It Is Not a Vote to Save The Forest

Permalink +

Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 12:26 am  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Margie ( Hanson) Haskell 

Vote no on Prop. 1, metropolitan park district. This is not a vote to save the forest, as I believe proponents say. It is a vote for some Southside neighborhoods to become an metropolitan park district. People from all over Bellingham own and enjoy Chuckanut Woods, not just those neighborhoods, and therefore all Bellingham taxpayers should repay the loan the city owes for this purchase. Creating a park district with five commissioners adds a layer of government bureaucracy and levies new property taxes on those few Southside owners.

Proponents say the tax will be 28 cents per $1,000 of property valuation, but state law permits up to 75 cents per $1,000. And the commissioners may buy land and take on additional debt inside or outside of the metropolitan park district. Proponents say it will end in 10 years, once the loan is paid off. Dissolving a metropolitan park district is possible only by RCW 35.61.310. I believe it is highly unlikely to ever happen.

They chose a few Southside neighborhoods to be the metropolitan park district because they think that is where most of the wealthy people live. However, there are also low-, middle- and fixed-income households who may end up paying for future acquisitions, or whatever the five commissioners decide to acquire. They may expand boundaries.

Rather than pitting neighbors against each other over what I believe to be an unfair tax hike, city government should find a real solution to the problem they created. They have five years to pay this loan off.

Steve Wilson  //  Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 7:36 am

Surprised to find another guest columnist rehashing the same mis-information. Sorry Margi, but this IS a vote to keep the forest intact.  And, in response to your assertion that city government should find a solution to the problem I would reply, ‘when the people lead, the leaders will follow’.  Give democracy a chance and become part of the solution.  You might just enjoy it.

John Lesow  //  Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 10:36 am

Would an assessment of $78 per year on a $250,000 home be worth the investment in retaining the entire Chuckanut Ridge property intact?  Absolutely.  I don’t live near Chuckanut Ridge, but I would gladly contribute $78 a year to preserve this unique civic treasure.

The acquisition of Lily Point in Point Roberts was possible in part because of Conservation Futures funds—public money.  Due to it’s remote location, one could argue that Lily Point does not offer the public benefit of easy access to the vast majority of County taxpayers.  However, the environmental value of Lily Point far exceeded the speculative value of development.  Had the proposed plans for condos and a golf course for the Lily Point property been realized 20 years ago, the result would have been a loss for investors and owners.  Witness the $10 million loss for investors in the first ill-fated Point Roberts Golf and Country Club in 1994. 

The short term benefits of home construction in inappropriate locations are always outweighed by the infrastructure costs of servicing lots that should never have been approved for development in the first place.  Current development on the slopes below Chuckanut Ridge has resulted in private and public costs due to slope instability, runoff, etc. 

There is no public benefit in the development of the land in question, nor is there any reasonable assurance that other suggested methods of funding the purchase will succeed.  The initiative that has been proposed is a responsible one and should be approved by the voters.

Christopher Grannis  //  Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 11:07 am

Here are statements from 6 candidates who are committed to the single purpose of paying off the loan at the stated rate of $28/$100,000 Assessed Value for 10 years and preserving the property as a park, forever, and to then terminate the Park District.

Position 1:
Cathy McKenzie, South Neighborhood
For the past decade, I have been actively involved in efforts to preserve the Hundred Acre Wood for the long-term benefit of future generations and to promote responsible infill within our neighborhoods. Maintaining the integrity of this keystone habitat block is essential if we want to encourage dense infill along our existing Southside commercial and transportation arterials while protecting the Padden, Chuckanut, and California Creek watersheds; maintaining a functional wildlife corridor for sensitive species which depend on travel between the Mount Baker wilderness, the Chuckanut Mountains, and Bellingham Bay; and providing a real connection to nature within walking distance of those urban dwellers who most need it.
As an Earthwatch volunteer, I recently spent several weeks on a research expedition in Madagascar, where 90% of the native forests have been destroyed by human activity. I want to help prevent Bellingham from continuing on a similar path. Here, the Chuckanut Community Forest is the only remaining mature forested wetlands ecosystem within City limits. Its educational, ecological, and recreational value depends on it remaining intact and publicly owned and managed. 
I support the proposed Chuckanut Community Forest Metropolitan Park District because it is the only viable, democratically representative way to ensure that the $3.2 million Greenways III inter-fund loan is repaid and the property remains unfragmented and is protected and remains publicly accessible in perpetuity. If elected as Commissioner, Position 1, I will do whatever I can to represent your interests and ensure:

