Saturday, August 29, 2015

Smoke No More

It is becoming difficult to remember when we had clear blue skies. That is turning into a ruined last month of Summer. It isn't just about weather, it is all about tourism. The restaurants and stores along with marinas are suffering a dearth of people.

First, we had the Cape Horn Fire, which through thoughtless  publications from the Spokane TV Stations, kept on hammering on smoke, fire and the proximity of these fires, gave the impression that Bayview was out of bounds due to near by fires. I put that (fire) out by seducing  TV crew into actually learning the facts, rather than just using press releases about  percentages of containment rather than on scene reporting.

Then the three Sister Fire, which never actually was seen in Bayview.

Now we have the smoke. For days, now, smoke has settled into our little valley and has stayed. Smoke from fires north and west of us has joined into a devilish cloud of smoke, dust and hey, a couple of sprinkles of rain.

No end is end sight save the age old forest service statement that only the winter storms will put these fires out. It doesn't just end there.

Next spring, we will see devastating mud slides, baring rock that will not grow new trees. Homes that were not destroyed from fire will succumb to these land slides.

It's going to get worse. Much worse. Only time will tell how bad. In the mean time, the restaurants, marinas and other businesses have lost their best months of profitability  and are faced with the winter people that number about 300 to the 3000 summer crowd. The boat owners,Float home people and other fair weather friends, will be gone, and some of the Great recession effects will be present.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Alien Voters

The stage is set for non-citizens to vote in U.S. elections. Obviously only citizens can vote. Some states are issuing drivers licenses to illegals. Federal courts are striking down protections for proof of citizenship.

Today, a non-citizen can register to vote by merely claiming that they are citizens and the states cannot make them prove they are. Idaho currently requires a picture ID at the polls In other states, the courts have ruled that it makes too tough for low income voters to comply with.

At this point there is no way that citizenship can be disproved. Is this a liberal conspiracy? I don't know, but it certainly works in favor of the Democrats who would inherit much if not all of the votes from these people.

Congress needs to step up and enact legislation that would protect us from these illegal acts.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Forest Fire Causes

For many years the Sierra Club and other extremist ecology groups have packed the courtrooms of this nation stopping forest managers from timber sales, thinning of forests and prescribed burns.

This Summer, the worst fire year since 1926, finds trees packed together in out of control brush is a direct cause of crowded forests burning during dry years. For every action, there is an opposite reaction. This is it.

Steep slopes that burn will lose their top soil to erosion which will take thousands of years to regenerate, if ever. Whether we will learn from this experience or not is problematical. Most extremists never get the message that normally comes from logic.  

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Lead Point School

My son Brian and I took a road trip to the furthest reaches of NE Washington State Yesterday. The purpose was to meet with the Superintendent of the Northport School District to explore the possibility  of forming a volunteer group to repaint and do other minor rehab items, then applying for National Historical status. After all, what is a better historical item in an agricultural area, than the venerable one room school house.

Where our interest came from was that Nina Baron Huseland's first teaching job was at the Lead Point school in 1929. She was my Mom.

Our trip was for more than one purpose. I wanted to show Brian the original short route from Colville, Washington to Ione, in Pend Oreille County. Currently, the Tiger route beginning at the Colville Airport, is the main well paved road. This was not always the case. For many years the direct but steep route was from Aladdin at the west terminus, following Meadow Creek past Big Meadow Lake and down into Ione. It is about one third the distance of the Tiger route. Still a dirt road, is is well groomed. The western portion used to be referred to as Huseland Hill, since it bisected Gunder Huseland's homestead.

We picked a bad time to do this though. Forgetting that road construction season was upon us, we passed an ominousness sign. Road work 33 miles. They were chip sealing 33 miles of the highway. Finally, we made it to Ione whence we ascended the aforementioned short route.

On into Northport we traveled, passing another what used to be a one room school which had two names. Doyle school and Deep Creek School. It is now a storage building on the farm it resides.

We were well received by Don Bribault, Northport Superintendent of Schools, along with a school board member who's name I didn't write down. They appeared interested in the concept, since for several years they had failed to sell it. As a home, the building had some obsolescence. The bathroom was limited to an outhouse. No indoor plumbing, a well that was probably only about 20 feet deep, as the area is near the shallow end of what is Deep Lake, sub-irrigating the land under the school. We were impressed, as Don, after discussing our planned visit the next day, drove the several miles to check out the school before meeting with us.

It badly needs paint, was the exterior is deteriorating. (Lead based paint, of course) I am about to start a Facebook group, as soon as I find a way to do it without getting stuck part way through the process. We will gage interest, as well as willingness to contribute to the fund. In short, it would be cheaper to build new, rather than to rebuild this un-insulated building into a legal residence. What is a kudo to this mostly ghost town, is that vacant since 1960, after multiple neighborhood use, not one window pane was broken.

Wish us luck as we attempt to save this educational icon, the One Room School house that offered 1-8th grades to area farm kids. Without school buses, the schools had to be within walking distance of the homes it served, ergo the plentiful numbers of them that existed back in the early 1900's. Those that are left are easy to spot as they all used the same plans when built, probably given free by the U.S. Government.

Paper saving was in effect even back then, as wrap-around blackboards decorate the walls.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Fifties Revolution

I decided this weekend to revisit the dulcet tones of 1950's tunes. I started with the Crew Cuts:

Hm, well how about Bill Haily & the Comets:This was the start of real Rock and Roll. Their hit, "Rock around the clock" took over the charts from the gradual slide from Rhythm & Blues, which then became a part of the rock generation. There were many others, but I'm coming on with the pioneers in music.

The mid-fifties  which coincided with my junior-senior years in high school, was the most revolutionary period in music. Elvis blasted upon the scene which brought many country singers to score well in both genres. Faron Young, Ferlin Husky, (my neighbor's ex husband) The Big Bopper, who could forget Ritchie Valens and La Mamba.

Then there was the star attraction in those days,  Buddy Holly & the Crickets. The three were touring together during cold winter weather, on unheated buses. Holly decided to fly to the next venue, which was North Dakota. Waylon Jennings, the bass player for Holly, gave up his seat to one of the other head liners. They all died along with the pilot on that cold snowy night.

There were others that met the same fate, as making it to a commitment was gospel for these performers.

To sum up the fifties, is that we had some horrible lyrics like Shboom, Shboom, and some great music. During the three years I was in High School, 1954-56 we had holds overs from WW11, like the Andrew Sisters, the McGuire Sisters, and other trios and quartets.

The music that grew out of that mishmash produced great harmony in the 1960's like the Everly Brothers and many others.

After reviewing a long line of musical changes, while I wouldn't give up the musical crossroads, better music came in the 1970's. Credence Clearwater, the Doors, the Hill Top Singers who recorded a CocaCola commercial that went viral. They had to go back to the studio to record those famous words: "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony..." .

But my all time favorite goes back to the 1964-68 career of the Seekers, with Judith Durham, an Australian like the rest of the group, perhaps the greatest female lead ever.  They mostly recorded in England, where with two top hits, "I'll never find another you," and shortly thereafter,"A world of our own, both of which knocked the Beatles off the Number one charts. Check them out on YouTube.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Bayview Wins

A bloodbath was averted Thursday afternoon at the candidate interviews for Water & Sewer Board. Susan Weeks, attorney for the water district organized and pretty much led the interview process. The beauty of it all is that everyone played nice.

There were some very qualified applicants, with the unanimous winner, being Richard Doney. Richard has owned his home in Cape Horn Estates for 15 years, with residency beginning 6 years ago upon retirement from the Monrovia, California Policy Department. He spent 30 years and held just about every position except police Woman.

A detective, a Helicopter pilot for the department, who just in case, always sat on his bullet proof vest. Richard was a detective for 22 or those years before transitioning to helicopter pilot. He taught law enforcement at Rio Hondo College, as well as the California Police Academy.

What most of us didn't know, was that the Cape Horn Fire Brigade was activated during the Sunday start of the big blaze and operated with their tanker trailer for 36 straight hours. Richard Doney was right there with the other 12 resident/firefighters. They doused hot spots and saved at least 6 houses from destruction.

Currently, Richard is president of the Cape Horn Estates Home owners Association. Please welcome this super qualified new member of the Bayview Water & Sewer Board of directors. His motto is, "What is good for the Goose, is good for the Gander." A straight shooter, who does nothing behind any one's back.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Water & Sewer Board Election

Today is the day that the Bayview Water & Sewer Board elect a 5th member. As it stands now, two are holdovers and two are the newly elected members. Agreeing on a 5th could be challenging.

For well over 20 years, elections were unnoticed, unadvertised and ended up with appointments rather that transparent efforts to adequately represent the wishes of the absent voters.

As it sits now, 2 are holdovers that never ran for office, but were appointed. Two ran and handily beat their incumbent opponents. Both have different agendas. Exhibited by the hasty meeting held 5 days after Chuck Waller's passing, an attempt was made by the holdovers to maintain a 3-2 majority and hold onto what some wags have referred to as "Big frog, Small pond" attitudes.

Since neither side can have a majority, it is hoped that common sense will prevail and a person with good qualifications and ties to neither side will be elected. If that doesn't happen, then a person will be selected by the state. It is preferable that this slot be filled with a knowledgeable personable individual with a positive attitude, rather than plunging deeper into disarray.

We are about to find out which will occur.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Cape Horn Fire Pictures

The first three pictures show the total destruction of several houses near the shoreline. I have seen burned homes before. Never have I seen such total destruction. No charred wood or plumbing, chimneys ... Nothing. Just what looks like concrete rubble.

What I found remarkable though, was when I drove out to the end of the Cape. Not one house was damaged on the uphill side. Where the fire burned all the way down to the road, and knocked on the back doors of some homes, all were saved except the 6 that were grouped on the same access road on Lake Front. I hear one home owner rented a float home while waiting for insurance issues to work through. I think I can speak for all of us that live or recreate here, that one we feel for the people that were burned out, and two, the heroic efforts of the fire fighters saving most of the homes that were at risk.

While on the cruise Thursday, we saw a spot fire up the mountain and in an area that hadn't burned. There was a thunderstorm 3 days previous, which was most likely the cause. The wind was dead calm and the smoke was vertical. Friday we were out all day and not even a wisp of smoke. 

The last picture shows the only place a shipwrecked couple could have got out of the water. Both sides for quite a distance were sheer rock walls clear down to the water. This would explain why the panicked firing of flares, given the rough water conditions then. Lacking training that might have made them understand what happens to a flare that is fired into the wind and an up angle it is no wonder why it curved back over their heads and started the fire.

We can second guess them and many will. But untrained and in distress, the chose to use the only life saving means at their disposal. That they had flares, required on all boats, was to their credit. Unfortunately they should have fired them at a shallow angle. Even then, using a hand held radio and calling for help would have been safer for all.