No crowds today at Fort Ebey.

Part of my walk took me out to Lake Pondilla, where I found this rock. I’m wondering if it had been there prior to the start of winter.

Shipping lanes were busy out there today.

Local group: Whidbey Island Rocks – WIR

 

Hastie Lake/Strait of Juan de Fuca

Back in 2016:

Winter boat launch scene

 

$40.6 billion US Dept. of Homeland Security Meth Racket Rolls On:

February 20, 2020 KTVZ

DEA launches major meth crackdown as record amounts flood Northwest

Virtually all methamphetamine in the United States comes through major ports of entry along the Southwest Border and is transported by tractor trailers and personal vehicles along the nation’s highways to major transfer centers around the country.”

What will change after spending big cash on a wall?

 

Will US border wall keep cartels from moving product into New Zealand?

Feb 23, 2020 Newshub

Mexican drug cartels Sinaloa and CJNG could try to corrupt NZ Customs and police – report

“The New Zealand Drug Intelligence Bureau has warned two of the world’s biggest drug cartels could be trying to infiltrate our police and Customs services to corrupt their staff.”

“Now there is confirmation that the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) Mexican crime groups are supplying drugs to New Zealand, and police say they even have members working in Aotearoa as go-betweens with local gangs.”

 

Puget Sound area newspeople play along by not asking questions:

Drowning in Meth

Welcome Home Troops

Thanks for risking your ass in Iraq & Afghanistan-working to keep bad people from coming here to do bad things.

Don’t worry-The Super Bowl and public affairs will be safe:

Still trying to figure out why the Super Bowl features a large CBP/public affairs show of force each year, while a larger number of fans attend the Daytona 500 and the event is not used to promote CBP.

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo-

A symbol of the Homeland Security meth scam and newspeople posting a press release instead of asking questions.

 

Big rains back on Feb 5th. How long will it take for local water quality to rebound?

Image above: Feb 21, 2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

Population:

Bellingham 89,045 (2017)

Anacortes 16,953 (2017)

Oak Harbor 23,187 (2017)

Coupeville 1,928 (2017)

Looks like waters adjacent to Bellingham and Anacortes are less impacted by pollution than the waters between Oak Harbor and Coupeville.

We moved to Whidbey several years ago, after living in Jefferson County, where going out and getting a limit of clams was a happy routine/local thing. After arriving on Whidbey, a letter came in the mail from Island County describing the Penn Cove Watershed and the requirement to get home septic systems tested in this sensitive area. This was a chance to learn about the watershed and how to maintain a septic system.

 

WDFW says local beaches are closed to recreational shellfish harvest due to sewage treatment plant outfall.

If the press ever comes close to covering this topic, they will refer to stormwater.

Still haven’t been out to local beaches for clams.

Local people can learn about reducing the impact of stormwater and contribute by being more careful about using chemicals on their lawn, washing the car in the driveway, recycling motor oil, cleaning up after their dog, etc.

When the press ignores sewage treatment plant outfall people are left out on solutions to this problem.

 

I’m thinking of old traditions. Someone buys a fishing license and wants to take the grandkids out to teach them how to bring home a legal limit of clams. Buy a license, know the rules to maintain a sustainable harvest, check the tides and open seasons, and pick a good day.

The shellfish safety map is updated daily. Get up early and check the map to see if shellfish are safe to harvest at your favorite beach. Look for green colors on the map that show safe places for recreational shellfish harvest.

Bad news if you’re seeing brown colors instead of green. Even more bad news if the brown colors remain in place for months, as if this is a routine or ongoing condition.

Not seeing any green colors, even during the dry month of September:

Image above: Washington State Dept. of Health status updated Sept. 20th, 2019.

North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

Is the sewage treatment plant is sending unsafe product into Penn Cove?

Reporting on this topic appears to be completely off limits to the press.

 

We are told that stewardship is a priority:

Sign below educates the public on local waters.

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area

Let’s take a look at today’s another month with an R status:

Image above: Feb 21, 2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

If we could walk from the north edge of the brown shaded area at Oak Harbor, down to the south edge, how long would it take to get there? That’s a pretty big area.

Better tell the grandkids that today isn’t the day to be getting out there.

Image above:

Another green color day over in Jefferson County

More here:

Site Visit – Captain Thomas Coupe Park

Monroe Landing – Site Visit

Green colors show safe places for recreational shellfish

More Than A Week Since The Big Rains

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area – Any News Coverage?

Ocean Water in Snohomish County?

Stormwater?

 

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

The Cold War had ended. DOD was happy with their all volunteer military.

Look what they did with it.

 

Feb 19, 2020 Military.com

Here’s the List of Military Clinics That Will No Longer Serve Retirees, Families

Political parties and personalities are not as interesting as what stays the same no matter who is elected to office.

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

More here: Unsustainable Military Spending

Recommendation:

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Some will say that this has already been done, and that you will see if you read the fine print. I say take it out of fine print and make it read like the warnings on a pack of cigarettes.

 

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

Big Spending

Need more cash for undeclared/unwon wars that never end:

Feb 7, 2020 Military.com

Esper Presses Congress to Bulk Up Next Military Budget

“…more funding for the military to confront China and Russia…”

 

Nov 14, 2019 Stars and Stripes

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost American Taxpayers $6.4 trillion, Study Finds

 

The Dept. of Defense was nowhere to be found on 911. We haven’t won a war since.

 

Related:

A Formal Congressional Declaration of War

Defense Dept. Lies About Freedom

How did Rhode Island freedoms get over to the Middle East?

Maybe Get Away From The Bragging About Freedom?

