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Jan 25 2013

Something’s Rotten in Skykomish

 

Skykomish_&_Obsidian_development_area_map

Skykomish News Investigative Report

The Monroe Monitor recently published ‘Speed Limit Could Halt Skykomish Development’ byChris Hendrickson. Great article and now…

Here’s the Rest of the Story:

Sky Ruling Elites got snookered by BNSF Railway and Washington State Department of Ecology’s (DoE) Environmental cleanup scam into accepting financial responsibility for a wastewater treatment facility that town residents cannot afford.

Even though sewer rates have already skyrocketed, wastewater treatment facility operations remain deep in the red and Sky officials are in a desperate race to find a solution before the facility’s reserve fund runs out of money.

Town officials are betting Obsidian Finance Group LLC’s proposed residential development will provide the much needed Hail Mary pass.

The Monitor’s article largely focused upon Obsidian’s ‘professed’ requirement that U.S. Highway 2’s speed limit be reduced from 60mph to 35mph, allowing pedestrians to safely cross the highway from Obsidian’s proposed development to the Town’s traditional but now dead business district.

Traffic from Monroe to Stevens Pass Ski Area, to Leavenworth and beyond has always been a sticky wicket due to frequent traffic congestion, backups and weather.

Over the decades population density along U.S. Highway 2’s Sky Valley has grown and traffic lights and speed restrictions have sprouted along with it. The addition of each traffic light, speed or other restriction causes a serial traffic reaction that further slows traffic, adds to stoppages, jams, delays and increases travel times.

Funding doesn’t exist to provide long term solutions, so the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) must give careful consideration to each request for changes in highway signalling or speed. What used to be a 45 minute drive to or from the Stevens Pass Area Ski can easily become, for some, a two hour journey even in good weather.

Highway traffic into Obsidian’s proposed development would be required to make a slow right turn off the highway or a slow and dangerous left turn. Existing traffic, in and out of Skykomish at 5th Street can already be a nail biting experience.

In the end, Obsidian’s proposed development will likely require extensive highway lane modifications, additions and a traffic light on the highway at the 5th Street junction.

Getting WSDOT approval is a big if, because Sky Valley, Stevens Pass Ski Area and Leavenworth depend on the free flow of traffic to maintain economic viability. Tourist dependent businesses and economies are acutely aware that increased travel time reduces the number of travelers willing to make the trip.

… and about Obsidian’s pedestrian concerns: Since this is Obsidian’s project, shouldn’t they be financially responsible for constructing a pedestrian overpass, as suggested by Jim S in his comment to the Monroe Monitor’s article instead of slowing down traffic from Monroe to Leavenworth?

Amendment to the Skykomish Comprehensive Plan is required if Obsidian’s proposed project is to move forward.

Investors Property Services LLC, agent for the Skykomish Hotel (Hotel), submitted public comments which included request for public documents regarding the proposed amendment.

The Town refused and continues to refuse to provide public documents or respond to public comments and has approved the Amendment at a meeting that former mayor Fred Black has acknowledged in writing was illegal. The Hotel and Town are currently involved in legal action over this and other issues regarding alleged corruption and nefarious dealings by Town officials.

While it’s difficult to know everything without the appropriate public documents, responses to public comments or a legal public hearing, it appears:

The project’s promoter, Obsidian Finance Group LLC, alone and or in concert with but not limited to Aloha Lumber Corp acquired numerous tracts of land throughout Washington and Oregon prior to the real estate crash that began in 2007.

This crash has been particularly devastating for land holders, land speculators and land developers, as well as their bankers and investors. Many development projects ground to a halt as demand and financing dried up. Land values collapsed up to 70% and more.

Obsidian and or its related vehicles have attempted to sell tracts, including Skykomish area holdings, but these efforts appear only partially successful.

Tracts generating ongoing property tax obligations, encumbered by debt or not producing cash flow have placed many developers and investors under severe stress.

