At last night's regular Bellingham City Council meeting, they voted to authorize the mayor to negotiate the purchase of Chuckanut Ridge for $8,200,000. Public issues over this land go back to at least 1996 - at least 15 years - and were major factors in elections during that time. Some in Bellingham feel this is too much money to spend on a south Bellingham park project. However, the last Greenways levy was passed by city voters largely on the promise that much of it would be used to buy Chuckanut Ridge.
But here is why I'm writing this just now.
I'm posting the start of this article at 8:30 a..m Tuesday. The morning issue of the Bellingham Herald has not a word about this. Nor is there even a word at the online Herald as of 8:27 a.m. Yet at 8:07 last evening, Tip Johnson phoned me with the news. Even though the Herald is now slow in getting us breaking news because of reduced staff, I figured this would be posted. As I went to bed about midnight it was still not posted. Astounded, I was too tired to write.
This website has never aspired to compete with the Herald. I've spent years in the newspaper business and know the resources needed to cover the news. But last night I could have put the story together with two hours work and beat the Herald by at least 10 hours. Maybe I will look into this. The Herald is getting worse by the month. And, gentle reader, in case you have not noticed, I've not hammered the Herald for months. I've been trying to go easy on them. But this ommission is astounding. Our community lacks basic news coveage.
More later, my wife and I are off for a morning walk. Know you that the Chuckanut Ridge deal is a fairly sure thing and will happen this summer. Almost as if Pike planned it that way for the campaign season.
Update at 11 a.m.
At 10 a.m. the Herald finally posted a brief article taken from the press release sent out by the City this morning. The Edgemore neighborhood had sent the release around before then.
There is still negotiatiating to be done and some challenges. Western Washington University is hopefully going to help purchase the land - and this is not yet fully approved. WWU Board of Trustees meet on Thursday and Friday of this week and may approve Western's part of the purchase at that time. This is key to a successful deal.
NWCitizen has covered this issue for many years - going back to 1996. The real credit for this goes to the residents of the Fairhaven area who fought the proposed development and worked for the Greenways levy.