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Mon, Dec 30, 2002

Cancer. A start to learning the facts of the extremely high cancer rates in Whatcom County is contained in the United States Cancer Statistics, a study by the Center for Disease Control. The CDC is part of the US Department of Health. The statistics are for 1999. Washington state ranks as one of the highest states for cancer rates, and has the highest rate west of the Mississippi.

As I began posting a few weeks ago, the cancer rates for Whatcom County may be higher than the rest of Washington state. We don't know because our County Health Department is hiding reports and distorting what it tells the County Council and the public.

The responsibility for learning the truth rests with our County Council. They can demand the full report on cancer rates. The Health department has put out some misleading numbers on cancer 'deaths', which does not include those who have recovered.

With this report of high rates in our state, the concerns for our county have been given credence. I call upon our county council - and most of them have told me they read this site - to demand the full truth on our county health statistics from the County Health Department. We cannot prevent or fix any cause if we don't even know there is a problem.

I haven't the personal time nor resources to investigate. This site is my best effort. If only some of the many people who constantly tell me how much they appreciate this site would do something themselves. We citizens have the right and duty to request information, speak, write and communicate with our fellow citizens on issues. And to petition our government agencies.

Tue, Dec 24

Season's Greetings to all. Christian, Muslim, Jewish, other or non-believer. For thousands of years this is the very time of year when people have hoped anew for a good new year to come. A rebirth of all we value and believe in. A renewed love of other humans and our sharing of a common future with others. All the best to everyone.

A few words for this time in our lives.

This winter we have war to fear. It appears inevitable. Our country's leaders are determined to squash a country exactly on the opposite side of the world from ourselves. We embark on our own eventual self-destruction by bullying the rest of the world. As individuals we feel helpless as raising our voices in objection brings down screams of treason upon our heads. Our leaders lash out at imagined enemies with blind fear and barely hidden greed. We are a country in turmoil - and it is getting worse every day.

We Americans mean well. But our leaders are sometimes bent on other ends, such as conquest and domination. Our media does not inform us honestly and fully of what other countries are doing. We are like Germans in 1930s Germany - we cannot understand why the rest of the world doesn't like us. It is because we don't know what is truly happening. In the end, we and our children will bear the result of our country's reckless adventures abroad.

Sun, Dec 22, 2002

Mercury. Oh, the expose is coming. Maybe soon. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency is getting concerned that the Washington State Department of Ecology has ignored the mercury in Whatcom County for to many years.

What is it all about? Well for over 30 years, Bellingham was the only city in the US to have a chlorine plant inside its city limits. The GP plant. Mercury was used as a 'catalyst' to make chlorine. But mercury got "lost" - in the water and the air. Our wind generally blows from the south, so the mercury released into the air spread north over Bellingham, the county and -- Lake Whatcom, our drinking water supply.

How much mercury? We don't know. GP knows, but is not saying. And no government agency has required them to say. Estimates are up to 80 pounds a day in the 60s and slowly lowering to maybe 10 pounds a day in the 90s. GP knows how much mercury they bought and that is how much was released into our water and air. It is at least 50 tons and could be 200 tons - or more. Toxic. Debilitating. In the soil of our lawns. In our children's bodies.

Our State Department of Ecology has "lost" vital documents that relate to this poisoning of our county. (Others have the supposedly non-existant documents) Our County Health department has routinely ignored the problems. GP would 'burn" mercury wastes in their hog burners and it "went away".

Why believe any of the above? Well, just wait a while. The story may be broken by a national news organization. The EPA and DOE may be caught with their pants down yet again - with the evidence of a major pollution situation that they ignored.

We should ask our Whatcom County Health Department to provide a complete report on disease in Whatcom County. We have a county council that has the power to demand this report. That is where we start. Don't believe me. But ask for the council to get the report. Are our cancer rates high? Lets have the facts.

A note on where I'm coming from. I am in contact with people doing research now. I have been concerned with the GP mercury problem since 1969. I served on GP's Community Advisory Forum for 5 years at their invitation. In the early 90s, I spent an entire work day with the top GP managers discussing the mercury and pollution concerns at the invitation of the then VP and General Manager Franklin. Does any of this make me an expert? Nope. But the "experts" at DOE and EPA and GP might soon be caught in their crime of silence.

More to come. Oh, forgot to mention. The Bellingham Herald is also guilty of the crime or silence on this one.

Fri, Dec 20

8:00 am
The Sudden Valley wastewater overflow was minimal yesterday and has stopped. It is doubtful that any reached the lake. Sewage did make it to a drainage ditch and straw was spread on it.

The spill was caused not by rain, as last year, but by a bug in a computer program that is supposed to turn on one pump (#3, if you are interested). I am told that Water District 10 folks jumped all over this problem immediately on learning of it. Much improvement over last year.

I received the above basic facts from a conversation this morning with a Water District official.

While the notice that boiling lake water is no longer necessary before drinking has not yet been sent out, it is my opinion that common sense says there is no need for it related to the spill. It is good that agencies were cautious this year. When the 'boiling not necessary' report is sent out I will post that info here.

Thur, Dec 19

6:00 pm
Today, the wastewater system at Sudden Valley is again overflowing into Lake Whatcom. The Whatcom County Health Department is recommending that if you get your drinking water directly from the lake that you boil it for 5 minutes before consuming. This according to Water District 10 news release at 5:20 this evening.

If you do not live on Lake Whatcom, then this does not apply to you. No other facts are available. I will post any further news.

This happens every year at this time. It rains in the Northwest and, because of faulty sewer pipes in Sudden Valley, the sewage system overflows - into the lake. Last year it was very severe. There was a lot of minimizing by the Department of Ecology and local news media until this web site publicized how bad it was. DOE and other government agencies proceeded to say it would never happen again.

You can check the photo that angered the brass at the Department of Ecology last year. Fitz creek is named for the DOE director - a rather deserving honor. Wonder if it is flowing again tonight.

Wed, Dec 18

Does the Bellingham Herald read their own stuff? Apparently not. Yesterday, Tuesday, a page 3 article told how the council had voted 6-1 the previous evening, Monday, for the PSE franchise to use our city rights of way. In fact, the council had voted 5-2 against extending the PSE franchise. Today the Herald has a correction. Their excuse is they reran the story from a week ago. However, someone edited that earlier story before printing it yesterday.

For those of us watching this issue, accurate news is very important. Monday was supposedly the final vote on the 25 year contract. The reality is the council has delayed until January a final decision. It is very unusual for the council to reverse itself on the final, and third vote for any issue. Maybe the Herald just reported that, thinking it was a done deal. Reporting? Not needed.

Why did the council decide to delay? Many people have contacted council members over the past week urging that the franchise contract be set at 10 years instead of 25. Many have urged that clauses be put in to encourage PSE to dismantle unused - dead - power lines and poles. These are all over the city and are a visual blight. Another suggestion is a clause encouraging the undergrounding of power lines as this provides more reliable power during our winter storms and removes the visual blight in the views from our homes. There are more clauses that appropriately belong in the contract.

The council is to be congratulated for reversing itself. Bob Ryan especially deserves credit for this. Washington State law gives cities broad authority to include clauses in franchise agreements with power companies so that the city gains benefits from the franchise. This contract should be for only 10 years, not 25, so that we can modify it as we see the need. It also keeps PSE honest when they know the contract can be amended soon.

Hopefully the council will add these clauses in January, will look for other improvements and will limit the length to 10 years.

Fri, Dec 13

Mercury. Mercury in our living environment - in the air we breathe, in the water we drink from Lake Whatcom, in the topsoils of our yards. Today's Bellingham Herald editorial says gee, environmental groups should do more to publicize this danger. It ends by saying with more "information" from these "groups" that then "People can learn the facts and decide for themselves the acceptable level of risk."

Incredible. By that naive reasoning, if there is nuclear waste lying around the county, we can all individually decide if it is dangerous or not. And if a person decides the mercury is dangerous, what is a person to do? The Herald editors, in their lecturing, stop short of offering any solution.

The Bellingham Herald is the greatest offender of systematically working to keep the citizens of Bellingham and Whatcom county ignorant of the toxic contamination of our environment. Georgia Pacific has dumped literally tons - tens of tons - of deadly mercury into our air over the past 30 years. And the same amount into our Bellingham Bay. And the Herald has systematically ignored the issue, giving it only scant notice with no urgency about public health.

The Herald editors, when confronted by me over the ommission of some vital news, always point to some obscure small article at some far distant time and say they covered the issue. They always say nothing new has been learned since that long ago time. They will do so again when the true nature of Whatcom county's poisoned environment becomes known to all. They will point to today's goofy editorial and say they tried.

Our DOE - State Department of Ecology - has destroyed records of toxic dumping in Whatcom county. Can I prove it? No, not alone. What is my evidence? Off the record statements from persons in the know. And some of my own experience over the past 20 years trying to get documents on dumps. An example is the toxic dumps at F street and Roeder Avenue. DOE had no records of this dumping in 1974 of mercury contaminated sludge. It has since been trucked to provide fill for development. And spread its toxic legacy.

I've learned that the EPA - the Federal Environmental Protection Agency - is looking into what our DOE and County Health departments have been "ignoring" for all these years. Don't expect the Herald to report this until they cannot avoid it. The toxic levels and health problems are too severe for this to remain hidden much longer.

I expect we will learn that DOE has allowed GP to dump toxic waste down old mine shafts from which it has leached into Lake Whatcom. We will learn that DOE has allowed GP to dump discreet amounts of toxic sludge in dozens of land fill sites around our county over the past 30 years - keeping a low profile on all these. (example at airport) We will learn many areas of toxic polluted Whatcom county are causing record high levels of cancer and other diseases.

I've reliably heard that our county cancer rates are 2 to 3 times the national rates. Maybe 5 times for prostrate cancer. Delestra Drive on Lake Whatcom has a breast cancer rate that is out of sight. The folks there get their drinking water directly from the lake. Childhood leukemia in the rural county is way higher than state and national rates.

A "Health" report on Whatcom County was issued a few weeks ago. It has nice graphs of home ownership, WTA ridership, high school drop-out rates, property crimes, adult obesity, and even what they call "neighborliness". But no information on cancer rates, diabetes, rates of Ritalin use by our children to control nervous problems, and other actual health problems. Nada. There is a graph on toxic releases that shows we suffer from 2 to 3 times the rate of the rest of Washington state. But no information on what those high levels have done to our health. This report is nice but it is not a health report.

What to do? We have elected representatives. They can ask the DOE and EPA for a full public accounting of our toxic wastes and our health. Our County Council can ask the Health Department the hard questions - what are the cancer rates. But so far they have not demanded answers. We citizens need to push our representatives to ask these questions. I do that with this web site. You, gentle reader, can do your part. Call or write your city, county, state or federal representatives. One or more of them. Our county council especially should hear from citizens. We need to know. And the Herald certainly isn't any help to learning of health concerns.

Mon, Dec 2

I add my comments to that of a letter in the Herald Sunday, praising David MacDonald, assistant police chief, who retired this fall after over 30 years with the Bellingham Police. I knew him, dating back to the 70s. He served our city well. He should have been made chief - he was much much more qualified than the guy the mayor appointed.

During the Pit protest in May 2001, chief Randy Carroll was making a war with the young protesters occupying the pit at Holly and Railroad. The situation was about to get out of hand - from anyone's perspective.

The mayor ordered Carroll out of town to a meeting, or something, and put David MacDonald in charge. David immediately acted to calm the situation and within hours the protest was on the way to a peaceful end. I watched the police officers quickly start referring to him as "the chief" in obvious respect.

We all hope David enjoys his retirement. I'd like to ask him to stay in shape as we might still need to recall him to serve as chief again.

Tue, Nov 26

The Every Other Weekly has posted the last Skinny online. Editor Tim Johnson blasts the city government - mayor and council - for taking the Bellingham downtown district down a dead end road to poverty. The actual last issue of the paper will be on the streets Thursday. It started in April 1997.

Not included in the last issue are details of future plans. Tim Johnson, editor and owner of the EOW, has already started a new company, Atomic Telegraph LLC, that will be the owner of a new weekly newspaper to start in February. It appears that the new paper will be named The Bellingham Weekly as the new company has already registered that name.

Mon, Nov 25

The Every Other Weekly is going out of business, with this Thursday's paper being the last issue. Started five years ago by Wayne Ellis and Tim Johnson, the paper has been an independent political voice and a good source for local music and entertainment information.

On the left column are two new links. Duff Wilson, who went to Western in Bellingham back in the 70s, is now an award winning investigative journalist with the Seattle Times. He has written a book Fateful Harvest about how large corporations get rid of their toxic metals sludge by "recycling" it into common fertilizers that we buy and use on our home gardens. Deadly? Of course. It is an example of industry self regulation and has not been reported by our daily newspaper.

Wed, Nov 20

In Vancouver, Canada, over 10,000 marched for peace last Sunday. Just 80 miles away. The yellow banner in the top right, "Lawyers Against The War" is carried by a group of lawyers, including some from Bellingham.

Today's Seattle P-I has a report on how Bellingham Police frustrated the efforts of John Malvo's mother to get him back from John Muhammad. You won't find such a critical report in our local paper - which carefully covers up police screw ups and corruption. There is a huge story in Bellingham about the snipers which is not being investigated.

