September 26, 2012

"Less than a month after reopening, the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is full of algae, a sea of green overshadowing the nearly two-year, $34 million renovation of the famous site."

"This is a direct consequence of the fact that this is a green project,” said spokeswoman Carol Johnson. “The conditions are pretty good for algae, once it gets in there.”
Visitors to the pool described it as similar to “split pea soup,” “muddy,” like the “surface of the moon” and “icky-looking.”

“It doesn’t look like a $34 million circulation job,” Jim Carroll, 85, of Wisconsin said as he looked out over the pool....

“It doesn’t reflect well on the city at all,” Carolyn Rossinsky, 49, of Miami said as she sat near the pool.

“It looks like green fluff,” she added.
You wanted green... and you got it.

128 comments:

AaronS said...

My solution? Renaming it the Lincoln Memorial Algae Pool. In a generation or two we will all forget that it once reflected Lincoln.

virgil xenophon said...

Lets see, the Washington Memorial is STILL not yet repaired, green Alge at the Lincoln Mem at the cost of $34K, and they built the Empire State Bldg at the height of the depression in 18 months.

Nothing like progress! AVANTI!!

Hari said...

$34 million dollars. Well, at least it produced 34 jobs.

virgil xenophon said...

**34 mil--what was I thinking?

Mitch H. said...

Apparently it's the exact right dimensions to double as the world's largest petri dish. That is, if you don't use properly treated water.

Take note, you would-be algeal biofuel farmers: it's really hard to keep control of wild algeal blooms once you build an environment they like. Especially if it's open-air.

Mitch H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

The algae is sequestering carbon, as designed.

AllenS said...

Chemicals. Add chlorine.

Ken said...

The results of government action do not reflect the intent of that government action? Shocking... just shocking.

David said...

Remember. This project was planned and implemented by experts.

Tim said...

Good enough for government work.

Tim said...

Why does anyone expect Obama-care to work out any better?

Bryan C said...

The big statue of that ugly white guy really doesn't fit in, does it? Let's break it into pieces and cover it with moss.

Tim said...

Cheaper than Solyndra, for the same result.

Progress!

Tim said...

Obama is to presidents what the NFL replacement refs are to the locked out refs.

But only one is an outrage.

Icepick said...

**34 mil--what was I thinking?

That they couldn't have possibly spent $34,000,000 dollars to completely fuck up a national monument when all that was needed was a few cases of bleach?

Tim said...

The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is a metaphor for Obama's Middle East policy.

Totally reworked, totally failed.

More FORE! years.

Sofa King said...

It would be comical, if they didn't also want to renovate our lives.

purplepenquin said...

Should the gov't even be involved in this type of thing or should our National Monuments be ran by a for-profit corporation?

I reckon a strong case could be made either way...

netmarcos said...

Chlorine - or a dozen good sized plecos (plecostomus)

ndspinelli said...

just dye it blue like the ham n' egger pols did in lake Delton, Wi.

Tim said...

"...the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is full of algae, a sea of green overshadowing the nearly two-year, $34 million renovation of the famous site."

We should all just calm the fuck down, double down on failure and just Hope for Change.

Someone else might make it worse.

Tim said...

"I reckon a strong case could be made either way..."

Actually, you left out a viable third choice: a non-profit corporation.

I suspect blinders are involved.

Hari said...

Milton Friedman: "If you put the government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there'd be a shortage of sand."

AJ Lynch said...

Green = Profit = Success!

Jay said...

You wanted green... and you got it.

You wanted hope & change, and boy did you get it...

chrisnavin.com said...

I say they use some earth-friendly glue for the Washington monument, leave all the pigeon s**t where it is, and build another museum on the mall.

The Museum Of The Environment will be made out of mud bricks and adobe. All stages will provide race-neutral employment overseen by the newly created Department of Race Management and Labor.

It's a win for the burgeoning green construction sector, its lobbyists, our elected officials who push it, the local economy, tourism and eventually a few hundred ecology majors and environmentalists who can finally come in from their yurts.

It's a win for America!

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Meh. This is just a small facilities maintenance problem. An engineer will take it in hand and solve the problem. It's what engineers do.

Think said...

This is the biggest problem I have with the green movement. We all want a cleaner world with less pollution. But we can't just ignore the laws of physics or biology. But most environmentalists live in the land of rainbows and unicorns where these laws don't exist.

How much energy went into making the memorial green, and how many years will it take to recoup that energy (assuming it had worked)? Nobody in the green movement even asks these questions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You wanted green... and you got it.

You wanted hope & change, and boy did you get it...

And we got it good and hard!!!!

Chip Ahoy said...

Green solution: more plants.

The higher order plants use the nutrients needed by algae so algae fails to thrive.

This happens in my aquarium. Just did. Cleared it all out. Replanted. Algae came first, then plants grew and now the plants hog all the nutrients in there.

teej said...

From the linked article:

"The park service said the project was an overall success, and the algae is just a small bump in the road."

So they're taking this issue just as seriously as a Obama takes a murdered ambassador?

The country is in the very best of hands.

DADvocate said...

“The conditions are pretty good for algae, once it gets in there.”

Was there some question as to whether or not algae would get in there? Leave water exposed in any container and algae will develop if you replenish the water, preventing it from drying out..

damikesc said...

Remember. This project was planned and implemented by experts.

