Opinions

Saturday Morning Live for Oct. 10, 2015

Host Kris Halterman will moderate a series of debates with candidates and interested citizens on a variety of races and issues on this November’s 2015 General Election ballot. Part 1: Whatcom County Council District 2 Candidates; Kathy Kershner vs. Satpal Sidhu will debate for the first 15 minutes of the show and spend the last 5 minutes sharing their reasons for why we should vote for them.   Part 2: Whatcom County Council District 1 Candidates; Bruce Ayers vs. Todd Donovan will debate for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half of the show and spend the last 5 minutes sharing their reason for why we should vote for them.  

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Local Director of Futurewise now Head of Whatcom County Natural Resources; “Who’s Running Whatcom County? continued”

On October 5th, 2015 I posted this comment on the Liberty Road Facebook page: Question to be asked and must be answered soon: Whatcom County has hired the former Director of Futurewise-Whatcom County, part of the group who is suing Whatcom County. Do you know of this new addition to our Planning and Development Staff? How can Whatcom County hire the former director of Futurewise Bellingham? Is this even legal? Who runs Whatcom County? After the Whatcom Tea Party debate last Wednesday, Oct. 7th, 2015, I asked Executive Jack Louws about his decision to hire Ryan Ericson and requested that he share what he said to me. The posting below is Executive Louws’ response which was received yesterday. In addition to that I also received an email of correspondence that Ryan Ericson sent out to a number of groups regarding the Futurewise “Greenlinks” project. My verdict is still out on whether it is a wise move for Whatcom County to hire Mr. Ericson as head of the Natural Resources Department within our Planning and Development Services (PDS), not because he is not qualified to hold the position, but because I question where his allegiance will fall when dealing with the public …

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Updated: Council – 1 vs. Rule of Law – 0

Updated: Last Monday, at the Bellingham City Council’s Special Meeting I was approached by Councilmember Rud Browne to look at and correct what I had reported on the timeline of events for Whatcom County Council’s Proposition 9, which is one of the many items to be voted on in the November General Election. Councilmember Browne stated that they had not passed the ordinance by consent agenda. Going back through the Whatcom County Council’s Action Taken Report for June 23rd, 2015, I did mistakenly report that the item was brought forward by consent agenda when in-fact it was introduced to be placed on the July 7th, 2015 Council agenda for public comment, Council discussion, and potential approval or rejection by the Council. I want the record to show the facts, and apologize for this error. In my opinion the action taken by the Council regarding the passage of Proposition 9 and 10, still showed a lack of concern to fully vet them in public. Had they taken their time they may have come up with more than just an idea, and most certainly it would have been vetted for conflicts in the Charter, our Port and School Districts, et al. During my search to …

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Whatcom County Council’s Gerrymandering – Prop 9 “So Flawed Even a Progressive Must Vote NO!”

This is a featured guest article from local resident and author, Jack Petree. The posting below is Jack’s letter which was submitted to the Bellingham City Council, regarding their action to promote discussion and potentially pass a “resolution” in favor of ‘or’ against this proposal slated to be on your November General Election Ballot. ~ Kris   Proposition #9 – So Flawed Even A Progressive Must Vote NO! This year Whatcom County voters are asked to decide whether Whatcom County should be split into five County Council districts instead of three. Each district would send one representative to the County Council with an additional two representatives elected to “at large” positions. Billed as “fair and equal” by proponents, the Proposition actually makes a monumental mess of a system that’s worked fairly well for decades. A frantic rush to beat election deadlines meant mistakes were made that will keep lawyers happy for years to come; mistakes assuring the proposition, implemented as written, will result in 20 – 40% of the county’s population having no council representative at all for most of the next two to four years and, possibly, requiring two or three of our current council members to resign their …

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Saturday Morning Live for Oct. 3, 2015 – Candidate Debates (Cnty Exec & Port of Bham)

Host Kris Halterman will moderate a series of debates with candidates and interested citizens on a variety of races and issues on this November’s 2015 General Election ballot. Part 1: Whatcom County Executive Candidates; Jack Louws vs. Joy Gilfilen will debate for the first 15 minutes of the show and spend the last 5 minutes sharing their reasons for why we should vote for them.   Part 2: Port of Bellingham Candidates; Gary Jensen vs. Bob Briscoe will debate for the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half of the show and spend the last 5 minutes sharing their reason for why we should vote for them.  

