Hope for Chuckanut Ridge

Permalink +

Thu, Oct 01, 2009, 5:20 pm  //  Larry Horowitz

If you are interested in saving Chuckanut Ridge, there is some glimmer of hope for preserving this ecologically-rich and environmentally-sensitive property. If you are willing to make a single phone call and/or send a single email to prevent Horizon Bank’s Fairhaven Highlands project from destroying this mature urban forest, which serves as the headwaters to two salmon-bearing streams, a wildlife sanctuary, and an extensive network of high-value wetlands… please read on.

Violations of the 1994 FDIC Order

Banking and real estate development are like oil and water; they don’t mix. Banking relies on a relationship business model designed to keep customers happy and loyal. By contrast, real estate development is a transactional business designed to make one-time profits for developers before they move on to another project. Real estate developers are comfortable creating enemies of local residents. Bankers are not.

For that reason, real estate development has long been considered as an “activity that is not permissible” for FDIC-insured banks. Banks can apply for an exception, and, in 1994, the FDIC approved Horizon Bank’s application to engage in real estate development activities subject to four conditions. The two most critical conditions are impacted by the bank’s Fairhaven Highlands development application.

Condition 2: “That activities be limited to the development of real estate intended for single-family residential use;” and

Condition 3: “That the applicant's aggregate investment in the activity at any one time not exceed 25% of its Tier 1 capital.”

It is clear that Fairhaven Highlands, a multi-family development, violates Condition 2. The original application proposes the construction of 558 multi-family units, or 76% of the 739-unit total. The other alternatives being considered propose the construction of either 688 multi-family units (93%) or 722 multi-family units (98%). Horizon Bank’s declared preference is to build 722 multi-family units. It would be hard to convince anyone - especially the FDIC - that the Fairhaven Highlands project is intended for “single-family residential use.”

Conclusion: Fairhaven Highlands violates Condition 2.

Condition 3 is a moving target because the bank’s investment in the project and its Tier 1 capital are constantly changing. According to Horizon Bank’s June 30, 2009 quarterly report, its “real estate joint venture has a consolidated carrying amount of $27.2 million.” In other words, its investment in real estate development activities has mushroomed to $27.2 million as of June 30. According to the Horizon’s Uniform Bank Performance Report, its Tier 1 capital as of June 30 is $45.3 million. Therefore, the bank’s real estate investment now represents 60% of its Tier 1 capital (27.2 / 45.3), a far cry from the 25% limit imposed by the 1994 FDIC Order.

Conclusion: Fairhaven Highlands violates Condition 3.

So, Horizon Bank has violated two key conditions of the FDIC Order.

Does anyone really care?

Well, apparently the FDIC does, and this is where you come in.

We have been told that FDIC attorney Jim Miller and the FDIC Case Manager Richard Evans “are in constant communication regarding Horizon Bank.” According to Mr. Miller, “the issues involved in this matter have been the subject of many discussions within the FDIC,” and the FDIC will “ensure that the units that may be ultimately approved by the city of Bellingham for construction on the site are, in fact, intended for single-family residential use and that the Bank remains in compliance with condition #2.” Additionally, the FDIC “will continue to closely monitor the Bank’s investment in this regard to ensure that the Bank remains in compliance with condition #3.”

In a recent email from Mr. Miller, he closed by stating, “We appreciate receiving your information.”

How you can make a difference

Every person who either opposes Fairhaven Highlands and/or supports the preservation of Chuckanut Ridge has their own personal reasons for doing so. These personal views need to be respected.

If you either oppose Fairhaven Highlands or support the preservation of Chuckanut Ridge – for whatever personal reasons you have – you can make a difference by focusing on this single issue.

Horizon Bank has violated two important conditions of the 1994 FDIC Order that allowed the bank – as an exception to standard banking law - to engage in the real estate development business. The FDIC has the authority – indeed, the responsibility - to order Horizon Bank to cease and desist from pursuing the Fairhaven Highlands development, a project that violates the 1994 FDIC Order.

