re:_ Your Crosscut piece on The Port of Seattle:
_ **The Mic Dinsmore flap reveals deep
differences at the Port of Seattle
**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
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
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
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.
Member Seattle Psychoanalytic Institute and Society
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