Dueling rainbows

Nice visuals to take a break from the back-and-forth venom in the comments section, these two rainbow shots from J Smersh:

IF

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Caption This Photo

From Jen Hough:

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Beyond Locals Only, Volume V: Ethics and the City

There is a “study session” on “ethics” in Ocean Shores today .  . .

*What are the “ethics” of the mayor — who has taken it upon herself to be the city’s (i.e., taxpayers’) labor negotiations representative — being “Facebook friends” with a union representative?

*What are the “ethics” of the mayor not recusing herself from negotiations with the “Exempt Employees” group, even though she regularly meets to strategize on a number of issues with the public safety chief and finance director, two of the Exempts?

*What are the “ethics” of the City of Ocean Shores having an ad on the website of the Daily World — which, presumably, is providing impartial coverage of the city?

*What are the “ethics” of the library hiring as a highly-paid computer consultant the Continue reading

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“Snowy Point,” anyone?

By J Smersh, one of the big whites hanging out at (of course) Damon Point — or should we call it “Snowy Point”?

Up close and personal:

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Long shot:

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Storm clearing photos

From J. Smersh:

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Ocean Shores cliches

Vote for your favorite 289 cliche:

a) “If you don’t like it, move!”

b) “The tax/levy/lid lift increase only costs as much as a latte a month”

c) “It wasn’t us – the mistakes were made in the past!”

d) “We’ve cut all the fat, there’s nothing left to cut!”

e) “He’s just stirring up the pot again!”

f) other (please specify)

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Only-in-the-Shores photo

Gary Iversen, our man on the dock, strikes again for another Duck Lake beauty:

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Breaking news: God to retire!

“If the Pope can do it, why not Me?”

So said God, in an exclusive interview with Beyond Locals Only in which he confirmed rumors that have been swirling around the clouds: After creating and ruling over the universe for eons, he is retiring.

Excerpts of the interview transcript:

Beyond Locals Only: Mr. God, why now, after all these years?

God: Well, I would say, “It’s time” – but then again, I’m timeless. So let’s just say I feel like it. I had a thought, and when I have a thought, it becomes reality.

BLO: You’ve done great work, few would deny that. But there are those who say You’ve lost a step – Your thunder isn’t as loud as it used to be, there hasn’t been a plague in who-knows-how-long, and even Holy Wars seem to be a thing of the past. Your response?

G: True, maybe I have mellowed a little, as the years have gone by. But I can still rear back and bring it, when I want to. To my critics, I have one word: Katrina. Continue reading

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Signs o’ the times

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Cool photo

From J. Smersh, taken this afternoon near the marina:

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CAPTION THIS PHOTO

Taken by Jen Hough:

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Snowy pics

From Tim Moon, who notes, “Attached pics of snowy owl taken Friday afternoon about 3:30. He was just off the beach in the dunes behind the Snuggler’s Cove Resort cabins on Marine View Drive (next to the Shrimp Boat Deli). Saw him and got the pics as I was coming back from a walk on the beach with the dog. Never go on the beach without the camera – you never know what you might miss. First time I’ve seen one of the snowy owls in this area.”

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Beyond Locals Only, Volume 5: The sound of (union) laughter

“Your unions over there in Ocean Shores don’t hold a candle – or even a flashlight – to our labor boosters!

That was Tome O’Scanlinn, sounding two (maybe even three) sheets to the wind as he crowed out his usual one-upsmanship, proclaiming how much more whacked-out his Atlantis City is than Ocean Shores.

As soon as I hit the “post” button on a recent blog entry about how Ocean Shores employees get paid, I knew I’d hear it from him.

“Sure,” he snorted, “you guys pay out big fat ‘longevity bonuses’ for everyone who hasn’t been stupid enough to get fired and the clock seems to start running on vacation time before someone’s job interview is over. But that’s nothin’ compared to what we got goin’ on over here, I tell you it’s nothin’!”

Believe it or not (I choose the latter), my man Tome says the Atlantis City Senators all got re-elected by proclaiming they were “cutting all city salaries down to minimum wage.”

Some were stunned that the town’s powerful union,  IAFF (International Association of Feared F- Continue reading

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City of Ocean Shores 2012 salaries, all

Information provided by the city in answer to a public records request for 201 payments (including overtime, bonuses, etc.) to all City of Ocean Shores employees:

Ocean Shores 2012 salaries

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Big cargo ship going out to sea

Emma Davis photo of this big one making an Ocean Shores sail-by:

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Six Ocean Shores employees took home more than $100,000 in 2012

Earnings (including overtime, longevity pay and other bonuses) of City of Ocean Shores highest-paid employees in 2012:

Mike Styner, police/fire chief, $118,159.70.

Russ Fitts, assistant police chief, $115,757.20.