Yesterday, the Seattle Times carried an opinion piece by WWU prof Floyd McKay where he says the snipers didn't commit violence in Bellingham. He rationalizes that we are such a loving community that they were soothed into a calm state. The problem with Floyd's thinking is he is premature in his analysis - we don't yet know if the snipers did no harm in Bellingham. Floyd has been quick in the past to condemn web sites such as this for irresponsible posts, without ever being specific.

Tue, Nov 19

Note: Today's post is a reprint, with his permission, of an email sent out today by Paul de Armond, a local political researcher. I think it speaks directly to the present crisis in our two party system - and to the lack of voter choice.

Paul writes:

Anybody who thinks that relying on Republicans to save the Democratic Party hasn't learned anything from the fiasco over the war authorization vote.

Dems sat back and allowed the Repos to lead the opposition to the war measure and then were stranded when that phoney opposition flipped to Bush's side at the last minute. Only a principled opposition from mavericks managed to get 60% of the Dems to vote against. The problem is that the 40% who supported the Bush regime's rush to war came entirely from the "leadership" of the party. Exactly the same people who see Senators McCain and Chaffee as "saviours."

The "poodle factor" is the major difficulty facing the Democrats. There is a lesson in Georgia Gardner's much-deserved defeat: given the choice between a Republican lap-dog and a Republican, the voters will reject the lap-dog.

The Democrats have to become the party of opposition if they are to mobilize their potential majority. Anything less than outspoken and principled opposition leadership will further erode the party's base.

Bootlicker's like Craig Cole and Georgia Gardner should be disciplined for selling out the party endorsements as a way of sabotaging the grass roots of the party. The right-wing hacks are always barking about "party discipline" when it comes to selling out and collaborating with the Republicans. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. No more fat patronage appointments for back-stabbers and quislings.

Let's fight! Better outside the party than inside, but chips should be falling like autumn leaves in a windstorm. - Paul de Armond

Monday, Nov 18

The U.S. media are starting to report the huge demonstrations against war. Not only in Europe and England but also in many U.S. cities, thousands are protesting every week against the oncoming war against Iraq. After weeks of coverups of these protests, the corporate media are now admitting there are protests. We are in for an interesting winter.

Wednesday, Nov 6

Yesterday, the citizens of the United States voted for Empire. As such, the march of history for the past four thousand years continues. Nations or states that gained a singular power have always decided to go for all the marbles and we have decided also.

Our choice was to cooperate with other states, through the United Nations, and forego Empire. With the rise of Liberalism in the early 1700s began the idea of all peoples having natural rights. From that followed the idea that no nation or state had a divine charge to conquer all and also the idea that peoples in different states had common interests. Those notions are now put on hold - again. The U.S. will now impose its will on others and slowly squeeze the civil rights of its own citizens. Empire is never risked by allowing too much internal discussion.

In a sense, Liberalism may have been saved by this setback. With Senate and House control, George the Usurper will not have a credible scapegoat when his wars and economic programs start to cause havoc in our nation. His vision of the future is war without end - to always have a reason to attack and control the next state, nation or people. There will always be the next problem and the solution is always the threat of force. In the end, as four thousand years of collapsed empires have shown, this results in the destruction of the original prosperous society. We have chosen our path.

Just the opinion of one citizen.

Monday, Nov 4

12:40 pm
I'm reliably told the bullet that wounded Margot Poss in Bellingham was not fired from the handgun loaned to the suspected DC snipers and used in the Tacoma murder. Bellingham police had no comment to my request for confirmation of this information. Apparently Randy Carroll wants to announce this himself later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, Nov 3

Corruption in Bellingham? In the mayor's office? Corruption with county officials charged with protecting our clean water supply? By city, county and state agencies helping Georgia Pacific to hide the dumping of toxic wastes around Whatcom County? Corruption in our Washington Department of Ecology as it hides toxic dumps from citizens?

Why does Whatcom County have a cancer rate over 200% higher than the rest of the U.S.? Why is Lake Whatcom, our drinking water source, so polluted with toxic heavy metals? Is our Public Works department hiding the positive tests for mercury or just not testing for it?

I attended an informative meeting last week in Bellingham. Two local citizen activists, Allie Cummings and Tim Paxton, presented their findings on local toxic problems to five U.S. EPA officials. They condensed their 3 years of research into a 2 hour presentation. The EPA was here to listen to charges that local and state agencies are not doing their job of protecting the health of Whatcom county residents. They will now consider whether the EPA needs to get involved and do the job of protecting our health that our state DOE, county health and city public works have not done. More later.

Related to this, we may see some 'developments' this next week directed towards local corruption.

Regarding the DC snipers and their time in Bellingham. The Bellingham Herald continues to be totally naive. Saturday's editorial blandly stated the DC snipers didn't commit any crimes in Bham during their many visits here. In fact, we don't know yet. The editorial should have called for a review of the Margot Poss shooting last June and the 4 to 8 cat mutilations last winter and spring - all while the two were apparently here.

Over the past few days, I've heard conflicting reports from reliable people that the Bellingham police are not investigating any ties of local crimes to the two snipers and also reports that the FBI has taken jurisdiction away from the local police. The reports are reliable, but the police are telling different people different things. We need the help of reporters from Seattle and the East Coast to prod the FBI to check out Margot's shooting. The Herald has not printed any new local information on the snipers for 5 days.

The Herald still has not a word about the fascinating details in the NTSB report on the pipeline explosion. NwCitizen will carry a report when we are able to. (No paid researchers) This report deserves close reading.

NwCitizen is an unpaid effort by one citizen. It is indeed sad the Herald serves us so poorly.

Friday, Nov 1

John Malvo T-shirt C.C.R.A. Sniper10:10 pm
By blowing up the decal on John Malvo's shirt from our photo below and first posted here on Thursday, we can see the lettering.

B.C.R.A. SNIPER

Seth Esterby took the photo of Malvo and Muhammad at a BBQ last April on the south side of Bellingham. I borrowed the photo, scanned it in on Wednesday evening and posted it Thursday morning with Seth's permission. Since then the photo has appeared in national news media.

This appears to be the decal of the British Columbia Rifle Association. As you can see at their web site, they do have a "Precision Rifle" discipline, described as "Sniper style shooting..." Was John Muhammad up there in 1997 and did he earn a rating for sniper shooting? Or did he just buy the shirt and allow Malvo to wear it after the teenager passed some test? I can only ask questions and raise the issue. Hopefully a news organization in Canada will look into this. I've written to the B.C.R.A. asking for more information.

Morning
The Bellingham police have confirmed
that they are reviewing local shootings and crimes these past several months against shootings and crimes in other cities where the DC snipers are believed to have been. This includes ballistics tests, fingerprints and writing samples.

I have also learned from a reliable out of town source that the FBI will check the markings on the bullet that wounded Margot Poss in Bellingham with the .45 caliber handgun used to kill Keenya Cook in Tacoma - the same handgun loaned to John Muhammad earlier this year.

Still today nothing in the Bham Herald about this or any other local connections related to John Muhammad's many visits to Bellingham over the past 14 or more months. Three days and no local reporting.

Bellingham police are not looking into the cat mutilations and killings on Bham's south side as they don't think they are related to the DC snipers.

Thursday, Oct 31

Again today, not a word in our Bellingham Herald of local news about the DC snipers and their several on and off visits to Bellingham through June of this year.

Wednesday, Oct 30

The simple question is: Was the .45 caliber hand gun used to kill Keenya Cook in Tacoma last February also the .45 caliber hand gun used to wound Margot Poss in Bellingham last June? Our Bellingham Herald has not gone near this question and Bellingham police chief Randy Carroll has had nothing to say about this.

A simple ballistics test of the bullets in the Bellingham police evidence box against the gun used in Tacoma would answer this question.

Margot lived at 1507 Donovan Ave on Bellingham's south side. Five shots were put into her home at 1:20 am last June 18, with one shot wounding her in the shoulder. It was puzzling because there was no apparent motive whatsoever. She is a gentle, retired person.

But - there is one thing about her house that I think bears considering. The DC snipers fired from positions that allowed rapid exits via freeways and Interstate highways. Margot's home is the very last home before the Fairhaven Parkway which allows rapid access to Interstate 5 in less than two minutes. Could the snipers have used her house as practice or testing of their exit strategy? Could her house have been chosen because of its location? She had lights on and her shadow may have been visible against the drawn curtains or blinds.

We already know that John Muhammad and John Malvo were in Bellingham last June 14 - only three days before Margot's shooting just after midnight on the evening of June 17. Could this have been their last act as they left Bellingham for good? Could there be other crimes they might have committed in Bellingham as perhaps Muhammad used our remote town as a training ground for Malvo to make him a hardened killer? We have the many cat mutilations of last winter and spring.

Our police chief has insisted that the two were not in Bellingham during 2002. We know that is false. Witnesses have spoken of their presence here in 2002. Hannah Park, for one, spoke with Muhammad last June 14 when he tried to talk her into traveling east with him. They had previously lived just 9 blocks from Margot's home, as shown in the photo below taken last spring. And many south side residents often saw them walking on the streets. Margot's home location and the layout of streets could have been well known to the DC snipers. Motivation? Practice of their get away.

The question of whether the Tacoma handgun was used in Bellingham should be answered. The Margot Poss shooting deserved better police work and local news coverage than it has received. Our police chief and mayor have a responsibility to answer these questions. Our daily newspaper has not a word in today's edition about local events related to the snipers.

Tuesday, Oct 29, 2002

8:00pm
I have corrected the dates for the two below photos from Sep 2001 to March or April 2002. This is based on information from those at the party. If I learn of a more accurate date, I will post it here.

Morning - below posted in am.

John Malvo and John Muhammad
Photo shows John Malvo and John Muhammad at party.
Copyright (c)2002 Seth Esterby/ezuma.com

John Muhammad and John Malvo are here enjoying a little party on Bellingham's south side in March or April 2002. The two were in and out of Bellingham up to at least mid June 2002 and folks remember seeing them walking in the Happy Valley neighborhood often. The fellow in the middle is Mark Thomas and I don't yet know the woman in the middle. John Malvo has the shaved head on the left, with John Muhammad on the far right. He is probably playing with a new Palm organizer he has just bought for Mark as a gift.

John Mohammad and party gift
Photo of John Muhammad and gift he gave host of party.
Copyright (c)2002 Seth Esterby/ezuma.com

What strikes one is the guy looks well balanced and decent. Something must have snapped. It is truly tragic. He was thoughtful enough to buy a Palm organizer as a gift for the folks in whose house he was crashing for a few days in March or April 2002. Here he appears to be just enjoying the company of others and smiling for the camera.

Monday, Oct 28, 2002

9:30 pm
Tacoma police have matched the .45 caliber handgun loaned to John Muhammad last spring to a murder of a 17 year old girl in Tacoma last spring. Of importance to Bellingham is the shooting last June 18 at 1:20 am of a woman living only 9 blocks from where Mohammad and Malvo had crashed in the home of 3 college students on Bellingham's south side. She was shot with a .45 caliber handgun. Five shots were put into her home with one striking her in the shoulder. Hopefully Bellingham police kept the spent bullets and can have them checked to see if they came from the same Tacoma handgun.

1:10 pm
The Baltimore Sun newspaper has a report today that the Bellingham Police had four (4) warnings about Muhammad and ignored all four. It also has lead detective Dac Jamison saying Muhammad was not in Bellingham in 2002 - blatantly untrue. As reported below, he was here in June 2002 and this will emerge as accepted fact soon. If the above link goes stale, here is the link to the Sun online. Search for the word 'bellingham'.

10 am
The Bellingham Herald continues to botch local news and to coverup for bumbling police chief Randy Carroll. Below is some new information on events in Bellingham when the suspected Washington D.C. serial killers were here earlier this year. This report is compiled from information provided by several Bellingham persons who are reliable.

Mohammed and Malvo were in Bellingham as late as mid June of 2002, contrary to reports. We have a woman, Hannah Parks, who was invited to leave with them on June 14. She remembers the date quite clearly because it was her son's birthday.

At that time, Mohammed and Malvo were staying with some students at Varsity Village, an apartment complex in the 2400 block of Donovan Ave. in South Bellingham. This is in the center of an area that experienced a rash of cat mutilations during the late spring and early summer. One of the cats was examined by a veterinarian who confirmed the mutilation was done with a sharp instrument. The police had dismissed earlier incidents as due to coyotes. Most of the cats were black with white chests. (Coyotes aren't so choosy.) As the incidents progressed, the bodies were left on doorsteps. Initially they were found on foot-paths and not near residences.

A nationally prominent forensic psychiatrist advised last spring that the typical perpetrator would be a male in early or late adolescence. He also spoke to the Bellingham Police. He advised that a voluntary curfew be placed on teenagers in the area and suggested that trouble between the perpetrator and a supervising adult would be the most likely way we would hear about suspects. He also suggested working with the schools. The BPD did not follow up on any of this to our knowledge.

