Friday, January 22, 2010

Local Government and Fresh Aloe Breath

“Do you want to go tonight?”

I don’t know. I guess just about any night the answer would be “YES!!!” but to be honest, I didn’t know what Michael was texting about. I had seven pounds of Delicious incarnate in the oven and figured on a quiet evening at home. Not that it’s ever actually quiet but I knew the kids didn’t have any activities going on.

Because I’m prone to massive errors in judgment, I’d forgotten about the Pasco planning commission meeting at 7 p.m. last night and put an indescribably yummy prime rib in the oven hours before. Oops. My attendance wasn’t required or anything but it was mentioned that Michael ought to bring me along. So. Good stuff in the oven and no time to sit down to eat. Talk about super bad planning. I did what I could (read: pick at the delicious crispy bits while I cut up slices for the kids), fed them, and we left. I’m still thinking about that thing. With a little horseradish. Maybe I’ll eat it tonight while the rest have pizza.

So anyway, we got to the meeting just in time. I can’t remember what the first few items of business were but the majority of the time went to discussion of the proposed water park in Pasco. One of the Hale brothers gave a presentation covering the where’s and the why’s of it all, what it will look like, the benefits, the concerns, etc. It sounds like Bahama Bay will be an amazing place; an almost theme-park like atmosphere. A lot of thought has been put into making it family-friendly and very safe for kids as well as being a fun place for older kids to hang out. They want to make it more than just “a place to get wet and prove gravity works” as he put it. Though for the record, I have no problem with either of those things. But still, it sounds amazing.

The audience, all sworn in, was given a chance to come up to the podium and speak their piece for 3 minutes. Some of the speakers were obviously very PRO water park. The man who owns the Sleep Inn right next door was very much enthusiastic about the whole concept. OBVIOUSLY. As was the owner of the Broadmoore Outlets. Because, well, again, OBVIOUSLY. It began to feel like an episode of “Parks and Recreation” as the AARP contingent made itself known. I guess younger folks don’t bother with local government; I don’t know. But wow. The swishing of corduroy pants announced the comings and goings of one fellow in particular who felt he needed to speak twice. He wasn’t necessarily against the plan but had a million and one things he wanted the commission to investigate. Things that, no doubt, they would already look into and that the guys are already on top of. Other folks didn’t want it in their backyard. They figured a water park was a great idea, just not near them. Just move it. That’s all. I imagine they have no concept of how much has gone into just obtaining that particular piece of real estate.

There were folks who wanted sound studies, traffic studies, knowledge of ambient noise levels, enhanced landscaping, conditional variances, and articulated walls. Which made me think of reticulated pythons. The whole noise issue was kind of a joke because there’s not much chance the laughter of kids is going to be louder than the traffic on I-182.

There were others who had concerns that there would be two water parks in the area but my guess is that these were people associated with the other park. Their location will be in the Southridge area of Kennewick and a lot of the folks that were for the water park thought the area could probably support two. Actual studies say otherwise but who knows.

A big concern with the group was the hours of operation. The plan was to close down at 6 p.m. to avoid becoming a hangout for, how shall we put it, an undesirable element of the youth population. The objections were that this is a peak traffic window and additionally, it leaves several hours of daylight that many families could enjoy together after people get home from work. Why not have it open during daylight hours? It’s something to consider.

This thing seemed to go on forever. Everyone seemed to have an opinion and a legal pad full of notes. Was it because a news crew was there or is it always this way? All I know is if I never hear the words “Synergy” or “Staycation” again, it will be too soon.

When we came home I noticed the two-pack of Lever 2000 soap I’d picked up for free (on sale for 88 cents and I had a $1 coupon!) was sitting empty at the bottom of the stairs. That was weird. I went up to the bathroom to look for the bars but no luck. I went down to brag to Michael about how clever I was and then promptly forgot about it. Until this morning.

Thirsty and looking for a drink, I grabbed a Super Big Gulp on the island in the kitchen. I knew Sierra filled it with ice water the day before so I took mouthful and . . . WHAT IN THE WORLD???

I ran around the kitchen like a complete idiot until it dawned on me to spit it out in the sink. What had I just ingested? I searched quickly for something to kill the taste then went back to that cup of Awfulness. I carefully opened the lid and inside, well, mystery solved. There before me were two half-melted bars of Fresh Aloe Level 2000 in a cup full of suds. I got my mouth washed out with soap without even the crime of a dirty word!



  1. "Reticulated pythons" good words. Children's laughter is one noise that is not pollution. Thanks for updating on this issue. I really miss living where there are inexpensive public pools, especially the indoor ones in the winter.

  2. So was that a booby trapped drink? Were your children hoping to wash out your mouth? Don't let them talk to my kids. We don't need any further mischievious ideas around here! (Yes, you were right, I was thinking of a completely different meeting - the Public Input Meeting concerning the teacher collaboration (PLC - Professional Learning Communities) time for secondary schools.)


So, what do you think?