Thursday, November 1, 2012

Smoking Gunners

Recently, the Trojan Heron has been more deeply investigating the many ways that our local government uses biased, un-transparent, and corrupt data against us. We, at the Trojan Heron, feel there is no more important issue in the County than the integrity of the technical data used for our public policy and other government actions. Simply put, there are people in our State and local government with an agenda and they control and manipulate data to advance that agenda. They are looking for the "smoking gun" to eco-frame all of us. They don't care about data quality, or integrity, or independence.  If data or a story can be used in any way to incriminate people, it must be used. The activities of the smoking gunners involves the CAOs, the stormwater program, grant-deliverables, and our citizen committees.

Despite what many of us may believe, too often the "political" divisions in this County are not really "left versus right" or "rich versus poor." Instead, we are divided between the "smoking gunners" who fabricate and believe any and all manner of eco-incriminating evidence (no matter how poor the quality), and the rest of us who feel that data should be evaluated and independently validated before it is believed.

The Trojan Heron is now going to focus on the smoking gunners and how they control and manipulate nearly every aspect of County data, and thereby control much of what the County does as a result.  The smoking gunners include Council members, County staff, and state officials.

The term "smoking gun" dates from 2010 when the County began to use that term to characterize the real motivation behind various County initiatives, but the smoking gunners have been with us for a lot longer than that. They are now entrenched everywhere, and we must root them out and get rid of them. They are working against the public and the public good.

From: Mary Knackstedt []
Sent: Friday, January 15, 2010 1:36 PM
To: Linda Lyshall; Vicki Heater; Barbara Rosenkotter; Kit Rawson []; windrope amy []; Ed Hale; Brian Rader;; Patty Miller
Cc: Shireene Hale
Subject: EPA grant proposal for your review

Here's what I've done so far for the proposal with input and help from many of you. It's been a rapidly moving target over the past week, which has been hard to keep up with, but I think it's coming along though it has some rough patches.  Please look this over and provide comments by next tuesday or earlier if you can manage it.  Linda, please send it along to your friend at EPA.

Here's some pieces (some new) that need fleshing out, I'm sure you'll find more:

NEW--Vicki suggested a really great idea to focus team effort/coordinated technical assistance program (modeled after Kitsap Co) with landowners in the pilot areas receiving assistance from the CD and County (Brian for pollution prevention, especially business owners in Eastsound and construction sites) and the on-site septic system specialist from the health dept.  She also suggested pursuing long term sustainable funding through development of a Clean Water district. She is going to add this section.  I tried to do a quick scan to add this in a few sections, but need to go through the whole proposal methodically, especially the project plan and proposal sections after she completes this piece so that it fits.

Monitoring--I hesitate to ask for much funding for monitoring because EPA is very picky about funding monitoring and most of what we are doing is under development so still hazy.  I think we could mention the need to connect WQ monitoring with the shoreline development data and the shore form data that we'll have from FSJs during this time period and any connections to impacts to habitats and biota along with the nifty new tools coming from the state and PSNERP. So the emphasis in this proposal is on connecting the dots and using those insights to tell the story to landowners and decision makers locally. inform our project and also to share in a transboundary workshop.  Instead of asking for funds for monitoring equipment (which I think would weaken this proposal).  I've built in a monitoring coordinator into the budget and some of Ed's time which could free up funds for equipment from county funds.  Ed also suggested that we ask for funds to develop the QA for the stormwater monitoring program. Anyway, this part of the proposal needs work and I'd really appreciate your input to acheive the right balance and stay within the realm of feasibility.  Espcially if we want to use some of the PW utilities fees for match--I did not build that into the budget, yet cuz not sure how it would fit.

Budget--I've built in funding for county staff time on this and vacilate from angsting over it being too much and then too little and still trying to keep it under a million bucks and within our match. The budget needs input, detail and work.  Milene is looking it over, intending to charge indirect so that will add a fair amount. We need more detail for the sections dealing with the constructed wetland.  This is over half the money for the entire project so is important.

Partners--Eastsound Planning and Review Committee wants to partner.  Patty Miller emphasized the need to show the smoking gun, tell the story and involve stakeholders as we dev. the program in the pilot areas.The natural resources dept. of the Samish Tribe has done a lot of stormwater monitoring in Fidalgo Bay and would like to provide guidance for the project, also it looks like we are going to be a partner on the Green Shores proposal so I added that.

Emerging threats  I just got some information about low spawning in local herring pops which are not being seen in other areas of PS which I haven't had the chance to read yet, but may help build the case in the emerging threats section.

