Running blog on Coal Port

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Fri, Jun 03, 2011, 11:56 am  //  John Servais

Fri, June 3, 2011

Senator Patty Murray filed a new bill in May to help get Gateway Pacific up to $500 million in U.S. federal grants or loans.  Patty?  Our liberal, Democratic, environmental Senator?  Is she just asking all us environmentalists in Whatcom County to abandon her?  Does she really want to spend our tax dollars to destroy the quality of life here in Whatcom County?  Is she totally out of touch?  

Check out Senate Bill 942 - introduced by Patty just four weeks ago on May 10.  I didn't see anything about it in our local daily newspaper.  Probably no press release from her office.  She is not nuts.  But there it is - a bill to dole out billions to the large corporations wanting to ship coal to China.  All carefully phrased in double speak.  

The fix has been in on this project since it ramped up in February.  Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, Governor Gregoire, and our Representative Rick Larsen are all behind it.  They are all in on the fix and were no doubt brought in over the past couple years.  What's in it for them?  Probably campaign contributions and promises of no aid for their opponents.  Stuff like that - stuff we will never know.  They don't go out on a limb for a project like this for nothing.  Hell, if Gateway Pacific gets a $200 million grant, or if Burlington Northern/Santa Fe gets $300 million for new double tracks to Bellingham, then why not toss a few thousand to Patty?  And now - thanks to the Supreme Court - it can be done secretly and directly.  We will never know anything.  This is how to destroy democracy - and Patty is part of it.  

If Patty does not like what I've said above, then let her speak out - and withdraw her bill to give even more money to Goldman-Sachs.  Let her visit Whatcom County and tell the residents here she made a mistake and will not support this coal port.  Let her tell us she wants to protect the environment.  

I'll be adding more to this one post as time goes by.  

Todd Granger  //  Sat, Jun 04, 2011, 7:37 am

This is protecting the environment John.

“It should be our endeavor to cultivate peace and friendship of every nation…Our interest will be to throw open the doors of commerce, and to knock off its shackles, giving perfect freedom to all persons for the vent of whatever they may choose to bring into our ports, and asking the same of theirs.”
Thomas Jefferson; “Notes on the State of Virginia”

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John Servais  //  Sat, Jun 04, 2011, 11:36 am

Todd - you must be a very nice person.  And very naive.  Yes, protecting the environment - by giving hundreds of millions to Goldman Sachs to build double tracks and rail yards to and at Cherry Point.  So nice you bring Thomas Jefferson into this - the man who despised industry and praised agriculture. 

Yes - let us cultivate friendship with everyone.  What would they like of ours?  Coal?  Sure - we will dirty ourselves, wreck our environment and trash our county so they can have cheap coal.  That way they can save their extensive coal for the future.  Friendship.  What can you give your neighbor that he might like?  Why not cut down the trees on your property that block his views?  Maybe give him the wood below your costs.  Some friendship.  Try the word ‘sucker’.


Scott Wicklund  //  Sat, Jun 04, 2011, 9:03 pm

I believe Senator Murray’s spouse actually works for the Stevedore company proposing the Coal Port.  I think she preferred the older earmark system than the current one.  Senator Murray was one of the signers of a letter to President Obama requesting urgent action on the deficit and using the Catfood Comission recomendations to cut Social Security and Medicare.  Strange she would seek funding for Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett if she believed the deficit required cutting Social Security and Medicare.


Paul deArmond  //  Sun, Jun 05, 2011, 8:39 am

A few corrections might be in order. 

The TIGER re-appropriation bill is a continuation of a national program started in 2009.  If there was no Gateway Pacific project, this bill would still have been created.  There is a press release and it provides some details of past projects from the previous 2009 legislation:

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There is nothing about the Gateway Pacific terminal in the bill.  It covers all federal transportation infrastructure, highways, ports, rail, everything in all 50 states.  It’s national and the grant and loan amounts could be anywhere between $1 million and $500 million.  Gateway might benefit from this funding, but it will be fighting for it’s place at the trough along with every other project in the country.

Rob Murray, Patty’s husband works as a computer consultant for SSA and it has been reported since 2004 when Rick Anderson did his usual job in the Seattle Weekly of trying to create controversy without much substance:

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I’ve heard some wild estimates of the amount of train traffic.  So a little poking around found this railfan site:

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They are talking 24 million tonnes per year.  A big coal train will be about 15,000 tonnes.  That’s 1,600 trains per year delivering coal and then turning around empty.  Spread over a year that’s about eight to ten additional trains coming and going, empty and full.  I think we have about six trains a day now, so we’re looking at maybe 16 trains a day, north and south as a result of the Peabody/China contract.