You can't trust private enterprise with that money. They might do things that won't benefit the public.

...like making a really nasty looking pool or something.

Should the gov't even be involved in this type of thing or should our National Monuments be ran by a for-profit corporation?

I reckon a strong case could be made either way...


Name a private company that would spend millions to make a nasty looking pool.

Hell, Enron had more controls on spending than Obama.

This is the biggest problem I have with the green movement. We all want a cleaner world with less pollution. But we can't just ignore the laws of physics or biology. But most environmentalists live in the land of rainbows and unicorns where these laws don't exist.

Hell, the green movement seems to oppose sanitation more than most anything else.

FleetUSA said...

And it will start to smell....

purplepenquin said...

Actually, you left out a viable third choice: a non-profit corporation.

I've never heard someone suggest we privatize a gov't function by giving it to a non-profit organization, so I didn't know it was a consideration. Thanks for mentioning it.


Do you think it is a proper role of gov't to have monuments or should that kind of stuff be built/maintained by private companies?

Larry J said...

David said...
Remember. This project was planned and implemented by experts.


"Top. Men."

What do you expect from the government for $34 million? The project was obviously underfunded.

That, or they're planning on being able to celebrate St. Patrick's Day any time they want.

EDH said...

Location of the "I Have A Green Dream" speech.

"You wanted green... and you got it."

"Give me that. GIVE ME THAT!!!"

"You got it, brother."

Aridog said...

Only in Washington DC could this happen...and planned screw up by senior executives who have zero expertise in the fields they oversee (or they'd never be appointed there).

Across the land there are thousands of pools, big and small, even Wal-Mart setter-uppers, that manage to cleanse and filter the water and keep it clear.

But for $34,000,000 the Park Service built an algae farm. An attempt to return DC to the malaria swamp it was originally, I presume.

SteveR said...

Undoubtably this was a project done by a contractor hired by some government agency (or more likely some combination of agencies-responsibility dilution). The contractor will get paid and blamed, which is usually what happens, and no government employee will be subject to any negative fallout. (think getting their ass fired for you private sector folks).

And really $34 million is hardly worth noticing when it comes to such things.

TWM said...

Green means it doesn't work. We tried some "green" stuff for our pool and after one season we switched to chlorine because it was always full of algae. It's the same with all the horrible "green" washing detergent hotels use now which only leaves the sheets and pillow cases grey looking and smelling, well, not dirty but certainly not fresh.

Scott M said...

The renovated pool opened Aug. 31, after being closed to the public since 2010.

How do you close and re-open something like the Reflecting Pool "to the public".

Michael K said...

"An attempt to return DC to the malaria swamp it was originally, I presume. "

And will be again after the national bankruptcy.

Dr Weevil said...

No comment on "It doesn't reflect well on the city at all"? I don't know whether "Carolyn Rossinsky, 49, of Miami" has a very dry wit or is utterly oblivious to the connotations of the words she uses, but it's got to be one or the other for her to say that about a Reflecting Pool.

The Drill SGT said...

dumb and dumber.

a couple of points.

1. Instead of using the Potomac with its algae population as the source for their 32 million gallons of water annually, they could have used the city's brown water storm drain system. I bet the runoff of city streets has enough petro products in it to keep algae down and the oilly film would make a nice reflecting pool. In addition, you could use the pool as a settling tank and save money at Blue Plains (WTP). win win green green.

2. or you could spend your $34 million in green funds and you know, by tap water like they used to. The rate is 4 bucks per 1,000 gallons, so your $34 mill would keep the pools filled for 245 years. duh. some bleach is extra.

The Drill SGT said...

virgil xenophon said...
and they built the Empire State Bldg at the height of the depression in 18 months.


or, closer to home, the Pentagon, all 6.5 million sq ft in 16 months, at a cost of $83 million. Which will barely get you landscaping charges these days.

purplepenquin said...

How do you close and re-open something like the Reflecting Pool "to the public".

"And we were like, 'You can't close the park.' "

Jay said...

purplepenquin said...
Should the gov't even be involved in this type of thing or should our National Monuments be ran by a for-profit corporation?


Shouldn't you be busy asserting us dummies aren't smart enough to work in a government job?

Jay said...

How funny, from just this morning:

purplepenquin said...

Just to clarify: Ya'll are saying that there are no skills/experience needed for any worker who gets their paycheck from a gov't agency, but rather those folks are much like "parts" in the sense that you can just plug someone totally new in and everything will be just as good as before.

Is that truly the message you are trying to send? Because that is what is being received...


9/26/12 9:18 AM


And to be quite clear, I'm certain I could keep the green shit out of the reflecting pool.

Starting today.

Shanna said...

Do NOT mess with the reflecting pool!

Jay Vogt said...

At $34mm that's about $100 per sq. ft. for the renovation of the reflecting pool. About twice what it costs to install a new backyard swimming pool.

TosaGuy said...

So was the emphasis to fix the pool or do a green project?

I doubt that if the emphasis was on fixing the pool then the algea thing would have happened.

Gov't would save itself alot of headaches and save a bunch of our money if they would simply stick to common sense priority instead of some artificial, laudatory goal.

Cedarford said...

The park service said the project was an overall success, and the algae is just a small bump in the road.

============
Either a very dumb remark - or a disgrunted NPS employee with a wicked good sense of humor playing his remark against Obama's.

