Opinions

Privacy Rights get a Victory – Thanks to Farmers!

It is great to see conflicts being resolved without further court battles. It is great to see citizens privacy being respected. And I love that part of the settlement where the EPA has to take training on the Freedom of Information Act.  Hope you are heartened by this also. ` Lorraine Newman March 28, 2017 Farm Bureau applauds settlement agreement to protect farmers’ privacy The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council have closed the final chapter of their lawsuit challenging EPA’s release of farmer and rancher personal information, when a federal judge approved a settlement that secures the private information of thousands of livestock and poultry farmers in 36 states. “This lawsuit has won a major victory for personal privacy,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Months ago, we won a court decision that vindicates the rights of farmers and all Americans to protect their personal information from dissemination by the government. This settlement is the final step, requiring that EPA scrub all personal information from the records involved and train its staff on the proper handling of personal information.” AFBF and NPPC filed the lawsuit in 2013 after EPA released a vast compilation …

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Saturday Morning Live for Mar. 25, 2017

First Segment: Dr. Roger Stark, Health Care Policy Analyst for the Washington Policy Center, will weigh-in on the Repeal and Replace of Obamacare. The AHCA bill has been pulled? What does that mean to health insurance premiums, health care consumers, businesses, and the future of health care in America? Remainder of the Program: Host Kris Halterman will interview City of Bellingham Mayor, Kelli Linville and Exec. Dir. of the Lighthouse Mission Ministries, Hans Erchinger-Davis, on the proposed expansion of the Mission’s, Drop-In-Center. The City of Bellingham and the Mission have put together an agreement. What is that agreement and will it help reduce homelessness in Bellingham?  

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Guest Editorial: The Social Cost of Carbon Regulations

The social cost of carbon regulations Anti-fossil fuel SCC relies on garbage models, ignores carbon benefits and hurts the poor ~ by Paul Driessen and Roger Bezdek “If you could pick just one thing to reduce poverty, by far you would pick energy,” Bill Gates has said. “Access to energy is absolutely fundamental in the struggle against poverty,” World Bank VP Rachel Kyte and Nobel Prize Laureate Dr. Amartya Sen agree. The UN Development Program also calls energy “central to poverty reduction.” And International Energy Agency Executive Director Dr. Fatih Birol notes that “coal is raising living standards and lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.” In fact, all fossil fuels are doing so. Indeed, fossil fuels created the modern world and the housing, transportation, other technologies and living standards so many of us take for granted. They are essential for electricity and life, and over the past 250 years they more than doubled average life expectancy in countries that took advantage of them. But the Obama Administration and radical environmentalists despise fossil fuels and used every tactic they could devise to eliminate them. One of their most important schemes was the “social cost of carbon.” Federal agencies …

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Saturday Morning Live for Mar. 18, 2017

PART ONE: Host Kris Halterman will interview Skagit County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Atty, Will Honea. Skagit County has engaged itself to defend control of the properties within their boundaries against the will of the Swinomish Tribe, to expand theirs. Skagit County is another of the small, rural counties, which depend on the revenues that their two refineries; Tesoro and Shell Oil Company. With the recent protest at March Point, ceding control of these properties would likely be economic suicide for the county. Skagit County is more than tulip fields and farm land. They are also an industrial giant located on the West Coast and home of largest river system in Washington State, the Skagit River. PART TWO: Host Kris Halterman will interview Whatcom County Assessor, Keith Willnauer, to talk about the 2017 Whatcom County property tax assessments and liabilities. Why the big jump? Is there someone, something, someway to slow down or stop property taxes from these unsustainable jumps?      

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The Hirst Fix – 40th Dist. Representative Kristine Lytton Denies Support for SB 5239

As many of the readers of Liberty Road know, we’ve advocated for personal property rights, most importantly water rights, since we began covering property rights issues in 2012. The Washington State Senate recently passed  SB 5239, to address the moratoriums put in place to address the Washington State Supreme Court (WSSC) ruling on the “Hirst, Harris, Stalheim, Brakke, Melious, and Futurewise,” lawsuit that has upended rural properties across this state. That bill is now in the State House, and has a lot of support from the 42nd District Representatives. Our 40th District Representatives have failed to help move this legislation forward to bring it to the floor for a vote. Specifically, Rep. Kristine Lytton, 40th Dist., is not representing you. Why? Is it because she is using this water issue as leverage to get tax increases passed for the McCleary Public Education case? McCleary, is another of the WSSC’s judicial overreach that is going to cost the tax paying citizens of Washington State “billions” of dollars in increased spending. Did you get your 2017 Property Tax bill? How much did your public education portion of your property tax bill increase for 2017? Are you willing to gamble your water rights on another property …

