You can’t fight city hall: city hall doesn’t fight fair
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 2:06 pm // Guest writerPat McKee guest writes this. He is a resident of Sunnyland and was a leader in their seven year planning effort. - The future look of Bellingham's distinctive…
Sat, Sep 13, 2014, 5:30 am
Aljazeera is reporting, "In a ruling that could reverberate nationwide, a federal judge has struck down Ohio's law barring people from knowingly or recklessly making false statements about candidates…
"U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black ruled Thursday that Ohio's law, in effect since 1995, is unconstitutional and prohibited the Ohio Elections Commission and its members from enforcing the law.
"The judge said in his ruling that the answer to false statements in politics is "not to force silence, but to encourage truthful speech in response, and to let the voters, not the government, decide what the political truth is."
"…The case began after then-U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus filed a complaint when the group (the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group,) planned to post billboards claiming the Democrat's support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul equated with support for abortion, even though he opposed abortion.
"… The anti-abortion group plans to criticize members of Congress in the midterm if they voted for the health care legislation, contending that backers support taxpayer-funded abortion. …(They have) had similar billboards up in North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas.
"The Susan B. Anthony List said it wanted a court order so that it could inform voters without fear of prosecution.
"More than a dozen other states have similar laws."
CATEGORIES - Click for up to 50 most recent articlesArts & Entertainment Bellingham Bellingham Waterfront Business & Economics Campaigns & Elections Chuckanut Ridge Civil Rights Coal Port and Trains Environment Health & Home History Jail Planning Lake Whatcom Law & Justice Libraries Lummi Nation National & International News Media Open Government People Port of Bellingham Predictions Recreation & Sports Salmon Science & Weather University Ridge Dormitory Series War & Peace Washington State Whatcom County WWU
Fri, Sep 12, 2014, 11:13 am
"Scientists have taken a major step forward in the production of hydrogen from water, which could lead to a new era of cheap, clean and renewable energy.
"Chemists from the University of Glasgow report in a new paper in Science today (Friday 12 September) on a new form of hydrogen production which is 30 times faster than the current state-of-the-art method. The process also solves common problems associated with generating electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind or wave energy…
"The research team was led by Professor Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow’s School of Chemistry. Professor Cronin said: ...“The potential for reliable hydrogen production from renewable sources is huge. The sun, for example, provides more energy in a single hour of sunlight than the entire world’s population uses in a year. If we can tap and store even a fraction of that in the coming years and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels it will be a tremendously important step to slowing climate change.”
Read the article posted on the University of Glasgow website.
Fri, Sep 12, 2014, 7:35 am
According to Vice.com, “It should come as no surprise that most mobile apps run some sort of analytics on user behaviour. But in the case of Facebook, the social network’s Messenger app for iOS apparently tracks quite a bit more than most users likely realize.
“iOS forensics and security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski spent Tuesday morning disassembling Facebook Messenger’s iOS binary, at one point declaring via Twitter that “Messenger appears to have more spyware type code in it than I've seen in products intended specifically for enterprise surveillance.”
“In an email, Zdziarski said that Messenger is logging practically everything a user might do within the app, from what and where they tap, to how often a device is held in portrait versus landscape orientation; even time spent in the Messenger app, versus the time it spends running in the background.
“… “[Facebook is] using some private APIs I didn’t even know were available inside the sandbox to be able to pull out your WiFi SSID (which could be used to snoop on which WiFi networks you’re connected to) and are even tapping the process list for various information on the device,” he wrote in an email.
“On Twitter, Zdziarski said he’s worked for companies that write enterprise surveillance software that didn’t know this level of access was possible.
“I asked independent security researcher Ashkan Soltani via email whether Facebook’s relationship with Apple—having a user’s Facebook account baked directly into iOS—might give Facebook access to private APIs and capabilities that other developers don't have. Soltani wrote that he believed my hunch was correct.
“…Zdziarski cautioned via email that “… there is a lot of code that suggests Facebook is running analytics on nearly everything it possibly can monitor on your device.”
Read the whole article on Vice.com.
