June 2016 (volume 25, issue 6)

Lake Whatcom Update: Decline of Water Quality Accelerates

by April Markiewicz The latest Lake Whatcom Monitoring Report by Matthews et al. (2016) is rife with terms like “atypical,” “unusual,” “not observed (before) in Lake Whatcom,” “the highest levels recorded at that site in 17 years,” and “unlike any … Continue reading

Gateway Pacific Coal Port Rejected — At Last

by Michael Riordan This article is an updated and expanded version of an article originally published in the online journal Orcas Issues. In the end, after five arduous years of coal and controversy, it all came down to fish. On … Continue reading

The Neotropicals Have Returned

by Joe Meche By the time you read this column in early June, the majority of our winter birds will have departed, winging their way to northern and eastern breeding grounds. The sea and bay ducks, loons, and grebes donned … Continue reading

Habitat, Hatcheries Equal Fishing

by Lorraine Loomis   I am deeply disappointed that the tribal and state salmon co-managers were unable to reach agreement on a joint package of fishing seasons for Puget Sound this year. It was the first time in more than … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at April 5, 2016 Meeting Shall the council: 57. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of 0,787 to Strider Construction Company of Bellingham for the South Pass Road/Saar Creek Bridge No. 212 … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer Action Taken at April 11, 2016 Meeting Shall the council: 53. Authorize the mayor to award the low bid of ,771,431 to Ram Construction of Bellingham for the water main replacement program? This annual program targets … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Andrew S. McBride Action Taken at April 5, 2016 Meeting Shall the commission: 59. Authorize the executive director to award the only bid of ,067 to VidTroniX of Shawnee, KS, for the annual paper supply used at the … Continue reading

Cherry Point is Far From Safe

by Fred Felleman The Salish Sea was just given a reprieve. We are indebted to the Lummi Nation for exercising their Treaty rights that resulted in the U.S. Army Corps protecting the Cherry Point Reach in their May 9 permit … Continue reading

Coming Soon: The Frankenstein Zombie Terminal?

by Terry Wechsler On May 9, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers responded to the Lummi request of January 2015 that it deny federal permits for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) in accordance with the Treaty of Point … Continue reading

poetry watch

“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 Boris … Continue reading

Sun Smiling on Local Solar Industry

by Jennifer Moon It looks like a bright, sunny day for Whatcom County’s solar industry. Solarize Whatcom, a campaign led by Sustainable Connections in partnership with three local solar businesses — Western Solar, Ecotech Solar, and itek Enåergy — recently … Continue reading

Cherry Point Pier Settlement: Additional Protection for Marine Resources

by David M. Schmalz Editor’s Note: In 1993, Whatcom County issued a shoreline substantial development permit to Cherry Point Industrial Park/Joseph Sheckter. The permit allowed the construction of a fourth pier at Cherry Point. Five citizen groups appealed the decision … Continue reading

Julianna Fischer: Student Activist

by Kathryn Fentress Julianna Fischer is a 22-year-old senior at Western Washington University who is graduating with a degree in Environmental Policy and minors in Energy Policy and Economics. She is being honored with the Community Service Award for her … Continue reading

Homeless in Bellingham

Photo Essay by Katy Cossette Dennis Crawford, 52, a resident of Bellingham, Washington, sits on the door stoop he was occupying as of Jan. 10, 2016. Dennis’s favorite part about living in Bellingham is the support system between people living … Continue reading