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 (180)

The So-called News

Independent media? Freedom of the press? Peoples friend, tyrants foe? It was a good idea while it lasted, educating the electorate and forming a mainstay of our democracy. Now, we’ve either elected Bu

Independent media? Freedom of the press? Peoples friend, tyrants foe? It was a good idea while it lasted, educating the electorate and forming a mainstay of our democracy. Now, we’ve either elected Bu

Independent media? Freedom of the press? Peoples friend, tyrants foe? It was a good idea while it lasted, educating the electorate and forming a mainstay of our democracy. Now, we've either elected Bush twice, or tolerated two rigged elections. Either way, we've lost something and the press does not seem to be helping.

Today's Herald includes another of a long string of articles written by developers to promote their project. In an article entitled, "Environmental study process to begin at port", Port and City officials paint another rosy picture for their scheme of privatizing the waterfront.

The Herald's practice of allowing developers to write their own press began with the Port's acquisition of the property, but didn't kick into full swing until the last Port Commission election. It is an enviable privilege not afforded every developer. David Syre, founder of the Trillium Corporation, had to start his own paper - The Cascadia Weekly - to promote his development agenda.

In today's Herald "article" written by the Port, they emphasize the appointment of Andrew W. Maron as their new State Environmental Policy Act official. He replaces Mike Stoner who is now being assigned to the project management team. According to the article, "The port commission appointed Maron to ensure that the port's policy act official is clearly independent of the project management team".

The so-called article describes Maron as, "an attorney with Short, Cressman & Burgess in Seattle" who "has served as a city councilman and interim mayor for Bainbridge Island and on numerous other community boards".

However, on his law firm's website, Maron is described as focusing his practice on "commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction law, and municipal law". His bio continues to detail that "in his construction law practice, Mr. Maron represents owners, contractors, and suppliers in all phases of the construction process: negotiation, contract preparation and dispute resolution".

Hmmm. Somehow they left that part out. Maybe they thought it would undermine their assertion that Mr. Maron was going to be "clearly independent of the project management team". Sounds to me like he is going to be an important asset to the Port in their development process. It used to be that the environmental review was done in the public's best interests, not the project proponent's.

I'm getting the sense that the engine has started and the train for this railroad job is already heading out of the station. Get ready boys and girls, 'cause it's your waterfront and things are going to start happening very fast.

The Port will conduct two public hearings establishing the scope of environmental review for the project. These are currently scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m., April 25 and May 2, at the Bellingham Municipal Courthouse, 2014 C St.

More on that later!

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 [...]

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The So-called News

By Tip JohnsonOn Apr 23, 2007

Independent media? Freedom of the press? Peoples friend, tyrants foe? It was a good idea while it lasted, educating the electorate and forming a mainstay of our democracy. Now, we’ve either elected Bu

Poisoning the Public - A treacherous legacy

By Tip JohnsonOn Apr 18, 2007

According to the Bellingham Herald, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources has recently approved leaving tons of mercury buried in Bellingham Bay. The documents are not yet readily avail

Your Waterfront - Up for grabs

By Tip JohnsonOn Apr 18, 2007

New Whatcom Redevelopment Project - The City and Port of Bellingham will hold public information a meeting. Bellingham Cruise Terminal. 355 Harris Ave., Bellingham. WA Times: 6:00 PM.

Also, th

What a bunch of hooey!

By Tip JohnsonOn Feb 14, 2007

The Pentagon, after weeks of delay, finally trotted out the “irrefutable evidence” that Iran is supplying deadly weapons to Iraqi “insurgents”. Wow! They produced two tables of weaponry with Iranian m

Moving Target

By Tip JohnsonOn Dec 11, 2006

One of the more momentous public hearings in Bellingham’s history appears to be ready to pass with more than the ordinary confusion. We wrote about some of the mis/disinformation earlier.

On th

Global Warming, Record Lows - Fiddling while Rome burns

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 30, 2006

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blockquote>”When do you wreck it as a system? It’s like going up to the edge of a cliff, not really knowing where it is. Common sense says you shouldn’t discover where the edge is by passing over it,

Public Process - Lots of it (kind of),

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 27, 2006

or I lied (sort of!)

In the previous post I complained that the biggest rip-off in Whatcom County history was happening without even being discussed or making it into the news. Well, I lied. To

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 26, 2006

The good? We are no longer spewing forty+ pounds of mercury vapor every day into the local atmosphere. We are no longer dumping 20 to 40 tons of polluted solid waste into our bay, ravines and gravel p

Long Run

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 19, 2006

Milton Friedman died at 94 years of age last week. Friedman was the maverick economist who implemented monetarist policies beginning with the administrations of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. As

Torturous topics

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 19, 2006

While we’re being proud to be Americans, don’t forget that George Bush just pushed through legislation that makes it legal for our boys at Abu Ghraib to have tortured and makes it legal for them to ke

Welcome to America!

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 19, 2006

Protesting and dissent is no longer supervised by the police. It is actively escalated to violence, punished and prosecuted. This snippet is about a fellow rotting in jail as the result of his journal

Let them vote on it?

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 19, 2006

Zetta Bracher, President of the local Democratic Women’s Club, has an idea for getting consensus on our “new direction” in Iraq.

When it became apparent that there were no weapons of mass destr

Hot Button

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 16, 2006

The war in Iraq is widely regarded to have been the “hot button” issue of the last election. I don’t buy it. Americans seem to like a good fight. After all, we get into a lot of them. The problem with

Plenty more to flush

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 12, 2006

Bellingham’s new, old mayor, Tim Douglas, got off to a great running start at his new job by dealing quickly and firmly with an important issue that threatened to embarrass the City forever - the form

Killers or Healers?

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 09, 2006

Congratulations, Americans. That was certainly worth voting for! Voters thoroughly routing the entrenched Neo-Con administration will help restore our world image, so badly damaged since re-electing t

Electile Dysfunction

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 06, 2006

Nope. I didn’t make it up. It’s from the subtitle of a book by Steve Bhaerman, under the pen name Swami Beyondananda. I have to admire the guy. At least he can laugh about it. But Americans should do

The 16% Solution

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 05, 2006

Results from the 17th year of a poll routinely taken by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News show that only 16 percent approve of the job Congress is doing. 52 percent of those polled said they’d pref

Swirling Logo

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 05, 2006

Hopefully the City’s new swirling logo will flush itself before it ends up glued on vehicles and emblazoned on letterhead. It’s horrible, but that’s only half the story. And we will probably never get

The Truth Fairy

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 04, 2006

Heading into the last days of this election season, George Bush and his Neo-Con Republicans have been strumming a familiar tune to promote their candidates. Republicans, they say, will

1) P

My name is Tip Johnson.

By Tip JohnsonOn Nov 03, 2006

Gentle readers,

My name is Tip Johnson. The usual editor of this publication has asked me to fill in for a bit while he is busy with other matters. Some of you have already written, following h