December 2018 (volume 27, issue 12)

Plastic Pollution Comes Home to Our Beaches

by Ron Kleinknecht Part 1 On a gray September morning, about 50 Bellinghamsters from infants to octogenarians trudged along Locust Beach under leaky skies carrying buckets, reusable plastic bags, grabbers and recording charts. All nonnatural items were picked up and … Continue reading

Feeding One-Fifth of Ferndale

by Nichole Schmitt “Just inches away from homelessness and hunger.” Anyone in our community could end up here according to Sandy (not her actual name). I met Sandy in the line outside the Ferndale Food Bank. A dozen of us … Continue reading

Winter Waterfowl

by Joe Meche For most of my life I’ve had a strong affinity for one of the most visible groups of birds — the ducks, geese, and related species that comprise the greater family of waterfowl. Some of my earliest … Continue reading

“Brain on Fire” and Misdiagnoses

Dear Watchers: In reference to “Brain on Fire” by Susannah Cabalan … Looking at the medical profession from the point of view of a journalist, doctors are pretty good at answering the Who, When, and Where, but dismal at What, … Continue reading

Need Two or More Candidates

Dear Watchers, Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), the method described in the October/November 2018 Whatcom Watch article, would not have been useful for all races in the recent midterm elections because RCV is only appropriate when more than two candidates are on … Continue reading

Tribes Release Habitat Recovery Strategy

by Lorraine Loomis “As the salmon disappear, so do our cultures and treaty rights. We are at a crossroads and we are running out of time.” These words of the late tribal leader Billy Frank Jr. become more urgent every … Continue reading

To Help Orcas, Eat Chinook

by Lorraine Loomis Don’t stop eating or serving chinook salmon if you want to help recover Southern Resident Killer Whales. It might make you feel better for a while, but it accomplishes little and makes recovering chinook even harder, by … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Roxanne Murphy resigned at the September 10 meeting. The at-large position will be vacant until the October 8 meeting. Action Taken at September 24, 2018 Meeting Shall the council: 143. Spend 0,000 to purchase 160 acres of open space from … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at September 25, 2018 Meeting Shall the council: 141. Authorize the executive to accept ,223 in federal grant funds from the city of Bellingham? (Public hearing held.) The city of Bellingham will administer the … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Bill McCallum Action Taken at September 18, 2018 Meeting Shall the commission: 133. Small Works Roster. Contracts under 0,000 fall within the executive director’s spending authority; they only require commission notification. Re-stripe Bellingham Cruise Terminal lots, 9,424. (7851/Consent … Continue reading

Whatcom Conservation District Election

An election for one seat on the Whatcom Conservation District board will be held on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. Registered voters that have participated in previous Whatcom Conservation District elections do not automatically receive a ballot. Ballots must be requested … 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

Could Anchovies and Other Fish Take Pressure Off Salmon and Steelhead?

by Christopher Dunagan Part 3 Editor’s Note: This series was originally published in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. An intensive research program in the United States and Canada is studying why so few salmon in the Salish Sea are returning … Continue reading

Skookum Creek Conservation Corridor

by Whatcom Land Trust Staff The waters of Skookum Creek are so clear that at times they appear translucent. The major tributary of the lower South Fork of the Nooksack River has a 22-square-mile watershed made up of wooded areas … Continue reading

Tribes Reclaim Stolen Lands

by Greg Hanscom Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the December 1998 issue of Whatcom Watch. Editor’s Note: This story of the transformation of Indian country was … Continue reading

Ancient Violence Is Still With Us

by Lyle Harris Sr. “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.” Those words, attributed to Abraham Lincoln, are as pertinent today as they were 160 … Continue reading

Shopping for Anesthesia? I Did

by Robert A. Duke Author’s Note: We are grateful to the physicians who contributed to this article under the condition of anonymity and the understanding that they “… obviously do not speak for PeaceHealth or their profession, but have the … Continue reading