Downright Stormy

October can be many things and sometimes such as 2021, it can be stormy. What a wild weekend of rain, winds, and blowing leaves! I can’t say I don’t like a little bluster in the Autumn, and we do very much need the rain. This blustery and wet weather will continue for the better part of this whole week should the weather geeks be reading the chart right… and they probably are πŸ™‚

There were some beautiful moments of calm in between some of the squalls. The clouds and light showers in those quiet parts was opportune for walk to appreciate nature’s beauty even walking the neighborhoods streets. Autumn is quite the spectacle isn’t it?

The chart watchers over at the NOAA are working on their winter prognosis and so far the word is La Nina and wet, cool, maybe even some cold and snowy, this season. As usual, we shall see.

I have found that my readership for this blog is only about 60% local. So perhaps I capture readers that are thinking about moving into the region or are just curious about it from afar. As far as snow goes, I have written about this as local topic on numerous occasions. You will hear all kinds of differing views on snowfall such as “It never snows here,” to “I hate snow,” to “I love snow.” The reality is I have had measurable snowfall for 18 of my 20 winters at my house in Vancouver. The answer to the question “Does it snow here?” for those moving from another part of the country is easy. The answer is “Yes.” But the caveat is it doesn’t snow often. Even on the snowiest of winters there is very rarely more than a dozen days with any significant snow on the ground. For for the skeptics, here is my snow data from Winter Seasons 2001-02 to 2020-21:

Year# of snow daysTotal SnowfallMax snow depthSchools Closed
01-0245.7 inches3.5 inches2
02-0300 inch0 inch0
03-041022.9 inches11.5 inches4
04-0500 inch0 inch0
05-0674.2 inches2.0 inches0
06-071910.7 inches5.0 inches7
07-08106.6 inches0.5 inch1
08-092428.8 inches15.0 inches2
09-1053.9 inches3.0 inches0
10-11139.4 inches4.0 inches1
11-121314.1 inches4.0 inches1
12-13112.1 inches0.5 inch0
13-141112.9 inches8.5 inches4
14-1521.1 inches0.5 inch0
15-1642.2 inches1.8 inches1
16-172414.3 inches7.0 inches7
17-181011.0 inches3.0 inches1
18-19138.3 inches4.5 inches1
19-2085.0 inches3.0 inches0
20-21512.8 inches12.0 inches1
Observed at the same location in East Vancouver, Evergreen School District

The chart shows that four of the last five winters have had above average snowfall. But the chart also shows that you never really know for sure what you’re gonna get. Snow in Vancouver is like the proverbial Cracker Jack prize. Open up the box, gobble up the carmel corn, and see what there is πŸ™‚

Ah the ‘Couv’ life; it is good.

October isn’t October without a trip to the ‘Patch’

Vancouver Pumpkin Patch

My wife loves the Autumn. It is absolutely her very favorite season. Locally we tend to have beautiful fall color from Mid-October to early November that alone can make this time of year spectacular. The weather is generally noice also, no not warm and sunny, but not super cold either. I’m still wearing short sleeves though πŸ™‚

My wife can’t let this month go without a trip to the Pumpkin Patch. Generally we go out to Bi-Zi farms which has a wonderful setup, but this year they were absolutely packed to the gills, Bi-Zi was BUSY. Good for them, but we decided to head over to the Vancouver Pumpkin Patch on the east side and found they were busy as well, but not so much you had to wait an hour to get in.

Nolan shows off his Pumpkin

And so My wife, two adult sons, daughter-in-law, and I tromped around the patch seeking our ‘perfect’ orange squash. We didn’t go on Saturday which honestly was amazing weather-wise, I had 67ΒΊ under sunny skies, as we had other commitments. But Sunday was fine, cloudy with the threat of showers that didn’t materialize and mid to upper fifties. All good. We walked around the fields of dirt and orange until all five of us had our heavy tokens of Halloween and Harvest. We then patiently awaited the arrival of our hayride back rather than schlep the heavy veggies back on foot.

Yes, friends it is truly Autumn and we should soak in all its grandeur before ceding the skies to the cold dark winter.

Ah the ‘Couv’ life; it is good… in any season.

Bi Zi Farms 9504 NE 119th Street, Vancouver, WA 98662

Vancouver Pumpkin Patch, 18905 NE 83rd Street, Vancouver, WA 98682

Mayoral Election This Year

Next month the City of Vancouver will vote for Mayor. Sitting Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle will face off against challenger Earl Bowerman. The Columbian Editorial Board, no surprise here, has “recommended” Mayor Anne. I can’t say I disagree with the local paper on this one.

