MNAC Paddy Whack Give the Dog a Bone

Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 1:57 am   //   Dick Conoboy

Neighborhood organizations are a foundational piece of Bellingham’s community activism dating back to the late 1970s. Today, these groups are “ground zero” for improving our community’s collective quality…
Editor's Blog


Thu, Sep 29, 2016, 5:00 am  //  Tip Johnson

When, publishes an article about debunking the Obama Recovery Farce, many will take it with a grain of salt.

But when the guts of it are coming out of the Harvard Business School’s 2016 surveys on U.S. competitiveness, one might start thinking about adding pepper and enjoying a worthy meal.  See, “Problems unsolved and a Nation Divided.”

Both sides understand "divided" but there is a lot of meat on these bones.  So much that it might cause a little indigestion.  Isn't that part of ‘pairing’ in fine dining?

Well, pair it with this. is dishing it out, too.  Their take on a Possible Trump Presidency includes buying gold and selling stocks.  The dollar will strengthen under Trump. Bond yields will rise.  Equities may decline, especially in emerging markets, due in part to a stronger dollar.

Harvard's complaint of division was eerily reflected in the debates.  Clinton's broader experience and more comprehensive policy framework scored high with wonks and hacks.  But likely Trump voters saw his paternalistic abuse as victoriously pummeling his opponent.  So she looked terrible to his voters, and he to hers.  It's a big divide you can't see across. You can see across the Grand Canyon.

Bloomberg’s and Harvard’s views (not to mention Conoboy’s most recent piece) make good political digestion seem impossible for the foreseeable future.  Hopefully we will be spared even worse economic gastritis. But probably not, because the chief, overarching defect to our economic organization is that the poorest always pay the most.

Can we eventually learn to observe more circumspectly, discourse more civily and organize more compassionately?  Or should we just invest in Tums?

World Economy on Crutches

Wed, Sep 28, 2016, 8:46 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The world's economic situation is dire and the disease-ridden Goliath is about to collapse as the crutches of the last decade will no longer hold the weight of total global debt.  The central banks of various nations and the so-called European Union have had the money presses working around the clock while whistling in the dark and hoping against hope that the collapse will not happen soon, or at least not on their watch.  Chris Martensen at Counterpunch last Monday in a piece entitled Hell To Pay laments, "‘...dumb’ mistakes have become ‘stupid’, and ‘stupid’ became ‘idiotic’, and now ‘idiotic’ mistakes are piling up, accumulating into a mountain of stored potential energy that will someday topple destructively across the global markets.  We’ve all known, deep down, that money printing is not the same as capital formation, and that prosperity never truly results from redistributing wealth from one group to another. And yet, far too many have been willing to play along and place their trust in the central banks. Well, we’ve finally reached the beginning of the end."

Continuing he says,  "By the numbers, central banks have been little more than serial bubble blowers, which is not actually a very impressive trick at all.  Dump a bunch of cheap, thin-air money into the markets and that’s pretty much what you get every time: a bubble.  Or bubbles, plural (which is what we’re living with now across stocks, bonds, real estate and nearly every other financial asset class)" 

The charts in his article are particularly telling but you won't see any of these during the risibly termed "presidential debates" or as a prop of any politician, including our current Líder Máximo who assures us that all is well.  Locally, we will take a devastating hit when our city and county tax revenues take a plunge that will make the last downturn look like a momentary blip.  Tax receipts will be hit hard as people lose their jobs, their pensions and their homes (yet again) when the stock market, the bond market and the housing bubbles burst.  The feeble flow of federal dollars into the region will turn to a trickle or will shut down for all intents and purposes. You don't have income, you don't buy and you certainly cannot pay the mortgage. 

But we in Whatcom County plan for growth.  Just check out the comprehensive plans of the city and county to see how detached from reality we have become.

Sweden Fights Generalized Crapification With Sensible Policy

Tue, Sep 27, 2016, 4:00 am  //  David Camp

In case you are looking for some good news in the face of the appalling spectacle of The Clinton V. Trump Reality TeeVee Show, here's some good news from Sweden.