It’s really that simple.

If you want to make a difference, I urge you to contact FDIC Attorney Jim Miller and encourage the FDIC to properly enforce the conditions of the 1994 FDIC Order. Let Mr. Miller know why you oppose this project and/or support the preservation of Chuckanut Ridge. Mr. Miller is very cordial and has expressed an interest in hearing from us.

Jim Miller’s direct line is: (415) 808-8175.

If you prefer to send an email (or would like to follow up by email):

Jim Miller’s email address is: JMiller@FDIC.gov

Richard Evans’ email address is: REvans@FDIC.gov.

For those who have wondered how you can make a difference, I hope you will.

Time is of the essence. Please call Mr. Miller today!

Related Links:

-> 1994 FDIC Order and Conditions
-> Horizon Bank's Uniform Bank Performance Report / Tier 1 Capital
-> Horizon Bank's June 30, 2009 Quarterly Report

Larry Horowitz  //  Sat, Oct 03, 2009, 8:21 am

First, I would like to thank all of you who have already called and/or emailed FDIC attorney Jim Miller and FDIC Case Manager Richard Evans.  I especially thank those of you who have sent copies of your emails to me and have emailed me to let me know you have called.  Please continue to do so.

A number of people have asked for suggestions about what to say when they call Mr. Miller.  I believe the following list of questions might be helpful:

1) Is the 1994 FDIC Order - which restricts Horizon Bank to single-family residential development comprising no more than 25% of its Tier 1 capital ? STILL IN EFFECT?  Has the Order been modified in any way?

2) Is there any question that Horizon Bank?s Fairhaven Highlands project is a predominantly multi-family development in clear violation of Condition 2 of the FDIC Order, which restricts the bank to single-family projects?

3) Is it true that Horizon Bank has invested $27.2 million in its real estate development activities? 

(To confirm, click on the ?Related Link? above for Horizon Bank?s June 30, 2009 Quarterly Report.  In the ?Find? box of the PDF, type in ?27.2? and click enter to search.  You?ll be taken to the last paragraph on page 29 of the PDF (page 24 of the actual report) where you?ll find this sentence, ?As of June 30, 2009, the real estate joint venture had a consolidated carrying amount of $27.2 million…?)

4) Is it true that Horizon Bank?s Tier 1 capital is $45.3 million as of June 30, 2009?

(To confirm, click on the ?Related Link? above for Horizon Bank?s Uniform Bank Performance Report.  You?ll see that the bank?s ?Net Tier One? as of 6/30/09 is $45,301,000.  This is the fifth number in the first column of numbers.)

5)  Does Horizon Bank?s investment in its real estate development activities represent 60% of its Tier 1 capital as of June 30? 

(This is simply the ratio of $27.2 million to $45.3 million, or 60%.)

6) Is there any question that Horizon Bank has violated Condition 3 of the FDIC Order, which limits the bank?s investment to 25% of its Tier 1 capital?

7) Did Horizon Bank intentionally ignore the conditions of the FDIC Order or were they simply negligent in their compliance?  Are they out of compliance with any other FDIC conditions or requirements?

8) When did the FDIC first discover these violations?

9) What has been Horizon Bank?s response?

10) Does the City of Bellingham know that the FDIC plans to enforce its 1994 Order and will ?ensure that the units that may be ultimately approved by the city of Bellingham for construction on this site are, in fact, intended for single-family residential use.?

11) Why has Horizon Bank spent more than $200,000 on an EIS for a multi-family project if they can only pursue a permit for single-family development?  Isn?t that a substantial waste of time and money, not only for Horizon Bank, but for city staff and the 17 federal, state, local and tribal agencies currently reviewing this 500-page document?

12) When does the FDIC plan to enforce the conditions of its 1994 Order?

13) What can the public do to ensure Horizon Bank?s compliance?


Tip Johnson  //  Sat, Oct 03, 2009, 3:50 pm

After a quick review of the new plans, I remain unconvinced that they could even build this project without breaking their already teetering bank.  I think it is a ruse.

