July 2017 (volume 26, issue 7)

New County Council Districts Explained

Whatcom now has a five-district system to elect the council that governs our county. We will still have seven council members, but we will no longer elect all seven by a vote of the whole county. Each of the five … Continue reading

Noxious Fumes Hit Whatcom County

The smelly plume of sulfurous gases that wafted over Bellingham Saturday evening, June 3, 2017,  was apparently not an unusual occurrence.[1] It was caused by an overpressure event on the Italian tanker Mare Siculum anchored east of Vendovi Island, awaiting … Continue reading

Birding the Olympic Coast

Cape Flattery Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island began operating in 1857.       Photo: Joe Meche Part II Cape Flattery to Port Townsend After three days on the southwest coast between Tokeland and Ocean Shores, I continued my journey along the loop … Continue reading

Economic and Technological Transition

The following article is being reprinted with the permission of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.  It has been edited to fit. What’s missing from Donald Trump’s economically ludicrous promise to revive failed Rust Belt industries in the … Continue reading

Accountability Matters for Water and Treaty Rights

Do you make sure you have enough money in your bank account before writing a check for a big purchase? Of course. That’s what responsible people do to avoid trouble down the road. You would think that kind of common-sense … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at May 2, 2017 Meeting Shall the council: 80. Appoint April Bader to District 3 of the Noxious Weed Control Board? The board educates the public regarding the impacts and management of noxious weeds such as tansy ragwort, … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

The city of Bellingham and the Lighhouse Mission proposed building a low barrier shelter for homeless individuals at 801/807 Roeder Avenue. At the 4/24/2017 meeting, vote #69, the City Council approved sending a letter to the Port of Bellingham offered … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at May 2, 2017 Meeting Shall the commission: 56. Authorize the executive director to exercise a purchase option on the property at 801/807 Roeder Avenue? At the 10/16/2012 meeting, vote #159, the commission authorized the executive director to … Continue reading

Gardens Need Summer Heat

After a long winter of record rain, our Northwest gardens in July will be long overdue for heat and light to ripen our tomatoes and corn. An easily grown garden standby such as zucchini, however, will leap into high volume … 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

The Environmental and Human Health Costs of Automobiles

To celebrate 26 years of publishing Whatcom Watch, we are printing excerpts from 20 years ago. The below excerpt is from the July 1997 issue of Whatcom Watch. Americans directly subsidize driving to the tune of 0 billion per year. … Continue reading

Mary Loquvam and the York Farm

York Farm Staff.                                                  photo: photo: Bob Pescovitz Mary Loquvam was raised in Oakland and later moved to … Continue reading

Monuments and “Multiple Use” Don’t Mix

This section is devoted to studying the local impacts of specific issues the Trump Administration or Republican Congress will propose. “A person is forced by the sparseness of what is outward and visible in all this land and sky … … Continue reading

Lab Sale Sells Out Patients, Burdens Caregivers

PeaceHealth sold its Whatcom and Skagit County medical labs to Quest Diagnostics of Madison, N.J., in March 2017. This greatly disadvantages Family Care Network (FCN) patients and caregivers, because Quest labs will only automatically share test results with PeaceHealth, not … Continue reading