It’s finally done…except the lessons

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Mon, Aug 15, 2011, 10:49 pm  //  Tip Johnson

The CIty Council has just reported, on Channel 10, a decision made in executive session to purchase the Chuckanut Ridge development.   This promises to end a debate that has been ongoing since 1981, finally preserving the only property that can expand Fairhaven Park to meet the City's own standard for the area's planned population, the only property that can bridge the park to prior Interurban Trail acquisitions, and the only property that in combination can form a regionally significant gateway to the Chuckanuts.  This is vision on a scale with Stanley Park in Vancouver. Kudos to decisionmakers.

Needless to say, I approve, but with reservations.  This is the best possible outcome and the highest and best use for a property that has been subject to divisive controversy for over two decades.

When saving important lands from development, arriving on an agreed price is always difficult.  The public never wants to spend more than necessary, yet when competing against development, spending more than the developers is inevitable.  Perhaps it costs more, but at least the potential is not squandered.  We are spending a lot, but I believe time will show the wisdom of today's action.  That said, there are still important points to ponder.

The City had a recent appraisal that showed a value of $8.7M.  A previous, publicly sponsored appraisal came up with something over $3M.  That's a big difference for property on which nothing has changed.  Yes, prices went up.  But they also came back down.  Furthermore, the DEIS for the proposed project showed it was essentially undevelopeable at even half the zoned density.  That's what we really need to look at.

The City, through bad public policy and bad (possibly illegal at the time) public procedure, zoned this property at a level of development that eventually proved unsupportable.  The City created vast phantom value on this land - value that expanded to $26M before collapsing under the weight of the real-estate bubble to the $8.2M - $8.3M we will now spend.  The City refused to follow its own guidelines, giving the project every advantage - even at the risk of public health and environmental protections.

The lessons?:
1) Follow zoning procedures for notification, advertisment, and review.
2) Assure consistency with area policies, goals, and objectives.
3) Enforce current regulations for public health and the environment.
4) Don't rush into vesting of private entitlements. Let projects prove their completeness and compliance.
5) Listen to the public, or, "Excuse us, but we live here."  That's what representation means.

Finally, don't be such a weanie.  Do some forensic analysis to discover why we spent so much more than should have been necessary.  We know someone consolidated this property and pulled a fast one through the Council to get the "magical zoning" first described by former chief City Planner, Chris Spens.

6) When an error in zoning has been made, do not hesitate to reexamine it.  That's your job.

What to do ? 

7) The City should now issue a subpoena to the State of Delaware to discover the principals of the West Eden Land Development Corporation who assembled and sold this land, with basic entitlements, to the chain of intractable developers who claimed, "We bought density." 

We might find several parties willing to volunrarily contribute generously toward this important public preservation project!

At the end of the day, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, or not.  What will it be?

BTW, it's time to vote the primary.  Hint: Everyone should do it once!

Hue Beattie  //  Tue, Aug 16, 2011, 1:00 am

Worth watching on TVW. Gene Knutson gave an elegant submation of the long struggle. Happy in Happy Valley tonight.

Mike Rostron  //  Tue, Aug 16, 2011, 8:38 am

With reference to your points 4 and 5 it seems the city is far too content for the most part to let the planning department run the show, with predictable results (Chuckanut Ridge, Fairhaven, York, Sunnyland).  Time and time again neighborhoods find themselves in a defensive posture as private developers attempt to foist their visions for vast profits on the residents—all too often with the aid of a planning department that seems to act as an arm of the development corporations.
If city leaders do not wish to fight a case by case battle with each new proposal brought by developers they need to start listening to the residents and property owners in the neighborhoods.  Neighborhood leaders are motivated by a higher code of ethics.  They wish to preserve and enhance the neighborhoods where they live.  Their vision goes beyond mere profit or the latest development fads and fashions.  Neighborhood resident’s concerns should have priority over those of development corporations.  We in Sunnyland applaud this decision and hope it represents a general trend in the council (and we especially commend Mr. Knutson).  We look forward to a new era where the neighborhoods and city council cooperate to ensure the preservation and enhancement of our city’s best assets.  As for those who wish to remake our city into another version of Seattle or something similar—we suggest they invest elsewhere!

