I must preface my remarks briefly with two items that found their way into our local news in order for my readers to more fully understand the concepts I have written about. First, the Hanford Nuclear repository on the Columbia River has consistently been a topic of debate and concern because of possible leakages of radioactive wastes and the risks to groundwater and the Columbia River. The governor recently addressed these concerns, and the debate is ongoing. Second, in March of 2013, a report was publicized regarding the Cascadian Subduction Zone by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission. The report, in brief, mentioned a “chilling forecast about NW quake.” The zone in all probability is part of the Pacific Rim of Fire. This discovery’s possible impacts on the Columbia Basin and its environs are up for debate. I decided that this was a good time to approach an independent publisher about my book, The Floodgates, which is a story of natural disaster and its social impact. I completed this project sometime prior to 9/11, but because of that tragedy and its aftermath, I decided that it was an inappropriate time to pursue a market for my book. In 2003, I returned to the book and went through the copyrighting process, which was completed in December of that year. I wrote The Floodgates to tell two stories: my own and the Pacific Northwest’s. Personal narrative and geography have always been inseparable, as anyone from the Northwest knows. I tell this story through the fictional, albeit realistic, tragedy of a dam breaking. As a young child, I was fascinated with dams—the wonders of the Northwest. The cover picture of this book, which shows the Grand Coulee Dam circa 1951, is testimony to that. I gained much insight about my topic through laboring on her in late 1970. I ended up with a healthy dose of respect for the concrete behemoth as well as the stories of the people around it. With the advent of the Mt. St. Helens eruption on May 18, 1980, I returned my thoughts to the Grand Coulee, wondering what its fate would be in the event of disaster. The thought experiment brought me to the altered social and environmental landscape. In hindsight, we live increasingly in a technological world, one using instant messaging and cyberspace and with an ephemeral quality. With that in mind, I could not conclude my manuscript without introducing Chris, nerdy, aloof, and a consummate hacker, who manages, like a Don Quixote, to tip the windmills of the BPA grids.
The preoccupation for bigger and better targets kept him busy through the night. While his parents slept, Chris would log in and search the computer screen for the opportunities to invade other systems. These targets of opportunity were many and diversified, ranging from the mundane to area department stores. He was finding that this access was giving him a feeling of power, almost invincibility, as he created havoc in various computer banks and systems. In the beginning, he felt that this was just an innocent way of having some adolescent fun. he could not recognize the birth of his addiction. He slowly increased the amounts of time spent in his curiosity until the infancy of his journey on the screen was reaching maturity. Chris committed his first act of fraud in a February night. A friend who had been failing a chemistry class was almost positive that he was losing his grade point. He knew Chris spent time on the computer and decided to ask him if he could gain some information on his grades. Chris went home that evening; and after dinner and his exit from the table, he went to his room and sat down at his computer and slowly and painstakingly began his search for the secrets his friend had asked of him. after hours of trying various accesses and codes, he was able to break into the school's systems and recover the chemistry grades; his friend's suspicions had been right. Chris became bored with these picayune targets, and at various stages he found new avenues of experimentation, which included wiping off the monthly credit card charges of friends who could not contain their shopping spree charges at area malls. Chris now sought bigger prizes, something with risk that could get the adrenaline pumping and would have an air of foreboding along with the dangers involved. He eventually keyed in to the BPA's computers.
Dan and his fiancée, Bonnie, reside in Ellensburg, Washington. Dan was born in Tacoma and spent his early years growing up in Ellensburg. In his late teens and early twenties, he attended Central Washington State, pursuing an are degree, but other plans prevailed, and he left without a degree. He continued through his twenties working at odd jobs, including a miscellany of construction, agriculture, and forestry work and at one point as a laborer near Grand Coulee Dam in the early 1970s. He grew a familiarity with the Columbia Basin while working at positions in that area and over time recognized the significance of the Columbia River on the region’s commerce. In the 1980s he met his now ex-wife, who was from Pennsylvania, and the union brought them two children, Zanaya and Zachary. After a recession that affected a job that he held as a millwright in a log home manufacturer in 1981, it was time for a change. Dan obtained his nursing degree from a local junior college, and in 1986, the family moved to Pennsylvania, where Dan received his RN. The author worked in various hospitals in and around the Philadelphia area in his twenty-six years of living there but gained his most valuable experiences as a clinical psychology nurse at a psychiatric facility where he worked for almost twenty years. After spending twenty-six years on the East Coast and seeing that his children had become successful in their own rights, Dan looked to returning to the West. The dream became a reality, and in June of 2012, Dan and Bonnie headed west to Washington State and now reside in Ellensburg. The author now spends time with painting and is currently working on a second novel.
I cannot find this book on Amazon.com. Sounds interesting. This summer I am planning to visit the Grand Coulee Dam