Thu, Sep 11, 2014, 5:10 am
An article on the website IFLScience is showcasing some new food packaging being designed in Sweden. "The new school year is now underway and it’s time to start thinking about what is in your child’s lunch. A fruit cup with a disposable plastic spoon? Plastic zip-top bags for sandwiches and veggies? Individually-wrapped dessert? A bag of potato chips? A juice box? All of these items have one thing in common: waste. In fact, the average American student generates 30.4 kilograms (67 pounds) of lunch-associated garbage each school year. Using some basic multiplication to factor in other kids at the school, state, and country levels, it’s easy to see that food packaging is a big problem. Even beyond kids eating lunch, much of our food is encased in landfill-clogging plastic.
"Sweden-based designers Hannah Billqvist and Anna Glansén of Tomorrow Machine are trying to reverse that trend. They launched a project in 2012 entitled This Too Shall Pass that features biodegradable food packaging, some of which doubles as a vessel to cook and serve the food as well."
To see more photos and read the entire article, go to the website listed above.
Wed, Sep 10, 2014, 7:27 am
According to The Independent, "Switzerland would grant Edward Snowden asylum if he revealed the extent of espionage activities by the US government, recommendations by the Swiss Attorney General reportedly conclude.
"According to Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung, an official has said that Mr Snowden should be guaranteed safe entry and residency in the country, in return for his knowledge on America’s intelligence activities. Last month, Mr Snowden was told he could remain in Russia for another three years. He was not granted political asylum, but again awarded temporary residence as an extension of the one-year visa given to him last summer."
See the full story at the link above.
Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 7:20 am
The SFWeekly reported that, "The internet's all in a tizzy the past few days thanks to a Wednesday ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which said that review site Yelp could manipulate its ratings for money.
"...(Although) there is no hard evidence that it does engage in such behavior, either — all the court ruling said was say that such behavior wouldn't be illegal if the review site decided to try it.
"...But it is a reminder that Yelp is a massive, publicly traded corporation whose goal is to make money. Yelp is not a public service, as much as we treat it as such sometimes. It is not just like getting a recommendation from a friend, as much as it positions itself that way. We have no rational reason to believe that the company will be 100 percent fair about business ratings and placement just because it seems like the right thing to do.
"Take your Yelp reviews with a grain of salt from now on, as you should have been doing all along."
Fri, Sep 05, 2014, 6:37 am
The Guardian is reporting, "On 10 September, tech firms including Etsy, FourSquare, KickStarter, Mozilla, Reddit and Vimeo will install a widget on their sites to show how they believe the internet would look if the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overturns “net neutrality” rules.
"The FCC is currently redrawing its rules after a series of legal challenges from cable and telecoms companies undermined its authority to regulate the internet. One proposal could allow internet service providers to offer fast lanes to higher paying customers, a move critics charge would break net neutrality – the principle that all traffic is treated equally online.
"...The FCC is redrafting its rules at the same time as it assesses the proposed merger of Comcast, the largest cable company, with Time Warner, the second largest. The FCC is also reviewing a proposal to overturn state laws that ban some local municipalities from expanding their own high speed internet service to compete with the cable companies."
Thu, Sep 04, 2014, 5:29 am
"The Tacoma Police Department sent out a press release Wednesday that began: “The Tacoma Police Department has a cell site simulator.”
"...A “cell site simulator” (Stingray) is a mobile device that fits inside a car and tricks phones into connecting with it. It can scoop up records of every cellphone call, text message and data transfer within a half-mile radius. People whose records are scooped up don’t know it.
"The Police Department says it doesn’t store data about innocent people. But it won’t explain the technology that sorts through data without storing it at least temporarily. The department is consulting with the feds to see what it can say.
"...Tacoma police said they get a warrant each time they use the Stingray. Judges sign so-called “pen/trap/trace” authorizations, they said. Those traditionally allow police to get cellphone data for a specific suspect from the phone company.
"...The Superior Court presiding judge said, as far as he knew, police never said they were using a Stingray when they applied for a warrant. He was surprised to learn the department had one.