Although the office of Mayor in Vancouver is non-partisan, I would take a wild guess that Mayor Anne is likely a Democrat, her Challenger almost certainly is a Republican, having recently served as the local Republican Party Chairman.

Partisanship should not be a factor in this race, after all the position is defined as “non-partisan.” So why would I agree with the Columbian? Simply put; I have a four year track record with Mayor Anne, definable, visible, and measurable. Mr. Bowerman did not have the ‘stones’ to meet with the editorial board and has not shown anything deeper than slogans as far as a plan to execute his slogan based bullet points. The third candidate Doug Coop, who was eliminated in the primary election in August, was utterly destroyed by Mayor Anne in the editorial board meeting. He really didn’t have a clue on the local issues and focused on national issues. Mr. Bowerman shot himself in the foot by not attending that meeting that left our sitting Mayor looking like a champion by contrast.

In typical fashion, The Columbian failed to mention anything positive about Bowerman in their editorial “recommendation” of Mayor Anne. For one, he holds a doctorate degree in plant science from Rutgers University. The Columbian seemed very dismissive and in my opinion unfairly biased against him. I can’t stand what our media has become these days. 20 years ago The Columbian was refreshingly fair minded, today they seem like just another follow the leader media rag with narrative based reporting.

My problem with Bowerman is his lack of details on the issues. I agree with him on homeless camps and on Vancouver’s independence from Portland. But to the Columbian’s credit, they said he had nothing detailed, and there are no details to be found on his website. For such a well educated person, he cannot seem to articulate his actual “PLAN.” He had an opportunity to do so with the editorial board meeting and declined to show up. Mr Bowerman is no ‘dummy’ but he honestly doesn’t seem to be taking this election serious enough. This is one reason why I feel that Mayor Anne is the best choice.

Mayor Anne’s position on these managed homeless camps is supportive, I have to disagree with her. Providing these camps is an enabling exercise that fails to solve the problem at all. It analogous of parents buying heroin for their teenager and then complaining about their kid’s drug problem. The camps plan is simply an effort to hide the homeless, not an effort to help them. There seems to be three broad categories of homeless people and I think they are in order of prevelance as shown below:

  • Drug addicted
  • Mentally ill
  • Temporarily down

The third category of homeless will typically find help either through family, friends, or local charitable and government services. They do not want to be homeless, they want to get back into society. They are not the problem. The second category is part of a national problem we as a nation have with mental illness. The medical field has been terrible here, diagnosing nearly every patient as having some sort of mental issue and prescribing a variety of drugs to them yet broadly ignoring the real serious cases of mental illness. We need to return to institutional mental health care. NO, not the old school “one flew over the cuckoo’s nest” institutions! But managed care for those people suffering serious mental issues that keep them from functioning in society. They certainly should not be on the streets. The first category is also part of a national tragedy. Our country continues to allow dangerous and highly narcotic drugs to flood our cities. The city policy should be no street camping. Mayor Anne is wrong on this issue. But Mr. Bowerman was unable to present much more than a talking point, let alone a viable solution. Mayor Anne has presented a solution, I may disagree with the choice of solution, but it is at least decisive action.

Mayor Anne seems to be doing a great job continuing the positive redevelopment trends over the last 25 years. I have no quarrel here. She seems to be onboard with hi-density infill development which will help control urban sprawl and allow solid and sustainable growth for the decades ahead. I would like to see the Mayor come up with the defined plan to bring more high paying jobs to Vancouver. This is very important, Clark County residents get absolutely HOSED when they work in Oregon and live in Washington. The ONLY reason someone would do that is they can’t find a comparable position locally. She needs to work on that. The Mayor also seems to be working on solid plans for better transit. Overall good job, Madam Mayor.

Mayor Anne is onboard with the city “climate action plan.” I believe climate action should be left up to state level and national governments. Local governments designing climate focused action plans are wasting millions of dollars of local taxpayer money on what amounts to virtue signaling. Local governments have a primary function to provide public safety, ie Police and Fire services, local transportation infrastructure, and community development plans. Climate change is better suited to higher levels of government that can actually make a difference in that matter on a large scale. Every dollar pumped into expensive studies and legislative changes is a dollar taken away from the problems the residents are most concerned about at the city level.

So there it is in a nutshell, Mayor Anne is the best candidate on the ballot for Mayor and frankly she is all but a ‘shoo in’ at this point. I’m keeping my eye on her administration, we shall see what the 2025 election brings.