In early June a retired person was shot in her home in the 1500 block of Donovan, only 9 blocks from Varsity Village where the suspects were staying. There were several shots fired from outside the house. The shooting occurred around midnight. The person was standing in a lighted room with translucent curtains and was struck in the upper chest by one .45 cal. bullet. (Wasn't the Tacoma shooting a .45?) The police established that the shooting must have taken place from the sidewalk or closer to the house. The Bellingham Herald reported it as a "drive-by shooting", which it was obviously not. The Bellingham police never did much investigation and the case died as did Herald reporting on it.

The cat killings stopped after the shooting. There was also a suspicious garage fire two nights after the shooting about four blocks away. Mohammed and Malmo left town at or about that time.

Here is a speculation of what might have happened. Mohammed was "grooming" Malvo. This is common in child abuse cases. He had Malvo killing the cats to "toughen" him. The shooting was a "graduation exercise" -- though who did the shooting is open to question. The garage arson may or may not be related, but would fit the pattern.

The Bellingham cops have been very deceptive. They either were ignorant or lying when they said the two left town late last year and didn't come back. The facts are that they were wrong by six months. Chief Carroll was lying on the statement he made on CNN. Likewise, Mayor Mark was spinning bullshit for the cameras. He was doing his old "baffle them with bullshit" act. Most local folks are embarrassed for our city by the mayor's antics. He was more concerned with Bellingham's image and his own importance than the tragic killings.

Nobody has connected the Bellingham and Tacoma shootings. The ballistics examination of the bullets could tie them up. Or they aren't related and the Bellingham assailant is still on the loose. Regardless, the Bellingham police, under the direction of chief Randy Carroll, are again caught bumbling and lying.

All of this is grist for serious investigators. We in Bellingham will probably learn the truth of these matters from national news reporters, rather than from our local newspaper or police. NwCitizen can only post up this preliminary information so it gets exposed to other serious reporters and investigators. I have reliable word that east coast reporters are taking our Bellingham connection seriously. We welcome them to Bellingham.

The Herald has too long ignored and covered up local police corruption and bumbling. The police can't take the time to investigate a shooting but can spend countless manhours going after Angel Drayton, a black woman, for a dirty back yard.

As I have said in the past on this web site, the police chief is unqualified for the job by the very guidelines the city used to consider candidates. He should be fired.

Saturday, Oct 26

Yes, I know nwcitizen has been missing in action. I've heard from many of you. I try to post news here that is not carried by the Herald. Thus, I have to take personal time to actually research the validity before posting. Otherwise this site would be a blog. I have not had personal time lately.

But one tidbit fell out of the sky today, thanks to DS. It is a reminder of how we humans need to be careful how we judge others - and how the problem is poor police work rather than the police not being provided with legitimate information by citizens.

The Washington D.C. serial killer suspect, John Muhammad, was hired by local real estate agent Greg Grant (Herald Oct 25) to do yard work at one of Greg's apartments in Sumas. The Herald on Friday told us how Greg had many conversations with John as they drove to and from Sumas.

Well, this is the same Greg Grant who allowed U.S. Customs to post a billboard (Herald Oct 21) on his property that encouraged us citizens to spy on our neighbors and report "Suspicious Activity". Greg rode with the worst serial killer in recent times and never suspected the guy had a problem. But he advocates us turning in our neighbors for out of the normal behavior. Leaves us all wondering what "suspicious" signals Greg missed from his travel mate Muhammad. How very ironic.

Of course the Herald has not made the connection between its own two stories.

Contrasting this, Al Archer, director of the Lighthouse Mission and an experienced judge of people, did report John M. to the FBI who did nothing. And another citizen reported John M. to Bellingham police who did nothing. Both had legitimate information and reasons to be concerned. Indeed the Herald is allowing police chief Randy Carroll to slide sideways on this as substantial information was reported to him.

Unfortunately the Herald deletes articles from its web site after two weeks. Check the above links now as they will go dead soon. And write the Herald asking that they keep articles posted. They should love me - I drive people to their advertising.

Appreciate your checking this site. Wish I had the time to run it correctly.

Friday, Oct 18

A reminder - Peace Vigil today, 4pm at the Federal building downtown, corner of Cornwall and Magnolia. Over 300 people attended last Friday, but that was day after Congress voted to give away their war power to Bush.

A majority of Americans oppose the US going to war alone without the UN. A reliable poll shows this. 52% oppose war without UN support.

The Herald has carefully avoided reporting anything about the vigils, as have most newspapers in other cities. Yet all over the world there are continuing demonstrations against the immanent war. One has to search the Internet to find the reports. 1.5 million in Italy on one day. 450,000 in London. All American cities. What Bush is about to start will dwarf Viet Nam in its confusion, lack of exit plan and deaths to young Americans.

The Shayler spy trial in England continues. Now the English press is not allowed to report that the trial has secret sessions. For 9 days there is not even a report that there is a secret trial going on. I've posted the only tidbits found. The British government paid bin Laden to assasinate Gadhafi and gave other funds to al Queda. They do not want he world to know this. Just as our Bush administration is keeping 911 information from us - and wiping out our bill of rights with the so called Patriot Act.

Saturday, Oct 12

Today's Herald has a story on Dan Warner, candidate for Port Commissioner last year, being heavily fined this week by the state ethics board for illegal use of WWU mailing lists and his computer equipment during his campaign. Page A3. The Herald says a "whistleblower" filed the complaint. That would be myself, the Herald knows that and I don't own a whistle. I posted only a short report here at NwCitizen back then.

Now I have a couple comments.

1. The fine of $7,500 is way too much. Warner readily admitted his error when the incident was reported. He even personally apologized to me a year ago and told me he held no animosity towards me for doing what he said was the right thing to do.

2. His campaign manager, a WWU staff person, is the real violator of ethics and she was fined only $750. WWU president Karen Morse and VP George Pierce were copied on my complaint and they then acted to cover up her actions. When trying to learn the truth of what happened, I was lied to and deceived by the administration at Western. Dan, for being forthright, was made the scapegoat.

3. Western's administrators, led and directed by George Pierce and Karen Morse, continue to lie and act illegally in their obsessive drive to transform Western's campus into their personal dream landscape regardless of the cost. They lie to their board of Trustees, state representatives, state agencies in Olympia and to citizens. They work illegally behind closed doors with the Bellingham city planning department.

It would be nice if state agencies - the Auditor, the Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Governor's Budget Aide, would actually check Western's statements as they spend over $50 million taxpayer dollars on the campus projects that do not add classrooms and are not needed for infrastructure support systems.

Our state representatives should answer to the voters for this waste during this campaign. Dave Quall, Jeff Morris, Keli Linville, Georgia Gardner and Doug Erickson. This is their dirty little secret - that Western gets a free ride because the money is spent on local construction projects. It is pork barrel politics. And our local anti-tax conservatives - Nelson, Goldsmith, Manchester, Deger, Dietsch and the BIA - all wink at this because it funds the local building industry, a conservative group.

Well - there you have it in plain language. If I had the time to investigate and report the tax dollar wastes in this county, I could easily document $20 million a year. This doesn't excite anyone in power. Democrats like spending money. Republicans like complaining but really support tax dollars spent on construction regardless of need.

Meanwhile, much is made of a minor case of bad judgement. I never intended to so embarrass Dan Warner. I just wanted his campaign manager to stop using the email system at Western for campaign purposes.

Want a real violator of public trust? That Republican and conservative favorite son Doug Smith, Port Commissioner. He routinely violates state conflict of interest laws by contracting with Port tenants to construct their buildings. I reported his violations here a year ago. State agencies were notified. The Auditor wrote me a letter white washing Smith - saying they didn't know if he knew what he was doing was wrong. No action was taken. You can help by calling the State Auditor and asking them to investigate Smith. The Herald won't touch this issue. The Port is a heavy advertiser in the Herald.

I've been told I'm all wet on the Doug Smith issue. Well they said that 10 years ago when I worked to expose the KAP scandal - until it broke and we learned the Port blew away 4 million in tax dollars. They were taken by a scam artist from Seattle. They bought into a shell game. The Herald, after not believing me for a year, printed the final page of stories about the scandal without mentioning my name and has never written about it again. The Port changed the name of the building to the International Trade Building and has lost money on it for 11 years.

But the state and the Herald readily nail the honest person like Dan Warner who admits an error. Such is how government agencies go about their business. Such is Herald reporting. We citizens should insist on better.

Friday, Oct 11

Evening
Over 300 people attended the peace vigil in downtown Bellingham at the Federal Building this afternoon. Young, old, poor and well off. This is not a narrow based peace movement.

The vigil was from 4 pm to 5 pm, at which time many joined a sidewalk march around downtown - see photo above. Each week the number of participants grows.

Noon
With the Congress giving away its war powers
to GW Bush, the usurper, everyone agrees our country is entering a new and momentous time. The war mongers say finally we will clean out terrorism. Those of us in favor of working through the UN say this is a fatal step towards imperialism.

As an ordinary citizen, I predict that in a couple years we will all wish we had this decision to make again and differently. I predict we have opened pandora's box. Wiping out Saddam will not begin to wipe out terrorism, but will unleash new enemies on ourselves. We strike out from fear and anger - and greed. We covet the oil of Iraq. The powers behind Bush think the time is right for the US to dominate the world.

Many have commented on historical analogies. Here is mine. In the fall of 200 BC, the Roman Republic declared war on Philip of Macedon - the country bordering Greece. Rome had just won a long war against Carthage - the same as our having just overcome the Soviet Union. Rome could have learned to live with other countries at that point. But Rome was looking for new glories. Philip was depicted as a threat to Rome. He was given impossible conditions to fulfill. Historians are in common agreement that this war was the beginning of the Roman Empire. Rome got into a mess with Philip's neighbors, got sucked into other peace keeping operations and the rest is history.

Tuesday, Oct 8

3 pm
Rick Larsen, our representative to the US Congress, has told local supporters he will vote NO on Bush's authorization for war on Iraq. Good for him. He is showing courage. Many planning to vote Green may now vote for Larsen.

Sens. Cantwell and Murray continue to avoid the issue which gives aid to Bush's push for war. They are obviously afraid to speak out against war.

Noon
The National Transportation Safety Board has today released their report on the Whatcom Creek pipeline explosion on June 10, 1999. Olympic Pipeline controlers' poor performance and faulty computers are cited as the immediate cause. IMCO construction of Bellingham is cited for causing the "damage" to the pipe where the rupture occured.

The analysis of the accident posted on NwCitizen in Feb 2000 holds up very well. The NTSB leaves the city off the hook but evidence of Olympic and city hall being in bed together is out there. The city was in charge of the construction site when IMCO was working with their backhoe and damaged the pipe. Further, the city located the new water pipe too close to the gasoline pipe - about 7 inches from it. The only existing photos in public availability that I've ever seen of that were taken by myself in July 1999 during a specially arranged tour. The NTSB report does not go into this, as their report is very concise.

Monday, Oct 7

As expected, the Herald has not a word in today's paper about last evening's peace vigil. Does tell us about Seattle, San Francisco and other places. But under its own nose, no. Typical.


The drums of war are beating. War fever has gripped our national leaders. We need to show our US Congress that we people do not want war.

If we unleash the hounds of war we will not get to choose when it stops. Others will. Germany learned that. It will not be surgical and quick. We might not win. We will suffer greatly regardless. We can avoid war. We can work with and through the UN to deal with Iraq. Our US congressional representatives lack the courage to speak out. We people need to show them our courage to say no to war. Or we can only blame ourselves.


Sunday, Oct 6

9:30 pm
Perhaps 100 or more people spent time standing for peace and against war this evening at the Federal Building in Bellingham. Many others drove down to Seattle where thousands demonstrated against war today.

Folks came, stood maybe an hour with or without a sign and quietly left. Young and old. Doctors and teachers. There were people there standing who have passed by these peace vigils for 30 years. A majority of passing motorists beeped or waved in support. No negative noise from any passing cars - unlike the vigils during the Gulf war eleven years ago.

A common question heard often was where are the voices of elected Democrats in opposition to the war. Consensus was they were afraid to speak out, fearing the Bush administration smear tactics.

The vigils continue every Friday at 4pm. Maybe more often during the next week or two. Check back.

Noon
There will be a peace vigil at 7 pm this evening at the Federal Building in downtown Bellingham. Spread the word.

I've only learned this morning of this. Apparently it is happening in other cities also. This is a peaceful demonstration against war with Iraq. Of course the Herald did not have a word about the 1.5 million Italians who demonstrated peacefully yesterday.

On another issue, I learned the Department of Ecology is holding secret meetings with Georgia Pacific Corporation to decide the fate of the toxic mercury pollution in Bellingham Bay. I requested confirmation of these meetings and got blown off by the DOE. You can read their answer and my email in a new section for following this issue. I'll post their next reply.

Saturday, Oct 5

Today 1.5 million Italians demonstrated against war with Iraq. But you probably won't spot that news on CNN or MSNBC. Just like the Washington Post and NY Times did not report 450,000 Londoners demonstrating against war last weekend. And the Bellingham Herald ignores the increasing numbers of demonstrators at the Federal Building here each Friday.

Where is this news? At Google News - a new online source of conventional news - and fast becoming better than the others. The news is selected by computer with no editors from over 4,000 news sources around the world. This explains how news contrary to American political goals is not filtered out.

