July 2020 (volume 29, issue 7)

Untangling the Wires Understanding Tech, Recognizing Fiber

by Leslie Shankman This article is based on an ongoing conversation with Jon Humphrey, who has been a Bellingham resident for 10 years. Jon built his first computer when he was 12, and has been deeply involved in technology ever … Continue reading

Fighting for Everyone’s Right to Carcinogen-Free Seafood

by Eleanor Hines and Ander Russell Environmental groups, regional tribes and fishing organizations defend community health and critical protections for the consumption of Puget Sound fish. On June 11, RE Sources alongside regional tribes, environmental groups, water quality advocates and … Continue reading

As Light as a Feather

by Joe Meche One of Nature’s True Marvels As long as we’ve coexisted, humans have been fascinated by and even envious of birds and their ability to fly. We’ve been equally enthralled by their most prominent features … feathers. We’ve … Continue reading

A Bold Move on Salmon Habitat

by Lorraine Loomis The greatest obstacle to salmon recovery in western Washington is that we continue to lose salmon habitat faster than it can be fixed and protected. Until that changes, salmon populations will continue to decline. That’s why we … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at May 5, 2020 Meeting Shall the council: 70. Authorize the executive to accept two federal grants totaling 9,700 for county projects? One grant is for preliminary engineering, environmental permitting and right-of-way acquisition (federal … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Votes at the April meeting were not available when the paper was sent to the printer. Vote #39 at the 4/3/2020 meeting and votes 33 throught 35 at the 4/14/2020 meetings were approved 3-0. Action Taken … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at May 4, 2020 Meeting Presentation: Bellingham Emergency Management update on Covid-19. Of the 954 city employees, 851 are working on-site or remotely. The I.T. Department has provided instruction, resources, and support to employees so they can work … Continue reading

Bellingham Moves Forward With Phase 1 of Climate Policy Approval Process

by Alec Howard On June 8, Bellingham’s Climate and Energy Manager, Seth Vidaña, presented 10 actions from the Climate Action Plan to research further and consider adopting as policy. This step was a part of “Phase 1” of the larger … Continue reading

Opportunity Council’s Housing Programs

by Sheri Emerson Editor’s Note: There are over 100 organizations in Whatcom County working to provide supportive services to those experiencing chronic poverty and its associated effects: addiction, homelessness, incarceration, mental illness, and unemployment. Whatcom Watch believes these organizations often … Continue reading

Today’s Threats Against Journalists

Here is a sample of headlines from May 30 to June 1, 2020, illustrating the dangers journalists face, as reported by the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker. •  “The Buffalo News (NY) crew hit by police pepper balls while covering protests.” … Continue reading

Despite Threats, Student Journalists Head Into the Profession

by Jennifer Karchmer When I graduated from college in the early 1990s with a journalism major, there was no talk of reporter safety — where to get a gas mask to protect you from pepper spray or how to handle … Continue reading


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

Monarch Butterflies – Glass Cages and Biotech Corn

by Al Hanners Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the July 2000 issue of Whatcom Watch. Monarchs, America’s beautiful, magnificent migratory butterflies, are in trouble. Their … Continue reading

Five Solutions to Whatcom County Water Issues

by Eric Hirst At the February 2020 City Club meeting, Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu asked us to offer five solutions to the problems we think are most significant for the county. Here are my suggestions to deal with our … Continue reading

Washington State Issues Another Wolf Pack Kill Order

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a new order on June 19 authorizing the killing of up to two members of the Togo wolf pack in Ferry County. This may leave the pack with just one or two … Continue reading

Statement on Executive Order Undermining Environmental Review

President Trump has issued an executive order invoking an emergency section of federal law allowing significant environmental harm to wildlife and habitat without the normal Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act requirements. These laws require public input, scientific … Continue reading