Uncategorized

How do You Spell “Hot & Messy?” … Whatcom County Politics

We are in the thick of a rough, hot, and somewhat messy political season again. Last weekends debate hosted by the League of Women Voters left a lot unsaid. As my web-followers know; Karl Uppiano sent an email to Rud Browne about what he felt was left unsaid, or that the debate structure did not allow for a full fleshing-out of the issues. Karl Uppiano debated Rud Browne on the Proposition’s 1 and 7; which are to be on this November’s ballot. In fact, some of the readers here may have already received your ballots in the mail. Well, Rud Browne  was not pleased with the statements Mr. Uppiano made and has responded here. I’ve posted the email in it’s entirety, as Mr. Browne Cc’d me on the email and posted it as a comment to my blog piece; Excuse Me…But How Stupid Do You Think Voters Are? Stay tuned…this conversation very well may not be over… ~ Kris Halterman Note to Readers: I did not used Rud’s official title here as he indicated in his response to Karl’s email that his reply was his own personal statement and does not represent that of the Whatcom County Council. Dear Mr. Uppiano I have reviewed the recent comments …

Read More »

Saturday Morning Live for Mar. 21, 2015

     Host Kris Halterman will discuss the proposed Washinton State Department of Ecology Grant “Floodplains by Design,” by Whatcom Land Title for $3,200,00.00, with Glen Morgan (property rights specialist) and Ed Kilduff (licensed hydrogeologist) about this grant. Is planned flooding, or “back to nature” by design a good thing for the properties in South Lake Whatcom? This is a copy of the Application for a 2015-2017 Floodplains by Design Project Grant submitted to Ecology by Eric Carabba, WLT Director of Lands Project Title: South Fork Nooksack River – Flood, Fish, Farm Conservation and Restoration Integration Application for a 2015-2017 Floodplains by Design Project Grant Submitted applications will be rated to create a ranked list in support of Ecology’s FY 2015-2017 Floodplains by Design budget request. Applications must be submitted electronically via email to Ecology by 5:00 pm, September 8, 2014. Send applications to: Adam Sant at Adam.Sant@ecy.wa.gov With the Subject line: 2015-2017 Floodplains by Design Project Grant Application You will receive confirmation that your application has been received by close of business on September 15. Applicants must use this form as provided. No alterations will be accepted. Project Title: South Fork Nooksack River – Flood, Fish, Farm Conservation and Restoration Integration Organization/Jurisdiction Name: Whatcom …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Hot off the Presses – – from the County Council Committee Meetings

This mornings committee meetings: Natural Resources: In a presentation to the council today it was indicated that the problem with water quality in the county is that people don’t care — but more money should solve that problem. The problem with funding the Planning Unit is that the Council does not like the Planning Units voting process  and the Joint Board does not want to share the money they have, so — if the Council does not fund the Planning Unit – problem solved! The problem with the Marijuana moratorium is people have already invested money and we are approaching the planting season.  Current applications do not want to adhere to current county zoning, they want producing, processing and retail in the Agricultural zone.  While this is still a major stumbling block which has prevented meat packing facilities  (currently legal under federal law) from getting zoning approval, it will likely be a small bump in the road for marijuana growing and processing (currently not legal under federal law) to overcome. It is a problem that state revenues from marijuana taxation will not be shared with cities and counties. Finances: Report from our county assessor on the impacts which we will immediately see as a result of …

Read More »

Global Warming Expediency

Here it comes – have you heard?  Global warming (climate change to the politcally sensitive) has caused the drought in California!  Let’s ignore the fact that changing weather patterns are the result of changing winds linked to ocean temperature variances we do not fully understand.  Let’s ignore the fact that drought is not an abnormal weather phenomenon on the west coast.  Let’s take the easy road and use a scientific theory to hide behind. Or we could talk about a state that has shut off water to agriculture water canals to save a little tiny fish that moved in after the canals were dug.  We could  talk about water reservoirs that were emptied and an infrastructure that has been ignored for 30 years.  We could talk about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that judged the study used to prove that smelt were endangered was flawed, but refused to let the water be used to grow food until another study was completed.  We could even ask why that study was never redone.  We could talk about the thousands of food producing acres at risk because of legislative heads in the sand. The immediate benefit of feeling good about saving the environment …

Read More »

So You Think a $15 a Hour Minimum Wage is a Good Thing? Meet the Replacements.

On November 5th 2013, the voters of the of Sea-Tac decided to raise the minimum wage to $15 /hour within the city limits.  It is no secret that the creators of this initiative, if successful, planned to expand it to the whole of the Seattle area and then spreadout across the State of Washington.  With no faith that Seattle leadership will give them the $15 minimum wage requirement they want; a non-profit by the name of  “$15in2014,”  has written an initiative for approval by the City Council of Seattle.  This initiative (if passed) would setup a complicated, minimum wage requirement based on tiers of company size, revenue, number of locations, type of business and that’s just the beginning.  It is even laced with an incentive that would reduce B&O taxes for businesses located in the City of Seattle.  Seems like a noble idea however, the consequences are real.  There is a real need to address business taxes in Washington, but this initiative will harm the ability of low skilled workers to gain employment.  Some people will inadvertently go from a $9.19/hour job, to a Zero/hour job because of their replacements. Who needs a waiter anymore? See the E la Carte product video …

Read More »

Port of Bellingham Candidate Q&A on “The Whatcom Report” 10/20/2013

Continuing with our coverage of local “2013 Elections,” we are sharing this mornings KGMI edition of “The Whatcom Report.”  Host Scott Hume talks with the four Port of Bellingham Commissioner candidates about what they would do as a Commissioner if elected and what they see the Port doing in the future to help bring jobs to Whatcom County.

Read More »

Heavy Moolah Moves into Whatcom County Council Races

Time to weigh in on the big bucks that are being spent to sway (dare I say buy?) the voters of Whatcom County to vote for one slate of candidates over another.  It was not so long ago that the bloggers were whispering that big money would decide this local election and that is what’s happening for certain.  Outside dollars are being spent by the Washington Conservation Voters Action Fund (WCV). Those dollars are plastering Whatcom County with ominous pictures on one side of the flyer of a dirty, congested, ugly and uncertain future for Whatcom County if the Gateway Pacific Terminal passes all of the environmental inspection scoping processes. They do not mention of all those great family wage jobs that have been created at the Cherry Point Industrial zone and the many thousands of other jobs that can become a reality if GPT gets approved! The other side of the flyer shows a bright, colorful, happy and working green community if they vote for their candidates. This is a common tool of advertising as they attempt to affect people with subliminal perceptions.  It’s no different than when you see an advertisement of a local kiddie restaurant with lots of …

Read More »

Whatcom County Council Elections get National Attention

Little old “Whatcom County” has begun to receive national attention.  Why?  Well because of coal and the pending approval of the Gateway Pacific Terminal(GPT)  project to legally secure the permits needed for development of their dry bulk goods shipping terminal.   The National Journal has posted an article titled: “The Obscure County Election That Could Change the Planet” Even MSNBC is weighing in on our local election with this video: The environmentalist groups have successfully focused the media to portray the only possible product the GPT terminal could or would ship as coal.  That in itself is laughable on its face.  Why would a multi-national company such as SSA Marine do something so shortshighted?  The answer?  They would not endeavor to develop this shipping terminal exclusively for coal, and have designed into this project the ability to ship a variety of “dry bulk goods.”  The fact that currently there are no other potential areas “legally designated” to put in a much needed shipping terminal along the west coast of the United States, was left out of the National Journal article and the MSNBC video.  Those of us from Whatcom County who understand the need to have good jobs and a …

Read More »

Saturday Morning Live for May 18, 2013

Host Kris Halterman brings back Katherine Williams and Todd Hausman to discuss Common Core and Intenational Baccalaureate curriculum.  How will these two cousins potentially change education in Whatcom County, Washington State and around the Nation?

Read More »