Oh CNN does carry a story, but you have to drill down a couple layers to find it and the story says "thousands" demonstrated. Yeah, 1,500 thousands.

Friday, Oct 4

I've received objections to my reporting that Angel did not plead guilty. As such, I will be get copies of relevant documents and post them here - but not today.

My criticism of the Herald was too harsh. Their reporting was not deliberately false. I'll restate it as overly general and misleading.

An Alford Plea, which is what she pled, is a legally recognized statement that needs explaining. Why is it important? Because the city accepted it rather than a regular guilty plea and that goes to the weakness of the city's case against Angel Drayton.

Wednesday, Oct 2

As expected, the Herald got it wrong. Their story says Angel pled guilty and that it is just her attorney who says she did not plead guilty. But - her attorney faxed the Herald reporter the actual agreement yesterday afternoon, so the reporter has no excuse for mis-reporting. It is deliberate false reporting - to make Angel look worse and the city look exonerated. Just as expected and predicted below last evening. There was no Herald reporter at court. It was reporting by phone - 2nd hand, inexpensive and convenient - but not accurate.

KGMI is also falsely reporting guilt this morning. They also report the city dropped "nine animal abuse charges". Gentle reader, there never were any abuse charges. None.

The difference is huge in that the city accepted less than a guilty plea. The headline could accurately state "City accepts not-guilty plea". The city was getting into an awkward spot and wanted out. Note she got a dog back. Why? Because she would not sign unless she did. Yesterday, during plea bargaining, she held the good cards. This web site will try and document some of the city's problems in future posts. For now, my assessment of yesterday is below.

Tuesday, Oct 1

Angel Drayton made an Alford Plea to two counts of a dirty yard today and received stern punishment from judge Debra Lev. The judge seemed reluctant to let the black woman off, saying "I'm not convinced she will be the poster child for dog ownership". Indeed, Lev placed a long list on conditions on Angel, which would do justice to a crime of violence - assault with a deadly weapon or gross vandalism of city property. Not a dirty yard.

Angel accepted the plea after threats from city prosecutor Lustick of much more severe punishment should she refuse him and Judge Lev preside over her trial. He threatened to have a two year ban on pet ownership follow her no matter where she might move to. Jail was what Angel most feared and Lustick played the card. He only softened the plea terms in the last 24 hours. We think he became concerned about possible media attention and the presence of more citizens at the hearing.

Angel got one dog back. She must subject herself to city inspection every 2 weeks for several months. She cannot have other dogs. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, suspended. She was fined $2,000 with $1,500 suspended. She is on probation and must pay a monthly fee to the county for that "service". Judge Lev appointed a 'Guardian Ad Litem" for the dog - yes, the judge said that with a straight face. It was hard not to smirk.

Gentle reader, there was no charge of dog neglect. No charge of viscous dog. Nor of biting. Nor of the dogs running loose in the neighborhood. No charge of mistreatment of the dogs. The charges were for a dirty and smelly yard. The judge and the city prosecutor went to extremes to punish this innocent black woman and teach her a lesson about Bellingham. White folk needn't worry about their yards. Nor their freedom from reckless prosecution and biased judges.

The court tried hard to humiliate her. She held her head up. Lustick wanted even more blood, but Joan Hoisington, his boss, was in court to make sure the plea bargain went through as agreed. Joe Pemberton, Angel's attorney, normally handles civil cases but agreed to represent Angel when all the criminal attorney's in town closed their doors to this black woman targeted by the city court machine.

The insidious partnership of Judge Debra Lev and city prosecutor Jeff Lustick remains in place - ready to railroad the next person the police drag into their court. Last year it was the Pit 33 - the young innocent protestors from the Mason building site. Who is next?

I expect the Herald to get the story factually wrong. They had no reporter there, and depended on phone calls again. The KGMI reporter spent a long time in Lustick's office. I watched them go down the hall laughing and yucking. Then later KGMI asked Joe one short trap question. That was it. Don't expect any fair reporting from them.

What's an Alford Plea? She did not admit guilt. She wrote "I deny any wrong doing but enter a plea of guilty to avoid risk of trial." The US Supreme Court has legalized Alford Pleas. Angel knew Lev would make sure she was convicted and there would be no fair trial. She took her only way out. She did not lose.

In this court case, Bellingham lost.

Wednesday, Sep 25

Lets say you are served with an abatement order from the city to clean up something. Maybe it is an unfinished building project that the neighbors have complained about. Maybe it is too many old cars in the front yard. Maybe it is complaints of dog feces in your yard.

Ok - the order gives you 5 days to get rid of the problem. You didn't really know you were violating any law. Every dog owner has some feces in their yard. So you clean it up. The inspecting police officer comes by a couple days later and writes up a clean inspection. You complied.

Well, for you and every case in Bellingham history, that is the end of it. You obey an abatement order and you are not cited. That is the whole point of abatement orders. To give you a chance to correct the problem.

But not for Angel Drayton. The day Officer Burkhart inspected and gave her yard a clean bill of health, city prosecutor Lustick filed four criminal charges of dirty yard against Angel. Angel is a black woman, who made the mistake of moving to white Bellingham three years ago.

Tuesday in court, Lustick successfully convinced Judge Debra Lev that the law works that way. He turned the law on its head - and Judge Lev went along with it. Case law? None cited. Did the judge ask for case law? Nope. Angel's attorney, Joe Pemberton, had asked for dismissal on the basis that the charges came after Angel obeyed the abatement order. Judge Lev ruled she goes to trial.

Now, if you are a white guy with a gawd awful yard or building, don't worry about being cited for criminal acts. Officer Burkhart knows of no other case in her career where this has happened - and she has many years experience. You can get extensions to abatement orders - not criminal charges.

This is just another piece of evidence for my accusation that the city prosecutor Lustick is motivated by racism in his prosecution of Angel Drayton. He is using the law in twisted ways that he would never use on white persons. The case is about a dirty yard. He is making a federal case of it.

Hey, you attorneys reading this. You know this is weird. Why not offer some help to Joe Pemberton on this case.

No Herald reporter there. Just a couple supporters for Angel. Just a railroad job to drive this black woman out of Bellingham. Lustick smirked and tossed out insulting remarks the judge somehow never heard - although we in the audience did. A sad sight.

In closing, can't help but remind you of the Flame Tavern and the rusty skelton in Fairhaven. They got extensions of extensions on their abatement orders. And no criminal charges. Of course not. Lustick is targeting Angel because she is black. Yes, gentle reader, even in Bellingham. Someone told me that if I wrote about pet abuse I'd get more concern from Bellinghamites. Are we a racist community?

Saturday, September 21, 2002 - top of home page

(Sep 21) Loved Dogs Held Hostage : Day 109
City prosecutor Lustick says they are evidence of a crime
and he does not want them returned to owner. Ah - but
city law allows him to charge her for the city keeping them.
The bill is over $2,700 and increasing daily. Nice guy.
He'll make this black woman regret she ever moved to Bellingham.

Angel Dratyon Pretrial Hearing
Tuesday, Sep 24, 2:30 pm, Municipal Court.
Watch for yourself the racist prosecution of a black woman.

Sat, Sep 21

Protesters against War with Iraq have grown greatly in the past few weeks. This is the scene in front of Bellingham's Federal Building yesterday afternoon at the weekly 4 pm demonstration.

Of course no coverage in the Bellingham Herald. This upwelling of concern by citizens is real news. How much is this happening all across the United States? We don't know as there is little reporting on this.

The fellow who took these photos for NwCitizen said "Wow! What a group. Now THIS makes me proud to be an American." He reports that an enthusiastic drummer and guitar player were singing peace songs. The crowd included children as well as very old folks.

One sign read "USA - A greater threat to peace than Iraq."

The peace vigil takes place every Friday at 4 pm in front of the Federal Building at the corner of Magnolia and Cornwall in downtown Bellingham. Anyone is welcome to join. It is a very peaceful protest, with participants standing quietly on the sidewalk as a visible demonstration of their belief. Most hold a personally made sign, but it is not necessary to have a sign. No registration. The demonstration ends about 5 pm and everyone goes their way.

Howard and Rosemary Harris started this vigil in the early 70s as a protest against the Vietnam war. They could be seen every Friday of the year, in rain or wind or snow, standing quietly on the corner. Others joined them. After Vietnam it continued as a protest against nuclear war through the 80s. Now it has new urgency as our government prepares to attack Iraq.


NwCitizen strongly supports the protest against war with Iraq. George the usurper and his oil colleagues are hell bent on war with Iraq. For months they yelled that unless inspections for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction could resume, war was needed for protection of the world. As soon as Iraq OKed inspections, the party line changed overnight to "disarmament" of Iraq. That means elimination of Iraq's army, tanks, air force, etc. That is pure escalation by war mongers in Washington DC.


Tue, Sep 17

Seven years ago this week I started NwCitizen. Sep 19, 1995. At the time I expected it was only the first citizen edited web site and felt good to be ahead of the curve. I'd been an active citizen for years and set up the web site so as to be free of the Bellingham Herald for getting information to fellow citizens.

Today, there are still very few political web sites in Bellingham. Along the left column are links to all those I know of. Most are very narrow in their aims, are the web sites for civic groups, or are sites that go months without any new postings. If you know of any others, let me know and I'll link to them.

On a personal note, last January I posted that I was going into 'hibernation'. The reason was I was going blind and was pretty depressed. I didn't know I had a cataract. Then an operation restored my eyesight. The world looks wonderful again. And I'm again committed to this web site.

I'll continue to post more about the Angel Drayton case. I've a lot of info and more coming in. However, I must put a priority on making a living - and that causes no posts for days at a time. Believe me, hours of research - meetings, reading original documents, interviewing people - goes into each post. I've been accurate most of the time because of that. It is part of what infuriates those public officials who find their actions being questioned by this web site.

Right now the police are scurrying around trying to discredit me and intimidate those who provide information to me. Dac Jamison, one of the most senior police officers and the official public relations person for the department, is the point guy for this work. Indeed, he has succeeded to a degree. He has suggested that people might "jeopardize" their relationship with the police if they support Angel Drayton. Some have backed off or hesitated. Chilling.

So, I hope you voted today. It is the act that constitutes democracy. Flags are symbols. Newspapers exist to inform so we can vote intelligently. Free speech allows the unofficial opinion to be heard and hopefully prevent tyranny. But it all comes down to each of us actually voting.

Thanks for visiting NwCitizen. I'll continue do my best on important local issues that the Herald ignores or covers up.

Sat, Sep 14

What the Herald did not tell you. Yesterday's Herald reported that Angel was submitting a plan to the court for the return of her dogs. However, this will be the second time - and the Herald did not tell you that. The judge ruled last week against returning the dogs but told the city to work out some conditions with Angel for the return. Apparently that did not work and so Angel is submitting to the court again.

What the judge proposed did not require another court hearing. Judge Lev said she would sign an agreement the city and Angel worked out. I will try and learn on Monday why this did not work.

For now I can only guess that Lustick is refusing to work out an agreement. After all, Judge Lev did not formally make her request part of the order. Lustick may be defying the judge. After all, his aim is to deny Angel the return of her dogs ever. This is racist prosecution in that a double standard is being applied to this black woman. White dog owners need not fear.

Funny how the Herald likes to capitalize on the dogs being pit bulls. The breed is not a factor in this case. But the Herald is oriented towards selling papers with sensational heads, not accurate reporting. A more accurate head would be 'Black dog owner to file again'.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

We remember those who lost their lives a year ago and salute the many heros of that day.

May we as a people and as a nation find our way in this new age of uncertainty.

I stand by the words I posted at noon on 9-11-01. Common sense guided me. Nothing more. However, the voter turnout did not improve in the elections since. Why? I'm baffled. The act of voting is the basis of democracy and freedom. Not tanks and wars.

Tuesday, Sep 10

As the Herald reported this morning, Angel did not get her dogs back. Yesterday, Judge Lev ruled that she was not convinced that Angel would follow the recommendations from the Humane Society in the care of her dogs. The director of the Society had testified extensively about what Angel had done wrong in the past and how Angel could not and would not properly care for her dogs in the future.

The Herald had no reporter at the hearing but got their story from a phone call from chief city prosecutor Lustick. Therefore the Herald probably did not know that the judge also ordered the city to reach an agreement with Angel for the quick return of her dogs under some conditions of periodic supervision by Humane Society agents. The judge said she would have ordered the dogs returned if the city had suggested some conditions - which the city did not do. Maybe Lustick 'forgot' to tell the Herald that very pertinent fact.

The Herald reporting is often done over the phone with a proponent of one side of an issue. This is not reporting. Whatever the Herald's reasons for not observing news events, the result is we citizens cannot rely on their stories.

Are you a dog owner? Did you know there is no whip or hook worm in Whatcom County - except in Angel Drayton's dogs? This is the sworn testimony of the director of the Humane Society. She painted a picture of Angel possibly causing an infestation of these worms. She said in her years as director no dogs brought to the Humane Society have had such worms - until Angel's dogs.

The director also feels Angel should pave her entire yard with concrete before her dogs are returned. Hey, I'm just reporting here.

