By David Anderson, Tillicum
Google ‘Tillicum’ on the TNT site and gag at the headlines you’ll find.
- Funds found for once-dead Camp Murray gate relocation
- WSDOT seeks input on rerouting passenger trains
Along with Santa Claus soon coming to town, it looks like traffic and trains will follow. Evidently the Big Guy knew when we were sleeping.
Back on April 27, 2009, the Lakewood City Council voted to hire a contractor to bring sewers to Tillicum. The next day City Councilman Walter Neary enthused on his blog, “This will be huge. It will create an atmosphere where we can get things like newer housing and hotels and restaurants.”
Evidently not a reference to Tillicum.
A rchitects had concurrently with the sewers created a Tillicum plan that, again wrote Neary, “envisioned a vibrant, lovely, thriving area.” The children in “Night Before Christmas” had visions too, “of sugar plums dancing in their heads.” But “the clatter” that woke father was not what will be awakening us. “A miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer”? Dream on. Try 1,000 cars/day if Camp Murray gets its way, and 14 high speed Amtrak trains if Cascades Rail gets theirs.
Shopping in the mall near Christmas one year I saw a teenager whose t-shirt read, “I want it all!” Camp Murray and Amtrak want it all too. They both already have access to where they want to go. They just want ours too.
Well, “Merry Christmas” everyone.
Sorry if that sounds hollow.
MM Russell says
The problem in Tillicum is that there are real issues and problems that need to be fixed and addressed sooner than later – so it is now incumbent upon the residents that object to the current plans and efforts to offer up feasible and realistic alternatives… Perhaps the gate issue and track answers rest in a DuPont like exit ramp with grade separations and a ramp drop into camp Murry south and also north to the main drag… or maybe not, maybe we need to just re-do all of I-5 and the interchanges from 512 to DuPont. Let’s not attack each other – let’s try to be innovative, creative, clever and productive in finding solutions that work the best on average for all concerned.
David Anderson says
The problems that we are being asked to address are those being imposed on us by others, and that in itself means the onus of responsibility for addressing and protecting community matters lies primarily with those responsible for what matters to a community – our elected representatives. It is, after all, the primary task of those who hold office to first and foremost protect the safety and security of those who elected them and, in carrying out that charge, fostering the “vibrant, lovely, and thriving area” they envision.
That being the principle, and therefore the place to begin, what shall we make of a state agency – Camp Murray – that wants to relocate their gate such that the impact would be 1,000 cars more daily through the streets of the aforementioned community? What exactly was there to discuss? And how does this new idea of moving the gate one block change anything? Especially when you consider that Camp Murray has a gate at the southern terminus of their campus. They just don’t want to use it. Won’t even discuss it.
The south gate entrance to Camp Murray should have been an option per their Environmental Assessment, page 15 of which reads: “Regulations require all reasonable alternatives to be rigorously explored and objectively evaluated. Alternatives that are eliminated from detailed study must be identified along with a brief discussion of the reasons for eliminating them. For purposes of discussion, an alternative was considered ‘reasonable’ only if it would allow Camp Murray to improve its ability to meet its military mission while providing a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly surroundings.”
Speaking of problems, there it is. “Environmentally-friendly surroundings” for Camp Murray, means ‘inside their gate’ where THE primary objective of the entire plan, in their own words, is “to create a pedestrian-friendly campus.” The reason then that the south gate entrance was removed from the table (without the promised “rigorous and objective” analysis) is that it did not fit their transportation flow; nor the efficiency by which their employees could access their various places of occupation; nor the ‘walkableness’ and beauty of what they envisioned. As they wrote, “this plan preserves the natural beauty of our campus and promotes safety and increases the quality of life for the soldiers and staff who work and/or train at Camp Murray.”
Their nearest neighborhood to the north would bear the brunt of their delightful dreams for their own future.
The same scenario is being played out on our eastern border where Amtrak would run as many as 14 high-speed trains per day. They have their own track – like Camp Murray has its own gate. It’s just congested. Passengers must compete with freight. So now our community residents are being asked to compete with trains. This is the first time since at least the early 1990’s that rail has ever imposed its will upon an existing community. (TNT, Oct.27, 2008)
Federally subsidized Amtrak reported a $1.26 billion net loss just last year alone. While Governor Gregoire is threatening “the elimination of the Basic Health Plan and raiding federal education dollars” because of a “$1.2 billion shortfall plaguing Olympia this fiscal year, and a $5.7 billion deficit for 2011-13” we are asked to forgo basic necessities while Amtrak slips silently out of the station?
Other states are refusing the money.
Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker, and his Republican counterpart in Ohio, “criticized the high-speed rail program as unaffordable in tough economic times. Walker said their states would have to invest considerable dollars in the projects in addition to federal aid. Walker urged the federal government to give up on high-speed rail and instead use the money to repair roads and bridges he said were ‘literally crumbling.'”
