Volunteers build

With regard to the port’s green building that sits empty. It’s going to be easy to start pointing fingers and accusing blame for the current predicament of this building. Instead maybe the time has come for a plan to solve it.

To hire contractors and get this building back to shape is going to cost a good chunk of money. It is my opinion that a panel of individuals free of any conflicts of interest be formed.

First part of meetings to cover feasibility and solicitation of contractors and contractor workforce willing to donate time towards the repair. What would be in it for the contractors you say? A section of the building that lists who donated time into the building’s restoration, sized easy to read. Some supplies needed would have to be purchased but maybe some could be obtained by donation.

If found to be feasible, three parts would follow.

• Restore: getting the building back to baseline.

• Production: performing the remaining facility modifications for the final part.

• Outfit: moving in the materials specific to the buildings purpose.

This is just a basic outline and there would be more details to be worked out but it may be a direction to pursue. Perhaps someone has a better idea besides bulldozing. Let’s hear it.

Instead of having this Grey Ghost that sits as a cynical reminder to everyone who drives Lower Harbor Road, maybe we can build a bit of community pride by solving it. The alternative will turn into an empty mud lot.

Steve White


Still wrong

From The Washington Post: “People often argue that the United States is a republic, not a democracy. But that’s a false dichotomy. A common definition of ‘republic’ is, to quote the American Heritage Dictionary, ‘A political order in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who are entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them’ — we are that. A common definition of ‘democracy’ is, ‘Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives’ — we are that, too.”

So yes, we are a republic, but that’s a democracy. Marian Kron is still wrong.

Dan Sherman


Obvious spin

Again, Boyd Allen’s report on the green building is missing context and has an obvious spin. Facts and context are mischaracterized. Since the Port Commission records were sanitized of the presentations that Connie Hunter made, one must wonder at the motivation for that.

The name of the group was not Wild Rivers Veterans organization, association, nothing like that. Connie Hunter made that very clear to him. Yet, he persists in misnaming and misframing info in other parts of the article. We were a work group tasked with determining if the green building could be a viable opportunity for veterans. The plan would have been executable regardless of what former Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald has said. Except that the IFA issues — $300,000 indebtedness — would make the plan much more difficult to navigate.

We asked for a workshop to go over the details of where and how the building would be funded but were denied. We needed to know the IFA indebtedness amount — no info was provided. How would Fitzgerald know anything if a port commission workshop was denied us? Of course, he wouldn’t. It begs the question, if Fitzgerald is so sure a plan was not executable, is it because he held the trump card that a $300,000 amount was likely cost prohibitive?

Without a workshop there was no way to communicate the resources that the group had at its fingertips. Since there was no way to complete a budget for a project without the IFA amount included, there was no ethical way to fundraise. There was no way for the group to use its substantial resources toward the efforts for the green building.

Refusal to communicate with the group on even simple (like being added to the port commission agenda) were a wrestling match. We received the number of $300,000 regarding IFA indebtedness when the latest port commission was seated. That amount is cost prohibitive to a fundraising effort. We’ve been trying to figure out how we could overcome that.

Completion of the green building project may have made the management look inept. Hmmm. …

Skip Hunter