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My posts here were accurate

The October surprise is a week early. Today’s Herald has the carefully managed news of the land swap that John Watts alerted us to on Sep 11 - and which was then denied by the McShanes, Mitch Friedman and their supporters. I got some pretty hateful email from them over this issue and my complimenting John Watts for breaking this issue. The Herald had Dan McShane say that Kremen has kept him, Dan, up to date on developments. What a crock. His wife Lisa is in the thick of the processes.

Well - now the story breaks ‘officially’ in the Herald - putting the lie to the denials by these folks. It is breaking early because John Watts spilled the beans. This was apparently scheduled for October to help the McShane campaign. It was actually funny - after John Watts broke the story they denied it and after a few days they flopped 180 degrees and started saying ‘oh, that - why we have been working on that for 8 years. No news there. No secrets.’

So - the posts here were accurate despite my being labeled a liar. (see Sep 11 & 12 posts) Watts had a private little meeting with Lisa where she convinced John to post a partial retraction - a naive move on his part. For days I have been pressured to retract my posts. Friday night Watts apparently realized his mistake and quickly posted information saying this might break in the next week. It has broken within hours of his post.

Missing? All the details. And my information is the devil himself is in the details. Expect there to be private land involved and agreements to transfer development rights to some very sensitive land on Gailbraith Mountain. Who owns that? Mr. Syre. Syre reportedly has land options near the lake and this deal involves his trading some land and/or development rights. He may circumvent county land use regulations and create his resort community on Gailbraith Mountain - all as part of this secret deal. Now - it is almost impossible to learn the details of what should be a very public process. If I had the time I’d do a public disclosure request and try and learn from other sources.

Gentle reader, there may well be far less expensive and better ways for protection of Lake Whatcom but Kremen, DNR, the McShanes and Mitch Friedman - and I think David Syre - are putting this together in secret. There are benefits and perks enough for them all if this can be put together. I could have posted all this weeks ago but was hesitant myself because of all the anger and denials by this group. I should have ignored them. And I will now catch hell for this post. They are an obsessive and abusive group.

Is there a better protection for the lake than a park? Perhaps there is. Foresty land with careful logging may be better protection over a long time. And much less expensive. Parks sound so nice - but really the goal is protection of the watershed and parks can be a very expensive yearly process. Again, all this should be for public discussion - not a secret deal announced after it is put together and signed.

I can tell you this: this solution - this land reconveyance - will be far more expensive for all of us in Whatcom County than a land swap or revenue compensation plan that could be put together in public. The reason for the secrecy is to prevent public discussion of the alternative methods of doing this. It is against state public disclosure laws for this process to be secret. But who will act to make it public? Don’t expect the Herald to.

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]