Curt Begley, firefighter/paramedic/acting fire marshal, $108,618.81.

Don Grossi, police officer, $108,226.72.

Michael Thurier, firefighter/paramedic, $104,845.09.

David Batchelor, finance department, $104,705.43.

David McManus, police officer, $99,776.06. Continue reading

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O.S. break-in victim: Kids had booze, sex party, “totally trashed the place”

“Going in there it was just like a scene from hell.”

Last month, the Ocean Shores Police Department issued a press release, announcing that 10 boys and girls between the ages of 15 to 17 and an 18-year-old were “involved” in breaking into three homes, stealing alcohol and food and “partying” at one of the residences.

That hardly tells the whole story, according to a victim who was interviewed by this blog.

“Those kids totally trashed the place,” he said. “They slept in all the beds – there were condoms everywhere.” Continue reading

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The ocean: nice even when cloudy

Gary Iversen photo captures the awesomeness of nature:

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Beyond Locals Only, Volume 4: Getting Biblical

“Do you really administer justice, you mighty ones? Do you judge rightly, you men?

Rather do you plan evil in your heart, and your wicked hands deal out injustice in the land.

. . .Let them pass like the snail that wastes away . . .”

 Though it is surely an overstatement to get biblical on the Ocean Shores government, one has to wonder what our leaders’ idea of justice is.

Do they really believe in the “open and transparent” government that most (if not all) of them told voters they would create?

Why did Mayor Crystal Dingler try to steer a debate between councilors Jackie Farra and Ginny Continue reading

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“Old Timey Beach Photo”

From Jen Hough:

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“Wind, Waves, Wind Mills and the Massive Cargo Vessel SIEM CAR CARRIERS – DRESDEN”

Another nice shipping photo from Emma Davis, photographing all things down-by-the-Jetty:

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Brilliant, “Only in Ocean Shores” photo!

From Sam Bach:

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City of Ocean Shores’ Top 10 Goofs: 2008-2013

  1. The “oops, we forgot to include interest” goof in Street LID budgeting (thanks, Ken Lanfear!). That, and/or lack of management (pick your poison) sends the project spiraling out of control, nearly 50 percent over original budget.
  2. The City of Ocean Shores obtains more than $6 million to build a new “MIEX system” water treatment plant. And fails to provide funding to build a cover for it.
  3. In early 2008, city council sets the salary of the new “strong mayor” position: $12,000 per year. But after Dean Bunkers is elected as mayor, he points out that he has to be paid the same $99,600 salary that former city manager Rich McEachin was paid. The difference, including benefits, over four years: About $500,000.
  4. City clerk Diane Foss and then-city attorney Art Blauvelt forgetting to send a letter to Continue reading
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O.S. union contracts, with MOU

Long ago, i posted all the union contracts signed in 2007 on northcoastnews.com – but you know what happened to that site. The info posted below is for all four union contracts (but not the “Exempt Employees” group of managers and other non-union positions), with various Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) documents added since 2007, when Rich McEachin – briefly promoted to City Manager after a long, rocky stint as Police Chief – singed the five- and six-year contracts that have generated huge increases in salaries, rising in inverse proportion to the plummeting General Fund.

Thank you to the citizen who forwarded this information, received through a Public Records Request.

In most cases, the bundled documents below include the 2012 salaries, by category.

OS – Clerical Labor Agreement – AR-M620N_20120713_111512

OS – Police Dept. Labor Agreement – AR-M620N_20120713_113132

OS – Public Works Dept. Labor Agreement – AR-M620N_20120713_120008

OS – Fire Fighters Labor Agreememt – AR-M620N_20120713_104246

*Note: The above is the expired firefighters agreement. The 2013-14 agreement is here.

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Was the library “RFQ” process fair and transparent?

Copy of email sent last month to Ocean Shores Mayor Crystal Dingler, librarian Keitha Owen and the library board. There was no response from Dingler and Owen to the questions posed.

At the July 2012 library board meeting, Keitha Owen was asked how she came up with the detailed requirements for the “Request for Qualifications” for a computer maintenance position. Owen said that she came up with the qualifications for the computer person that were approved at the June meeting. She noted that Jenny Belcher, the city’s purchasing representative, “found something similar on a web page.

“I also researched what King County and the North Olympic Library System had.”

The process of developing the RFQ occurred over a few weeks in June. Jim Mitchell of the library board said the RFQ was “in order to be completely transparent to the voters of Ocean Shores.”

The levy vote was on Aug. 7.

A review of public records requests shows that it is likely that Grant Midbrod’s “Computer Maintenance Proposal” sent to Owen on Oct. 11, 2011, was copy and pasted as a significant portion of the RFQ. (SEE BELOW)

Questions for Ms. Owen and Mayor Dingler:

-Was the Midbrod material of 2011 used in the RFQ of July 2012? Continue reading

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