Tag Archives: inspection

Old Silvana Creamery to Close their Small Farm Operations in Snohomish County

This email notificatioin came to my atention today and we wanted to share it with everyone.  It goes along with the mantra everyone at Saturday Morning Live and SAVEWhatcom have been trying to communicate with our Whatcom County friends: Whatcom County is a great place to live if you have a job Whatcom County is a great place to farm if you can farm the land Whatcom County is a great place to do business if you can pay the taxes Whatcom County is a great place to do just about anything if it’s permitted ~ Kris Halterman Notice to our Customers: WSDA (Washington state department of agriculture) and the Snohomish County Conservation District will be forcing Old Silvana Creamery, LLC to close. I want to be clear that what the WSDA and the Snohomish County Conservation District is doing to us has nothing to do with the fact that we are a licensed raw milk dairy. These are regulations that are imposed on all dairy farmers in Washington state, no matter how small or large. I had a scheduled meeting yesterday with the WSDA and the Snohomish County Conservation district. I knew they were going to give me grief …

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Rental licensing and Inspection Proposal

As a concerned Landlord and resident of Whatcom County I am hoping to raise awareness of the City of Bellingham’s Rental Licensing and Inspection Program.  There will be a public meeting to discuss the City of Bellingham Rental Licensing and Inspection Proposal with the Bellingham City Council Planning and Community Development Committee Thursday, May 30 4PM to 5PM WWU Academic West Room 304 Information on parking: Patrick Stickney 360-650-3736 Additional information: Jack Weiss 738-2103 The current proposal has been spearheaded by Western Students in response to their survey during spring quarter of 2012.  The survey was mailed to 3571 students who had registered as living in off-campus housing.  Of those surveys only 846 fully completed the survey and indicated they were renters.  The City of Bellingham has approximately 17,000 rental units. So this survey represents a mere 5% of the rental population in Bellingham. The Bellingham City Council has previously discussed this issue in 2008 and 2011.  Both times they voted to not go forward with the program.  The latest discussion was started January 28, 2013 with (AB19827).  The audio for that discussion can be found here : The committee again discussed the proposal on February 11, 2013: and on …

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City of Bellingham and Whatcom County debate Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) fees

The City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Council are each grappling with what to do about the potential for invasive species contamination of our waters.  If you do an internet search on “aquatic invasive species,” (AIS) you will find a lot of information, probably more than you really wish to know, but with all things governmental it is important that we all pay attention, because it’s going to cost you if you don’t.  Starting in 2013, if you own recreational watercraft, you are going to be required to purchase an AIS permit before it will be allowed in Lake Whatcom.  The debate for Whatcom County, is whether to require an AIS permit only on Lake Whatcom, or on all water resources in Whatcom County and how much to charge for it.  On the other side of the fence is the City of Bellingham (COB), whose focus is on Lake Padden and that portion of Lake Whatcom, which lies within the boundaries of the Bellingham city limits.  City of Bellingham’s focus of concern is; “What to charge for their AIS permit and how to get Whatcom County to play nice with them?”  Current concensus appears to be a $50.00 annual fee and …

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Fact or Fiction?

The Bellingham Herald should fact check their guest editors.  On Tuesday Tip Johnson wrote a three column Whatcom View Piece to scare the city folks about new slaughterhouses in Whatcom County. As usual Mr. Johnson began with epidemics of world-wide proportion. The Truth: Cholera bacterium exist in nature. Outbreaks appear to begin in the regions of India and Africa. The bacteria  can infect any animal, but it is human infection that most often transmits the bacteria to epidemic proportions. We counter this natural occurrence by treating our drinking water , installing good sanitation systems, and practicing good hygiene. The Truth:  The last cholera outbreak in the United States occurred in 1910-1911. Yes, that is one hundred and two years ago.  This was part of a larger cholera pandemic that began in India in 1899 and eventually spread into Europe.  A steamship brought cholera infected people to New York City from Naples.  Health authorities quarantined the infected.  Eleven people died. I am not quite sure why anyone with any understanding of history or pandemics would have read any further.  However, if like me you found yourself mesmerized by the lie linking cholera directly to cows, the rest of the article read like a pulp …

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A Very Human Response to Disaster

I was recently reading an article on debunking myths of human responses to disasters. Ruth Wraith and Rob Gordon from The Department of Child and Family Psychiatry at the Melbourne Royal Children’s Hospital explained: “People do not panic, they behave rationally unless they have no information or no way to escape. People are not self centered, they care for each other helping those in need where they can. People behave more rationally if they have information and can verify it with people they trust.” This week I attended a meeting of the Whatcom County Cattlemen where the Department of Ecology and the Department of Health introduced new employees and a new water monitoring program. The feeling in the room was that another government-made disaster could be closing in on them. Livestock farming has become an ever more burdensome operation, with shrinking participation due to the layers of bureaucrats and paperwork that have interjected themselves into the process of livestock agriculture. They had come to meet the new agents and gather more information on water quality and help each other to be understood and to understand. Everyone attending was respectful, asking rational, concerned questions about how this program will affect their …

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Buy Local vs Sustainability

If you have been following local news, (I know it’s difficult if you really want to know what’s going on) you may have heard some talk about a proposal for a new slaughterhouse in the county. Well, its true. Before you start seeing pictures of 1920’s Chicago shipping yards take a deep breath of our fresh sea air and relax. Some folks here are attempting to get a permit for small slaughterhouse operations. Why? So that locally produced and processed meat products would be available in Whatcom County. First you need to know, this is not just a local problem. Check out WillametteLive website for the article “Who cut the Meat?” Nate Rafn has an excellent article about the challenges in Oregon’s direct-to-consumer marketing channel. For those not directly involved in the Ag business let’s just say it is not as easy as you may think to get local products to local customers. Here’s your quick Ag recent history lesson. While we were all busy shopping at our local grocery market, most did not realize the good beef prices were due to an Ag industry concentration that happpened due to improvements in technology. Imagine that, just like what happened as …

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