What Landlords Need to Know about Rental Registration
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am // Guest writerTheo Bickel guest writes this article. He is a recent Political Science graduate from WWU. When discussing rental code enforcement, you may think it's a dispute between tenants…
Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 1:47 pm
This almost could be labeled ‘how I’m voting’ except I would vote for Seth Fleetwood if I were in the 42nd district. Seth is running against long time state Senator Doug Ericksen - and Doug does not serve his district nor the people of Washington state. Where Seth has shown he actually represents people, Doug has shown that he serves his own interests to a degree that is disappointing. This primary is a meaningless contest because they will face each other in the November general election - and that is when one of them will be elected. Still, the primary serves as a super poll and helps a challenger and his supporters have confidence in the general campaign.
Bob Burr for PUD. The most important vote Whatcom County can make is for the PUD - the Public Utility District. This is a real primary, with three candidates. Only two will advance to the general election in November. The PUD has been a good old boys bastion for decades - and has served special interests only. I am voting for Bob Burr because he will open the process in the PUD and look for ways it can best serve more of Whatcom County. Conservative or liberal, Bob is the best choice.
Satpal Sidhu for 42nd District Representative. The other 42nd District contest is for state Representative replacing Overstreet. Without question, the best person by qualifications and experience is Satpal Sidhu. He is everything conservatives say they want in a candidate. He is also progressive and very intelligent. Gee - we might be going against our county traditions to vote him into public office to represent us. Actually, for conservatives who cannot bring themselves to vote for Satpal, they would do better to vote for Nicholas Kunkel, who is running as a Libertarian, than either Luanne VanWerven or Bill Knutzen. Nicholas probably represents conservative values in the rural county much better than either of the other two.
As a liberal, I could recommend Joy Monjure against Vincent Buys in the 42nd, except Vincent does a good job representing his conservative district. He talks with people and listens. He is a good representative.
Finally, I will be joining Riley Sweeney and writing in “Nyima” for Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney. Dave McEachran is the worst elected politician in our county. He is unchallenged because any local lawyer would have serious reprisals if they dared to run against him. More on him in the coming months. For now, Nyima has my vote.
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Fri, Jul 25, 2014, 8:02 am
A recent Washington Post story looks at the high price of specialty drugs--and who should get them. "Months before Gilead Sciences’ breakthrough hepatitis C treatment hit the market, Oregon Medicaid official Tom Burns started worrying about how the state could afford to cover every enrollee infected with the disease. He figured the cost might even reach $36,000 per patient.
Then the price for the drug was released last December: $84,000 for a 12-week treatment course.
At that price, the state would have to spend $360 million to provide its Medicaid beneficiaries with the drug called Sovaldi, just slightly less than the $377 million the Oregon Medicaid program spent on all prescription drugs for about 600,000 members in 2013. It potentially would be a backbreaker.
...Executives at Gilead, which makes Sovaldi, said the uproar over the drug’s price tag will die down as more stories emerge about patients being cured.
“We believe that over time the health-care system will save a lot of money by these patients being healthy again,” said John Milligan, president and chief operating officer, on an earnings call Wednesday night.
Sovaldi recorded $2.3 billion in sales over the first three months of the year, making it the best launch of a drug in history. On Wednesday Gilead reported second quarter sales totaling $3.5 billion."
Read the full story at the link listed above.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 8:17 am
According to a piece on npr, "The Federal Communications Commission received more than 1 million (1,067,779) public comments on the issue of net neutrality during a five-month commenting period that ended Friday.
It's the biggest public response the FCC has ever gotten on a policy matter in such a short period, and the second most commented-upon FCC issue, period.
The proposal would allow cable companies to charge content providers extra fees to deliver faster service.
...But there's one problem, according to George Washington University law professor Richard Pierce.
..."The vast majority of the comments are utterly worthless," Pierce says. "This has been studied quite a bit by some very good academics," he says. And the studies show that rule-making or policymaking tends to be systemically biased to favor the industries that are affected by the regulation.
"(In a study of banking reform, they found that) while proponents of strict regulation of financial institutions dominated the comment process numerically, their comments were useless to decision makers, because the vast majority of them were identical form letters without data or analysis.