  the tax levy does not exceed 28 cents per $1,000 assessed property value;

  the district is narrowly focused, as intended, on paying off off the inter-fund loan and securing long-term protections and publicly reflected management practices; and

  if the community so desires, the MPD will dissolve as soon as the loan is repaid and adequate protective agreements/conservation easements are in place.

Position 2:
John Hymas, Happy Valley
I recently submitted my application with the County Auditor’s Office as a candidate for one of five Chuckanut Community Forest Park commissioners that will appear on the February ballot for part of the Southside.  The main issue is to create a self-taxing park district to pay back the City for finally buying the “One Hundred Acre Wood”/”Chuckanut Ridge” outright.  Dedicated Greenways funds were used for most of the purchase, but the Greenways Endowment Fund was tapped for a 3.2 million loan to complete the deal.  Questionable rezoning of this environmentally precious property in the 1980s sparked the three successful Greenways Initiatives since then without properly securing the entire parcel.  If the Initiative passes those residents will be taxed 28 cents per $1,000.00 assessed value in property taxes for ten years.  It will then be preserved in the City park system for eternity.
After nearly 30 years of community opposition to the threatened destruction of a critical forested wetland jewel in the City, we have the chance to protect it, and bail the City out of the embarrassing situation of having to sell off a large portion to repay the Greenway Endowment Fund.  Most of us on the Southside love and use our parks and trail system.  Many take them for granted.  I don’t.  Vote for the initiative and vote for me.

Dan Remsen, South
I am committed to limiting this effort to levying a tax sufficient to pay off the Greenways inter-fund loan ($28/$100,000 AV), securing permanent protection for this ecologically valuable city park, and terminating the MPD.  It is that simple.  If we want it, we need to pay for it.  Then let the City of Bellingham Parks Department and the Greenways program do what they have long done so well.

Position 3:
Susan Kaun, Fairhaven
As a candidate for the proposed Chuckanut Community Forest District, Position 3, I believe it is essential for the entire 85 acres of the new District to remain intact and permanently protected for the benefit of fish and wildlife in the Padden Creek and Chuckanut Creek watersheds, and the well-being of the citizens of Bellingham.
Best available science from the City’s Wildlife and Habitat Assessment, December 1995, prepared by Nahkeeta Northwest, identified and recommended this site as a ‘Significant Habitat Conservation Area’:
    “The total area is significantly valuable habitat…Preservation of wetland and upland habitats, as well as the Interurban corridor are necessary for the function of this area to support current species composition, which require both wetland and terrestrial habitats. Attributes include: significant intact wetland/upland complex, the greatest diversity of amphibians in the City, species rich and abundant breeding and resident birds, red fox and other uncommon medium-small mammals, a Sitka spruce community (rare within the City), fawning areas, presence of species of concern and species of local significance, major corridor connecting Padden and Chuckanut watersheds.”
If elected, my goal is to repay the loan the City of Bellingham made to purchase the site, so the City will not need to sell any of the land.

