Thursday, November 28, 2013

I am thankful (and grateful) for...

A beautiful sunset as seen through the lighted trees in
the small park in Sequim, WA

A waterfall of lights in the same park…. and

how entrancing the gazebo looks now in the winter light.
And of course, my grandchildren, my children, my friends far and wide, the challenges and joys in my new daily routine, the support that comes from surprising quarters to solve problems and always, my Intender family that lifts me up when my own wings are a little damp.

I hope all my readers find their joy in this coming season of lights and music, however it pleases you. May we all find space to allow the differences to simply be part of a new way of seeing the world and not support those who want to limit and control everything. Blessed days ahead, my friends.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Where do you go when…?

the dump burns down? I'm not a dump picker (not allowed here anyhow), but it was/used to be a lot less expensive to take my garbage and recyclables to the waste transfer station about five miles away.

Last Sunday it burned to the ground. No one knows how it started, but how it finished was to obliterate all the structures, and make it impossible to recycle or receive trash there.

The company, Waste Connections, Inc. has a contract with the city of Port Angeles and cooperates with Clallum County.

Today I decided to drive up that road to see what I could see. There were six other cars presumably hoping to leave their trash there as well. Surprisingly they were mostly unaware of the fire. If those people were subscribers or followers of the Peninsula Daily News, they could read the story here.

But service and solutions after the fire did not seem to be on the minds of the company.

It is not possible to see the fire damage from the gate, and there is very
little information for customers arriving to recycle and dispose of their trash.
My background in public relations caused a rise in temperature and ire… how easy it would have been for company leadership to put a plastic real estate type of box with an information sheet and map for their customers.

Fitting that the company used a black trash
bag to cover up the sign, but this is a poor
way to communicate to clients.
Instead they simply took a black plastic bag and some duct tape, and wrapped up the informational sign that lets drivers know they have turned on the right road, Blue Mountain, to get to the dump.

Now drivers who know where they are going, still keep on driving the mile up the road to find a padlocked gate, with only a number to call and no directions to the Port Angeles transfer station.

And it costs twice as much to drive twice as far. Now we have to drive past the City of Port Angeles, out past the cemetery and airport.

Even though the larger waste processing facility is located on land with an impressive view, it is not small-user friendly. Instead of $5 for a load, it's a $10 minimum…. hmmmm.

Although the sun was shining, my mood was not so bright -wondering just how many times I might have to make this trip before the Blue Mountain transfer station is open again.

As one leaves the Port Angeles transfer station, just before
arriving at the cash window, it is possible to see all the way
across the sound to B.C. Lovely sunny day...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Old Shoes and New Work

Someone asked me, "How does it feel to be back in the newspaper business?" I said, "It feels like finding an old pair of comfortable shoes in the back of the closet and when putting them on, wondering why you ever stopped wearing them."

Old shoes...
But old shoes have their limitations, too. Styles change (although AP doesn't, much) and the impact of computers and the social networks have changed how the news is delivered. When I worked for the St. Augustine Record in St. Augustine, FL, digital cameras were just getting a toehold on the door jamb, and today everyone has multiple megapixels in cameras, phones and tablets.

My daughter works in upper level management for a digital photo storage company, something that was unimaginable 20 years ago. Almost everyone writes a blog about their lives or the lives of others, so when doing research one word can bring up digital pages of information, not all of it factual or truthful.

Part of my job this time is going back into microfilm archives and pulling up what happened 100, 50 and 25 years ago. We are coming into the period 50 years ago when John F. Kennedy was shot in Texas.

For most of my peers, that was a defining historical moment for our generation. We can, most of us, recall exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.

The next generation has September 11, 2001 to recall how their world changed. Perhaps every generation has a shocking event to mark the passage of time.

Still, it seems incredible to me that it has been over ten years since the twin towers fell and that there are people living and working today who have no memory of the Kennedy era.

Wearing old shoes and listening to old music can serve as reminders of days past, but they do not protect us from the deviousness of individuals seeking to destroy. And there seems to be a lot of activity aimed at tearing down the foundations of freedom that this country once stood for.

Nancy Sinatra once sang, "These boots were made for walking..." but no one makes boots or shoes today that have a purpose of protecting us from those groups who have an agenda of fear to keep us from moving and taking action.