The Swedes see wastefulness as a bug, not a feature - and are proposing to incentivise Reducing, Repairing, and Recycling with simple tax law changes. FIrst - reduce the sales tax by over half on repairs to shoes, bicycles, and clothing. Second, provide a 50% income tax deduction for the labor cost of repairing home appliances. Both are good as far as they go - not only reducing waste, but also encouraging employment in repairing people's stuff.

I grew up in a town where on the main street, between Davies the butcher (who raised the lamb he sold on his family farm) and Ray's Shoe Store was A.P.Farmer's appliance repair store. It provided a good living for Mr. Farmer and his family, who owned a house in town. I doubt there were many families in town who had not taken their kettle or radio or vacuum to Mr. Farmer for repair. It would have been unthinkable to throw a perfectly good kettle away just because the cord was frayed or a radio because it needed a new tube. There were also two shoe repair stores in town - because people wore good quality shoes that needed periodic sole replacement. And a bicycle store that may have charged a bit more than the chains but were handy and competent when the bike you rode to school needed attention. I wish I could say that Mr. Farmer's store is still in business - but it is long gone. His living was killed by cheap imported products that are designed to be thrown away when they break. Same for the shoe repair stores - one does remain, but servicing a smaller, older, clientele - if it were not for skate sharpening, he too would be gone.

Now this may sound like a cranky old guy rant - but wouldn't you rather keep money in circulation on your own comunity? Shouldn't we be encouraging self-employment and thrift rather than destroying local employment and creating waste? Someone at my favorite hardware store in the world, Hardware Sales, said this to me one fine day - "Your first duty is to create employment for yourself. Your second duty is to create employment for others". To me, this these are words to live by. But our corporatist structure regards employees as problems to be dispensed with - from Uber threatening its employees  I mean "independent contractors" with self-driving cars; or Peace Health's firing of fifty-nine local medical transcriptionists to save $5 per hour by shipping their jobs out of State. Efficiency! Progress! Unemployment! Dislocation! Greed! Hollowing out local economies in search of greater profits and no sense of obligation to society is the modern neo-liberal creed. Just look at the mess it's created at the Herald, where there's apparently little money for basic local reporting, because they have to save money by laying off more people. It's a vicious cycle - but exactly the kind of thing that the corporatist creed brings forth.

News Sources for Burlington Shootings

Sat, Sep 24, 2016, 9:44 am  //  John Servais

The shootings last night at the Cascade Mall in Burlington have resulted in 5 persons dead, 4 of them women.  The shooter is, as of mid morning this Saturday, still on the loose and still unidentified - at least publically.  A very good surveliance camera photos of him do exist and we post them here. It is very reasonable to consider he may be hiding in Whatcom County as we are only 12 miles from the Cascade Mall. And Bellingham is just 20 miles up I-5.  

It was smart of the police to release the photo so quickly.  We of the public can and want to assist in having this guy found and arrested. A simply 911 phone call and the authorities will be quiclkly checking out leads.  One assumes. 

The two online news outfits to be giving the best coverage this morning are the Skagit Valley Herald with their GoSkagit website.  They are located in Mount Vernon, across the river from Burlington, and do a great job covering all Skagit Valley news year round.  The Seattle Times has shown great reporting even from last evening.  The Times is still a real newspaper, reporting local news throughout Puget Sound, including Bellingham.  

On Twitter, there are several tweets for the tag #CascadeMallShooting with the Skagit Count Department of Emergency Management - @SkagitDEM - being the account I'm following.

Time for white people to do something for #BlackLivesMatter

Fri, Sep 23, 2016, 5:00 am  //  Ralph Schwartz

As of 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, two black people have died in the past week at the hands of police: Keith Lamont Scott, 43, in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Terence Crutcher, 40,in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Crutcher was unarmed, and the officer who shot him was charged on Thursday with manslaughter. Police in Charlotte claim Scott's killing was justified. No action will be taken against the officer who killed Scott, a father of seven.