Position 4:
Vince Biciunas, Fairhaven
Many of us have been working for years trying to preserve the natural gem that we know as Hundred Acre Wood and Chuckanut Ridge.
We understand its value as a wildlife corridor between the Cascade Range and the Salish Sea. We appreciate the value of its wetlands, its streams and its forest. We rejoiced when the City of Bellingham was able to accomplish the purchase of 82 acres of the property in the summer of 2011.
Now we must complete the financing bargain of repaying the intra-city fund that needs $3.2M to be whole. The vehicle of a Metropolitan Park District is the best way to carry this out. We can do this with a levy on ourselves, the five south side neighborhoods, of $.28 per $1,000 valuation, and do it within ten years.
If we are unsuccessful in this endeavor, we will be the ones suffering the negative consequences of high-density development on these sensitive lands.
As a candidate for the commission’s Position 4, I pledge to hold the levy to this amount or less, conserve the land for wildlife protection and citizen education and recreation and if still in office, expect to sunset the park district as soon as the loan is re-paid.

Position 5:
John Brown, Fairhaven
If elected as Park District (PD) commissioner, I pledge to run for re-election when my term is up and to carry through the PD’s purpose:  to save the WHOLE of Chuckanut Ridge from development, and to retire the inter-city loan of +$3 million.  When the loan is retired, I anticipate that the commissioner board will sunset.  Saving the Ridge protects precious wetlands, ensures wildlife connectivity throughout the Chuckanut region, and allows southwestern neighborhoods of Bellingham to be responsible stewards of a mature riparian forests that thousands of citizens have always wanted to preserve for future generations.
I also pledge, if elected, to accept no salary as commissioner and to keep the tax levy at $.28/thousand (or less) of the assessed value of dwellings encompassed by the precincts voting.  I would never support proposals for asserting eminent domain–that is, condemnation of land inside and outside the park’s boundaries.


Dan Pike  //  Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 1:18 pm

In fact, it IS a vote to save the Forest.  Since before the City purchased Chuckanut Ridge, many have expressed the belief that the City should not use either additional parks funds, nor place a reliance on future Greeways levies as means with which to pay off the $3.2 million balance of the loan the Council provided, from the Greenways Endowment Fund.  (To be clear, the Greenways Fund is being repaid at the same interest rate as the City would have garnered through its normal approach of investment of the funds in a mix of bonds and other investment instruments.) Another approach recently advocated is the sale of transferred development rights from the site.  Unfortunately, in nearly two decades of attempting to establish a workable TDR program, no working program has ever been established—but now it will magically happen within the next three or four years.

The only workable approaches these folks have been open to are repayment through outside funding—i.e., from non-City sources—or selling off part of the property.  Fundraising for any public purpose is extremely difficult in the current economic environment, and is likely to remain so for some time to come.  The Campaign for the Arts to help with the new museum did not meet original expectations, and is now plagued by unfulfilled pledges, years later.  Another ‘fundraising’ approach is using the Metropolitan Parks District creation to tax ourselves—those of us living in the vicinity of Chuckanut Ridge—to fund the shortfall.  Absent that, the only solution left is selling off enough of the property to pay off the balance.

I have no doubt the latter approach would work.  One developer even approached me when I was in the process of negotiating the purchase from Washington Federal, to see if I would sell him approximately the part mentioned; I declined.  I am not a big fan of backdoor deals, and I also believe this is an integral piece of the overall parcel.

The choice at this point seems pretty clear:  if you think all the property should be preserved, vote yes for the MPD.  If you are comfortable with a significant part of it being sold, and you are against ensuring preservation of the entirety of the property, vote no.

Alex McLean  //  Thu, Jan 31, 2013, 11:24 pm

Creating a fiefdom of five commissioners, with taxing authority, is not the same as “allowing democracy to work.”

Show me any elected position, besides a Supreme Court Judge, which last 10 years ... or more ... who knows, really? Since these five folks are the only ones who will get to decide when they are good and done with taxing us, I really want to hesitate to call this a vibrantly democratic proposal. We are being asked to create a special interest junta and, simultaneously, we are being told to shut-up and like it.

I’ll sign on to your pleas for trust if you sign on to my paranoia:

If supporters are so yodeling with confidence that no hijinks will be committed over the next decade (or several?) then they should be willing to sign a legally binding certificate that states as much. (I’d love to get the actual commissioners to sign one, but they can quickly vote to absolve themselves of that contract, by a majority of three, at any time.) If any individual proponent can sign a document for me that states these taxes will not be increased, that commissioners will not decide to pay for their annual conference in Tahiti, and that no other properties will be absorbed into this bargain, then they should have no problem signing another one that states they will pay me, directly, if commissioners should ever decide to violate this creed.

