December 2019 (volume 28, issue 12)

Páatstel Creek

On October 29, the Washington State Committee on Geographic Names finalized its recommendation to change the name of Squaw Creek northeast of Lynden to Páatstel Creek. Páatstel is the original name for this creek in the Nooksack language, and the … Continue reading

Lake Whatcom Needs More Rigorous Action

A restored and permanently protected Lake Whatcom Reservoir to serve as the primary source of clean drinking water for current and future Bellingham and Whatcom County residents that requires minimal chemical treatment to exceed all standards of the Safe Drinking … Continue reading

Winter Birds of Whatcom County

With Hats Off to Roger Tory Peterson By the time you read this column in early December, most of our winter birds should be well situated in their respective habitats. Another seasonal transition is behind us, and, for the most … Continue reading

Habitat Work Shows Promise of Salmon Recovery

Treaty tribes are encouraged by fish passage improvement projects in the Puget Sound region and other projects that will open access to many miles of good salmon spawning and rearing habitat. They are clear examples of the kinds of action … Continue reading

Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition a Return to Cooperation

The Billy Frank Jr. Salmon Coalition is looking forward to another year of working together to accomplish responsible management through responsible leadership. We formed the coalition of tribal, state and local policy leaders, sport and commercial fishermen, conservation groups, scientists, … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at September 24, 2019 Meeting Shall the council: 198. Authorize the executive to sign an agreement with the city of Bellingham? The agreement will permit the city of Bellingham radio shop to provide installation, maintenance, and repair services … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at September 23, 2019 Meeting Shall the council: 163. Authorize the mayor to sign a mutual aid agreement with the Washington [state] Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network? Emergencies may require aid or assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at October 8, 2019 Meeting Shall the commission: 117. Authorize the executive director to renew the port’s liability and auto insurance coverage? The coverage includes terrorism; for the airport it includes terrorism and war. The premium from 10/1/2019 … Continue reading

Combating Climate Change on a Local Level

Climate change is already impacting our health, environment and economy in Whatcom County, and its effects will only accelerate in the future. Meanwhile, cities and counties across the country are coming to grips with what they must do to mitigate … Continue reading

Whatcom County Climate Impact Advisory Committee

At the December 5, 2017 meeting, the Whatcom County Council voted to establish the Climate Impact Advisory Committee. The committee consists of 11 voting members with the council appointing the members. It will advise the County Council on the implementation … Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Port of Bellingham Commissioners

I am concerned with both the slow pace of development of the Granary building and what appears to be a significant lack of integrity of Harcourt Bellingham, LLC. Based on news reports, they appear to be more of a buy-low, … Continue reading

Gardening in Autumn

Garlic and Shallots Just before Halloween, the early fall rains finally ceased and the clay soil in my garlic and shallot patch on the Skagit Flats dried out enough to be worked into raised beds. The dikes on the nearby … 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 Do … Continue reading

Our Tax System Rewards Polluters

Last year, the biggest fossil fuel companies paid zero dollars in taxes — and actually received billions in rebates. Distributed by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who sparked student protests across the globe, had this to tell … Continue reading

The EPA’s War On Science Continues

The EPA wants to ban research that doesn’t violate the privacy of its subjects. That means less science — and fewer rules for polluters. by Jill Richardson Distributed by The Trump EPA wants to introduce a new rule: Its … Continue reading