Family men minding their own business, going about their daily routines, not looking for trouble. But trouble found them in the form of men and women in blue who are supposed to serve and protect. This story is getting old. The question becomes, what to do about it?

As a white man who enjoys a position of privilege in this country, and who doesn't get nervous whenever he sees a police officer, the question is more urgent for me than it might first appear. The problem of cops shooting black people is a white problem, after all.

Pop culture blogger and author Luvvie Ajayi had this to say:

"White people, I’m talking to you. THIS. IS. YOUR. PROBLEM. TO. FIX. Y’all got some work to do, because this system that y’all keep on privileging from, you’ve got to help us dismantle it. Because those of us who are Black and Brown. We have tried. You created this robot, and it is yours to deactivate. My skinfolk don’t have the passcode. This is your monster to slay."

The answer to the white person question, "What do I do?" isn't always clear. Luvvie again: "I don’t know exactly how but shit. Create an app or something."

Derrick Weston, a progressive Presbyterian minister, wrote "The Five Things I Need From White People Right Now" in response to the Terence Crutcher shooting. There are some good ideas in there.

For me, it starts with a protest at the federal building in Bellingham at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. Advice to whites from Luvvie: "Use your bodies in this fight. Take to these streets and march and protest, showing that you are not okay with what is happening. Be on the frontlines, showing that you have a vested interest in the well-being of Black and brown people."

See you on the streets.




The Misery Money Medical Machine

Thu, Sep 22, 2016, 4:00 am  //  Tip Johnson

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has held many university appointments.

In 2013, Roberts published an anonymous, critical analysis of Obamacare titled, “Obamacare: A Deception” which details how “Obamacare works for the insurance companies but not for you” and why “The legislation neither protects the patient nor are the plans affordable”. The same author in a 2014 sent Roberts a followup, “Obamacare: The Final Payment: Raiding the assets of low-income and poor Americans”, which explains how aspects of the law mean the “poorest Americans will pay the highest cost of health care as they, and they alone, are subject to having the family home and any other assets…confiscated by the state in order to reimburse Obamacare for the cost of their medical expenses.”

Now, even doctors are frustrated with it.  In 2012, 54 percent of physicians supported the health reform law, 29.3 percent didn't, and only 16 percent said they were strongly opposed to it.  In 2016, 47 percent consider the ACA “a great disservice to Americans”. Forty-five percent take the middle ground and only 7.5 percent think “it has been great”."  Nearly half (45 percent) think the ACA should be repealed and/or replaced.

Providers are pulling out.  Obama is meeting with those that remain.

In some exchanges, only one provider is available, making health care giants start looking like cable companies to their captive customers.  Maybe we will eventually come to our senses and do what the rest of the developed world did long ago - Universal Health Care.

Debate Debacle

Wed, Sep 21, 2016, 4:54 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Two years ago I wrote an article for NWCitizen entitled "Panem et Circenses - Why I Did Not Watch The Super Bowl"   For much the same reason, I will not watch the "presidential debates", which are neither debates nor presidential but very much a circus.  Run by a faux, non-partisan (as long as you are either a Democrat or a Republican) organization called the Commission on Presidential Debates, that makes risible claims to be educating the public, the spectacle does little more than bring money to their coffers and to those of broadcasters while offering talking dogs for your entertainment.  No matter what question is asked, the candidate will respond (woof. arf!) with some canned, pre-approved and non-sensical statement from which nothing can be learned except that the candidate has given up any shred of being a person who has any sense at all of what is happening in the world.  Worse yet, they are asking you, the viewer, to join with them in the phantasm. 

In a recent article posted on Bill Moyers and Michael Winship called for cancelling the debates saying, "if the present format and moderators remain as they are, threaten an effect on democracy more like Leopold and Loeb than Lincoln and Douglas."  Surely the year's understatement.