Back when Hershey bars were a nickel, there was a lot of train traffic through Bellingham.  I wonder if some of the local railfans could dig up information on what the peak traffic through Bellingham was in the past.  They tend to be good at that sort of thing.


Hue Beattie  //  Sun, Jun 05, 2011, 9:45 pm

thank you Paul for correcting the info on the
transportation bill.


Rob Stratton  //  Mon, Jun 06, 2011, 9:44 am

Thomas Jefferson may have liked agricultural industry over “factory” industry but was wise enough to say this….

“A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government.”

Thomas Jefferson


Todd Granger  //  Tue, Jun 07, 2011, 9:51 am

Jefferson dispised industry John?

Discussing the public business to our NorthwestCitizens?

“Commerce is the great engine by which we are to coerce them and not war.”
To Meriweather Lewis 1808, looking for the Northwest passage?

“Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”
1st Inaugural 1801

“We must place the manufacturer by the side of the agriculturalist…Experiance has taught me that manufactures
are now as necessary to our independance as to our comfortTo Austin 1816

Ag, manufactures, commerce, and navagation, the four pillars of our prosperity, are the most thriving when left most free to Individual enterprise.”
First Annual Message to Congress, 1801

And Jefferson wanted to cut down a few trees too.
Edu. for Teddy Roosevelt.
“Were they to make an opening thro’ the isthmus of Panama, a work much less difficult than some even of the inferior canals of France, however small this opening should be in the beginning…” 1786

“When a new invention is supported by well known principals, & promises to be useful, it out to be tried.”
Thomas Jefferson to Robert Fulton, working on a steam engine, 1810.

Naive John?

That’s 3 recent generations that put this Nation here today. Goldman Sacks, gave you me and everyone everthing we wanted.

Jeffersons Virgina was an ag state, and George Washington, headed to Massachuettes to get a few manufactured products.
to assist in Free Commerce, not the old english model of control shown best right here in the 4th Corner.

Jefferson, July 4th 1776
“For cutting off our trade with all partsa of the World.”


Todd Granger  //  Tue, Jun 07, 2011, 11:46 am

The American Manufacturing Clause, Jefferson, 1776 to Washington 1777;
“for cutting off our trade with all parts of the World.”

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David Camp  //  Sat, Jun 25, 2011, 10:44 am

If this project is such a good idea, why does our Senator need to sponsor a corporate welfare bill to provide government funding?

Hasn’t Goldman Sachs already stolen enough of the public treasure? Whose interests is Patty Murray serving by gifting public funds to wealthy corporate interests? Funds which incidentally must be borrowed from the future earnings of our children, long after Senator Murray has retired on her self-voted platinum pension on our nickel.


Hue Beattie  //  Sat, Jun 25, 2011, 6:06 pm

Mr.Camp please read Paul D’Armond’s comment.


Scott Wicklund  //  Sat, Jun 25, 2011, 8:42 pm

I disagree with Paul’s implication there is nothing to see with the Murray’s (Robert and Patty) and SSA.  Look at the pension Robert has accrued during Patty’s tenure in the Senate consulting on SSA’s ‘puters.  Nice work if you can get it and it’s sole source for both SSA and Robert Murray.  I respect Paul’s ability to research stuff.  He could do us a favor by putting a chronology of SSA’s phenomenal growth in Federal contracts Homeland Security work and Hemingway’s contributions to Senator Murray and husband Robert’s pension.  I fiind it curious that an extreme ideological right winger like Hemingway contributes so much to “liberal” Patty Murray.  Just a coincidence that everyone involved ” got lucky?”


Scott Wicklund  //  Sun, Jun 26, 2011, 7:49 am

There is a curious exclusion of dredging in Senator Murray’s
bill!  That should pique the curiosity of NW folks who know
that many projects that could apply for the funding need
dredging (POB included).  SSA will not need any dredging so
it would certainly give them a unique advantage in the free
competition to all for the funding.  Ask Senator Murray why
she excluded dredging!


Hue Beattie  //  Mon, Jun 27, 2011, 11:24 pm

Scott ,Rob has worked for SSA for a long time.nothing new there.
the bill, S942, on page 10 2A under the heading” Primary Selection
ion Criteria” states on line 19iv.
A project has to improve the
the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emmissions.
So I doubt that the coal port qualifies.


Michael McAuley  //  Wed, Jun 29, 2011, 5:52 pm

Scott W.  PoB won’t be looking for much in the way of dredge dollars other than for maintenance at the shipping terminal, the bay is way too shallow so that Horizon Lines ship you’ve seen for the last decade is about as big as we could get anyway.