"The county prosecutor said he didn’t know .... Neither did the director of the public defenders’ office.
"When (The News Tribune) asked to see a purchase order, the city blacked out most of the information, citing the state open records law exemption for “specific intelligence information and specific investigative records.”
"Toby Nixon, president of the Washington Coalition for Open Government, said the exemption is supposed to protect information about a specific case, not this kind of administrative information.
"...Members of the Tacoma City Council were surprised to learn of the Stingray."
To learn more, read the full article in The News Tribune.
Wed, Sep 03, 2014, 5:30 am
Popular Mechanics has an interview with Ladar Levison, "...the owner of the encrypted email startup Lavabit. After Edward Snowden’s NSA document leaks last summer, Levison rebuffed government demands to hand over the email service’s private encryption keys—opting to shut it down instead. He spoke with Popular Mechanics about his new project Dark Mail, online privacy, and how encrypting our email helps disassemble today’s unconstitutional surveillance networks."
According ot Levison, "...One of our most basic rights as American citizens, as people, is the privacy of our papers—our thoughts in written form.
"...By encrypting our email, we force a potential attacker to break into our devices if they want to read our private messages. That changes the game. Instead of sweeping up everyone’s communications wholesale, without much incremental effort, we force them to pick and choose specific targets. And this would be a huge step towards making unconstitutional surveillance obsolete."
Read the brief interview and learn more about Dark Mail here.
Find blog entries by month of year
Numbers indicate how many blog entries posted each month.
Find articles by month of year
Numbers indicate how many articles posted each month.
We continue to add old articles from the old website.
Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 8:21 am // Riley SweeneyRiley and John share the short list of who might replace Cathy Lehman on the Bellingham city council on January 5.
8 comments; last on Sep 10, 2014
Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 11:48 am // Terry WechslerWhile the state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars defining risks of crude by rail, Skagit County finds no significant adverse impacts of a crude-by-rail proposal.
1 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014
Paper Dreams in Fairhaven
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 2:06 pm // Guest writerPatrick McKee of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest-writes about the August 11 City Council slap-dash zoning changes.
2 comments; last on Aug 23, 2014
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 4:54 pm // Terry WechslerNot content with causing massive inconvenience, BNSF is now literally dumping on county residents.
10 comments; last on Aug 26, 2014
Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 3:48 pm // Guest writerJudith Green of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest writes this brief summary of what went wrong with the planning last week.
1 comments; last on Aug 22, 2014
Fri, Aug 15, 2014, 7:12 am // Terry WechslerA massive upgrade of the Cascade [rail] Corridor has left residents stranded and the sheriff asking Washington, DC, to intervene.
7 comments; last on Sep 02, 2014
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm // Guest writerSandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.
4 comments; last on Aug 18, 2014
Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 10:52 am // Riley SweeneySome Context for the Primary Results
Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 11:31 pm // John ServaisBellingham City Council abruptly changes zoning codes to force Planning Department plan on Sunnyland residents.
7 comments; last on Aug 14, 2014
Fri, Aug 08, 2014, 10:10 am // John ServaisUpdated Wed evening. The Tuesday evening 8:20 pm Auditor report on the election is in.
5 comments; last on Aug 08, 2014
Fri, Aug 01, 2014, 8:00 am // Dick ConoboyCouncilmember Murphy's proposal is based on a complaint-based rental ordinance from Tacoma, demonstrated to do little for the health and safety of tenants.
9 comments; last on Aug 04, 2014
Fri, Aug 01, 2014, 4:47 am // Terry WechslerCarefully planned actions are rolling across the state to make the point that it's not OK to expose us to risks associated with CBR.
7 comments; last on Aug 04, 2014
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:40 am // Riley SweeneyNorthwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!
9 comments; last on Jul 29, 2014
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 7:52 am // Dick ConoboyIn contravention of the Bellingham Municipal Code, the City Council will consider on 4 August a last minute docketing request that ignores the Planning Commission and Samish Neighborhood.
