April 2017 (volume 26, issue 4)

Ecological Restoration at the Aiston Preserve

The silence is startling, broken only by rhythmic lapping of water on the shoreline. A heron takes flight across Smugglers Cove and lands in a tree on Abner Point, and three cormorants warily watch from their perch on the pier. … Continue reading

Pollution or Profit? The True Cost of Doing Business

When the pressure is on, we have to increase our resolve to work together to share the land, air, and water we depend on. Industry and environment can and must find a way to thrive simultaneously. One cannot flourish at … Continue reading

The Parts of a Bird

No matter how long you’ve considered yourself a birdwatcher or a birder, you probably started out the same way that everyone else did. Birds might have caught your eye at an early age and with your first field guide in … Continue reading

We Need to Do More to Clean Puget Sound

The health of Puget Sound is getting some much-needed help from efforts to reduce polluted stormwater runoff and a proposed new law that would prohibit sewage discharge from boats. Polluted stormwater runoff from urban areas is the number one source … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at February 13, 2017 Meeting Shall the council: 21. Authorize the mayor to sign an annual agreement with Whatcom Council of Governments for the Whatcom Smart Trips program? At the 2/27/2006 meeting, vote #42, the City Council voted … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

The following resolution was missed by Whatcom Watch. It was passed by the Whatcom County Health Board at the November 1, 2016 meeting. Support raising the legal sales age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21? (Council acting … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at February 7, 2017 Meeting Shall the commission: 16. Terminate a lease and approve a new one (amendment #8) with with the federal government? In May of 2002, the commission approved a lease with the U.S. Customs and … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District Election Results

For many years the Whatcom Conservation District counted the ballots. Starting last year, the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office was paid to count them. The auditor’s office provided a locked box for the deposit of ballots. The day after the election … Continue reading

How to Save the Natural World on Which We Depend

Editor’s Note: An international conference was held February 27 to March 1, 2017, in Rome, Italy: “Biological Extinction: Proceedings of the Joint PAS/PASS Working Group.” Leading scientists presented research findings and discussed solutions for the ongoing biological extinction. The list … Continue reading

Whatcom: Chronic & Acute

“America’s health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system” Walter Cronkite said long ago. Right on Walter! Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) has benefited 20 million previously uninsured persons, BUT repealing or replacing it will do little or … Continue reading

A Different Take on Neighborhood Character

The front page article entitled “Character —The Content of Bellingham’s Neighborhoods” by Dick Conoboy (Whatcom Watch, February 2017) had some inaccurate statements. I would like to address those so accurate information is used when considering the options for the future … Continue reading

The Conspiracy Culture and Fake News

At a rally in Florida, President Trump ranted about immigrants and said, “You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this. Sweden. They took in large numbers. They’re … Continue reading

Free County Publications Proliferate

In 2004 and 2006, Whatcom Watch published articles by news junkie Alan Rhodes about free publications available to readers in Whatcom County. Listed on the Currently Available Periodicals sidebar are 42 publications, one more than counted by Alan Rhodes in … Continue reading

Hold the Name Calling

To the editor: We value Whatcom Watch for providing information and perspectives on Whatcom County concerns that are not available elsewhere, and have been supporters for a number of years. I am concerned about the tone of the articles written … Continue reading

Museum Sponsorship Questioned

To the editor: I would like to share my disappointment in the leadership of the Whatcom Museum. Upon recently seeing the Winter Catalog (Vol 14, No 1), I was troubled and saddened by the picture showing big smiles and ready … Continue reading

Keep the FBI and NSA Accountable

To the editor: It seems some modern spyware make symptoms of mental illness into real possibilities. I read an article in mainstream media about an ex-serviceman who shot a bunch of people because he could no longer stand the pressure … Continue reading

Harvesting Crops Throughout the Year

Before plunging into the first plantings of spring, it is useful to look back and consider what survived the bouts of snow and cold temperatures that came down from Canada this winter. Beyond the vegetable garden, under the second-growth cedars … Continue reading

Double Dipping Doug – The Ongoing Citizen Effort for Accountability

Since January 2017, state Sen. Doug Ericksen has been at the center of a controversy around his decision to accept full-time work in Washington, D.C. during the limited Washington State legislative session. Sen. Ericksen continues to resist thousands of requests … Continue reading


“When power leads man toward arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the area of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” — John F. Kennedy Poetry … Continue reading

An Open Letter to Betsy DeVos

The name Red Wheelbarrow Writers is from the iconic poem by William Carlos Williams. They are a loose affiliation of Bellingham based writers. Meeting at least twice monthly to support, encourage and learn from one another — creating community, building … Continue reading

Local Author Discusses the Need to Protect Chile’s Forests

To celebrate 26 years of publishing Whatcom Watch, we will be printing excerpts from 20 years ago. The below excerpts are from the April 1997 issue of Whatcom Watch. Editor’s Note: The Whatcom County based Trillium Corporation purchased land in … Continue reading

Becky Spithill and Real Change News

Becky Spithill has masters’ degrees in environmental science and local government and urban/regional planning. She worked for city of Bellingham in water treatment from 1993 to 2000. She worked in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Government Accountability Office during the … Continue reading

Deportation, Here and Now

I’ll never understand how destroying families through deportation benefits our society. How we treat the undocumented says a great deal about us as a people and whether or not we’ll continue to fulfill the fundamental American promise of equality and … Continue reading