According to the County Executive, Jack Louws, Whatcom County is doing great. Revenues are up and predicted to continue on a slow, upward trend as is growth for Whatcom County. The only area of concern that the County Executive is warning the people about is the need to pay more taxes for Emergency Medical Services for our Whatcom County Fire and EMT service delivery to county residents. But, when you look deeper into the proposed Whatcom County budget presented at the November 26th, 2014 Council meeting you find that the Sheriff’s department has lost one full-time employee (FTE). In 2011 the Sheriff’s department had 108.5 FTE’s. In 2013 the County Council reduced the number of FTE’s to 107.5. For 2015 and 2016 the Sheriff’s department was reduced by an extra FTE, to 106.5 full time employees. Why should the residents of Whatcom County be concerned about the loss of two full-time law enforcement officers? Well, with the recent passage of legalized (quasi-legal) growing and sale of marijuana in Washington State, Whatcom County politicians have embraced this industry with open arms. With the potential for huge growth in this type of industry comes the burden of added risk for crime and violence …Read More »
Update: The Whatcom Tea Party posted this additional information on their website… The Court of Appeals, in accepting this case, referred to another case (Kittitas), which …held the GMA requires counties to “regulate to some extent to assure that land use is not inconsistent with available resources” and “assure adequate potable water is available when issuing building permits and approving subdivision applications. “While Ecology is responsible for appropriation of groundwater by permit under RCW 90.44.050, the County is responsible for land use decisions that affect groundwater resources, including subdivision, at least to the extent required by law.” Ecology “ought to assist counties in their land use planning to adequately protect water resources.” The parties dispute counties’ and Ecology’s roles in addressing water availability for rural development with respect to water code exempt wells. Whatcom County argues the Board incorrectly extended Kittitas beyond the subdivision regulations context and incorrectly required the county, instead of Ecology, to require property owners who would otherwise be exempt from water permit requirements to submit a costly water impairment analysis. This case, and the issue generally, raises numerous important concerns: Should private individuals and organizations assume the power to dictate “remedies” such as public policy and …Read More »
Whatcom County Council “Special Council of the Whole” to meet at 6pm, Jan. 28th, 2014 – Your Water Rights are at Stake!
URGENT MESSAGE TO ALL WHATCOM COUNTY RESIDENTS Please attend next week’s Whatcom County Council Meeting: Next Tuesday 1/28/2014 @ 6:00pm, the Whatcom County Council will hold a closed meeting to discuss your water rights and their plans to further erode the land use rights of private property owners in rural Whatcom County. It is imperative that we have a major showing of private property owners at this meeting willing to stand up for our rights. Several members of the current County Council have expressed their support of dropping our legal council that is fighting the non-elected Growth Management Hearings Board and their over reach here in Whatcom County. WE MUST STAND UP! This is not a partisan issue; it does not matter if you are; R, D, L, I, or whatever, this issue affects all of us. This is not about water, this is about forcing our people to live in incorporated areas of Whatcom County and restricting all rural growth and use. At issue is amending the comp plan and the Whatcom County Code to force rural land owners to PROVE that their use of water will not draw down water levels in “protected” streams, creeks and rivers. How …Read More »
This website is dedicated to local issues, so some of you might ask why I am sharing a post about Obamacare? Well, Obamacare is affecting everyone including Whatcom County individuals and businesses. Lately I have begun to hear people refer to the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, as ObamaScare. After receiving my personal notification from Regence on the discontinuation of my current plan and what they can replace it with for double the cost, I believe ObamaScare is the right label to give this unconstitutional affront to the American public. How is it possible that the best and the brightest minds in Washington D.C. cannot contemplate the economic devastation that will occur when over 10% of your disposable income is taken away from the vast majority of the American, tax paying public? How do you spell insanity? OBAMA SCARE, or OBAMASCARE? Karl Uppiano is the President of our local Whatcom Tea Party and frequently posts to his personal blog, Kakistocracy Report, Kakistocracy, (Government by the least qualified or least principled citizens). If you have not met Karl or read any of his personal opinion postings, then you are in for a treat. Whatcom County is blessed with a diverse community …Read More »
Recently I agreed to do a short interview on KGMI 790’s afternoon show, PM Bellingham, with the host Dillon Honcoop. Dillon is aware that I am a board member of the local, Whatcom Tea Party, which prompted Dillon to ask if I would speak on his program about the recent(?) admission by the Internal Revenue Service; that groups who applied for the non-profit status of a 501(c)3, and had Tea Party or Patriot in their application name were given greater scrutiny; an unconstitutional treatment and abuse of their power. Why would the IRS ‘s treatment towards Tea Party groups and other conservatives be considered a misapplication of power and a threat to the First Amendment? Have you heard of free speech and equal treatment under the law? What exactly does that mean anyway? Equal; as in uniform or the same. Treatment; as in action or behavior towards. There was one thing that I did not mention in my interview on PM Bellingham. There is an abiding discomfort that I share with others on potentially playing a role in the diminishment of the real story of the day, the week, the year, or the century. That story is Benghazi and in …Read More »
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.:Read More »