TosaGuy said...

This was a bump in the road too.

Sofa King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PatCA said...

Another million dollar "bump in the road." Obamaville sure has a lot of bumps in the road.

How about we stick a hose in the ugly green stuff and power our vehicles with it! Or make grocery bags out of it!

In fact, I think I'll start a company called "Algaforward." First hire: a grant writer.

purplepenquin said...

First, there's nothing contradictory about the government owning monuments, but paying private companies to build and maintain them. That happens all the time. It's probably a great idea.

There are pros&cons between hiring people to do the work and hiring a company to hire people to do the work, but that ain't quite the question I'm asking.

Is it a proper role of gov't to provide the funding for the creation/maintenance of monuments?

Second, if a private company wants to build a monument, why shouldn't they?

Sure! Got no problem with that at all.

Right? I mean, who could possibly imagine that a monument on the national mall could be owned by a nonprofit corporation?

Ain't sure what that link means. Is the Smithsonian Institue a non-profit which gets no money from gov't?

And is it that far-fetched to you that someone else might not know everything you know? Really?

chickelit said...

The other week my family was walking at night along the south bank of the reflecting pool towards the Lincoln Monument at night. It was pitch dark and there were few others there.

Suddenly, up ahead several yards, something big and furry made slipped into the water and began swimming across. It looked like a big muskrat or a possum, making a visible wake.

We thought it was cool: the fauna are returning to the swamp.

Sofa King said...

Do you think it is a proper role of gov't to have monuments or should that kind of stuff be built/maintained by private companies?

First, there's nothing contradictory about the government owning monuments, but paying private companies to build and maintain them. That happens all the time. It's probably a great idea.

Second, if a private company wants to build a monument, why shouldn't they?

I've never heard someone suggest we privatize a gov't function by giving it to a non-profit organization, so I didn't know it was a consideration. Thanks for mentioning it.

EDIT: Suggested the Smithsonian as an obvious example of such, but I have to grant that one is debatable due to its peculiar origin. A better example would be the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation or the Crazy Horse monument.

tmitsss said...

Algae the Fuel of the Future.

purplepenquin said...

Shouldn't you be busy asserting us dummies aren't smart enough to work in a government job?

Can you please point me to whatever statement(s) I said that leads you to beleive I was expressing this opinion, because it most certainly is not what I have ever asserted and would like to see how I can avoid such confusion in the future.

And to be quite clear, I'm certain I could keep the green shit out of the reflecting pool.

Do/have you do this type of work already or do you think it is one of those things anybody can easily take care of on their first day?

Starting today

No other job to go to, eh? I feel ya brother...know a lot of folks in your same boat & I hope it gets better soon.

ken in sc said...

Hey, Penguin, the Washington monument was built and financed mostly by the Masons, a non-profit organization. Some of the other monuments were probably done that way as well. Using tax money to do these things is a new thing.

Sofa King said...

There are pros&cons between hiring people to do the work and hiring a company to hire people to do the work, but that ain't quite the question I'm asking.

Is it a proper role of gov't to provide the funding for the creation/maintenance of monuments?


Sure, if it's the one that wants ths monument. Is anyone arguing otherwise? Nobody debates that the U.S. government could legitimately want to pay for a reflecting pool for Lincoln. The point is their total incompentence at doing so.

Ain't sure what that link means. Is the Smithsonian Institue a non-profit which gets no money from gov't?

It is operated as a nonprofit, but it retains a legal connection to Congress, so I will give you that one. But again, the money is not the point. Would the Smithsonian be better if it was funded and run directly from the Department of the Interior? If the government wants something like the Smithsonian, there might be some advantages to setting up the corporation, donating funds to it, and then allowing it to do its thing as a private charitable organization.

purplepenquin said...

I will give you that one

Seriously...and I truly mean this sincerely...you don't need to "give me" anything 'cause I ain't keeping any sort of score. Just trying to learn more about other peoples' point-of-view and share a lil' of mine.

And actually, I am wondering if it is a legitimate role for the gov't to pay for a reflecting pool. Is there anything in our Constitution that says that is an acceptable use of taxpayer dollars?

Sofa King said...

FYI, Penquin, the WWII memorial was funded almost entirely by private donations as well.

purplepenquin said...

PS to Ken:

Mount Rushmore was started with private funds too, no?

And yes, I know I could google this myself if I wanted to :P

Sofa King said...

And actually, I am wondering if it is a legitimate role for the gov't to pay for a reflecting pool. Is there anything in our Constitution that says that is an acceptable use of taxpayer dollars?

Since it is in the District, Congress has essentially plenary authority. From Article I Section 8, one of Congress' Constitutionally authorized powers:

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

purplepenquin said...

for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

So I guess it boils down to if a reflecting pool is a needful building or not, no?

And, of course, there are all those national monuments outside of DC too.

*shrug*

(FYI this ain't a big deal to me at all...just wondering what others think about it)

Jack Wayne said...

The answer is NO. And the reason is that government never lets go of anything. After a length of time there will be so many monuments in this country (and national damn parks) that all the tax money we collect will not pay for the upkeep.

Jay said...

purplepenquin said...

Do/have you do this type of work already or do you think it is one of those things anybody can easily take care of on their first day?


I think it is pretty easy and non-complicated.

No other job to go to, eh?

