Standing in the cold ocean water up to my calves, the sound of the waves and the wind having soaked in through my ears and my pours, I looked out towards the horizon, feeling the ebbing wave pulling the sand from under my feet, making holes under my heels, shifting my weight slightly backwards. The moving sand tickled playfully. I remembered this feeling from my childhood, standing in the waves at Cape Cod.
I waited to feel the next wave washing in to see if it replaced the sand under my heels. I listened to the immense whoosh of the wave still moving away from me, infinite in its scope but curved into some finite form by the geography of the shore. The incoming and outgoing ocean itself had created that geography over some seemingly infinite time. As I waited for the last faint diminution of that rushing sound, the gradual crescendo of the next flowing wave began at just the point of its dying, like the motion of a swing coming back after the child’s feet had curled underneath her as far as they could.
After several moments absorbed in the sensations of the waves washing in and out, my concentration disrupted, I moved my feet, walking along with the edges of the jagged waves, some coming in further, some staying closer to the depths where the land drops away. As I turned towards the dunes and the piles of logs pushed by storms to the top of the beach, Walter called to me, over the roaring of the ocean, “What were you thinking about just then, when you were looking out toward the horizon?”
I stopped and gathered my thoughts, which were already straying, then said “I was thinking how the ebbing wave sucks the sand out from under my heals. It makes two holes. I was waiting to see whether the incoming wave filled them back up. It doesn’t. The next ebb wave just takes away more. I have to move around a bit so I don’t fall over.”
My curiosity reawakened, I turned and looked out again at the waves coming in, the sound of the roiling froth, the sensation of movement in the meeting of going in and going out. I began to breathe with the sounds of the waves, breathing in with the whole length of the incoming rush and breathing out with the until the sound had receded completely, breathing in again with the whoosh of sound coming towards me. By just the smallest margin, it was a longer breath than I could take. The ocean was breathing for the planet. It was my lungs that had lost their full capacity. If I sat with the waves and adjusted my breathing, I was sure, over time, they would regain their rightful strength and I would breathe completely again. It would take a lot of practice.
From the beginning, it is the ocean that breathes. Everything breathes with it. The tide comes in gradually, waves shifting randomly, and everything rises with it. At the moment of the shift in the pull of sun and moon, the tide pivots, at the end of that in-breath, and shifts. Imperceptibly, each incoming wave becomes part of the breath going out, leaving behind it more and more of the shore where life bubbles up from its time underwater into its time with the air, the huge breathing of the tides containing within it the rhythm of the waves. Strange to know this after so many years with the ocean. It somehow shifts everything.
When we arrived at the wonderful old hotel, the weather was perfect–a bright blue, buff and green summer afternoon with a light wind off the ocean which was just the other side of the three story, wooden, green-painted Sylvia Beach Hotel. It had stood there calmly near the Yaquina Light House since 1913, its big wooden framed windows taking in the surroundings. Now it was a literary themed hotel, each bedroom designed around a different author.
Years before, we had been travelling around the coast and had peeked in to the hotel. I was intrigued. Around my daughter’s tenth birthday, thinking of places I could take her for a weekend all to ourselves, I had remembered the place with fondness, imagined the walks on the long stretch of beach, collecting shells and rocks, and decided it was just the setting. The E.B White room was even the cheapest room, and thus the one we could afford. This had made me especially happy. As a kid of eight or nine, I had read every one of his books for children. Then I had read them all aloud to my daughter— Charlotte’s Web, Stuart Little, The Trumpet of the Swan—both of us reveling in his wonderful language and his beautifully drawn characters. White was an icon in my childhood home, growing up with a father who was steeped in the world of literary editors, contemporary authors and the craft of writing—E.B. White, the eminently intelligent staff writer for The New Yorker, essayist, humorist and generally the model for clear, sparkling direct language with wit and wisdom. I associated him with my father’s old Royal typewriter with its solid black letters sitting in each of the huge white, round keys on long curving metal stems.
The host took us outside and around to the corner of the building where she opened an outside door and let us in to our room. As I lugged our old bags and a big plastic cooler through the door I thought “We’re here for two whole nights! We have all this time just to ourselves to do whatever we want!” No mouths to feed, no work to go to, no places to run the kids. There were the two beds in a small, cozy room with a shelf full of White’s complete works, including “The Elements of Style” and his books of essays. There was a model of a trumpeter swan and a stuffed Stuart Little. And then there was the old, black Royal typewriter, just like my father’s, sitting on a small wooden writing table. I had found my heaven.
We put our clothes in the painted dresser and decided on a short nap after the long drive. We snuggled into a bed with lots of pillows and I read most of the first chapter of Stuart Little aloud before putting it beside me on the bed and closing my eyes.
When we awoke, the sun had gone up the dome of the sky to the other side of the hotel. It was late afternoon with the sun’s rays beginning to slant across the hotel, casting its biggest shadow. A perfect time for a walk on the beach. We put on bathing suits, shorts and salt water sandals and took a canvas bag with snacks and camera and headed around the side of the building to the path through to the beach grass. The smell of the salt and of fish made us skip, holding hands until the sand got too deep and we stumbled, laughing.
We ran down to the water, took off our sandals and waded into the cold, cold Pacific water, waves sucking in and out over the rocky sand, the smells of brine and seaweed rushing up our nostrils, the wind catching our hair. We didn’t go in very far. Too late in the day to attempt a real swim, but it was our baptism, splashing water on our faces and tasting the salt as it clung to our lips. That night we ate in our room, read aloud and chatted in the dark till we slept. After I no longer got answers to my questions, I drifted into that twilight before sleep, watching inside to see who this was in this moment, outside of the routine of life. There resting in my chest was kind of warm rosy light. I sank into it gently, as I would into the embrace of a lover.
The morning brought sun in through our southern window. I woke up early as usual, full of the kind of anticipation I’ve felt traveling in a foreign country. She woke more slowly, rumpled with sleep, smiling. Even on our tight budget with the extravagance of a hotel, I decided we would go out for breakfast and buy ourselves some special picnic food for lunch. We sat together in a little beach town café, she eating pancakes and I eggs, toast and bacon, talking about this and that, the new school she would be attending, her little brother, looking forward to a trip to the aquarium. What was this mother self? How was it different from the self I step into, like a full-body jump suit when I get up in the morning, preparing for a day as a therapist in a city hospital? Who is this person facing me, poised in those moments before the opening of her body and mind into young womanhood, someone I had known since she somehow received the first impressions of sound, sensation and light enclosed within the dark sea of the womb, since I greeted her essence inside me, since my first hungry look into the dark blue of her newborn eyes, still turned inward toward those internal realms of the sea, reflecting the lights of the outside world rather than fully absorbing them. She was now a consciousness with an attachment to the experiences gleaned each successive moment, rubbing up against all those other selves wandering around in the world. .
What was this mother self? How was it different from the self I step into, like a full-body jumpsuit when I get up in the morning, preparing for a day as a therapist in a city hospital? Who is this person facing me, poised in those moments before the opening of her body and mind into young womanhood, someone I had known since she somehow received the first impressions of sound, sensation and light enclosed within the dark sea of the womb, since I greeted her essence inside me, since my first hungry look into the dark blue of her newborn eyes, still turned inward toward those internal realms of the sea, reflecting the lights of the outside world rather than fully absorbing them. She was now a consciousness with an attachment to the experiences gleaned each successive moment, rubbing up against all those other selves wandering around in the world. At some point in our sitting there together, I felt myself take a deep breath, as if reawakening to my surroundings, a café with windows looking out on a sunny street, families walking by, looking for their next enjoyment. I paid the bill and we got into the car to drive to the aquarium.
What I remember is the cylindrical tank in the middle of a big room where transparent jellyfish, the size of the largest glass mixing bowls turned upside down, hung suspended in the salty brine. We stood transfixed, pointing out the intricacies of the light gleaming through each sack of protoplasm, bouncing off their long dangling glass tentacles, puddling in spots in the dusky water. Then there were the astonishing symmetries of their internal organelles, rings of transparent circles as if a glass blower had worked magic and put glass forms suspended inside glass spheres. The dance of the light and form enchanted us and we stood, moving around the tank slowly to see them in the different angles of light and perspective as groups of people came and went through the room, looking, commenting, ooing and ahing, laughing briefly with delight. \
We watched the sea otters in their large rocky pool, diving, swimming around each other, floating on their backs. We made eye contact with several, entering for a moment into a consciousness that experiences the world as if filtered through a smile. Their sense of humor permeated even the act of eating a clam. We saw sharks swim, drew in the brilliant colors of tropical fish and walked in the sparkling sun and dappled shade of the gardens of native plants outside. Hungry, we went back to the car and broke open our picnic of bread, cheese and turkey, sitting at a picnic table, laughing about what we’d seen.
