Opinions

Saturday Morning Live June 4, 2016

Host Kris Halterman will interview Ed Kilduff about the pending lawsuit to restore property rights and uphold the Supreme Courts recent decision that the government cannot require action by a property owner that affects the value of the property and their ability to use it, without a direct nexus between the action being required and its relation to the property. This week Pacific Legal Foundation filed this petition in the Supreme Court of the United States, asking it to decide whether the government can make shoreline property owners give up part of their land to serve as water quality buffers for the surrounding community. This case,Common Sense Alliance v. San Juan County, deals with a perennial problem that property owners face. Government jurisdictions require permits to develop property, and use that authority as leverage to take property which they would otherwise have to pay for. The Supreme Court has aptly described this as an “out-and-out plan of extortion.“ Previously, in limited circumstances where an adjudicative land use permitting decision required a dedication of property to offset impacts on the public from a particular project, reviewing courts would apply the Nollan/Dolan standard to ensure that the requisite property dedication had a reasonable nexus …

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Good News for Owners of Puddles, Ditches and Plows

The Supreme Court does not always offer unanimous decisions, but here is one that supporters of property rights will like in the case titled United States v. the Army Corps of Engineers v. Hawkes Co., Inc.   Today they ruled that landowners may challenge  the Army Corps of Engineers, a federal agency,  when they attempt to improperly regulate land with regulations designed to protect water. To give a little background, in the past the Army Corps of Engineers could write a “determination”  that your property could be regulated because it impacts water.  But a “determination”  was not considered as a “final agency action.”   As a result property owners who received a “determination” that a landscape feature was a “water of the United States” from the Army Corp of Engineers had two options,  continue what they were doing and face civil fines up to $37,500 a day, or attempt to comply.  The compliance process would take several years and require tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to apply for a permit, only to have the permit ultimately denied.   Only after a permit was denied could they seek remedy in the courts. Now property owners will have the right to challenge the …

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Saturday Morning Live for May 28, 2016

Host Kris Halterman first talks to Tom Westergreen about the upcoming, 2016 Whatcom Woods Tour. Next up is Gerald Baron, speaking about the organization, Save Family Farming and their work to educate the public about the reality of farms, family farms, and the bad science and lies that threaten local farming. Gerald Baron will update the listeners about how the What’s Up Stream political media campaign was illegal, and what’s being done to prevent this from happening in the future.

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5 Fair & Equal Districts…What Next?

This evening I attended the Whatcom County Citizen’s for Freedom’s (aka The Whatcom Tea Party) general public meeting. The guest speaker was Brett Bonner, former KGMI Talk Show Host, former candidate for Mayor of Bellingham, who currently works for Saturna Capital , a local and nationally renowned investment company. Mr. Bonner recently served on the Whatcom County Redistricting Committee, representing the Republican Party. His presentation included a slide show and information on what led up to and the outcome of the newly created five districts in Whatcom County. Brett spoke briefly about the people who made up the Redistricting Committee; Brett Bonner and Mark Nelson each represented the Whatcom County Republican Party, and Lisa McShane and Mike Estes each represented the Whatcom County Democrat Party. They (Bonner, Nelson, McShane, and Estes) appointed Dr. Tjalling Ypma (WWU Mathematics Department Chair), as the Districting Master, and Dr. Dale Kinsley as the Districting Committee Chair. He unabashedly praised the contribution of Mark Nelson’s thorough knowledge on the subject, and admitted praise for the hard work and dedication of adversarial opponent, Lisa McShane. Bonner’s presentation outlined that the purpose of the committee meetings were to receive a proposal from the Districting Master of how …

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Saturday Morning Live for May 21, 2016

Host Kris Halterman discusses the proposed changes to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan update of 2016, with the Petree’s of Public Policy Perspectives, LLC.   

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Saturday Morning Live May 14, 2016

Host Kris Halterman will interview Whatcom County’s Auditor, Debbie Adelstein on the process and differences between initiatives and referendums, and why it matters to the voters.  

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Army Corp of Engineers Side with Tribes over Expansion for Growth and Economic Opportunity of Dry Bulk Exports at Gateway Pacific Terminal

If you are disappointed and concerned about the Army Corp of Engineers decision to deny a permit for the Gateway Pacific Terminal, you are not alone. The Federal Government with the aid of the Army Corp of Engineers have set up a precedents that must be challenged in the courts. Not to do so, will forever negatively affect Washington jobs, farms, families, businesses and our future. It has unlawfully abused the Commerce Clause by denying landlocked states to ability to export their goods to other nations. Their decision to deny the permit, prior to the completion and outcome of the environmental impact statement, shows a federal government which has lost sight of their reason for existence. ~ Lorraine Newman The Montana Farm Bureau sounds-off on the foolish actions of the Army Corp of Engineers.   May 11, 2016 Farm Bureau dismayed about Army Corps decision on shipping terminal The Montana Farm Bureau is expressing its dismay regarding the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers denying a permit for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The Gateway Pacific Terminal, the proposed dry bulk export facility located at Cherry Point in northwest Washington, would have served as a multi-commodity transload station from trains to vessels heading …

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Starfish Baby-boom – Species Is Thriving In Pacific NW

AP story about the revival of starfish along the West Coast. It reminded me about a poignant plea for support from the executive director of RE Sources who couldn’t find any starfish one day and quickly jumped to species extinction and the causes of extinction. A summary of Chicken Little’s story is below.   Sept. 9, 2014 Crina Hoyer, Executive Director, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, claiming starfish (sea stars) could become extinct due to ocean acidification and pollution as she rallies supporters for its causes. 8:40 mark of video “I know that by telling you these things, I could sound like that crazy person who stands on the side of the street with the ‘End of the world is near’ sign.” ~ Crina Hoyer – RE Sources May 9, 2016 Starfish babies return in droves after massive die-off:

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Fish vs the Pacific Northwest

This post was written prior to learning of the Army Corp of Engineers decision to deny consideration of the permit for the Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. Coming from an agricultural background I have been watching with interest the “What’s Upstream” story. If your only source of news is the McClatchy Group or TV news from Seattle you may have missed it. But most savvy people interested in real news now have other sources, like the KGMI morning news of which Liberty Road is a volunteer part. So imagine my surprise when a recent Bellingham Herald story on the closure of salmon fishing had two things in common with one of our reports: (1) the NW Indian Fisheries Commission (NWIFC) and (2) shutting down economic drivers in our state. In a nutshell: The NW Indian Fisheries Commission has been spreading a false scenario across our state about purported damage from agriculture on their fisheries. In the state of Washington the agricultural industry represents $51 Billion of our economy and employs more than Microsoft and Boeing combined. As far as I can tell from the NWIFC sponsored campaign they would like to see the agriculture industry eliminated from our state. …

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Saturday Morning Live for May 7, 2016

Hosts Kris Halterman and Lorraine Newman discuss the new Agricultural Research arm of the Washington Policy Center, with Chris Cargill, of WPC’s Eastern Washington Office. The discussion revolves on the results of this study, a report of the Future of Farming, and a focus on food security. State must ensure Ag is priority & considered equally with other key industries when setting policy  

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