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Liberty And Justice For All?

Men Died For the Right to Vote?

Jet Noise Made Them Free?

Military Town – Hometown Pride

Armistice Day Is Now Free Chow Day

Too Many Lies From Veterans – Straight Out of a Land of Make Believe

Four star whistleblowers unavailable to correct generals who lie about undeclared/unwon wars for your freedoms: Lies And Propaganda For Your Freedoms

Questions We’d Love To See In The Made For TV Debates

 

How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.

 

 

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo-

Whidbey agriculture – no hurry to change

Ebey’s Landing

 

 

Ongoing militarization of American culture/glorification of military service update:

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper:

“This Presidents Day, let us never forget the extraordinary men and women serving our Country. As we remember our founders that formed our great Nation, we also remember our Service Members fiercely defending the freedoms we value every day.”

Secretary Esper,

While the troops were deployed, federal law was signed prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to adults age 18-20.

Can you help us to understand the militarized version of freedom here?

December 21st 2019 KOMO News

Legal age to buy cigarettes, vapes raised to 21 nationwide

“Signed into law by President Donald Trump Friday as part of the new $1.4 trillion spending bill, a new measure prohibits the sale of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21.”

 

The US should maintain strong and ready military forces.

In some cases, the US Armed Forces provide for our physical security. That’s as good as it gets.

In terms of American rights and freedoms-The Dept. of Defense has no more say than the Dept. of Agriculture.

 

The Dept. of Defense was nowhere to be found on 911. We haven’t won a war since.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

More here:

A Formal Congressional Declaration of War

Unsustainable Military Spending

How did Rhode Island freedoms get over to the Middle East?

Maybe Get Away From The Bragging About Freedom?

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Liberty And Justice For All?

Men Died For the Right to Vote?

Jet Noise Made Them Free?

Military Town – Hometown Pride

Armistice Day Is Now Free Chow Day

Too Many Lies From Veterans – Straight Out of a Land of Make Believe

Four star whistleblowers unavailable to correct generals who lie about undeclared/unwon wars for your freedoms: Lies And Propaganda For Your Freedoms

Questions We’d Love To See In The Made For TV Debates

 

How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.

 

 

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo-

A symbol of federal government credibility and newspeople not asking questions.

 

A view from the beach at Ebey’s Landing.

Protection Island and the Olympic Mountains in the distance.

 

After my visit to Monroe Landing this morning, I wanted to take a look at Coupeville and see if a similar sign was posted there.

I found the sign below posted near the boat launch at Captain Thomas Coupe Park on 2/18/20.

Questions for today:

Is this a temporary sign? Will it be removed in the days and weeks ahead?

Related:

Monroe Landing – Site Visit

 

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

Image above:

This sign was seen posted near the boat ramp on my 2/18/2020 site visit to Monroe Landing.

On occasion, I will go out and take a look at local public access sites. I am not used to seeing any similar sign posted at this location.

Background:

Went out to take a look

I saw no warning signs on 5/21/19 at Monroe Landing.

Image below taken on a March 24, 2019 Penn Cove site visit.

WDFW has posted a permanent sign indicating a dark shaded area in the eastern part of Penn Cove.

Interesting that the part of the cove farthest from open waters is the part where the water is cleaner.

This sign remains in place even during the driest months of the year:

We had big rains back on Feb 5th. This may explain the sign I saw today at Monroe Landing.

I will check back in the weeks ahead to see if this sign is removed as local conditions improve.

Let’s take a look at today’s status:

Image above: Feb 18, 2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

Zoom in and click on any part of the dark shaded areas to see “Wastewater plant upset.”

During the dry month of September:

Image above: Washington State Dept. of Health status updated Sept. 20th, 2019.

North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

 

Sign at top of page refers to “…a sewage drain pipe.” Not sure if this description is meaning stormwater?

Even during the dry months of the year at Monroe Landing, WDFW tells us that:

“State Dept. of Health cautions that Clams,Oysters and Mussels from this beach are not fit for human consumption at any time.”

“Water Quality Comment: This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

No mention of stormwater.

 

Questions for today:

When the impact of recent big rains has cleared, will the sign at that top of the page be removed?

Will the sign stay in place at Monroe Landing if WDFW continues to warn that:

“State Dept. of Health cautions that Clams,Oysters and Mussels from this beach are not fit for human consumption at any time.”

“Water Quality Comment: This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Does the sign at the top of the page refer to a sewage drain pipe that sends stormwater, treated water, or both into Penn Cove?

More here:

Green colors show safe places for recreational shellfish

More Than A Week Since The Big Rains

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area – Any News Coverage?

Ocean Water in Snohomish County?

Stormwater?

 

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

German Pilsner

One of my favorite styles, and one that can be hard to find in the local grocery store.

An enthusiastic review:

Along for the afternoon: Classic Deep Cuts

 

Big rains back on Feb 5th. How long will it take for local water quality to rebound?

Bad news:

Even during the driest times of the year, things aren’t looking right.

Reporting on this topic appears to be completely off limits to the press.

 

Not seeing any green colors, even during the dry month of September:

Image above: Washington State Dept. of Health status updated Sept. 20th, 2019.

North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

Is the sewage treatment plant is sending unsafe product into Penn Cove?

Newspeople remain silent.

If the press ever comes close to covering this topic, they will refer to stormwater.

WDFW says local beaches are closed to recreational shellfish harvest due to sewage treatment plant outfall.

 

Let’s take a look at today’s another month with an R status:

Image above: Feb 17, 2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

Zoom in and click on any part of the dark shaded areas to see “Wastewater plant upset.”

Green colors show safe places to go and get a legal limit of clams and oysters.

More here:

More Than A Week Since The Big Rains

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area – Any News Coverage?

Ocean Water in Snohomish County?

Stormwater?

 

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

 

Image at top of page:

Another green color day over on Hood Canal

 

Port Townsend

 

In the pre-internet/smartphone days on Okinawa, staying in touch with people back home meant buying stamps and writing letters. Stars and Stripes was a way to keep up on the news. I enjoyed it.

 

Feb 11, 2020 The Hill

Pentagon proposes slashing funding to independent Stars and Stripes newspaper

“The Defense Department on Monday unveiled a $705.4 billion budget request that includes a proposal to slash funding for Stars and Stripes, the editorially independent newspaper that covers military matters around the world.”

“Stars and Stripes’ mission is not to communicate the [Department of Defense] or command message, but to be an independent, First Amendment publication that serves the troops — especially deployed troops,” Gates tweeted, taking special exception to McCusker’s view that the Pentagon has other ways to “communicate.”

Barbar Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent, noted on Twitter that the Stars and Stripes print edition can be a valuable resource for service members based in areas where they “cannot use their phones because of concerns their locations will be tracked.”

 

Feb 12, 2020 Military.com

DoD Budget Proposal Cuts All Funding to Stars And Stripes; Lawmakers Back Newspaper

“The news organization’s value to American troops’ has been proven, said Ernie Gates, Stars and Stripes’ ombudsman. He said the newspaper not only provides service members “a little piece of home” or a “welcome diversion” from tough missions, but it also provides independent, free-flowing information that they need to exercise their rights as Americans.”

“Stars and Stripes’ First Amendment mission within the Defense Department is an important expression of U.S. democratic values – a demonstration that our military can handle scrutiny from a free press,” Gates said. “It’s something to be proud of. Other countries’ military may have comparable, internal free press operations, but I don’t know of any.”

“SPJ called on Defense Secretary Mark Esper to rethink the funding cut to Stars and Stripes, which it said would be “a huge disservice to the men and women who serve our country” who rely on the physical newspaper in areas where they cannot access the internet.”

Stars & Stripes was a link to home when I was in Iraq and Okinawa,” wrote Gallego, a Marine veteran. “It’s an A+ indie take on everyday DoD news, f*** ups, and Administration & General Officer BS. No wonder this President wants to cut it. He’s got a fight on his hands.”

 

Feb 14, 2020 Military.com

Esper Defends Move to Defund Stars and Stripes, Says News Org. Not a Priority

 

Stars and Stripes

Nov 14 2019 Stars and Stripes | By Corey Dickstein

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost American Taxpayers $6.4 trillion, Study Finds

“WASHINGTON — American taxpayers have spent $6.4 trillion in nearly two decades of post-9/11 wars, which have killed some 800,000 people worldwide, the Cost of Wars Project announced Wednesday.”

 

Big Spending

Need more cash for undeclared/unwon wars that never end:

Feb 7, 2020 Military.com

Esper Presses Congress to Bulk Up Next Military Budget

“…more funding for the military to confront China and Russia…”

 

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

More here:

Unsustainable Military Spending

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

North end of Perego’s Lagoon.

Local info:

Two Bluff Trails

 

Image above: Feb 13, 2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

Zoom in and click on any part of the dark shaded areas to see “Wastewater plant upset.”

 

Love to see updated news reporting on this from newspeople anywhere in the Puget Sound area.

 

More here:

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area – Any News Coverage?

Ocean Water in Snohomish County?

Stormwater?

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

The thanks for your service slogan is now being used in banking and retail settings. People are trained to repeat this phrase on the job.

Filling out some sort of application online may generate the phrase.

 

Nov 09, 2017 Psychology Today

Should You Say “Thank You for Your Service”?

“Acknowledge Veterans for their service by saying a simple: “Thank you for your service.” Whether that’s on Facebook, a text message, a phone call, a letter, or an in-person greeting, a basic acknowledgment can go a long way.”

My take:

I respond in an outwardly pleasant way when I am presented with this phrase.

I would much rather that people reach for an honest understanding of US foreign policy, and skip the phrase. To me, the phrase is a reminder, that as a culture, we do not question undeclared/unwon wars that never end.

When do we get to vote on all this? The Psychology Today article avoids these questions and doesn’t show any hint of an Armistice Day vibe.

 

The Armed Forces are overemphasized in American culture.

Each November, school teachers across America host Veterans Day assemblies– and promote the idea that The Troops are in distant lands-fighting for American rights and freedoms.

Growing up in the 60s & 70s-veterans were all around-church, school, Boy Scout leaders, family, the neighborhood, etc. It was all just an average thing. These folks weren’t seen as a separate part of American society.

People weren’t stepping over to say “Thanks for your service” to my Dad-who did time in the Navy in the 50s-but looked just like anyone else out in public.

These guys weren’t lining up for free dinner promotions marketed by major restaurant chains, discounts, head of the line privileges at the airport, etc.

New traditions

Both major parties take turns in the White House. When it’s their turn to stage a State of the Union address, both parties will have veterans as guests at SOTU events. When did this tradition begin? Were WWII veterans invited as special guests to SOTU events in the 60s and 70s?

In the 60s and 70s, were WWII veterans invited to be honored at pregame ceremonies out at the ball park?

These days, WWII veterans are sought out to be guests of honor at ball games, parades, etc.

Some of these events seem to go off pretty well. In some cases, rather than honoring veterans, it looks like these guys are being used for marketing and promotional events, staged to benefit something other than veterans.

0:12 the man is barely conscious when greeted by team owner Jerry Jones:

Love to see the press get out & away from the special occasions and marketing events to interview WWII veterans on what they think of undeclared/unwon wars that never end.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

Militarized parking lots are another new tradition.

This may all be some sort of post-Vietnam guilt at work. The guilt doesn’t seem to work towards shutting down failed wars that never end.

Sort of looks like dividing people up into groups. No such thing related to veterans and special parking spots when I was a kid.

Back in those days, there were probably enough veterans around to remove most of the mystique, or maybe those veterans thought it was all just an average thing and did not want to be seen as a separate part of American society, or get head of the line parking spots over at the grocery store.

Now this:

January 05, 2020 WDTV 5 News

New reserved parking spots for veterans

The parking spaces are being called, “superhero parking” and are reserved for veterans, active duty members, and
first respondents.”

Mall management was unable to give any comment as to why this new trend has begun.”

Well, thanks mall management. Your business and marketing efforts attract the attention of the local news media. It’s your chance to deliver a statement that would create a free advertisement for your retail location. You are caught completely off guard. You have nothing to say.

 

We’re back into a major election season.

The Dept. of Defense was nowhere to be found on 911. We haven’t won a war since.

It will take more than a thanks for your service for things to change.

Related:

A Formal Congressional Declaration of War

Unsustainable Military Spending

Port Townsend and the Sound of Freedom

What Stays The Same

Maybe Get Away From The Bragging About Freedom?

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Liberty And Justice For All?

Various states have recently sent National Guard troops to distant lands. Each one claims that military operations overseas are somehow linked to American rights and freedoms:

How did Rhode Island freedoms get over to the Middle East?

Maryland Freedoms Found In The Middle East?

West Virginia Freedom Found In The Middle East?

How did our freedom and liberties get over to Kosovo?

 

How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.

 

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo- Nordland Transit Center

 

American popular and political culture insists on dividing people up into groups-then assigning a separate value to each group. Surely, members of a specific group would think, act & vote as one?

Meaningless group identity updates:

Veterans for Donald Trump

Veterans for Pete Buttigieg

Veterans for Bernie Sanders

Veterans for Tulsi 2020

Not just veterans. Political experts will also be reaching out to latino, black, and women voters.

What about bus drivers-who do they endorse?

Carville is a veteran. He won’t be invited to ask questions at the made for TV presidential primary debates:

Will veterans be taking a look at what stays the same no matter what political party or personality is in power?

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo- Port Hadlock Transit Center

If you could walk to the Pacific Ocean from Snohomish County, how long would it take to get there?

February 10, 2020 The Herald

Meth, tire rubber among new pollutants found in Puget Sound

Ocean water in Snohomish County is less polluted than other urban sites in Puget Sound, despite over 60 new chemicals scientists tracked in and around Possession Sound — including trace amounts of methamphetamine.”

Fish and wildlife are suffering because of urban pollution,” James said.

Urban pollution? We’ll get back to that.

“Now, the scientists are hoping to find a link between contamination in the Sound and land use, James said.”

One link might be operating sewage treatment facilities that are sending unsafe product into local waters.

 

Island County

It seems understandable that recent rains could cause temporary problems.

Lets take a look back to the driest time of the year, and what was going on away from urban centers, and away from the ocean:

Image above: Washington State Dept. of Health status updated Sept. 20th, 2019.

North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

Is the sewage treatment plant is sending unsafe product into Penn Cove?

Reporting on this topic appears to be completely off limits to the press.

 

Local water quality

Back in 2017, Island County Public Health posted a sign at the Coupeville Wharf about restrictions on recreational shellfish harvesting.

Several Island County beaches are now closed for recreational shellfish harvest because of sewage treatment outfall.

Sewage treatment outfall. Not stormwater.

This appears to be a routine/ongoing situation.

View the Washington State Department of Health beach list here.

 

One or more sewage treatment plants are sending unsafe product into Penn Cove?

Coupeville

Love to see newspeople provide updated reporting on this:

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

 

Went out to take a look

I saw no warning signs or urban centers on 5/21/19 at Monroe Landing.

Image below taken on a March 24, 2019 Penn Cove site visit.

WDFW has posted a permanent sign indicating a dark shaded area in the eastern part of Penn Cove.

Interesting that the part of the cove farthest from open waters is the part where the water is cleaner.

This sign remains in place even during the driest months of the year:

Stewardship is a priority:

Sign below educates the public on local waters.

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area

Has there ever been a news story to inform the public on the Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area?

Looks like a pretty big area.

I’d be more interested in paying (again) for a local paper subscription if there was more in the way of investigative reporting & newspeople asking questions.

Lack of News Reporting Hurts Newspaper Subscriptions?

More here:

Stormwater?

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area – Any News Coverage?

Proper Geographic Names

 

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo-

The Pacific Coast at Ruby Beach

 

On the Ebey’s Landing Bluff Trail.

Busy shipping lanes and the Olympic Mountains:

Local info:

Two Bluff Trails

 

Sun came out.

There’s a rush hour out there somewhere.

A really nice beer. Always enjoy this one.

Looking like a good date:

Along for the afternoon: Classic Deep Cuts

 

Political parties and personalities are not as interesting as what stays the same no matter who is elected to office.

I’ve never been one to say that military benefits are inadequate. Just stick with whatever was offered when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and we’re good.

Every few years, no matter what political party or personality is in power, there are moves to modify what people thought they were earning in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service.

The plan is to save cash by reducing the traditional DOD military benefits that were used to entice people to stay for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is the same country where both major parties invite veterans to be momentarily honored at State of the Union events when they control the White House.

Football games are also used to honor veterans:

0:12 the man is barely conscious when greeted by team owner Jerry Jones:

Everyone seems to love it. When the made for TV event is over, veteran’s benefits may be up for grabs again.

Medical

Feb 7, 2020 Military.com

More Than 3 Dozen Military Hospitals to Stop Treating Retirees, Families, Memo Shows

“That means that some of those facilities may stop offering pharmacy support for users not on active duty. On-base pharmacies are currently the only way for all Tricare beneficiaries, including elderly Tricare for Life enrollees, to receive no-cost, same-day medications.”

“Some military retirees and their families will also see increased out-of-pocket costs, the memo notes, since care received off-base by those users require copays.”

“With a challenging array of threats around the world, we need our military medical facilities to keep combat forces healthy and prepare our medical personnel to support them.”

A number of interesting comments have been posted following the above article.

From comments:

Over the last twenty years the DOD has been constricting Tricare Prime users to having to be closer and closer to military installations. Now that you have to be within 30 miles driving distance to a military medical treatment facility to keep on Tricare Prime, the DOD is going to cut retirees medical benefits on military installation. It is only a matter of time before the DOD forces enough Tricare Prime users out of the network for them to determine Prime not be a cost effective program to maintain.”

 

Traditional Commissary Benefit

Unfortunately, the commissary has gone downhill in recent years. They still hire good people, but the shelves are not consistently stocked. Some of the products that were routinely available have been completely phased out.

What has changed?

DoD wants to sharply cut commissary budget as overall defense budget increases

“For a number of years, some within the Defense Department have floated proposals to reduce the commissary budget.”

Commissary funding has been cut. The benefit has been reduced and people are less inclined to shop on base for this reason.

We can’t have poor sales numbers. We will not put the benefit back to the way it was when people signed up to stay on for multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will open up eligibility and get more people to show up to shop on base.

 

Lowering the bar

It really is genius.

Commissary sales are down. To increase sales, people who formerly did not qualify to shop there will now become eligible:

Commissary employees to get shopping benefits

No need to volunteer to go to far away places and maybe never come back again. If you work at the facility-you now qualify for this traditional benefit.

0 percent disability

Out there in the world, somewhere, there are people who believe military benefits are too generous. Wait until they find out that their neighbor now gets a lifetime shopping on base privilege after doing 4 years in uniform and coming away with a 0 percent disability. Wait until the average person learns what it takes to qualify for a 0 percent disability.

The idea that military benefits are too generous will catch on as time goes on.

If the general public begins to believe the benefits are too generous, it will be easier to make moves to downsize benefits earned in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service and save more DOD cash later on.

Once an incentive to stay for 20, now maybe an incentive to qualify for a 0 percent disability:

Department of Defense Expanding Access to Military Commissaries, Exchanges and Recreation Facilities

Who is eligible?

“…veterans with VA- documented service-connected disability ratings of 0-90 percent…”

What is a zero-percent disability rating?

Claims agents are standing by:

“So what about zero-percent ratings? A veteran may be rated at zero percent, which means that a service-connected condition exists, but that it does not affect his or her ability to function.”

San Diego area military bases to open gates to thousands more veterans in 2020

“Starting New Year’s Day, more than 3 million veterans nationwide, including tens of thousands of local veterans, will be able to shop at exchanges and commissaries on military bases and utilize their recreation facilities.”

Until now only active duty military, retirees, Medal of Honor recipients and veterans who were 100 percent disabled could shop on base…”

“The change is expected to boost sales at base grocery stores, shops and restaurants, which have suffered years of declines…”

More here:

New Incentive To Qualify For Zero-Percent Disability Rating

Recommendation:

Insert language into recruiting literature and enlistment documents stating that rules concerning benefits may change at any time & that no definite benefit package will be provided in exchange for 20 years of unrestricted worldwide service. No grandfather clause will apply. Have unit leaders refer to this disclaimer when promoting retention drives, giving re-enlistment speeches, etc.

Some will say that this has already been done, and that you will see if you read the fine print. I say take it out of fine print and make it read like the warnings on a pack of cigarettes.

 

Recommendation for budget savings:

Phase out ongoing undeclared/unwon wars overseas.

The Department of Defense track record for winning undeclared wars goes back to 1949.

 

Big Spending

Need more cash for undeclared/unwon wars that never end:

Feb 7, 2020 Military.com

Esper Presses Congress to Bulk Up Next Military Budget

“…more funding for the military to confront China and Russia…”

 

Nov 14, 2019 Stars and Stripes

Post-9/11 Wars Have Cost American Taxpayers $6.4 trillion, Study Finds

 

April 22, 2019 TIME

F-35 Fighters Will Cost $22 Billion More Than Expected, Pentagon Says

Oct 29, 2019 CNBC

Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter program gets $34 billion Pentagon contract, its biggest yet

“The laundry list of setbacks includes faulty ejection seats, software delays and significant helmet-display issues. The program had an initial acquisition cost of $406.5 billion.”

Dec 6, 2019 Military.com

Under Pressure, Navy’s Top official Pledges to Solve New Carrier’s Problems

The advanced $13 billion carrier has been plagued by problems including glitches with its 11 new weapons elevators, which bring ammunition to the flight deck. The failure to solve many of the issues with the 23 new technologies introduced on the carrier have led to countless delays and still threaten its maiden deployment, which is planned for 2021.”

“There is a trail of tears as to why we are where we are, but we need to fix that ship and make sure that it works, Modly said.”

 

Did the advantage of US air and sea power allow the undeclared wars in Iraq or Afghanistan to be prevented, won or shut down?

 

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Photo-looking forward to another season

 

If we hear the Sound of Freedom can we live like free people?

Went to Port Townsend on Saturday & visited a cozy NW pub. My sister wanted to take a smoke break, and we stepped out & crossed the street to spend a few moments visiting.

Shortly after I got across the street I realized I had carried a glass about 1/4 full of beer with me when I left the pub. I finished the beer & carefully set the glass down. Moments later, a flustered bar tender came out to retrieve the glass. Before he had a chance to speak, I admitted that it was my fault & apologized for leaving his establishment with a beer.

The pub we were visiting featured decent service, food, & lots of choices for beers.

Not the fault of pub staff that I lost track of where I was and walked out with a beer in my fifty-something year old hand. Not the fault of pub staff that their liquor license could be placed at risk by this peaceable & nonviolent act. Not the fault of pub staff that state law gives them no choice to allow a smoker to light up in their establishment.

Laws involving disturbing the peace and public drunkenness make sense.

Briefly stepping away from the pub with a 1/4 glass of beer in hand and being totally off limits? Doesn’t seem to fit with a society that can’t stop bragging about freedom, thanking the troops for freedoms, fighting wars for freedoms, staging military jet flyovers at sporting events for freedom, etc.

I’m thinking this is less of a big deal in other parts of the world. Ditto for a lady sunbathing topless at the beach or city park. Maybe you are the weirdo if you call attention to her, but in countries that brag less about freedom, she is thought to be doing nothing wrong.

Germany

“During the warmer months, parks in Germany are popular locations for alcohol consumption

“The possession of open containers of alcohol and drinking in public (street, park etc.) is legal for people of the legal drinking age (16 for beer and wine; 18 for distilled spirits).”

In the US there are concerns related to college binge drinking. In Germany, where beer is legal for people age 16 & up, do they have similar concerns at the college level?

Do they brag about freedom in Europe as much as we do here in the US?

We are frequently told that The Troops are in distant lands fighting to protect American rights and freedoms:

 

“…the men and women of the armed forces guarantee our freedom…”

 

“For now, the skies above the Olympic Peninsula belong to the Navy’s mission of defending freedom. What that sounds like is up for debate.”

 

Congressman Derek Kilmer:

Wars are for freedom and democracy.

 

The US should maintain strong and ready military forces.

In some cases, the US Armed Forces provide for our physical security. That’s as good as it gets.

In terms of American rights and freedoms-The Dept. of Defense has no more say than the Dept. of Agriculture.

 

Legal marijuana, concealed carry of handguns, semi automatic rifle sales, federal minimum drinking age, sports betting, voting rights, bump stock baninterracial marriage, gay marriage, tobacco sales, open container laws, etc.

None of these are linked in any way with The Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Troops, The Dept. of Defense or the outcome of military operations overseas.

As the decades of undeclared/unwon wars stack up (The Department of Defense track record goes back to 1949.) the greater the cultural urge to glorify people who do, or did time in uniform.

If there is an honest reason to send people away into decades of undeclared/unwon wars overseas let’s hear all about it.

Just Be Honest.

Stop with the glorification of undeclared/unwon wars in distant lands.

Related:

Maybe Get Away From The Bragging About Freedom?

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Liberty And Justice For All?

Various states have recently sent National Guard troops to distant lands. Each one claims that military operations overseas are somehow linked to American rights and freedoms:

How did Rhode Island freedoms get over to the Middle East?

Maryland Freedoms Found In The Middle East?

West Virginia Freedom Found In The Middle East?

How did our freedom and liberties get over to Kosovo?

 

How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.

 

 

 

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Photo-

Hastings Building, Port Townsend

 

Coupeville/Penn Cove is on the eastern shore of Whidbey Island-no ferry link to Port Townsend exists there.

After weeks of storms, we walked on the ferry and spent a few sunny hours on Saturday with family in historic Port Townsend.

This may be one of the most scenic ferry routes in the lower 48.

Possibly of interest:

Occasionally Looking for the Coupeville Ferry

Washington State Ferry Ride

Ferry Traffic Leaving Coupeville Terminal Routed Away From Coupeville

 

 

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Zero questions from newspeople:

Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations – an elite team of agents.

February 6th 2020 KGBT-TV News video:

SPECIAL REPORT: Eyes from every angle – Inside Air and Marine Operations

Looks like cartels found a way to dismiss CBP promotional videos and move product into PA:

Feb 6, 2020 The Tribune-Democrat

WATCH VIDEO | U.S. Attorney: ‘Wave’ of meth from cartels flooding Western Pa.

News out of Florida:

February 3, 2020 WJXT News4JAX

Meth trafficking, control an overwhelming problem, DEA says

“The DEA Jacksonville District Office said it’s having a hard time keeping meth off the streets because drug cartels south of the border are not only mass producing some of the purest meth on the planet, but they’re also making it more affordable and using a network of people on this side of the border to make sure the meth gets to local dealers.”

“DEA Special Agent in Charge Mike Dubet said the cartels are flooding Florida streets with crystal meth, especially Northeast Florida.”

“Although the general public doesn’t hear about cartels living here in Jacksonville, every time we seize a significant amount of methamphetamine, that is coming from a cartel in Mexico,” Dubet said.

“According to the recent DEA threat assessment, Mexican drug cartels are mass producing major quantities of meth at alarming rates.”

“Dubet attributed the price decrease to large supplies on hand that have been mass produced. And even though it’s smuggled thousands of miles, when it arrives here in Northeast Florida, it’s still 100% pure, he said.”

 

Love to see newspeople schedule an interview with the US Dept. of Homeland Security & ask:

Are passports/enhanced/Real IDs effective in keeping cartel-sourced meth out of the US?

Standard driver’s licenses have not been accepted at the border since 2009.

 

While the DEA reports a big cartel meth problem in Florida, HSI is also in Florida to promote their own image Re: preventing criminal activity.

When the news is created by federal employees, there’s no need to deal with any awkward/real questions from the press:

Major takedown update at 1:20

“We arrested two individuals who attempted to sell six counterfeit NFL Super Bowl 54 T-shirts…”

“Comments are turned off”

More here:

Welcome Home Troops

 

Puget Sound area newspeople play along by not asking questions:

Drowning in Meth

Welcome Home Troops

Thanks for risking your ass in Iraq & Afghanistan-working to keep bad people from coming here to do bad things.

Don’t worry-The Super Bowl and public affairs will be safe:

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Photo-

A symbol of the press not asking any questions.

Please Dispose of Properly

 

Image above: Feb 7, 2020

Source: Washington State Department of Health Shellfish Safety Map

Zoom in and click on any part of the dark shaded areas to see “Wastewater plant upset.”

Love to see updated news reporting on this.

 

Update:

February 7, 2020 3:17pm South Whidbey Record

Excess rain causes sewage discharges on Whidbey

A manhole cover shot into the air and sewage poured out onto a city street in Oak Harbor Wednesday night. Untreated sewage is being pumped into the city’s harbor because the new treatment plant can’t keep up with a huge increase in the flow.”

“In Central Whidbey, about 25,000 gallons of “fine solids” from a sewage treatment plant spilled into Penn Cove due to flooding.”

“Bridges said rainwater is likely getting into the sewage lines through cross connections between sewer and stormwater pipes — which is a byproduct of days gone by when the two systems were connected — and through cracks in pipes.”

“As Bridges pointed out, Oak Harbor’s treatment plant wasn’t alone in the region when it comes to rainwater trouble.”

“According to a spokesperson for the Department of Ecology, the Penn Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant was flooded by water from an adjacent wetland Wednesday night. The floodwater entered the aerobic digester, which holds fines solids…”

“About 25,000 gallons of the solids were swept into Penn Cove with the floodwater.”

“The Washington State Department of Health closed shellfish harvesting in the area.”

Much of the area was already closed to recreational shellfish harvest, even in the driest months. Been blogging about this for more than a year. Newspeople did not report on it. Past blogs here, here, and here.

 

Back to my original post, here:

Looks like a pretty big area. Seems understandable that recent rains could cause problems.

Lets take a look back to the driest time of the year:

Image above: Washington State Dept. of Health status updated Sept. 20th, 2019.

North side of Penn Cove at Monroe Landing

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

Is the sewage treatment plant is sending unsafe product into Penn Cove?

Local water quality

Back in 2017, Island County Public Health posted a sign at the Coupeville Wharf about restrictions on recreational shellfish harvesting.

Several Island County beaches are now closed for recreational shellfish harvest because of sewage treatment outfall.

Sewage treatment outfall. Not stormwater.

This appears to be a routine/ongoing situation.

View the Washington State Department of Health beach list here.

One or more sewage treatment plants are sending unsafe product into Penn Cove?

Coupeville

Love to see newspeople provide updated reporting on this:

“This beach is within the closure area for a sewage treatment plant outfall and is unsafe for recreational shellfish harvesting.”

Source: WDFW

 

Went out to take a look

I saw no warning signs on 5/21/19 at Monroe Landing.

Image below taken on a March 24, 2019 Penn Cove site visit.

WDFW has posted a permanent sign indicating a dark shaded area in the eastern part of Penn Cove.

Interesting that the part of the cove farthest from open waters is the part where the water is cleaner.

This sign remains in place even during the driest months of the year:

Stewardship is a priority:

Sign below educates the public on local waters.

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area

Has there ever been a news story to inform the public on the Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area?

Looks like a pretty big area.

I’d be more interested in paying (again) for a local paper subscription if there was more in the way of investigative reporting & newspeople asking questions.

Lack of News Reporting Hurts Newspaper Subscriptions?

More here:

Stormwater?

 

 

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In the news:

February 4, 2020 South Whidbey Record

Exhibits, parade mark 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

February 4, 2020 CNN Female lawmakers wear white to continue State of the Union tradition

“Many female Democratic lawmakers arrived at Tuesday’s State of the Union address dressed in white to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women first having the right to vote.”

 

19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women’s Right to Vote (1920)

“Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote.”

 

World War I

“World War I began in 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and lasted until 1918.”

 

Promoting the idea-

 

Congressman Derek Kilmer:

Wars are for freedom and democracy.

 

WA Secretary of State:

Our right to vote is protected by the extraordinary men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

Page 7 of the Washington State Elections Voters Pamphlet for the November 5th, 2019 General Election:

Our right to vote is protected by the members of the U.S. Armed Forces.”

 

One of the nation’s largest, oldest and most respected veterans organizations:

Veterans, not politicians, ‘give us the right to vote,’ observers at Amherst Veterans Day ceremonies told

 

Any newspeople available to ask:

Congressman Kilmer,

If wars are fought for democracy-how come women were not allowed full voting rights at the end of WWI?

Why the need for a 1965 Voting Rights Act if overseas military operations somehow secured voting rights?

 

Veterans give rights?

It turns out The Troops were in no hurry to enable all adults to act on their right to vote.

US Military operations conducted in the 1940s, 50s & 60s didn’t get the job done.