Michael McAuley  //  Wed, Jun 29, 2011, 5:53 pm

That’s exclusive of cleanup or remediation, of course. :-)


“Friends and Neighbors”?

Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 12:59 pm  //  Terry Wechsler

A closer look at Whatcom County's industrial "stewards of the environment."

2 comments; last on Apr 22, 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

Johns Repair

Specializing in German vehicles...

Water, Water Everywhere, but ...

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or How Not to Plan for Future Generations' Water Needs

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Charter Review and District Only Voting

Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 9:40 am  //  Riley Sweeney

A simple explanation of the Charter Review and analysis of District only voting

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Roosevelt Neighborhood Pleads for Left Turns

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

City pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out

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Assault

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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Killer Industrial Jobs or Long-term Job Killers?

Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 11:52 am  //  Terry Wechsler

Why commenting on the EIS for Comp Plan revisions for Cherry Point means demanding an EIS in the first place.

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Anatomy of a Development Part XII - Citizens Win Against University Ridge

Wed, Apr 02, 2014, 5:00 am  //  Dick Conoboy

Ambling University Development Group pulls out. University Ridge will not be built.

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Tell County To Expand Scope of EIS Review for Plants and Animals

Tue, Apr 01, 2014, 12:27 pm  //  Wendy Harris

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

0 comments

Public May Comment On EIS Scoping For County Comp. Plan Until April 7th

Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 1:23 am  //  Wendy Harris

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

0 comments

My State of the Lake Report for 2014

Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 12:32 am  //  Wendy Harris

On March 26, 2014 the city and county provided their update and assessment on the status of Lake Whatcom. This is mine.

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County Considers Purchasing Toxic Property

Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 9:32 am  //  Riley Sweeney

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

Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 11:52 pm  //  Wendy Harris

The public is not provided with a proposed plan or adequate information prior to the annual "state of the lake" meeting

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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

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 9:47 am  //  John Servais

Fukushima radiation has been found 20 miles from Whatcom County farmland along the Fraser River in British Columbia.

1 comments; last on Mar 17, 2014

Is ALEC Jr. Coming to Whatcom County or Bellingham Soon?

Wed, Mar 12, 2014, 7:28 am  //  Dick Conoboy

The infamous American Legislative Exchange Council plans to send its spawn to cities and counties throughout the U.S.

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Rep. Vincent Buys Appears to Break State Fundraising Laws

Tue, Mar 11, 2014, 10:24 am  //  Riley Sweeney

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

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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

The 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

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

Mon, Feb 24, 2014, 3:33 pm  //  Wendy Harris

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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Wendy Harris on Citizen Journalism

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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Craig Cole Threatens Libel Suit

Wed, Feb 19, 2014, 4:48 pm  //  John Servais

Craig Cole, the local contact for the proposed Cherry Point coal port has threatened the Whatcom Watch with a libel lawsuit.

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Do Changing Liquor and Marijuana Laws Affect DUIs

Mon, Feb 17, 2014, 7:26 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley digs through court data and discovers the real impact of privatization and legalization

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Bellingham Seeks “Flexibility” To Sell Wholesale Rural Sewer Services

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The mayor wants to amend a city law to increase flexibility for a GMA provision that should be used rarely, if ever at all.

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The Hidden Costs of Costco

Sun, Feb 09, 2014, 2:36 pm  //  Wendy Harris

Costco imposes indirect costs on our community that are as real and tangible as road construction expenses.

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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.

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Panem et Circenses - Why I Did Not Watch “The Super Bowl”

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Professional and even college sports have morphed into a circus of corporate greed and the fleecing of the public.

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

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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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The Marijuana Bowl

Sun, Jan 19, 2014, 8:39 pm  //  John Servais

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

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Tue, Jan 14, 2014, 2:19 pm  //  Guest writer

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

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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.

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Port Memo Addresses Marina Fraud Allegations

Fri, Dec 20, 2013, 3:56 pm  //  Wendy Harris

A Port of Bellingham internal memo tries, but fails, to justify changes in cost estimates for alternative marina sites.

5 comments; last on Dec 22, 2013

Lummi Influence Over the Waterfront Planning Process Continues to Grow

Tue, Dec 17, 2013, 12:21 am  //  Wendy Harris

Army Corps advised DOE that it will not issue a waterfront permit without Lummi approval

2 comments; last on Jan 13, 2014

Gary Jensen Not Running for State Senate

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

Ferndale Mayor Gary Jensen has decided not to file for the 42nd state Senate seat currently held by Doug Ericksen.

5 comments; last on Dec 24, 2013

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

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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?

0 comments

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.

0 comments

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

0 comments

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

0 comments

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.

0 comments

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

 

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