February 2020 (volume 29, issue 2)

Bellingham’s Homeless Update

by Lynnette Allen The recent full moon and eclipse seemed auspicious, especially with the world happenings right now and it being the beginning of a new decade and an election year. Also rain, snow and threateningly cold temperatures this week … Continue reading

Plastic Recycling — The Long Con

by Vicki Thomas Plastic recycling is largely a myth, a huge, decades-long public relations fairy tale, told by plastic producers to foist responsibility for plastic pollution onto individuals and society at large. It has been enormously successful. We dutifully put … Continue reading

Who Cooks for You?

by Joe Meche The title of this month’s column might be a bit confusing or even misleading to some. Most birders, however, will recognize the mnemonic that mimics the distinctive call of the barred owl. If you’re in the appropriate … Continue reading

18th Annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival

This year’s Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival will be March 20-22, 2020. On the first weekend of spring, plan your activities around yet another exciting weekend at the Wings Over Water festival in Blaine. Events include field trips, boat … Continue reading


Correction to a December article, “Lake Whatcom Needs More Rigorous Action” by Laura Weiss and Karlee Deatherage. On page 6, the article said that only 64 properties participated in the Lake Whatcom Homeowner Incentive Program in 2018, which cost taxpayers … Continue reading

We Must Demand a Healthy Puget Sound

by Lorraine Loomis It would be easy to blame the Puget Sound Partnership’s failure to clean up Puget Sound on a lack of leadership, funding and meaningful authority to control pollution, but the truth is that we are all to … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at December 9, 2019 Meeting Shall the council: 208. Spend 5,000 to acquire a 0.44-acre of property located in the Lake Whatcom Watershed? The purchase will be made in connection with the city’s Lake Whatcom Watershed Property Acquisition … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at December 3, 2019 Meeting Shall the council: 272. Authorize the executive to sign a 3,770 contract (amendment #5) with Lydia Place? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #239, the council initially approved a contract … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at December 10, 2019 Meeting Shall the commission: 148. Set commission meetings dates for 2020? Meetings will be held on the first and third Tuesday of the month with a starting time of 4:00 … Continue reading

20th Human Rights Film Festival


“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 Do … Continue reading

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital and WTA

by Preston L. Schiller Part 3 This is the third of a four-part article discussing the accomplishments and limitations of Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA), the transit provider for Bellingham and Whatcom County. It salutes the many things WTA does well, … Continue reading

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

  Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the February 2000 issue of Whatcom Watch. Editor’s Note: In March 1999, The Initiative Group filed an initiative with … Continue reading

Votes by Elected Officials Pass 13,000 Mark

Whatcom Watch has been covering the meetings of local elected officials for 21 years. We began reporting Bellingham City Council and Whatcom County Council votes in 1999 and the Port of Bellingham Commissioner votes in 2000. We’re committed to continuing … Continue reading

Local Leaders Call on Legislature to Fully Fund Fish and Wildlife

Forty-five local leaders representing the conservation, fishing, hunting and recreation communities are calling on the Washington State Legislature to fully fund Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s 2020 budget request through million from the general fund. From Conservation Northwest: … Continue reading

Presidential Primary Ballots Will Be Mailed on February 21

On February 21, ballots will be mailed to every registered voter. This is the only election in which Washington’s voters are required to mark and sign party declarations written by the major political parties. The party declaration must be marked … Continue reading

Unity Village Will Move in April

Unity Village is a tiny home community of 20 tiny homes, which includes shared kitchen and dining tents, furniture, portable toilet facilities, handwashing stations, welcome tent, shower truck and shipping container storage unit. Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood has directed his … Continue reading