Local Skykomish land investors have watched their investments wither on the vine. Former Mayor Ted Cleveland, who did everything in his power to halt the Skykomish Hotel renovation, thought nothing of using the Town’s Comprehensive Plan Amendment process to get one of his land parcels rezoned to take advantage of Obsidian’s proposed development, even though the parcel contains a sensitive wetland.

The Town was kind enough to provide the sewer line extension that will be necessary to hook up with Obsidian’s proposed development, without charge to Obsidian. Is the Town planning to charge Obsidian for actual sewer connections, or will this too be free?

The Skykomish area has plenty of good flat land available for development. Why is the Town bending over to promote Obsidian’s development of steep hillside tracts where soil conditions and rainfall favour increased likelihood of catastrophic, life threatening slides?

If Obsidian is required to pay for extensive geo-tech work needed to mitigate hillside dangers, pay the going rate for sewer connections and pay for highway and pedestrian improvements, does it really make economic sense for their development plans to move forward?

Does Obsidian actually have funding in place and the financial wherewithal to see their proposed project through to completion? This is an important question, as the proposed development parcels are currently listed ‘For Sale’ by Obsidian subsidiary, Aloha Lumber Corp.

Do we merely have one more developer attempting to add value to a property so it can be peddled?

The Town understands these issues, which gets to the heart of the matter as to why they refuse to supply lawfully requested public documents, respond to public comments or hold a lawful meeting to amend their Comprehensive Plan.

Many believe The United States Federal Reserve System is an agency of our federal government. This is incorrect. It is a private entity controlled by Europe’s wealthy and powerful Rothschild family, now responsible for printing $100 billion every month, created out of thin air, buying mortgage backed derivatives in a last ditch attempt to make it look like the United States housing and construction markets are regaining strength.

These same crooks are buying 90% of bonds being issued by the U.S. Treasury, also with money created out of thin air, in an attempt to hold interest rates artificially low so that interest payments on America’s exploding deficit appear manageable a while longer.

Bond prices have reached a 300 year high, virtually guaranteeing that this bubble will pop with a bang that will be heard and felt around the world.

40% of every dollar our federal government now spends is borrowed and the lender is almost exclusively Rothschild operatives that are conjuring the money to buy this debt out of thin air.

If you or I tried this, we would be doing hard time in prison.

Rothschild operatives have been destroying currencies and bankrupting nations for hundreds of years in order to feed themselves, partners, operatives and friends like JP Morgan Chase, BoA, Citi, Wells Fargo, Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, Warren Buffett, our Congress, top federal officials, etc.

German hyperinflation is but one example of their machinations the world vividly remembers. Current efforts to save hundreds of trillions of dollars in worthless financial derivatives will end in failure like every other money printing scheme throughout history. The consequences will be extremely grave for our nation.

If Skykomish has performed its due diligence and everything is on the up and up, why won’t the Town release public documents, respond to lawful public comments and hold a legal Comprehensive Plan Amendment meeting? What’s hidden behind the curtain?

Are Skykomish property owners and taxpayers in line to get hosed once again so Town officials and local investor friends can be bailed out of poorly conceived investments?

It was only a short while ago that several Skykomish officials were convicted of violating state ethics laws by taking money from BNSF Railway in exchange for agreeing not to oppose the railway’s ‘preferred’ environmental cleanup plan which left the soil and water table beneath the town severely polluted with diesel and bunker oil. In addition, millions of dollars remain missing from Town coffers, but mums the word over at town hall.

With America’s economy and finances on extremely shaky ground and the future market for Obsidians’s ‘recreational condos’ questionable at best, Skykomish must protect citizens from predatory practices that could once again threaten them with having to pick up the tab when things go wrong.

Sky’s legendary penchant for corruption and self-destructive behaviour have devastated this small Cascade mountain town and its school. Decent folks, families and businesses have fled, leaving an empty, dysfunctional, polluted ghost town in their wake.

It’s time to let the sun shine in!

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

~ Mark Twain