...The folks who do comment with the detail, data and analysis that can change minds? Deep-pocketed industries.
"Those comments that have some potential to influence are the very lengthy, very well-tailored comments that include a lot of discussion of legal issues, a lot of discussion of policy issues, lots of data, lots of analysis," Pierce says. "Those are submitted exclusively by firms that have a large amount of money at stake in the rule-making and the lawyers and trade associations that are represented by those firms.""
You can read the full article at npr.org.
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 10:15 am
According to a new article by James Vincent in The Independent, "Apple has been accused of intentionally installing security backdoors in some 600 million iOS devices that offer surveillance-level access to data including photos, browsing history and GPS locations.
The vulnerabilities were uncovered by security expert Jonathan Zdziarski, who presented an academic paper on the subject at a hacker conference in New York last Friday.
Apple has issued a statement in response to the allegations saying that the company’s “diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security,” but Zdziarski has responded by noting that these services “dish out data” regardless of whether the user has agreed to diagnostics.
“There is no way to disable these mechanisms,” Zdziarski writes on his personal blog. “This makes it much harder to believe that Apple is actually telling the truth here.”
...Zdziarski has since repeated his assertions that the amount of information offered by these backdoors is unprecedented: “These services break the promise that Apple makes with the consumer when they enter a backup password; that the data on their device will only come off the phone encrypted.
“The consumer is also not aware of these mechanisms, nor are they prompted in any way by the device. There is simply no way to justify the massive leak of data as a result of these services, and without any explicit consent by the user.”
He adds that he is in no way accusing Apple of working directly with security agencies but that he suspects that "some of these services may have been used by [the] NSA to collect data"."
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 5:30 am
Newsweek magazine reports, "Last February, around 39,000 tons of toxic coal slurry gushed into a major North Carolina river. Now, having cleaned up around 3,000 tons worth, the company behind the spill and state regulators say their work is done.
With 92 percent of the original heavy metal-laden and possibly radioactive coal ash still coating 70 miles of river bottom, river advocates are frustrated.
“This stuff is not just going to go to the bottom and stay there and not harm the environment,” Brian Williams of the Dan River Basin Association told the Charlotte Observer. “It will be an issue for many, many years to come.”
Duke Energy and state regulators say they will continue to patrol the river to find and test deposits of sediment and ash, but that it could “do more damage trying to remove all the ash than leaving it in place,” said Dianne Reid, water sciences chief for the NC Division of Water Resources, told the Observer. Continuing to dredge the river would stir up the sediment on the bottom, risking the release of more preexisting toxins, like mercury and PCBs, into the water column, the state argues. The situation highlights the difficulty of remediation in river environments--once a spill happens, rehabilitating the environment is a delicate and arduous task."
Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 4:16 pm
Here's a two minute video you'll be glad you watched. Keywords: whales, kayak
Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 5:30 am
An article posted on Quartz looks at the salmon fishing industry in the U.S. Below is an excerpt and some teasers to the article.
"The US is a salmon-catching powerhouse. Nearly one-third of the world’s wild salmon supply comes from US nets. Even when you take into account farmed salmon, US fishermen still bring around one-tenth of the total supply of salmon to the market. But more than half of America’s salmon catch is going overseas.
"It’s not that Americans aren’t eating salmon. They are—just not their own. Two-thirds of the salmon eaten by US consumers is imported—mostly from farms in Chile, Canada and Norway and from processing factories in China. More than just a quirk of taste, this habit of snubbing domestic salmon in favor of foreign farmed fish exemplifies a more disquieting trend for US industry, argues journalist Paul Greenberg in his book American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood. It’s the result of an American seafood ignorance that could threaten both the country’s long-term status as a fishing powerhouse and its secure supply of nutritious protein...
"The network of freshwater streams and coastal waters of the US’s Pacific Northwest is one of the country’s most bounteous natural resources, supplying many hundreds of millions pounds a year of salmon, some of the most nutritious wild protein in the world. In the early 1900s, species including the king and coho salmon abounded in Oregon, Washington, and northern California...
