Updated: Ski to Sea Tries to Bully BellinghamPermalink +
Wed, May 13, 2015, 5:30 pm // John Servais
Update Wed, May 13 at 5 pm
That was easy. The above map shows the final 7 mile mountain bike leg of the Ski to Sea race. The race organization was easily able to not cut through the Chuckanut Community Forest park by simply routing the race up the Interurban trail. The bikers get nice gnarly trails on the yellow loop end of the leg. The organizers even said the course is the best.
Now lets have a great race. And hope we get a good number of teams registered. And enjoy the best street party in Bellingham at the Fairhaven Festival on Sunday, May 24, where the race ends in Fairhaven.
Original article below posted Thu, May 7 at 4:30 pm
It was quite the “press release” the Ski to Sea corporation selectively sent out on Wednesday. Pete Coy bought the Ski to Sea Race from the Bellingham Chamber of Commerce a few years ago and says the city has “reneged” on its agreement to allow a new mountain bike leg of the race to traverse the new Chuckanut Community Forest Park.
Coy’s press release had no contact person listed so it was more of a plant with the Herald than a press release. The Herald ran with it, along with a headline suggesting Mayor Kelli Linville was responsible for damaging the Ski to Sea race.
This proposed seventh leg of the race is about nine miles long, with about a mile of it through the park. The route can be easily adjusted to not traverse the park.
In truth, Coy didn't get a “special use permit” from the city for use of the trail through the park - and he is experienced enough to know there is no agreement unless you have the written permit. I think he is trying to bully the city into granting the permit.
Coy has been pushing the city to allow the bikes through the most sensitive part of the park because it is the most rugged and muddy - just the sort of trail that mountain bikers like. Riding on established trails - like the Interurban - are not challenging for mountain bikers. They want a sort of hybrid bike leg here with a combination of roads and rugged, woodsy, muddy hills.
I’ve talked today with quite a number of participants in this process. The city was, and is, open to helping establish a second mountain bike leg to help make up for the loss of the two skiing legs at Mount Baker due to the lack of snow this year. But the city is not going to allow the very environmentally sensitive 100 acre wood, as the park is called, to be trashed by hundreds of mountain bike racers.
Coy did not send the press release to NWCitizen - and as of this writing it has been hours since I phoned asking for a copy. No call back. I got a copy from someone else and it is appended at the bottom of this article for you to read. It is a pretty trashy document. Judge for yourself.
Bottom line: The city did not renege. At one point, the city indicated it “was possible” the race might go through the park - but then realized the legal conservation easement with the new metropolitan park district prohibited this sort of use. And the people at the park district wrote the city of their concerns. The final decision rested with the city - that is, the parks department and mayor - and they decided not to let the bikes through that very sensitive natural area. It was a good decision both legally and environmentally.
After no return-call from the race folks, I drove to their office. There I met Curtis Anson, the director of the race, and while he answered some questions, he said “no comment” to key questions. I did learn the so-called press release was “tailored” for the Herald. He would not comment on the use of the word “reneged” in the release. He indicated no second thoughts about the wisdom their actions.
Some further opinion.
There seems no reason for this one-time leg of the race other than to maintain seven legs or achieve the arbitrary length of 100 miles. There is already a mountain bike leg from Hovander Park to Squalicum Harbor. The kayaks race across the bay to Maritime Park to the normal finish line. The race can end there. Everyone knows there is no snow and the Ski to Sea corporation cannot be blamed for that. No one - well, very few - want to trash an environmental jewel like the Chuckanut Community Forest Park. And race participants would probably be embarrassed to realize they are damaging a sensitive natural area. That leg of the race has eight miles that are not in the community park and can easily be routed to avoid it.
It was a sad and idiotic decision by the Chamber of Commerce to sell the race to Pete Coy and his special corporation. The chamber president who made that decision came here from California, decided he did not like the race and sold it. A few years later he quit and went back to California. We lost our signature community event to a private corporation. I was on the Ski to Sea committee for many years and ran the finish line committee for several years, overseeing the move of the finish line to Marine Park in Fairhaven back in about 1983. I later worked at the snow plow sheds with the state patrol enabling the road bikers entry onto the highway. I love that race and all it represents about our community.
Related Links:-> Press Release - file name was "2015-05-06 100 Acre Wood Press Release to Herald FINAL.pdf"
Wed, May 13, 2015, 5:30 pm // John ServaisUpdated | Ski to Sea race does not need to race through sensitive Chuckanut Community Forest Park for special mountain bike leg. City did not renege.
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Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 11:28 am // John ServaisBellingham City Council ready to approve $500,000 of trails money for resurfacing plastic grass on Civic Field.
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Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 3:47 pm // John ServaisThe election created a new park district with taxing power - but with NO control over Chuckanut Ridge - the 100 acre woods.
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Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 4:42 pm // John ServaisThe Park District vote is close and we will not know final results until late ballots are counted.
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Sun, Feb 03, 2013, 4:05 pm // Guest writerNicholas Zaferatos explains why he is concerned about the park district and looks at the long and short term views if the issue.
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Sat, Feb 02, 2013, 12:18 pm // John ServaisThe Chuckanut Park District ballot issue has another 10 days to run. A few notes about NWCitizen and this issue.
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Fri, Feb 01, 2013, 4:16 pm // Guest writerDr. Gibb explains some history to the issue in a brief article.
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Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:36 pm // Guest writerPaul Leuthold and Byron Elmendorf explain why to vote NO on the Chuckanut Park District ballot measure.
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Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:26 am // Guest writerGuest post by long time south side resident Marci (Hanson) Haskell on why to vote no on the Park District
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Wed, Jan 30, 2013, 10:40 am // John ServaisThe Park District is a panic action that over taxes a small group. A city wide solution is by far the better way to proceed.
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Tue, Jan 29, 2013, 6:25 pm // Guest writerBill Geyer explains Transfer Development Rights and how they can be applied to the Chuckanut Ridge.
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Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 9:18 pm // Guest writerPhyllis McKee on why to oppose and the importance of voting no if you are against the Park District.
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Sat, Jan 26, 2013, 12:49 pm // Guest writerDan Remsen speaks to the beauty of the Chuckanut Park and why to vote for the Park District.
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Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 5:09 pm // John ServaisUpdated Sat, Jan 26. A primer on the special Parks District election - and where to find more info.
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Thu, Jan 24, 2013, 10:49 am // Guest writerBy 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.
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Mon, Sep 26, 2011, 12:59 am // Tip JohnsonEeny, meeny, miny, moe
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Thu, Sep 01, 2011, 11:21 pm // John ServaisThey celebrated the purchase of Chuckanut Ridge this evening. It was a fun event, even if a bit revisionist history snuck in.
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Tue, Aug 16, 2011, 9:26 am // John ServaisLast night the Bellingham City Council approved the purchase of Chuckanut Ridge for $8.2 million
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Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 11:49 pm // Tip JohnsonShould we accept or dig into Chuckanut Ridge?
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Fri, Jul 22, 2011, 4:52 pm // John ServaisWashington Federal has bought out Greenbriar's interest in Chuckanut Ridge.
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Wed, Mar 09, 2011, 2:38 pm // John ServaisBank opens way to sell Chuckanut 100 Acre Woods to city.
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Open letter to Bellingham Planning Director Jeff Thomas re: Fairhaven Highlands application deadline
Sun, Oct 31, 2010, 7:20 pm // Larry HorowitzUpdated Sun, Oct 31. An open letter to Bellingham Planning Director Jeff Thomas re: Fairhaven Highlands application deadline
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Thu, Aug 05, 2010, 10:28 am // John ServaisWe ask why the EIS extension was given to the Chuckanut Ridge developers when the city is negotiating to buy the property.
Wed, Aug 04, 2010, 10:12 am // John ServaisBellingham Planning Department is giving quiet extensions to the Chuckanut Ridge developer - propping up the property value.
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Mon, Aug 02, 2010, 3:30 pm // John ServaisBellingham Planning Department gave a three month extension, till Oct 29, to Greenbriar
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Fri, Jan 08, 2010, 9:02 pm // John ServaisFate of proposed Chuckanut Ridge development continues to be a concern.
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Tue, Dec 08, 2009, 2:29 pm // Larry HorowitzBREAKING:
On Dec 3, the FDIC issued a Supervisory Prompt Corrective Action Directive to Horizon Bank due to the bank’s critically undercapitalized status as of Sep
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Sat, Dec 05, 2009, 9:00 am // Tip JohnsonI always hate public issues that involve decades of history and require integration of multiple points. I refer to it as 'the indignity of explanation.' Public interest advocates…
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A series of recent landslides around the perimeter of Chuckanut Ridge, which caused substantial property damage, several injuries a
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Mon, Oct 26, 2009, 12:02 pm // Larry HorowitzProfessional journalist and local resident, Bob Simmons, has published an article entitled Horizon Bank and the fate of Fairhaven Highlands on the Seattle-based Crosscut.com3 comments; last on Oct 29, 2009
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Tue, Oct 20, 2009, 4:39 pm // John ServaisPublic comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Fairhaven Highlands is tonight, Tuesday, October 20 at 6 pm at the Whatcom County Courthouse.
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And it’s not for the obvious reasons. Sure,
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Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 9:41 am // Larry HorowitzDear Director Stewart:
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Mon, Mar 02, 2009, 12:33 am // Guest writerJack Weiss, a member of the Bellingham City Council, has submitted this response to the Feb 27 post.
Barbara, as the author of this piece, tries to state a…
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Fri, Feb 27, 2009, 7:11 pm // Guest writerBarbara Ryan, Terry Bornemann and Gene Knutson, all members of the Bellingham City Council, have submitted this guest article.
Until now, we have chosen to let our record…
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Fri, Feb 20, 2009, 9:57 am // Larry HorowitzPulitzer Prize-winning author of The Jungle, Upton Sinclair observed, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.”
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Tue, Feb 03, 2009, 1:05 am // Larry HorowitzI really pity Horizon Bank’s CEO Rich Jacobson. His predecessor, Laury Evans, sure left him a bad hand to play. Not only is Mr. Jacobson faced with the…
2 comments; last on Mar 02, 2009
Sun, Jan 25, 2009, 9:59 pm // Larry HorowitzIn recent weeks, the Chuckanut Ridge / Greenways 3 mêlée has been blown way out of proportion and has become nothing more than an irritating sideshow. Personally, I…
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Sat, Aug 09, 2008, 7:10 pm // Larry HorowitzOn his personal blog, former City Councilman John Watts has written a column entitled, “Chuckanut Ridge: Land Supply Implications” in which he concludes, “without a reasonable level
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Fri, Feb 15, 2008, 10:13 pm // Larry HorowitzAfter an extended hiatus, the battle over Chuckanut Ridge has begun to heat up again. In one corner: landowners Horizon Bank and David Edelstein. In the other corner:…
2 comments; last on Feb 20, 2008
Wed, Jan 16, 2008, 3:33 pm // Tip JohnsonOr how to mitigate the illegitimacies of Fairhaven Highlands, AKA Chuckanut Ridge and the Hundred Acre Woods.
Sorry, I didn't have time to write something short!
Tonight (1/16/2008) a
2 comments; last on Jan 16, 2008
Wed, Oct 17, 2007, 9:40 pm // John ServaisPodcasts of last night's forum will be posted online by KGMI about noon tomorrow. I will post links here when they go up. Meanwhile, you might check Sam…
Sun, Jun 12, 2005, 5:35 pm // Site ManagementChuckanut Ridge is a controversy now - and it is deja vu of 1996. On October '96, NwCitizen broke new information and posted three reports that helped to…
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