I think we went back to our room then and took a nap, getting up soon to get out to the beach while it was still hot enough to dry out after a cold swim. My daughter and I both were creatures of ocean. She had learned to swim as a baby in our town in Southern California, underwater paddling with eyes wide open and bright. She’d loved to swim around in the warm water of the bay, where I swam out with her, side by side. I spent my earliest summers on the beaches of Cape Cod, in and out of the waters of ocean and lake all day, for a couple of summer weeks each yer. We swam now, the water piercingly cold, sputtering, laughing, challenging each other to swim a little longer. When we couldn’t take the cold another second, we walked out delicately over the rocky bottom. Spreading our towels, we lay for a bit in the hot sun, warming, relaxed. The itch to explore the beach soon overcame me and we pulled on our shorts and tops over quickly drying bathing suits, gathered up our towels in our bag and set out.
The long spread of the sand, the expanse of water to the horizon, the dark rocks and cliffs within reach at the limit of our view, the smells, the warm air with barely a breeze, the patterns made by swarms of sandpipers running in groups in the surf, the sounds of sea birds, an occasional hawk screeching, children laughing, all combined to open some experience, some realm of perception so expansive that nothing was external. Both absorbed by this mysticism of ocean, we walked barefoot through the water, feeling the waves tickling back and forth over and under our feet, finding rocks of colors that exist nowhere else but under water, taking our time.
We finally arrived at the curve of the beach covered by a large, brown and gray rock formation, dotted with pools now at low tide, a rock cliff rising on the landside. Down the cliff thin streams of water tumbled, making a shower of cold water beneath.
We each found our own pool to study, one that drew us, so we could sit as long as we liked to observe the world of water bugs, sea stars, sea urchins, feeding barnacles, mollusks, sea weeds and tiny fish for as long as it took to grasp the sense of this infinite network. Then, ready to shake ourselves, she took off her shorts and tee-shirt and, full of sheer delight, walked under the trickling shower from the stream above. I followed, both squealing. We lay down on the warm rocks to dry again, looking up into the sky above the cliff where a tall beach pine curved up from the grassy area on the cliff-top.
I watched as a Peregrine soared up above the tree on a current of air rising over the ocean. Then another joined it. I called to my daughter, absorbed by something in the pool beside her, to watch. Resting on air streams between earth and water, gliding with wings spread perfectly, balanced and still, they came closer together with imperceptible movements, flying in tandem as if two fighter planes. As we watched, they both turned upside down in formation, spinning over in parallel, once, twice, miraculously, joyously. Propped now on our elbows, eyes riveted upwards, it was as if the exuberance of their joy transmitted itself directly through the molecules of air separating us. We flew with them.
It lasted for a brief moment or two, then they were gone, flying up and beyond the stretch of the cliff. We turned to each other in our astonishment, having shared something so rare and precious we knew it to be unbelievable. The afternoon had created an opening neither of us had imagined.
That evening, we ate in the little restaurant in the hotel, windows overlooking the beach, our one restaurant dinner. As if we were two grownups on vacation, we ate fish, I drank wine and we watched the sun set over the Pacific, warmly, gorgeously. After dinner, we walked in the moonlit dark on the beach, playing with the water as we went. As we strolled, feeling the weightlessness of such atmosphere, she asked if she could tell a story. “Of course!” I said, and she began. She told her story for a while, perhaps of horses in the water, maybe unicorns, given her age. It was a story woven directly from her imaginings as they unwound into the night.
She stopped walking, stopped her story and said, “You tell it for a while.”
I picked up the story. It shifted, new characters emerging, lives developing. We went back and forth like this for some time, until we began to realize we’d come quite a way down the beach and the sleepiness was beginning to overcome us. The story was losing its life. Before we turned back, still in the mood of going into the vastness, she asked me, “Could we do this again?” I replied, “Oh yes. Maybe we could even write a book together.” “Oh yes,” she said. “Let’s do that!”
Those moments are imprinted in the memory of what I know to be the thread of this self, this one I inhabit still, joined by that cord of energy to this other self who has become a woman. She carries the same imprint somehow within her, stamped somewhere in the vastness of the interior.
We return to the ongoing story of the Ferndale Clock Tower.
In early July, I accompanied Art and Margaret, the owners and builders of this nearly-completed landmark, to a courtroom on the second floor of the Whatcom County Court House. The City of Ferndale vs. The Rojszas, Superior Court–Take Three.
