Cover Story

  February 2021

Solar Industry Has Grown in Whatcom County

Environmental laws have been burgeoning in Washington state recently, despite the federal downplaying of environmental stewardship under the Trump administration. Governor Jay Inslee announced an array of new climate-related policy proposals in mid-December 2020. If passed, these policies — dubbed … Continue reading

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  February 2021

Once Hearty “Hooligans” Declining in the Salish Sea

This article was first published in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. A river spawning species of forage fish known as the longfin smelt is rare and getting rarer in the Salish Sea. Biologists are looking into the mysterious decline of the … Continue reading

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  January 2021

Giant Hornets Could Decimate Raspberry Pollinators

Author’s Note: On December 27, 2020,  funding was finally secured through the “Murder Hornet Eradication Pilot Program,” which was signed into law by as part of the government’s massive 2021 omnibus spending package. The program, introduced by the Secretary of … Continue reading

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  January 2021

Drinking Water Harmed by Invasive Species and Pollution

We all have a lot on our minds these days, and the quality of our water might not be at the top of the list. But Lake Whatcom, the drinking water source for 100,000 Whatcom County residents, including Bellingham, faces … Continue reading

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  December 2020

Washington Conservation Corps Replenishing Bellingham’s Waterways Since 1999

Like their shoreline neighbors at the heart of the Salish Sea, Whatcom residents are fortunate to live in an iconic region with a taste of the ocean, mountain views and sweeping rainforests, accompanied by a temperate climate. Midway between the … Continue reading

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  December 2020

City Plans to Cap White Toxic Mounds

In 1992, a person walking along the water on Cornwall Beach (located at the south end of Cornwall Avenue in Bellingham) made a startling discovery: glass blood vials, plastic syringes and other medical refuse. The subsequent investigation by the Department … Continue reading

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  Oct/Nov 2020

Let’s Renew the Bellingham Transportation Fund

Vote Yes on Proposition 2020-14 Ten years ago, Bellingham voters adopted our local Transportation Fund. The fund is responsible for providing us with many of the repaving projects that we’ve been seeing in the last 10 years and nearly all … Continue reading

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  September 2020

Another Year When Ranked-Choice Voting Would Make Our Votes Really Count and When the Top-Two Primary Cuts Us Off Short

Yikes! Thirty-six candidates for governor. Thirteen Democratic candidates for president. Eight candidates for Congress in the Second Congressional District. These numbers are welcome signs of political engagement. It’s too bad the electoral system that we have (the winner-take-all system, coupled … Continue reading

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  September 2020

Post Point Treatment Plant Renovations

Big changes, namely anaerobic digesters, are in store for Bellingham’s wastewater treatment plant at Post Point, Fairhaven. The digesters would replace a pair of aging incinerators. They are the core features of the Resource Recovery project which will come online … Continue reading

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  August 2020

The Story Behind My 200 Columns in Whatcom Watch

Since I was informed this would be my 200th Beaks and Bills column, it seemed appropriate to trace the primary subject matter of the 199 columns that came before this one. And while we’re at it, maybe I can add … Continue reading

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