January 2019 (volume 28, issue 1)

Plastic Pollution: Cleanup and Prevention

by Ron Kleinknecht Part 2 As I wrote in Part 1 of this series on plastic in our environment, our oceans are awash with all kinds of plastics to the tune of over 5 trillion pieces. (1) These items are … Continue reading

Standing as an Orca in Boulevard Park

by Rob Lewis It is roughly three-and-a-half months since Tahlequah carried her unnamed calf (who died 30 minutes after birth) through the Salish Sea in a near mythic, 17-day vigil of grief. Soon after, Scarlet, a young female crucial to … Continue reading

An Idea for Birding in the New Year

by Joe Meche In the middle of December the weather often demands that I spend more time indoors. During these slower times, I think back through the year to see if I satisfied myself with all the birds that I … Continue reading

We’re Finding Common Ground for Salmon

by Lorraine Loomis The strength of the late Billy Frank Jr.’s vision and leadership is once again being called upon to help recover salmon in western Washington. Habitat, hatcheries and pinnipeds will be the focus of the Billy Frank Jr. … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at November 5, 2018 Meeting Shall the council: 173. Spend ,000 to purchase a quarter-acre parcel located between 25th Street on the east and the Interurban Trail on the west? The purchase will help the city protect the … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at November 7, 2018 Meeting Shall the council: 170. Fill two vacancies on the Climate Impact Advisory Committee? The eleven-member committee advises the council and executive on issues related to the prevention and mitigation … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Action Taken at November 6, 2018 Meeting Shall the commission: 152. Authorize the executive director to sign documents to close a ,000 loan to Cirrus Cycles of Bellingham? Cirrus Cycles manufactures bicycle seatpost to isolate the body from road and … Continue reading

Assessing the U.N. Climate Change Report

by Ray Kamada The latest Special IPCC (U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Report, authored by 91 scientists from 40 nations, says we’ve already warmed the planet by roughly 1.0 degree Celsius (C), (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). (1) And, if business … Continue reading

Climate Chaos, Tipping Points and The Final Buzzer

by Dick Conoboy The final buzzer indicating our last chance on climate change has likely already sounded, albeit muffled by ignorance, greed and downright stupidity. Cristiana Pasca Palmer, biodiversity chief at the United Nations, says we probably have two years … 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

General Election Results – 2018

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Stories From Inside the Whatcom County Jail

by Katy Cossette I am drawn to truth-telling as a journalist, which is why I find it important to tell the stories of marginalized people.Through my time in the jail, I have learned about the missing link of human connection … Continue reading

Marine Survival New Clues Emerging in Salmon Deaths

by Christopher Dunagan Part 4 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


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

Can We Fix Puget Sound’s Beaches?

by Christopher Dunagan Part 1 New numbers show progress in the state’s efforts to remove shoreline armoring, but they don’t tell the whole story. For the second year in a row, more shoreline armoring — such as rock and concrete … Continue reading

Fishtrap Creek Restoration

by Darrell Gray The Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association completed its first Fishtrap Creek riparian planting project with Harlan Kredit and Lynden Christian High School (LCHS) students in 1995. This would be the beginning of a long-term relationship with the creek, … Continue reading

Salmon Recovery Efforts to Be Led by the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe

Compiled by Helen Brandt, Ph.D. Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch, has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the January 1999 issue of Whatcom Watch. In June, 1998, the Lummi Nation, Nooksack Tribe … Continue reading

A Lawyer Looks at Health Insurance

by Robert A. Duke I think we all understand that insurance is protection against the threat of unaffordable loss. That’s all insurance, including healthcare insurance. But, Tom (not his actual name), Professor Emeritus of Law, and check-writing patient, sees health … Continue reading