Walker further reasoned that the “long-term jobs we need are sustainable private sector jobs outside of government. In objecting to the $7.5 million it would cost his state to operate the rail line, Walker said, “This is a short-term fix that will cost the taxpayers of our state millions into the future.” (Tri-City Herald, Nov.9, 2010).
“Try to be innovative, creative, clever and productive in finding solutions that work the best on average for all concerned”?
Not when we’re being literally run over. Not when those who have the wherewithal to solve their own problems refuse to. Not when their problems become ours.
Fredric Cornell says
David Anderson: “That being the principle, and therefore the place to begin, what shall we make of a state agency – Camp Murray – that wants to relocate their gate such that the impact would be 1,000 cars more daily through the streets of the aforementioned community? What exactly was there to discuss? And how does this new idea of moving the gate one block change anything? Especially when you consider that Camp Murray has a gate at the southern terminus of their campus. They just don’t want to use it. Won’t even discuss it.” There are several segments in your thinking which appear flawed; the first is reflected in the immediately above. You mention that ‘they’, i.e., Camp Murray, want to relocate their gate. What you are neglecting to mention – and have neglected all along – is that your friends in town hall were the other half of Camp Murray’s formulated plans, and have been for over approximately two and one half (2 1/2) years now. Don’t just blame Camp Murray – don’t forget your friends in town hall were Camp Murray’s very willing dance partner, albeit a silent dance partner, in formulating the plans to which you now object. As I and others have elsewhere discussed, you are correct in realizing that moving the gate to Grant one block away will do nothing for Tillicum residents, and your friends in town hall also know that, but it seems that they made that offer in their effort to appease residents in Tillicum, i.e., certain Tillicum residents and Tillicum neighborhood leadership. As predicted, that solution – which you embraced with much enthusiasm – has proven itself to be schmooze. I made that point then, and it was dismissed. Now, apparently, is remains very much on target. There is no reason why Camp Murray should now consider abandoning their joint plan – now, again, financed entirely – made in full and willing partnership, i.e., in full agreement, with your friends at town hall. That notwithstanding, General Lowenberg was scheduled to meet with Neiditz today.
Because of the town hall/Camp Murray long-standing agreement, I have every reason to doubt that a south gate entrance to Camp Murray will prove to be a solution. That town hall has been part and parcel of Tillicum’s current Camp Murray woes is undeniable, and it is at their feet that you (certain Tillicum residents and Tillicum neighborhood leadership)
ought to be placing the blame, the accountability, and the responsibility. Their responsive documents (now numbering only 2910 pages) to my three PDR’s are now available for my review, and when I (and others) complete that review, I’ll know more.
The Republican notion to improve the existing undeniable I-5 traffic congestion instead of providing fast rail commuter trains to avoid I-5 altogether is reactionary. It is not an example for forward thinking. Communist China, as just one example, having moved well into the 21st Century, has produced commuter trains that make Washington’s planned trains look like tortoises. It’s time that we move our own country at least into the latter half of the 20th Century by investing in America instead of accepting Republican lies, then killing untold thousands of innocent people in Iraq, and costing trillions of our own tax dollars, and those additionally borrowed from Communist China, not to mention our loss of credibility and integrity in full view of the rest of the world.
That said, Tillicum businesses have for years had every opportunity to work with your friends in town hall regarding the business properties between Union and the tracks. There is no credibility, or integrity, in now, at this date, blaming Amtrak.
“Try to be innovative, creative, clever and productive in finding solutions that work the best on average for all concerned” is the smart, long-term solution.
Fredric Cornell says
UPDATE – re the Camp Murray gate relocation: During the December 6 council meeting, Andrew Neiditz related that he had met with General Lowenberg last week, and that funding for the gate relocation is still an issue; he indicated that it was agreed that Lakewood would ‘play the leadership role’. He stated clearly, “We talked specifically with General Lowenberg about both the Grant alternative which the city had supported with a whole host of conditions associate with it a few months ago as well as improvements to the existing Union/Berkeley entryway.” So, Tillicum, it appears that, according to your friends in town hall, the only option to the Portland gate remains the Grant gate which does nothing at all to salve your concerns. It was also presented that additional financial issues exist due to the fact that Federal representatives have related that “The money that the National Guard had received to do this project had stipulations with it that all the dollars had to be spent inside the fence of Camp Murray – that any mitigating dollars would have to come out of the State budget and the Legislature.” This indicates that the Federal money which Bugher was counting on strictly for internal Tillicum improvements isn’t there. Neiditz concluded with, “I am pleased with this progress.” I wouldn’t rest easy, but you be the judge.