1 comments; last on Jul 30, 2014
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 10:47 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Mike Rostron explains how Bellingham city planners played loose and illegal with planning processes.
Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 7:22 pm // John ServaisSunnlyland residents win one - after a seven year effort. Planning Department failed them and all of us.
2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2014
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am // Guest writerLandlords are so caught up opposing a licensing and inspection ordinance, they cannot see the upside for them in ridding the city of bad rentals.
19 comments; last on Aug 01, 2014
Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 1:24 pm // Guest writerJudith Green explains how the Bellingham Planning Department is trying to cram their plan onto a neighborhood.
5 comments; last on Jul 21, 2014
Sun, Jul 13, 2014, 2:26 pm // Terry WechslerYears after BP completed its north dock, the Army Corps of Engineers released a draft EIS and it's really really stupid.
Tue, Jul 08, 2014, 8:20 am // Dick ConoboyThe city council "persuades" the city administration to withdraw a request for an intrusive police threat warning system
2 comments; last on Jul 08, 2014
Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 6:54 am // Terry WechslerIt is time we stop allowing corporations to externalize the costs associated with their risky business practices, and demand more from our regulators who hold the keys to…
3 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014
Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 5:04 am // Guest writerGuest writer Sandy Robson breaks the story of officials from Washington treated to a coal-promoting junket to Wyoming.
2 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014
Fri, Jul 04, 2014, 5:00 am // Guest writerFerndale's most famous landmark is frequently commented on and is often in the news. Here is their side of the story.
4 comments; last on Jul 07, 2014
Wed, Jul 02, 2014, 5:14 pm // Terry WechslerOn the anniversary of the Lac-Megantic disaster, communities throughout North America rally in solidarity to remember and protest wholly inadequate government response to crude-by-rail's risks.
4 comments; last on Jul 12, 2014
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 9:01 pm // Guest writerIn the Weekly, Tim Johnson left out three words in quoting Craig Cole - and his story misleads readers. Guest article by Sandy Robson.
11 comments; last on Jul 01, 2014
Tue, Jun 24, 2014, 10:24 am // Dick ConoboyThe Bellingham Police Department wants to purchase "threat assessment" software with federal monies. Citizen comments were vehement and negative. City Council confused.
5 comments; last on Jul 03, 2014
Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 10:18 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the failings of a bad policy framework are revealed
1 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014
Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 7:53 am // Dick ConoboyThe possession and use of consumer fireworks are no longer permitted within the city limits.
1 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014
Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 11:39 am // John ServaisWyoming Senators and coal honchos were in Whatcom County June 10 - to hold a news conference with select reporters.
7 comments; last on Jun 20, 2014
Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 11:20 am // John ServaisBellingham Hearing Examiner, Dawn Sturwold, retires in three weeks. Successor selection is hidden from all of us.
3 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014
Fri, Jun 06, 2014, 2:07 pm // Terry WechslerPart 2: Following Ken Oplinger to California, and Home Again
4 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014
Sun, Jun 01, 2014, 12:39 am // Guest writerA Venn diagram where coal, the Endangered Species Act, Republicans, and Wyoming’s Board of Education collide.
2 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014
Wed, May 28, 2014, 3:15 pm // Guest writerA perspective by guest writer Ellen Murphy reflects on the Whatcom Watch and the threatened law suit by Craig Cole.
22 comments; last on Jun 01, 2014
Tue, May 27, 2014, 1:23 am // Wendy HarrisWhy was so little consideration given to the concept of developing the waterfront for eco-tourism?
5 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014
Mon, May 26, 2014, 7:51 pm // Wendy HarrisCity park improvements have implications on the local and global scale.