You want trust.

I want proof.

At least with our democracy we can vote people out of office. Former mayor Dan Pike might know something about this since, as reward for his falling on the sword of Chuckanut Ridge, the precincts surrounding the property mysteriously lost interest in him. (He still won the precincts, but not by the margins of his previous election and, perhaps, just enough of a loss to see his unseating ... so much for loyalty and gratitude, Dan, but we got what we wanted!)

Planning Commission Opening Calls for Neighborhood Rep

Mon, Nov 30, 2015, 5:29 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Planning Commission has a vacancy. Now is the time for the appointment of a member who represents the interests of the neighborhoods.


Update on Lincoln Street Student Housing Project

Mon, Nov 23, 2015, 5:41 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The student housing project for 648 individuals called NXNW (North by Northwest) on Lincoln Street is moving forward briskly. This is an update.

6 comments; last on Nov 27, 2015

Tax incentives proposed for Fairhaven apartments - Updated

Mon, Nov 16, 2015, 10:41 pm  //  John Servais

Council to allow three weeks for written comments on tax exemption proposal for high density buildings in quiet Fairhaven neighborhood

9 comments; last on Nov 19, 2015

Accessory Dwelling Units - There Is No Rush

Mon, Nov 16, 2015, 4:30 am  //  Dick Conoboy

There is no reason to rush an updated ordinance on ADUs when we do not even know what the current number is or where existing illegal units are…

8 comments; last on Nov 25, 2015

Bellingham Updating Accessory Dwelling Laws

Sat, Nov 14, 2015, 5:33 pm  //  Guest writer

By Shannon Maris. Detached ADUs - the 'mother in law' mini cottages - are being considered by the city of Bellingham. This impacts every home owner.

3 comments; last on Nov 19, 2015

Veterans Day and Thanking Veterans

Wed, Nov 11, 2015, 4:23 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Some personal thoughts on thanking our veterans for their service

1 comments; last on Nov 11, 2015

Whatcom Co.: Voting and Vote-Counting with Integrity

Sun, Nov 08, 2015, 9:25 pm  //  Guest writer

An overview of Whatcom County's method of processing ballots and counting votes.

2 comments; last on Nov 14, 2015

Final Election Returns: Jail Tax Rejected

Fri, Nov 06, 2015, 4:37 pm  //  John Servais

Satpal Sidhu wins council seat. Virtually all the ballots are now counted. Challenges and a few special are left.

1 comments; last on Nov 06, 2015

Thursday Voting Update

Thu, Nov 05, 2015, 9:17 pm  //  John Servais

Jail sales tax is being rejected - and the NO vote is increasing. Sidhu - Kerschner still undecided. Props 2, 3, 9 and 10 all should pass.

1 comments; last on Nov 06, 2015

Wednesday Vote Changes

Wed, Nov 04, 2015, 6:45 pm  //  John Servais

Second tally of 10,000 more ballots is in. Jail sales tax is now being rejected. Probably 15,000 or more ballots to go.

2 comments; last on Nov 05, 2015

Important Election Issues Undecided

Wed, Nov 04, 2015, 12:05 am  //  John Servais

The first returns - probably 60% of the final vote - shows contradictory propositions passing and most candidate races decided.

7 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015

Growing Veterans

Mon, Nov 02, 2015, 8:04 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Growing Veterans was created to empower military veterans to grow food, communities, and each other.

2 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015

More on Propositions 1 and 9

Sun, Nov 01, 2015, 9:31 am  //  John Servais

Where more substantial evidence is presented against proposition 9 - and why you should vote REJECTED on it.

24 comments; last on Nov 04, 2015

NWCitizen Publisher’s Voting Choices

Sat, Oct 31, 2015, 2:02 am  //  John Servais

As an independent citizen and political junkie, here is how I am voting - with brief reasons for my choices.

