Kitsap Caucus

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SEED Town Hall

November 7th, 2008 by Steven Gardner

On Wednesday the Port of Bremerton will hold a town hall meeting about the Kitsap Sustainable Energy and Economic Development project. The commissioners and staff will make presentations, providing some history and context and looks into the future. Next would come time for residents to speak and ask questions.

Speaking of clean-tech, I heard about this next thing from a Facebook friend. (I’m not into networking, really, but if I can do it online without actually ever talking to someone, neato!) If you’ve got $1,500 to spend, a yammerin’ to go to San Francisco and a genuine interest in clean technology and where to invest your money in the industry, you may want to go to the Gerson Lehrman Group Clean Tech Summit. It’s a two-day forum on where the money will be in clean-technology. The information on the site indicates there will be 20 sessions focusing on investment into different clean technologies.

Who will attend, you ask? Why, the site tells you:

An expected audience of more than 200 executives will represent clean technology ventures, active clean technology investors, government and near-governmental entities, and others.

Together, we’ll discuss:

  • Winners and losers in key sectors and industries;
  • Hot technologies and promising innovations;
  • Investment strategies and patterns, sector by sector, in venture capital, private equity, and M&A;
  • Best practices in managing clean technology innovation;
  • Regulatory obstacles and governmental support.

Who will not attend, you ask?

  • Me.

Believe me, this isn’t the time to be asking my bosses to send me to San Francisco in less than two weeks. They might have approved that, oh, eight years ago.

What I really wonder is if anyone from the port is going. I’ve sent inquiries. It’s cheaper than another study.

The town hall meetings will be at 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Wednesday at the Comfort Inn at 5640 Kitsap Way in Bremerton. The next evening, 7 p.m., there is a budget hearing at the airport.

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18 Responses to “SEED Town Hall”

  1. Kathryn Simpson Says:

    Speaking of hi-tech energy firms, what ever happened to Cenergie’s talks with SEED and the Port?

    Regards,
    Kathryn Simpson

  2. Bob Meadows Says:

    Can anyone point to anything mentioned at the “summit” Web site regarding “clean technology” which has even a slim chance of being located at the proposed SEED facility?

  3. Karen Says:

    Abengoa Solar is expected to be up and running by 2011, outside Gila Bend, Arizona. Home state of that Republican devil, John McCain. Lanco Infratech, an Indian hydroelectric comany, has invested heavily in the city of Westport, Washington. Why would the largest hydroeclectric power plant builder in the world be interested in Westport, Washington? Have you ever stood on the breakwall down there and heard the boom or felt the vibrations?

    You dems are still just talking, talking, talking. Let me know when it gets out of committee.

  4. Karen Says:

    Albengoa Solar is going to be building the largest solar heat plant in the world, by the way. Makes me smile when I think about one of the campaign rumors that John McCain was going to stop talking to Spain.

  5. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    “…Why would the largest hydroeclectric power plant builder in the world be interested in Westport, Washington? Have you ever stood on the breakwall down there and heard the boom or felt the vibrations?…”

    What ‘boom’ Karen? What ‘vibrations’?
    And what WOULD be the plan?
    What would it do to the fishing down there – not that there is much of it anymore?
    Sharon O’Hara

  6. Registered Voter Says:

    Some local events on the same topic include Puget Sound Business Journal’s Green Business Summit, MIT Enterprise Forum’s Sustainable Financing event, or one of the many listed at Washington Clean Technology Alliance’s website. If they really wanted to get creative, they could participate in the Washington State Clean Technology Pavilion at Pollutec in Lyon, France, or join the caravan which will visit France, Denmark and Sweden in March.

    In any case, perhaps the Sun will send its reporter(s) to a local event towards in-depth reporting on the industry versus snarky “cheaper than another study” pseudo-sound bites regarding whether the Port is attending a specific event out of many possibilities.

    Can anyone point to anything mentioned at the “summit” Web site regarding “clean technology” which has even a slim chance of being located at the proposed SEED facility?

    Biofuels – clean transportation – solar – water and wastewater technology. Have you ever asked Islandwood for a copy of its Sustainable Materials Vendor list? At first guess I’d say there are approximately 34, 23 of which are from the Washington area.

    Finally, a representative from CENERGIE entered the blogs months back (where comments are now allegedly removed because the conversation was ‘headed toward an unending personal argument in which everyone would have wanted the last word’), but all some participants could muster were insults. It’s reasonable to assume the ‘pause’ might impact potential agreements, particularly given the Port’s expressed concern for its participation in good faith negotiations without completing the third party review.

    I hope I can make at least one of the Town Hall meetings. At the very least it will be entertaining.

  7. Steven Gardner Says:

    To RV,

    First of all, thanks for the information about the other conferences. I didn’t know about them. That information adds to the content I provided. What I was attempting to show was that there are serious conversations going on about the subject, which should be of interest to those paying attention to Kitsap SEED. I am interested, so I will look into it. Now that the elections are over, there does appear to be more time in my day, although there are two weeks of vacation filling some of it.