Mike Rostron Sunnyland Neighborhood board member

Larry Horowitz  //  Tue, Aug 16, 2011, 9:55 am

Thanks Gene, Seth, Barry, Michael, Terry, Stan and Jack!

g.h.kirsch  //  Thu, Aug 25, 2011, 8:38 pm

I’m sorry, Larry, but just couldn’t pass it up!

With your thanks to the council, and conspicuous snub of the mayor, it’s surprising you didn’t point out that they were “just signing on.”

But I understand, acknowledging Pike’s role might have broken the Linville Boys Scout Honor code.

he he.

Larry Horowitz  //  Fri, Aug 26, 2011, 2:03 pm

Well, Greg, considering the dozens of articles I?ve written on the subject, I didn?t think it was necessary to explain why I might thank council and not the mayor.  Since Pike took office, he has failed to address the key issues surrounding Chuckanut Ridge, just like his predecessors.  The difference is, before he was elected, candidate Pike made a firm commitment to resolving these issues.  Once elected, he totally disengaged and perfected his ?disappearing act?.

Had Pike addressed these issues ? most notably the enforcement of the CAO ? the city could have acquired the property for millions less while saving hundreds, if not thousands, of hours of time spent by concerned citizens fighting a project everyone knew was an abomination.

IMHO (and I?m probably alone in this), Pike blew it in every way imaginable.  The resolution has been presented as a fair compromise, but is in fact a tragedy.  Mayor Asmundson and the prior Council had committed at least $6 million and up to $8 million of the Greenways 3 (GW3) levy to acquire Chuckanut Ridge.  The Greenways Advisory Committee, which refused to appoint anyone who supported the acquisition of Chuckanut Ridge onto the committee, chose to limit the amount to $4.145 million.  A real compromise would have been roughly $6 million from the GW3 (midway between $4 and $8 million).  Instead, Pike allocated only $4.5 million, or $1.5 million shy of a real compromise.  And you want me to thank him for that? 

As everyone knows, Pike?s plan does not solve this problem; it only delays its resolution.  At some point in the future ? when Pike is long gone - someone will need to come up with another $3.23 million plus interest.  Failure to do so will place the property at risk again, and concerned citizens will be right back where we?ve been.

Greg, I know you?re fixated on Kelli Linville; but this issue has nothing to do with her.  Pike had more than ample opportunity to address the key issues.  His failure to do so artificially propped up the value of this distressed property and ended up costing taxpayers millions.  Because you don?t pay city taxes (or contribute to the Greenways levy), you may not care.  But for those of us who pay city taxes, it?s a big deal.  I don?t need a runaway mayor? and I certainly won?t thank one who failed to enforce an essential public safety regulation.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Larry Horowitz  //  Fri, Aug 26, 2011, 2:07 pm

By the way, everything I?ve written here I?ve shared with Mayor Pike?  numerous times.  Considering Pike?s habit of defending himself in public, I?ve always wondered why he won?t do so when I make these public accusations.  Greg, can you share some light on that subject?

g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 3:21 pm

“At some point in the future – when Pike is long gone - someone will need to come up with another $3.23 million plus interest.  Failure to do so will place the property at risk again, and concerned citizens will be right back where we’ve been.”

True enough.  But, as I recall, those Fairhaven Fat Cats (FFC) have been making a lot of noise for years about contributing, so Bellingham’s other citizens won’t bear the cost of their pet issue.

Every Monday Morning Quarterback could have played the game better than the guys who actually had to suit up.  I’m sure you’d have beat up Washington Federal, straightened out the FDIC, and cut a few million off the price. (and saved the FFC from steppin’ up)

Coulda, whoulda, shoulda!  And how much would have gone to the lawyers needed to take that hill?

The fact is Pike, not Linville, has secured the opportunity to take this from private to public property.  A few steps remain.

After the FFC chip in their share, the rest of Bellingham, in 2017, will decide whether to pay off the balance to Washington Federal in another Greenways vote.  If they don’t, Bellingham will have to sell some of the property to cover the balance.

And certainly, by then, Pike will be long gone.

But even if your girl, Kelli, knocks him out this time ‘round, has she promised you FFC folks $3,200,000?  I doubt it, or, at least, I doubt here sincerity.

The fact is, as always, you’re depending on the citizens of Bellingham to give you what you want.  And they probably will.