From time to time over the past few years, I’ve overheard people from Ferndale say (with many variations), “What’s with the people who own that tower house thing on Main Street? Do they think they can trash their place and create an eyesore for the rest of us? Why isn’t the City doing something about it? It’s a travesty!”
Well, the travesty is that the City is actually the cause. The city staff, the Mayor, the City’s Attorney and possibly the City Council have colluded to block the Rojszas at every turn. The motives behind their obstruction are not clear, but one suspects a combination of anti-immigrant sentiment and a desire to drive out, by whatever means, a perceived obstacle to their plan for commercial development of that part of Main Street. It has a very similar feel to a situation unfolding in the King County Superior Court in a homeowner’s suit against the City of SeaTac (see (https://www.wethegoverned.com/city-of-seatac-slammed-with-18-3-million-jury-verdict-city-attorneys-guilty-of-deception/)
Although the details of a situation like the Rojszas’ are, in themselves, tedious, it is the full weight of all these small facts that provide the heft of the absurdity (and worse, dishonesty and deception) we endure as citizens. Small town governments like that of Ferndale are wasting enormous amounts of energy and anger, so much better directed at true injustices (starting say, with Global Warming), in carrying out vendettas against citizens who threaten the status quo by creating something new. It is an age-old phenomenon. Yet in a world where the remedy for hate is more hate and for violence, more violence, it is important to acknowledge those places where generosity could reproduce itself prolifically. Although people like the Rojsza’s may end up in this country in a search for a more freedom of expression and movement, attempts like those of the Ferndale City government did not disappear with the advent of American Democracy, what is commonly referred to as a “free society”. In fact, they seem to have become increasingly prevalent as its citizens become less financially secure and more fearful of “outsiders”.
On that Friday afternoon, after this third episode of court experience, Art and Margaret and I were chatting outside on the steps of the courthouse. Inside, the City had continued to assert that the Rojszas were not cooperating with timely and compliant completion of their Clock Tower. Trying to celebrate the small victories their attorney had eked from the grasp of the City, we joked that each time they come back to court, the City has, in their collective imaginations, piled some new demand on to what has now become a mythic “Settlement Agreement”. This time, there were, mercifully, no fines and the judge had stated the City would have to share the costs of a professional, third party inspector at the end of the Settlement Agreement period.
When we last left them after their second Superior Court hearing, the judge had asked for a few days’ time to consider the details of the Settlement Agreement. In her presentation to the attorneys several days later, she had evidently declined to impose fines, but had held them out as a possible remedy should the City “be obliged” to do so for continuing lack of compliance.
Nowhere in her communications to the attorneys or to the court had Judge Montoya-Lewis made any mention of the overreaching and prejudicial acts of the City over the past nine years. During those years, the Rojszas have been trying to complete their redesign while contending with constantly changing rules, lost permit applications and engineering drawings, and general delaying tactics through non-responsiveness and confusion.
Originally, back in September, the Settlement Agreement had specified the exterior would be completed to meet structural and safety codes. Even then, the Rojszas had the necessary permits to complete the interior and were proceeding in a timely way towards completion. They continued work on the exterior as they could, since the City had not responded to their requests for permits for several aspects of the construction. Despite this, the City continued to maintain the Rojszas were stubbornly and rebelliously refusing to move forward expeditiously on the construction and were deliberately creating a “public eyesore” and were themselves a public nuisance. The cause of this mess rests with the City’s initial (and now continuing) incompetence in responding to permit requests compounded by their criminalization of these homeowners’ attempts to move forward through the mire of City contradictions. Perhaps, as in the case with the City Staff of SeaTac, what is truly at hand is criminal deception by the City.
A bit of history review may helpful. If you can, bear with me. It’s mind-numbing, but it’s a significant little piece of Americana irony. The Rojszas bought their house in 2002. Soon after, they became involved with a Downtown Revitalization Committee, with Art as the Chair and Margaret as the secretary. They gradually began improvements on their 90-year-old, two story house. Since it was considered an old house, a permit was not required for many improvements since there is a special provision for these renovations in the National Building Code. However, beginning in 2005 the Rojszas applied for permits to modify their roof and put on an addition. Despite repeated requests, applications were lost and the City took inordinate amounts of time to respond when the applications were finally acknowledged.
In 2009, the City noticed that the Rojszas were making modifications to the roof. They then required the Rojszas to hire a structural engineer to determine whether the modifications were safe and structurally sound. If any modifications were necessary based on this structural analysis, the Rojszas would have 90 days to complete them. They would then be granted permits to move forward and, as permit holders, would be subjected to an inspection every 180 days.