Too long!  The page limit for the proposal is 12 pages.  So we're already too long.  There are repetitive, long winded sections, so please let me know where to cut since we need to add other more essential information.
Haven't done the logic model yet. 


  1. Could someone please illuminate what the smoking gun Patty mentions is? ...and what that all means.

  2. This has to do with an EPA grant for stormwater and stormwater sampling. Instead of monitoring to objectively and independently evaluate hypotheses about the quality of our stormwater and the health of our ecosystem, it shows that the point of the EPA-funded program from the outset was to create data that would confirm the bias of the participants. In short, Patty believes we are an ecological disaster area, but we need these grant-funded programs to produce the results that will back that up dammit! That's what this is saying. We need to find the smoking gun once and for all. What good is a grant if it doesn't show the ecosystem is dying so we can create a whole new government program to save the environment (e.g., Green Shores).

    More will come out as this series progresses. For example. the stormwater program involving Public Works and the Conservation District (PIC) appears to be mostly run by Public Works, and it also seems to be evolving into the "shit monitoring" enforcemnet program. Ed Hale from the County is reportedly obsessed with targeting certain of our citizens over fecal coliform. If you have shit your property, regardless whether it is deer shit, rabbit shit, cow shit, alpaca shit, bird shit, or human shit (septic systems), you have fecal coliform on your property and probably in your stormwater runoff. Word has it, however, that Ed Hale is out to get the Alpaca Farm on San Juan Island, for example, and will be using the County stormwater program to go after it.

    This smoking gun mentality is about creating evidence to frame people, not protect the environment. It is about protecting government programs about the environment ... not the environment. There is no data integrity or independent third-party validation of the data involved. Not only does the smoking gun mentality pervade the stormwater program, but it pervades the County GIS system too, which is replete with un-verified information. Shireene Hale, Ed Hale's wife, reportedly has some QA responsibilities for the GIS data.

    It's one more County mess from the ground up where just a few key people control data on thousands of us. When we are confronted with County data, we have no idea where it came from or why it says what it says ... it's just presented to us as "official County data" and therefore has credibility that it does not deserve. If you are able to trace it back, it more than likely came from the self-interested grant-funded mind of a smoking gunner and has no place in any objective, unbiased society.

  3. Well now. You say this isn't about Left vs. Right. How dificult is it to conclude that virtually all of this eco-nonsense is coming from the Left? Name one player in this mess coming from the political Right.

  4. You may have a point, but I can also name several people on the Left who are just as upset about the smoking gunners as anyone else. It would be perilous to have that go unrecognized. I am trying to distinguish between "some on the Left" and "everyone on the Left." In my opinion, there is no need (and it is counterproductive) to alienate people politically by labeling them too broadly and lumping them with the problem causers. Political labels are imprecise and by using political labels (something done around here in spades, especially by various Friends), it spins the discussion into other realms when the focus I am trying to draw attention to is related to transparency, independence, and objectivity. Critics of our County's corrupted processes can (and do) come from different political perspectives. For a non-County example, think about Rosa Koire.

    I may be wrong, but I think most people are independent these days with tendencies in certain directions ... but if you force people to start taking political sides (as the political parties are wont to do), they will take sides ... and in the process, their commonality on many issues will be lost on many topics of importance.

    It is in nearly everyone's interest to ensure that whatever policies we make are supported by valid, transparent, validated, and independently verified (truly independently verified) data.

    Not only that, it is the law for federally funded data too, as will be shown in later posts.

  5. There is a way to rethink the left/right corners we let ourselves get painted into. I'll come back in awhile with a link on the net to learn more but basically try to think about it this way.

    Think of a 4 square grid. Left to right in the basic ways we think but more important is the vertical axis. Top down. From authoritarian to libertarian.

    That vertical axis totally changes the outlook and allows us to include all the liberals, Democrats, left of center folks who completely opposed to this AUTHORITARIAN eco-agenda because the basic orientation of these folks is more towards the liberation end of the vertical axis even though they may be left leaning.

    And guess what. This starts to look a lot like a lot of islanders, both Democrats and Republicans. We move here in part to pursue our fiercely independent ways. That is part of our rural identity here.

    Old hippies with VW minibuses and old rednecks with beat up pickups can stand shoulder to shoulder on this one.

    The CAO sucks. It is an offense to our common bond, a more generally libertarian outlook on life that draws us closer as islanders than being painted left or right, Republican or Democrat.

    We do not favor authoritarianism in any of its forms.

    Until we figure that out, islanders are cannon fodder to a divide and conquer strategy that is successfully setting us apart along political lines. But that is smoke and mirrors and we are being played as chumps.