It is obvious to this observer that a double standard is being enforced by the city prosecutor and police. If all dog owners in Bellingham were held to the standards being ordered for Angel Drayton, a black woman, then there would be very few dogs in Bellingham. This is racism. Whether Mr. Lustick is aware of his own prejudice is not the issue. I lived in the South for several years and have solid personal experience here. When a community holds a person of a different race to a higher standard than the predominant population then it is racism. The most effective way of driving people out of a community is to convict them of spurious crimes and have the police harass them constantly. It works. Lustick is either a willing or unknowing key player in this process with Angel.

Only 3 white guys showed up. No reporters from the Herald, KGMI or KVOS. But you will probably hear others condemn me for accusing the city of racist prosecution - from people who haven't the time in their life to observe the facts for themselves. Too busy making a buck to be concerned. I stand by my accusation of racism by the city prosecutor. And I challenge the city to release the requested records of any previous prosecutions similar to this. They have so far refused to release records in violation of state law.

Saturday, Sep 7

Are you a white guy? We need10 of us to attend the hearing for Angel on Monday afternoon at 1:30 pm. We need to witness the racist actions of city prosecutor Lustick as he attempts to keep Angel from getting her dogs back.

Why white guys? Because the powers that be allow us to deviate more without repercussions We need witnesses to this racist prosecution of a black woman. If we grant the prosecution's case, then she had a dirty back yard. He is throwing the book at her. The city refuses to release information on past cases of this type - a violation of the state public disclosure act - but hey, no one is going to spend the money to take the city to court, so they can ignore the law. Without the records, we can only guess that this heavy prosecution for a dirty back yard is not normally done.

Municipal Court, 2014 C Street - across from the police station. Monday. 1:30 pm. Take a little time off from work to aid the cause of fairness in our democracy. I am.

Wednesday, Aug 28

Remember that sewage spill at Sudden Valley last winter - the one that we posted photos of and named the sewage creek flowing over the golf course after the director of the Dept of Ecology - Fitz Creek? Remember virtually no coverage in the Herald? Remember DOE denying there was any real problem? Remember NwCitizen was alone in publicizing that? We thank some environmental friends for those photos and information.

This web site is used to being alone in telling you - the public - about government coverups and abuses of power. This site focuses on government - not private persons or businesses. It is the waste of our tax dollars and secrecy that I speak out against. The local news media are in bed with the politicians and local governments. The Herald depends on them for fat legal notice contracts and public relations advertising as well as easy access to news.

Well the DOE has now fined Sudden Valley $24,000 for that spill they first said did not exist - but later had to investigate because of pressure from people who read it here and contacted DOE. Expect the fine to be dramatically reduced after the initial press releases have shown how tough DOE can be. Cynical? Naw - just experienced in watching this circus. It was only Bellingham's drinking water that had hundreds of thousands of gallons of raw sewage dumped into it.

Now back to the Angel Drayton case - only the latest issue that I am alone on. For now.

Tuesday, Aug 27

Angel Drayton's motion hearing for the return of her dogs will finish on Monday, Sep 9 at 1:30 pm in the Municipal Court. Even if Judge Lev returns her dogs, they will have been over 3 months in humane society kennels - not the best place for any pets.

Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Monday, Sep 16 at 1:30 pm. I am told - but have not confirmed - that her trial is scheduled for Feb 24. The web site www.courts.wa.gov (click 'Find Your Court Date') is supposed to have this information. However it is missing. You will note that typing in "Drayton" does not bring up her case - you need to type in the case number - CB37205. This error has been allowed to remain for weeks now.

The police continue to attempt to intimidate people against supporting Angel. Why does KGMI state my personal name on the air but not mention this web site? My only public comment has been on this web site. Maybe they don't want the public to visit here.

You know what would be nice? For ten white guys to attend her hearings. Why? Because we have the least risk of retribution in our society for out of norm behavior. Ten guys could witness and become aware of the sad tax wasting childish and racist prosecution of Angel. Let the police count us and note who we are. They have certainly noted me - and are targeting me in their verbal attacks of intimidation. Just show up. We have public trials for a purpose - to prevent abuse. If no one shows up they may as well be secret. I show up and report and the system goes berserk. Strange.

Friday, Aug 23

The short Herald article today was a fair report of yesterday's hearing - as best as a short article could be.

Thursday, Aug 22

6:00 pm
Careful when you talk to local news media - like KVOS news reporter Joe Bates or a KGMI reporter. You might tell them something that they agree to not report but they might tell it in open court - exactly what you said - even that you asked and they agreed to not report it. Happened today.

City prosecutor Lustick subpoenaed the two reporters yesterday to testify under oath today and impeach the testimony of Angel Drayton's neighbor who had said they didn't have any problem with Angel and her dogs. The reporters testified with no objection.

News media normally have their attorneys object and keep reporters off the witness stand. And courts respect the role of news reporters as persons the public trusts with information. It is called privilege. I won't elaborate here. News media in Seattle will learn of this soon enough.

Today's 2 hour hearing focused on the smell of dog feces. Could you smell it from here? From there? How do you know it was dog feces? City prosecutor Lustick seemed a scatological obsessive.

He was on his game attacking and bullying Angel Drayton. He grilled her on an expired dog license in 2000. He asked if she remembered being "arrested" on such and such a date: she replied she was not arrested but "cited" for an expired dog license. He made sure the judge knew she was not expert on different dog diseases. Her kennel was not large enough. (she bought it from another dog owner) He spent several minutes grilling her on the condition of her bathroom.

Glad I'm not a black living in Bellingham. I've visited neighbors who told me to be careful of the dog poop - that their kid was supposed to clean it up. Man, a black has the police there to take photos of the pile. And report it.

One amazing item. Turns out the one dog was being kept in the bathroom at the suggestion of the police four days earlier. The Herald article made much of this without reporting why the dog was there.

The hearing was continued. 4 hours down, 2 more to go. $$ your tax dollars being wisely spent by your city legal department. Lustick said he expects the trial to last 4 to 6 days. That is not even scheduled yet.

The city has a losing case. It is trivial - a dirty back yard that got that way when the single mom was having a baby and her mother was taking care of the home. Lustick is showing way too much energy trying to put this lady in jail. This is racist motivated. This big white guy - ex military lawyer - just insulting this black woman. It's a sad commentary on Bellingham.

KGMI had another reporter there. Herald finally there - expect something Fri morn.

1:00 pm
Am reliably informed that the city prosecutor asked to discuss a plea bargain with Angel and her attorney this morning and those talks are still going on. He is threatening her with jail time if she does not cop to something. Trying to save face.

Today's Every Other Weekly has devoted the entire Skinny column to Angel's case. The Skinny, written by EOW owner Tim Johnson, presents a very mixed picture. He is loathe to call the Bellingham Police racist so he calls them everything else. At least he is finally reporting on the case.

Mr. Johnson has a couple very troubling paragraphs which don't show him in such a good light. In one he states that "...our justice system goes out of its way to frame guilty people." Gentle reader, you should know that Mr. Johnson has a cozy relationship with the police, getting off the record briefings from them. Indeed, he says as much earlier in the Skinny, writing that he "feels uncomfortable" writing about an investigation he knows of - so he doesn't tell us any more.

The implication is the city will get Angel one way or the other. They have to once an officer mistakenly issued her a citation. In spite of 60 some enforcement actions, Mr. Johnson still doesn't think the prosecutor's office and the police are racist. A mixed read. But as always, entertaining.

What ever happened to enforcing the city code against dog feces in parks? The police have long ago informed the Parks Department that they will not enforce that law. We all like to walk in the park. Such vigor of enforcement is wasted on back yards. If you are white, don't worry about it.

Wednesday, Aug 21

Angel Drayton asked the city to give back her 4 dogs. They have been in humane society kennels since June 7 - over two months. She is facing a criminal trial for not cleaning up the dog feces in her yard fast enough last spring. Yesterday in court, she asked only for the dogs back, and promised to keep the yard cleaner.

The city prosecutor, Jeff Solomon (Jeff Lustick's assistant) objected. He didn't object because of concern for the dogs' welfare or because he doubted Angel would comply. No, his was an amazing answer.

He objected because the dogs are evidence for a criminal trial. The dogs "are like the seizure of weapons at a crime as the dogs are responsible for the accumulation of feces and odor." and "They are instruments of a crime similar to a homicide."

The dogs will again... - how do I put this delicately - will again..., once released to the owner's loving care, the dogs will still... - I can't do it. Must send these tape recordings to Dave Barry. He will know how to put it.

Keep in mind that the evidence for the trial will be the photos of the dogs on the day they were confiscated, not the dogs in court.

So - no decision yesterday. The hearing ran two hours and is continued tomorrow, Thursday at 2:30 pm in Municipal Court.

Do you know of any white folks who have been so prosecuted in Bellingham for a dirty yard? Can any reader provide me with a case similar to this in Bellingham history? I'm not criticizing the neighbors here - they may or may not have had an odor problem. But for the city to persist in its persecution of Angel to convict her as a criminal - to stubbornly spend hours of court time, attorneys costs, police time and our tax dollars - this is the real crime. Why? What is being served here?

No Herald reporter. KAFE news - fm 104.3 - was there.

In other news - check the article in today's Herald on Western Washington University's road closure woes. The most telling comment is the second to last paragraph where Western's Tim Wynn says a replacement road might be built "to the west" of Fairhaven College. That is where the current street is that Western wants to vacate. Go figure.

Simply put, Western has does not want to release their plans for roads because they don't want to follow legal planning processes as required by city and state laws. Western wants to decide their road plans without public process. Problem is those roads will dramatically impact traffic on Bellingham's south side. They have hired one of the most expensive law firms in Seattle to fight neighbors attempts to make the process public.

Yes, Western will continue to avoid obeying the state Growth Management Law and yes, the dogs will shit again.

Lastly - a personal experience last evening that I want to tell you about. Today's Herald has a photo on page A-3 of a car accident on I-5 near Sunset exit. I was driving about 150 yards behind those cars and watched the accident. That little red sports car went airborn 5 feet up and flew off the highway. I pulled off into the center strip and called 911 and stayed on the phone with them telling what the situation was with the scene.

Two things to tell you, gentle reader.

1. Wear your seat belt. I don't know if all were wearing theirs, but the ones in the pickup truck were and it is amazing they survived. That thing rolled. Seat belts prevented injuries. Amazing

2. America is well and healthy. Other cars all stopped safely and everyone - 20, 30, maybe 40 people - all immediately helped victims and directed traffic. Everyone was so competent - a doctor appeared and she cared for the one slightly injured person. I stood there on the phone to 911 just amazed at how fast and well all these strangers helped. We were all there by pure chance - and you could not have organized a better group of people to help in an emergency.

Tuesday, Aug 20

Today at 2:30 pm is a Motion Hearing for Angel Drayton. Her attorney is requesting that the city return her dogs. Municipal Court at 2401 C Street - across the street from the police department.

I am told a public disclosure request has been submitted to the city asking for records of previous criminal prosecutions for dirty yards due to pets. The city has responded saying it wants the wording of the request changed. The public disclosure law does not allow the city to manipulate requests. It must answer with either the documents or a written reason why the request will not be honored. This will be pulling teeth.

Remember the Yaco case a few years ago? The city responded to a request by trashing the document and saying in court that it did not have the document. This resulted in the state legislature changing the state law that once a request is submitted the document may not be destroyed. Such is the record.

Monday, Aug 19

I've posted the press release from the Whatcom Humane Society that was faxed to local media on August 12. You might compare it with the report from C. Cooper that was posted over the weekend (see below for more info).

This fax is one example of the efforts by city prosecutor and police to smear Angel and justify their persecution of her. The society would not have sent the fax without their permission. The prosecutor has reportedly tried to make a deal with Angel which would have allowed him to drop the charges. His case is very weak.

The police gave their file on Angel Drayton to a member of the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force and told them to read it before they support Angel in public. This raises the question of the legality of this action, but without any agency to enforce laws against this action the police can do what they want.

Intimidation of the public by police? Yes. That is exactly what it is. The police have no business going around visiting people and warning them against supporting people who are charged with a crime.

The police also suggested the Task Force take the link to NWCitizen off their web site if they wanted good relations with the police in the future.

By the way, you can read the Task Force mission statement on their web site. It is one of many local links along the left column of this page.

Sunday, Aug 18

No local news in the Bellingham Herald today. None. Thick Sunday paper. Three feature stories - one on the fair, one on a student paying back school loans, and a nice one on the Lummi Healing Totem Pole. None are news - they are nice feature stories. Soft news. (easy-to-write filler pieces) You can't find a 2 inch column of local news. Not even local business news.

Issues? The city council meets tomorrow. They might vote a half million dollars to subsidize another downtown building. (its on the agenda) Lake Whatcom water is on the agenda - our health. Hell, they are voting on the final city center plan. Do you know what in the plan is controversial? News? Is it news if the Herald does not report on it?

County news? Apparently there is none. No police news. Candidates running for office? That can wait for weeks - no need to inform voters. Did you know the Bellingham Hearing Examiner ruled this past week against Western Washington University on their rush to vacate streets on campus? Violated their own planning process, she ruled. This impacts traffic flow for the entire south side of Bellingham. Not news, though, to the Herald. Not a word.

