Sunday, April 23, 2017

Earth Day 2017 - Cleanup and Hicksters

Earth Day Cleanup, Sappho, Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula's West End. Dan was the other half of the team, but the really good photo went to the Forks Forum.

I'll be working with Clallam Transit to get us all a dumpster! 

We gave a ride to a Neah Bay girl on the way down. When she found out that Clallam Transit was instituting a Port-Angeles to Bainbridge Ferry run - and was going to try to make it run all weekend - she was very happy. Bus riders have worked very hard, contacting all the local bus systems, to get this to happen. The fact that the new Transit Boss rides the Bus must have helped!

Now for some praise and pukes: the woman who VERY carefully laid out a pair of sweatpants and lined up tightly-wrapped baby diapers on top of them: good on you. You made an effort. You tried. With no other way to dispose of these items, you didn't dump the human waste into the port-a-potty or onto the ground. You must have realized the horrible health hazard, if you threw human waste where people could step in it. You placed the diapers near the port-a-potty, but behind it where your waste was easily accessible, but out of sight. That's how an adult acts.

Guy - and we know it was a guy - who must have pulled up his truck and dumped three heavy bags of YARD WASTE under the trees: You have a yard, you have a truck - and you are expecting the rest of the tax-papers to take care of what YOU can afford. You are lazy and selfish. That's how a child acts, waiting for mommy to pick up after him.

Now for the treats: we don't normally eat the the wonderful Hungry Bear, on Highway 101, near Sappho. Old folks can't eat luscious traditional diner food. But after two-and-a-half hours of unstinting work, in which we cleaned up everything we could haul out, we got to go this wonderful old-fashioned restaurant and eat whatever we wanted! Lordy, they even have old English-style "coffin" pastry pies - the kind that were originally meant for hard wagon travel. Finally - enough crust!

Very soon, we found the staff was almost jumping up-and-down in joy over the cleanup. We all got to talking about how either the county or transit MUST face our transient and homeless population - and by that, accept that citizen tax-payers must be part of that process, to get what we want, how we want it - and give access to garbage disposal. 

One staff member said she was so sick of hearing people complain, and doing nothing. I told her there is a growing group of people who are INVOLVED. We have science and women's and climate marches in Forks. And the population publicly SUPPORTS the protesters! No fake protest attacks out here! The atmosphere became joyous.

Seattle - whining about "homeless" garbage - the West End is going to shame you, if you don't look out! Note: Transit referred to homeless as "Our Homeless." Admitting our OWN people here are in trouble. Our officials get better every day! 

(Yes, we have the usual malfeasance and embezzling you get from short-sighted idiots who don't seem to realize it's a surveillance society - and WE're doing the surveillance - but we have far, far more decent people here, in and out of County uniform. Why else would we have this bus system, that is the envy of metropolitan areas? You can contact public servants and they are happy to SERVE - and they like to hear they've done well. Call up transit or county or the Sheriff's Department or the library and say how happy you are.

If there's one thing I know as an artist, the real food we all run on is pats on the head, the same as puppies. So make a puppy happy today, and see what happens.)

Now for the bad after the good: I would warn rural areas to be on the lookout for Hicksters - and yes, it's a word I made up and first used on Twitter to the Forks Forum, The Nip and the Washington Post. 

Hickster: Metropolitan right-wing person who travels to rural areas, assuming rural people are all right-wing. 

You see this movement among those practicing Logger Chic in cities. They don't seem to realize that grandpa practiced Cowboy Chic way back when - and for the same bad reasons. Remember playing Cowboys and Indians as a Kid? Today it would be Loggers and Every Living Thing.

At the Hungry Bear, a handful of bikers were back in the bar, quietly enjoying themselves (Bikers are cool. My brother-in-law was a biker. We get lots of nice bikers up here, from all sorts of cities. They're welcome, and enjoy themselves without problems. Their rigs are gorgeous!).

But then these bikers must have heard me telling the waitress about the Earth Day Cleanup - and how, if we couldn't get to the Science marches, we made our own event. That's all the waitress and I talked about for then (because we were hungry, and wanted to address the eye-boggling mile-high fish-n-chips-clam-strips, and turkey burger and too much coffee and - I'm so sorry I ordered it afterwards, but I'm happy I tried it - Moosetracks milkshake. Let's just say that somebody with my metabolic problems should stick to vanilla. And green tea and salad).

Anyway, this set off the Hicksters in the bar, and it sounded like Fox News back there. Because I was dizzy from too much sugar and had to go out into the parking lot for a breath of fresh drizzle, I saw at least one of 'em had Bellingham plates. The staff didn't say anything to them, because - they're the staff. They don't bug the customers (although if they want to get excited about something they LIKE, they'll talk). 

The hicksters started talking about protesters "burning stuff." They probably never got near a REAL protest in their lives. The Fakes who showed up at the WTO marches - and the corporate-owned news that fell for their act - are finally getting outed. But Fox and the Washington Post are all about ten years behind the times, so how would they know? (I bet they don't know the word "rant" is code for "shut up, bitch").

Then they started complaining about the people who didn't want the Navy using a rural area to run military exercises over. They used the word "growlers" about the jets. Now that's a Navy term. You think the Navy worries about any actual infantry combat vets out here with Battle Fatigue? Vets who can't even show up to Stand-Downs because the mere thought of the military makes them shake and cringe? (And I've seen it.) Why should a bunch of anchor clankers care about anybody outside THEIR uniformed fan club? They'd kill off every last marine mammal if they got to play with their toys.

(Dan's dad was at D-Day on a ship. NOT ONCE did he ever try to make out that he went through what was close to what the infantry faced. He saw some bad shit on the ship, but even then he wouldn't have sneered at the drafted grunts.)

Then the hicksters gave themselves away: I heard them talk about "building houses out here." I've been warning people of these guys for years. Everett and Mukilteo used to be like out here - until the logging interests simply sold everything to the developers. 

For years, somebody posted green-lettered signs basically saying nobody but loggers had families (well, what else does "working forests = working families" mean?). This was part of a campaign to stop the parks buying land for more parks - which is always an excellent investment for the future of the citizens, and an industry that can only grow, and can only fall apart if natural beauty is destroyed - tourism. Then the land was bought up by a company whose signage uses the same color green. You think an artist would miss that?

Now you have a choice, folks. You can sell what land you might have held onto to the parks - at a much lower rate - or to the developers. The logging company will be selling it. THEY're down to sticks and chipboard! I've seen this failure rate, before.

Out here, several houses are being bought and torn down by the parks, because climate change has raised the water levels so high those houses are in real danger. I live in fear of the logs and bulwark-stones being flung through the windows on a high-tide stormy night. I deeply hope nobody's in those houses when it happens. I'm so glad to hear they'll be getting out.

BUT - the parks is probably going to be paying a much lower price, now. The owners are the sort of folks who thought they'd actually bought beaches - back when we had some really nasty real estate companies that have been wiped out by the crash. They've learned better, but it must have been rough, paying that much for what was not the companies' right to sell. And now they'll have to take what they can get from the parks. That's sad for them, but good for the citizen tax-payers.

(We had a joke up here for friends who feared we'd never be able to sell our place if the water threatened it: "We'll just find a Republican." Denying Climate Change can be personally painful, and fewer people up here care to do that, when it's so in-your-face all the time. But I guess we'll always have hicksters, and their victims.)

Those few who think we want development to do what's done all over America: for the sake of a handful of ephemeral jobs, do you really want me to be able to say I saw you coming out of Wal-Mart and saw you get into a truck with a "Buy American" sticker? Been there, done that!

Do I need to say the hicksters were very vocally pleased about Mexican immigrants being shipped out? In a restaurant with a customer and staff base that had relatives and friends from all over? When four what looked like Middle Eastern guys came in and were put at a nice table by the window, the hicksters shut up. And got real polite. Score one for the decency of the Hungry Bear. Score zilch for racism.

I hope the hicksters saw the "We support LGBT rights" Gay Pride Poster by the bar when they went to pay their bill. It must have been shocking, after hickster city newspaper had told them they'd find their idiot buddies out in the sticks.

Just sent this message to Clallam Transit, Clallam Department of Health, Clallam Waste Management and all the County Commissioners: 


Talked to one of the Clallam Transit supervisors the other day. So Transit is aware of the Earth Day cleanup at the Sappho park-and-ride, carried out by me and my husband Dan.

I've attached a photo - it's a horror! Baby diapers, industrial filth, broken glass. A real - and dangerous mess. Think what would happen if ONE carrier of typhoid or cholera came through - especially a baby! The port-a-potty helps with the adult human waste, but does nothing for baby waste.

Somebody in local government - either one of you with the others' support, or all of you - needs to step up and realize we need a dumpster out here. I've talked to local folks, and they're for it. They know it's taxpayers getting a public service, and they want it.

Yes, there will be transients and our homeless using it - we know that - but where else are they supposed to throw the garbage? Let's not be like Seattle, blaming the helpless for their garbage when there is no place to put it.

There's no use fining people - they'll just haul their stuff 'way back into the woods. The solution has to be - getting the stuff OUT of there. And this pile is cumulative - if a dumpster is in place, it probably won't be bad under day-to-day use, for regular maintenance.

Work with us! We'll cooperate every way we can. You ARE our public servants, and we  value you all as such - and really excellent ones.

Donna Barr"