"So why are Alaskan fishermen sending more than half of their catch overseas?
"Part of it has to do with processing...
"But tepid US demand for salmon has been a huge factor too...Americans now eat a little less than half of the global annual average seafood consumption—and consume 13 times as much red meat and poultry as they do seafood."
You can read the full article at the link above.
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 3:53 pm
According to Science Illustrated: It took the radio 38 years to reach 50 million people, but it took 20 for the phone and 13 for the television. In contrast, it took Facebook 3.6 years and Twitter didn’t even need that much time — in fact, it took Google Plus 88 days.
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 11:06 am
According to a July 20, New York Times article: "After government testing showed that scores of consumer products carrying the Energy Star label did not deserve the listing, a wave of class-action lawsuits was filed against the companies that manufacture the products.
"Now, at least one major manufacturer wants Congress to ban the lawsuits and is threatening to withdraw from Energy Star, an Environmental Protection Agency program, unless it gets its way. But consumer advocates say such lawsuits are a healthy form of enforcement.
"“By eliminating consumers’ access to the civil justice system, corporations will not be held accountable in court for swindling customers,” said Sarah Jones, a spokeswoman for the trial lawyers’ organization, the American Association for Justice.
"In 2010, congressional auditors tested the system by submitting applications to apply the Energy Star label to ridiculous products, like a gasoline-powered alarm clock. Many of the applications were approved. One company that built refrigerators, LG, disconnected the ice maker during the efficiency tests. It was caught by Consumer Reports magazine.
"So Congress ordered changes. Now, products must be checked by an independent, certified laboratory, and they are subject to spot checks on units pulled from store shelves.
"...an E.P.A. survey found that the Energy Star logo was influential among 91 percent of consumers, second only to the Good Housekeeping Seal, at 92 percent. In comparison, the survey found, the Better Business Bureau is at 79 percent, and the safety organization Underwriters Laboratories, or UL, is at 75 percent."
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Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:40 am // Riley SweeneyNorthwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!
4 comments; last on Jul 24, 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.
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.
16 comments; last on Jul 25, 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."
3 comments; last on Jun 25, 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
Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 1:11 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein there's a crackdown on growing plants, and plans to let slaughter run free
2 comments; last on Mar 16, 2014
Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 10:47 am // John ServaisFukushima radiation has been found 20 miles from Whatcom County farmland along the Fraser River in British Columbia.
1 comments; last on Mar 17, 2014
Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 8:28 am // Dick ConoboyThe infamous American Legislative Exchange Council plans to send its spawn to cities and counties throughout the U.S.
1 comments; last on Mar 24, 2014
Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 11:24 am // Riley SweeneyRiley catches State Rep. Vincent Buys for soliciting funds during session
Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 10:51 am // Riley SweeneyRiley digs into an unusual hiring decision at the County Planning Dept
1 comments; last on Mar 10, 2014
Sun, Mar 02, 2014, 3:22 pm // John ServaisThe editor of the Whatcom Watch, Richard Jehn, has resigned effective today. Chalk up a victory for Craig Cole and Pacific International Terminals.
8 comments; last on Mar 05, 2014
Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 9:29 pm // John ServaisThe full text of Craig Cole's threatening letter of libel against the Whatcom Watch. And the emptiness of the threat.
16 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014
Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 4:33 pm // Wendy HarrisWe were led to believe the city would review waterfront wildlife and habitat connectivity. It turns out that the city intends to focus only on nearshore fish.
Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 1:16 am // Wendy HarrisAccepting the Paul deArmond award of citizen journalism on Feb 7, Wendh Harris gave this speech. We think it deserves its own post.
Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 5:48 pm // John ServaisCraig Cole, the local contact for the proposed Cherry Point coal port has threatened the Whatcom Watch with a libel lawsuit.
6 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014
Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 8:26 am // Riley SweeneyRiley digs through court data and discovers the real impact of privatization and legalization
Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 10:35 pm // Wendy HarrisThe mayor wants to amend a city law to increase flexibility for a GMA provision that should be used rarely, if ever at all.
3 comments; last on Feb 11, 2014
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