And of course still not a word since June on the Angel Drayton criminal prosecution - and possible jail time for her. When she was at the hospital giving birth, she was not keeping her dog kennel clean enough. Our city attorney is spending most of his time on it. The police are obsessed with it, confronting some possible supporters and arresting and harassing her friends. She is black. The police have actually asked how a black woman can afford such a nice house. The grapevine says the prosecutor thinks she is the front for drug dealers from Tacoma. Must be. How could a single black woman just move to town and buy a nice house like that? Racist prosecution? How dare the NWCitizen use that word.

But to the Herald there is no local news today. None.

Saturday, Aug 17

The police continue to use extra legal maneuvers to try and isolate Angel Drayton. They are now providing the file on Angel to some community groups that might otherwise become concerned about her case. The police are trying to convict her before her trial. A one sided smear. What is left out of the file? Will this rogue police force not be checked by anyone?

We've posted a white paper by C. Cooper about the dogs and the Humane Society shelter and the inter relationships. For those seriously concerned, this is a long but informative read.

Friday, Aug 16

Well, we had a break through at Bellingham Municipal Court yesterday. The full case file for Angel Drayton was provided to me. It took another written request, several phone calls and most of the morning, but the powers that be at Muni Court realized their public disclosure process was not working properly and corrected the situation.

Indeed, full disclosure of all future documents was assured and they feel their system will be more responsive to all requests - not just mine. Apparently they rarely got requests for files from citizens in the past. Also learned that the hearings were tape recorded and therefore I will later listen to them for what I could not hear in the courtroom because of the soft speaking of the judge and prosecutor.

My concern was not intended to be the Municipal Court system, but rather the city prosecutor and the police. I am relieved that problems with Muni court are behind us.

So - here is reliable information from the case file.

Angel's attorney has filed a motion for the return of her dogs. It will be heard at a 'Motion Hearing' this coming Tuesday, August 20, at 2:30 pm.

Posted today is the criminal complaint against Angel. Read for yourself the minor charges that the city prosecutor is using to criminalize this law abiding black woman. You form your own opinion.

Also posted is a report dated June 10 stating that Angel had fully fixed the odor problem that had been ordered in a June 7 abatement order from the city. This same June 10, city prosecutor Lustick filed his criminal charge against Angel for these very odor problem. Strange? I think so. We'll see what happens in court.

Yes, we will let the court decide. No, we are not trying the case in public. In the USA we have public process of criminal cases so that the public can observe and follow criminal proceedings. This prevents abuses of the criminal justice system - at least that was the intention of our country's founders. However, when the local media - Herald, KGMI and EOWeekly - don't report information then the prosecutor can railroad those he targets and there is injustice. The more I look at this case, the more racially motivated it looks.

Tomorrow - Saturday - I'll try and post some of the reports of police harassment of those connected to Angel.

Thursday, Aug 15

Spent hours waiting yesterday to see the court file on Angel Drayton - only to be told I could not see it and to come back another day. While I had been told I would see it yesterday, in the end they would only give me a partial computer print out of some activity. No original documents.

From the computer printout, it appears the pre-trial hearing is at 2:30 pm next Tuesday, Aug 20 - not the 1:30 I had been told. Angel's attorney asked for this.

Also this entry:
DEF & COUNSEL FTA'D. HOLD BW 2 WEEKS
Gentle reader, that is legal shorthand for:

"Defendent Angel Drayton and her attorney Joe Pemberton failed to attend the pre-trial hearing on Aug 12 as required by law and therefore a bench warrant has been issued by the city prosecutor Jeff Lustick for the police to arrest and jail Angel upon sighting her in public anytime during the next 2 weeks."

That, folks, is double dealing. A check with friends of Angel reveals that what happened is the prosecutor, Jeff Lustick decided to ask the court to 'continue' (delay) the pre-trial hearing from Aug 12 to Aug 26 and so informed her attorney. With that, her attorney probably agreed as he told Angel she did not have to show up in court. Therefore Angel did not show. Ask any attorney about this. I did - and not Angel's attorney. This is basically cheating and unethical by Jeff Lustick. He is apparently trying to criminalize Angel.

At the pre-trial on Aug 12, I thought I heard the words 'bench warrant' from by Lustick's assistant but could not be sure as he and the judge were talking softly. I was in the second row from the front of court.

So, until I can see the full public court file, I will have to continue this scratching for reliable information. Last week I was allowed to see a purged version of the file. This week, so far, they have not allowed me to see the file at all. Against the law, you say? Of course. What am I supposed to do? Take them to court? All I have is the pen - in the form of this web site. And I will continue to use this. Of course, it would help if other citizens attended the pre-trial hearings to show community concern with what is a racist prosecution of a black woman recently moved to Bellingham.

Next - I will scan in and post the 3 page "Criminal Complaint" so you can read for yourself the ridiculous nature of how your property tax dollars are being wasted and a law abiding person is being driven out of town. The complaint was about all they allowed me to see last week.

Has anyone seen a Bellingham Herald reporter lately?

Thursday, Aug 14

Spent hours waiting yesterday to see the court file on Angel Drayton - only to be told I could not see it and to come back another day. While I had been told I would see it yesterday, in the end they would only give me a partial computer print out of some activity. No original documents.

From the computer printout, it appears the pre-trial hearing is at 2:30 pm next Tuesday, Aug 20 - not the 1:30 I had been told. Angel's attorney asked for this.

Also this entry:
DEF & COUNSEL FTA'D. HOLD BW 2 WEEKS
Gentle reader, that is legal shorthand for:

"Defendent Angel Drayton and her attorney Joe Pemberton failed to attend the pre-trial hearing on Aug 12 as required by law and therefore a bench warrant has been issued by the city prosecutor Jeff Lustick for the police to arrest and jail Angel upon sighting her in public anytime during the next 2 weeks."

That, folks, is double dealing. A check with friends of Angel reveals that what happened is the prosecutor, Jeff Lustick decided to ask the court to 'continue' (delay) the pre-trial hearing from Aug 12 to Aug 26 and so informed her attorney. With that, her attorney probably agreed as he told Angel she did not have to show up in court. Therefore Angel did not show. Ask any attorney about this. I did - and not Angel's attorney. This is basically cheating and unethical by Jeff Lustick. He is apparently trying to criminalize Angel.

At the pre-trial on Aug 12, I thought I heard the words 'bench warrant' from by Lustick's assistant but could not be sure as he and the judge were talking softly. I was in the second row from the front of court.

So, until I can see the full public court file, I will have to continue this scratching for reliable information. Last week I was allowed to see a purged version of the file. This week, so far, they have not allowed me to see the file at all. Against the law, you say? Of course. What am I supposed to do? Take them to court? All I have is the pen - in the form of this web site. And I will continue to use this. Of course, it would help if other citizens attended the pre-trial hearings to show community concern with what is an unfair prosecution of a black woman recently moved to Bellingham.

Next - I will scan in and post the 3 page "Criminal Complaint" so you can read for yourself the ridiculous nature of how your property tax dollars are being wasted and a law abiding person is being driven out of town. The complaint was about all they allowed me to see last week.

Has anyone seen a Bellingham Herald reporter lately?

Tuesday, Aug 13

NWCitizen is under considerable criticism, with many political observers saying that what you have read here is in error. Things are drifting back to me. Accusers don't say or email it to me directly, but it reaches me via others.

Well, I feel very confident of what has been posted so far and intend to post much more that I have learned. Just now it is late at night and I've had a long day trying to make a buck. Tomorrow may bring new posts. A friend called the court clerk and tells me there is a pre-trial hearing scheduled for Tuesday, August 20 at 1:30 pm. I'll personally confirm that and post positive info later this week.

Time will tell if I am wrong - or right. My hope is this web site will nudge the media - the Bellingham Herald, KGMI radio, The Every Other Weekly - to investigate this prosecution of Angel Drayton for themselves. So far they have only told you what the police, humane society and prosecutor's office have told them. Investigative news? Not yet.

Monday, Aug 12

6:30 pm
The pre-trial hearing was inaudible between a city prosecutor and the judge. I was in the second row and could not hear them. Apparently the pre-trial is continued again - at the request of the city prosecutor - until Aug 20 or 26. I will check the court file later this week and report here. Public process is secret if you talk quietly and don't record the proceedings. No Herald reporter.

I am receiving more reports of police harassment. Tomorrow I will start a new page for these. The police are really trying to scare people away from this case. They could not do this without an OK from the mayor.

9:00 am
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled today for Angel Drayton at 1:30 pm,
Bellingham Municipal Court. Indeed, that is what was scheduled for today. The info phoned to me after 5 pm Friday, that said it was cancelled, was in error. This morning I visited the court and read the files. (more time off from work)

While support and a public presence at a pre-trial hearing is good, it is much more important for attendance at the trial itself. If you can attend this afternoon's hearing, you will be letting the prosecutor and police know they cannot railroad this lady without public knowledge. The Herald continues to not report, which is too bad as they have paid reporters.

Yes, Angel is being charged with criminal counts. Yes, she could serve jail time. Yes, this does have racial tones that the prosecutor and police are involved in. Since posting info on this case a week ago I have received several first hand accounts of examples of Bellingham Police racist practices. We have a problem.

Friday, Aug 9

Angel Drayton's trial has been 'continued', which is legal for rescheduled or delayed. At least a week and maybe longer. We will post as soon as we know. See reports below on Aug 5 and 7.

It was scheduled for this coming Monday afternoon, August 12. I don't know why it was delayed but will report here when known.

Wednesday, Aug 7

In a strange scenario, city attorney Jeff Lustick requested to visit Angel's home and 'inspect' it to see if it was OK for him to return her dogs to her - while asking her to admit guilt. He was scheduled to show up at 9:30 am Tuesday at her home. No show. Why? He said he was afraid to go out in public because of what nwcitizen posted about the case.

Angel is reported determined to not plead guilty. What's strange is the prosecuting attorney inspecting a home. Is he qualified to decide if her yard is OK for the return of her dogs? Isn't this a job for a humane society professional? Did she commit a crime or didn't she. What's going on here? He has made two plead offers to her and she has said no twice.

Angel's trial is scheduled for next Monday, August 12, at 1:30 pm in the Municipal Court building. Stay tuned. I'll do my best. Wasn't there a daily newspaper in this town at one time?

Monday, August 5

It appears that we have a city prosecutor in Jeff Lustick to go along with a racist city police department here in Bellingham. The 3 year harassment of Angel Drayton, a black woman who moved here from Tacoma 3 years ago, smells worse the more you learn about it. Young Jeff is the same guy who tried to criminalize 31 people, mostly young kids, for occupying city property in a well ordered, peaceful demonstration against city hall corruption - the pit fiasco. He failed as cooler heads prevailed and gave the kids an out.

Now Jeff is bringing Angel to trial next week and may jail her if he convicts her. The crime? Doing nothing more than hundreds of Bellingham residents do - keeping dogs and not always having all the dog mess cleaned up. The complaining neighbors (yes, you guessed it, white) also have dogs that bark a lot and one that has bitten. No problem for them as far as Jeff is concerned. He selects what he thinks is criminal.

I hear from the grapevine that Jeff is concerned that I attended the pre-trial hearing and he is asking others what I am up to. He says he is not a 'public official' and I am not allowed to criticize him as a public official.

There is no case against Angel Drayton. She did nothing wrong. The police have cited her 43 times - many for minor traffic infractions - sometimes as she is just leaving home. Other neighbors - who wish to remain unnamed for fear of harassment - have expressed support for Angel and say they have experienced no problems from her. No stench. The barking dogs that do bother them are owned by the white complaining neighbors.

The record should be examined by the Herald reporters - but don't expect any investigative reporting from the Herald. They can't afford it. (No reporter at the pre-trial hearing) And the Herald would risk its cozy relationship with city hall - making it harder (read more expensive) for the Herald to research normal stories. Hell, the Herald printed her street address in the first paragraph of the story - on page one - which has brought racist harassment drivebys to Angel.

By the way dear reader - how do you think the Herald got the photo of the officer loading Angel's dog into a truck when they searched her house? The police probably invited the Herald along. I spent years as a news photographer for different daily newspapers - I know the routine. Someone at city hall wanted publicity on that action. The Herald obliged. Reporter and photographer. Cheap, easy, sensational front page junk. The Herald emphasized the dogs were 'Pit Bulls' in every headline despite their breed not being related to the charges.

The Whatcom Human Rights Task Force has become concerned and you can read a report at their site. It is not just this activist who is concerned with Jeff's decisions and actions. He issued the warrant used to kick in her front door.

The Herald failed to tell you that her mother was at home taking care of the dogs but was at the grocery store when the police arrived. She came home while the police - and Herald reporter - were still there, but the Herald gave readers the impression the place was not occupied. Angel? She was at the hospital giving birth. Nice timing by our city authorities.

Angel is due to trial on Monday, August 12. I will be there to report on what Jeff does and my opinions of his actions. It would be nice if the Herald would be there and report fairly on events. And stop being a PR agency for the police and prosecutor. I urge others to take time off from work and attend. I'll post the exact time and place later this week. We need to support diversity in our community and not leave people isolated and easily driven out of town by what has all the characteristics of racist prosecution.

Thursday, July 25

Sherry sits in her old rocking chair reading - in the exact spot where her living room was - before the city of Bellingham forcibly evicted her 3 years ago this week and demolished her bungalow. Seems the city did not need her house site after all for the new fire station in the background.