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Saturday Morning Live for Mar. 11, 2017

Part One: Host Kris Halterman invites Ed Kilduff, licensed hydro-geologist, to give his summation of what he heard at the Mar. 7th, 2017, special presentation, public comments, and council-panel discussion which followed the special presentation. Par Two: Host Kris Halterman will interview Glen Morgan and Bruce Ayers on the numerous Public Disclosure Commission violations that have been filed in Olympia, WA., with Atty. Gen. Bob Ferguson. Specific attention will be given one of the most recent complaints which has been filed against the local EMS Saves Lives levy, which passed by only 40 votes. Liberty Road Summary of  County’s Council Special Presentation and Meeting of Mar. 2, 2017 Last night at the Whatcom County Council, after 4.0 hrs of a special presentation, a public hearing and discussion by the Council, they passed a six-week, continuing Interim-ordinance for a moratorium on permitting for properties that require an exempt-well as their source for potable water. Prior to the public hearing, the Council held a presentation of video clips from agency heads giving testimony to the Washington State Legislature about the issues surrounding the Hirst and Postema cases. After the video, there was a four-panel group which addressed the Council with statements and …

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Saturday Morning Live for Mar. 4, 2017

Host Kris Halterman interviews Ed Kilduff, licensed hydro-geologist, and Dave Onkels, former Whatcom County Planning Commissioner. Ed and Dave will share the recent hydro-geologic study produced by Camassia, for a local property in rural Whatcom County and the response to this study by Whatcom County Planning and Development Services.      

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Upset About Your Property Tax Bill? Don’t Blame the Assessor.

Upset about your property tax bill? Don’t blame the Assessor…he’s just crunching the numbers in the database to calculate who pays all those taxes, from all the different taxing authorities and voter approved special levies. Our political leaders approve the budgets proposed by the County Executive and City Mayors, based on the differing needs of our public service entities like Cemetery, Police, Fire, Schools, Roads, Flood, Real Estate Development Excise, EMS, Greenways, Metropolitan Parks, etc., etc. Thousands of Whatcom County property owners received their property tax liability bill this week. All over the County eyeballs were popping, heads were exploding, and pace-makers were working overtime. Why? Because the Pied-Piper brought the unsuspecting populace to the brink of the wharf and encouraged them to jump into the water. Whatcom County’s chickens have come home to roost. Or, better stated as the policies of our political leaders are working. The County Council and the Bellingham City Council have chosen not to increase and fund the urban growth areas in Bellingham and Whatcom County, to accommodate local growth in a planned and sustained measure. Without a proper supply of build-able lots, your assessed property values go up at a faster than normal rate. The …

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Saturday Morning Live for Feb. 25, 2017

Host Kris Halterman interviews Marlene Dawson, local historian and former Whatcom County Councilmember, regarding the recent email correspondence between herself and County Councilmember Satpal Sidhu. What precipitated the response email from Councilmember Sidhu? What did his response email say that was disconcerting to Marlene and others who read his email response, which she made public? What is this proposed ordinance that Marlene is asking the Whatcom County Council to consider?                

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Councilmember Sidhu Made a Promise to Represent All of Us…Does He?

Whatcom County Councilmember, Satpal Sidhu, wrote a response email letter to Marlene Dawson on February 14th, 2017. Within Mr. Sidhu’ s letter he inserted a definition to his use of the word “your,” which he used throughout his letter to Ms. Dawson. These are ‘your’ treaties (the word ‘your’ is used metaphorically for white, English speaking immigrants and so on……  Nothing personal!) With Marlene’s permission, we published two versions of the email letter she received from Whatcom County Councilmember, Satpal Sidhu. The first letter is a PDF copy of the original email letter she received from Councilmember Sidhu. The second letter is a PDF copy which Liberty Road has revised and published using Councilmember Sidhu’ s, definition of the word your, which he used throughout his letter to Ms. Dawson. We published both versions of his letter to show the demeanor hidden within the original letter and fully convey the depth of meaning held within that letter; delivered to Ms. Dawson.   Our question is does this letter concern you? If you come before the County Council and speak publicly on an issue that involves you, does it matter what frame of reference our Councilmember’ s belief is? Are they are listening to you? Can they hear you? Does Councilmember Sidhu understand who …

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