  6. What Patty apparently means is that before the citizens will support more restrictive regulations, they will need to be persuaded that there is a problem. Councilmember Miller is right. Every time someone is introduced to the proposed CAO changes, they seem to ask, spontaneously, WHERE is the problem? Apparently, Councilmember Miller no longer feels the need to find persuasive evidence of a problem. She shrugs, Councilperson Pratt points to hundreds of pages of unpersuasive non-data from Dr. Adamus ("it may be" or "the County could"). Next time you see a Councilmember, as them for one specific study demonstrating one specific problem.

  7. As an artillery officer I can tell you that "Gunners" are not all that smart.

    There is no guiding hand from above pulling strings and putting things in any certain order. No general telling the guns where to aim.

    The TH is on the right track, that's for sure, but it is more of a job security gig going on here, I believe. These people are not bent on screwing us, they are just totally full of their own avarice and self importance.

    Sure there are those, (the Hale duo?) who are completely on the margin of some strange force, difficult to understand. (It would be refreshing to see some payola or something)

    There is no doubt about a couple of things:

    1) FOSJ has dominated and run the political and elected government along with several of these completely unneeded committees, staffed with loyalists who generate this off the wall stuff, for far, far too long.

    2) There is now an embedded staff allegiance to keep this sinking ship sailing on the same tack.

    We must scuttle this ship!

    PS: As far as this Left/Right stuff, we'll see after this election, but I think the CAO disaster has done more for the right side than anything in a long while.

    A good reporter might ask the question: "Has FOSJ finally destroyed the environmental extremist movement in SJC.?"

  8. We should counter attack. I worked for 17 years for a major manufacturer of scientific measurement sysyems. Stuff like Gas and Liquid Chromatography, Mass Spectrometers, UV/Vis Spectroscopy, ICPMS, NMR, X-Ray Diffraction, and all kimds of sample prep amd handling automation. We did all kinds of work in Environmental Analysis. I know that the local data such as the Kwihat (or whayever) stuff is absolutely flawed and useless. We ought to get our own grant, make our own scientificaly valid protocol supported measurements and prove the FOSJI are as full of the same shit they purport to find!

  9. Another rant.

    The County Fecal Coliform Jihad is bullshit if they just rely on some paper test strip or a 24 hour incubation test.

    They should take the extra step to do test to determine what kind of shit they got. Check the DNA and see what is pooping!

    Might be crap from some protected or endangered species!

  10. Interestingly, Dr. Gaydos of SeaDoc recently presented a talk on the fact that our Canada geese and deer were responsible for a lot of fecal matter, as are--no doubt--the farm animals and horses that live here. Somehow the planners and "enviros" all point fingers at humans' houses, but with modern septic technology and mandatory septic inspections, that seems less and less likely all the time. So yeah, let's do some real science and see whose fecal matter our faux-scientists are finding. How could they object to filling this "data gap"?

  11. I live close to Garrison Bay and when I read many months ago the fecal coliform claim made about the headwaters of that Bay I sat up a bit in disbelief. Seeing the lights every night at that end of Bay (the South end, the headwaters)I knew there was almost no one living there. I counted the septic systems shown on the consultant mapping and came up with four to six that might or maybe even could affect that portion of the Bay. (All the notes said this info was didacted from County records, including an investigation trip by FOSJ)

    Still curious, this past Summer, I rowed my dingy as far in as I could and took a good look around. (Hey, if FOSJ can do it, why not me?)

    Several older cabins mostly looking unoccupied, as is the case with almost all the SJC shoreline...the lack of occupied homes I mean...these could have failing septic systems, but so what if they did? The volume for the short periods these places are actually used would have to be small. These places rely on well water so where is the huge flow rate going to come from? Rain water (storm water)is dilution not pollution.

    As usual, none of it makes any sense.

    Note to Mr. Hale: If not the Alpaca farm animals pooping in the watershed, what else? How about the huge deer counts we have, the river otters, the foxes, the raccoon, the shore birds, ad nauseam. Oh boy, are you going to be busy with your pooper scoopers.

  12. In addition to being married to Shireen Hale,what qualifications does Mr. Hale have to do anything scientific? He's been the "utility" manager, and now that County is moving out of solid waste, that leaves the stormwater "utility" as his only job justification. Is that why we're so interested in building a huge stormwater infrastructure on Orcas?

  13. What would we need to measure, and where would we need to measure it? What set of unassailably valid scientific measurements would throw a giant bolus of misery into the guts of the Friends and their pseudo-science alarmist allies?

    Let's have a bake sale! Pass the hat! Get a grant!

    Slay them with real data!

  14. We should pay our own way. NO grants ever! F the gestapo grants.