October-November 2018 (volume 27, issue 10/11)

Ranked Choice Voting: A Better Way to Conduct Elections

Americans across the political spectrum are increasingly dissatisfied with their elected officials. Voter turnout is dismally low. Many citizens feel that their votes don’t count. Despite having it drummed into us that we are a democracy, our country feels pretty … Continue reading

Building Trust Between Journalists and the Public

 Steps reporters can take to build trust with the public: Be transparent — peel back the layers of reporting. Show readers where you found your information. Be clear where and how your interviews take place: in person, over the phone, … Continue reading

Defending Freedom of the Press

“We’re in the truth business, and the knowledge business, not the entertainment business.” — Pete Hamill, longtime journalist and author of “News Is a Verb: Journalism at the End of the Twentieth Century.” With election season nearing, you’ve probably been … Continue reading

The Southwest Coast: Cape Disappointment to Ocean Shores

It was with great anticipation that I finally changed my calendar to September to begin the countdown to my getaway for a week to Washington’s southwest coast. My anticipation was heightened by the stream of reports of large numbers of … Continue reading

Former Editor Returns

Hello again, Whatcom Watch readers. I say again because some of you might remember me as the managing editor of Whatcom Watch from June 2000 until July 2009. Times have changed, haven’t they? And, this little gem of a paper … Continue reading

Shame on Whatcom Watch

Dear Watchers, Stunned, shocked and stupefied by the Ericksen ad. You call yourselves a “grassroots environmental newspaper”? Hah! It’s common knowledge that Doug Ericksen is an enemy of Washington’s increasingly fragile environment. Shame on you! Warren Sheay Bellingham Editor’s Note: … Continue reading

Justin Boneau Will Protect the Environment

Dear Watchers, The 42nd District needs new representation! It is hard to fathom how Luanne Van Werven can be so out of touch with us, her constituents, with regard to the environment. During this year’s legislative session, she voted against … Continue reading

Move Forward on Water Quality Standards

In an unfortunate reversal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to reconsider our state’s new water quality standards — the most protective in the nation — based on an industry trade group petition that argues the rules will increase … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Action Taken at August 20, 2018 Meeting Shall the council: 113. Spend 0,000 to purchase 24.17 acres on the east side of Northwest Drive, just north of the Cornwall Church for wetland mitigation? The property will be purchased with Greenway … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Commissioner Bobby Briscoe participated via a communications link. Action Taken at August 14, 2018 Meeting Shall the commission: 112. Authorize the executive director to sign an agreement with the Whatcom County Library System for their “Library Liftoff” program? The two … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Action Taken at August 8, 2018 Meeting Shall the council: 122. Authorize the executive to sign a joint funding agreement with the federal government for the maintenance and operation of the county’s stream gages? (Council acting as the flood control … Continue reading

Whatcom’s Challenge: A Just Jail

When my young friend ended up in Whatcom County Jail as a result of unmanageable complications with his mental illness, I became alerted to a tragedy in our society. It brought up thoughts and feelings of worry, fear and curiosity … Continue reading

2018 Primary Election Results

Primary Election Results, pdf format: Primary Election , Primary Election2 , Primary Election3

For Clean Air, Clean Energy and Healthier Communities

With Washington air quality getting worse, we’re getting a taste of what climate change means for our future. Whatcom County had a record-breaking dry summer this year, resulting in fires, strain on our agriculture economy, and health consequences for everyone … Continue reading

A Nudge for the Nudge

A Volunteer’s Walk With the Clean Energy Initiative-1631 Ever since I received training in climate change issues in 2010, I’ve tried to be a nudge in my church, promoting the Community Energy Challenge, more advanced recycling, and so on. But … Continue reading

The Other Half of Gardening

Appropriate to the fall season, the squirrels are rushing about the tops of the Douglas firs, sending a bumper fall crop of cones to the ground, where the bushy-tailed rodents will harvest and hide the seeds before the rains return. … 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 Poetry … Continue reading

Volunteers Celebrate World Fish Migration Day

Volunteers with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) celebrated Earth Day and World Fish Migration Day (WFMD) with NSEA on April 21. One hundred and eighty stalwart volunteers came to NSEA’s campus to make a difference in the lives of salmon. … Continue reading

Size Means Survival for Young Salmon

Part 2 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 home to spawn. Studies by … Continue reading

Voluntary Simplicity Drives New Movement

Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch, has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the October/November 1998 issue of Whatcom Watch. While a graduate school student in the early seventies, I received literature from … Continue reading

When I Was Young

Since January 2014, Whatcom Watch, has been rerunning articles from issues printed 20 years ago. The below article appeared in the October/November 1998 issue of Whatcom Watch. Editor’s Note: If this article were written today, smartphones, the internet and social … Continue reading

A Powerful Rebuttal to Trump’s “Fake News”

Bob Woodward’s latest book, “Fear: Trump in the White House,” about Donald Trump’s fitness for office, has won strong reviews in major publications. In short, the book presents a crisis of leadership underscoring Trump’s inability to handle the job of … Continue reading

Is It Really You Your Doctor Is Treating? Or Is It a Surrogate?

Is it the biologically unique you your doctor is treating and counseling during an office visit? Yes, to the extent your history, gender and age matter. Mainly, though, she is providing preventive care recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task … Continue reading

Privacy in the Age of Trump

The president does raise problems we have with our spyware practices which do need our attention. He feels personally victimized, however, rather than concerned about systems failures. His attack is defensive against the ongoing Mueller investigation and justifying his firing … Continue reading

2018 Washington State Legislative Scorecard

Washington State 2018 Legislative Scorecard, pdf:  Legislative Scorecard