Voting is highly emphasized in American culture. Asking questions related to public policy takes a lower priority.

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.

October 21, 2019 The Pew Trusts

As Local News Outlets Shutter, Rural America Suffers Most

Various stories cry out for news reporting.

The family friendly, hometown pride-oriented local small town papers and TV news folks seem to have moved away from asking questions.

Zero questions from newspeople:

Is Port Angeles CBP at all relevant in keeping heroin and meth from entering the Puget Sound area?

US Border Patrol, Port Angeles, WA

An upgrade in staff requiring a new, $11.9 million, 50 agent facility. Secret arrest statistics, denied FOIA requests, heroin and meth in the community, no cross-border USBP arrest in more than 9 years, fraudulent overtime claims, 1,200-horsepower interceptor boats and zero questions from the press.

Plenty of questions here:

Port Angeles – Post 911 CBP Spending Spree

Are newspeople forbidden to ask questions related to Homeland Security funding and performance?

Why are Border Patrol arrest statistics secret at Port Angeles?

March 19, 2014 Sequim Gazette

Agent counters allegations of ‘boredom’

“In March, Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Richard Sinks declined to release statistics on apprehensions or detainments made by the Port Angeles station.”

“Disclosure of the arrest statistics from the Port Angeles station would provide those interested in crossing our borders illegally with information that could aid their strategic targeting of potentially vulnerable areas along the border,” he said in an e-mail. “To maintain operational security these numbers will not be provided.”

Go and ask the FBI for Chicago bank robbery statistics. You’ll get the numbers. They won’t tell you that statistics/public records must be withheld because stats would assist bank robbers if they were shared with the public.

What other law enforcement agencies, anywhere in the US maintain secret arrest statistics?

Washington State Patrol shares DUI arrest statistics on social media here:

“Our #WSP District 8 troopers removed 1,429 impaired drivers from the roads in 2018.”

“Here is a breakdown of what it looks like in each of our 7 counties.”

Elsewhere, when CBP has something to brag about- the public is promptly notified:

Border Patrol K-9 Sniffs out Cocaine Hidden in Dashboard

Border Patrol Stops Drug Smuggler on I-8

Border Patrol Agent’s Public Safety Check Turns into Heroin Bust

 

Puget Sound area newspeople play along by not asking questions.

Local press tells us that the area is 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:

Life wasn’t meant to change after the big Saddam Hussein & Osama bin Laden takedowns.

Annual Super Bowl security roll out:

December 3, 2019 CBS4 Miami

Critical Super Bowl 54 Security Meeting Held At Hard Rock Stadium

If special games require special security– what keeps regular games safe? Crowd size/capacity is similar at several stadiums.

What prevents terror strikes at hundreds of events & locations unsupervised by federal authorities?

Love to see newspeople ask: What stops terrorists from going 2 states over and driving a truck across the playground at a daycare center?

 

Have enhanced background checks for firearms in WA State reduced gun crimes?

WA voters approved enhanced background checks back in 2014:

November 4, 2014 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Washington voters choose gun control; huge majority in Seattle area

 

Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases, Initiative 594 (2014)

“Furthermore, the initiative rendered it illegal to hand off a firearm to people outside a person’s immediate family, though exceptions were mentioned, including situations in which people are at a shooting range or hunting.”

Looks like frequent gun crimes roll on.

Enhanced background checks approved back in 2014 have had time to take hold.

Any reporting or updates on this?

More here: Guns in Washington State

 

One or more sewage treatment plants 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

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

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

Stewardship is a priority:

Sign below educates the public on local waters.

Saratoga Passage Marine Stewardship Area

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

 

Has the Island County Homeland Security-funded patrol boat been involved in any arrest or seizure related in any way to the US/Canada border?

Island County Homeland Security-funded patrol boat

Back in 2014:

Island county to purchase new patrol boat to help with Puget Sound security:

Federal grant money goes to “…gain a better grasp on cross border activity and to prevent illegal crossings.”

“Funding for the boat was issued through the Homeland Security Grant Program under Operation Stonegarden.”

Has there been any post 911 history of maritime “cross-border activity” on Whidbey Island?

More here: Whidbey Homeland Security Grant Money- Newspeople Remain Silent

 

Any members of the free press available to show up and ask why the people of Louisiana need services in Iraq, absent any military emergency, national emergency, draft, or declaration of war?

State-run media update:

Aug 1, 2019 Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

Plaquemine National Guard unit deploys to Iraq

Defending this nation in Iraq:

“…you chose to be one of the ones that stepped forward, raised your right hand and swore to defend this nation.”

They did show up. As always, no questions were asked:

Jul 31, 2019 KALB

Louisiana-based National Guard unit to deploy to Iraq

 

Local press promotes the idea that wars are for freedom:

“For the past couple of years, the Whidbey News-Times paid the insurance for the Veterans Day Parade, about $200, because it was a small way of saying thank you to the men and women who sacrificed so that we may have our liberties, including our Freedom of Speech.”

Were US troops sent to Vietnam so that Americans could be free to send letters to the editor?

Is there any case in which the US Armed Forces have been sent to distant lands on a mission to protect freedom of speech?

Is protecting freedom of speech even part of training scenarios?

How Do The Troops Defend The Constitution?

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

 

JFK speaks about the role of the press in a free society:

 

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