They go on to tell us, "In 1988, the League [of Women Voters] pulled out of the Bush-Dukakis debates, declaring in a press release, “It has become clear to us that the candidates’ organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public.”  It has been all down hill since the "Commission" has filled the vacuum with the vacuous, an achievement not unlike the discovery of the Higgs boson. 

Moyers and Winship remind us that, "...Woody Allen said back in one of his earlier, funnier films — that the whole thing is a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham. And why are we so complacent about the hijacking of our political process — that it has descended to this level where the two parties and the media giants pick as the only surrogates of the American people the minions of an oligarchic media riddled with cronyism and conflicts of interest?"

Read the entire Moyers Winship piece "There’s No Debate" here and do something pleasant on debate night like taking a walk with a friend or a lover.

Herbal Medicine - Another Thing the Hippies Got Right

Tue, Sep 20, 2016, 1:37 am  //  David Camp

Despite the thirty-year official policy of hippy-bashing, started under Reagan, and continued earnestly by Clinton with the ramp up of the "War on (some out of patent) Drugs" and the Incarceration-industrial Complex, the hippies have been proven right time and again. Yes the war machine is corrupting and evil; yes the waste and degradation of our industrial society is disrespectful and destructive of our living planet; yes our healthcare and food systems are corrupted and sickened by profiteering corporatists for whom misleading their customers is a fundamental part of the business model. Consider the moral degeneracy of the management of Mylan Pharma - which hiked the price of its epiPen product over 400% in seven years. Notably, the CEO of Mylan, the daughter of Democrat Senator Manchin, was rewarded for her profiteering on the backs of people who could die from anaphylactic shock from a bee sting with a $14 million+ pay package. 

Such epic greed and corruption and moral degeneracy - surely the mark of the beast is upon these creatures.

It's hard to know what to do when the very fabric of society, its underpinnings, are fundamentally and systematically wrong. The Leary creed- "Turn on, tune in, drop out" - is impractical except for the truly brave and strong and pig-headed. We live in a complex money society where we control virtually none of the inputs into our lives. Sure we have choice - between Shell or Exxon gas; between Tide and All; and so on. But try surviving without money. Even the homeless find this impossible. So in order to balance survival and the need to be moral actors in the world we must be selective in what aspects of the corporatist world we turn our backs on.

Fortunately, much of the stuff we are sold by the corporatist misleaders is unecessary or downright destructive. But everyone has to eat, and everyone gets sick and needs medicine from time to time. Plant medicines were the original medicines - why buy the overpriced pharmaceuticals when your garden can be a pharmacoepia? Our ancient and aboriginal peoples had deep wisdom of plant medicine and nutrition ( I include all humans - everyone is aboriginal somewhere!). And that is why the picture accompanying this post is the common weed plantain - which is a nutritious edible that also has healing properties

Plantain, when chewed up and applied as a poultice, reduces inflammation and allergic reaction to insect bites - and makes the corporatist profiteers' epipen unnecesessary except in the most extreme cases. (Consult your medical professional).

As the excesses of our technological world create unexpected chaotic results, we must turn to the living world to restore balance, and live in respect and harmony with the living planet. Consider that less than 90 years after its discovery by Scotsman Alexander Fleming, penicillin is no longer effective against many infections - and subsequent antibiotics are also increasingly ineffective. Mother Nature bats last. But she also holds the keys - if we can overcome our ignorance and arrogance and learn from her.

NW Citizen Hosting Political Trivia Night Oct 12th

Sat, Sep 17, 2016, 3:27 am  //  John Servais

Test your political trivia, have a delicious drink and join in the fun for the first Political Trivia Night by Northwest Citizen. That's right, we're putting on an event and it is going to be exciting!

Come to Political Trivia 7pm on Wed, Oct. 12th, at the Brandywine Kitchen , 1317 Commercial St., in downtown Bellingham.  

I will be hosting a night of pub trivia ($5 per person, cash prizes) with the help of former Political Junkie Riley Sweeney.

The proceeds are going to Northwest Citizen for some serious tech upgrades. After many years of patching the code that runs this site, we are taking it to the next level with a complete overhaul. We've got a very talented programmer helping us along and the funds raised by this trivia night will help cover those costs.

So come on down, laugh at Riley's jokes, and enjoy the company of other political junkies. We would love to see you there.  

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The War Has Just Begun

Slum landlords are alive and thriving. Over this summer 50% [corrected] of rental units failed the city's initial health and safety inspection.

Dick Conoboy
Fri, Sep 16, 2016, 8:02 am
16 comments; last on Sep 26, 2016

MNAC Paddy Whack Give the Dog a Bone

The vital role in city politics of the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission (MNAC) has gradually diminished over the past five years and is now at an all time…

Dick Conoboy
Mon, Sep 12, 2016, 1:57 am
10 comments; last on Sep 24, 2016

Chapter 3: City Council Agenda Management

Anne Mackie writes the backstory that tells "the rest of the story" of how the August harsh attacks on citizens by the council had roots in July.

Guest writer
Sat, Sep 10, 2016, 1:02 am
1 comments; last on Sep 10, 2016

Reader paid for ads. Click to see all choices.

Housing Forum on Wednesday, Sep 14

The York Neighborhood is sponsoring a forum on housing concerns on Wednesday, Sept 14th at the Garden Methodist Church at 7pm.

Dick Conoboy
Wed, Sep 07, 2016, 8:09 am
4 comments; last on Sep 10, 2016

A Big “Never Mind”

Anne Mackie gives us an overview of the planning kerfuffle during August between citizens and the Bham city council. And the bad attitudes of some council members.

Guest writer
Wed, Aug 31, 2016, 4:59 am
5 comments; last on Aug 31, 2016

Coal Trains Blocked by Local Protesters

Updated on Monday. An elaborate tripod was erected over the railroad tracks on the bridge over Chuckanut Bay and protesters sat in a sling. 11 hour train stoppage.

John Servais
Sun, Aug 28, 2016, 4:56 pm
3 comments; last on Aug 29, 2016

Chapter 2:  Playing the race card

Three emails: April Barker writes about ADUs and her perspective; Anne Mackie and Dick Conoboy respond.

Dick Conoboy
Tue, Aug 23, 2016, 9:02 pm
6 comments; last on Aug 25, 2016

Temper Tantrum Taints City Council

Council President Pinky Vargas loses it over minor violations of the three-minute comment rule. Is this any way to run a council?

Dick Conoboy
Mon, Aug 15, 2016, 3:13 am
11 comments; last on Aug 29, 2016

Anti-Nuclear Weapons ship ‘Golden Rule’ to Visit

Ellen Murphy writes about the sailboat that sailed toward nuclear test site in Pacific in 1958 and will visit Bellingham August 20 - 22. Now protesting modernization of…

Guest writer
Sat, Aug 13, 2016, 11:19 am
1 comments; last on Aug 15, 2016

Hiyu ferry for Lummi Island service - Explained

Jim Dickinson writes: Why the surplus Washington State ferry Hiyu should replace the Whatcom Chief for our Whatcom County ferry service to Lummi Island.

Guest writer
Tue, Jul 12, 2016, 10:55 pm
6 comments; last on Aug 06, 2016

Lummi Island Drawbridge

The Lummi Island ferry is a very old and decrepit vessel. The state ferry system wants to give us a newer one in great condition. Whatcom County says…

Tip Johnson
Sat, Jun 25, 2016, 10:08 pm
6 comments; last on Jun 30, 2016

Options High School: Great idea, wrong site

Tim Paxton guest writes about the defects in planning for the Options High School.

Guest writer
Mon, Jun 06, 2016, 5:03 pm
5 comments; last on Jun 26, 2016

Ferndale volunteers build kids playground

Over 2,000 volunteers have just built a new playground in six days. We do a photo story.

