To start off this post we remind you that last July 17th, at the Ferndale High School Auditorium, the Whatcom Tea Party held one of two candidate forums that were hosted in July. (The audio version of these forums have been posted here on SML and now that the July 17th video has been released, we thought it would be a good idea to add this media to our website also- see below. On July 24th, there was a candidate forum held at Bellingham High School’s Auditorium, for the City of Bellingham and Port of Bellingham candidates. Once that video has been released for public sharing, we will post it here as well.) There has been a lot of media focus on a cancelled candidate forum for this evening, which was to be hosted by Futurewise of Whatcom County. Apparently the so-called conservative candidates had declined to participate in the forum. The reasons given for that decision were based on the ongoing litigation between Futurewise and RE Sources for a Sustainable Community, and the potential conflict that would likely occur at a forum sponsored by these litigants:
“It seems if they don’t get their way, they litigate everything,” Knutzen said on Wednesday, reaffirming his stance. “It’s frustrating, and it’s not the kind of behavior I want to support.”
Ben Elenbaas, a planning commissioner and farmer who is challenging Mann, remained opposed on Wednesday to the tactics of both Futurewise and RE Sources. Like Knutzen, he doesn’t approve of Futurewise’s proclivity for filing challenges to county rules. He also took issue with RE Sources’ practice of patrolling farms (aka: brown shirting) and other properties for water-pollution violations. Click here to read the full story.
For what its worth, the candidates probably made the right decision and with the pending State of Washington, Department of Ecology decision to begin a two year scoping process with relation to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal development…we at SML will be researching the potential long term, negative economic effects this precedent would establish. As stated in yesterday’s Bellingham Herald Article here:
Bob Watters, vice president of coal terminal proponent SSA Marine, said his company was disappointed by the regulators’ decision but intends to keep on pursuing permits to build the export terminal. He said no other project in the state had ever been ordered to produce an environmental study of such broad scope.
“The state is setting new precedent with the broadness of this scope,” Watters said in an email. “This potentially has negative impacts on Washington state’s trade. … It has potential negative impacts for future rail and infrastructure improvements required to support a vibrant and growing state economy.”
Watters also said SSA expects to proceed with the environmental impact study process, which the company is required to pay for.
“We are glad the EIS will finally get underway and the science will soon be available to put to rest the erroneous claims made by those opposed to the project,” Watters said.
Business and labor groups from around the state had joined SSA Marine in calling for an environmental impact statement that would be confined to direct effects of the terminal and rail operations in and around the SSA Marine property near Cherry Point at the end of Gulf Road. Click here to read the full story.
And, as stated here in another article from the Bellingham Herald, it appears that RE Sources and the Anti-Coal Coalition have convinced the Lummi Nation to publicly oppose the Gateway Pacific Terminal project that would develop a deep water port facility at the Cherry Point site from ever providing the economic boost that all residents of Whatcom County would benefit from:
Lummi Nation Natural Resources Director Merle Jefferson says the tribe is ready to send an official letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announcing its opposition to the Gateway Pacific Terminal project at Cherry Point – a move that could stop the federal permit process for the coal terminal dead in its tracks.
The Army Corps has the authority to grant some key permits that SSA Marine of Seattle will need in order to construct its three-vessel pier at Cherry Point. On other projects, the federal agency has refused to process permit applications if Indian tribes contend that those projects would violate their treaty rights as defined by numerous federal court rulings.
During a Wednesday, July 31, press conference, an Army Corps official stopped short of saying that Lummi Nation has the power to block Gateway Pacific. But she indicated that her agency might decide to stop processing its permits if the Lummis raise formal objections. Click here to read the full story.
If you are concerned about why our local State Department of Ecology would venture down this road, it could be worthwhile for you to contact Steve Hood, of the local DoE to share that with him.
- State of Washington Department of Ecology
- Steve Hood – Bellingham Field Office
- Phone (360) 715-5211
- Fax (360) 715-5225
- Email email@example.com
Do you ever ask yourself the why and how do entities like Futurewise, RE Sources and the Enviro-Nonprofits (that seem to proliferate our County and State) get the time and resources to stop all growth in our corner of the world? Look no further than our local, state and federal governments. All of these nonprofits have one singular commonality. They are experts at getting public tax dollars voluntarily handed out to them to use against “We the People,” for activity they say has the potential to harm others. How do you prove against the probability of a potential harm? Everything has a potential to harm, just as it has the potential to benefit us. The dilemma is now, how to undo this new standard for potential ? This model has great potential to stop almost any activity, once Futurewise and RE Sources puts their deep pockets of tax dollars and national watermelon groups (who don’t have to produce anything to pay for their standard of living) in to action…they’ve got your dollars to do that!
~ Kris Halterman
July 17th, 2013 Whatcom Tea Party – County Council Candidate Forum