It took the City six months to get an engineer out for the inspection. After that, they were required to get architectural and structural drawings done at their own expense, requiring an official engineering stamp. These were completed and the drawings delivered to the City. The City claimed they had not received them. After a period of time, the City sent back the architectural drawings with markings made by the City staff with the comment from Greg Young, then Head of the City Planning Department, that everything looked fine. The staff continued to maintain they had lost the Structural drawings. The next email from the City stated that, based on the drawings, there were permit violations. The Rojszas had already moved forward with the planned construction.
In 2010, the City revoked the permit and “red-tagged” the building, claiming the Rojszas had gone outside the limits of the permit. From that time until now, there have been periods during which they were allowed to proceed and periods during which permits were revoked resulting in “Stop Work” orders. Meanwhile, recycled materials they had saved from other construction jobs waited, rusting and deteriorating, on their property, unused. By the time a permit would grind its way through the City’s delays, the modifications to the building based on these materials were no longer possible. Since 2010, they have been allowed to work actively on the exterior for a total of about a year and a half. Each time they were forced to resubmit permits, they had to modify their earlier plans due to the shifting availability of building materials.
The City, meanwhile, pulled them into court for several felony violations in 2010, resulting in countersuit by the Rojszas who finally accepted a settlement of $130,000 when the court realized that one charge was based on an unconstitutional City regulation and the other accusation was baseless. The settlement only covers a small portion of the legal fees the Rojszas have incurred since 2009 and none of the wasted time and severe emotional distress caused particularly by false accusations of child molestation at a local Haggen’s grocery store and the City’s trespass onto their property to remove a large campaign sign they had posted for their son’s run for Mayor of the City of Ferndale. They have kept a documentation trail of delayed response to requests, lost documents, contradictory statements and the imposition of new rules at every turn.
In February of this year, the City pulled the Rojszas into Court maintaining they were in violation of their Settlement Agreement. Although there was no specific list of items that had not been completed, the City contended the Rojszas were recalcitrantly continuing to defy completion of the exterior, in violation of their Settlement Agreement. The judge ordered that they stop violating the City’s rules and complete the exterior within tight deadlines.
The City brought the Rojszas back to court in May, saying they continued to openly disregard their responsibilities and the rules of the city and needed to be punished with fines and deadlines. During that hearing, the Rojsza’s attorney unfortunately failed again to obtain a clear list of the things the City claimed were still in violation of the Settlement Agreement. The Rojsza’s were a bit mystified, but continued working around the clock, seven days a week to complete what they believed had been agreed (and for which they finally had permits).
Facing a court review of their progress in July, they were concerned they still had never received a clear list from the city about what remained to be completed. They asked the City in on June 28th to come and do a 60-day inspection related to the court order. They were clear with the City Administrator that the purpose of such an inspection would be for the City to generate a clear check list of the incomplete exterior items so that all parties have the same understanding. The city at first refused, and then interpreted the request as one for a final inspection of the whole house (interior and exterior), despite a paper trail of clear requests from the Rojszas for an inspection to determine what items were still incomplete.
When the two inspectors from the City (neither of them construction experts) finally arrived on July 8th, they requested to be let in for an interior inspection, despite the fact the interior is not the subject of the Settlement Agreement. When the Rojszas refused, another black mark of opposition was registered against them in the City’s book. The night before the inspection, a text from Margaret said, “I am so tired from working too much so I am not sure if I am alive or dead, but if I am dead please bury me in a bikini if possible under the mail box. 🙂 If I am alive, please wake me up.” This is evidence again, I am sure, of the Rojsza’s flippant attitude towards authority. If this is indeed so, let us have more flippancy. We will need it to survive.
The Rojszas had waited until the day of their next court date to receive the letter resulting from that inspection. It had been only the morning of that day when we stood on the courthouse steps that the City’s attorney, Dannon Traxler, sent a follow-up letter to the Rojszas’ attorney. Her letter stated in part “Unfortunately the majority of the items required by the Judgment remain incomplete, and the inspection was a complete waste of City resources.” Yet, the Rojszas still did not have a clear list of what remained to be completed as a result of the Settlement Agreement, the whole point of the exercise.
The letter contained a “punch list” of items the City drew up as a result of the inspection. Most of these items had to do with clean-up of the yard and of the building materials still scattered around the property due to ongoing construction. Other items related to perceived imperfections in siding installation with which the inspectors were unfamiliar. Only two or three items related to things that truly needed to be completed and would be a day or two’s work. The rest of the six-page document is comprised of speculations about the interior they had not been able to see.