I am commenting to the FDIC that the project is more likely an attempt at blackmail and fraud against the Greenways Levy, that the plans are nothing more than scary pictures of a horrific environmental catastrophe, and a tragedy to neighborhood character, designed to squeeze top dollar out of the public coffers. That’s a bad plan for a so-called community bank.

I am suggesting a subpoena to the state of Delaware to finally reveal the original consolidators of the property, principals of the West-Eden Land Development corporation officed in Lynden, who originally benefited from the illegal rezone that added so much phantom value to the property and created the mess we witness today.

This key piece of information would establish the chain of ownership and become critical to understanding the conundrum of this projects ability to survive, answering the question of why the city did none of the things they should have done that would have limited the project’s damage, and did many things they shouldn’t have that preserved the project.

To me, it looks like a bunch of family and friends trying to make the most out of a piece of essentially undevelopable property.  It was not developed for over a century because of environmental constraints, long before the importance of wetlands and salmon streams was recognized.

Today, the prospect is literally absurd. Something fishy is going on - and not in the 90 million gallons of pure, clean water that the property delivers to tributaries of Padden and Chuckanut creeks every year.

I know the FDIC will not share my personal conclusion, but here it is: Up with the Woods, Down with the Bank!


Larry Horowitz  //  Sun, Oct 04, 2009, 11:51 am

The following letter was sent to FDIC attorney Miller and FDIC Case Manager Evans by Bellingham resident and former Deputy Attorney General for the California Dept of Justice, Michael Botwin:

Dear Mr. Miller and Mr. Evans,

I am a Bellingham resident and I am sending this e-mail to urge the FDIC to take action against Horizon Bank for its violation of the 1994 FDIC order.  That order permits Horizon Bank, through its wholly owned subsidiary (Westward Financial Services Corp.), to engage in certain types of real estate development activities provided those activities are limited to “the development of real estate intended for single-family residential use” and its “aggregate investment in the activity at any one time [does] not exceed 25% of its Tier 1 capital.”  (See FDIC Order, ?? 2 and 3.)  I believe Horizon Bank has arrogantly and defiantly violated both those provisions in regard to its development of Fairhaven Highlands. 

As you know, Fairhaven Highlands (also known as Chuckanut Ridge) was purchased in 2005 by Westward Financial Services Corp. as part of a joint venture with Greenbriar Northwest LLC (hereinafter “Greenbriar”).  Horizon Bank never intended to comply with the FDIC order in regard to Fairhaven Highlands by limiting it to single-family dwellings.  On April 18, 2005, Greenbriar filed Subdivision Variance Application and a SEPA Environmental Checklist with the Bellingham Planning and Community Development Department (hereinafter “Planning Department”).  The Variance Application described the project as “Residential - Multiple Planned.”  (See Variance Application, ? 8.)  The SEPA application contained more detail and described the project as follows:

“THE OVERALL PROJECT COVERS SOME 85 ACRES.  THE 739 ALLOWABLE RESIDENTIAL UNITS WILL BE SINGLE DETACHED, COMMON WALL, TOWNHOUSE, TRIPLEX, NINE-PLEX, AND MEDUM-RISE BUILDINGS ARE PLANNED.  [SEPA Application, p. 2, ? 16.]  . . . THERE ARE SEVERAL 8-10 STORY BUILDINGS WITHIN THE CURRENT PLAN FOR THE DEVELOPMENT.  [SEPA Application, p. 9, ? 9(a).] ” 

Copies of these two documents can be viewed on the City of Bellingham’s official web page at + Link under the topic “Applications.”  It seems to me that Horizon Bank intended to violate FDIC’s order from the initiation of the Fairhaven Highlands project and never intended to limit it to “single-family residential use” as required by the order.

