Riley’s Top 5 Whatcom Political Stories of 2014

Permalink +

Wed, Dec 24, 2014, 12:23 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Ralph Schwartz and Samantha Wohlfeil offered their “Top 10 Whatcom Political Stories” in 2014. Take a gander at their list, they have some good picks.

In a sign of the ever-constricting economics of newsrooms, some of these stories (most notably the City Council vacancy, the newly appointed Justice Montoya-Lewis, and the PeaceHealth tax) only warranted one or two 350-word articles in the Herald, and these were the most important stories of the year. Just to be perfectly clear, Ralph and Samantha do a good job, but with dwindling space for news in our daily paper, they can only do so much.

That said, here is my picks for the top five political news stories of 2014.Obviously, Seth versus Doug captivated everyone but here are some other stories that didn’t make the Herald’s list.

1) Rep. Jason Overstreet is pushed out/unexpectedly resigns. Local gold-enthusiast and incumbent legislator Jason Overstreet announced his retirement from public office rather suddenly. His calls forWWU President Bruce Shepard to resign were not well received by the Republican leadership and long-time party activist Luanne Van Werven was tapped to run in his stead.

2) The first retail marijuana store in the state opens in Bellingham. We don’t often get the spotlight but when Top Shelf Marijuana opened at 8am on July 8th, we had a flurry of attention. With only one other store (Seattle) opening on the first legal day of Pot Sales, Bellingham got to bask in a green glow. I was there on the scene reporting on the chaos.

3) PeaceHealth shuts down services to vulnerable seniors, blames Obamacare. When PeaceHealth decided to shut down their Adult Day Health Center they placed the blame on budget woes from the Affordable Care Act – saying that less people are seeking expensive hospital treatment since they now have insurance to seek preventative and palliative care earlier in illness. Which is a bad thing? Oh, and the Bellingham branch of PeaceHealth pocketed $39 million in profit in 2012.

4) Roosevelt Neighborhood Opposes C-Curb on Alabama StreetHundreds of Roosevelt neighborhood residents rallied at a neighborhood meetingprotested on the city streets and lobbied the city council to keep a C-Curb from blocking most left turns on Alabama Street. In the end, they were partially successful, blocking some of the C-curb from disrupting their neighborhood – although they are still installing one in front of my street.

5) Open Carry Advocates March in Bellingham Pride Parade. In the light of multiple mass shootings in the last couple of years, Open Carry advocates applied to march in the Bellingham Pride Parade, a move that generated a little furor – especially after they planned their social event at the same time and place as the Pride Family picnic. Gun advocates denied any attempt at intimidation – but in the end, they simply staffed a booth at the Pride festival without actually marching.

Honorable Mentions: The county tried to buy a toxic morgue from its own coroner, a move that is almost as incestuous as it is environmentally troubling and the County Planning department hires the former lead permit guy for the Gateway Pacific Terminal as a senior planner.

As always, you can support alternative citizen media by clicking here. Merry Christmas and stay tuned for a 2015 preview in the next couple of days.

Riley’s Top 5 Whatcom Political Stories of 2014

Wed, Dec 24, 2014, 12:23 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

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

0 comments

Where are the persuadable voters in the 42nd District?

Sat, Nov 22, 2014, 2:48 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley dives into the data with precinct maps and historical perspectives

0 comments

Village Books

In historic Fairhaven. Take Exit 250 from I-5.

Doug Ericksen’s Tax Lien

Tue, Nov 04, 2014, 11:28 am  //  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, 7:14 pm  //  Richard Lewis

Poet Richard Lewis weighs in on the Tea Party values

0 comments

Election Recommendations

Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 1:18 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

Tune in TONIGHT for Political Comedy

Tue, Oct 14, 2014, 5:36 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley does a local political comedy show

1 comments; last on Oct 15, 2014

Few Surprises at the Tea Party Debate

Thu, Oct 02, 2014, 1:33 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley files a full report of the Tea Party debate for State Leg candidates

1 comments; last on Oct 04, 2014

Satpal Sidhu, Candidate for State Representative, 42nd District

Tue, Sep 30, 2014, 7:00 am  //  Guest writer

Wherein a Fulbright scholar, professional engineer and successful business owner files for public office

4 comments; last on Oct 02, 2014

Who Will Be Appointed to Lehman’s City Council Seat?

Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 7:21 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley and John share the short list of who might replace Cathy Lehman on the Bellingham city council on January 5.

8 comments; last on Sep 10, 2014

Fleetwood versus Ericksen: What Happened in Round One?

Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 9:52 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Some Context for the Primary Results

0 comments

Final Updated Election Results

Fri, Aug 08, 2014, 9:10 am  //  John Servais

Updated Wed evening. The Tuesday evening 8:20 pm Auditor report on the election is in.

5 comments; last on Aug 08, 2014

Northwest Citizen Releases Polling of Whatcom Voters

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 10:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Northwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!

