What? Have you seen that one before? It's alphabet soup for
"Not In My Back Yard."
Pretty common. We don't like problems, but when it does
come to solutions, we don't want them applied to us. A
series of comments on our Bulletin Board has to do with
closure of what was public water, No Trespassing signs
appeared when a new owner bought stream-side property.
Laws obviously vary from state to state - but once again,
if the water itself is not public the state has allowed
something to happen which really is wrong. Can it be fixed?
Maybe with court action - the problem is someone allowed it
to happen in the first place. Public access to water is a
problem nearly everywhere. Who allowed it to happen?
In my opinion all waters should be public, with the
exception of land-locked ponds, lakes and spring creeks
which emanate on private property.
There has to be a covenant added to that. The property owners
should not be held liable for the stupidity of those using the
waters. We have a sewer society - people file frivolous or
harassment lawsuits because they can. That should also change.
The losing party should be held liable for the costs and attorney
fees of the winning party. There are places where that is the
law, and trust me it cuts down on the backlog of court cases
in a hurry.
The front-page headline in last week's The Sun newspaper
still has my head ringing.
Ferry security plan raises alarm
Here's the deal. Remember 9/11? The U.S. Department of
Transportation which oversees the Coast Guard has new
guidelines to protect our coastlines. We here in Washington
state use the ferry system to get around. The ferries from
Bainbridge Island on any given work-week morning transport
2,000 people per ferry to Seattle, and that is for several
morning sailings. Blowing one up and sinking it certainly
wouldn't be as spectacular as the World Trade Towers, but
it's right in there.
What's the problem? Quoting the The Sun the guidelines
"spells out a comprehensive system of tough new homeland
security measures that could require examination of luggage,
passengers, and vehicles boarding the ferry, as well as
roving patrols of armed guards aboard the ferry vessels."
(These new restrictions will apply to all ferries anywhere
in the United States that carry more than 500 passengers,
including all auto ferries in the Washington fleet. The
security measures would become stricter as the perceived
terrorist threat increases from Marine Security Level 1
to Level 3.)
You know what? We have local government officials and the
ferry system (state employees) fighting it! It will be
inconvenient! It could cause delays! It might invade
one's privacy! There are people complaining now about the
State Police walking through the lines of cars waiting
to drive onto the ferries.
One of the responses to the new guidelines was "Where is the
measurable evidence that it's necessary to search one in
four cars or half of all the trucks boarding vessels (at Level 2)."
There were supposed to be 12 armed Sea Marshalls (Coast
Guards) at the ferry terminals and aboard the ferries
starting on October 12. Get this, "That plan, set to be
enacted without public notice, was temporarily halted
when questions were raised by state ferry officials concerning
what procedures the sea marshalls would follow in dealing
Let's see, the Congress did not pass a Homeland Security Bill,
the locals don't want to be inconvenienced, and "ferry officials"
don't think the military is properly trained to handle passengers.
The locals certainly are much more informed on how Sea Marshall
should be trained. Oh, and yes we must be notified of such
things in advance!
What is wrong with this picture?
It's ok to have security at the borders on land, or at
airports - but don't bother me with it when I want to
use the ferry system? But then how do we have between 8 and
11 MILLION illegal aliens in this country? Looks like
someone didn't do their job there either. (It's so bad they
don't really know the numbers.)
If you chew on it a bit you can probably add to my list too.
Stream closures? Changes in regulations without any seeming
reasons? Userptment of public water? Pollution dumps or
spills? A gutless Fish and Game which allows rampant over-fishing?
Laws made for the lawyers not the people? Funding
of utterly stupid stuff with your tax money when there is
no money for a stream/river clean up? Or to fund kids programs
for the out of doors? Not to even mention the lack of education
in our schools!
So why did I write this?
Because tomorrow is Tuesday, November 5th. In the United States
it is voting day. One email correspondence I received heartily
suggested all of us not re-elect anyone. Good point.
Did they get the job done you sent them to do? Do you feel
your government is working for you? Or against you?
Folks, I don't care if you are liberal, conservative, independent,
green or purple. If you are a citizen of this country you have
the responsibility to vote. Just maybe if the number
of people who turn out for this mid-tern election is large the
politicians will get the message that we are taking their
inactivity and failure to do their job seriously.
I am taking it very seriously, and I've already voted by
Absentee Ballot. Do your duty! Don't be a NIMBY!
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!