    Second, I took down a conversation months ago that I feared it was veering into libel. For months you’ve insisted that I singled you out. There were three main people involved in that conversation and I remember who they were. One of others got mad at me for the deletions, too, but I don’t remember who, because that person doesn’t continue to bring it up.

    In the meantime you continue to make snide remarks here and in story posts about reporters who single people out. After one of those I sent you an e-mail offering to meet with you over lunch or a hot beverage. You did not respond. Now, it could be that the e-mail address you use here is not one you check for messages, so perhaps you never saw the invitation. That invite still stands and now I‘m making it public. Your input here has been valuable. It’s true, I do single one person out. However, it isn’t you. Except in this case, I guess, because offering to sit down and work this kind of interaction is something I don’t often have time in the day to do. Too busy being snarky, I guess.

    Steven Gardner

  8. Registered Voter Says:

    Steven,

    You once indicated you ended the thread because the conversation had run its course. Now you claim it was to end a conversation veering into libel. You apparently don’t recall the conversation or the threads involved.

    I requested the removal of comments which left a lasting false and public impression. The thread wasn’t ‘headed toward an unending personal argument in which everyone would have wanted the last word’. The majority of us were actually discussing the issue before you allowed posts which did not. A desire for fairness and accountability is what precipitated our exchange of emails, not because I was “mad”.

    I have not continually brought up nor indicated “for months” that you’ve singled me out. But yes, there is a feeling, and not just by me, that some bloggers are given latitude where others are moderated. And like many others, I’ve commented on the incomplete or skewed coverage some subjects receive. Bob Meadows is one of them, yet you don’t characterise his as snide.

    You do an admirable job of informing the public regarding the Town Hall meetings, but can’t resist a flippant remark about a summit being cheaper than a study. Voters would rightfully have the Port’s head if it made decisions of such large impact on the basis of this. You ask if the Port is attending, but don’t take the extra moment as an investigative reporter to search for local events. This caters to the mentality that clean tech is farfetched and has no possibility of occurring here, when the Washington area events and junkets suggest otherwise.

    Asking the Port if it’s going to SF is a Catch-22 which sets up target practise. A ‘yes’ and citizens complain of the expense or ask why something locally viable requires a trip to SF. A ‘no’ gets the Port ripped for not preparing itself for an ambitious venture. Where’s the effort to provide fuller context versus just going for the brawl?

    And no – I’ve not received emails regarding a meet over lunch or coffee. Genuinely appreciated but not really necessary. I commend some of your actions and criticise others, and distinguish between vigorous disagreement and personal feelings. You received a personal email from me when your neighbour fell from the roof, for instance. I’m odd that way…

  9. Blue Light Says:

    Conferences and vendor lists are all well and good. The fact remains: no one has signed up for SEED.

  10. Registered Voter Says:

    Conferences and vendor lists are all well and good

    Indeed. They confirm the existence of clean tech and sustainable businesses despite comments regarding a lack of viability. As the industry continues to flourish and create products and services, more opportunities exist for a SEED to incubate or sign them on as tenants in a facility which is actually being built.

    The fact remains: no one has signed up for SEED.

    In accordance with both its business plans and the industry standard for nationally recognised incubators.

  11. Blue Light Says:

    No one doubts the EXISTENCE of clean tech businesses, RV.

    Some doubt whether one would choose to locate in a podunk business park on a two lane road with rainwater catchment as a water supply.

    Some doubt whether the taxpayers should continue to invest in a venture that – to date – has netted zero return.

    Some doubt whether the promise of 2,000 jobs is realistic.

    Some doubt the SEED project is anything more than a transfer of money from the general public to a select group of political cronies.

    But I don’t know of anyone who doubts the existence of clean tech and sustainable businesses. As you have pointed out; they seem to be everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except the taxpayer funded SEED facility.

  12. Steven Gardner Says:

    RV,

    Your recollection of the thread is correct. I do remember fearing some comments being potentially libelous, but your account of why the entire thread was pulled is spot on. I do remember believing that the argument had run its course and was pointless to allow to continue. Months later I might even concede that I should have let it die a natural death. Truth is, I don’t remember too many details about it anymore. I thought it was the best thing to do at the time.

    Knowing that you didn’t receive the e-mails I sent presents one problem that I think I should address.

    If you, “you” as in anyone reading this, see that your comment is being held for moderation, it’s probably because you’ve never written on this board before, misspelled your regular user name, or included more than one link in your comment. All it means is I have to read it before it posts. There is one contributor here whose posts are always held for moderation first. If you ever post and it appears automatically, it isn’t you.

    The moderation policy has evolved over time. Probably “revolved” is more accurate. If it has appeared that I play favorites, I apologize. I don’t mean to, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. I do go back to my original stance that I want everything to post without me touching it. I try to not allow potty language and I may be a bit of a puritan when it comes to innuendo (even though I will laugh at things I don’t allow to get published). I’m at a point now where it will be rare that I don’t allow something. Most, if not all, of you are adults and can handle the stuff written here. I’ve also learned that maybe it’s just silly to expect people to behave here as they would if they could actually discuss this stuff over a campfire.