As we stood there together on the courthouse steps after the July hearing, laughing yet a bit despondent, Art and Margaret reminisced about how this whole project had begun.
“At the beginning of all this, I know it’s hard to believe, but we were actually grateful to this community and to the US where we had, in the end, come to live. We wanted to create something really interesting here where we were making friends, a gift. What ambitious plans we had! It would be a place that everyone could look to, a central place where you could see the time, like in Europe. We even had an elegant model. Margaret wanted it to be a place for concerts, ballet, expositions, openings for painters, Thursday artists’ dinner with after-dinner intellectual discussions! We knew how to do this, too! We knew how to build wonderful things and we had the energy. Then it started—requests for permits that were never answered, even after repeat letters, emails and phone calls (which we have documented). Then inspection dates that no one showed up for or got postponed repeatedly. All the beautiful recycled materials we had saved from our other construction projects got ruined, waiting out in the weather. When we finally got permits, we had to change the designs since we no longer had the materials! And the accusations we were defying city ordinances with our “junk”! It was our materials waiting for construction to move forward. What else were we supposed to do with them? We put up white tents, and then those were a violation. We put them behind a black curtain, as the city requested, and then that became a violation. And then the false prosecution for “Sexual Harassment”! My God! And they have been talking all along about our “refusal to cooperate” our “non-compliance”. We’ve never known what we had to comply with! In all the places we have done big construction projects, never have I run into such incompetence and obstructionism. We always do the right paperwork, get the right permits and complete the construction when we say we will, always way above code requirements! But here, in our chosen home town, No! We are made instead into criminals! Criminals!”
It is true. In court that afternoon, the city’s attorney again tried to hold that the Rojszas had been oppositional and intransigent. The government, on both the large and small scale, has the power of authority and purports to speak for the interests of the people who put it in place. If the government holds that someone is in opposition to the best interests of the people as a whole, it bears the preponderance of the power, having the police and the court at its disposal. The citizens to whom this government is accountable tend to agree with their elected officials, much in the same ways they tend to agree that police will always take the side of protection and justice and that America is based on an unbiased judicial system.
It is therefore incumbent on that government to be magnanimous in its power, given how dramatically it outweighs the power of an individual citizen. But, it seems now that the City of Ferndale will not let go of the Rojszas and their fantastical and imaginative project. It is willing to spend inordinate resources and use the full weight of its authority to crush them. They will not let them be. The officials of the city have convinced themselves and many of the citizens of the county that these are aberrant people (and foreigners, to boot) who are creating a junkyard in the middle of what should be a new, thriving business center on the Main Street.
Even the Court, thus far, seems to take all the City says on faith. The “Party Line” holds that the Rojszas are criminally irresponsible (“like Gypsies surrounded by junk”) and should be punished as an example to anyone else who wants to step over that fuzzy boundary.
Many friends and admirers of the Rojszas and of their project have written letters over time to two consecutive mayors. We have supported and advocated in every way we know, but these efforts are always countermanded and overwhelmed by the oncoming freight train of the city’s prejudicial stance.
The City Council has abnegated their responsibility to provide a counterbalance to the Mayor in such an instance. They hold that since one of the Council People knows and has admitted to liking the Rojszas, she should recuse herself from any discussion of this matter before the Council. In no other instance has this been demanded of other Council People when friendship has been an issue. In a small town, that would be unwieldy. It is expected that people elected to such a position will make a special effort to make impartial judgments. She has stood firm on principle and refused to recuse herself. The Council has refused to discuss the issue in her presence. Stalemate. By default, the Mayor and his appointed officials have free rein. There is much here to remind us of the SeaTac case. Perhaps the court will finally find evidence of the City’s persecutory and unconstitutional behavior. It will take a court appeal by the Rojszas.
What a joy it would be to see this Clock Tower completed, to witness a gala concert, poetry readings, to have the picnics we used to have in the back yard and to create new events for the community. It is such a shame that this sort of joy has become criminal. Instead, we are told to find our happiness in “going along with the program.” I, for one, would much prefer to see this glorious, idiosyncratic, anomalous fantasy standing in view of Mt. Baker than to see another row of new buildings for offices, many of which are now already standing vacant in this town where we see that white volcano on every clear day and feel the presence of the ocean at our back.
Here’s a video that takes you in to the house five years ago. You can get an impression of how much detail and solidity has gone into this project.