he wouldn't be as lily-pure as not
to go on junkets: hey, you always learn something and there is no
requirement to run with the pack. I will certainly back him to the
extent of my limited capacities. He has some very interesting ideas how
to re-form the commission, so it would be less of a political football
and more effective. Looks as though you didn't talk to him either. Nor
to John Creighton, current president of the commission. So who did you
talk to?

John Creighton has come as a very pleasant independent surprise.
Deriving from silver spoon heritage, as do I myself, I found him suspect
at first, what with Seattle Times endorsement and all that; though
Molloy's self-destructive campaign obviated such endorsement I think. If
you happen to find my silver-spoon, you may keep half of it.

As a muckraking journalist, I would have pursued the make-up of the PAC
that supported the foxy lady, first choice of Carrix too, and now backs
Alec's opponent: why? What's really in it for them??? Was that attempted
payoff a tit for tit? PACs for Port Commissioner races - what's the
world coming to. It's a matter that a real journalist would at least
pursue. You need to dig a little deeper, or someone does. The reporters
at the majors sure don't. Crosscut is another alternative that isn't.
"The Best Arts Coverage in the North West" - give me a break, not even
the best links to what few good and interesting pieces appear. You and
Mossback are coasting on a retread!

On the other, it indeed is always easy to win a round or two by
appealing to the cheap runs deep. So does the all around nepotism, for sure.

The idea of combining the resources of the Ports of Seattle and Tacoma
occurred to me too: is there any use left in the two ports competing as
they did in the past? Maybe I am missing something, but I don't see it.
That would be the approach to a less myopic way of viewing what this
"port authority" can and cannot, or should do. It's import not just to
one county, but to the state, the Northwest as a whole.

No mention of Puget Sound as major naval base!

The way the Seattle Times then did its endorsing a couple of yeas back
was revelatory, too. You'll never guess I don't think the major
component of that decision making process.

In some ways you've laid out the alternatives very nicely between a
passive and active commission at least.

One matter that Mic and I agreed on was that there ought to be the
equivalent of an Alameda corridor to move the stuff from port side o'er
them thar hills more expeditiously. But he had had his handful with the
third runway. I was not too surprised that he decided to retire within
the year. However, if I ran a big shipping company I would have hired
him for a million or two a year, what with his contacts and knowledge of
the ins and outs of Asia! Knowing how to play a hand close to the vest.
We found one port that he had been not to that I had: Chalna! I can't
recommend Chalna, a trans-loading spot up an arm of the Indus in
Bangladesh where you can still get eaten by the beautiful natives in
their long canoes. We were going to load jute after we lowered anchors.
The captain was forced to get his handgun to keep me, his
responsibility, from joining these ebony beauties who were offering us
the bounty from their fruit trees.

Yes, just imagine making a deal with some Asian potentate and having to
run it through the Seattle processor! It has got a lot worse since I
came here 14 years ago. E.g. I have one prescription, simple stuff, that
needs refilling once a month. The UW Pharmacy used to have three
windows: one for giving them the one to fill, two for pickups, of
refills and the new. On off-hours this never took more than a minute.
Now the new pharmacy has 7 windows. Three for dropping off prescription,
allegedly, and four for pickups. However, the first set of three windows
features a # dispenser, so that you have to wait in the lounge for your
number to come up on the screens above the four windows in the lounge
area. Thus, if you have a new p., you may first have to wait for half an
hour or longer to hand them the p. that needs to be filled. If you are
there to pick up a refill, well the last time I waited 20 minutes and
during that period the six people working - or rather scrambling around
the pharmacy - managed to completely absolve a single customer. When I
mentioned my observation to the person serving me, she instantly shot
out with: here is the # of our supervisor, we're working as hard as we
can. Yes and so they were, filling out forms on the computers, etc etc.
50 hoops for one pill! Basically, mostly this is a hick rah-rah town
that's got itself tied up in administrative knots... with veneer as a
mirror. I write as I watch the slugs ooze onto the 520 on the way to
Bellevue at 7:30 am. But my sending it seems will have to wait a bit,
the "drewandjill" wi-fi - on first look I seemed transported to
Rawalpindi - on which I was poaching - has gone off, perhaps they
noticed me; or is it the profusion of crows in my surround?