The 19 apartment units of the Barracks were torn down. Sherry was the last to be evicted. The whole block was demolished - for a 1/3 block fire station. The mayor sneaked a Federal tax scam to benefit the seller by first agreeing in private with the owner to pay a half million and then sending a fake public letter threatening eminent domain action. Corruption is rife in city hall and the Feds let it go by.

The city promised to start working with civic groups to help build replacement low cost housing for the destroyed 19 apartments. Three years later - nada. At least two private organizations have proposed housing solutions to the city - but the city isn't interested.

Sherry with her sign in her old living room. Behind her is the empty city block - waiting for the promised low cost housing.

Wednesday, July 24

We must speak out against Israel. The bombing of a residential neighborhood to kill one man is a terrorist act. 150 wounded means children with blown out eyes who did not die. Crippled for life. Today start the excuses - but they lie. Israel is a country that was built on terrorism. Two prime ministers made their reputations as terrorists.

The sad part is the USA sends Israel over a billion dollars a year in military aid. To be used to murder civilians. Was that bomb made in America? 14 killed and 150 people "wounded" - maimed, blinded, crippled, gutted, burned - many for life.

A new American dictionary seems to be emerging. A terrorist act by Israel is not a terrorist act - it is a "heavy handed" action - according to our government. But when Palestinians kill Israeli soldiers on a bus our media still calls it a terrorist act. Double standard.

Shame on Israel and those who blindly support it.

Want to understand Israeli military policy? Check this out.

Monday, July 22

Still no reply from Pete Kremen nor any county council members on our question below. Maybe they don't realize there is a question there. Why are they allowing the county to violate the law? They are our elected representatives. But we citizens have the responsibility of holding them accountable. It is natural for them to resist hard questions. I invite you to add your email requesting they answer the question.

The stock market is continuing to fall today. You know, if Clinton was a Republican then he would be praised as the greatest modern president for the 8 years of prosperity and no war. If Bush were a Democrat then the media would be saying "See - a Democratic president just does not understand the economy". It infuriates conservatives that Clinton was so good for the economy. They want a Republican presiding over the good times - not a Democrat.

Clinton would have done better if the Republicans had not worked so hard to distract him from his job with their persecution of him. They kept him preoccupied for 8 years defending himself of one petty charge after another. In the end they got him for a lie about something that was none of anybody's business and did not involve government, the economy or national defense.

Bush hired his cabinet and department heads from the very companies that are causing the stock crash.

The Herald editorial staff doesn't seem to know Ferndale from Fairhaven. Today's front page.

Tuesday July 16

Law abiding? Local governments around Bellingham have a real aversion to obeying the Growth Management Act (GMA). WWU says it is not subject to the act. Now the county is trying to skirt it.

Last December the County Council voted to create a new city at Sudden Valley by designating it an Urban Growth Area. This would dramatically increase the pollution of Bellingham's source of drinking water, Lake Whatcom.

So, the local environmental group, Clean Water Alliance, appealed to the Growth Management Board. Turns out that county officials sneaked a violation of state law last December by allowing only 5 days for public comment instead of the well known required 14 days. Now the county is almost screaming at the hearing that the environmental group has no right to comment or testify or even bring an appeal to the GMA board. The county does not want the truth out. Spend tax dollars to resist any citizen attempt to require that state law be followed.

The county refuses to do an environmental impact study - while admitting they cannot predict the environmental impacts on water quality. Hmmm.

Don't expect the Herald to cover this story. Developers run ads in the Herald.

Is it as bad as all that? Yes. No state agency enforces the GMA. The only recourse is a citizen legal action - and the local governments know it. These are expensive.

What should be done? Obviously the county should reverse its designation on Sudden Valley. They can start the process over and obey state laws this time. How novel.

I urge you to contact your county council representative or Pete Kremen and ask them to obey the law. They expect us to. Hell, demand that they obey the law.

Get the Council members email addresses at:
http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/Council/home.htm

Email County Executive Pete Kremen at:
pkremen@co.whatcom.wa.us

Thursday, July 11

Almost 40 years ago, as a young service man in Germany, I had several occasions, over beers, to hear old Nazis rationalize the Holocaust. Ever since I've noticed how bureaucrats and die hard loyalists will give a plausible explanation for any outrage. And many folks believe their pap. Reminded of that watching TV news tonight as the talking heads and guests try to defend the beating of the teenage black kid. And the arrest and jailing of the fellow who took the video.

The arrest will play out in the news over the next few days. The only guy in jail is the guy who took the video. Scary. The point is the police and DA found a way to get him under their control - and then have their chance to scare the sense out of him. Don't think for a moment the police won't do that. The thin blue line adheres to the wolf pack philosophy - never rat on an officer and get anyone who gets an officer in trouble.

For those few of you who cannot think and read at the same time, the above contains a combination of facts and opinion. It should not be too hard to discern them. Reading with a critical mind should be habit. One local guy who aspires to elective office keeps emailing me with complaints about my writing opinions here. Dah.

One last observation - just to drag out this post. It would sure benefit our local political process if a few other citizens started web sites for posting of their opinions and news of their political involvements. I would link to them. We need more. I get well over 100 visitors a day to this site - many days over 400. These are people looking for what the Herald does not tell us. Many, if not most, local politicians have told me they check this site often. I encourage other active citizens - liberal or conservative - to consider starting web sites. I am available to answer questions over a coffee, if you have any. My email address is at the bottom of this column. - John Servais

Saturday, July 6

We pay tribute to Gen. Davis who died today. He led the Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots in WWII over Europe. These black officers were not accepted as full citizens and were barred from the Officer clubs of the Army Air Force. They compiled the incredible and unmatched record of flying their 200 bomber escort missions over Europe from June 1944 until April 1945 without the loss of a single escorted bomber to enemy aircraft. Many of the black fighter pilots were killed defending the bombers flown only by white men. Our country owes these black heros more than we will ever grant them.

Thursday, June 27

What silliness. Public officials expressing outrage over the pledge of allegiance. Under God? I challenge any reader to provide a quote from George Washington giving evidence that he was a Christian. You won't find one because he wasn't. The name of God is absent from the U.S. Constitution. It is not part of the oath of office. Belief in God is not necessary to being a loyal American. It should be taken out of the pledge.

What silliness. Politicians wrap themselves in flags and religion but won't tell the truth or speak honestly to citizens. They accept bribes and label them contributions. The provide favors for rich friends. Democrat or Republican, they both do it in equal measures.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Today's Bellingham Herald editorial (then click 6-24-2002 and then click on 'Opinion') argues that Western Washington University should not be allowed to vacate the main entrance road to campus until a complete campus road plan is shown. WWU is asking the city to vacate S. Campus Drive this summer. NW Citizen has been warning readers for 5 years about this illegal piecemeal planning by Western - and the go-along attitude of city planning. The state Growth Management Act (GMA) applies to state liberal colleges as much as to counties and cities. Western is on record as saying the GMA does not apply to them. The city is afraid to challenge Western on this issue. Western uses lawyers from Seattle for their planning presentations - at a cost of several hundred dollars an hour of our tax dollars. Is only NW Citizen concerned?

We have an election coming up this fall of 5 of our 6 state legislators. They can request that Olympia cut off Western's funds until the law is obeyed. You can request this action. It citizens do not act then our legislators will take the easy way and slide. Western will spend $20 million without adding a single classroom. And - worst - our city traffic flows will be screwed up. Neighborhoods will be screwed up. It is not just NW Citizen - even the Herald now recognizes the deceptive practices of Western.

By the way. Western knows the total plan. They just won't reveal it because they know the public process would never approve it. My facts? I have dragged portions of the plan out of them with public disclosure requests. A few of us have spent 6 years of effort trying to learn what Western is planning. It is time for our state officials to enforce the law against Western.

Friday, June 21

Q: When is a public hearing a charade?
A: When only the developer has time to prepare.

In Happy Valley, a short plat on a swamp will have a hearing next Wednesday. The public notice was only received by neighbors this week. And the Planning Department still has no packet ready for neighbors to study. Fair? Of course not. Routine? Yes.

We have submitted a request to the Hearing Examiner, Dawn Sturwold, to reschedule the hearing and allow citizens the chance to prepare. She could nudge our city planning department into being a little more fair. Planning routinely assists developers and short changes neighbors, all with the Mayor's approval.

Monday, June 17

We've posted another email exchange between WWU planning and Bellingham planning. (300K in size) Here is evidence of Western suggesting they are not subject to city laws and jurisdiction for planning on campus. This claim is so ridiculous that Western does not like to admit this in public. This email makes it clear. Our index of WWU posts may be of interest.

Sunday, June 16

The sister of Judi Bari read a statement to all Americans. Read her short statement at the Judi Bari web site. Remember it when next peaceful local activists are accused of being dangerous anarchists. Yes, the police can get on the wrong side of the law. We citizens should not accept police statements without asking critical questions.

Friday, June 14

Shades of the Soviet Union. George the usurper spoke to the graduating class of Ohio State University today. Police and SS arrested and removed those who turned their backs to Bush when he spoke. No news media reports - we have it from folks who attended and were arrested. It was announced to the students before he spoke that any silent gestures like turning your back would result in expulsion and arrest. The charge was disturbing the peace, but was instantly dropped as the person was taken out of the stadium. Purpose was to remove them, not prosecute.

Thursday, June 13

We have the "Fracas Email" posted for you to read for yourself. Today's Bham Herald has a front page story about WWU VP George Pierce physically confronting local attorney Tom Ashton after last night's public hearing at city hall regarding Western's planning. George was angry over an Email that Tom entered into the record. The Email, in our opinion, clearly shows Western's attitude towards public participation in the planning processes - keep them out as long as possible.

Tuesday, June 11

Western Washington University is asking the city of Bellingham to "vacate" South Campus Drive - the long boulevard that is the main entrance to the campus. Western wants to replace it with a new road it will bulldoze over the Sehome Hill Arboretum from near Sehome High School. The new road will run just behind Fairhaven College on the now wooded hillside.

This plan will cost millions of tax dollars, will not add one classroom to Western, will destroy a beautiful boulevard we have spend millions of tax dollars on already and will violate the Arboretum. The road will run right behind the dorms of Fairhaven College.

A public hearing will be held tomorrow evening, June 12, at the city council chamber at 6 pm - note the early time.

We have posted our testimony here for your reference. If you agree, feel free to copy or borrow from our post.

Thursday, June 6, 2002

We interrupt this progressive web site to bring you that old right winger, Patrick Buchanan. He wrote a piece a week ago that we completely agree with. It is concise and quickly read. What Price the American Empire Excellent. The answer is right in front of us.

Thursday, May 30

Not in today's Bellingham Herald. The guy convicted of killing the deputy sheriff in the high speed chase crash has been released on bond pending the appeal of his case. So ordered. You know the story. The Herald had great headline stories on this and crucified the guy while raising the dead deputy to hero status. The deputy was violating rules by letting an untrained deputy drive the high speed chase which resulted in the crash.

Why was he released? Well it seems evidence may have been withheld by the prosecutor's office and maybe by the Sheriff's department during the trial. Hard to get the details. No story in the Herald. How did I learn? Brief reports in Seattle media yesterday.

The Herald routinely protects local government officials from bad news. In return, local officials give the Herald reporters inside information on routine stories, making reporting easier - and cheaper. Thus the Herald benefits from going easy on local corruption and bungling. My basis for this? Personal conversations with Herald reporters going back over 20 years - personal observation of the process as an activist - and off the record discussions with those directly involved.

Tuesday, May 28

We add our modest voice to the many that are demanding a full investigation of what our government knew about 9-11 before the carnage. Several very courageous FBI supervisors are coming forward with damning evidence of knowledge by the President and his advisors that a September terrorist act - with commercial airliners - was in the making. It is our patriotic duty as citizens to demand a full investigation. If those in power are bunglers, then they must be replaced.

It is strange to watch the talking empty heads on TV news say that the investigation is a witch hunt. These same guys screamed for five years that we spend millions learning what Clinton did with a cigar and a consenting adult. They distracted Clinton so much that he was not able to focus his full attention on national affairs. What we need now is an intense and full investigation to prevent further intelligence failures and greater catastrophies in the next couple years. The bunglers are probably still ignoring solid evidence. We citizens need a competent government.

Wednesday, May 22

Our link to the Canadian Genocide web site has been updated to point to their new site. The Rev. Kevin Annett has had previous web sites taken off line by Canadian government legal actions. The truth needs to come out and we want our American visitors to learn about the Canadian atrocities so as to put pressure on the Canada to deal with its own past.

Tuesday, May 14

Hopeful information. Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio is a possible candidate for president of the U.S. No, he has not announced anything. Rather there is a growing interest from progressive citizens across our country to promote him and urge him to run. This web site joins that effort today. In the future I will post more info on him and why he may be the person to rid us of George the usurper.

A link to his web site is posted at left - below the flag.

Monday, May 13

Not in our Bellingham Herald is the story tying Puget Sound Energy (PSE) to Enron on price fixing of electricity rates. We in Bellingham get our electricity from PSE. The story broke last week in the Wall Street Journal and has continued in the Seattle papers.