John Servais
Sun, Jun 05, 2016, 8:29 pm
1 comments; last on Jun 06, 2016

Greenways may reverse heron colony buffer purchase this evening

The Greenways Advisory Committee meets this evening and may reverse their May decision to purchase the heron colony buffer woods.

John Servais
Fri, Jun 03, 2016, 12:29 am
10 comments; last on Jun 07, 2016

We need to protect our Great Blue Heron colony

Bellingham's only heron colony needs forested buffer - and the land owner is willing to sell. Greenways has voted to buy it, but our city council must act.

John Servais
Tue, May 31, 2016, 9:51 pm
5 comments; last on Jun 01, 2016

Memorial Day 2016 - Thanking a True Soldier

This veteran, Chris Brown, deserves our deep thanks for his achievement with Growing Veterans as Executive Director, a post that he has left. He will continue as President…

Dick Conoboy
Thu, May 26, 2016, 5:23 am
3 comments; last on Jun 08, 2016

Singing the Comp Plan Blues

As the city council takes up consideration of the comprehensive plan, citizen input is critical. Otherwise in a few years and in response to housing and land use…

Dick Conoboy
Mon, May 23, 2016, 5:21 am

Proposed over-water walkway is dead

The planned concrete walkway from Boulevard Park to the Cornwall landfill, using millions in Greenway funds, has been abandoned by Bellingham. We again thank the Lummi.

John Servais
Sat, May 21, 2016, 4:32 pm
11 comments; last on May 26, 2016

Breaking Free: A New Age Ghost Dance

Jay Taber, a strong environmentalist for decades, guest writes a harsh critique of the 350 org anti-fossil fuel demonstrations at the Anacortes oil refineries last weekend.

Guest writer
Wed, May 18, 2016, 4:46 pm
2 comments; last on May 24, 2016

Missing Options High School traffic study

Bellingham School officials expect a slam dunk by Hearing Examiner and city council on street vacation and conditional use permit. By Patrick McKee.

Guest writer
Tue, May 17, 2016, 7:45 pm
2 comments; last on May 18, 2016

Uber: Supporting the Troops?

Uber, the cheap ride taxi company, is targeting the troops to become drivers in ads disguised as articles in publications such as the Army Times.

Dick Conoboy
Mon, May 16, 2016, 5:20 am

Herons or Oil: Which are long term?

The March Point protestors this weekend will hopefully show serious concern and not disturb the heron colony near the refineries.

John Servais
Sat, May 14, 2016, 9:34 am
2 comments; last on May 15, 2016

No Coal Terminal at Cherry Point - Final

The Seattle office of the Army Corps of Engineers has formally denied a permit for building a coal terminal at Cherry Point in Whatcom County. Updated at 4pm.

John Servais
Mon, May 09, 2016, 12:10 pm
4 comments; last on May 09, 2016

Boring, predictable Trump plays to conservative Lynden crowd

Supporters say he will beat Hillary Clinton.

Ralph Schwartz
Sat, May 07, 2016, 10:47 pm
3 comments; last on May 24, 2016

Citizens: BPD dismissive of people of color

Group cites failure to investigate assaults on anti-police-racism marchers

Ralph Schwartz
Tue, Apr 26, 2016, 7:04 pm
5 comments; last on Aug 25, 2016

An Open Letter to U.S. Representative Rick Larsen

Also to all U.S. Representative candidates in the 1st and 2nd U.S. Congressional districts for the election in 2016

David Camp
Tue, Apr 26, 2016, 3:46 pm
1 comments; last on Apr 27, 2016

Five districts pass; GOP incites conservatives to fight map in court

Republicans rolled over and approved the Democrats' map to set the stage for a legal challenge

Ralph Schwartz
Thu, Apr 21, 2016, 8:40 pm
3 comments; last on Apr 24, 2016

Unanimous Yes vote for 5 county council districts

GOP vote for Democratic plan to prevent locked committee and then county council becoming decision makers of districting boundaries

John Servais
Wed, Apr 20, 2016, 8:01 pm
1 comments; last on Apr 21, 2016

Report on City Council Retreat

The Bellingham City Council conducted a retreat on 16 April to discuss a number of issues, including a set of proposed strategies to ensure "sustainable services."