It wasn’t until July of 1971 that 18 year old adults could take delivery on one of the freedoms we hear so much about.

 

The US should maintain strong and ready military forces.

In some cases, the US Armed Forces provide for our physical security. That’s as good as it gets.

In terms of American rights and freedoms-The Dept. of Defense has no more say than the Dept. of Agriculture.

 

Legal marijuana, concealed carry of handguns, semi automatic rifle sales, federal minimum drinking age, sports betting, voting rights, bump stock baninterracial marriage, gay marriage, tobacco sales, open container laws, etc.

None of these are linked in any way with The Joint Chiefs of Staff, The Troops, The Dept. of Defense or the outcome of military operations overseas.

As the decades of undeclared/unwon wars stack up (The Department of Defense track record goes back to 1949.) the greater the cultural urge to glorify people who do, or did time in uniform.

If there is an honest reason to send people away into decades of undeclared/unwon wars overseas let’s hear all about it.

Just Be Honest.

Stop with the glorification of undeclared/unwon wars in distant lands.

More here:

If The Troops defend American rights and freedoms…

Freedom Comes And Goes – Joint Chiefs of Staff Play No Part

Maybe Get Away From The Bragging About Freedom?

Americans have a much more honest relationship with sports teams than they do with the US Armed Forces

Men Died For the Right to Vote?

Jet Noise Made Them Free?

Military Town – Hometown Pride

Too Many Lies From Veterans – Straight Out of a Land of Make Believe

Right To Vote is Protected by the U.S. Armed Forces?

 

How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

Not asking about the oath of enlistment. Asking about what happens after the oath has been taken.

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

 

Photo-

Looking north towards the Bluff Trail

 

Just days after the big CBP show of force at the Super Bowl-

News out of Florida:

February 3, 2020 WJXT News4JAX

Meth trafficking, control an overwhelming problem, DEA says

“The DEA Jacksonville District Office said it’s having a hard time keeping meth off the streets because drug cartels south of the border are not only mass producing some of the purest meth on the planet, but they’re also making it more affordable and using a network of people on this side of the border to make sure the meth gets to local dealers.”

“DEA Special Agent in Charge Mike Dubet said the cartels are flooding Florida streets with crystal meth, especially Northeast Florida.”

“Although the general public doesn’t hear about cartels living here in Jacksonville, every time we seize a significant amount of methamphetamine, that is coming from a cartel in Mexico,” Dubet said.

“According to the recent DEA threat assessment, Mexican drug cartels are mass producing major quantities of meth at alarming rates.”

“Dubet attributed the price decrease to large supplies on hand that have been mass produced. And even though it’s smuggled thousands of miles, when it arrives here in Northeast Florida, it’s still 100% pure, he said.”

 

Love to see newspeople schedule an interview with the US Dept. of Homeland Security & ask:

Are passports/enhanced/Real IDs effective in keeping cartel-sourced meth out of the US?

Standard driver’s licenses have not been accepted at the border since 2009.

 

While the DEA reports a big cartel meth problem in Florida, CBP is also in Florida to promote their own image Re: preventing criminal activity.

When the news is created by federal employees, there’s no need to deal with any awkward/real questions from the press:

Major takedown update at 1:20

“We arrested two individuals who attempted to sell six counterfeit NFL Super Bowl 54 T-shirts…”

“Comments are turned off”

1:00 Newspeople ride along to promote CBP. No questions asked about cartels moving product into US communities.

“CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.”

No CBP inspection of rail shipments entering the US?

US Troops at the border, El Chapo takedown, opioid lawsuits, REAL ID, Homeland Security grant money, strict post 911 security protocols and a $40.6 billion US Dept. of Homeland Security fail to keep cartel from moving meth by rail into Canada:

Feb 27, 2019 The Canadian Press

Police find meth smuggled into Canada through new Ford cars built in Mexico

“Police say they have busted an alleged drug smuggling operation where methamphetamine was being hidden in new cars built in Mexico that were then transported by rail to Canada.”

“Ontario Provincial Police say employees at four Ford dealerships discovered the drugs stashed within spare tires that didn’t match the cars.”

“Police say they found 180 kilograms of meth during the investigation.”

More here.

Related:

Talk Of Border Walls As Cartel Moves 180 Kilograms Of Meth From Mexico To Canada by Rail

 

Puget Sound area newspeople play along by not asking questions:

Drowning in Meth

Welcome Home Troops

Thanks for risking your ass in Iraq & Afghanistan- working to keep bad people from coming here to do bad things.

Don’t worry- The Super Bowl and public affairs will be safe:

 

Don’t miss our companion blog-found here: Old Man Blog

Find us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/yeomalt

 

 

 

Photo-

South entrance-Port Townsend Ship Canal

 

February 2nd 2020 FOX26 News

Lemoore pilots to perform flyover at the Big Game

“The Navy will not be using the Blue Angels for the big game but rather a pair of stealthy F-35s to fly with an F/A-18 Super Hornet and an EA-18G Growler.”

“The EA-18G Growler, flown by Lt Taylor Burgart and Lt Kali Billings, is based in Whidbey Island, Washington.”

The US Navy, US Marine Corps, US Air Force and Air National Guard have impressive aircraft stationed all over the US.

The various games where military flyovers are scheduled are played in various locations. Wondering why pre-game flyovers may involve aircraft from distant bases, instead of tasking those stationed closer.

NAS Whidbey might be the base farthest away from Miami Gardens, FL.

Back in 2016

Jet fuel available for round trip flight to Indianapolis to “wow race fans.”

Whidbey aviators wow race fans

 

 

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Photo-

Watching the waves at Fort Casey