I repeat, you snub Pike, but he was the one at the table to get a deal done for you.  Don’t vote for him.  But at least say thank you.

You aren’t in the game if your sittin’ in the bleachers.  And that’s where the bunch of you will be whether Pike wins or loses.

Larry Horowitz  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 3:59 pm

I appreciate your ?Monday Morning Quarterback? football analogy.  I have one of my own. 

Let?s say the Seahawks are playing the Rams for the Division Championship.  With 4 minutes to go, the Seahawks begin their final drive on their own 20 yard line.  For eight consecutive plays, the ball is handed off to Marshawn Lynch, who carries it for 78 yards to the Rams? 2 yard line.  On the final play of the drive, Justin Forsett scores on a 2-yard touchdown to win the game.  Question: Who deserves credit for the touchdown?

You claim that Pike was the one at the table who got the deal done.  What you ignore is the most critical aspect of the entire transaction:  Motivating the seller to sell at a bargain price. 

Who do you think is responsible for getting Washington Federal to the table?  Pike?  Council?  Staff?

I don?t think so!  If left to their own devices, the city would have approved the permit to build 739 units long ago.

You wrote, ?You aren?t in the game if you?re sittin? in the bleachers.?  True enough.  But I?ve hardly been ?sitting? in the bleachers.?  And neither have many others.  We?ve been sluggin? it out with Horizon Bank, Edelstein, and Washington Federal, while Pike, Council and staff sat on the bench enjoying the show.

You wrote, ?You snub Pike??  Really, I snubbed Pike?  What planet do you live on?  I have approached Pike so many times I lost count.  Most recently (for the past several months), I have been providing Pike with enough ammunition to save taxpayers at least $2-3 million on the acquisition.  What did Pike do with the ammunition I gave him?  Squat, diddly, nada, nothin?. 

Why should the FFC pay an extra $2-3 million because Pike can?t negotiate himself out of a paper bag? 

You wrote, ?The fact is, as always, you?re depending on the citizens of Bellingham to give you what you want.?  Not exactly?  For more than six years, myself and dozens of others have spent thousands of hours and tens of thousands of dollars preventing the Fairhaven Highlands project while the city failed to enforce its own public safety regulations.  We have contributed millions towards the Greenways levies that we?ll never see, most of which will subsidize parkland acquisitions in other parts of the city.  We?ve done this on our own without depending on the ?citizens of Bellingham? who were not inclined to help.  We have certainly not depended upon county residents ? like yourself - who don?t pay city taxes or contribute to the Greenways levy.

Your fixation with Kelli is getting old.  Kelli has nothing to do with the acquisition of Chuckanut Ridge.  I like Kelli, but it is demeaning to Kelli to call her ?my girl.?  To my knowledge, she hasn?t made any promises regarding this property. 

You have every right to defend your friend Pike; but your lack of information places you at a tremendous disadvantage.  Of course, Pike?s actions aren’t helping you much either.

g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 4:29 pm

Larry, you’re playing Fantasy Football.  It’s time to play the real game.  Edelstein and Horizon Bank was last season.

Washington Federal and the FDIC were last Sunday, and Pike was quarterback.  You think he should have scored more points, or the defense should have held them to less, but the fact is you won.  Get over it.

As fixations go, your’s and John’s vis a vis Pike, based largely on his unwillingness to let you trump Bellingham’s staff, legal and planning, at will; now that’s a real fixation!

“Pike, Council and staff sat on the bench enjoying the show.” is it any wonder you don’t get any traction with Pike, council or staff?

I’m as much a nuisance and liability to Pike as I am to most politicians.  Doesn’t bother me, though.  And not paying city taxes or voting in city elections is hardly a criticism, I’m objective by comparison to you.

It just shocks me that you and John find yourselves on the same side as Joe Wilson (AFY), Jack Petree, the BIAWC, Pete Kremen et al, and don’t get it.

g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 4:39 pm

I didn’t mean to leave off that political seer, man of few (intelligent) words, Seiner Man, Doug Karlberg.

Larry Horowitz  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 5:06 pm

Edelstein and Horizon Bank are hardly last season; more like the first half of a long game.  Your sports analogies are no longer effective.

It’s not that I ‘think’ Pike “should have scored more points”; I KNOW he should have negotiated a better deal.  I wouldn’t say we won; more like a $3 million Pyrrhic victory.

Greg, I have no fixation vis-a-vis Pike.  He’s just an obstacle.  I do have a fixation vis-a-vis Chuckanut Ridge. 

I’m no judge as to whether or not you’re objective.  I know for a fact you are not well informed.

As far as your friend AFY is concerned, I believe the two of you are on the same side regarding the traffic cameras.  Are you not?  Is that some kind of litmus test?  By the way, I’m not alone in not supporting Pike.  I believe Pike has lost the support of the author of this article as well.

I’m not too worried about gaining traction with Pike, Council or staff.  Pike’s the third mayor I’ve worked with on this issue, and Jeff Thomas is the third planning director.  On Council, only two remain of the seven who committed $8 million toward the acquisition of Chuckanut Ridge.  With all that turnover, there’s plenty of opportunity to build bridges and very little concern over burning a few along the way.

By the way, since it looks like it’s just the two of us having a private conversation, I wanted to point out the difference between my criticism of Pike and yours of Linville.  As far as I know, you have never sat down with Kelli to discuss your objectives and concerns, yet you criticize her constantly.  On the other hand, I have met with Pike on a number of occasions and have communicated with him by phone, letter and email many more times.  My criticism of Pike is based on my direct experience with him.  Based on what I have experienced personally, I cannot support him.

Larry Horowitz  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 5:29 pm

I wanted to add one more thing that won?t be of interest to anyone but the two of us.

It?s true that I cannot get any traction with staff and several council members; but that started not as a result of my work on Chuckanut Ridge.  It started back in 2005, when I was working closely with your ex-wife, Susan, you, Helen Green, and the Macombers to challenge the city?s Comp Plan and prevent urban sprawl.  I lost traction with (and respect for) several staff and council members then, while fighting in front of the Growth Management Hearings Board on YOUR fixation to prevent the inclusion of Larrabbee Springs in Bellingham?s UGA.

You?re welcome!

Larry Horowitz  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 5:41 pm

BTW, I am not sure getting traction with Pike is all it is cracked up to be.  I know a number of Chuckanut Ridge supporters who have kissed his ass since he was elected, and they are still stuck with a $3 million bill.  As least my nose ain?t brown.

Regarding traction, how much do you expect to have if Kelli is our new Mayor and Erickson is our new County Executive?  I have not seen you use much honey with them.

g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 5:44 pm

I respect the fact you acknowledge your antipathy to Pike is “Based on what I have experienced personally,” and hence, “I cannot support him.”

On the other hand, my opposition to Linville is based on her well established record in the Legislature as one of the “Roadkill” caucus who supported numerous compromises of Democratic initiatives.

Particularly when it came to legislation needed by the BIAW, supported gladly for campaign contributions and leadership votes. 

Kelli remarked, after being voted out of office, how it irritated her that after years of compromising her principles for her Republican constituents, they voted her out anyway.

I only wish she had gone nobly, before she had to face the truth of standing for nothing but election and/or reelection.

g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 5:52 pm

As regards Larabee Springs, CAITAC, or whatever, the UGA fight, yes, you were the first to discover the fraud in the Bellingham Comp Plan. 

But I was the first to understand what you were talking about, and make it an embarrassment.  And only when I explained it to Pike did the city switch course and become the major obstacle to that project.

Now at stake is who will guide the revision of the Bellingham Comp plan, Pike, or the elected representative of the BIAWC and Realtors.

g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 5:55 pm

All of which reminds me, now you’re supporting Ted Michaikov’s candidate for mayor. Our man from CAITAC!

How ironic.

Larry Horowitz  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 6:24 pm

Well, I guess you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do:  Take an article about Chuckanut Ridge and criticize Kelli Linville.  Seems like quite a stretch to me.  On the other hand, I posted a gracious thank-you to Council on the 16th and remained quiet about my dissatisfaction with Pike until you “couldn’t pass up” making a comment nine days later.  And you make a big deal about why I can’t gain any traction?

I raised the issue about Larrabee Springs to point out that I had already lost traction with staff and council before Pike came on the scene.  (And I lost that traction working on YOUR pet issue.)  Pike, being nothing more than a bureaucrat, was never going to listen to me when challenged by staff and council.  I never had any traction to gain or lose.

Regarding the future of the Bellingham Comp Plan, it’s possible neither Pike or Linville will be around at the end of 2016 when the next Plan is adopted, now that the city has accepted the state’s offer to delay our 20-year growth plan for five years.

Finally, assuming you supported Pike last time, you also supported Ted Michaikov’s candidate.  Talk about irony!

I’m sure you’ll want the last word.  I’ve got nothing, so please feel free.


g.h.kirsch  //  Sun, Aug 28, 2011, 7:16 pm

Thank you, old friend, you are, as always with me, gracious in allowing me to close. 

I think it was Anatole France who pointed out, “irony” is the joy of reflection with the benefit history.

In this instance, it was Ted whose expectations in Pike were misplaced, not mine or yours.

Till now, we’ve disagreed on very little.  I do wish you wouldn’t push me to too strongly advocate for Pike, who I’ve shared with you, is just the least of several evils.

You know, I do agree with you regards his weakness for staff reasoning.

And, mis-describing CAITAC as my pet issue, you’ve certainly forgotten that development around Lake Whatcom is my personal battle.

CAITAC is part of my general concern for protecting rural and resource lands from rape by the BIAWC and Realtors.

Mike Rostron  //  Mon, Aug 29, 2011, 8:28 pm

“You know, I do agree with you regards[sic] his weakness for staff reasoning.”

To get away from your private battle a little (after all, this is a public forum), the city council is also way too susceptible to staff pressures.  In this town, it appears the tail wags the dog.  It is about time elected representatives start giving the staff direction, and not vice versa!

Larry Horowitz  //  Mon, Aug 29, 2011, 8:46 pm


Thanks for joining in.  There was never any intention to prevent others from commenting, but no one else seemed to have anything to add.

My conversation with Greg is not a private battle with him.  My battle is with Pike and Council.  As you have correctly observed, the tail absolutely wags the dog in Bellingham.  Both Council and Pike take direction from staff, especially the legal staff. 

Our elected officials need to direct the legal staff, instruct them how they would like to proceed, and verify they are on sound legal footing.  Unfortunately, that’s not how it works in this city.  I have worked closely with three Fortune 500 company clients and a number of smaller ones.  In every case, company management tells the corporate lawyers what they want to achieve and relies on their attorneys to ensure they follow the law.  In Bellingham, the mayor and council are told by the city attorneys what to do.  It’s bass-ackwards to say the least.  I guess that’s what happens when you elect bureaucrats.  I hope we don’t continue to make that mistake.

Again, Mike, thanks for joining in.

g.h.kirsch  //  Tue, Aug 30, 2011, 6:36 am

The problem is hardly limited to the city.  The county is even worse.  McEachran’s latest direction to the planning department (not to penalize SSA for illegal clearing) is a good example.

In my career I’ve had altogether too much experience with the bar.  And I agree with Larry, you have to tell the lawyers what to do.  Sometimes their advice is good, but more often it’s self serving: avoid tough fights and avoid losing.

But as that great philosopher, Wayne Gretzky, observed, “You miss every shot you don’t take.”

In my opinion, our legislative bodies lack an independent staff. (not that it would do any good at the county, they’ve got Belcher-Swanson to advise them!)

As a result, it’s the administration’s agenda that goes forward, and the legislators are left to go along with largely the advice the administration thinks they should have.

Now, that’s “bass-ackwards”!

Roosevelt Neighborhood Pleads for Left Turns

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City pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out

3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2014


Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 3:29 pm  //  Guest writer

By Christopher Grannis: Wherein despite every effort and expense, citizens cannot make the City follow the law or work for neighborhoods

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Paper Dreams in Fairhaven

Next door to Village Books

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Please help us protect county wildlife by ensuring that the scope of the EIS review is adequate. A sample scoping letter is included.


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The public has a week to comment on the scope of issues reviewed under the EIS.


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On 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

County Considers Purchasing Toxic Property

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Riley digs into the county's plan to buy the county morgue

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Propaganda Replaces Public Information:  An Analysis of the Lake Whatcom TDML Process

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Mobile Slaughter

Sat, Mar 15, 2014, 12:11 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein there's a crackdown on growing plants, and plans to let slaughter run free

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Fukushima Radiation Found In Canada

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1 comments; last on Mar 17, 2014

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The 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

Rep. Vincent Buys Appears to Break State Fundraising Laws

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Riley catches State Rep. Vincent Buys for soliciting funds during session


County Hires GPT Permit Lead as Senior Planner

Mon, Mar 10, 2014, 9:51 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley digs into an unusual hiring decision at the County Planning Dept

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Whatcom Watch Editor Resigns

Sun, Mar 02, 2014, 2:22 pm  //  John Servais

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8 comments; last on Mar 05, 2014

Relevant Documents to Libel Threat

Tue, Feb 25, 2014, 8:29 pm  //  John Servais

The 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

Action Alert for Tonight: Waterfront Wildlife and Habitat Not Being Protected as Promised

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We 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.


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Sat, Feb 22, 2014, 12:16 am  //  Wendy Harris

Accepting the Paul deArmond award of citizen journalism on Feb 7, Wendh Harris gave this speech. We think it deserves its own post.


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6 comments; last on Mar 20, 2014

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Filing a public record request could land a citizen in jail under a proposal reflected in a Herald opinion article.

2 comments; last on Feb 03, 2014

Wendy Harris Receives deArmond Award for Citizen Journalism

Wed, Jan 29, 2014, 6:18 am  //  Guest writer

Tim Johnson writes about the first recipient of the Paul deArmond Citizen Journalism award, Whatcom County writer Wendy Harris.

3 comments; last on Feb 08, 2014

Anatomy of a Development Part XI - The Doldrums at University Ridge

Mon, Jan 20, 2014, 5:14 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The developers of University Ridge have been silent since shortly after the hearing examiner's decision on 23 October last year. Will they walk?


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Super Bowl ... Weed Bowl ... This bud's for you ... Bong Bowl ... Marijuana Bowl ... whatever. It is on!

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Do we actually need to say that we, as citizens, want accurate information from government officials?

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6 comments; last on Jan 03, 2014

Port Memo Addresses Marina Fraud Allegations

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Gary Jensen Not Running for State Senate

Mon, Dec 16, 2013, 12:30 pm  //  John Servais

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Larrabee School; Its Future

Mon, Dec 09, 2013, 12:24 pm  //  Guest writer

Barbara Perry writes about the closed nature of the Bellingham School Board on the future of the Larrabee School.

1 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

Steal this Waterfront: Costs without Benefit

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 8:23 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein the direct, indirect, hidden and lost opportunity costs make this a waterfront boondoggle of billions

3 comments; last on Dec 11, 2013

On Monday, City Council Votes “third and final” Approval of Waterfront Plan

Sat, Dec 07, 2013, 12:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Local activist calls on Bellingham City Council to table the unpopular waterfront plans and engage in meaningful public process

2 comments; last on Dec 08, 2013

Lecture on County Water Issues Draws Crowd

Fri, Dec 06, 2013, 11:03 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The county will be required to consider water quality and water quantity when planning rural growth.

3 comments; last on Dec 10, 2013

Video Exposes City Council Dysfunction on Waterfront Plan

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 11:58 am  //  John Servais

The Political Junkie has posted a 3 minute video showing Bellingham City Council members explaining their idiocy for all of us to watch.

2 comments; last on Dec 06, 2013

The Bellingham “Riot” - Let’s Expand the Conversation

Thu, Dec 05, 2013, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The post "riot" conversation is terribly lacking in several areas. We must expand the discussion or risk learning little from the experience.

3 comments; last on Dec 15, 2013

Cascadia Weekly Blasts Waterfront Plan

Wed, Dec 04, 2013, 10:53 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council and Port of Bellingham finalize the waterfront plan. In his weekly Gristle, Tim Johnson blasts the corrupt public process.

4 comments; last on Dec 05, 2013

Waterfront Development Bonus Yet Another Bad Idea

Sat, Nov 30, 2013, 8:11 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The waterfront plan allows a development bonus for payments made to the Lake Whatcom land acquisition fund

1 comments; last on Dec 01, 2013

City and Port Ready To Act on Waterfront Plan

Fri, Nov 29, 2013, 9:43 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A number of important issues need to be resolved before waterfront planning is complete, but the city council and port commission are ready to act.

2 comments; last on Nov 30, 2013

Port Unable To Protect Public Safety

Fri, Nov 22, 2013, 9:01 pm  //  Wendy Harris

If the port can not construct the airport safely, should it be entrusted with dangerous waterfront cleanup work?


Walmart and McDonald’s - Partners in Institutionalized Cluelessness

Wed, Nov 20, 2013, 5:03 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The advice coming from Walmart and McDonald's to its low paid employees becomes more and more bizarre and inane.


Anatomy of a Development - Part X Appeals of the Hearing Examiner’s Decision

Tue, Nov 19, 2013, 5:35 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Ambling's motion to the hearing examiner for reconsideration was definitively rejected. The developer has not met the deadline for an appeal to the Superior Court


Smoking Gun: Fraud and Deception

Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 2:18 pm  //  Guest writer

In which we find the hidden core of the waterfront plan is rotten through and through

7 comments; last on Nov 21, 2013

County Releases EIS, Prepares to Purchase Jail Site

Mon, Nov 18, 2013, 10:59 am  //  Riley Sweeney

The county takes two big steps forward on the new jail, while still missing the point


Noballmacare and Setting the False Standard

Thu, Nov 14, 2013, 1:39 am  //  Tip Johnson

Dear Mr. President, There's a sucker born every minute, and two to take him.

7 comments; last on Nov 21, 2013

City Council Misled On Waterfront Planning

Wed, Nov 13, 2013, 3:16 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city adminstration has been providing misleading/ incorrect information to the city council to avoid waterfront plan revisions.

1 comments; last on Nov 18, 2013

Election Analysis: What Happened with the Port Races?

Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 10:21 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley crunches the numbers on Renata and McAuley's races to find answers

2 comments; last on Nov 13, 2013

Puget Neighborhood Likely New Home for 1,300 Students

Tue, Nov 12, 2013, 5:16 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Puget Neighborhood will likely have in the immediate future 1,300 new rental units that will be marketed primarily to the student population.


Gloomy Fate For Waterfront Wildlife

Sat, Nov 09, 2013, 9:47 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The COB administration continues in its refusal to analyze waterfront wildlife issues, even though this is a prerequisite step in protecting wildlife from the impacts of development

3 comments; last on Nov 10, 2013

Election Results - November 2013

Tue, Nov 05, 2013, 8:21 pm  //  John Servais

With lots of outside county money flowing in to our local races, this election is weird. But real - and we county residents have spoken.

11 comments; last on Nov 09, 2013

Health Insurance Scams - Washington Not Spared

Mon, Nov 04, 2013, 9:55 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The call of the dollar speaks more loudly to health insurance companies than does the voice and well-being of the consumer, even here in Washington.

8 comments; last on Nov 06, 2013

Anatomy of a Development - Part IX BMC Rule of Three Thwarts Plans

Thu, Oct 31, 2013, 10:19 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Four bedroom dorm rooms have been nixed by the hearing examiner. University Ridge may be in trouble as a cash cow for Ambling Development of Georgia

3 comments; last on Nov 04, 2013

The Slaughterhouse Referendum - Citizens Opposing Widespread Slaughter (COWS)

Mon, Oct 28, 2013, 10:19 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein we discover why we exert our rights - and grab some more petitions before it's too late

3 comments; last on Nov 06, 2013

Dick’s Picks for City Council - Burr and Petree

Mon, Oct 28, 2013, 12:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Independent voters are for independent thinkers on the city council. Vote for Burr and Petree.


Boulevard Park Reopens

Sat, Oct 26, 2013, 7:36 pm  //  John Servais

Beach reconstruction is done at Boulevard Park on the Bellingham waterfront. Paths along shore are again open - and it looks good.

6 comments; last on Nov 01, 2013

Ken Bell and Renata for Port

Sun, Oct 20, 2013, 7:07 pm  //  John Servais

Ken Bell has my vote over Mike McAuley for port commissioner. And Renata Kowalczyk has it over Dan Robbins.

8 comments; last on Oct 30, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part VIII The 12 October Riot and University Ridge

Tue, Oct 15, 2013, 3:16 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

The development of University Ridge will replicate the student ghetto that fueled the riot on 12 October.

6 comments; last on Oct 25, 2013


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