July 2017 (volume 26, issue 7)

New County Council Districts Explained

by Richard May 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 … Continue reading

Noxious Fumes Hit Whatcom County

by Michael Riordan 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 … Continue reading

Birding the Olympic Coast

by Joe Meche Cape Flattery Lighthouse on Tatoosh Island began operating in 1857.       Photo: Joe Meche Part II Cape Flattery to Port Townsend After three days on the southwest coast between Tokeland and Ocean Shores, I continued my journey … Continue reading

Economic and Technological Transition

by Tom Buckley The following article is being reprinted with the permission of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.  It has been edited to fit. What’s missing from Donald Trump’s economically ludicrous promise to revive failed Rust Belt … Continue reading

Accountability Matters for Water and Treaty Rights

by Lorraine Loomis Do you make sure you have enough money in your bank account before writing a check for a big purchase? Of course. That’s what responsible people do to avoid trouble down the road. You would think that … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at May 2, 2017 Meeting Shall the council: 80. Appoint April Bader to District 3 of the Noxious Weed Control Board? The board educates the public regarding the impacts and management of noxious weeds … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

The city of Bellingham and the Lighhouse Mission proposed building a low barrier shelter for homeless individuals at 801/807 Roeder Avenue. At the 4/24/2017 meeting, vote #69, the City Council approved sending a letter to the Port of Bellingham offered … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Andrew S. McBride Action Taken at May 2, 2017 Meeting Shall the commission: 56. Authorize the executive director to exercise a purchase option on the property at 801/807 Roeder Avenue? At the 10/16/2012 meeting, vote #159, the commission … Continue reading

Gardens Need Summer Heat

by Peter Heffelfinger After a long winter of record rain, our Northwest gardens in July will be long overdue for heat and light to ripen our tomatoes and corn. An easily grown garden standby such as zucchini, however, will leap … 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

The Environmental and Human Health Costs of Automobiles

by Jamae Pope To celebrate 26 years of publishing Whatcom Watch, we are printing excerpts from 20 years ago. The below excerpt is from the July 1997 issue of Whatcom Watch. Americans directly subsidize driving to the tune of 0 … Continue reading

Mary Loquvam and the York Farm

by Kathryn Fentress York Farm Staff.                                                  photo: photo: Bob Pescovitz Mary Loquvam was raised in Oakland and … Continue reading

Monuments and “Multiple Use” Don’t Mix

by Bob Schober This section is devoted to studying the local impacts of specific issues the Trump Administration or Republican Congress will propose. “A person is forced by the sparseness of what is outward and visible in all this land … Continue reading

Lab Sale Sells Out Patients, Burdens Caregivers

by Robert A. Duke PeaceHealth sold its Whatcom and Skagit County medical labs to Quest Diagnostics of Madison, N.J., in March 2017. This greatly disadvantages Family Care Network (FCN) patients and caregivers, because Quest labs will only automatically share test … Continue reading