Friday, July 27, 2007

Breaking News!

I just received a phone call from Clark Mather, Congressman Norm Dicks' local liaison, telling me we have received Norm's endorsement.

Pretty cool, huh?

I'm both thrilled as well as humbled and grateful.

The Campaign Trail — Volume Two

Doorbelling continues to go well. Our message seems to be resonating well with the people I've been able to meet at their door. The biggest issue is catching people at home to talk to. Our Web site is attracting a lot of traffic as well, and will be updated again shortly, showing our new TV commercials which will begin airing on Wave Cable next week.
I was out of town a couple of times in the past two weeks on automotive adventures. The first was the Northwest Automotive Press Association's (NWAPA) annual "Run To The Sun" event, where we drove 18 different vehicles — including the 2008 Dodge Viper, ZO6 Corvette, and Audi R8 among others. The first day we did a drive loop from the Airport Radisson out to the coast, via places like Yelm, Pe Ell and Bucoda, while the second day we did the Olympic Peninsula Loop out to Lake Cresent, down the coast through Forks and Klaloch, to Aberdeen and then back to the Radisson.

The second event was the press intro of the new Infiniti G37 Coupe. VERY sweet ride — and much improved and refined over what was already a great little car. Luckily for me, it was actually held in Seattle, so I only really missed one doorbelling day since the normal two travel days for these types of events consisted of a ferry ride for me — not a plane trip.

I had committed to both events some time ago — well in advance of the campaign getting underway — and hated missing my doorbelling time. I was feeling guilty being gone, knowing I should be out putting up signs and knocking on doors. At least the Infiniti event gave me some of the time back. I also have four others on tap between now and election day in November, including the new Mercedes S550 intro in McCall Idaho, a Nissan event in San Diego, the new Volvo XC70 intro in Montana in September, and NWAPA's annual Mudfest event which pits all the new SUVs against each other, head-to head, on and off road, in October.

But back to the campaign...
I was saddened to learn this morning that one of the mayoral candidates was involved in a financial issue 11 years ago at OC. While this could be construed as "good news" for me, it just makes me sad to see attention to the real issues in the campaign — public safety, economic development, downtown, etc. — being diverted away to this kind of thing. Everyone makes mistakes in life. You put them behind you and you move on. We've all done it. I believe what we've done, — good and bad — and what we've learned from it, makes us what we are.

I say, let's focus on today's issues and let the past be just that — the past.

All three of us will be debating twice this coming Tuesday — the first time at Port Orchard Rotary at 7:15 a.m. (LaGarmache) and again at South Kitsap Rotary, (Puerta Vallarta) at 11:45. Should be interesting. Hope to see you there.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hokey Pokey

A. J. Weldon, a good of mine from High School in Florida, and with whom I later went through the electrician's apprenticeship with, sent me this bit of humor this evening. It's too good not to share.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Larry LaPrise (Roland Lawrence LaPrise, born: 11 November, 1912, in Detroit, Michigan, died: 4 September, 1996, in Gooding, Idaho) holds the U.S. copyright for the song Hokey Pokey.

LaPrise reportedly wrote the song in the late 1940s for the apr├Ęs-ski crowd at a club in Sun Valley, Idaho. The song was first recorded by his group the Ram Trio (with Charles Macak and Tafit Baker) in 1949. They were awarded U.S. copyright in 1950.

After the group broke up in the 1960s, LaPrise worked for the Post Office in Ketchum, Idaho.

The authorship of the Hokey Pokey is disputed, with British/Irish songwriter Jimmy Kennedy claiming to have written the original (entitled Cokey-Cokey) during WWII. Robert Degan sued LaPrise for copyright infringement of his 1946, The Hokey-Pokey Dance. They settled out of court.

See article Hokey Pokey for a more comprehensive account of the various competing theories attending the origin of the song and dance both in the United States and the United Kingdom.

After LaPrise's death, the following joke circulated on the Internet, comparing the Hokey Pokey to the process of placing LaPrise in his coffin.

Sad News

With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at the moment, it is worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost went unnoticed last week.

Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote "The Hokey Pokey," died peacefully at the age of 83.

The most traumatic part was getting him into his coffin.

First, they put his left leg in. And that's when all the trouble started...

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Sincere Condolances

No matter how you felt about the NASCAR initiative, this is a sad day.

Lesa France Kennedy, president of International Speedway Corporation (ISC), lost her husband today in a plane crash in Sanford, Florida. The Business Journal received the following press release this morning.

“This morning, at approximately 8:40 a.m. Eastern Time, a Cessna 310 registered to Competitor Liaison Bureau, Inc. of Daytona Beach, crashed in a Sanford, Florida, area neighborhood. At this time, we can confirm there were two people on-board, including the pilot, Dr. Bruce Kennedy and Michael Klemm, a senior captain with NASCAR Aviation. Both were killed in the crash. “Dr. Kennedy was the husband of NASCAR Board Member and ISC President Lesa France Kennedy.

“It is clear that numerous families were affected by this terrible tragedy and unfortunately several people were deceased or seriously injured. Our deepest sympathies and prayers are with all of those who were involved in this tragic accident and their families. We will provide additional information as it becomes available."

I met Lesa France Kennedy on a number of occasions related to ISC's attempt to build a NASCAR track here. She is a genuinely nice woman, with a very relaxed style. I found her very easy to talk with, quick to laugh, and quite charming and engaging. I also met her husband more than once and thought he was a pretty nice guy as well. It was obvious he doted on her, and was secure in his own persona — which considering the entire atmosphere which engulfed their lives, could become easy to get swallowed up in — and wasn't at all intimidated by any of it.

This is the second tragic death for Lesa in the past 30 days. Her father, NASCAR legend Bill France, passed away just a couple of weeks ago.

My heart goes out out to Lesa. If you're so inclined, I hope you'll say a prayer for her tonight.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The Campaign Trail, Volume One

I've spent the past couple of weeks doorbelling — doing a minimum of 50 doors a day, and usually more.

There are a number of common threads emerging — or at least those that are city issues.

Downtown Port Orchard is far and away at the very top of the list. Local voters are
demanding action. This should be good news for the businesses down there, but could spell trouble for a couple of incumbent city council candidates. The most frequently asked question: "Why can't we be more like Poulsbo or Gig Harbor?" Several have mentioned Monterey and Sausalito as comparables to aspire to as well. The fact we are a waterfront jewel just waiting to be polished, isn't lost an anyone.

Our top priority issue of public safety has resonated extremely well — especially among young families wanting information about sex offenders and where they are located. There are online tools available to law enforcement detailing their locations, and Police Chief Al Townsend is anxious to put these in place. I've also had a number of residents talk to me about a couple of specific locations of meth trafficking, which I've passed on to our PD.

I've come to realize how economically disadvantaged our community is. It's MUCH worse than I ever imagined. There's a huge dichotomy between those of comfortable means, the middle class, and those who struggle to make ends meet on a daily basis.

Something else that's become very apparent is that there is a LOT of lingering anger about the rejection of NASCAR — at least in this end of the county. I've had more than one voter ask me as I've stood on their doorstep, point blank, where I stood on this. To a person, they swore they would vote against EVERY politician who was against it. Larry — You wouldn't want NASCAR fans living next door to YOU — Seaquist is going to face the brunt of this wrath — IF he even runs for re-election. From what i can see, this issue could make the difference between him and a credible Republican winning that seat.

Anyway, that's it for now, but I will be posting regular updates as I continue doorbelling and let you know what the pulse of the community is.