I'll stop now.
*
--
MICHAEL ROLOFF
714-660-4445
Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS:
http://www.roloff.freeservers.com/about.html

Thursday, June 21, 2007

http://www.crosscut.com/mudville/4163/The+new+boss+at+the+Port+of+Seattle+is+wasting+no+time/#comments

i have a slightly different take
Report a violationPosted by: mikerolm on Jun 16, 2007 7:36 PM
maybe mr. corr ought to have checked with some folks in what passes as "the city" hereabouts to check what kind of good old boy Tay Yoshitani really is. a list of prior jobs does not really do the trick as probing reporting goes.

as to mr. dinsmore. i interviewed him at great length around the time of the last election for commissioner, and i have interviewed nobel prize winners, and usually they like to open up to me, as did mr. dinsmore [but knute berger, then of the seattle weekly did not even have the courtesy of exercising the first refusal rights i offered him] and found Mic the Great to be a character worthy of an American novel, but evidently not a tragedy. unusually seigneural. especially considering his origins in the butt of the american industrial wasteland. a lunch whose tab cost the port a mere $ 40, for three. it appears that toward the end of his tenure he was rather hand's off as a manager, but played the making of deals in Asia close to his vest, as i would, too, I must say, not only with a board of overseers such as the by and large fine bunch like the current crop [my favorite is alec fisken, and i think john creighton and lloyd hara are fine, too; bob edwards i have not to come as well as i ought to have; the foxy lady appears to be a bag lady for what joel connelly calls croney capitalism, but who knows, perhaps crony capitalism nepotism is best for seattle??? which exerts its efforts through p.a.c.s; pacs for port commissioner races, good grief!!] but faced with the slug processor just imagine having that shibboleth "transparency" vet a big contract for a shipping line to make the port of Seattle its American home port. ah me gawd, it would be like the building of a fourth runway.

http://www.crosscut.com/mossback/4159/Theodore+Roethke+lives+through+David+Wagoner/

Roethke is a fine German nature poet in American,
Report a violationPosted by: mikerolm on Jun 17, 2007 3:44 PM
and he certainly fits the No' West. However, he only spent the last years of a fairly short life in these parts. His appropriation by the locals is yet another instance - August Wilson is a more recent example - of their dressing themselves with laurels developed elsewhere, since they allow so few of their own to flourish.

Nowhere does Mr. Berger - while citing prizes, posts held, accolades showered, influences exerted - even attempt to define even a single quality of Roethke's, or manifest a kind of personal response to his work. I am afraid I find this to be typical not just of Mr. Berger's work in such matters in these parts.

Mr. Berger's Mossback columns in The Weekly were one of the few things I at least looked forward to, that one could at least disagree with, whereas as an editor he certainly did not develop or allow any interesting writers to flourish. With few exceptions, Roger Downey being the most significant, The Weekly must have had a collection of some of the most godawful writers going anywhere. Who do I miss, well Claire Dederer is now at the NY Times. Suspicion is in order when an editor chiefly features himself, as is the case once again in Crosscut [Neither cross nor cuts nor much of a section says this once lumberman who however took down his last tree with a double bit about 20 years ago.]

I recently re-read quite a bit of Roethke, on-line, on the occasion of The Stranger's Brendan Kiley's take on Roethke,

http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=166026

where Kiley's quoting did not seem [to me, obviously] to do Roethke the best of service. Thus there are different kind of Roethke's to respond to.

http://gawow.com/roethke/poems/

http://www.english.uiuc.edu/

maps/poets/m_r/roethke/roethke.htm

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/13

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Roethke

sincerely

http://www.roloff.freeservers.com

Friday, May 25, 2007

Seattle Port Commission/ Call for Pat Davis to Resign

Dear Commissioners,
As some of you know, my interest in the Port of Seattle was piqued, first, as a "kitchen cabinet" member of a candidate who then withdrew because of conflict of interest, then persisted with my allegiance shifting to Jack Jolley. What I instantly liked about Jack was that he replied to a message conveyed after a radio debate: Ah, someone who is responsive, and to a whoever; who however asked sufficiently interesting question that it was worth checking out.
As you now, Jack lost by something like 1/2 half of one per cent to a PAC based and backed and Seattle Times endorsed Commissioner Davis, a foxy lady as she struck me the one time I met her, during the Civic Forum Debate. The race turning out to be a whisker... the kind of race that a bit of last minute t.v. advertising might have changed.
My own feeling is that fellow Stanfordite Pat should retire, with Mic, to a well earned position at a hedge fund... and I got to know Mic the great too, and I think appreciate him - from a novelist's perspective - more than I know some of you yourselves do. I don't know: Mic as a dictator and there would be an Alameda Corridor to Stampede Pass and the freight would be whizzing out of the port like Maseratis... Pat got a little too deep into the nepotistic there I would say, and you ought to appoint Jack in her place. Which the public ought to be able to accept in light of the election. Moreover, Jack is a self-made millionaire several times over, and therefore it is most doubtful his becoming too deeply beholden to any take other than what he regards as constituting the public weal.
Sincerely,


--
MICHAEL ROLOFF

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A COMMENT ON "NEIGHBORHOODS"

CITY WALKER Having lived in Seattle for about thirteen years, I wonder whether the generally held view of the city as, simultaneously, "progressive" & liberal & "pro-neighborhood" jibe, whether these terms even mean anything any more. Whether the preferred self-image fits. A city walker everywhere, including twenty-five years in New York, [also Calcutta, not just the twenty-five years I put in on the one on the Hudson had become when I left around 1985] I have walked the breadth and length of town and beyond. During my first walk-around Seattle in the summer of 1994 I was appalled to see, north of Downtown, a city scape with huge, macadam dark parking lot gaps, many of now filled with high rises. I was sorry to note that all that was left of the older commercial Seattle was the Pioneer Square district. Fremont and Ballard have changed drastically , so has Belltown. There is something called "Allentown" that, in its way, is converting an industrial and warehouse district. The sky scraper section of Seattle at night is the usual American set of freezing, canyons unpeopled except by the detritus of the voracious dynamic capitalist engine. Meanwhile, having lived in a variety of parts of the 98105 & 98115 zip code [but for two delightful years in the Vietnamese section of the misnamed "International" district], I have noticed that up to half, but at least one third, of single family homes in many blocks in the area - north of the Ship Canal, east of I-5, up to 125 Str. NE - have changed owners during my residence here. The gridlock has become worse. Never using my car, I gave it to a longshoreman friend about five years ago. Each morning and afternoon I notice that you can canoe more quickly across Lake Washington in either direction than crawl it by vehicle. Much has changed in Seattle since circa 1900: Seattle once had a great street car network. Like the rest of the country, Seattle submitted to the siren song of the automobile, gasoline, cement and rubber industries and is paying the many prices of that submission; the depression, an economy contingent on a thoroughly integrated infra-structure of the military industrial complex - just note how terrified everyone is at the possibility of a base closing, or how everyone cheers when Boeing receives another big military contract. See the poverty that you can find yourself amongst in parts of the city, check with D.S.H.L., notice the industry of the Vietnamese as they expand southward on Rainier, the development that the Light Rail line is generating there. The industriousness of those - from many parts of the world - who expand alongside the ill-named Aurora Avenue. Also, quite a few three and four story condos have gone up all over; decrepit and sometimes not so decrepit bungalows have gone down. It is my guess that the increase in real estate value and the influx of well paid professionals is merely yet another of the succession of generations of strivers that marks the continuous transformations of American cities and of the U.S. economy. Both the mayor of Seattle and New York have to consider set-asides for for lower and medium income housing in the hubs of their cities; the segregation of the U.S. into a more strictly delineated class society seem apace. Real estate brokers and upscale-driven glossies such as Seattle Magazine and Seattle Metropolitan cater to neighborhood transformation. The above is meant as a description, not as endorsement. - If I had my druthers, I would live as a Plains Indian, say a Crow, that way I would move with the seasons and have someone to steal the occasional Sioux horse with! Knute Berger recently was pleased to note that the increase in the population of Seattle had been no greater than about seven per cent during the same period. I myself tend to think [but not walk too much the side-walk-less East Side!] in more regional - Everett Tacoma corridor - or at least county-wise terms. But I wonder not only about the number of births and deaths in Seattle during the past decade, but about the proportion between the influx of newcomers and departure of old timers. For I think that a lot of the "Bungalow Janes and Joes," as I think of the old timers, found the price right and sold to younger "breeders" [as Dan Savage, editor of "The Stranger," called them a decade ago before becoming part of a couple and adopting a child]. When "the price is right" Bungalow J. & J., fledglings gone, will sell the resoundingly empty bungalow and leave the "hood"... and the thought occurs whether the tax assessment on these now right-priced properties have risen proportionally. On a more serious note: Having spent the first decade plus of my life in a north European village, I expect that had I stayed put I'd be spending time with the local farmers who all lived pretty much with their live stock in their living room, and had for thousands of years.On weekends I often breakfast at a restaurant frequented by a lot of old timers. I find it a pleasure to be amongst them; as much as I did one Memorial Day weekend sitting with the ranchers in the Throckmorton Diner in Throckmorton the seat of Throckmorton County, Texas, which calls itself the "Cow Capital of the World," who had come to have their memorial steak and talk about their "dawgs" [and I have had some awfully good dawgs meself]; and I note how pleasurable they find each other's company. But