Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Blast From The Past - How The CAOs Came Together

Some of you may remember Dr. Dr. Kenn Brooks. That's not a typo. I call him Dr. Dr. because he has two doctorates. Brooks was a participant in some CAO-related seminars here a few years ago. He lives in Jefferson County. Brooks challenged much of Ecology's Critical Areas Ordinances (CAOs) and Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) science, and I think we've gleaned enough through our own experiences to know that Brooks was right.

In the email below, we witness Ecology's reaction to Kenn Brooks and other citizens who dare to challenge Ecology (in this specific case, over SMP science, a prelude to our battles to come). It is a typical Ecology reaction, typically organized by Erik Stockdale, to typically malign anyone who confronts Ecology authority, and in typical style it involves way too many public officials discrediting citizens for no apparent reason other than the fact that the citizens are thinking for themselves. Like Delta Force going after terrorists, the Ecology pseudo-science squad deploys to crush independently minded scientists before they spread.

While the email below is about the SMP, Ecology approaches the CAOs and SMP with the same attitude. After all, the CAOs are really just the warm-up act for the SMP. Unlike the SMP, however, Ecology (Gordon White) asserts that the agency has no authority over the CAOs, which is a little puzzling considering they have a whole division of people working on nothing but matters related to it. Fork-tongued Ecology always seems to spend a considerable proportion of time on topics that they profess to have no involvement in. Maybe that's why Stockdale suggests the entire email thread should be deleted.

As a postscript, for a "public" servant Stockdale has an awful lot of conversations that he's thinks should be private. After looking through hundreds of Ecology emails, I wish I had a penny for every instance where Stockdale admonishes, "Please do not forward."
From: Stockdale, Erik (ECY) 
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 4:07 PM
To: McMillan, Andy (ECY); Lund, Perry (ECY)
Cc: Hruby, Tom (ECY)
Subject: RE: hola
Andy, I just tried reaching you on your cell. Let¹s talk tomorrow.
Tom, please read this thread from the bottom. Can either Tom or Perry set up a conference call? I can be reached at 206-524-6858. 1pm works well for me.
At some point I think we should all delete this email thread.
Thanks, Erik
From: McMillan, Andy (ECY) 
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 4:03 PM
To: Lund, Perry (ECY); Stockdale, Erik (ECY)
Subject: RE: hola
I am available Friday between 1-3.  I recommend we include Tom in the initial conversation unless you guys think otherwise.
From: Lund, Perry (ECY) 
Sent: Thursday, April 01, 2010 6:51 AM
To: Stockdale, Erik (ECY); McMillan, Andy (ECY)
Subject: RE: hola
I'm in the field today.  Here tomorrow.  I hope you're feeling better, Erik.

From: Stockdale, Erik (ECY)
Sent: Wed 3/31/2010 6:38 PM
To: Lund, Perry (ECY); McMillan, Andy (ECY)
Subject: RE: hola
Yes, agreed.
I¹ll be working from home tomorrow as I¹ve got a raging head cold. Are you two available for a phone call? I¹d say let¹s start with the three of us, and Kathy if she¹s available, and then take some suggestions to Gordon.
Thanks, Erik
From: Lund, Perry (ECY) 
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 4:34 PM
To: McMillan, Andy (ECY); Stockdale, Erik (ECY)
Subject: Re: hola
Thanks, Erik. We should continue this conversation, but it needs to be broader than us. Kathy must be involved, and Gordon had some good ideas. 

Perry J Lund

From: McMillan, Andy (ECY) 
To: Stockdale, Erik (ECY) 
Cc: Lund, Perry (ECY) 
Sent: Wed Mar 31 15:51:08 2010
Subject: RE: hola
I am disappointed to hear what Kenn had to say.  I believe that many of the statements you highlighted are misleading or untrue.
I will be glad to talk with you, Tom , Perry etc. to figure out how we respond.
From: Stockdale, Erik (ECY) 
Sent: Wednesday, March 31, 2010 1:30 PM
To: McMillan, Andy (ECY)
Cc: Lund, Perry (ECY)
Subject: hola
Hey Andy, hope you are doing OK. You missed an interesting meeting last week. Okay, I lie some times.
We (Gordon, Tom, Paula, Perry, Kathy) met with Ken Brooks, Don Flora et al. in Port Hadlock to discuss the Jefferson County SMP that is before Ecology for review.
He said some stuff that I don¹t think we should leave unanswered. I¹d like to go over what he said, pull in Tom Hruby, and consider setting up a conference call with Ken. Though he says he¹s retired, he keeps popping up in Bellevue, San Juan, Kitsap, and other places.
Some highlights:
-          We ignored Ken¹s supplemental BAS document, and our response was an unscientific diatribe.
-          You told Ken that Ecology didn¹t want to litigate the Jefferson County CAO. ³Andy said let¹s negotiate², implying that his supplemental BAS was a problem for us and we were concerned that we wouldn¹t win and would rather settle.
-          14 references didn¹t support the conclusions made by Ecology.
-          Sheldon et al. was incomplete because we ignored key documents.
-          He hasn¹t seen any scientific rigor in Ecology¹s guidance documents.
-          He¹s appalled by the lack of intellectual rigor and scientific integrity in Ecology¹s work.
-          We haven¹t done our homework, period.
-          There¹s no proof that existing buffers in Jefferson County don¹t work.
-          He wants ³showing of harm² to be rigorous.
-          There¹s no mention of the toxicity of tropalones in wood in our BAS (implying this was a fatal flaw).
-          Terrestrial insects, shade don¹t support salmon in marine shorelines.
-          The role of large woody debris in salmonid ecology is misguided. There isn¹t a tree to be seen in the copper river in Alaska, yet the river teems with salmon. Therefore wood isn¹t necessary.
-          ³Who says that 90% removal of a particular pollutant is what a buffer should be designed for?²
-          ³It¹s incomprehensible҆ with all the criticism of Ecology¹s so-called peer reviewed BAS that the agency continues to push it on local governments.²
Perry may have other notes of some of his statements.
Am not feeling well and am going to head home to rest. Pls. don¹t forward this email.
Let¹s talk in the near future about a response strategy.
Thanks, Erik


  1. So far, no comments to this one, eh? I mean really, what is there to say? This dude is just say, let's make sure to cover our tracks so no one finds out what we're up to. He's not even trying to be discreet.

    And this is just the tip of the iceberg, a tiny glimpse behind the curtain of what's been going on behind the scenes over the years that have brought us to this sorry state.

    And, is this exploding cigar we're facing in the form of exciting new changes to our charter government the revolution we need?

    Ambrose Bierce, withering scourge of the corrupt and powerful back in the old days, had this to say from his Devil's Dictionary:

    "Revolution, n. In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment."

  2. For an excellent commentary, with links to reports by Drs Ken Brooks and Don Flora, see the 7-20-2011 posting on the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners website entitled "Planners must consider the science in crafting SMP updates". Unfortunately, Kitsap residents are dealing with the same unscientific, excessive and impractical claptrap that Lovell and Howie et al seek to burden us with here, even as they exit the stage (for now, at least) because of "confused" voters.

  3. I have added a link to the website mentioned above. To view it, see the link associated with the words "Brooks challenged" in the first paragraph.

    Thank you for mentioning the link.

  4. I read Dr. Brooks stuff a long time ago and it started me thinking first that this guy clearly knows what he is talking about, but also, backs it up completely with simple and direct evidence (the Alaskan Copper River is such a jewel); and second that his criticisms of DOE cannot be overlooked.

    If we ever had a Governor who would or could clean house at the DOE, Dr. Brooks could give him the info to do so.

    Interesting, if memory serves, is also Dr. Brooks showing that the upland environment has almost nothing to do with the marine environment.

    Certainly another irrefutable fact (Peterson asks to be added as a comment) is that San Juan County and it's resident population does not have and cannot have more than a minuscule affect on the waters that surround us. Canada, yes, us, no.

    It is unconscionable that FIVE council members do not have the brain power to process these very basic truths. They rely instead on a bush league consultant and a poorly trained planner.

    SJC could have very easily thrown these very facts at the DOE in the very beginning in support of the existing, and working CAO we have.

    And then, as one comment here rightly said: "Flip them the bird."

    Yeah, put the ball in their court. OK, DOE, don't like it, then you take US to court and we'll make fools of you all.

    Another thing these E-mails reportedly show is Stockdale (who has said he will "debunk" anything produced by island scientists) is really...(permit me this one)...chickenshit.

  5. How many Ecology higher-ups does it take to change a lightbulb? I'm sure one of you funny people can provide the punchline, but it's really offensive to see so many tax-paid people spending so much time working against citizens with a genuine interest in the environment and the regulations being imposed upon them by Ecology.

  6. Did Mr. Stockdale ever receive a reprimand or re-training regarding his obligations not to destroy public records (deleting agency e-mails)? Inquiring minds want to know.