February 2017 (volume 26, issue 2)

Character — The Content of Bellingham’s Neighborhoods

by Dick Conoboy Bellingham faces numerous housing and land use problems. Rents and housing prices are soaring while landlords undercut housing availability by buying up affordable houses to rent at prices that lock out families. Vacation rentals are beginning to … Continue reading

Oil Tankers Could Doom Puget Sound’s Orcas

by Nick Turner This article reprinted with permission by Crosscut.com and first published December 13, 2016. Canada’s recent approval for the construction of a pipeline in British Columbia could signal big changes for killer whales in the Puget Sound. Canadian … Continue reading

The Appeal of Birds

by Joe Meche From a statistical point of view, the popularity of birds has never been higher. More people than ever participate in bird watching and bird feeding while citizen scientists add valuable data in tracking bird populations throughout the … Continue reading

Climate Change is Damaging Treaty Rights

by Lorraine Loomis Climate change isn’t happening to some of us. It’s happening to all of us, and it’s going to take all of us to meet its challenges. A recent report from the treaty Indian tribes in western Washington … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at December 6, 2016 Meeting Shall the council: 226. Appoint Stephen Nyman to fill a vacancy on the Wildlife Advisory Committee? At the 7/7/2015 meeting, vote # 131, council created the Wildlife Advisory Committee, … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Andrew S. McBride Action Taken at December 6, 2016 Meeting Shall the commission: 195. Authorize the executive director to accept a property insurance settlement payment for Bellingham Shipping Terminal pier damage? On 12/9/2014, during a windstorm, the Horizon … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer Action Taken at December 5, 2016 Meeting Shall the council: 209. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of 2,811 to Hytech Roofing of Lynden to re-roof the downtown Bellingham library? The engineer’s estimate was … Continue reading

State Water Quality Permit Sacrifices Public Health

The coalition backing the following statement includes Citizens for a Healthy Bay, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club, the Center for Food Safety, Snake River Waterkeeper, OneAmerica, the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, Aqua Permanenté, the Waterkeeper Alliance, the Center for … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District Election

An election for one seat on the Whatcom Conservation District Board will be held on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden. Polls will be open between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. All registered voters residing within Whatcom … Continue reading

Repealing the Affordable Care Act

by Bob Schober “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” — Albert Einstein Editor’s note: With the dawning of the … Continue reading

Greenways IV

Please use this link to view the results of the 2016 General Election Greenways IV Levy. Greenways IV  

17th Human Rights Film Festival

The Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival offers the Bellingham community an annual 10 day film festival of powerful, thought-provoking films on the rights of people and Earth. The Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival is composed of volunteers whose primary goal … Continue reading

Listen, Don’t Scream

To the Editor, I did not vote in this election since neither candidate gave my conscience enough comfort. I now feel a small elation that Donald Trump has blown a hole through the corruption of our present regimes, allowing fresh … Continue reading

Seek Common Ground

To the Editor, I see the same facts as Michael Riordan, (front page, January 2017) but come away with a much different lesson. Based on the numbers in the same issue of Whatcom Watch, 37 percent of voters in Whatcom … Continue reading

Looking Ahead to the Spring Season

by Peter Heffelfinger In the middle of February we usually get a winter thaw: The cold lets up for a bit; the sun comes out a little brighter, and the hardy, over-wintering plants in the vegetable garden perk up, thinking … Continue reading

poetry watch

Boris Schleinkofer, poetrywatch editor “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.” — … Continue reading

Winter Solstice Thoughts on Fairhaven Woods

by Dudley Evenson To celebrate 25 years of publishing Whatcom Watch, we will be printing excerpts from 20 years ago. The below excerpts are from the February 1997 issue. Editor’s Note: In 1996, the Madrona Development Corporation of Seattle proposed … Continue reading

Erik Dyrland, Advocate for Kids

by Kathryn Fentress Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Whatcom County (Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden and Blaine) is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach … Continue reading