    As for the snarky comment about “cheaper than a study.” I can see why you would see that comment as flippant.

    My headline for the original Berk story would have been “All Out, or Get Out,” a reflection that to me the biggest message in that report was if the port were to decide to do Kitsap SEED, it better go after it with a full commitment. Port officials haven’t decided yet whether they’re for it. I don’t have an expectation that they would go to any of these meetings to sell the concept, but they might go on a fact-finding mission. It’s up to them to decide whether that would be productive enough to merit the cost.

    Thanks for the e-mail about my neighbor. By the way, he’s expected to come home soon.

    Steven Gardner

  13. Larry Croix Says:

    You are lucky RV that I am not the authority for this list. I would limit you to one comment per topic. You have provided some good info about the topics you choose to comment on. I am always interested in your initial comment on a topic. You don’t know when to stop. Say what you have to say and let it be. You seem to have to have the last word on everything. That does not make you right, smarter, or any other positive adjective you can think of.

  14. Registered Voter Says:

    Are you actually suggesting every cleantech related company is off a major highway in a large city? I’m guessing you haven’t been to IslandWood either…

    Some doubt whether the taxpayers should continue to invest in a venture that – to date – has netted zero return.

    When one weighs that doubt against a business plan which didn’t call for netted return before the building was built, or the industry standard for nationally recognised incubators – some which didn’t net ROI or acquire private funding for years – it doesn’t say much about the informed status of those doubters.

    If those doubting the possibility of 2,000 jobs are credentialed and experienced in related fields of expertise and willing to be accountable for their projections, I’d personally love to hear from them with their supporting data.

    And who are the political cronies being transferred money? Are you again libeling Ray Garrido, even when your prior allegations were disproven?

    As you have pointed out; they seem to be everywhere. Everywhere, that is, except the taxpayer funded SEED facility.

    Rather difficult to be somewhere which doesn’t yet exist, don’t you think?

  15. Blue Light Says:

    “Rather difficult to be somewhere which doesn’t yet exist, don’t you think?”

    Easier for some than others.

  16. Registered Voter Says:

    Steven,

    Thanks for the insight on moderation parameters. I tend to post more than one link so that explains it. As for the Port, I strongly agree with Berk’s point about the need for strong leadership. One Commissioner indicated having a problem “all along” with the scale of SEED. Not only are there meeting minutes which affirm support and moving forward, a great deal of money has been spent on plans, reports and studies by experts and consultants providing supporting data regarding its feasibility. Continuing to approve it just ‘to keep options open’ doesn’t cut it.

    Larry,

    I am amused by bloggers who have no issue with Bob Meadows, Kathryn Simpson or others posting to and fro in an extensive fashion on these threads (usually because they agree with them). Yet they tell another poster why they’re participating and how they need to.

    In any discussion, someone will ultimately be the last person to ‘speak’. You are under no obligation to read it, and all bloggers here are better served by the fact that you have no authority here — for running the list or otherwise.

  17. Roger Gay Says:

    I had to read the original blog by entry on the SEED Town Hall meeting to get myself back on track after all the fascinating blog talk. Frankly I will not be at the Town Hall meetings as they seem to again be placed in Bremerton vice in South Kitsap which will feel most of the affect (good or bad) of the proposed SEED project. I will be at the Thursday meeting at the airport to see how our fine, responsible, and open port commissioners will respond to the Town Hall meetings. Another reason not to attend is that the Port Commissioners really wanted “new” input they have not heard and hoped that those who have commented before will give way to “new voices”. It will interesting to see who finally shows up. Maybe the Sun will acquire statistics to see how many people who comment actually are in the Port of Bremerton Districts, what districts they are in, and if they actually pay the 150% tax increase given out by the Port. It was interesting at the last meeting at the airport how many people spoke in favor of SEED, but were not actually from a Port of Bremerton District. One comment I overheard was how it would affect all of Kitsap County. Good, maybe all of Kitsap County can become part of the Port of Bremerton and not only share the wealth created, but the risk if the idea is a bomb and causes a financial disaster. I guess that would be asking to much. Frankly, I doubt the Port Commissioners and its staff will be able to give the SEED the time and money it needs and still run the Ports other concerns. Wanna bet a new director, office, staff, and building will be dedicated to the SEED, with the taxpayers again footing the bill? Just like the eventual cost to operate and maintain will not be brought to light until it is too late.
    Roger Gay
    South Kitsap

  18. Registered Voter Says:

    Frankly I will not be at the Town Hall meetings.

    That’s too bad; I’ve enjoyed some of your comments at the meetings.

    I’m going mostly to hear the new feedback and get a feel for the community’s thoughts and concerns. The redundancy of discussions here can become rather boring, particularly when they don’t get past basic facts into meaningful discussion on much more complex issues.

    And while there’s a focus on who’s in the Port’s taxing district because of the bond, the county, state and federal funds being sought for this project come from all taxpayers.

    Regarding the leadership for the SEED project, the business plans called for a separate public/private entity as well as professional staff. It would be irresponsible for the Port to interject itself in a leadership role when there are more qualified candidates who can fit the bill.

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