8 comments; last on Nov 03, 2015

NAMI Whatcom Opposes Prop 2015-1

Tue, Oct 27, 2015, 6:56 pm  //  Tip Johnson

The latest addition and the issue in review


Dwindling Information Makes Voters Susceptible to Spin

Mon, Oct 26, 2015, 11:39 pm  //  Whatcom Citizen

A perspective on the our changing news system, the consequences, and the challenges for the future. With a suggestion of the solution.

5 comments; last on Oct 28, 2015

Info Slowmo

Mon, Oct 26, 2015, 3:32 pm  //  Tip Johnson

When they feel you just don't need to know

4 comments; last on Oct 28, 2015

The Mysterious State of the Whatcom County Jail

Mon, Oct 26, 2015, 1:57 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the operative information is $$$ECRET

3 comments; last on Oct 29, 2015

Effort to Stop Bakken Oil Trains

Sat, Oct 24, 2015, 1:26 pm  //  John Servais

Whatcom group plans meeting workshop to submit comments to Washington Dept of Ecology against Skagit/Bakken oil trains.

6 comments; last on Oct 26, 2015

Fairhaven Pharmacy Closes Today - For Real

Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 2:53 pm  //  John Servais

After 126 years in business, Fairhaven Pharmacy closes for the last time at 6 p.m. today. Historic Fairhaven Association to do Halloween photos.

1 comments; last on Oct 20, 2015

Louws Regrets Jail Mailer

Tue, Oct 20, 2015, 9:25 am  //  John Servais

County Executive - and candidate for reelection -Jack Louws has written county officials with his regrets over jail mailer.

8 comments; last on Oct 24, 2015

Let’s not squander the next 30 years

Sun, Oct 18, 2015, 11:37 am  //  John Servais

The jail sales tax proposition is a road to perdition for our county. It is a waste and has been deceptively promoted.

4 comments; last on Oct 20, 2015

Making a Jail: Bamboozle!

Fri, Oct 16, 2015, 4:52 pm  //  Tip Johnson

With a smarmy October Surprise

9 comments; last on Oct 19, 2015

Court: No Radio Towers in Point Roberts

Thu, Oct 08, 2015, 7:14 am  //  John Lesow

A Canadian radio station is trying to install huge radio towers in Point Roberts for a Canadian audience. Citizen movement has fought them.


James King Resigns as Bellingham Parks Director

Sat, Oct 03, 2015, 2:47 pm  //  John Servais

James King to return to Alaska and take job with U.S. Forest Service. Mayor will appoint a new parks director.

1 comments; last on Oct 04, 2015

Just Say No - to the Incarceration-Industrial Complex

Fri, Oct 02, 2015, 10:48 am  //  David Camp

The "... new jail just doesn't pencil out", writes a well qualified accountant. A look at the future costs of the proposed jail.

11 comments; last on Oct 09, 2015

Alternative Jail Proposal for City Center

Tue, Sep 22, 2015, 4:54 pm  //  John Servais

There is a good alternative for a decent jail - but we first must vote down the jail sales tax proposal in November.

5 comments; last on Sep 24, 2015

Wendy DeFreest is Opening a ‘Burger Joint’

Sat, Sep 19, 2015, 3:37 pm  //  John Servais

Wendy DeFreest, of Avenue Bread, will open a new "burger joint" called The Filling Station by late October in Fairhaven. It will not be a sandwich cafe.


That Louwsy Jail Deal

Tue, Sep 15, 2015, 5:26 pm  //  Tip Johnson

FEMA camp or new county seat?

13 comments; last on Oct 15, 2015

A Learning Moment - Hopefully

Sun, Sep 13, 2015, 8:42 am  //  John Servais

Beware walking RR tracks on the Fairhaven waterfront in the event of unexpected encounter with a high speed train

2 comments; last on Sep 18, 2015

Second Water Main Break on Donovan in a Year

Mon, Sep 07, 2015, 8:06 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Mains a' bursting - Avast!


Homeowner to city: Please buy me out

Wed, Aug 26, 2015, 9:17 am  //  John Servais

Padden Creek daylighting project strays far from city promises to homeowner that his property would remain intact.

4 comments; last on Sep 05, 2015

How Our Community Can Welcome Our Troops Home

Mon, Aug 24, 2015, 4:11 am  //  Guest writer

Christopher Brown guest writes how traditional communal warrior reintegration practices could help our returning combat veterans.


Black Lives Matter, Occupy WS & Whatcom Jail

Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 6:55 pm  //  Whatcom Citizen

A Whatcom Citizen writes of protest movements and how our proposed county mega jail is related to them.

15 comments; last on Sep 04, 2015

$15/hr Minimum Wage - Seriously?

Wed, Aug 19, 2015, 4:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Moves to set the minimum wage to $15, even if successful, are woefully insufficient. And why aren't people speaking out about abusive work scheduling?

2 comments; last on Sep 17, 2015

Local retired librarian injured by police

Mon, Aug 17, 2015, 11:17 pm  //  Guest writer

Bruce Radtke, a retired Bellingham librarian, reported to be assaulted by police for handing out leaflets

5 comments; last on Aug 27, 2015

Predictive Policing Comes to Bellingham

Sun, Aug 16, 2015, 2:39 pm  //  Guest writer

Is the tail wagging the dog? Edward Alexander guest writes on why predictive software for our police needs basic questions answered before purchase.

1 comments; last on Aug 22, 2015

Gunfight at Cornwall Park on Wednesday

Thu, Aug 13, 2015, 10:29 am  //  John Servais

Nothing in the Herald this morning, so NWCitizen is informing citizens of shootout at Cornwall Park.

1 comments; last on Aug 13, 2015

Whatcom Conservation District Elections

Sun, Aug 09, 2015, 10:52 am  //  Guest writer

Barbara Perry has been researching the secretive election processes of the Whatcom Conservation District. Really secretive. Probably fraudulent.

1 comments; last on Aug 12, 2015

Election Results - Aug 4 Primary

Tue, Aug 04, 2015, 7:09 pm  //  John Servais

9:52 - final post for tonight. A running blog about the election results on this August evening. Feel free to comment.

8 comments; last on Aug 06, 2015

The Hansen’s Giant Rental Megaplex - Part 2

Tue, Aug 04, 2015, 9:14 am  //  Dick Conoboy

While the city deals with permitting on the Hansen rental megaplexes, the council has asked for proposals from staff on design standards for historic areas.

9 comments; last on Aug 07, 2015

Whatcom Co.: 90 Million Gallons of Water a Day

Tue, Jul 21, 2015, 11:42 pm  //  Guest writer

Eric Hirst provides us all with a well researched report on Whatcom County water issues - rights, Lake Whatcom, ground water and more.

10 comments; last on Aug 12, 2015

Electromagnetic Radiation: Who’s Looking Out for You?

Tue, Jul 14, 2015, 3:13 pm  //  John Lesow

The fight to keep Point Roberts from becoming a Radio Tower Farm is not over.

3 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015

Kudos to Our Police

Mon, Jul 13, 2015, 4:38 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Bellingham police are obviously trained to de-escalate armed confrontations. This is the way it should be.

6 comments; last on Jul 14, 2015

Lois Garlick was our hero

Thu, Jul 09, 2015, 7:27 am  //  John Servais

Lois Garlick has died. For many decades, she and George served as environmental stewards and leaders in preserving wildlife and nature.

2 comments; last on Jul 10, 2015

Whatcom County Council adds ballot measure

Wed, Jul 08, 2015, 8:27 am  //  John Servais

Last minute political maneuvering by liberal council seeks to counter conservative review commission ballot proposals.