9 comments; last on Jul 29, 2014

Who Filed for Charter Review Commission?

Sat, May 17, 2014, 1:34 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley takes a closer look at the Charter Review Commission candidates

2 comments; last on May 21, 2014

Riley scoops Herald - again

Fri, May 09, 2014, 9:02 am  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie for Whatcom County - that would be Riley Sweeney - has Overstreet not running for reelection in the 42nd.

1 comments; last on May 13, 2014

The Whatcom Republicans’ Huge PCO Advantage

Tue, May 06, 2014, 4:52 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The value of a Precinct Committee Officer . . .

1 comments; last on May 07, 2014

Move To Amend - Persons vs Corporations

Thu, May 01, 2014, 9:21 pm  //  Guest writer

Move to Amend is a national movement to amend the U.S. Constitution and define persons as people and speech as not money.

7 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014

SweenyPolitics:  Fleetwood files against Ericksen

Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 7:20 am  //  John Servais

Riley posted this morning that Seth Fleetwood has decided to challenge Doug Ericksen for state senate in the 42nd District.

1 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014

Charter Review and District Only Voting

Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 9:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

A simple explanation of the Charter Review and analysis of District only voting

0 comments

Rep. Vincent Buys Appears to Break State Fundraising Laws

Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 10:24 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley catches State Rep. Vincent Buys for soliciting funds during session

0 comments

Gary Jensen Not Running for State Senate

Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 12:30 pm  //  John Servais

Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen has decided not to file for the 42nd state Senate seat currently held by Doug Ericksen.

5 comments; last on Dec 24, 2013

Election Analysis: What Happened with the Port Races?

Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 10:21 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley crunches the numbers on Renata and McAuley's races to find answers

2 comments; last on Nov 13, 2013

Election Results - November 2013

Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 8:21 pm  //  John Servais

With lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.

11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013

Ken Bell and Renata for Port

Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 7:07 pm  //  John Servais

Ken Bell has my vote over Mike McAuley for port commissioner. And Renata Kowalczyk has it over Dan Robbins.

8 comments; last on Oct 30, 2013

How the Coal Industry Funneled $40,000 into Whatcom

Wed, Oct 02, 2013, 5:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley uncovers how the Coal Industry is funding conservative candidates in Whatcom County

11 comments; last on Oct 03, 2013

Over $330,000 raised and spent on elections in Whatcom County

Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 6:08 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley examines who is donating to which candidates

0 comments

Can We Talk? Doug Ericksen for Congress!

Mon, Aug 19, 2013, 7:08 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley whole-heartedly urges Doug Ericksen to run for Congress in 2014

2 comments; last on Aug 19, 2013

Greenways Levy Money Used for AstroTurf

Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 10:28 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council ready to approve $500,000 of trails money for resurfacing plastic grass on Civic Field.

15 comments; last on Jul 02, 2013

Who is filing for elective offices???

Fri, May 17, 2013, 4:44 pm  //  John Servais

Tuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.

9 comments; last on May 23, 2013

Freedom Academy Comes to Whatcom County

Mon, Apr 22, 2013, 5:52 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley attends Tea Party training and runs afoul of Rep. Overstreet

1 comments; last on Apr 22, 2013

City Controls Chuckanut Park - Not New Park District

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 2:47 pm  //  John Servais

The election created a new park district with taxing power - but with NO control over Chuckanut Ridge - the 100 acre woods.

1 comments; last on Feb 23, 2013

Thoughts on the Park District Vote

Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 3:42 pm  //  John Servais

The Park District vote is close and we will not know final results until late ballots are counted.

6 comments; last on Feb 19, 2013

Time to Vote on Park District

Sat, Feb 09, 2013, 12:14 am  //  John Servais

The proponents have avoided the issues on the Park District as the close of voting nears this weekend.

2 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013

Check the Protect Bellingham Parks Website

Wed, Feb 06, 2013, 10:42 pm  //  John Servais

When is a vote No the most positive and common sense action? Check the park district opponents website to learn why.

15 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013

Ironies With the Park District

Tue, Feb 05, 2013, 12:59 pm  //  John Servais

This Park District proposal has several ironic twists and facets - some involving the advocates.

10 comments; last on Feb 07, 2013

The Big Picture on Chuckanut Ridge

Sun, Feb 03, 2013, 3:05 pm  //  Guest writer

Nicholas Zaferatos explains why he is concerned about the park district and looks at the long and short term views if the issue.

11 comments; last on Feb 06, 2013

A note from the publisher

Sat, Feb 02, 2013, 11:18 am  //  John Servais

The Chuckanut Park District ballot issue has another 10 days to run. A few notes about NWCitizen and this issue.

11 comments; last on Feb 05, 2013

Chuckanut Mountains and the Park District

Fri, Feb 01, 2013, 3:16 pm  //  Guest writer

Dr. Gibb explains some history to the issue in a brief article.

