February 2022 (volume 31, issue 2)

Good News: Tiny Forests Help Slow Climate Change

Editor’s Note: This article marks the beginning of a new column, “Beyond Fossil Fuels.”  by Vicki Thomas Climate change has become frighteningly real in the last year here in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve been pummeled by alternating extremes of heat/drought/wildfire … Continue reading

Oregon Spotted Frog Needs Local Help

by Lorraine Wilde Endemic to the Pacific Northwest and historically distributed in the Puget Trough/Willamette Valley province and the Cascade Mountains of south-central Washington and Oregon, the Oregon spotted frog (OSF) has been lost from more than 78 percent of … Continue reading

Birding Anacortes

by Joe Meche It’s been a while since we celebrated Cindy’s birthday with a getaway, so this year I decided to take her someplace she’s never been. For that matter, I had never been to the Fidalgo Bay Resort, either. … Continue reading

Salmon Recovery Will Take More Than Money

by Ed Johnstone There’s no doubt about it. The Biden administration is working hard to pay the price for salmon recovery. The .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill is just an example. We have never seen so much political will and … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at December 2, 2021 Special Meeting Shall the council: 295. Certify amounts to be levied in 2022 by Whatcom County taxing districts? State law requires county level legislative authorities to certify the amount of … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at December 6, 2021 Meeting Mayor’s Report The mayor provided an update regarding city employees’ vaccinations. At the end of summer, the mayor signed an order requiring all city employees be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 by 12/3/2020 as … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at December 7, 2021 Meeting Shall the commission: 132. Authorize the sale of one vessel for the nonpayment of moorage fees? An auction was held on January 6 at the Squalicum Harbor office for … Continue reading

We Watch For You

Whatcom Watch has been covering the meetings of local elected officials for 23 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

Book Review of “Second Rising”

Second Rising by Carolyn Dale Cairn Shadow Press, 2020 425 pages, paperback, .00 ISBN-10: 1734135204 ISBN-13: 978-1734135206 Reviewed by Glen Larum “Second Rising,” a novel by Carolyn Dale, Bellingham resident and emeritus Western Washington University journalism associate professor, is the … Continue reading

Dealing With Extreme Weather

by Stevan Harrell Is Whatcom’s Harsh Weather Due to Climate Change? As we move on from 2021, we won’t soon forget what its weather did to us. In June, we had record high temperatures everywhere, reaching 99 degrees Fahrenheit in … Continue reading

Services Provided for East County Residents

by Jessica Bee If you have taken a trip east on Mt. Baker Highway for skiing, snowboarding, hiking or birding, you’ve traveled through several unincorporated hamlets. First, Nugents Corner and Deming, then, as you pass Highway 9 South, you are … Continue reading

Regional Resource Center Services

Grab and Go Help • Community flyers • Copies • Faxes • Masks and other health items • Courtesy Phone  • Little Free Library  • Clothing/household items • Job search and Resume help • Employment Hot Sheet with current local job openings • Starter Emergency Kit from PSE for Qualified … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District  Ballot Deadline

Notice of Election Whatcom Conservation District will hold a poll-site and mail-in ballot election for one seat on the District Board. Poll-site voting will be held on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at the district’s office at 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden. … Continue reading

New Bill Would Hold Big Oil Accountable

by Laura Feinstein HB 1691 protects taxpayers from the cleanup costs that should be the responsibility of the oil industry. Takeaways • “Self-insurance” has proved an insufficient financial protection for communities against oil spills, explosions, and leaks. • Washington communities too often … Continue reading

Refinery Communities Deserve a Transition Plan

by Zane Gustafson The long-term stability of Washington’s five oil refineries is in doubt. But that doesn’t mean the workers and local communities who support this industry have to share its fate. If local leaders start planning now, communities like … Continue reading

Contribute to Whatcom Watch

by Sally Hewitt As the editor of Whatcom Watch, I’m constantly on the lookout for new writers and often solicit articles for publication. This month, we’re putting out the call for writers. Whatcom Watch has no reporters per se and … 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 Do … Continue reading

The Sex Life of Rockfish

Editor’s Note: This story has a happy ending. It appears the rockfish population has recovered in the past 20 years. https://www.seafoodsource.com/news/environment-sustainability/us-west-coast-rockfish-recovery-hailed-as-success-story-by-edf. by Peter Huhtala   “I could feel the electricity in the water around me,” reflects diver Eric Eisenhardt. “Fish … Continue reading

A Republic, if Words Can Keep It

by Dan Klefstad Before the ink was dry on the U.S. Constitution, someone asked Ben Franklin what he and the other founders created. “A republic, if you can keep it” is his reputed reply. Two hundred thirty-five years later I … Continue reading