1 comments; last on Aug 12, 2015

Charter amendments approved

Tue, Jul 07, 2015, 8:13 am  //  John Servais

The Charter Review Commission made Monday evening's meeting their last - and forwarded 8 charter amendments to the County Council

3 comments; last on Jul 08, 2015

Family Home For Rent: $44,000/year

Tue, Jul 07, 2015, 4:34 am  //  Dick Conoboy

For Rent: York neighborhood, new, 7 bedroom single-family home, near WWU. Only $44,000 a year. City planning not paying attention.

6 comments; last on Jul 09, 2015

Charter Commission Tricks

Mon, Jul 06, 2015, 3:30 pm  //  John Servais

Two dirty tricks by the uber-conservative minority on the Charter Review Commission aimed to put their agenda before the council.

3 comments; last on Jul 07, 2015

Drought Tree Emergency!

Thu, Jul 02, 2015, 1:55 pm  //  David Camp

Trees are dying for lack of water! Only citizen action can save them.


Fireworks and Clay Butler

Thu, Jul 02, 2015, 6:47 am  //  Dick Conoboy

If your 4th of July holiday is much more quiet this year, you can thank Clay Bulter who passed away at the end of May.


A Tale of Three Rezones

Mon, Jun 29, 2015, 4:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The Samish Neighborhood Plan has been the subject of three undesired rezones in the last year. The city ignores its own guidelines to the detriment of all.


County prosecutor plays cruel games

Thu, Jun 25, 2015, 5:00 pm  //  John Servais

Updated at 6 pm. Our county justice system has spent 6 years trying to teach Luba Pekisheva that she should not defend herself. Justice denied and miscarried.

8 comments; last on Jul 22, 2015

Proposed New County Lockup - Financial Analysis

Mon, Jun 22, 2015, 4:00 pm  //  David Camp

A look at the proposal in historic financial context with projections and several questions for the proponents.

8 comments; last on Jul 10, 2015

Hansen-Iron Street Rental Megaplex Planned for York Neighborhood

Mon, Jun 01, 2015, 2:49 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Three extraordinarily large (7-bedroom) single family home rentals are proposed by developers Dave and Jon Hansen on Iron St. in the York Neighborhood.

7 comments; last on Jun 10, 2015

Chiara D’Angelo comes down from anchor chain

Mon, May 25, 2015, 7:17 pm  //  John Servais

Young Chiara spent 3 nights hanging from the anchor chain of Shell Oil's Arctic Challenger as a protest to arctic oil drilling.


Flash Mob Protests Arctic Drilling

Thu, May 21, 2015, 10:50 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein we ponder the fate of humanity


Joy Gilfilen Declares for County Executive

Mon, May 18, 2015, 10:17 pm  //  John Servais

Joy Gilfilen is challenging incumbent Jack Louws for County Executive.

4 comments; last on May 20, 2015

85 County Single Candidate Elections

Fri, May 15, 2015, 5:10 pm  //  John Servais

Running update of who is filing for office in Whatcom County. Posts during day Friday and final update Friday evening.

4 comments; last on May 17, 2015

Updated:  Ski to Sea Tries to Bully Bellingham

Wed, May 13, 2015, 4:30 pm  //  John Servais

Updated | Ski to Sea race does not need to race through sensitive Chuckanut Community Forest Park for special mountain bike leg. City did not renege.

10 comments; last on May 15, 2015


Election Info

Auditor Election page

State Results - Nov 3
Whatcom Results - Nov 3

Coal, Oil & Trains

Coal Stop

Community Wise Bham
Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Business Journal
Bham Politics & Econ
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
Noisy Waters
Northern Light
Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut C. Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters
Whatcom Peace & Justice


- Whatcom County

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
State Results - Nov 3
US House
US Senate
US Supreme Court
US The White House
WA State
Whatcom COG

NWCitizen 1995-2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That?


Adventures NW

Bellingham Wins
Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The
Change The Mascot
Common Dreams
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Drudge Report
Foreign Policy in Focus
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Huffington Post
Innocence Project
Irish Times
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Sea Shepherd
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
War and Piece
Washington Votes

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Register

Bhm Herald Politics Blog
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Protect Bellingham Parks
Sweeney Politics
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders