"When a 'forest fire' is lit, there is no telling which way it will go. It depends on the 'wind', the 'fuel load' and the 'humidity'. The 'wind' is about to blow real hard, the "fuel load" is huge and the humidity is dropping rapidly. It just takes the right 'match', a lightning strike, or spontaneous combustion. The question is, what (or who) will set it off? Could it be illegal aliens getting amnesty, the U. S. Supreme Court's Kelo vs. New London decision, Oregon's Ballot Measure 37, the welfare state, globalism, radical environmentalism, or trashing the Constitution by politicians?" Ron Ewart
Subject: RE: "Puget Sound Partnership." Here we go again!Okay. Now I see where you're coming from!Let me give this a little thought and try to get back to you next week. You make some fair points. Others I don't agree with. I hope there was more to the presentation than the particular points you call out. The thing you mention are where some of the money goes. But only a fraction.One of the hard things about answering a letter like this is that we at WSDOT don't own all the problems -- if they all are problems. For example, when it comes time to fitting the roads into the environmental requirements, quite a lot off what we face actually stems from laws passed by the Congress. Civics 101 always told me that that was the representative expression of the will of the people!Jumping around a bit, I also will just note the issue of noise walls. It's one of our biggest "environmental" costs! You'd be surprised how overwhelming the sentiment is in their favor from the people who live near where our new roads are causing traffic noise to get worse and worse.
From: ron ewart [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, June 02, 2006 8:14 AM
To: MacDonald, DougTo the Washington State Senate, the News Media and to:Mr. Doug MacDonaldSecretary of TransportationState of WashingtonAt OlympiaDear Secretary MacDonald:In response to an e-mail that I sent to Rep. Fred Jarrett (see below) on the Puget Sound Partnership, you wrote: "Are you writing to have my views on the Puget Sound partnership or on the graving dock?"The answer is neither. I forwarded you a copy of my e-mail to Representative Fred Jarrett because I mentioned you and your department's $80,000,000 plus graving dock mistake in the e-mail. In context, I said: "Government keeps making mistakes but no heads roll. They just go on with what they are doing and ask for more TAXPAYER money to solve the problems they created."In that regard, I was privy to an e-mail in March from one of your department heads on how DOT was ramping up to spend the 9.5 cents gas tax increase. I couldn't really believe what I was seeing. So here is my response to what the Department over which you control, is going to spend our money. This will conclude my message.
"Now take a look at what the State Department of Transportation is spending that 9.5 cents per gallon of increase in the gas tax on, that your "wise" legislators and most of you allowed to pass. This is from a memo we received from State DOT.""We have a pretty substantial 16-year program," Eng said. WSDOT oversees more than 7,000 miles of highway, 3,000 bridges and more than 90,000 acres of land. "All of our work that's over $50,000 is contracted out.""In the next four years WSDOT will need about 200 hydraulic reports, 500 NEPA documents, 30 environmental assessments, 10 environmental impact statements, 400 Endangered Species Act consultants, 200 hydraulic project approvals, 70 noise studies and 400 archeological site assessments, Eng said." She stressed that these are broad estimates. (my bold emphasis)
Eng said WSDOT wants to avoid negative impacts to the environment, and her handouts, accordingly, were delivered in WSDOT car litter bags. (What about a cost/benefit analysis on this garbage? Cost/benefit analysis, what's that?)
"We might widen a highway asymmetrically to avoid a sensitive area," Eng explained. In order to protect salmon streams, WSDOT might build a bridge rather than a culvert. (Asymmetrically and bridges means more money, your money, lots more money, your tax money)
In urban areas, noise walls are a large expense, and a controversial one, Eng said. "When you talk about putting up noise walls, people say, ‘That's not transportation. Why are we paying for that?'" (Why indeed)Now I'm not saying we don't need the road projects, but this is how government insultingly spends our money. Can you imagine if President Eisenhower had to meet the ludicrous standards of today when he proposed our great interstate freeway system? I guarantee you folks, it would have never been built and we would still be driving across country on two-lane roads. There wouldn't have been enough money in the world at that time, to pay for an environmentally engineered-system using today's standards.So what is my point? A government not monitored is a government out of control and government, at all levels, is way out of control. 30% to 40% of our tax money is consumed in waste, fraud, abuse and corruption, because WE THE PEOPLE aren't minding the store. WE THE PEOPLE allowed this environmental insanity to invade our economy and legal system that requires government to "weave" highways around sensitive areas", pay for "500 NEPA documents" (whatever they are), "400 Endangered Species Act consultants" and "400 archeological site assessments". We have gone sensitive-area and environmentally berserk and the cost for this insanity, over the last 30 years, is in the trillions of dollars to our economy. That's Trillions with a capital "T". "Who pays? The taxpayers do!"This environmental insanity and government run amok are two peas in the same pod. This conspiracy of environmentalists and government have caused everything to rise in cost, exponentially. These same conspirators have systematically stopped anything that hinted of progress. For almost 30 years they have done a fantastic job of stopping oil production (new oil wells on our own soil) and new power generation (hydro, gas, coal or nuclear). They have stopped refinery construction and have required so many different grades of gasoline, the existing refineries can't keep up, thus driving up the price of gasoline and limiting supply. Now we have to add ethanol to gasoline, that costs more to produce than it saves in fuel consumption or increases in clean air. This summer you will all be paying well over $3.00 per gallon and you can thank these complicit conspirators, environmentalists and the government that aides and abets them.
Ron EwartFall City, WA425 222-9482----- Original Message -----From: MacDonald, DougTo: ron ewartSent: Thursday, June 01, 2006 10:33 PMSubject: RE: "Puget Sound Partnership." Here we go again!Are you writing to have my views on the Puget Sound partnership or on the graving dock?