Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Permalink +

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 11:26 am  //  John Servais

Yes, that is Village Books in the photo. Yes, that is a construction truck parked next to its front door.

…and the Historic Fairhaven shopping district rang with the noise of city public works tearing up the street. 

Note:  see late evening update at end of article.

Yes.  The Bellingham Public Works department decided to totally rip up a block of Mill Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets today and repave it.  It is causing parking chaos in the small shopping district during this, the biggest shopping week of the year.  

In speaking to several business owners, all were unaware until this morning that the street was going to be closed and torn up.  The only advance notice was given to the residents of the two condos so they could get their cars out of the underground parking garages.  And they did, parking on the main shopping street of 11th, so that as business owners arrived early this morning to prepare for opening they found all the parking places on two blocks fully taken - but not by shoppers.

Why? Well the city folks tried to cop out of responsibility by saying the construction company had the option of doing it whenever it wanted and also that the asphalt plant was shutting down on Friday, not to open again until February.  It seems the contruction company, not being tone deaf to this being the high shopping season, tried to get public works to allow the work to be done after Christmas or early spring.  But public works said do it now.

After having spoken to several people in city hall, this appears to be public works managers being totally tone deaf to local business concerns. Public Works Superintendent of Maintenance Mike Olinger, said that yes, the repaving “… probably could wait until spring…” without any problem. 

The street should be opened sometime tomorrow, Friday.  The construction company is trying to do the job as fast as possible. 

Meanwhile, a good business analyst could calculate how many thousands - many thousands - of dollars in lost sales the small Fairhaven shopping district will loose today and possibly tomorrow.  And we can only guess how many shoppers, planning to buy presents at Village Books, Fairhaven Toy Garden, the Whatcom Antique Mall and any number of other shops right on that corner or that block of 11th will decide to go to the mall where they can park - even if it means a longer walk to a shop.  

One business owner joked - well half joked - that maybe the downtown association asked the city to do the work this week and drive shoppers downtown.  But in truth, the last couple years have seen downtown and Fairhaven shopping organizations working together on promotions.  

Disclaimer:  I run the Fairhaven.com website that promotes the historic district.  Normally I do not report on Fairhaven issues here because of that.  However, this is way over the line and just such absurd action by public works. No business district should be so disrupted by our well paid and supposedly intelligent city administrators.

Evening Update:

The WRS Construction crew got plenty of equipment and crew to the street and finished as darkness came but before the lashing rain arrived about 6 pm.  Street opened and we are back to normal.  No thanks to our Public Works department.  Much thanks to the WRS construction crew.  But the day was a losing one for many merchants.  See bottom photo below for activity as darkness descended.  

Yes, that is a toy store behind the sign - Fairhaven Toy Garden kitty corner from Village Books.

The condo residents got all their cars out of the parking garage - and parked on the streets. Not their fault.

As can be seen, the asphalt street is in very good condition, not needing any emergency replacement.

The construction crew gave their best to finish by sunset and reopened the street this evening. Thanks WRS.

Twas the Week Before Christmas…

Thu, Dec 18, 2014, 11:26 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Public Works shows how tone deaf they can be to business concerns. They insisted on street work that takes away up to 80 parking spaces in Fairhaven…

0 comments

Bellingham City Council Approves Rental Inspections

Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 2:51 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

7-0! City Council Unanimous. Rentals Will Be Inspected in Bellingham. Thanks go to WWU students for speaking out to city council.

4 comments; last on Dec 18, 2014

Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

Tune in TONIGHT for Political Comedy

Tue, Oct 14, 2014, 5:36 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley does a local political comedy show

1 comments; last on Oct 15, 2014

Bham Planning Director - Rick Sepler Chosen

Wed, Oct 08, 2014, 5:24 pm  //  John Servais

Three final candidates for Bellingham Planning Director spoke today at a cozy 'meet and greet' of government employees and developers.

6 comments; last on Oct 11, 2014

Samish Way Experience - Drug Dealing Dangers?

Wed, Sep 17, 2014, 9:26 am  //  John Servais

We post a disturbing report of a personal encounter along Samish Way, with the permission of John Stark, who experienced it.

2 comments; last on Sep 17, 2014

Who Will Be Appointed to Lehman’s City Council Seat?

Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 7:21 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley 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

You can’t fight city hall: city hall doesn’t fight fair

Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 1:06 pm  //  Guest writer

Patrick McKee of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest-writes about the August 11 City Council slap-dash zoning changes.

2 comments; last on Aug 23, 2014

Devil In the Details

Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 2:48 pm  //  Guest writer

Judith 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

Fleetwood versus Ericksen: What Happened in Round One?

Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 9:52 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Some Context for the Primary Results

0 comments

The Rule of Law - Bellingham Style

Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 10:31 pm  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council abruptly changes zoning codes to force Planning Department plan on Sunnyland residents.