Um, not quite. See above.

edutcher said...

Throw in some suckermouth catfish.

Great little algae eaters.

Aridog said...

For the record, the Vietnam Veterans memorial Wall was privately funded and built on land donated by act of Congress. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund started the project in 1979, and eventually raised the $8.4 million necessary to build "The Wall."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There are pros&cons between hiring people to do the work and hiring a company to hire people to do the work,

Never happen. Public employee unions have a lock on maintenance of parks, buildings and everything else taxpayer funded. They will never allow you to 'outsource' to a private company that might be able to do the job at a reasonable price. It would impact their ability to generate their huge retirement and health benefits.

Tim said...

"Do you think it is a proper role of gov't to have monuments or should that kind of stuff be built/maintained by private companies?"

Both, actually.

The public monument should be paid, built, maintained and supervised by the government (at whichever level for which the monument (i.e., a monument to a local police officer murdered in the line of duty is clearly a local government responsibility); that said, I have no problem with concessions, or even routine maintenance (or construction) being subcontracted out under close supervision.

No doubt the Lincoln Memorial rehab was done under contract; it is most likely the case the people spec'ing the project (the government) screwed up the specs, and the contractor did as simply contracted.

purplepenquin said...

I think it is pretty easy and non-complicated.

Have you ever worked in a related field at all or are you merely guessing that maintaining a pool the size of which we are talking about is pretty easy and non-complicated?

Um, not quite. See above.

Looked up&down this thread and don't see you mentioning your job at all.

When you said you could start today, I thought that meant you had no other work obligations to be concerned about...but I reckon it could mean you have a job that you hate/dis-respect so much that you have no problem walking away from at the spur of the moment.

NTTAWWT, of course...I've had a few of those McJobs myself, but am glad I'm moved on past that type of world.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Do/have you do this type of work already or do you think it is one of those things anybody can easily take care of on their first day?

"I think it is pretty easy and non-complicated."

A competent pool contractor from California or Arizona, staffed by a few illegal aliens could get it cleaned up in a very short time.

Easy peasy.

purplepenquin said...

Never happen. Public employee unions have a lock on maintenance of parks, buildings and everything else taxpayer funded. They will never allow you to 'outsource' to a private company

I thought the plan to crush the public sector unions was working so well for those who are in favor of such things, but you make it sound like the unions are not only winning the battle being waged against 'em but they will never be defeated.

Tim said...

"Easy peasy."

I hear of a strange, new chemical they have in flyover country.

No doubt toxic as hell, and dangerous to handle.

But if anyone could handle it, it's the U.S. Government.

I bet Obama knows exactly who to tap for this among his Nobel Prize winning brethren.

I hear it's called "Chlorine."

Someone should send Obama a text message on his BlackBerry.

I'm sure he's just the man to fix it.

purplepenquin said...

A competent pool contractor from California or Arizona, staffed by a few illegal aliens could get it cleaned up in a very short time.

I dunno if I agree with your desire to use undocumented workers, but I don't doubt that a competent pool contractor could take care of a large pool.

However, others are saying that it doesn't have to be a competent specialist in the field but rather that any monkey could do this (or almost any) government job better, based purely on the fact that it is a public worker currently doing it.

Jay said...

purplepenquin said...


Have you ever worked in a related field at all or are you merely guessing that maintaining a pool the size of which we are talking about is pretty easy and non-complicated?


Yes, but that isn't really relevant.

When you said you could start today, I thought that meant you had no other work obligations to be concerned about...but I reckon it could mean you have a job that you hate/dis-respect so much that you have no problem walking away from at the spur of the moment.

Notice the myopic "worker" mentality.

I guess it doesn't cross your mind that some people aren't at your level?

Jay said...

but I reckon it could mean you have a job that you hate/dis-respect so much that you have no problem walking away from at the spur of the moment.

I do find this projection funny.

I mean, after all, you're here posting all day while collecting a state paycheck.

Bozo.

Jay said...

purplepenquin said...
Can you please point me to whatever statement(s) I said that leads you to beleive I was expressing this opinion, because it most certainly is not what I have ever asserted and would like to see how I can avoid such confusion in the future.


Dum-dum:

Such a statement was already provided for you.

Your continued questioning of whether not someone could run & maintain the reflecting pool while having it not fill up with green stuff is also indicative of such opinions.

And there is also this:

purplepenquin said...

Is their job absolutely necessary?
Can I do their job as well if not better than they do themselves?

The answer is almost invariably yes.

You have all the skills needed to step in and start working in practically any occupation, from prison guard to secretary to teacher to lawyer, and be able to perform at the same level as most of the workers already doing that job?


Thanks for participating.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

TWM said...

Green means it doesn't work. We tried some "green" stuff for our pool and after one season we switched to chlorine because it was always full of algae. It's the same with all the horrible "green" washing detergent hotels use now which only leaves the sheets and pillow cases grey looking and smelling, well, not dirty but certainly not fresh.


It is more likely that it is a water recycling program. You save the rinse water and reuse it as wash water. Front line employees hate these systems since it adds a layer of complexity and produces an inferior product. Such systems are ostensibly used to save money, but the real reason is so corporate types can crow about their green footprint.

William said...