2 comments; last on May 29, 2014
Thu, May 22, 2014, 12:10 am // Guest writerWyoming is ready to try and legally force us to limit our environmental scoping for the Cherry Point coal terminal
4 comments; last on Jun 17, 2014
Sun, May 18, 2014, 11:57 pm // Wendy HarrisReckless rezones and far-fetched explanations result in more slaughterhouses and meat packing plants
3 comments; last on May 20, 2014
Sat, May 17, 2014, 2:34 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley takes a closer look at the Charter Review Commission candidates
2 comments; last on May 21, 2014
Tue, May 13, 2014, 5:04 pm // Wendy HarrisBellingham's annual water quality report indicates that city hall's propoganda machine is going strong
1 comments; last on May 14, 2014
Sun, May 11, 2014, 2:20 pm // Terry WechslerPart 1: Introduction to the Bellingham Basin’s Potential for Fracking, Earthquakes, and Earthquakes Due to Fracking
3 comments; last on May 14, 2014
Fri, May 09, 2014, 10:02 am // John ServaisThe Political Junkie for Whatcom County - that would be Riley Sweeney - has Overstreet not running for reelection in the 42nd.
1 comments; last on May 13, 2014
Fri, May 09, 2014, 6:10 am // Terry WechslerWhy Washington must step in and assume lead agency status in Skagit County for the Shell crude by rail proposal.
6 comments; last on Jun 21, 2014
Tue, May 06, 2014, 5:52 pm // Riley SweeneyThe value of a Precinct Committee Officer . . .
1 comments; last on May 07, 2014
Mon, May 05, 2014, 3:34 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the gyrations of the bid for widespread county slaughter are exposed.
2 comments; last on May 07, 2014
Thu, May 01, 2014, 10:21 pm // Guest writerMove to Amend is a national movement to amend the U.S. Constitution and define persons as people and speech as not money.
7 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014
Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 8:20 am // John ServaisRiley posted this morning that Seth Fleetwood has decided to challenge Doug Ericksen for state senate in the 42nd District.
1 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014
Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 6:28 am // Dick ConoboyEvery Bellingham Planning Commission member has ties to development or development-related businesses.
4 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 1:59 pm // Terry WechslerA closer look at Whatcom County's industrial "stewards of the environment."
4 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 11:43 am // Wendy HarrisThe public needs to support city council and request that a waterfront habitat assessment include terrestrial species and habitat connectivity.
Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 2:57 pm // Terry Wechsleror How Not to Plan for Future Generations' Water Needs
12 comments; last on Jun 30, 2014
Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 10:40 am // Riley SweeneyA simple explanation of the Charter Review and analysis of District only voting
Wed, Apr 09, 2014, 9:07 am // Riley SweeneyCity pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out
3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2014
Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 4:29 pm // Guest writerBy Christopher Grannis: Wherein despite every effort and expense, citizens cannot make the City follow the law or work for neighborhoods
2 comments; last on Apr 07, 2014
Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 12:52 pm // Terry WechslerWhy commenting on the EIS for Comp Plan revisions for Cherry Point means demanding an EIS in the first place.
5 comments; last on Jun 25, 2014
Wed, Apr 02, 2014, 6:00 am // Dick ConoboyAmbling University Development Group pulls out. University Ridge will not be built.
12 comments; last on Apr 06, 2014
Tue, Apr 01, 2014, 1:27 pm // Wendy HarrisPlease help us protect county wildlife by ensuring that the scope of the EIS review is adequate. A sample scoping letter is included.
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 2:23 am // Wendy HarrisThe public has a week to comment on the scope of issues reviewed under the EIS.
Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 1:32 am // Wendy HarrisOn March 26, 2014 the city and county provided their update and assessment on the status of Lake Whatcom. This is mine.
2 comments; last on Apr 01, 2014
Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 10:32 am // Riley SweeneyRiley digs into the county's plan to buy the county morgue
3 comments; last on Mar 24, 2014
Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 12:52 am // Wendy HarrisThe public is not provided with a proposed plan or adequate information prior to the annual "state of the lake" meeting
4 comments; last on Mar 18, 2014
Election InfoCandidate Filings
Primary election results
Coal, Oil & TrainsCommunity Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.
Local Blogs & NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
League of Women Voters
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut Community Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
WA Conservation Voters
Port of Bellingham
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate
Edge of Sports
Famous Internet Skiers
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Foreign Policy in Focus
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
NwCitizen 1995 - 2007Early Northwest Citizen
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Police Activity
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph