Cover Story

  December 2017

What Can We Do? Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency

Part II What a difference a decade makes. In the summer of 2008, then-congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) grilled commodity traders and oil execs as to why crude oil had rocketed to $146 a barrel. (1) Gasoline had hit $4.11 a … Continue reading

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  December 2017

Whatcom Water Use — With and Without Permission

With rare exceptions, everyone in Washington must have a water right to legally draw water from streams, rivers, lakes or from groundwater wells. Some farmers in Whatcom County, however, are using water without state authorization. Informal and undocumented estimates from … Continue reading

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  Oct/Nov 2017

Changing Climate: Adaptation or Extinction

Part 1 Let’s begin as a devil’s advocate. What is it with the alarmists? The world is warming, but so what? The Earth has always warmed and cooled. Why keep global warming under 2.0 degrees C.? For example, between 15 … Continue reading

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  Oct/Nov 2017

Atlantic Salmon in Washington State

Once a Prize, Now a Fugitive, State Agencies Weigh a Fish’s Future It was 1978 when Andy Appleby first interacted with an Atlantic salmon in the waters of the Puget Sound. A young biologist fresh out of school, Appleby was in the first … Continue reading

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  September 2017

Finding a Home for Farmworkers

Regulators and Non-profits Work to Improve Housing Conditions The air hung heavy with wildfire smoke and a muggy 83 degrees on August 2, the day Honesto Ibarra started feeling ill while working in the blueberry fields at Sarbanand Farms in … Continue reading

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  September 2017

Prepping for Doomsday

Many people in the Northwest are expecting the Big One. The Cascadia Subduction Zone, stretching 700 miles from California to Vancouver, British Columbia, releases a major earthquake approximately every 300 – 400 years. The last one occurred in 1700, estimated … Continue reading

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  August 2017

After 25 Years, EPA Cleaning Up Toxic Site Near Ferndale

On a marshy piece of land sitting in the shadow of the British Petroleum Cherry Point Refinery, just west of Ferndale and south of Blaine, sits a rusting collection of large industrial tanks connected by a spider web of pipes. … Continue reading

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  August 2017

Restoring Grizzlies to the North Cascades

Grizzly bears. Icons of the Wild West and the fear of campers everywhere. Many people would like to see grizzlies return to their natural ranges for their cultural importance and ecological benefits; others oppose their return for economic, safety or … Continue reading

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  July 2017

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

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  July 2017

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

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