I think they should throw in another two or three billion and construct a plant to process the algae into clean, renewable fuel. They could probably process enough fuel for a dozen scooters for the park police. And you could put it where the Lincoln Monument now is. Without the reflecting pool that Monument looks pretty shabby anyway. The algae pool and its adjoining algae processing plant could thus become not just a monument but a functioning essay on our commitment to renewable energy and our willingness to overcome the past in order to achieve such goals.

Aridog said...

Purplepenguin .... I can assure you that the work done on the reflecting pond was by private sector contractor employees.

Without a detailed scope of work I can't tell what the $34 Million was supposed to accomplish.

What I can also assure you of, today, is that the senior executives who established the scope of work, and sponsored the contracting, had little or no expertise in the actual work required. "Project Managers" for physical projects in government, or even the military, these days are no longer engineers or overseeing staffs of engineers.

A boondoggle is slapped together to make some senior politician happy, then handed off to engineers and contractors to try to accomplish...without the whole thing just collapsing in to a sink hole.

As I've said before, "process" has replaced "delivered product" in importance.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I dunno if I agree with your desire to use undocumented workers

Not my desire. Merely stating reality. ILLEGAL ALIENS are pervasive in the construction and maintenance industries. Probably something to do with the reluctance of our pampered basement dwelling college educated boobs who refuse to take any sort of real and dirty jobs.

I thought the plan to crush the public sector unions was working so well for those who are in favor of such things, but you make it sound like the unions are not only winning the battle being waged against 'em but they will never be defeated.

The public sector unions are like the Hydra. Plus they are aided and abetted by the politicians who are eating at the trough of union dues being fed to them so that the politicians can keep getting elected. Until we sever this unholy alliance we are doomed to green scummy pools halfheartedly cleaned by incompetent overpaid union goons.

others are saying that it doesn't have to be a competent specialist in the field but rather that any monkey could do this (or almost any) government job better, based purely on the fact that it is a public worker currently doing it.

Others are correct. Cleaning a pool, mowing the grass in Arlington and a zillion other low to mid level maintenance and secretarial jobs can be done better, quicker, cheaper by almost anyone in the public sector.

A troop of Girl Scouts or a 4H club armed with Clorox, scrub brushes and some hand tools could clean up the scummy reflecting pool.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It's the same with all the horrible "green" washing detergent hotels use now which only leaves the sheets and pillow cases grey looking and smelling, well, not dirty but certainly not fresh.

Amild mixture of TSP and water added to your wash will fix that problem. It is the phosphates that have been removed from dish soap, dish washer soap, laundry soap...hell all soap that makes it impossible to get stuff clean.

purplepenquin said...

Yes, but that isn't really relevant.

Of course it is relevant. People often times underestimate how valuable their particular knowledge & job-skills are, and end up assuming that anybody/everyone can do and know the same things they do.

I was just wondering if you thought this job would be simple to do 'cause you've done similar stuff before, or if you are of the opinion that this job requires so little in the way of skills&knowledge that any worker can be plugged in and used.

Notice the myopic "worker" mentality.

*sigh*

You were the one who said you could start "today". If that doesn't mean that you either don't currently have a job or that you have a job that you don't mind walking away from at the spur of the moment, then what exactly does it mean?

I mean, after all, you're here posting all day while collecting a state paycheck.

I haven't collected a paycheck from the state since Act10 was signed into law. Please be sure to update your files on me.

And it really weak tea to slur someone for posting during the typical workday while posting during the typical workday yourself...even for you.

Such a statement was already provided for you

Where? I've looked up&down this thread and not only do I not see where I call anyone-at-all a "dummy", I also don't see where I asserted that someone isn't smart enough to work in a government job.

Can you please provide the timestamp where you think I did say such a thing?

Your continued questioning of whether not someone could run & maintain the reflecting pool while having it not fill up with green stuff is also indicative of such opinions.

Even DBQ says it would take a competent pool guy for the job being discussed...does that mean she thinks all you dummies aren't smart enough to work in a gov't job?

Aridog said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ref: Hiring outside contractors to do work.

Never happen. Public employee unions have a lock on maintenance of parks, buildings and everything else taxpayer funded. They will never allow you to 'outsource' to a private company....

In some parochial cases this may be true, however, it most certainly is not true of U S federal government activities. I refer you to OMB Circular A-76 regarding commercial activities by the US government, studies of same, and determinations of inherent governmental functions, or commercially performable natures.

Beyond that, it has been de rigueur for federal agencies to design and build facilities, using suitable contractors mostly today, which are subsequently turned over, title and all, to local governments to operate.

The fact is that actual federal workers, laborers, people who know hands on functions, have been decreasing rapidly...as the number of senior executive levels have expanded geometrically ... to the point where government total employment is grater than ever, so it would seem...but eh gain is in political appointees and managers, a vast majority who have never walked the walk they oversee.

That is how you get a "renovated reflecting pond" that is in fact a giant algae farm. You gotta admit...it is green :-))

purplepenquin said...

A troop of Girl Scouts or a 4H club armed with Clorox, scrub brushes and some hand tools could clean up the scummy reflecting pool.

Scrub it? Sure. But I thought we were talking about actually maintaining it. Hence the need for someone with actual job skills...which the pool guy would have but I don't think the Troop would. (Fla or Cali Girlscouts, maybe)

Just curious, is your current job akin to what is being said about gov't jobs in general in the sense that practically anyone could just step in and start doing it right away at the same, if not better, level? Or do you beleive your job is something that does actually require skillsets and knowledge in order to perform properly?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Just curious, is your current job akin to what is being said about gov't jobs in general in the sense that practically anyone could just step in and start doing it right away at the same, if not better, level? Or do you beleive your job is something that does actually require skillsets and knowledge in order to perform properly?