8 comments; last on Feb 03, 2013

Former Park Directors Against Park District Proposal

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 12:36 pm  //  Guest writer

Paul Leuthold and Byron Elmendorf explain why to vote NO on the Chuckanut Park District ballot measure.

19 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013

It Is Not a Vote to Save The Forest

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 12:26 am  //  Guest writer

Guest post by long time south side resident Marci (Hanson) Haskell on why to vote no on the Park District

5 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013

Why I am voting NO on the Park Disttict

Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 9:40 am  //  John Servais

The Park District is a panic action that over taxes a small group. A city wide solution is by far the better way to proceed.

13 comments; last on Feb 01, 2013

Feb 12 election:  Bham Southside Only

Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 4:09 pm  //  John Servais

Updated Sat, Jan 26. A primer on the special Parks District election - and where to find more info.

15 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013

Prop 1: New Parks District is Wrong Approach

Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 9:49 am  //  Guest writer

By Bill Geyer. South Bellingham citizens vote over the next couple weeks on a self tax to form a park district and pay the Chuckanut Ridge debt.

30 comments; last on Jan 31, 2013

Doug Ericksen’s Opening Moves

Tue, Jan 15, 2013, 4:53 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley looks into Ericksen's legislative efforts this session

1 comments; last on Jan 22, 2013

Stealth Politics Returns

Sun, Nov 04, 2012, 9:21 am  //  Paul deArmond

The Whatcom county Voters’ Pamphlet containing misleading and untrue statements by unregistered, unaccountable and anonymous front groups.

3 comments; last on Nov 06, 2012

Election Predictions

Wed, Oct 31, 2012, 7:29 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Here's your shot at fame and glory as a political pundit

4 comments; last on Nov 02, 2012

Print Media: Death Knell or Phoenix Moment?

Thu, Oct 18, 2012, 3:15 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley talks about the Seattle Times, Newsweek and the future of Print Media

0 comments

Rep. Jason Overstreet’s Record

Tue, Oct 02, 2012, 8:35 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley pores through Rep. Jason Overstreet's legislative record

7 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012

Rep. Vincent Buys’ Record

Tue, Oct 02, 2012, 8:22 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley examines Rep. Vincent Buys' legislative record

1 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012

Is Bellingham Home Fund Deeply Flawed

Fri, Sep 28, 2012, 8:45 am  //  Guest writer

Jack Petree, guest writer, points out serious flaws in Bellingham Prop 1, the Home Fund, that is intended to help the poor get housing.

18 comments; last on Dec 02, 2012

The Political Junkie covers the Tea Party forum

Fri, Jul 20, 2012, 4:44 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley gathers quotes, video footage and pictures from the recent tea party forum

1 comments; last on Jul 20, 2012

From the Political Junkie: Judges, Jails, and Local Politics

Wed, Jul 04, 2012, 10:42 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley interviews judicial candidates, reviews campaign tactics, and discusses fireworks

0 comments

Port attempts to kill initiative for two new seats

Sun, Jun 17, 2012, 8:52 am  //  Paul deArmond

Port Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again

20 comments; last on Jun 21, 2012

Last chance, file for PCO

Fri, May 18, 2012, 10:27 am  //  Riley Sweeney

A short plea for public involvement from Riley

0 comments

Cascadia Weekly Rips Port - Urges 5

Wed, May 09, 2012, 5:11 am  //  John Servais

Today's Cascadia Weekly rips the Port staff on changed waterfront plans and sees 5 commissioners as possible solution to poor decision making.

2 comments; last on May 10, 2012

Speakers to address Port on Tuesday

Mon, Apr 30, 2012, 9:54 pm  //  John Servais

Several people will be urging the Port of Bellingham commissioners to place the question of expanding to 5 commissioners on the ballot.

0 comments

5 Port Commissioners Initiative Now Circulating

Sat, Apr 28, 2012, 9:09 am  //  John Servais

A county wide initiative will allow voters to decide whether to expand the Port of Bellingham commission from 3 to 5 commissioners.

1 comments; last on Apr 28, 2012

Ron Paul Delegates Railroaded at Whatcom GOP Convention

Tue, Apr 24, 2012, 11:07 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley attended the Whatcom GOP Convention and reports back

1 comments; last on Apr 29, 2012

We Can Expand Port Commission to Five

Wed, Apr 04, 2012, 2:16 pm  //  John Servais

State law allows us to pass an initiative and increase the number of port commissioners from three to five. Thanks to Harriet Spanel.

4 comments; last on Apr 05, 2012

Congressional Candidates and Overstreet’s Town Hall

Sun, Feb 19, 2012, 5:37 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley at The Political Junkie attends a forum of Congressional Candidates, and a town hall meeting in Lynden

0 comments

Port attempts to kill initiative for two new seats

Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 8:36 am  //  Paul deArmond

Port Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again

0 comments

 

Election Info

County election results

State election results

Coal, Oil & Trains


Community Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light

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
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice

Governments

Bellingham

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

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
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