March 2017 (volume 26, issue 3)

A Short Chronology of County Water Shortages

by Jean O. Melious Water shortages will increase as Whatcom County’s population grows. Climate change will also exacerbate the county’s water shortages, resulting in reduced water supply in the face of increasing water needs for farm irrigation, home landscape watering … Continue reading

Spring Is Upon Us

by Joe Meche Spring will officially begin on March 20, at 3:29 a.m., PDT. For many of us, it can’t come soon enough. Given the climate, both physical and political, we need a break. The ice and snow over the … Continue reading

Salmon Management Process Underway Earlier

by Lorraine Loomis The 2017 state and tribal salmon season-setting process got an earlier start this year. Nobody wants a repeat of last year’s North of Falcon process that required a month of overtime negotiations and led to a delay … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at January 10, 2017 Meeting Shall the council: 1. Appointments to council-appointed boards, commissions and committees? Planning Commission, County Council District 2: Andrew Rowlson (incumbent), County Council District 3: Atul Deshmane (incumbent); Portage Bay … Continue reading

More than 11,000 Votes by Elected Officials

Whatcom Watch is the only entity that presents comprehensive coverage of the Bellingham City Council, Whatcom County Council and Port of Bellingham Commission votes. We’re committed to continuing with our reports; we feel they’re a valuable contribution to our community … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer Action Taken at January 9, 2017 Meeting Shall the council: 1. Relinquish a portion of a utility easement located within vacated “G” Street? (Public hearing held.) Sanitary Service Company, the site’s current owner, has requested the … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Andrew S. McBride Action Taken at January 3, 2017 Meeting Shall the commission: 1. Reaffirm Chmelik, Sitkin, & Davis as the port’s legal counsel for 2017? The firm’s hourly rate will remain at the capped rate of 0.00, … Continue reading

Mr. Ericksen Goes to (the Other) Washington

by Michael Riordan Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of Whatcom Watch or its directors. A storm of opprobrium has greeted state Sen. Doug Ericksen after taking … Continue reading

Yes to Housing, Yes to People, Yes to Sustainability

by Galen Herz and Rheanna Johnston It is no secret that working people and families are struggling to find safe, affordable and quality homes in Bellingham. As young renters in the community, we wish to share our stories and perspectives … Continue reading

Don’t Just Watch

To the Editor, We need to do more than Just Watch: be done with the entertainment. The Trump Administration is an enlarging, stinking Caecum of Lies, constipating the guts of the U.S. Government; while the media is gorging itself on … Continue reading

March Winds

by Peter Heffelfinger As an early herald of spring, March usually blusters in with winds and cold temperatures, but then settles down at the end of the month into a bit warmer weather. The annual temptation is to start digging … 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

Apathy – The Eighth Deadly Sin

by Marian Exall The name Red Wheelbarrow Writers is from the iconic poem by William Carlos Williams. They are a loose affiliation of Bellingham based writers. Meeting at least twice monthly to support, encourage and learn from one another — … Continue reading

Waltzing My Piano

by Jean Waight The name Red Wheelbarrow Writers is from the iconic poem by William Carlos Williams. They are a loose affiliation of Bellingham based writers. Meeting at least twice monthly to support, encourage and learn from one another — … Continue reading

Storm Waters Run Deep: Bellingham’s Solution to Toxic Stormwater

by Robert Johnson Editor’s Note: This article, first published in the December 2016 issue, has been revised and expanded. Annual rainfall is rising in Whatcom County, bringing with it big storms and increased water pollution in the form of heavy … Continue reading

Lummi Island and the Comprehensive Plan

by Albert W. Marshall Editor’s Note: Lummi Island has been spared the wrecking ball. In 2015, the Lummi Island Heritage Trust secured a deal to purchase the 105-acre Lummi Island quarry property. The April issue of Whatcom Watch will have … Continue reading

Shelly Grant, Dominick Manetti and Cascadia Volunteer Advocacy

by Kathryn Fentress   Shelly Grant, a Washington native, moved to Bellingham to attend WWU. She graduatedwith a degree in communication and a minor in creative writing. She stayed after graduation because she feels at home here, likes the people, … Continue reading

Truth Matters

by Lyle Harris Sr. Lies are destructive to democracy. In the short time Donald Trump has been president, he and his aides have made a deliberate attack on fact, truth and honesty. The distortions and outright lies have been legion, … Continue reading