The Fairhaven Highlands project caused public outrage from the start.  Horizon Bank’s and Greenbriar’s in-your-face attitude exacerbated the public’s resentment over the project.  At a meeting with approximately 500 local residents, David Edelstein stated, “We bought density” when explaining how Horizon Bank and Greenbriar intended to replace the forested mountain that frames the southern border of Bellingham with 10-story high-rises and with other multi-story buildings. 

Signs containing statements such as “Stop Horizon Bank from Destroying Chuckanut Ridge” started appearing throughout the South side of town.  Residents organized.  Responsible Development, a non-profit corporation, was created to fight the development.  (See + Link)  RD hired a prominent Seattle land-use attorney to fight the project and has already spent over $40,000 in fighting Horizon Bank’s project.  More recently, another group (Friends of Chuckanut) also joined the fight against Fairhaven Highlands.

The Fairhaven Highlands development is described as one of the “Top Issues” on the City of Bellingham’s website.  The city acknowledges that the Fairhaven Highlands “proposal has provoked significant community debate. Many area residents are opposed to developing Chuckanut Ridge, which is one of the last large, wooded properties remaining within City limits. They say they prefer to see it preserved for open space or recreational use, they are concerned about protecting sensitive environmental features, and they are concerned about traffic and other neighborhood impacts.”  (See + Link

On September 29, 2009, the Draft Environmental Impact Study of this parcel was finally released by the City.  (Note that Greenbriar is responsible for paying for this report, which exceeds 560 pages.) A local newspaper, The Bellingham Herald headlined this issue, reporting that the Fairhaven Highlands project “is the most controversial one inside city limits in recent memory.” (To read the full DEIS online, see + Link and click on “Fairhaven Highlands? under “Top Issues”)

Patrice Clark, a member of a prominent Bellingham family that donated a sizable parcel of waterfront land to a land trust for the public benefit, terminated her sizable business dealings with Horizon Bank in protest to the Fairhaven Highlands project.  In her October 24, 2007 letter to Horizon Bank, she states the following:
“I shared my concerns about Horizon Bank?s involvement with the Chuckanut Ridge development. I was hoping to hear that your bank would decide that developing this land was not in the bank’s best interest and that you would want to be seen in this community as a “good neighbor‟ and sell to the city of Bellingham, reinvesting in other properties that would not encourage sprawl as this development would do. Unfortunately, you did not see it that way .  .  .  [?]  There still is time to rethink your bank’s investment.  I hope you and your board members will seriously reconsider your option to partner with the city of Bellingham to find a way to finance transfer of this ‘gem’ to public ownership and preservation.”  (See + Link Clark Horizon Bank letter.pdf.) 

Other customers also cancelled their accounts with Horizon Bank for similar reasons.

Each year, local residents picket Horizon Bank’s Shareholders’ Meeting in protest.  Some residents even purchased 1 share of Horizon Bank stock so they could attend the annual shareholders’ meeting.  It was reported that during its July 21, 2009 meeting, Lawrence Evans and Richard Jacobson (Chairman and President, respectively) claimed Horizon Bank was in compliance with the 1994 FDIC order and furthermore, the FDIC did not care about compliance with its order.

Equally disturbing is the bank’s failure to limit its investment in real estate developments to no more than 25% of its Tier 1 capital and then misrepresenting its financial status to shareholders.  Horizon Bank’s investment in its real estate developments is substantially more than twice limit imposed by the FDIC.  Worse yet, the bank’s President purportedly misrepresented the bank’s financial status to shareholders at the last shareholders’ meeting.  He allegedly stated that the bank had only invested $18 million in the Fairhaven HIghlands project instead of the $27.2 million it had actually invested and that the Bank had $90 million in Tier 1 capital instead of the $45.3 million it actually had.  In fact, the Bank had lost 50% of its Tier 1 equity in 3 months!  It is my understanding that the purpose of a community bank is to serve the needs of the community and not to deceive it or destroy one of its ecological gems.

Many Bellingham residents have expended substantial time and money to fight Horizon Bank’s Fairhaven Highlands project in order to preserve a unique parcel of land that is a big part of Bellingham’s character.  Among them, Dr. John McLaughlin, a professor of Environmental Science at Western Washington University, explained in numerous letters how the proposed Fairhaven Highlands project would be devastating to the local environment and how preservation of that property offers a unique educational opportunity to grade schools and to the university.  It is the only parcel of land in the country within walking distance of schools and the university wherein field environmental training can be provided.  (See + Link)

I have been a Deputy Attorney General for the California Department of Justice for around 34 years until my retirement in 2003, at which time I moved to Bellingham.  I enforced California’s consumer protection and white collar crime statutes during most of my tenure.  I prosecuted numerous cases at the request of various state, local, and, on occasion, federal agencies.  I strongly believe it is important for agencies to enforce their orders.  The failure to do so results in the lack of public confidence in the agency and a lack of respect of those who are regulated.  It promotes lawlessness rather than compliance and deterrence. 

The Draft Environmental Impact Study has been completed and the period for public comment is ticking.  Now is the time for the FDIC to act and enforce its order.  Its failure to do so will cause numerous members of the public and public agencies to spend countless hours evaluating the 500+ page report and commenting upon it.  All this time, effort, and expense will be wasted if the FDIC ultimately intends to prohibit the proposed multi-unit project.

Sincerely,

Michael Botwin


Whatcom Co.: 90 Million Gallons of Water a Day

Wed, Jul 22, 2015, 12:42 am  //  Guest writer

Eric Hirst provides us all with a well researched report on Whatcom County water issues - rights, Lake Whatcom, ground water and more.

9 comments; last on Jul 25, 2015

Electromagnetic Radiation: Who’s Looking Out for You?

Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 4:13 pm  //  John Lesow

The fight to keep Point Roberts from becoming a Radio Tower Farm is not over.

3 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015


Kudos to Our Police

Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 5:38 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Bellingham police are obviously trained to de-escalate armed confrontations. This is the way it should be.

6 comments; last on Jul 14, 2015

Lois Garlick was our hero

Thu, Jul 09, 2015, 8:27 am  //  John Servais

Lois Garlick has died. For many decades, she and George served as environmental stewards and leaders in preserving wildlife and nature.

2 comments; last on Jul 10, 2015

Whatcom County Council adds ballot measure

Wed, Jul 08, 2015, 9:27 am  //  John Servais

Last minute political maneuvering by liberal council seeks to counter conservative review commission ballot proposals.

0 comments

Charter amendments approved

Tue, Jul 07, 2015, 9:13 am  //  John Servais

The Charter Review Commission made Monday evening's meeting their last - and forwarded 8 charter amendments to the County Council

3 comments; last on Jul 08, 2015

Family Home For Rent: $44,000/year

Tue, Jul 07, 2015, 5:34 am  //  Dick Conoboy

For Rent: York neighborhood, new, 7 bedroom single-family home, near WWU. Only $44,000 a year. City planning not paying attention.

6 comments; last on Jul 09, 2015

Charter Commission Tricks

Mon, Jul 06, 2015, 4:30 pm  //  John Servais

Two dirty tricks by the uber-conservative minority on the Charter Review Commission aimed to put their agenda before the council.

3 comments; last on Jul 07, 2015

Drought Tree Emergency!

Thu, Jul 02, 2015, 2:55 pm  //  David Camp

Trees are dying for lack of water! Only citizen action can save them.

0 comments

Fireworks and Clay Butler

Thu, Jul 02, 2015, 7:47 am  //  Dick Conoboy

If your 4th of July holiday is much more quiet this year, you can thank Clay Bulter who passed away at the end of May.

0 comments

A Tale of Three Rezones

Mon, Jun 29, 2015, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Samish Neighborhood Plan has been the subject of three undesired rezones in the last year. The city ignores its own guidelines to the detriment of all.

0 comments

County prosecutor plays cruel games

Thu, Jun 25, 2015, 6:00 pm  //  John Servais

Updated at 6 pm. Our county justice system has spent 6 years trying to teach Luba Pekisheva that she should not defend herself. Justice denied and miscarried.