PSE is a large advertiser in the Bellingham Herald. The Herald is slow to print negative news about advertisers - a little extra service for their advertising dollar. We readers would be served to know that PSE may have been in collusion with Enron to jack up prices to us. Another example of how the Herald does not serve its readers.

We see that the family of the murdered little Busby boy feels as nwcitizen did about the Herald not printing a notice of his missing on Friday, April 19. The family has complained bitterly about the Herald's lack of coverage and later abusive coverage of the family in a long letter to the Herald on Sunday.

Ironically, the Herald has a self serving article in the same section touting their 14 awards for "excellence". Shows the emptiness and self serving purpose of industry awards.

What is well known to active citizens is how much the Herald never covers - or strongly distorts in its reporting. The Herald is an advertising vehicle and caters to the god of advertising dollars. As shown in the Busby boy murder, the Herald is out of its league with real news.

Thursday, May 9

The world waits for Israel to attack Gaza and kill innocent civilians by the dozen in "retaliation" for the suicide bomber earlier this week. Of course those responsible for the bombing will not be caught because they are unknown.

This would be like the US Air Force bombing the small town in Minnesota, Pine Island, in which Luke Helder, the young pipe bomber, grew up. Bulldoze buildings, dynamite his parents home, kill his schoolmates and destroy the city water supply.

Sunday, May 5

The Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Dick Armey, Republican from Texas, and a close friend and advisor of the ursurper George W. Bush, is now on record of advocating the ethnic cleansing of all Palestinians from Palestine and requiring them to be expelled to some other Arab country. Yup - all of them. Very clear words. On national TV. Repeated it when asked if he really meant it.

So much for the people whose families have lived in Palestine for hundreds of years - many going back a thousand years and more. Oh, supposedly Armey has apologized - but you should read his own words. They are not an apology and he says his statements were misunderstood. We have both statements posted and will keep them posted for the future record.

Sunday, April 21

Some newspaper. Today's Herald has not a word about the large demonstrations in Seattle yesterday. Arrests, clogged streets, police spraying crowds. Was it newsworthy? I learned of it on CNN headline news today. It was big news. Of course Seattle news media all covered it.

Watch for the Herald to have a story on Monday that excerpts a Seattle newspaper. That is what they did with the Bellingham pipeline lawsuits and settlements. Ran stories the day after the Seattle papers - citing the Seattle papers. Local Bellingham news courtesy of Seattle reporters.

As this site reported on April 10, the mainstream media is now finally telling us about the Jenin massacres by the Israeli army of innocent Palestenians. Too bad the corporate media always report state terrorism well after it is finished. Of course any media that reported it at the time either had their reporters shot by the Israeli army or will find it difficult to have a reporter in Israel in the future. Same practice as by our US Army.

One last observation. There is more chance of being killed by the US Army if you are in the US Army or an allied force in Afghanistan than there is of being killed by the enemy. 4 Canadians last week. Same was true in the Iraq war - those not killed directly by "friendly" fire (an oxymoron if ever there was one) are now dying from the inoculations the army gave them.

Friday, April 19

Some newspaper. Not a word in today's Bellingham Herald about the little boy who was missing yesterday and found murdered this morning. Last night, well before the Herald went to press, the Seattle TV news reports told us in Bellingham about the missing boy. The Herald either did not know about it, didn't have a reporter available or choose to ignore it. Only the Herald editors know.

The Herald does not report a lot of news. Most folks don't realize how much is not reported - including violent crimes committed in Bellingham and Whatcom County. When I was an active citizen it was amazing how much news the Herald choose to ignore. KGMI news folks read the Herald on the air for their news. I think they have one reporter. I know they have only one real reporter. So - we in Bellingham are pretty ignorant of what is happening in our own community.

Now that I'm no longer active, my main news source is also the Herald - except when Seattle TV or newspapers gives us something.

Tuesday, April 16

Do SUV owners have a problem? Like, are they emotionally in trouble and need a honking big horse to ride around in before they can feel OK? Well check out what nationally syndicated Amy Alkon is doing to get the message across. We sure have more than our share of SUVs in Bellywash. I do enjoy reading the environmental stickers on many of them. Like having a diet drink with your pizza.

Ariel Sharon, Israel's leader, should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Here is a place you can sign a petition asking for just that action by the UN.

Wednesday, April 10

The Israeli Army is lining up captured Palestinians against walls and executing them. By the dozen. This week. The Jenin massacre. The USA gives the Israeli Army $2 billion dollars a year. Our taxes. All Americans should speak up. Shame on Israel. Read the reports for yourself. What is wrong with America? Are we all sheep?

I am one very small voice. If you also think Israel is wrong then find the courage to speak out. To be silent now is to forfeit your right to pass judgement on others who have turned away in the past. Are you silent? Then you know how easy it was for "good" Germans to be silent during the Holocaust. Yes, history is full of peoples who were persecuted and then persecuted others when they could.

Thursday, April 4

A new activists web site is making a start in Bellingham. Check it out. It has some promising forums.

A web site that has aerial photos of every inch of our Washington shorelines is real treat of a site. You can walk any shoreline, including Bellingham's. This site is a fun one go get lost in.

On the national and international scene, the Common Dreams web site provides a progressive perspective on events. It is one of my favorites. Our main stream news media have become even more locked into providing propoganda for our government. It is refreshing to know there are still independent writers out there.

Finally, I must add my small voice to say shame on Israel. The systematic murder of Palestinian leaders is calculated to destroy their leadership. Sharon is a war criminal. Israel is going down a dark road. A sad spectacle. Now I will get branded as anti-jewish. I'm not. The Israeli Army is doing to the Palestinians what the Germans did to the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. Granted, it is a smaller scale, but it is the same thing. Shame on Israel. The Palestinians have lived there for over a thousand years and it is their country also. Israel has lost my support. The worst is probably still in the future. As you sow so shall you reap.

NWCitizen is hibernating. We explain below these links. However, hibernation does not mean dead and I am posting a few links and info from time to time. And check out the photo of Fitz Creek, named after the director of our State Department of Ecology.

Friday, March 8

Here is a fun web site for you to check out. It informs you about pollution in Whatcom County. How we compare with other counties in the US - poorly. Where our pollution comes from - that electrical plant at the Georgia Pacific plant isn't just putting out water vapor. The link to this site will remain on the left side of this page for your future use. Scorecard.org - using the internet for public communications as it should be.

Tuesday, Jan 29, 2002

Well, NWCitizen is going into hibernation. After six years of researching and posting, I'm taking a break. Over the years this web site has broken many stories that the Bellingham Herald tried to cover up for its political and business friends. This unpaid, citizen effort now rests. I will post links to other local citizen web sites that exist or startup. Let me know.

The recent plea for support was responded to by four persons, whom I thank. While there are 300 to 700 visitors a day to this site, there is obviously not an interest in supporting it. It was an interesting experiment. Posting requires time spent researching the facts - more time than most people would ever believe. Now I am looking for a job and need to focus on this. My family comes first. I look forward to free time spent sailing this spring instead of reading Port minutes or attending city committee meetings.

I go out with a bang. Today's Bellingham Herald editorial slams the Whatcom County Health Department and Water District 10 for their lack of response to the 4 day sewage overflow at Sudden Valley in December. Well, the Herald ignored the story for 5 days until after NWCitizen made this a local issue with photographs and reporting. In the past years, the Herald has successfully ignored the massive sewage spills at Sudden Valley. They almost did again this year except for several people who got the information to me for my posting on NWCitizen. Now our community is aware of a recurring serious health threat. I must share credit with the TIG web site. The Herald of course did not give credit to either of us, even while it used both of our sites for learning many of the facts.

There are other stories that are there for investigation and that the Herald is ignoring. Here are a few.

- The corruption in the mayor's office. We should investigate Mayor Mark Asmundson and the Mason building contracts.

- The lack of qualifications of our police chief, Randy Carroll. And the method of his appointment.

- City Building & Codes allowance of numerous code violations to be passed at the new Boys & Girls Club on Kentucky - including a dangerous kitchen and improper emergency exits for the children. Preston Burris, head of building and codes regularly initials approval on inspection sheets when his inspectors refuse to do so because of violations.

- The total lack of local enforcement by the Bellingham office of the State Auditor. Ten years ago I exposed the KAP scandal at the Port of Bellingham, which cost county taxpayers over $4 million dollars. Staff was fired, some resigned and no commissioner was reelected. The State Auditor had found nothing wrong. Shortly after, the Port hired the auditor who had given the Port a clean bill of health. The Herald ran one concluding article on the scandal and never mentioned it again.

- The secret negotiations by the Department of Ecology that protects polluters. There are toxic waste dumps all over Whatcom County that DOE hides for their corporate friends.

- The secret, illegal, night time dredging of Whatcom Creek near the closed Georgia Pacific plant. This is to remove some serious mercury deposits. Where did they go? To a county landfill? Our DOE in action again.

- The secret and illegal negotiations by the Bellingham Planning Commission with GP and the Port of Bellingham on how to rezone the GP site. The law requires open meetings. The Planning Commission has meetings at obscure locations and times and does not take minutes. No records. This started last April and is supported by the mayor and planning director.

- The whole Pit scandal. I stood quietly across the street at midnight last spring and watched police chief Carrol quietly give the order to start arresting the peaceful demonstrators - just as the Herald presses started running so nothing would be in the next day's paper. He has pursued an abnormal and unreasonable vendetta against our young people.

- The incredible waste by Western Washington University of millions of dollars on non-academic projects that are fluff. It is of scandalous proportions.

- The violations of Washington State conflict of interest laws by Port Commissioner Doug Smith. This could be pushed into the State Attorney General's office with any attention at all from State Senator Harriet Spanel. She seems afraid of it.

Local old timers tell me that corruption in Bellingham is old and normal. They have often told me that the local residents are more interested in cocooning and enjoying the outdoors than wanting clean government. Many people have worked hard to just move to Bellingham and don't want to lose their jobs by speaking out or working to end corruption. Maybe the old timers are right. Citizens are responsible for the government they get. You talk to state officials in Olympia and they say that Bellingham is unique for this and that they just leave us alone and don't enforce the law up here because citizens in Bellingham don't support state enforcement efforts. After over 20 years as a very active citizen, I am coming to agree with them.

A year from now, I'll post a report card on the above stories right here. We'll see which, if any, the Herald touches.

As George Drake advised me, when you leave the room, slam the door.

Thursday, Jan 17

The city council was sharply questioned by citizens last Monday regarding the city's persecution of the Pit 3. The first 25 minutes of public comment are quite striking. You can check out the video tape from the Bellingham Library. The Herald is burying any criticism of the city on this issue. If the Herald does not print it then the city hopes it will not be news.

Jeff, the young city prosecutor, shunned talking to the Every Other Weekly editor after the trial. Of course, the EOW did print some critical remarks about the city prosecution of the three defendents. This Jeff fellow is bad news. He follows orders from the mayor with a blind vengenance. He and police chief Randy Carrol will provide us some expensive experiences in the future with their pogrom to violate the rights and crucify political foes of the mayor.

Tuesday, Jan 15

Why is a senior detective of the Bellingham police investigating the backgrounds of local liberal business persons? Looking for something to prosecute them for? This is the same detective who was witnessed beating up a Alaskan Indian at Boulevard Park. Is he trying to intimidate witnesses? How long will the Herald sit on the story? Forever, if it can.

Monday, Jan 14

4 pm - We have a hung jury on the trial of the Bellingham Pit 3.

One juror of the six held out for innocent.

The city intends to try the case again.

The three free speech advocates are facing further persecution from the city for having dared to speak up at a city council meeting last June. The city police and mayor are seeking to intimidate those who dare to speak out against city actions.

We recommend the Friends of Whatcom for more coverage. Also pick up the Every Other Weekly for excellent commentary on the folly of the city. We have an out of control police chief and prosecution system in play.

Saturday, Jan 5

Tim Paxton had a 'dead on' letter to the editor in our local daily newspaper yesterday. With his permission it is reprinted here.

Dear Editor,

Children playing in a river of raw sewage flowing into Bellingham's
drinking water reservoir. That photo nicely sums up the incompetence of
our government officials. Water District 10 deliberately and illegally
dump tons of raw sewage into our drinking water reservoir and no one stops
them.

The Department of Ecology manager apparently "forgot" to tell Water
District 10 to kindly shut off the 8" valve illegally spewing tons of
brownish fluid into Austin Creek for 4 days. This follows their written
internal e-mails describing their "softpeddling enforcement" around Lake
Whatcom. What fines?

County Executive Pete Kremen's interim health department director was
unavailable to even post a few signs warning Sudden Valley parents to
kindly keep children from impeding the river of raw sewage flowing into the
reservoir. Kremen's health department idea of protecting your health is
to advise you to boil your sewage/drinking water.

City of Bellingham? Tons of raw sewage mixing with the reservoir's mercury
contamination? Yawn. Mayor who? City Council what? Their apathy,
ignorance & lack of condemnation of WD10 shows their earnest approval of
dumping tons of turds into your drinking water. Drink up!

See the photo of kids in sewage at www.lakewhatcom.org

Sincerely,
Tim Paxton

Tuesday, Jan 1, 2002

Happy New Year. Let's hope its a better year.


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