My job now is retired and bookkeeper to my husband's business.

HOWEVER, previously my job was something that required specialized skill sets, knowledge, Federal and State licensing, FBI background checks, regulations from many different regulatory agencies.

There are many levels of government or public sector jobs that don't require extensive training or special skill sets. I wasn't mowing lawns or cleaning out shallow pools or cleaning bathrooms or filing memos and typing up documents. However, I have no doubt whatsoever that I could jump right in and accomplish those jobs at less cost to the government......assuming that the Davis Bacon rules could be waived.

Just because it is a government job, doesn't make it somehow more special or that it is done at a higher level than the same job done by a private sector employee.

There ARE government jobs that do require special skills and training. Those should be evaluated as well for efficiencies of cost.

Aridog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
purplepenquin said...

My job now is retired and bookkeeper to my husband's business.

HOWEVER, previously my job was something that required specialized skill sets, knowledge


Pssst...don't underestimate yourself. Bookkeeping requires specialized skills sets and knowledge. ;)

There are many levels of government or public sector jobs that don't require extensive training or special skill sets.

Don't know about "many", but I agree that it is probably equliavent to the same that are in the private sector.

Just because it is a government job, doesn't make it somehow more special or that it is done at a higher level than the same job done by a private sector employee

I mostly agree with that, tho if it is true that gov't workers on average are paid more than private sector workers then you'd get a higher level of pride in the job being done by the gov't worker. Not in all cases, of course, but generally speaking most people care a lot less about a min-wage job then one they are paid at least a living wage for...and it shows in their work.

What I don't agree with is those who claim that since it is a government job it means that most likely any monkey could do it.

Cedarford said...

William said...
I think they should throw in another two or three billion and construct a plant to process the algae into clean, renewable fuel. They could probably process enough fuel for a dozen scooters for the park police. And you could put it where the Lincoln Monument now is. Without the reflecting pool that Monument looks pretty shabby anyway.
================
No way will you get rid of the Obama Monument...

I mean, liberals and Progressive Jews running the media are split!
Half want Lincoln's head cut off and a replacement Obama head put on right now.
The other half, plus the government employee unions - want 4 more years of his Greatness before they will petition it be renamed and redesigned as the Obama Monument.

A few killjoys think it would not be appropriate until Obama dies.

Obama, head made of fine Chinese granite, sculpted by a top Chinese artist, atop the old marble - gazing out at his carbon sequestration Pool.

Aridog said...

Dang...wish we had an "edit" button ...

Dust Bunny Queen ... I need to assure you that I'm not criticizing your general premise. I'm not denying that "government workers" per se don't try to retain their work.

What I am saying is that if those workers are federal and one or two impacted constituents thinks whatever work it is could be done better privately (often by their own companies)...and they write or email a Congressman or directly to OMB, then shortly thereafter said agency gets a notification of a "Commercial Activity Study" commencing under Circular A-76 rules.

At that point, it is Katie bar the door if the work under study is remotely non-governmental in nature...for example mowing grass, area landscape maintenance, etc. versus, say, manning a military installation entry gate (even some of those are NOW privately secured). Example: A high security base in New London/Groton, CT, has a minimum of 3 layers of security guards...only one interior one is US military staffed, not rent-a-cop.

It may all be rent-a-cop now....I've haven't been there TDY/TDA in 6+ years and now retired. My experience with "Circular A-76" is extensive and earned over 20 odd years.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

@ Aridog

I am also/mostly including public union jobs at the City and County levels. Many cities in California have attempted to outsource jobs and other functions and have been stymied by court orders on behalf of the unions. Or...forced to pay prevailing wages (Davis Bacon) which completely undermines the point of outsourcing.

There are very few governmental functions that cannot be outsourced. The exceptions in my mind would be Fire, Police, Military. However, I don't see why you couldn't outsource even portions of those. After all we have volunteer fire departments and jails could certainly be outsourced.

The unions are fighting tooth and nail to keep all of the leverage they have extorted over these past decades. We will NEVER become fiscally sound as a nation, state, county or city until we get their grip off of our throats.

purplepenquin said...

I can assure you that the work done on the reflecting pond was by private sector contractor employees

I thought as much, but wasn't sure...and given the way people are complaining about gov't workers.

Without a detailed scope of work I can't tell what the $34 Million was supposed to accomplish.

I also wondered about that...the post makes it appear that the full money was for just keeping the pool clean, but was there more renovations than just that?

What I can also assure you of, today, is that the senior executives who established the scope of work, and sponsored the contracting, had little or no expertise in the actual work required. "Project Managers" for physical projects in government, or even the military, these days are no longer engineers or overseeing staffs of engineers.

Why would the guys with the actual skill-sets choose to work in the private sector? From what I've been told, gov't workers get far better pay and golden benefits.

rhhardin said...

It needs fish.

Matthew Sablan said...

"I've never heard someone suggest we privatize a gov't function by giving it to a non-profit organization, so I didn't know it was a consideration. Thanks for mentioning it."

-- You've never heard of charity?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

...

It needs fish.

Our National Koi Pond!!!!!

Michael said...

Federal employees are paid more on average than private sector workers. It can be looked up.

The specific problem is that the pool was meant to be modernized and maintained using " green" standards. The products for cleaning that fall into that category are not up to the job. You can try it at home with any of the "green" cleaning products available and decide for yourself. The components of the pumps, the filtration system, the constant or periodic use of power would all have influence on producing an algae filled versus a sparkling clean pool.

Try using "green" products to kill or disuade bugs as another experiment in the world of green. Great scam making some scammers a lot of dough and keeping a lot of hippie houses marginally clean

Dust Bunny Queen said...

if it is true that gov't workers on average are paid more than private sector workers then you'd get a higher level of pride in the job being done by the gov't worker

It is true, especially when you factor in the tax free cost to the employee of benefit packages and tax deferred contributions by the Government/taxpayers towards the extremely generous lifetime pension plans.

However, the higher pay doesn't guarantee a better job or more pride in work. In fact, I would argue, that the sheer fact that it is almost impossible to fire a government/public sector unionized employee will encourage the employee to do less than a stellar job. After all, if you cannot be fired (as in the case of unionized public school teachers) the result is that you don't really have to strive to be better or best, unless that is in your nature. Most people will eventually take the easy way out. Hence the well known term: Good enough for government work.

Rocketeer said...

What I don't agree with is those who claim that since it is a government job it means that most likely any monkey could do it.

Speaking only for myself, I wouldn't claim that any monkey could do it, just that - according to my directly relevant personal experience - since it's government, any monkey probably is.


Trashhauler said...

purplepenquin wrote: "And actually, I am wondering if it is a legitimate role for the gov't to pay for a reflecting pool. Is there anything in our Constitution that says that is an acceptable use of taxpayer dollars?"

What an excellent illustration of the basic blindness experienced by progressives. It takes a heap of education to get one to believe that all a nation is comprised of is government services and needy clients. No pride, no unifying symbols, no celebration of great things accomplished, obstacles overcome and the great people who overcame them. Just send me my frigging check.

Freder Frederson said...

It is the phosphates that have been removed from dish soap, dish washer soap, laundry soap...hell all soap that makes it impossible to get stuff clean.

You do know why phosphates were removed from soap, don't you? If you don't you certainly shouldn't be commenting on this thread.

Freder Frederson said...

Most people will eventually take the easy way out.

Yeah, like you adding TSP to your detergent to circumvent one of the most environmentally beneficial, at minimal inconvenience to the economy and people, regulations there is.

Methadras said...

AaronS said...

My solution? Renaming it the Lincoln Memorial Algae Pool. In a generation or two we will all forget that it once reflected Lincoln.


It's for Urkel's green energy initiative to create the green algae pool to generate it's own power in Lincoln's honor, which by the way hey likens himself to, so it's all cool and stuff.

Freder Frederson said...

The products for cleaning that fall into that category are not up to the job. You can try it at home with any of the "green" cleaning products available and decide for yourself. The components of the pumps, the filtration system, the constant or periodic use of power would all have influence on producing an algae filled versus a sparkling clean pool.

You really have no idea what you are talking about. They are apparently using ozone, rather than chlorine, as a algaecide and disinfectant. Ozone is preferred because the chlorine load that would be required to keep such a shallow, wide pool, clear would produce obnoxious odors. (Before the renovation they were using tap water, and the water was nasty, especially in the summer, with lots of algae blooms.) have a look at this

Rocketeer said...

Shorter Freder: "Who gives a fuck if it works in the real world. It works on paper!!!"

Michael said...

Freder F. Well clearly the approach they are using and which you commend is working fine. I am glad I do not sit next to you on airplanes if you are a believer in green cleaning products.

Aridog said...

Purplepenguin ...

Why would the guys with the actual skill-sets choose to work in the private sector? From what I've been told, gov't workers get far better pay and golden benefits.

It is not by choice in the federal system. I repeat, the population of functionally skilled federal employees has been reduced and reduced again due to A-76 studies or just simply Reductions in Force (RIF).

RIF's are usually part of grand "reorganization" plans that invariably increase senior management layers and layer populations...the slots (FTE's) for that come from the RIF's.

Believe it or not, a government agency will take credit for saving money by the reduction in FTE's, no matter if the cost to contract out the same work is more money (frequently is...but A-76 is satisfied, process over product ya' know)...or worse yet, those cut FTE's are replaced by higher management grade FTE hires a month later...while keeping the contracted grunt workers to boot. There really are whole large offices of "managers" with no worker bees.

Trumpet RIF of multiple GS-5 through GS 12 lets say, and not mention hires of more and more GS-13 through ES-III's (SES appointees), or the per unit of work cost of the new contracts to do the work previously done by the RIF'd lower grades.

As long as no one with a whit of accounting knowledge tries to run a GAAP compliant trail balance, then a net effect analysis, it works just fine. Really. They wouldn't lie to you. Honest. We're here to help you. Bend over.

Reference link here, vis a vis the GSA party scandal, excerpted below...

....government is just as densely packed. Research I conducted shows that between 1961 and 2009, the number of executive layers—or ranks by title—at an average cabinet-level agency jumped from seven to 18, even as the number of executives per layer swelled from 451 to 2,600. If Congress and the president want greater accountability from the bureaucracy, they should cut the standard reporting chain in half and reverse the recent proliferation of lower layers [of senior management] occupied by chiefs of staff, deputy chiefs of staff, team leaders and management-support specialists.

Be very careful what you ask for,now, because if very painful, the agency du jour will "reorganize" and double in size. I'd estimate you could save 10+% of ALL government expenditures overall per year if you just prohibited re-organization more than once a decade.

Freder Frederson said...

Well clearly the approach they are using and which you commend is working fine.

It has only been open a couple weeks. Give them time to fine tune it. Sheesh.

Michael said...

FF. as an aside I lost a lot of money on a green project that had solar, wind, compost, the works. Hilarious failure of technologies, evil tempered hippie "scientists" architects etc. the lot. Trust me, I know a shitload about green.

EMD said...

Aridog's alphabet soup comment is a clear demonstration of how byzantine and overindexed the federal bureaucracy is.

I couldn't even get through it.

EMD said...

Ozone is preferred because the chlorine load that would be required to keep such a shallow, wide pool, clear would produce obnoxious odors.

Freder has a point. That's a big f-ing pool, and the amount of chlorine necessary would probably be problematic.

A deeper pool would help with the problem, but I understand (safety) is why it was built shallow.

furious_a said...

That's not Lincoln Reflecting Pool green scum, that's MichelleO's hydroponic garden.

Aridog said...

EMD ... what you say is precisely why it works for the feds and the pols. Byzantine is barely the surface.

I've run the same spiel here a couple of times before, at least, on similar topics. I realize that eyes glaze over. The process is designed to do that, and no description I can write will cure it. The idea is to get you and everyone else to move on to something else.

It works, doesn't it?

Short version: Government reduces employees who know how to get things done, and geometrically expands the ranks of those who don't. Question it? Whoops, another committee just got formed, we'll let you know if and when we figure it out.

Next?

Michael said...

The Park Service prematurely hails this as a "sustainability success story.". The National Petrie Dish.

Michael said...

EMD. The original pool was deeper. The New pool is shallow to conserve water. Water pumped from the tidal pool.

TosaGuy said...

We are the United States. We put a man on the moon. We should be able to build a reflecting pool without algae.

No excuses.

Cedarford said...

EMD said...
Ozone is preferred because the chlorine load that would be required to keep such a shallow, wide pool, clear would produce obnoxious odors.

Freder has a point. That's a big f-ing pool, and the amount of chlorine necessary would probably be problematic.

A deeper pool would help with the problem, but I understand (safety) is why it was built shallow.


=================
Simple - do it late night, early AM when there are few people around with the museums closed. You have as well some sophisticated chlorine/bromine systems even average pool owners have that monitor incoming and outgoing chlorine concentrations.

I'd add a patented Newt Gingrich proposal that while insane, sounds incredibly smart and plausible.

1. Make the pool 3 inches in depth. And extra-leakproof.

2. Pour in unused and uneeded surplus metallic liquid mercury from the National Strategic Reserve.

3. You now have a maintenance free, perfectly reflecting Reflecting Pool. Nothing will grow in it.

4. Liberals and Greens will avoid the Mall like vampires seeking garlic, allowing real Americans to enjoy the place unperturbed.

5. Any leakage over the years would end up going down the Potomac into the Atlantic ocean...which would make people less likely to eat threatened species like Bluefin tuna and Sole - thus helping the environment.


John Cunningham said...

Typical Lefty/Greenie foulup. Urkel's EPA could screw up organizing a 2-car funeral.

Michael said...

TosaGuy. But we didnt power our moon shots with hippie technologies.

Ken said...

purplepenquin,

Should the gov't even be involved in this type of thing

No.

should our National Monuments be ran by a for-profit corporation?

If for profit corporations want to erect national monuments on the land they own, fine.

Alan said...

When I saw the headline about pond scum and national monuments, my first thought was this.

I hope Obama's Greek columns aren't too prophetic.

DEEBEE said...

Everyone is confused. That is Bernanke's QE 4, 5, 6 whatever.

Rusty said...

purplepenquin said...
I can assure you that the work done on the reflecting pond was by private sector contractor employees

I thought as much, but wasn't sure...and given the way people are complaining about gov't workers.

Without a detailed scope of work I can't tell what the $34 Million was supposed to accomplish.

I also wondered about that...the post makes it appear that the full money was for just keeping the pool clean, but was there more renovations than just that?

What I can also assure you of, today, is that the senior executives who established the scope of work, and sponsored the contracting, had little or no expertise in the actual work required. "Project Managers" for physical projects in government, or even the military, these days are no longer engineers or overseeing staffs of engineers.

Why would the guys with the actual skill-sets choose to work in the private sector? From what I've been told, gov't workers get far better pay and golden benefits.


Because some one with actual marketable skills can make much more in the private sector. Paper pushers and slackers make out like bandits in government work


Algae in the reflecting pool? probably nitrate runoff from the lawns. Treat the refectimg pool like a swimming pool with regular chemical treatments and maintenance

Jennifer Frank said...

Jump to 2014, our pool service Arizona showed us Lincoln Memorial's renovation website and from the looks of the progress, everything's going well. I just hope that after the renovation they will keep it maintained. Lincoln memorial is one of Washington's most famous and historical tourist location; it's a shame if it will be algae infested.