7 comments; last on Aug 14, 2014

Northwest Citizen Releases Polling of Whatcom Voters

Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 10:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Northwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!

9 comments; last on Jul 29, 2014

Sunnyland Planning Process Explained - Partially

Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 9:47 pm  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Mike Rostron explains how Bellingham city planners played loose and illegal with planning processes.

0 comments

City Council Approves Resident’s Sunnyland Plan

Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 6:22 pm  //  John Servais

Sunnlyland residents win one - after a seven year effort. Planning Department failed them and all of us.

2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2014

What Landlords Need to Know about Rental Registration

Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 4:30 am  //  Guest writer

Landlords 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

Sunnyland Deja Vu

Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 12:24 pm  //  Guest writer

Judith Green explains how the Bellingham Planning Department is trying to cram their plan onto a neighborhood.

5 comments; last on Jul 21, 2014

Dawn Sturwold Retiring End of Month

Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 10:20 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham Hearing Examiner, Dawn Sturwold, retires in three weeks. Successor selection is hidden from all of us.

3 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014

Feint, Calumny, Solidarity

Wed, May 28, 2014, 2:15 pm  //  Guest writer

A 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

Bellingham’s 2013 Water Quality Report: The Facts But Not the Truth

Tue, May 13, 2014, 4:04 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Bellingham's annual water quality report indicates that city hall's propoganda machine is going strong

1 comments; last on May 14, 2014

Stay the Frack Out of Our Forearc

Sun, May 11, 2014, 1:20 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

Part 1: Introduction to the Bellingham Basin’s Potential for Fracking, Earthquakes, and Earthquakes Due to Fracking

3 comments; last on May 14, 2014

The Whatcom Republicans’ Huge PCO Advantage

Tue, May 06, 2014, 4:52 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

The value of a Precinct Committee Officer . . .

1 comments; last on May 07, 2014

Action Alert for Tonight: Waterfront Wildlife and Habitat Threatened

Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 10:43 am  //  Wendy Harris

The public needs to support city council and request that a waterfront habitat assessment include terrestrial species and habitat connectivity.

0 comments

Roosevelt Neighborhood Pleads for Left Turns

Wed, Apr 09, 2014, 8:07 am  //  Riley Sweeney

City pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out

3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2014

Reid Boiler Works Burns Down

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 9:13 am  //  John Servais

The old empty Reid Boiler Works industrial building in Fairhaven burned to the ground Saturday night.

0 comments

City too Poor for Power Pennies or Discrimination?

Fri, Dec 27, 2013, 4:00 am  //  Guest writer

Guest writer Barbara Perry writes about Bellingham Parks refusal to allow motorized wheel chairs to recharge at public electrical outlets.

6 comments; last on Jan 03, 2014

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

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

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

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

Treaty Rights and Public Rights Ignored In Overwater Walkway

Tue, Oct 08, 2013, 2:22 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city staff considers the overwater walkway a done deal before official approval or resolution of treaty right conflicts

4 comments; last on Oct 16, 2013

Wildlife Impacts Missing In COB Waterfront District EIS

Sat, Sep 28, 2013, 5:05 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The city and port have not addressed wildlife impacts from waterfront development and this should be done before a waterfront plan is enacted.

0 comments

Over $330,000 raised and spent on elections in Whatcom County

Thu, Sep 19, 2013, 6:08 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley examines who is donating to which candidates

0 comments

Riley Covers Anti Syria War Demo

Sat, Aug 31, 2013, 2:10 pm  //  John Servais

Saturday afternoon - and a rally is taking place in downtown Bellingham against bombing Syria. Riley Sweeny and his Political Junkie site cover it.

0 comments

Water Agreement Fails Scrutiny

Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 11:31 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The City of Bellingham memorandum of agreement with Lynden does not make sense. What is going on?

4 comments; last on Sep 11, 2013

Council Chooses Reasonable Regulation on Retail Marijuana

Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 9:26 am  //  Riley Sweeney

After attending the public hearing on the marijuana ban, Riley breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly

4 comments; last on Aug 20, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part IV Geology, Stormwater, Wetlands and Watershed

Mon, Jul 15, 2013, 8:08 am  //  Guest writer

The proposed development ought not proceed without a more extensive geological assessment and a thorough evaluation of the impacts on the Lincoln Creek watershed.

0 comments

Celebrations More Racist than Verdict

Sun, Jul 14, 2013, 10:25 am  //  John Servais

The explosion of hate and racist rhetoric is the saddest aspect of the verdict. The evidence was complicated and the verdict difficult to make.

2 comments; last on Jul 16, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part III University Ridge - Where Do I Park?

Mon, Jul 08, 2013, 12:30 pm  //  Guest writer

Ambling University Development has substantially underestimated the role of the car in the lives of its eventual student renters and their visitors.

2 comments; last on Jul 09, 2013

The Irony of City Council Attitudes

Wed, Jul 03, 2013, 11:06 am  //  John Servais

Public process ignored. Citizen commenting castigated. Paranoid city legal department. Our city council merrily goes through another session.

6 comments; last on Aug 06, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part II Predictions of Dormitory Traffic Impacts Unrealistic

Wed, Jul 03, 2013, 11:02 am  //  Guest writer

The traffic analysis for the University Ridge dormitory development in the Puget Neighborhood lacks realistic data and leads to incorrect conclusions that the city must address.

2 comments; last on Jul 04, 2013

Greenways Levy Money Used for AstroTurf

Sun, Jun 30, 2013, 10:28 am  //  John Servais

Bellingham City Council ready to approve $500,000 of trails money for resurfacing plastic grass on Civic Field.

15 comments; last on Jul 02, 2013

Anatomy of a Development Proposal - Part I The Variance

Wed, Jun 26, 2013, 7:04 pm  //  Dick Conoboy

A variance request without merit is the centerpiece of a development proposal to construct a complex of four dormitory-style buildings among single family homes in the Puget Neighborhood

0 comments

Intersection Art Comes to Happy Valley

Sun, Jun 09, 2013, 9:37 pm  //  John Servais

Intersection art - the painting of a design on the actual streets - is being developed in the Happy Valley neighborhood.

1 comments; last on Jun 15, 2013

Bellingham Passes Fireworks Ban

Mon, Jun 03, 2013, 9:05 pm  //  John Servais

City Council passes long-debated ban 4 to 3. It is effective in 2014.

0 comments

Our Water - War or Pieces?

Fri, May 24, 2013, 12:18 am  //  Guest writer

Marian Beddill provides a general guide for the public, with a look at the history of water rights in Washington state.

4 comments; last on May 26, 2013

Who is filing for elective offices???

Fri, May 17, 2013, 4:44 pm  //  John Servais

Tuesday morning and nothing in today's Bellingham Herald. Nor online. We provide the basics to fill in this latest omission by our "daily" newspaper.

9 comments; last on May 23, 2013

Help Save Larrabee Elementary School

Sat, May 04, 2013, 12:09 pm  //  Guest writer

Wendy Scherrer reminds all who support modest sized grade schools to try and attend the meeting Wed, May 8, in the evening.

3 comments; last on May 11, 2013

Waterfront “Planned Action Ordinance” Limits Restoration and Public Input

Tue, Mar 26, 2013, 8:59 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The City Planning Department has included a technical document in the waterfront proposal without disclosing important impacts.

1 comments; last on Mar 30, 2013

No City Housing Hearing on March 20

Tue, Mar 19, 2013, 9:05 am  //  John Servais

The Bellingham Herald article today is wrong. There is no hearing tomorrow, March 20

0 comments

Valuable Article in the Whatcom Watch

Sun, Mar 17, 2013, 8:42 pm  //  John Servais

Wendy Harris writes about the proposed $8 million concrete bridge along the Bellingham waterfront - using Greenways funds to build.

3 comments; last on Mar 20, 2013

PeaceHealth Merger Threatens Women’s Health in Whatcom County

Tue, Feb 26, 2013, 6:39 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley details upcoming merger between PeaceHealth and a much more conservative entity

1 comments; last on Feb 26, 2013

Petition to Establish a Bellingham Art Market

Mon, Feb 25, 2013, 5:51 pm  //  Tip Johnson

Wherein artists have to eat, too!

0 comments

City Controls Chuckanut Park - Not New Park District

Fri, Feb 22, 2013, 2:47 pm  //  John Servais

The election created a new park district with taxing power - but with NO control over Chuckanut Ridge - the 100 acre woods.

1 comments; last on Feb 23, 2013

Waterfront EIS Revised Without Public Process

Tue, Feb 19, 2013, 9:40 pm  //  Wendy Harris

An "Updated Preferred Alternative" reduces the number of waterfront jobs and expands the boundary of the waterfront district.

0 comments

Thoughts on the Park District Vote

Wed, Feb 13, 2013, 3:42 pm  //  John Servais

The Park District vote is close and we will not know final results until late ballots are counted.

6 comments; last on Feb 19, 2013

Time to Vote on Park District

Sat, Feb 09, 2013, 12:14 am  //  John Servais

The proponents have avoided the issues on the Park District as the close of voting nears this weekend.

2 comments; last on Feb 12, 2013

Check the Protect Bellingham Parks Website

Wed, Feb 06, 2013, 10:42 pm  //  John Servais

When is a vote No the most positive and common sense action? Check the park district opponents website to learn why.

15 comments; last on Feb 10, 2013

 

Election Info

County election results

State election results

Coal, Oil & Trains


Community Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light

Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

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

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
State election results
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

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

Leisure

Adventures NW

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

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The

Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders