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Coal Terminals and the Enconomy

Coal Terminals and the Economy; by Lorraine Newman This morning as I was listening to the economic news I suddenly realized that the very people who are opposing the Coal Terminal have made it economically necessary to build a coal terminal. For the last 30 years this group of individuals has brought one single issue to the voting booth: Environmentalism. They have been very successful in their single issue advocacy. Their mantra became environmental disaster is around the corner. Their solutions were government spending on experiments in windmills, solar panels, ethanol, and electric cars and creating restrictions on land and water use. Much money has been spent and many rules made under the heading of protecting the environment. Our government is now in debt. Although we have cleaned up some old environmental problems we have no real environmental breakthroughs to show from our governmental spending. The heavy restrictions placed on the private sector have cost jobs and therefore tax dollars (revenue). These failed programs have contributed to our debt, but more than that single issues take the eyes of the voting populace off the ball of the economy. The result is our government has a $16 Trillion debt of which …

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Independent Rural Living threatened by Whatcom Integration Team (WIT)

Whatcom County Surface Water Committee meeting summary from an independent rural resident’s perspective. On Tuesday, I attended the Surface Water Council committee meeting. On the agenda was discussion of moving forward in a process set in motion by the state in 1998 to evaluate water usage in Whatcom County. See the following website for some history: http://www.co.whatcom.wa.us/publicworks/water/watershed.jsp This process was initially controlled in our county by the WRIA1 Planning Unit comprised of 13 people. It included one representative each from Whatcom County Public Works, City of Bellingham, Public Utilities District No. 1, a small cities Caucus, a State Caucus, the Local Tribes, an Agriculture Caucus, an Environmental Caucus, a Diking/Drainage District Caucus, a Water Districts Caucus, a Forestry Caucus, a Land Development Caucus, a Non-Government Water Systems Caucus, and a Private Well Owners Caucus. Although it was a slow process they did move forward in gathering the information needed and members also gained a broader knowledge of water concerns in our county. (Meeting minutes are available on county website.) Sometime around three years ago this Planning Unit appears to have been replaced by a “Whatcom Integration Team” comprised of 17 people who represent the following organizations: Whatcom County Public Works, …

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County Executive Administration Seeks Council Approval to Pocket $1.5M in Conservation Futures Fund for Parks Improvement Fund

Last Saturday I co-hosted on KGMI’s, Wealth Wake-up Live, to interview Whatcom County Councilwoman, Barbara Brenner. We discussed the $1.5M borrowed from the Counties, Conservation Futures Fund, to purchase the Lily Pt. property for a Whatcom County Park. The County received State of Washington grant funds to help facilitate this purchase and were directed to return the State’s portion back into the Counties Conservation Futures fund after receipt of the State grant money. That did not happen! We get the government we vote for, but did we bargain for this? Listen to the podcast and let the Council know your thoughts about whether they should approve the Executive office request to retain the $1.5M in the Parks Improvement Fund. ~ Lorraine Newman SML Podcast for Jan 26th, 2013 program: Audio clip of discussion between Council members Crawford and Kremen on $1.5M of Conservation Futures Funds misappropriated to County Parks Maintenance Funds.:

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Saturday Morning Live for Jan 26, 2013

Host Kris Halterman interviews John Evans and Ed Kilduff of San Juan County. John is a resident of Orcas Island and Ed is a resident of Lopez Island. Discussion for today’s show will focus on property rights violations. How the middle class is being shut down, squeezed out and nudged into complacency.  

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Good News On the Farm

Liberty Road: Good News On the Farm Received my FBNews yesterday, and it was good news for the most part. Their Market basket shows retail food prices declined slightly in the fourth quarter of 2012. And “According the USDA, Americans spend just under 10 Percent of their disposable annual income on food, the lowest average of any country in the world.” The new tax measures that the Congress approved early in January are not all bad news. They did make permanent the $5 million estate tax exemption and extended the 2008 farm bill for nine months. Both issues were huge worry areas for farmers. The EPA has announced that it will retain its current 24-hour standard for coarse particulate matter. To those of you who do not speak “governmentese” they are talking about dust. The EPA will be reassessing these rules in 2016 as required by law. So for now, the specter of only being able to work on a rainy day so that there is no dust has been kicked down the road. So we will keep our heads up and look forward to planting. You can check it out at fbnews.org. ~ Lorraine Newman

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Two Chicken Farmer Stories

Liberty Road: Two Chicken Farmer Stories A Maryland poultry grower has triumphed in the Federal courts against an environmental activist group. Now before you see visions of factory farms in your heads this family, the Hudsons have two chicken houses. Their farm is considered “small compared to the average chicken farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore”. The family also raises corn, soy beans, hay and a few beef cattle. Their battle began in 2010 when Waterkeeper Alliance (a citizen group) filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming the family had violated the clean water act because they had a long standing manure pile. At Waterkeeper Alliance’s behest the Maryland Dept. of the Environment investigated. The Department found that it was not a manure pile but a lawfully obtained pile of biosolids. They asked the farmers to move it to another location and to spread it in the spring for the next crop growing season. The Department determined no further action was required. Not to be deterred by facts, the Waterkeeper Alliance amended their law suit to include the words “factory farm operation” and made further accusations of air contaminants and moved forward in the courts. Three years and $100,000.00 later the …

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Saturday Morning Live Jan 19, 2013

Hosts Kris Halterman and Jacob Deschenes interview “Benji Backer,” of Turning Points USA to discuss the youth groups goal(s) on growing awareness of the national debt. On the second half of the show, Kris and Jacob interview Whatcom Count Council President, Kathy Kershner. The discussion centers on the results of an order of invalidity given by the Growth Management Hearings Board (GMHB), with regards to the Limited Areas of More Intense Rural Development (LAMIRD’s) and rural elements.

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Shahram Hadian addresses 2nd Amendment Rally in Olympia, Washington on Jan. 19, 2013

 

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Meet Tommy

“Meet Tommy…Tommy is 10 years old and he is already $817K in debt and counting. Why, because Government has a spending problem. This Saturdays show will feature a nationally recognized youth organization that is working to raise awareness of the fiscal insanity occuring in all levels of government. Benjamin Backer will join the show this Saturday to discuss how Turning Point USA plans to wake-up today’s youth that deficit spending leads to debt and today’s debt will not be paid in full by the generation that spent it, but by the next generation and the many to follow them, unless they stand-up to those who say debt doesn’t matter. Here’s a link to Benjamin’s blog and remember, Benjamin (Benji) is 15 years old! Just knowing that organizations like Turning Point USA and youthful energy like Benjamin’s is out there gives me hope that we can turn this country back into the shining light upon the hillside. ~ Kris Halterman

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He Who Controls the Water (and land) Controls the World

The posting below is from an email response I sent to a commenter from the Saturday, Jan. 12th program. The body of my reply encompasses my thoughts on the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance issue and the upcoming show on the Futurewise vs. Whatcom County. The conflict over the Growth Managements result of invalidity towards Whatcom Counties definition of rural elements has become a tangled web that must be dealt with. Should the Council cave-in to the bullying of groups like Futurewise? Or, should they wipe the slate clean and start over? Keep in mind the wise words of an unknown author; “He who controls the water (and land) controls the world.” Please read my response email and let me know what you think. What would you ask the County Council and Executive Louws to do? All power is local and We the People know that every time a new layer of bureacracy is imposed, or land becomes too heavily regulated; we lose a little more freedom and liberty for ourselves and our future. ~ Kris Halterman Thank you for your comment(s). Yes! There are success stories and they are almost exclusively on DNR managed land. A quick search on the words …

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