8 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015

Proposed New County Lockup - Financial Analysis

Mon, Jun 22, 2015, 5:00 pm  //  David Camp

A look at the proposal in historic financial context with projections and several questions for the proponents.

8 comments; last on Jul 10, 2015

Hansen-Iron Street Rental Megaplex Planned for York Neighborhood

Mon, Jun 01, 2015, 3:49 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Three extraordinarily large (7-bedroom) single family home rentals are proposed by developers Dave and Jon Hansen on Iron St. in the York Neighborhood.

7 comments; last on Jun 10, 2015

Chiara D’Angelo comes down from anchor chain

Mon, May 25, 2015, 8:17 pm  //  John Servais

Young Chiara spent 3 nights hanging from the anchor chain of Shell Oil's Arctic Challenger as a protest to arctic oil drilling.

0 comments

Flash Mob Protests Arctic Drilling

Thu, May 21, 2015, 11:50 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein we ponder the fate of humanity

0 comments

Joy Gilfilen Declares for County Executive

Mon, May 18, 2015, 11:17 pm  //  John Servais

Joy Gilfilen is challenging incumbent Jack Louws for County Executive.

4 comments; last on May 20, 2015

85 County Single Candidate Elections

Fri, May 15, 2015, 6:10 pm  //  John Servais

Running update of who is filing for office in Whatcom County. Posts during day Friday and final update Friday evening.

4 comments; last on May 17, 2015

Updated:  Ski to Sea Tries to Bully Bellingham

Wed, May 13, 2015, 5:30 pm  //  John Servais

Updated | Ski to Sea race does not need to race through sensitive Chuckanut Community Forest Park for special mountain bike leg. City did not renege.

10 comments; last on May 15, 2015

County proposes free pass for vacation rentals

Sun, Apr 26, 2015, 2:05 pm  //  Guest writer

Tani Sutley writes a second article on the increasing number of vacation rentals - and the County Council bill to let them expand dramatically.

4 comments; last on May 02, 2015

Student Housing Project Revived for Lincoln St. Development Site

Thu, Apr 09, 2015, 5:03 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Puget Neighborhood is about to become a bit more crowded but less than originally planned. 600+ students to be housed south of Fred Meyer.

6 comments; last on Apr 12, 2015

A Perspective on Port Politics

Sat, Apr 04, 2015, 1:15 pm  //  John Servais

The port's latest bone-headed deal calls for the good citizens of Whatcom County to consider the options...unless we're enjoying our Groundhog Day.

3 comments; last on Apr 07, 2015

Irish Thuggery

Thu, Apr 02, 2015, 8:30 pm  //  Tip Johnson

The difference between a threat and a promise

5 comments; last on Apr 03, 2015

Port Gives Away Our Bellingham Waterfront

Wed, Apr 01, 2015, 12:20 am  //  John Servais

Port of Bellingham today sold out our public waterfront to a foreign shell company formed 6 days ago. Sold it cheap and with a screwy arrangement.

32 comments; last on Apr 05, 2015

The Last Lessons of Dr. David T. Mason

Sat, Mar 21, 2015, 11:16 am  //  Guest writer

Kamalla Kaur worked with David Mason on his biographical materials and offers this tribute to his illustrious life.

2 comments; last on Mar 23, 2015

County Meth Ordinance Sent Back to Committee

Fri, Mar 13, 2015, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Whatcom County Council has sent discussion on changing the meth ordinance back to the Public Works, Health and Safety Committee

0 comments

Robyn du Pre` Has Passed On

Thu, Mar 12, 2015, 1:06 pm  //  John Servais

Add your thoughts and remembrances. Robyn du Pre` was a stalwart and true environmental advocate for Bellingham and Whatcom County. She died this week.

9 comments; last on Mar 23, 2015

How the Party Treats Jeb and Hillary Tells You Everything

Thu, Feb 26, 2015, 10:39 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley shares some insight into the national political parties

5 comments; last on Mar 09, 2015

Dealing with Meth Contamination - A Race to the Bottom in Whatcom County

Wed, Feb 25, 2015, 6:31 am  //  Dick Conoboy

In a hearing, possibly on 3 March, the Whatcom County Council will consider an ordinance changing the rules for contaminated meth use sites.

1 comments; last on Feb 27, 2015

Rent-to-Own Scam on Tenants

Mon, Feb 09, 2015, 6:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Not all rent-to-own propositions are an unwise method to buy a home but some are schemes to rip off the unsuspecting tenant.

0 comments

The Hidden Election

Mon, Feb 02, 2015, 9:34 am  //  Guest writer

No ballot mailed to you. You must request a ballot for voting in the Whatcom Conservation District election. Deadline to apply is Feb 9. By Barbara Perry

0 comments

Little Hong Kong by the Bay

Thu, Jan 29, 2015, 10:56 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein Bellingham's billion dollar boondoggle is revisited

4 comments; last on Mar 03, 2015

A Call to Action to Support the Lummi Nation

Tue, Jan 27, 2015, 9:55 am  //  Terry Wechsler

The Lummi requested on Jan. 5, 2015, that the federal government, through the Army Corps of Engineers, honor Art. V of the Treaty of Point Elliott and deny…

1 comments; last on Feb 04, 2015

The Pickett House Museum

Sun, Jan 25, 2015, 12:32 pm  //  Guest writer

Adventures of George Pickett in the Pacific Northwest Wilderness

5 comments; last on Jan 28, 2015

Call to Action—Shell Anacortes Crude by Rail Proposal

Sat, Jan 24, 2015, 3:15 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

The fourth area refinery crude by rail infrastructure project to receive permits without benefit of environmental review is being appealed, and provides an opportunity to make precedent.

0 comments

Riley Sweeney to Receive Paul deArmond Award

Fri, Jan 23, 2015, 12:13 am  //  John Servais

The second annual award for Citizen Journalism will be to The Political Junkie himself who runs the Sweeney Politics blog, Riley Sweeney.

2 comments; last on Jan 24, 2015

The Annexation Games

Tue, Jan 20, 2015, 3:07 am  //  Guest writer

Guest article by Sandra Alfers. Water and sewer connections drive unwanted annexation. Trickle Creek homeowners are muzzled by a "no protest zone."

1 comments; last on Jan 20, 2015

A Walk With Hope

Sun, Jan 18, 2015, 10:14 pm  //  Guest writer

Ellen Murphy gives us a poem for this Martin Luther King day of remembrance.

2 comments; last on Jan 21, 2015

Dead or Alive: How do you like your herring?

Sun, Jan 18, 2015, 9:15 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the ridiculous is ridiculed

5 comments; last on Jan 21, 2015

Lodging Goals for Whatcom County

Thu, Jan 08, 2015, 2:54 pm  //  Guest writer

Tani Sutley guest writes about the vacation rentals situation and presents goals for the county council to consider for improving our rural neighborhoods.

1 comments; last on Jan 10, 2015

Water is Valuable

Wed, Dec 31, 2014, 1:16 am  //  Guest writer

Duuhhh! Try doing without it. Marian Beddill provides an overview of our rural Whatcom County water situation and the efforts to find fair solutions.

3 comments; last on Jan 08, 2015

Riley’s Top 5 Whatcom Political Stories of 2014

Wed, Dec 24, 2014, 1:23 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The Herald gave us their top 10 stories, Riley gives you his top 5

0 comments

Coal Ship Collisions Study Is Released

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 5:04 pm  //  John Servais

One part of the environmental study for the proposed Cherry Point mega coal terminal has been completed and released. It deals with ship collisions - they call it…

2 comments; last on Dec 22, 2014

Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 12:26 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham Public Works shows how tone deaf they can be to business concerns. They insisted on street work that takes away up to 80 parking spaces in Fairhaven…

0 comments

Bellingham City Council Approves Rental Inspections

Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 3:51 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

7-0! City Council Unanimous. Rentals Will Be Inspected in Bellingham. Thanks go to WWU students for speaking out to city council.

5 comments; last on May 02, 2015

Council Moving Rapidly on Rental Registration and Inspections

Thu, Dec 11, 2014, 5:05 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Bellingham City Council has added an inspection component to the registration-only rental ordinance proposal of Councilmember Murphy

4 comments; last on Dec 16, 2014

New Year’s Eve and Consumer Fireworks - Ban in Effect

Wed, Dec 10, 2014, 6:37 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The ban on consumer fireworks that took effect last summer is valid all year, even New Year's Eve

1 comments; last on Dec 11, 2014

Ship Breaks Loose at Port of Bellingham

Tue, Dec 09, 2014, 1:31 pm  //  John Servais

The Horizon Lines ship - the many year resident of the Port of Bellingham - broke loose this morning due to failure of some system. A few photos.

3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2014

Whatcom County and the New Sharing Economy

Tue, Dec 09, 2014, 2:25 am  //  Guest writer

Tani Sutley writes of how unregulated vacation rentals are invading the Lake Whatcom watershed. She urges action before the Planning Commission meeting on 11 December.

4 comments; last on Jan 03, 2015

War and Peace

Wed, Dec 03, 2014, 2:20 pm  //  Richard Lewis

Poet Richard Lewis reflects on Elizabeth Warren

3 comments; last on Dec 07, 2014

Prosecutor McEachran Calls Racism Charge “Preposterous”

Sun, Nov 23, 2014, 4:27 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein Whatcom's Klan heritage may be oozing from some cracks

8 comments; last on Dec 06, 2014

Where are the persuadable voters in the 42nd District?

Sat, Nov 22, 2014, 3:48 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley dives into the data with precinct maps and historical perspectives

0 comments

Campus View Apartment Project Officially Defunct

Thu, Nov 20, 2014, 9:15 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Campus Crest Communities, Inc. has officially offered for sale the Lincoln St. property that was to be a student apartment development.

2 comments; last on Nov 23, 2014

Howard Harris Dies - More Testimonials Added

Wed, Nov 12, 2014, 1:51 pm  //  John Servais

Updated Nov 12. Howard Harris, the founder of the Bellingham silent peace vigil at the Federal Building in Bellingham, has died. He and Rosemary were leaders in our…

0 comments

A Veterans Day Note

Tue, Nov 11, 2014, 2:34 pm  //  John Servais

On this Veterans Day, a note about how vets need our government to step up - as has never been done. And a personal note on the power…

3 comments; last on Nov 13, 2014

Lincoln Street Apartment Development May Be Abandoned

Thu, Nov 06, 2014, 6:53 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Campus Crest apartment complex may be the "victim" of a corporate restructuring plan.

3 comments; last on Nov 10, 2014

Doug Ericksen’s Tax Lien

Tue, Nov 04, 2014, 12:28 pm  //  John Servais

While smearing Seth Fleetwood over a common tax arrangement, we discover Doug Ericksen also has a benign tax lien - one he denied.

6 comments; last on Nov 11, 2014

A Recent GOP History in Not-So-Terse-Verse

Mon, Nov 03, 2014, 8:14 pm  //  Richard Lewis

Poet Richard Lewis weighs in on the Tea Party values

0 comments

Fergusonham

Sat, Nov 01, 2014, 12:29 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Or why to vote for Nyima, the dog, for County Prosecutor

4 comments; last on Nov 03, 2014

Election Recommendations

Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 2:18 am  //  John Servais

A link to Riley's Political Junkie for excellent recommendations - and a few thoughts of my own.

1 comments; last on Oct 30, 2014

 

Election Info

County Candidate Filings

State Elections Website
Whatcom County Elections

Coal, Oil & Trains

Coal Stop

Community Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Bhm Biz Journal
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light
Sweeney Politics
Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
State Elections Website
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW

Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The
Change The Mascot
Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Irish Times
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders