You can’t fight city hall: city hall doesn’t fight fair
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 2:06 pm // Guest writerPat McKee guest writes this. He is a resident of Sunnyland and was a leader in their seven year planning effort. - The future look of Bellingham's distinctive…
Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 7:45 am
The New York Times is reporting on a financial survey done by the Fed, "YOUNG families are better educated than ever before, but they are earning lower real incomes.
"The Federal Reserve Board’s newly released 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances indicates that the median family headed by someone under 35 years of age earned $35,509 in 2013 dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that is 6 percent less than similar families reported in the first such survey, in 1989.
"...Among families of all ages, those with more education tend to earn more than those with less. But that differential appears to be shrinking. at least for younger families. In 1989, the median income of families headed by young college graduates was twice that of similar families headed by high school graduates who never attended college. Now, the difference is only 52 percent. There are more college graduates in the group, but those graduates have a lower real median income than their predecessors."
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Tue, Sep 16, 2014, 5:30 am
Maybe every vote does count.
Dear Ms. Gaber:
Thank you for your interest in the GP West Site. The public comment period closed on Aug. 27, 2014 and I am responding to your request (attached below) for a public meet. If 10 or more persons request a public meeting, Ecology shall host one. Only five requests were received and a public meeting will not be held. Other comments were received on the cleanup documents and Ecology is preparing a response to comments. Ecology's response to comments will be emailed to you when they become available.
Thank you again.
Brian S. Sato, P.E.
Dept. of Ecology
Toxics Cleanup Program
3190 160th AVE SE
Bellevue, WA 98008-5452
Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 11:28 am
KING5.com has posted an article about a new Standard & Poor’s report. “Washington is among the states that depend most heavily on sales taxes for revenue, and a new report links a decline in growth of such funds to the rising concentration of wealth for the richest U.S. households.
“…Most economic activity comes from consumer spending, a key driver of growth. But consumers have become increasingly reluctant to spend as median incomes have barely increased over three decades… Median household incomes, adjusted for inflation, were $54,045 in July, about 4.6 percent lower than in late 2007.
“By contrast, the top 1 percent of earners have prospered for more than 30 years. Adjusted for inflation, their average incomes have nearly tripled to $1.26 million since 1979, according to the IRS.
“…Lower-income brackets pay more of their income on sales tax, state numbers show. Those making $17,000 a year or less pay 11.5 percent of their income in sales taxes, while those who make more than $175,000 a year spend just 2 percent of their income on sales tax, according to data from the state Department of Revenue.
“A 2012 report by the state Office of Financial Management found that the top 5 percent of the richest households had more than half of the total wealth in the state. And the top 1 percent earners in the state captured 19 percent of the wealth.”
Meanwhile, “State lawmakers are facing a projected budget deficit for the next spending period of nearly $1 billion. To satisfy a state Supreme Court decision to allocate more money for education, that shortfall could be up to $3 billion for the 2015-17 biennium.”
Mon, Sep 15, 2014, 8:08 am
Sat, Sep 13, 2014, 5:30 am
Aljazeera is reporting, "In a ruling that could reverberate nationwide, a federal judge has struck down Ohio's law barring people from knowingly or recklessly making false statements about candidates…
"U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black ruled Thursday that Ohio's law, in effect since 1995, is unconstitutional and prohibited the Ohio Elections Commission and its members from enforcing the law.
"The judge said in his ruling that the answer to false statements in politics is "not to force silence, but to encourage truthful speech in response, and to let the voters, not the government, decide what the political truth is."
"…The case began after then-U.S. Rep. Steve Driehaus filed a complaint when the group (the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group,) planned to post billboards claiming the Democrat's support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul equated with support for abortion, even though he opposed abortion.
"… The anti-abortion group plans to criticize members of Congress in the midterm if they voted for the health care legislation, contending that backers support taxpayer-funded abortion. …(They have) had similar billboards up in North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas.
"The Susan B. Anthony List said it wanted a court order so that it could inform voters without fear of prosecution.
"More than a dozen other states have similar laws."
Fri, Sep 12, 2014, 11:13 am
"Scientists have taken a major step forward in the production of hydrogen from water, which could lead to a new era of cheap, clean and renewable energy.
"Chemists from the University of Glasgow report in a new paper in Science today (Friday 12 September) on a new form of hydrogen production which is 30 times faster than the current state-of-the-art method. The process also solves common problems associated with generating electricity from renewable sources such as solar, wind or wave energy…
"The research team was led by Professor Lee Cronin of the University of Glasgow’s School of Chemistry. Professor Cronin said: ...“The potential for reliable hydrogen production from renewable sources is huge. The sun, for example, provides more energy in a single hour of sunlight than the entire world’s population uses in a year. If we can tap and store even a fraction of that in the coming years and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels it will be a tremendously important step to slowing climate change.”
Read the article posted on the University of Glasgow website.
Fri, Sep 12, 2014, 7:35 am
According to Vice.com, “It should come as no surprise that most mobile apps run some sort of analytics on user behaviour. But in the case of Facebook, the social network’s Messenger app for iOS apparently tracks quite a bit more than most users likely realize.
“iOS forensics and security researcher Jonathan Zdziarski spent Tuesday morning disassembling Facebook Messenger’s iOS binary, at one point declaring via Twitter that “Messenger appears to have more spyware type code in it than I've seen in products intended specifically for enterprise surveillance.”
“In an email, Zdziarski said that Messenger is logging practically everything a user might do within the app, from what and where they tap, to how often a device is held in portrait versus landscape orientation; even time spent in the Messenger app, versus the time it spends running in the background.
“… “[Facebook is] using some private APIs I didn’t even know were available inside the sandbox to be able to pull out your WiFi SSID (which could be used to snoop on which WiFi networks you’re connected to) and are even tapping the process list for various information on the device,” he wrote in an email.
“On Twitter, Zdziarski said he’s worked for companies that write enterprise surveillance software that didn’t know this level of access was possible.
“I asked independent security researcher Ashkan Soltani via email whether Facebook’s relationship with Apple—having a user’s Facebook account baked directly into iOS—might give Facebook access to private APIs and capabilities that other developers don't have. Soltani wrote that he believed my hunch was correct.
“…Zdziarski cautioned via email that “… there is a lot of code that suggests Facebook is running analytics on nearly everything it possibly can monitor on your device.”
Read the whole article on Vice.com.
Thu, Sep 11, 2014, 5:10 am
An article on the website IFLScience is showcasing some new food packaging being designed in Sweden. "The new school year is now underway and it’s time to start thinking about what is in your child’s lunch. A fruit cup with a disposable plastic spoon? Plastic zip-top bags for sandwiches and veggies? Individually-wrapped dessert? A bag of potato chips? A juice box? All of these items have one thing in common: waste. In fact, the average American student generates 30.4 kilograms (67 pounds) of lunch-associated garbage each school year. Using some basic multiplication to factor in other kids at the school, state, and country levels, it’s easy to see that food packaging is a big problem. Even beyond kids eating lunch, much of our food is encased in landfill-clogging plastic.
"Sweden-based designers Hannah Billqvist and Anna Glansén of Tomorrow Machine are trying to reverse that trend. They launched a project in 2012 entitled This Too Shall Pass that features biodegradable food packaging, some of which doubles as a vessel to cook and serve the food as well."
To see more photos and read the entire article, go to the website listed above.
Wed, Sep 10, 2014, 7:27 am
According to The Independent, "Switzerland would grant Edward Snowden asylum if he revealed the extent of espionage activities by the US government, recommendations by the Swiss Attorney General reportedly conclude.
"According to Swiss newspaper Sonntags Zeitung, an official has said that Mr Snowden should be guaranteed safe entry and residency in the country, in return for his knowledge on America’s intelligence activities. Last month, Mr Snowden was told he could remain in Russia for another three years. He was not granted political asylum, but again awarded temporary residence as an extension of the one-year visa given to him last summer."
See the full story at the link above.
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Tue, Sep 09, 2014, 8:21 am // Riley SweeneyRiley and John share the short list of who might replace Cathy Lehman on the Bellingham city council on January 5.
8 comments; last on Sep 10, 2014
Mon, Aug 25, 2014, 11:48 am // Terry WechslerWhile the state spends hundreds of thousands of dollars defining risks of crude by rail, Skagit County finds no significant adverse impacts of a crude-by-rail proposal.
1 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014
Fri, Aug 22, 2014, 2:06 pm // Guest writerPatrick McKee of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest-writes about the August 11 City Council slap-dash zoning changes.
2 comments; last on Aug 23, 2014
Wed, Aug 20, 2014, 4:54 pm // Terry WechslerNot content with causing massive inconvenience, BNSF is now literally dumping on county residents.
10 comments; last on Aug 26, 2014
Sat, Aug 16, 2014, 3:48 pm // Guest writerJudith Green of the Sunnyland Neighborhood guest writes this brief summary of what went wrong with the planning last week.
1 comments; last on Aug 22, 2014
Fri, Aug 15, 2014, 7:12 am // Terry WechslerA massive upgrade of the Cascade [rail] Corridor has left residents stranded and the sheriff asking Washington, DC, to intervene.
7 comments; last on Sep 02, 2014
Thu, Aug 14, 2014, 3:13 pm // Guest writerSandy Robson guest writes of the need for real prosperity at Cherry Point, not a destructive short term coal port that destroys the fishing grounds.
4 comments; last on Aug 18, 2014
Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 10:52 am // Riley SweeneySome Context for the Primary Results
Mon, Aug 11, 2014, 11:31 pm // John ServaisBellingham City Council abruptly changes zoning codes to force Planning Department plan on Sunnyland residents.
7 comments; last on Aug 14, 2014
Fri, Aug 08, 2014, 10:10 am // John ServaisUpdated Wed evening. The Tuesday evening 8:20 pm Auditor report on the election is in.
5 comments; last on Aug 08, 2014
Fri, Aug 01, 2014, 8:00 am // Dick ConoboyCouncilmember Murphy's proposal is based on a complaint-based rental ordinance from Tacoma, demonstrated to do little for the health and safety of tenants.
9 comments; last on Aug 04, 2014
Fri, Aug 01, 2014, 4:47 am // Terry WechslerCarefully planned actions are rolling across the state to make the point that it's not OK to expose us to risks associated with CBR.
7 comments; last on Aug 04, 2014
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 11:40 am // Riley SweeneyNorthwest Citizen has conducted a phone poll of likely voters, with some surprising results!
9 comments; last on Jul 29, 2014
Thu, Jul 24, 2014, 7:52 am // Dick ConoboyIn contravention of the Bellingham Municipal Code, the City Council will consider on 4 August a last minute docketing request that ignores the Planning Commission and Samish Neighborhood.
1 comments; last on Jul 30, 2014
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 10:47 pm // Guest writerGuest writer Mike Rostron explains how Bellingham city planners played loose and illegal with planning processes.
Tue, Jul 22, 2014, 7:22 pm // John ServaisSunnlyland residents win one - after a seven year effort. Planning Department failed them and all of us.
2 comments; last on Jul 23, 2014
Mon, Jul 21, 2014, 5:30 am // Guest writerLandlords are so caught up opposing a licensing and inspection ordinance, they cannot see the upside for them in ridding the city of bad rentals.
19 comments; last on Aug 01, 2014
Fri, Jul 18, 2014, 1:24 pm // Guest writerJudith Green explains how the Bellingham Planning Department is trying to cram their plan onto a neighborhood.
5 comments; last on Jul 21, 2014
Sun, Jul 13, 2014, 2:26 pm // Terry WechslerYears after BP completed its north dock, the Army Corps of Engineers released a draft EIS and it's really really stupid.
Tue, Jul 08, 2014, 8:20 am // Dick ConoboyThe city council "persuades" the city administration to withdraw a request for an intrusive police threat warning system
2 comments; last on Jul 08, 2014
Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 6:54 am // Terry WechslerIt is time we stop allowing corporations to externalize the costs associated with their risky business practices, and demand more from our regulators who hold the keys to…
3 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014
Mon, Jul 07, 2014, 5:04 am // Guest writerGuest writer Sandy Robson breaks the story of officials from Washington treated to a coal-promoting junket to Wyoming.
2 comments; last on Jul 13, 2014
Fri, Jul 04, 2014, 5:00 am // Guest writerFerndale's most famous landmark is frequently commented on and is often in the news. Here is their side of the story.
4 comments; last on Jul 07, 2014
Wed, Jul 02, 2014, 5:14 pm // Terry WechslerOn the anniversary of the Lac-Megantic disaster, communities throughout North America rally in solidarity to remember and protest wholly inadequate government response to crude-by-rail's risks.
4 comments; last on Jul 12, 2014
Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 9:01 pm // Guest writerIn the Weekly, Tim Johnson left out three words in quoting Craig Cole - and his story misleads readers. Guest article by Sandy Robson.
11 comments; last on Jul 01, 2014
Tue, Jun 24, 2014, 10:24 am // Dick ConoboyThe Bellingham Police Department wants to purchase "threat assessment" software with federal monies. Citizen comments were vehement and negative. City Council confused.
5 comments; last on Jul 03, 2014
Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 10:18 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the failings of a bad policy framework are revealed
1 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014
Tue, Jun 17, 2014, 7:53 am // Dick ConoboyThe possession and use of consumer fireworks are no longer permitted within the city limits.
1 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014
Wed, Jun 11, 2014, 11:39 am // John ServaisWyoming Senators and coal honchos were in Whatcom County June 10 - to hold a news conference with select reporters.
7 comments; last on Jun 20, 2014
Tue, Jun 10, 2014, 11:20 am // John ServaisBellingham Hearing Examiner, Dawn Sturwold, retires in three weeks. Successor selection is hidden from all of us.
3 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014
Fri, Jun 06, 2014, 2:07 pm // Terry WechslerPart 2: Following Ken Oplinger to California, and Home Again
4 comments; last on Jun 19, 2014
Sun, Jun 01, 2014, 12:39 am // Guest writerA Venn diagram where coal, the Endangered Species Act, Republicans, and Wyoming’s Board of Education collide.
2 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014
Wed, May 28, 2014, 3:15 pm // Guest writerA perspective by guest writer Ellen Murphy reflects on the Whatcom Watch and the threatened law suit by Craig Cole.
22 comments; last on Jun 01, 2014
Tue, May 27, 2014, 1:23 am // Wendy HarrisWhy was so little consideration given to the concept of developing the waterfront for eco-tourism?
5 comments; last on Jun 11, 2014
Mon, May 26, 2014, 7:51 pm // Wendy HarrisCity park improvements have implications on the local and global scale.
2 comments; last on May 29, 2014
Thu, May 22, 2014, 12:10 am // Guest writerWyoming is ready to try and legally force us to limit our environmental scoping for the Cherry Point coal terminal
4 comments; last on Jun 17, 2014
Sun, May 18, 2014, 11:57 pm // Wendy HarrisReckless rezones and far-fetched explanations result in more slaughterhouses and meat packing plants
3 comments; last on May 20, 2014
Sat, May 17, 2014, 2:34 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley takes a closer look at the Charter Review Commission candidates
2 comments; last on May 21, 2014
Tue, May 13, 2014, 5:04 pm // Wendy HarrisBellingham's annual water quality report indicates that city hall's propoganda machine is going strong
1 comments; last on May 14, 2014
Sun, May 11, 2014, 2:20 pm // Terry WechslerPart 1: Introduction to the Bellingham Basin’s Potential for Fracking, Earthquakes, and Earthquakes Due to Fracking
3 comments; last on May 14, 2014
Fri, May 09, 2014, 10:02 am // John ServaisThe Political Junkie for Whatcom County - that would be Riley Sweeney - has Overstreet not running for reelection in the 42nd.
1 comments; last on May 13, 2014
Fri, May 09, 2014, 6:10 am // Terry WechslerWhy Washington must step in and assume lead agency status in Skagit County for the Shell crude by rail proposal.
6 comments; last on Jun 21, 2014
Tue, May 06, 2014, 5:52 pm // Riley SweeneyThe value of a Precinct Committee Officer . . .
1 comments; last on May 07, 2014
Mon, May 05, 2014, 3:34 pm // Tip JohnsonWherein the gyrations of the bid for widespread county slaughter are exposed.
2 comments; last on May 07, 2014
Thu, May 01, 2014, 10:21 pm // Guest writerMove to Amend is a national movement to amend the U.S. Constitution and define persons as people and speech as not money.
7 comments; last on Jun 02, 2014
Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 8:20 am // John ServaisRiley posted this morning that Seth Fleetwood has decided to challenge Doug Ericksen for state senate in the 42nd District.
1 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014
Mon, Apr 28, 2014, 6:28 am // Dick ConoboyEvery Bellingham Planning Commission member has ties to development or development-related businesses.
4 comments; last on Apr 30, 2014
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 1:59 pm // Terry WechslerA closer look at Whatcom County's industrial "stewards of the environment."
4 comments; last on Aug 28, 2014
Mon, Apr 21, 2014, 11:43 am // Wendy HarrisThe public needs to support city council and request that a waterfront habitat assessment include terrestrial species and habitat connectivity.
Sat, Apr 19, 2014, 2:57 pm // Terry Wechsleror How Not to Plan for Future Generations' Water Needs
12 comments; last on Jun 30, 2014
Thu, Apr 17, 2014, 10:40 am // Riley SweeneyA simple explanation of the Charter Review and analysis of District only voting
Wed, Apr 09, 2014, 9:07 am // Riley SweeneyCity pushes for Alabama Street improvements, residents speak out
3 comments; last on Apr 14, 2014
Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 4:29 pm // Guest writerBy Christopher Grannis: Wherein despite every effort and expense, citizens cannot make the City follow the law or work for neighborhoods
2 comments; last on Apr 07, 2014
Sun, Apr 06, 2014, 12:52 pm // Terry WechslerWhy commenting on the EIS for Comp Plan revisions for Cherry Point means demanding an EIS in the first place.
5 comments; last on Jun 25, 2014
Wed, Apr 02, 2014, 6:00 am // Dick ConoboyAmbling University Development Group pulls out. University Ridge will not be built.
12 comments; last on Apr 06, 2014
Tue, Apr 01, 2014, 1:27 pm // Wendy HarrisPlease help us protect county wildlife by ensuring that the scope of the EIS review is adequate. A sample scoping letter is included.
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 2:23 am // Wendy HarrisThe public has a week to comment on the scope of issues reviewed under the EIS.
Fri, Mar 28, 2014, 1:32 am // Wendy HarrisOn March 26, 2014 the city and county provided their update and assessment on the status of Lake Whatcom. This is mine.
2 comments; last on Apr 01, 2014
Wed, Mar 19, 2014, 10:32 am // Riley SweeneyRiley digs into the county's plan to buy the county morgue
3 comments; last on Mar 24, 2014
Mon, Mar 17, 2014, 12:52 am // Wendy HarrisThe public is not provided with a proposed plan or adequate information prior to the annual "state of the lake" meeting
4 comments; last on Mar 18, 2014
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