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Call to Action – City of Bellingham Injects Itself into Local Politics

BAKER CREEK PLACE | JOIN NOW | 360-671-4247 CALL TO ACTION Oct. 1, 2015 Alert on 2 meetings Monday night — Charter Amendments & Ferndale issues  Please be aware of a SPECIAL MEETING of Bellingham City Council at 7 p.m. Monday night, Oct. 5 — a public hearing on whether City Council should support or oppose 4 Whatcom County Charter Amendments that are on the November ballot.Charter Proposition 1 proposes a return to district-only voting.  Because we currently allow countywide voting on County Council positions, in the last election Bellingham voters chose who would represent county residents — overriding the majority vote of actual rural residents.  A shift back to district-only voting was proposed to change that. Charter Proposition 9 was then put on the ballot by County Council, to create 5 county districts (instead of 3).  Two would be in Bellingham, and 2 would be at-large positions chosen by the biggest voting block, which is usually Bellingham.  The “yes” argument is that everybody gets a district, creating more specific representation.  The “no” argument is that this won’t create better representation, because all County Council members still will be voted on countywide, giving Bellingham voters control over the entire county, and because …

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Stop the Power Grab

This November you will have an opportunity to STOP the POWER GRAB! How, you ask? Take a moment to watch this video from Dove Whatcom. It is so important to remember and remind yourself why we love Whatcom County. We all want to live, work, and play here. That’s why it is so important to give the people their voice and insure that no one; not RE Sources, Futurewise, and especially no Politician or political group gains control of your County. That’s why I am asking you to vote NO on Whatcom County Council’s (and RE Sources) Propositions 9 and 10, this November. ~ Kris Halterman   This is a guest article written by local resident and Whatcom County Charter Review Member, Chet Dow. Chet has shared this article with local blogs because the local Bellingham Herald didn’t. ~ Kris Halterman POWER GRAB Seldom has the expression “elections have consequences”  held more meaning to Whatcom County than it will this November. Fearing that Whatcom voters will approve ballot Propositions 1-2-3 to establish district voting for County Council, local “progressives” led by Lisa McShane, former Bellingham Mayor Tim Douglas, Charter Review Commissioner Todd Donovan, and the environmental extremist group RE Sources for Sustainable Communities began planning a campaign to undermine the …

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Raise Your Voice for the Future of Whatcom County

Soon everyone will receive their ballot for this November’s general election. A local political action committee, DOVE Whatcom has paid for and put out a video which shows what’s great about Whatcom County. Whatcom County is a community of diverse and independent individuals, who value that they are able to live, work, and play here. District-Oriented-Voting is one way to insure that Whatcom County will remain the great place it is to live. Whether you choose to live in the urban centers of: Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Blaine, Custer, and our many other local cities, or you choose to live in the rural areas surrounding our cities; we all deserve to have a voice in shaping what that future looks like. That’s why I ask you to vote “YES” for Propositions 1, 2, and 3 this November. ~ Kris Halterman

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Saturday Morning Live for Sept. 19, 2015

What will the recent State Supreme Court ruling against Charter Schools really mean, and what reality does it bring to all “non-common school expenditures?” Whether it’s the Nooksack Rule or the Skagit Rule, what’s the reality for each of these counties? How are the 2016 elections stacking up in the run for the office of POTUS?  How does the current makeup of the Washington State House of Representatives work to help, or hurt the State? All of this and more will be discussed with Rep. Elizabeth Scott (R) of the 39th District. Rep. Scott is currently seeking the office of Washington Congressional Rep. District 1, for 2016.

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Saturday Morning Live for Sept. 12, 2015

Attorney Peter Ojala will give the listeners an update on the Fox vs. Skagit County, Dept. of Ecology, and Swinomish Indians; regarding the County’s denial to issue the Fox’s a building permit without ‘reliable’ and ‘continuous’ access to potable water for their retirement dream home.   Also on today’s show, Host Kris Halterman will interview Brad Owens of NW Jobs Alliance about a 2012 letter received by the Lummi Indian Business Council from Salishcommunity.org, asking them to “Just Say No,” to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project ‘and’ their alternative idea to change Cherry Point forever.      

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