Olympia meeting of interests in canceled graving yard project
airs `blunt' disagreements
OLYMPIA, WA -- A meeting among Port Angeles government, business and tribal leaders and state transportation officials Wednesday night contained ``blunt'' talk.
But the session apparently led to no consensus over the future of the abandoned Hood Canal Bridge graving yard project in Port Angeles.
Lower Elwha Klallam Tribal Chairwoman Frances Charles said the 3½-hour meeting underscored the tribe's need to educate non-Natives about its culture.
Charles said the Port Angeles government and business leaders apparently cannot take ``no'' for an answer.
``Their perspective was, `What can we do to make you change your mind?'''
Still, Charles said -- as she has since December -- ``Enough is enough.
Port Angeles leaders weren't available for comment following the meeting, which ended at about 10 p.m. at state Transportation Department headquarters in the state capital.
Charles said ``the graving dock cannot continue'' on the Port Angeles waterfront, where excavators uncovered evidence of a 2,700-year-old ancestral Klallam village called Tse-whit-zen.
She characterized the meeting as ``pretty hard, blunt, straightforward.''
``We gave them a different perspective of the reality we were dealing with,'' she said.
``There is a lot of education that needs to be done about our existence, I guess,'' she said.
Tim Thompson, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks who mediated Wednesday night's meeting, said that if there wasn't acceptance of the tribe's position, there was acknowledgment of it.
He called the meeting's outcome ``an agreement to disagree on the graving dock decision.''
``It was a first step. It was the beginning of a dialogue,'' Thompson said.
``I think people committed to trying to open up dialogue of where we can go in the future.''
Meeting set today in state capital over past, present and
future of Port Angeles graving yard site
OLYMPIA -- As many as 40 legislators, local politicians, tribal leaders, labor representatives, and business people will gather at 6:30 p.m. today to discuss the past -- and maybe map the future -- of the Hood Canal Bridge graving yard.
The closed meeting in the Washington Department of Transportation headquarters in the state capital has an agenda but no announced goals besides what the participants decide, its moderator said Tuesday.
Tim Thompson, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, is the Tacoma negotiator the Transportation Department hired in December to guide what will happen to the 22.5-acre site on the Port Angeles waterfront.
That's where the state has spent $58.8 million on a project now abandoned after the discovery of hundreds of ancestral burials and thousands of artifacts from a former Klallam village.
``I think that this is a meeting that is going to have two things that have not occurred before,'' Thompson said:
* ``Everyone in the room will have a voice.''
* ``Where we go from here is going to be up to the participants.''
Peninsula marketing consortium today discusses pending closures
of Hood Canal Bridge
The Olympic Peninsula Joint Marketing Committee, a consortium of chambers of commerce and tourism groups, meets today to discuss proposed Hood Canal Bridge closure dates during the peak tourist season.
The meeting convenes at 11:30 a.m. at Petals Garden Cafe, 1345 S. Sequim Ave.
State transportation officials say two 78-hour weekend closures are necessary to finish roadwork on the floating bridge prior to the east-half replacement.
Transportation has proposed Aug. 5-7 and Sept. 9-11 as traffic closure
dates. The Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce has proposed alternative
closure dates of Aug. 26-28 and Sept. 23-25 because they conflict
with fewer Peninsula events.
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