March 2021 (volume 30, issue 3)

Zero Energy Buildings Promise Affordable Housing

by Giovanni Roverso If people had more affordable housing options to choose from, more people struggling with homelessness would be able to find a place to rent, John Moon, Habitat for Humanity Whatcom executive director said in a statement. When … Continue reading

Blaine Air Force Station

by Hailee Wickersham The Blaine Air Force Station was one of 28 stations that was built as part of the Air Defense Command. In the early 1950s, the United States Air Force saw a need for increased aerial protection in … Continue reading

Bringing the Beach Back to Birch Bay

by Hailee Wickersham After decades of erosion, the county is restoring the bay’s natural shoreline. When a storm hit Birch Bay in 2018, it was accompanied by towering 11-feet-tall king tides, much like the storms the town had seen before. … Continue reading

Whidbey Island

by Joe Meche Just a short, relaxing drive from Bellingham is yet another place to check out if you’re interested in seeing birds in similar yet slightly different surroundings. Even if you’re not looking for birds, as some of us … Continue reading

Wings Over Water

Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival March 19-21 If you recall, last year’s festival was cancelled due to the early onset of the Covid-19 outbreak. Sad to say, the pandemic is still with us and is forcing everyone to be … Continue reading

Subscriber-Donors Are the Lifeblood of Whatcom Watch

You might notice Whatcom Watch isn’t covered with ads, like some publications. Whatcom Watch exists thanks to the names on the back page, our subscriber-donors. Last year, subscribers contributed 66 percent of our revenue, advertising was responsible for 34 percent … Continue reading

Increased Outdoor Recreation Impacting Tribal Treaty Rights

by Lorraine Loomis Already robust levels of hiking, camping, boating and every other kind of outdoor recreation in our region has exploded during the Covid-19 pandemic as many try to cure the effects of cabin fever. Increased outdoor recreation has … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at January 5, 2021 Meeting Shall the commission: 1. Modify a lease agreement with two food and beverage concessionaires at the Bellingham airport? A three-month rate abatement (July through September 2020) for Scotty Brown’s … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at January 4, 2021 Meeting Shall the council: 1. Authorize the mayor to allow the temporary use of private facilities to provide emergency Covid-19 responses? Current city code authorizes the mayor to “make and issue orders which shall … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at January 12, 2021 Meeting Shall the council: 1. Authorize the executive to sign a 2,717 contract (amendment #5) with Compass Health of Everett for behavioral health services? At the 12/6/2016 meeting, vote #237, … Continue reading

A Research-Based Approach to Parenting

  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 labor unnoticed … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District Election

An election for one seat on the Whatcom Conservation District board will be held on Tuesday, March 23, 2021. The deadline for requesting a ballot has passed; it was Monday, February 8, 2021, by 4 p.m. Ballots Mailed Ballots are … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Lichens

by Fred Rhoades • It was the best of habitats and there was Lobaria pulmonaria. • It was the worst of habitats and there was Hypogymnia physodes. Wouldn’t you like to easily tell how good the air you breathe is? Knowing your … 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   … Continue reading

A New Baby in L Pod

by Center for Whale Research The Center for Whale Research (CWR) is thrilled to confirm that a new calf, L125, has been born into the southern resident killer whale (SRKW) community. Following word that J, K, and L pod were … Continue reading

How Best to Resolve Nooksack River Water Issues

by Eric Hirst Background How can we best resolve long-standing water-resource issues in the Nooksack River Basin? These problems — primarily too little water in the river and streams during the summer — have been recognized for at least two … Continue reading