Dick Conoboy
Tue, Apr 19, 2016, 5:14 am

OregonLNG quits: Cherry Point may be new target

Liquid natural gas terminal is rumored to be in planning stages for Cherry Point as the Oregon proposed LNG plan is abandoned.

John Servais
Mon, Apr 18, 2016, 11:55 am
6 comments; last on Apr 19, 2016

Deck stacked against Republicans at Districting Committee hearing

Fate of new county five-district map remains uncertain.

Ralph Schwartz
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 10:43 pm
5 comments; last on Apr 14, 2016

Don’t speak at tonight’s Districting Committee hearing

If you do, you better make sure you have something to say that's going to change someone's mind.

Ralph Schwartz
Wed, Apr 13, 2016, 9:09 am
3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2016

Bellingham Planning tries to sneak one through

The Sunnyland residents have just learned they have only today to comment on a huge impacting building project in their neighborhood.

John Servais
Mon, Apr 11, 2016, 1:06 am
11 comments; last on Apr 23, 2016

No sign of agreement as districting committee enters final phase

After a public hearing next week, the committee will be asked to vote on a five-district map for Whatcom County in two weeks.

Ralph Schwartz
Wed, Apr 06, 2016, 9:18 pm
5 comments; last on Apr 09, 2016

Proposed redistricting map for your review

The Districting Master (the official title) has submitted his map for review by the Districting Committee this evening. Here it is for your review.

John Servais
Wed, Apr 06, 2016, 1:14 pm
5 comments; last on Apr 07, 2016

BNSF: A casual approach to railroad safety

At Clayton Beach, we have tracked increasing erosion under railroad tracks and written to the railroads and federal inspectors. To no avail.

John Servais
Mon, Apr 04, 2016, 8:17 pm
2 comments; last on Apr 05, 2016

$15 Minimum Wage - Assured Debt Peonage

Accelerating efforts across the U.S. to install a $15 minimum wage are playing into the hands of big business and codifying enormously insufficient wages for years to come.

Dick Conoboy
Mon, Apr 04, 2016, 5:25 am
2 comments; last on May 24, 2016

Cherry Point coal port development put on ice

Work on EIS put on hold as coal companies wait for Army Corps of Engineers decision. Well, it was not in March. This is not an April 1…

John Servais
Fri, Apr 01, 2016, 3:49 pm
3 comments; last on Apr 02, 2016

Fuller calls on Coast Guard to ‘stand on the right side of history’

Activist contests $10,000 fine for climbing on a Shell oil vessel. Rob Lewis guest writes this report.

Guest writer
Wed, Mar 23, 2016, 2:37 pm

Voting guide for Whatcom Conservation District

Updated Wed, Mar 16. Tuesday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., any registered voter of Whatcom County can vote in person at the conservation district office.

John Servais
Wed, Mar 16, 2016, 8:26 pm

Will Cherry Point coal port be denied this week?

Updated 4:30pm. Helena, Montana newspaper says GPT may be denied this week by Army Corps of Engineers. US Rep Zinke panics and accuses Army of politics.

John Servais
Wed, Mar 16, 2016, 12:19 am
4 comments; last on Mar 24, 2016

Dems, GOP primed for legal fight over districts

Not even a letter from a coal terminal spokesman can save them now.

Ralph Schwartz
Tue, Mar 15, 2016, 12:04 am
2 comments; last on Mar 17, 2016

Districting maps E and F for reference

We post the next two maps to be discussed at the Districting Committee today, March 14. For the few who might study them and later contribute perspectives.

John Servais
Mon, Mar 14, 2016, 1:53 am

Democrats threaten legal action on districting

Legally threatening letter sent by Seattle law firm retained by prominent leading Democratic Party leaders.

John Servais
Sun, Mar 13, 2016, 1:06 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 14, 2016

The state of citizen journalism is strong: Two receive deArmond awards

The third annual deArmond dinner celebrated the work of Sandy Robson and Neah Monteiro.

Ralph Schwartz
Fri, Mar 11, 2016, 11:28 pm
2 comments; last on Mar 13, 2016

Potential Oil Exports From Cherry Point—Something else to put on your radar

What almost happened on the coast of Maine could happen here at Cherry Point. Portland, Maine, stopped oil exports - and Whatcom County can also. If we act.

David Camp
Wed, Mar 09, 2016, 11:20 pm

Durham, NH, - Surprise! - Rental Inspections Worked

Durham is an example of the efficacy of rental inspections, putting to bed the unsupported objections of landlords by presenting facts about conditions.

Dick Conoboy
Wed, Mar 09, 2016, 2:20 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 12, 2016

Dogged Pursuit of a Failed Vision?

Wherein, we correct some misassumptions but still ask the questions

Tip Johnson
Tue, Mar 08, 2016, 2:47 pm

Districting Committee: GOP accuses Democrats of gerrymandering

The Republicans made concessions on their district map but took a final stand at Nooksack, Everson and Sumas.

Ralph Schwartz
Tue, Mar 08, 2016, 1:15 am
6 comments; last on Mar 12, 2016

Idea for Our Times: Puget Sound Repair Project

Could this address the real problem with Puget Sound?

Tip Johnson
Mon, Mar 07, 2016, 10:40 am
6 comments; last on Mar 08, 2016

Districting Committee: Republicans lack legal compass

Republicans and Democrats remain far apart. Democrats have the legal high ground, but Republicans would go to court to challenge that if necessary.

Ralph Schwartz
Sun, Mar 06, 2016, 11:39 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 07, 2016

Punishing the Wrong Guys

Wherein someone's gotta do the right thing

Tip Johnson
Tue, Mar 01, 2016, 3:40 pm

D’Angelo undaunted by fine: ‘I had to make the moral choice’

Chiara D'Angelo comes across as emotionally intelligent and uncompromising in her high-stakes Coast Guard hearing.

Ralph Schwartz
Mon, Feb 29, 2016, 11:55 pm
1 comments; last on Mar 01, 2016

Elfo: Enforcement, Litigation or Risks?

Wherein inquiring minds want to know!

Tip Johnson
Sat, Feb 27, 2016, 1:24 pm

‘Goodwill’ wanted but lacking on Districting Committee

Republicans focused their efforts on torpedoing the Democrats' five-district proposal at the second committee meeting.

Ralph Schwartz
Tue, Feb 23, 2016, 5:01 am
4 comments; last on Mar 01, 2016

Anchor-chain activists face hefty fines

The Coast Guard has levied $30,000 in fines on two Bellingham climate activists. They will fight to have the fines dropped.

Ralph Schwartz
Thu, Feb 18, 2016, 5:01 am
16 comments; last on Feb 22, 2016

Jail Reform: Music to My Ears

Wherein sanity may finally be approaching a nagging jail issue

Tip Johnson
Sun, Feb 14, 2016, 8:54 pm
2 comments; last on Feb 19, 2016

Redistricting: Democrats may have upper hand

Republicans and Democrats traded barbs on the first day of the Districting Committee, but Dems may have won the first battle.

Ralph Schwartz
Tue, Feb 09, 2016, 5:02 am
5 comments; last on Feb 10, 2016

Stop the Rental Fires Now!

Inspections of rentals cannot begin too soon. Seven fires in rental units since 2011 and almost half with ONE landlord. No but the clock may be running out.

Dick Conoboy
Mon, Feb 08, 2016, 6:26 am

Super Bowl 50 - Wretched Excess

From all the monumentally boring hoopla to the shameful rousting of the homeless Super Bowl 50 exceeds all expectations for greed and excess.

Dick Conoboy
Fri, Feb 05, 2016, 12:45 pm
4 comments; last on Feb 12, 2016


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