December 2015 (volume 24, issue 12)

A Threat to Our Neighbors’ Environment

Bellingham Activist Helps Protect Olympic Peninsula, With Mixed Results Olympic National Park, Wash. – Residents, visitors, and wildlife are threatened by the U.S. Navy’s proposal for electromagnetic warfare training over the Olympic peninsula. Noisy “growler jets” likely could cause hearing … Continue reading

Kitchen Table Activism: From Hard Rock Mine to Nature Preserve

Part 14 Twenty years ago, who dared to dream that the Lummi Island quarry might one day become a protected nature preserve? At the time in 1995, a new operator hoped to expand the 10 acre pit to more than … Continue reading

Winter Is for Waterfowl

The typical sights and sounds of late October and early November evoked an avalanche of emotions from the past. When I was growing up in southwest Louisiana, the change from hot and humid summer weather gave way to crisp and … Continue reading

Introducing Northwest Treaty Tribes

Did you know that over the past four decades the 20 treaty Indian tribes in western Washington have reduced their salmon harvests by more than 75 percent to protect the resource? That tribes have restored thousands of miles of fish … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at September 28, 2015 Meeting Shall the council: 178. Grant a noise variance to the state of Washington for Interstate 5 paving and guardrail work? Construction work in residentially zoned areas between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. requires … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at October 6, 2015 Meeting Shall the commission: 126. Authorize the modification of a lease agreement with Comcast Cable Communications for the licensing of port-owned conduit? In August 2000, the Port of Bellingham and Comcast Cable entered into … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at September 29, 2015 Meeting Shall the council: 171. Approve a ,000 contract (amendment #9) with Van Ness Feldman, GordonDerr of Seattle for legal representation in a Growth Management Hearings Board case? The law firm is representing the … Continue reading

Critique of WTA’s 2015 Strategic Plan Update

The Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) provides many useful services to many citizens in Bellingham and a few destinations outside of the major Whatcom County city. Its buses are clean and comfortable, and its staff at all levels is friendly and … Continue reading

Voting and Vote Counting with Integrity

Trustworthy Elections require a voting system with solid integrity, protected from tampering or corruption of the tallies of votes cast. This review does not deal with who can cast a ballot (registration, etc.) — which are valid concerns. This analysis … Continue reading

Whatcom County Hands Coal a Sack of No

Big Coal’s Gerrymandering Scheme Mostly Thwarted Election results are in for Whatcom County, Washington, where a proposal for a giant coal export terminal puts communities on the front lines of the fight against dirty energy. Thanks to a flood of … Continue reading

Racism, Slavery and War: The Foundations of Capitalism

Part 17 This is the seventeenth in a continuing series of articles that began with the January, 2014 issue of Whatcom Watch. The series addresses the impediments to democracy and well being in American society. “While many mid-nineteenth-century Europeans had … 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

Twenty Years Ago: The Fifties Are Gone Forever

To celebrate the 24th year of publishing Whatcom Watch, we will be printing excerpts from 20 years ago. David M. Laws has been generous enough to volunteer to review the Whatcom Watch for 20 years ago to find suitable material … Continue reading

Mary Trask Sends Bicycles to Africa

Mary Trask was born and raised in the Midwest and moved to Washington 20 years ago. This summer, she and her family relocated to Bellingham. She recently organized a local drive to send bikes to Africa. Kathryn: Have you done … Continue reading