Opinions

Saturday Morning Live for May 3, 2014

May 3 @ 8:00 am – 9:00 am Host Kris Halterman discusses the City of Bellingham’s proposed ordinance to require rental property owners to pay an annual license fee, with Perry Eskridge the Governmental Affairs Director for the Whatcom County Realtors Association.  So what’s the big deal?   

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Big Brother May I Prune?

If it’s good enough for Des Moines, how long before Bellingham or Whatcom County require property owners to apply for and pay a permit fee to take care of the plants and trees on their property?  Think this is stretching the truth?  How long ago was it that you could dig a hole, place a pole and fill it with concrete without a permit?    It’s governments natural process to grow.  It’s the peoples job to stop it from happening. ~ Kris Halterman Did you get your permit to prune? Has the city council in Des Moines, Wash., been watching Edward Scissorhands? Or maybe they were inspired by the Knights Who Say ‘Ni’? Some members of the city council there hope to impose permit requirements on landowners who prune or remove trees and large bushes. Freedom Foundation was alerted to the working draft of the proposed pruning ordinance by Council Member Jeanette Burrage, who does not support the measure. The proposal almost seems to pull back with an exemption from the permit requirement for “routine pruning of trees…” but then limits that exemption to “developed lots in a residential zone,” and then limits the exemption even more. Read in its entirety, even “routine …

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Saturday Morning Live for Apr. 26, 2014

Host Kris Halterman interviews Gene Goldsmith and Matt Kershner about the “Whatcom Friends of the NRA’s Annual Fundraiser.”  Tune in to learn the when-what-why of the WFNRA organization.   

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Is Whatcom County Winning?

Last Tuesday’s County Council meeting had two disconcerting moments for this County resident. The first uncomfortable moment was when the Council brought forward nominations to fill a vacancy on the Ferry Advisory Board.  At the time that the Council agenda packet was published there were two applicants.  Both of these applicants were well qualified and had submitted their applications on time for consideration by all of the Council.  During open session one applicant withdrew her name and the second spoke to the council about the ferry.  When it came time to approve the applicant a last minute additional applicant  was added to the nominees, that of Byron Moye. At this time, Mr. Moye’s application is not available online for public access to view his qualifications for the position he was successfully nominated to.  The first applicant, Mr. Jim Dickinson’s application is available online.  It clearly shows that Mr. Dickinson would have been a quality member to fill out the Ferry Advisory Board. All of that said, what bothers me most is not only that Mr. Moye’s application was added at the last minute with no access for the public to see his qualifications for the position, but the whole process of how he …

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Water Woes-Whatcom County Water Forum No. 1

The water forum, sponsored by the Rome Grange was well attended and after a brief series of presentations from the panelists, the audience brought forth good questions to gain a deeper understanding of the purpose and direction of local and state agencies involved in the developement of solutions for water issues in Whatcom County. The next water forum is scheduled for May 17th, 2014 to include stakeholder groups affected by  water rights, availability, and sources. As more information becomes available it will be shared here, on the CAPR, Whatcom Works and other websites, and through social media. A Forum on Water Resources and Water Rights  First of a Series on Water Issues from a County-wide Perspective  Focus:  What are the major issues with water supplies and uses in Whatcom County? What would a comprehensive and reasonable solution look like?  Format: Each speaker will have ten minutes for their remarks. The sponsor will submit up to four identical questions to each speaker in writing at least ten days in advance, to be responded to in their remarks.  At about 11.00 am, there will be a moderated Q & A session with the audience in the second half; questions will be limited to one …

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Saturday Morning Live for Apr. 19, 2014

Host Kris Halterman discusses Common Core with Freedom Foundation’s Glen Morgan.  Glen Morgan is on the School Board of Thurston County and Glen’s wife is a teacher.   

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Washington State Representative Jason Overstreet Demands WWU President’s Resignation

Representative Jason Overstreet makes a public demand for the resignation of Western Washington University President, Bruce Shepard. “How ironic that in a world where a University President cries for racial diversity in population demographics for his school of higher learning; yet there is no hue, nor cry from this University President or the Educators at Western  from “group think,” standardized education training?  How is a mandated, quasi-National curriculum called Common Core State Standards a path to diversity?” FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  April 18, 2014 CONTACT: Kurt Hammond, Public Information Officer– (360) 786-7794 Rep. Jason Overstreet demands Western Washington University president’s resignation State Rep. Jason Overstreet is calling for the resignation of Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard after comments he made equating a “white” student body and faculty amounting to “failure.” “President Shepard’s continued and unflinching adherence to an intellectually void ideology that divides on skin color rather than uniting based on the content of character demands that he apologize to the students, potential students, and taxpayers who fund Western Washington University,” said Overstreet, R-Lynden. “He should resign immediately from his university president position.” Campusreform.org reported the story, providing links to the repeated comments that have been made in writing and on video. Shepard is quoted …

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Saturday Morning Live for Apr. 12, 2014

Host Jacob Deschenes interviews Glen Morgan of the Freedom Foundation and Rep. Jason Overstreet 42th District to discuss this years legislative update in Olympia. What did and didn’t happen this legislatve season?

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Local Whatcom Water District Caucus – “A Condensed History of the Watershed Planning Act; Protecting Local Water Interests”

As readers of Saturday Morning Live are well aware, water is a hot and very important issue in Whatcom County.  There has been a lot written on the issue, but not a lot on the local history of how the Planning Unit was implemented, ignored, and finally reconstituted as it is today. This letter has been publicly submitted to share the history and value not only of the Planning Unit itself, but of the meaning behind it’s implementation.  I often ridicule and question the actions of our politicians.  This is not one of those times…this time they got it right. ~ Kris Halterman   Whatcom Water Districts Caucus Planning That Serves the Public Interest Prepared, reviewed and submitted by the WWDC c/o GWD Commissioner Ellen Baker, April 4, 2014 Since 1998, Whatcom County has operated under the Watershed Planning Act (WPA). This statute allows local areas to evaluate their own water situations and set goals and objectives for water management through local watershed plans. A critical consideration of WPA was to place planning “…in the hands of people: Who have the greatest knowledge of both the resources and the aspirations of those who live and work in the watershed; and who …

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Saturday Morning Live for Apr. 5, 2014

    Guest Host Samuel Sefzik interviews Max Nelesen from Freedom Foundation and Erin Shannon of the Washington Policy Center, to discuss the Socialist Party movement to raise minimum wage to $15 in Seattle and eventually the entire State of Washington.  

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