October-November 2015 (volume 24, issue 10/11)

Lummi Island Quarry Site to Be Protected Lummi Island Heritage Trust Strikes a Deal to Purchase the Property

by Rebecca Rettmer Following two years of intense negotiations with the court-appointed receiver, Lummi Island Heritage Trust has secured a deal to purchase the 105-acre Lummi Island quarry property. The property includes 4,000 feet of shoreline opening onto Smugglers Cove … Continue reading

Climatefest — Here in Bellingham on October 18

by James Wells It’s easy to think of climate action in only terms of response to threats. Whether we’re focused on the proposed coal export terminal or the various oil-by-rail proposals in our region, there is always a next threat … Continue reading

Silver Lake Park

by Joe Meche I pointed out in last month’s column that our late season push to find suitable sites for Grandkid Camping 2015 led us to an unexplored (by us) local gem at Birch Bay State Park. When I planned … Continue reading

Radio Antennas for Point Roberts Are an International Travesty

by Beverly Alder The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Industry Canada have requirements that mandate the placement of radio antennas a safe distance from populated areas. So it came as a surprise that BBC Broadcasting Inc., holders of the license … Continue reading

Hard Work Leads To Recovery of Summer Chum

by Lorraine Loomis Hood Canal/Eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca summer chum is the only threatened salmon population in western Washington showing clear signs of recovery. It’s thanks to a 20-year cooperative effort by state and tribal salmon co-managers, conservation … Continue reading

Bellingham City Council

Compiled by Boris Schleinkofer Action Taken at August 10, 2015 Meeting Shall the council: 151. Authorize the mayor to sign a settlement agreement in the amount of ,659? Claim payments in excess of ,000 requires City Council approval. A drainage … Continue reading

Port of Bellingham Commission

Compiled by Andrew S. McBride The Port Commission meeting scheduled for August 4, 2015 was cancelled. Action Taken at August 18, 2015 Meeting Shall the commission: 101. Transfer ownership of surplus computer equipment to electronic recycling services? This resolution provides … Continue reading

Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale Action Taken at August 4, 2015 Meeting Shall the council: 146. Appoint ten individuals to the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force? Four year terms: Stephen Gockley, Chris Phillips, Heidi Robbins, Jill Bernstein, Dave Finet and … Continue reading

Charter Review Commission

Charter Review Commission votes are in PDF format: October-November Page11 Charter Review Votes

County Ballot Measure: Jail Facilities Sales & Use Tax

Whatcom County Measure Proposition No. 2015-1 Jail Facilities Sales and Use Tax Official Ballot Title The Whatcom County Council passed Resolution 2015-024 concerning a proposition authorizing a sales and use tax for jail facilities. This proposition would impose a sales … Continue reading

Propositions 1, 2, 3, 9 & 10: For and Against

Proposition No. 1 Method of Electing Council Members Proposed by the Charter Review Commission Official Ballot Title The Whatcom County Charter Review Commission has proposed an amendment to the Whatcom County Charter concerning the method of electing County Council members. … Continue reading

Primary Election Results–2015

Primary Election Results–2015 in PDF format

No More Pipelines: At the Unist’ot’en Camp

by Stoney Bird Part 16 This is the sixteenth in a continuing series of articles that began with the January, 2014 issue of Whatcom Watch. The series addresses the impediments to democracy and well-being in American society – as well … Continue reading

The Thin Green Line Is Stopping Coal and Oil in Their Tracks

Northwest Communities Have Won Key Battles Can They Win the War? by Eric de Place and Deric Gruen “Everybody outside the Northwest thinks that’s where energy projects go to die.” 1 That’s the reputation our region has earned as an increasing … 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

Twenty Years Ago

To celebrate over 23 years of publishing Whatcom Watch, we will be publishing excerpts from 20 years ago. David M. Laws has been generous enough to volunteer to review the Whatcom Watch for 20 years ago to find suitable material … Continue reading

Patrick Martin, Dedicated Bike Commuter

by Kathryn Fentress Patrick Martin, 49, moved here from the east coast in 1990. He works at A-1 Builders as a project manager. His 20 year old daughter attends Evergreen College. He was responsible for the design and construction of … Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Metering Local Ag Water Use

by Eric Hirst During the critical summer months of July, August, and September, when stream flows are low and water temperatures high, agriculture (especially irrigation) accounts for almost two thirds of Whatcom County’s water use.1 Almost all residential,2 commercial, and … Continue reading