About Tip Johnson

Tip Johnson is a longtime citizen interest advocate with a record of public achievement projects for good government and the environment. A lifelong student of government, Tip served two terms on the Bellingham City Council and has worked on many community boards and committees. He travelled with the Federal Transit Administration and Department of Commerce on mass transit trade missions in SE Asia and Africa before settling down to focus on keeping public interests at the fore of local government and the course of growth and development.

By: Tip Johnson (176)

Dear Vlad…

Anon letters trying to intimidate us and our writers are non starters.

Anon letters trying to intimidate us and our writers are non starters.


Someone apparently vehemently disagrees with Dianne Foster’s article of February 20, 2022 entitled, "Wait a Minute, We Got in This Ukrainian Mess… How?”. 

Northwest Citizen has recently received a spate of letters to writers of every stripe, written in anonymous hostage style, complete with glued on visual features. The letters uniformly warn that anyone associated with publishing the piece might risk the reputation of being a ’mouthpiece of Putin’, and insist the article should be deleted or ‘corrected’ within ‘the week’.

That’s not how Northwest Citizen works.

Northwest Citizen is a Bellingham based website that provides an opportunity for citizens to publish their (mostly, but not always) local views. It is one of the oldest political blogs on the Internet. Each writer retains the copyright for their work and no one writer ‘represents’ NWCitizen.com. Every writer’s opinion is their own. We have editors but no editorial board. 

This is central to the mission and purpose of Northwest Citizen. Even commenters use their own real names. We check them out. Northwest Citizen believes truly free speech issues from real people and is, as such, more valuable than corporate monied speech or the anonymous judgments of trolls. Northwest Citizen was founded in 1995 as a small counterbalance to the narrow media script that often fails to inform the public of important, alternate community perspectives. 

As one of the earliest contributors to NWCitizen, I welcome you to express your opinions, and invite you to submit a guest article to editor@nwcitizen.com. Most regular writers start with a guest article and find that personally standing behind their perspective is more fulfilling than scribbling graffiti anonymously on the walls of the internet - and that elevating individual complaints to open dialog in a healthy public discourse allows truly free speech to flesh out the facts.

Thank you for reading and contributing to a civil community dialogue. 

At Northwest Citizen, you will need to do it under your real name.

About Tip Johnson

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Member since Jan 11, 2008

Tip Johnson is a longtime citizen interest advocate with a record of public achievement projects for good government and the environment. A lifelong student of government, Tip served two terms [...]

Carol Follett

Jul 08, 2022

I am very grateful for a place for sharing ideas and concerns openly and honestly. Thank you to everyone involved with making this possible and keeping it civil.

We have had some very tricky topics in our conversations here lately. It is difficult to seperate ideas in some discussions. For example, there is no question that Russian violence, destruction, and oppression is wrong in every way, and caring people open their arms, their hearts, and their  country to refugees. We are dedicated, in principle anyway, to standing up to bullies. That said, we cannot be blind to the fact that this good heartedness is not equally spread amongst the bullied, victimised, and oppressed people around our planet. Think of our borders to the south, how we continued to do business with China in the face of the slaughter of Tibetans and demolition of their culture and sacred cultural sites, the disasterous situations in Africa, and the plight of the Palistinians. None of those situations get the “front burner” attention, financial, nor refugee rescue as this white, European country does.

And that leads to another very important consideration for us in a county that once had a KKK presence and exhibited horrible racism. In the midst of our lessons on systemic racism and white fragility, we have an influx of white Europeans from country demonstrating racism. I am not suggesting we turn them away!! I am suggesting we talk about this openly, and discuss how we can make sure we in Whatcom County continue to make gains against racism, and that it does not grow here again. 

Ukraine refugee crisis exposes racism and contradictions in the definition of human

This is a study from 2011-https://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/life-black-ukrainian-how-some-natives-are-treated-foreigners


Satpal Sidhu

Jul 08, 2022

I appreciate the place of NWCitizen publication in our community dialogue platform. Many people, who have this idea that US Foreign policy is always right (or it is patriotic to support US Foreign Policy!) need to review the past 50 years. America has spent (I may even call it wasted!) our blood and treasure on numerous international excursions, where there was no direct benefit to our National interest before we went in and after we exited. All the while, a large segment of Americans suffered huge income inequalities, homelessness, inadequate healthcare, deterioration of mental / behavioral health services, education debt and much more agony at home. Just a fraction of the national treasure spent on foreign wars / excursions, would be of tremendous help to our citizens. Our knee jerk reaction ever shifting foreign policy has created more US enemies in the world populace than the friends in past 50 years.


Pearl Follett

Jul 08, 2022

  Thank you for your service to our town .

We need to correspond at the highest level and not attack one and the other.

 Pearl Follett  



Angelo Tsoukalas

Jul 08, 2022

It seems extreme people on both the left and right have forgotten the importance of differing opinions, especially from our different organizations practicing first Amendment freedom of speech rights, e.g. Northwest Citizen, and even from our 3 branches of government. Where it was anathema to attack verbally or even physically members of these organizations and institutions once upon a time, now it seems to be proliferating and that needs to stop. I believe these are caused by ignorance of how our Constitution and Bill of Rights work and inciduous marxist and fascist groups that don’t care about them. In the late 1980s at UCF we would meet in our political science and economics debating halls and argue the politics and economics of the day; and then we would all go across the street to our favorite bar and grill and discuss sports and social events going on that week over cold beers, and definitely not hate and want to kill each other. We need to get back to that.


Jon Humphrey

Jul 08, 2022

FYI, Andrew Redding, and the Shewmake Cartel wing, of the Democrats are making the same demands of my Sharon Shewmake article. Even trying to make me stop writing articles they don’t like. Are they Vlad? It would make sense with all of the weapons money Larsen takes in from Lockheed. 


John Servais

Jul 08, 2022

Jon, no, they are not Vlad.  We think we know who he is and if he wants to stay anon then that is his right.  However, if he wants, I would be glad to meet him at one of the Bellingham or Fairhaven fine coffee shops and sport him a coffee and pastry.  And we can discuss.  And will still protect his anon status. Of course, Tip by implication in the above article is inviting Vlad to come out and write a guest article explaining his position and perspective on the Ukraine issue.  Regardless, writing nasty and intimidating anonymous letters is not acceptable.  Not civilized.


Tim Surratt

Jul 08, 2022

While I am not a contributor,I do comment on occasion.  I strongly believe that to state a position one must be able to publically stand by that position.  That is what engagement in civil discourse is about.  This site promotes that idea.  Otherwise, go to Twitter or Facebook.


Michael Ingalls

Jul 08, 2022

Just want to say “Thanks” for all y’all do - great public resource!


Dianne Foster

Jul 10, 2022


In talking with a Bellingham Police officer today, she was very interested in Vlad’s letters, and took the time to analyze each one.   They are now down at the police station,  just an FYI-   they are keeping track.

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Dear Vlad…

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Anon letters trying to intimidate us and our writers are non starters.

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