there is nothing sprightly about them, they are staid, they are slugs, they are as sodden as wet boiled potatoes, dried crinkled apples; progressive they are certainly not. I noted that the Longshoreman marched against the WTO. As to how they got to be so staid and rooted, their memories become vague. They are uptight and not communicative, say, as compared to the Mexicans I lived amongst from 1991 to 1994, where everything is out on the street. Nine months of inclement weather fail to enliven the spirit. Thus one thing that occasionally bugs me about Bungalow J & J, ambivalently, is how set they are in their ways, their lack of curiosity. What slugs they can be. They go "ooh aah" at the often splendid sets at the major theaters, and giggle a lot, and the new set of gigglers just hatched. And so I may be forgiven for being delighted to encounter the occasional Brooklyn accent [and it me] among that nicest of groups in Seattle, its bus drivers.Ah how we commisserate with each other while yet singing the praises of our new home! The young breeders cart their kids around, the young men often are championship bikers on competitive runs to pay the mortgage. Nor liberal. Or anything approximating "hip." And never will be no matter how many lattes. In many other part of the country they would be called "rock-ribbed" [a term I adored when trying to visualize it] Republicans. Hypocrisy of a special Nordic type is rife. Having a touch of the Norseman in me I yet appreciate their sometime Juniper dry wit. As usual, I find myself conflicted between my love for the permanent and impulses for a permanent revolution. Heavy of bone and butt. Each collective here, no matter its size, is marked by its ingrownness, by provincial nepotism. More importantly: with respect to what can only be called the prevalent "save the neighborhood" ideology: a sense of "neighborliness" in the 'hoods - a feature you would expect considering the degree to which local neighborhoods are touted - I must say that I found very little if any of that in the various blocks I have lived in except among the Vietnamese, who are perpetuating their close-knit extended village culture. I have had a single real neighborhood since coming to this country in 1950 where its inhabitants, urban pioneers, cared about each other, were of common purpose, and exchanged skills: And that was "Tribeca," [Triangle below Canal Street], very downtown Manhattan: that lasted from about 1974 until 1985 when gentrification as well as what is called the bonfire, as well as cesspool of vanities, the latter spilling over from the East Village, put the end to that project. Another musical is born: "Rent." "Tribeca," now the name of a car, has become the second most high-priced district in Manhattan: all within the span of little more than 25 years! The 4,000 square foot space that the woman and I had decided to live in and develop in Duane Park we acquired for $ 10,000 in 1975, must have increased in value a 100 fold meanwhile. Around 1971, Tribeca at night, was so unpopulated you could fit its inhabitants into one shoebox-sized bar. Here, folks who have lived next to each other in the same block for decades scarcely know or talk to each other. Yet the newest newcomer, who of course also moved in because of the "neighborhood" will near instantly join the list of its saviors. During my time in ranch country in New Mexico you truly loved your neighbor more than you could thyself, if you happened on one of them, since you might not find another per square mile! The fruit on the fruit trees hereabouts rots unpicked [except by me] at the fences in the often still very rural alleys. I frequently have the feeling that I am walking in a pre-Ibsen or Strindberg Nordic city with all the nanny looks I get from behind the curtains. Whereas those regions have changed, a lot of the so-called old Seattle appears to be under the suasion of the unchanged ethos that their grandparents brought with them from wherever, perhaps just trundling down the Cascades from miserable regions point east. My short hand for this is: the Jazz clubs on S. Jackson were shut down in the forties, and there's no lap-dancing on the mayor's lap. One discernible result is the discontinuity of a great jazz tradition. Artistically it is not a productive city. Besides, the repression is too nice, too polite, nothing sufficiently adamantine to make for great transfiguration. Besides, cheap runs deep in Seattle, and I think I know why. With all the amnesia, some memories are embedded in bones. So it strikes me that it is more the possibility, or the fiction, the idea of neighborliness - some sense of community - that various publications and their editors [you know who you are!] here seem to fancy and propagate, a perhaps useful fiction, but little else. The fear of the loss of "neighborhood" I suspect points to other, greater, unarticulated, justified fears. Perhaps "neighborhood" is yet another not particularly useful myth. -- MICHAEL ROLOFF

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MICHAEL ROLOFF http://www.facebook.com/mike.roloff1?ref=name Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society this LYNX will LEAP you to all my HANDKE project sites and BLOGS: http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html "MAY THE FOGGY DEW BEDIAMONDIZE YOUR HOOSPRINGS!" {J. Joyce} "Sryde Lyde Myde Vorworde Vorhorde Vorborde" [von Alvensleben] contact via my website http://www.roloff.freehosting.net/index.html