I don’t know what the nautical version of the “rubber meeting the road” is but it seems like we are getting pretty close. I have a sense that as a result of the “dinner that was supposed to be with the Lummi Tribe” more and more people are coming to the conclusion that the Lummis really don’t want to have a ferry dock at Gooseberry Point. If it remains there the County will have had to pay and promise more than they are willing and able to pay. One might also suspect that the County would really like to get out of the ferry business and are masterfully politicking the situation to be able to point the finger at the Lummi Nation.
Understandably, this makes people angry and words like “commitment,” “agreements,” and “fairness” are tossed around. I suppose that if the Island gets the short end of the stick on any sort of ferry agreement that the Lummi Indians, at the very least, will be able to give us grief counseling. They are experts being on the receiving end of broken promises. I’m guessing they are empathatic if not sympathetic to the problems Lummi Islanders will face if service to Gooseberry Point ceases.
When PLIC’s highly regarded attorney met with the islanders at the Beach School many moons ago the first thing he said was that there was no future in a lawsuit against the Tribe. That, he told us, was a losing proposition. Negotiation and perhaps mediation were the best choices. As time has passed an additional realization has been made manifest—that the Lummi Nation, by virtue of large contributions, have a lot more political horsepower than does the island. There is talk of lawsuits again for we are litigious by nature. It would probably be a waste of money.
While the County negotiates I will again recommend (and suggest this from the point of view of resilience, self-sufficiency and transitioning to a different energy and climate future) that we spend some time coming up with a contingency plan on the ways we might solve our transportation problems for the long term given a different set of circumstances.
In his weekly essay William Kunstler lays it all out for you and it’s worth reading. Here’s the money quote:
“That’s all we care about in the USA, the cars. We can’t get over the cars. We can’t talk about anything except how we’ll find magical new ways to run all the cars. This is a very tragic sort of stupidity and if we don’t change our thinking about it, from the highest level on down, history is going to treat us very cruelly.”
The angst over the ferry to Gooseberry Point is all about our desire to continue to take our car to Bellingham or where ever, often with one person in it, whenever we want to go and for an affordable price. Long term, if Kunstler is right, we will have to dramatically change the way we do business (that is, how we get from point A to point B or learn not to go at all).
The reality is, something is going to change be it location, schedule or type of boat. Spend some time thinking about what could work, not necessarily what is ideal. Think about it in terms of reduced gasoline supplies and higher fuel prices. Read Kunstler and decide if he’s a nut or on the right track.
Let’s be practical. If something we think is bad actually happens we will have to deal with it individually and as a group. Changing the name of the island as some have suggested might be a good idea. That should burn some valuable time. We can start with a thousand suggestions and narrow it down. But, if this is how we’d like to proceed why not think out of the box?
Let’s sell the naming rights to the island and buy a new boat.
Google Island rolls off the tongue. Maybe AT &T Island (could improve cell phone reception. I kind of like Goldman Sachs Island to get us on the inside of future deals. Monsanto Island…free weed killer. One could go on and on.