Tag Archives: Linville

Wrapping Up the Local Grange Water Forums

Over the past four months, Larry Helm facilitated through the sponsorship of the Rome Grange to pull together four water forums, featuring a wide sector of people connected to water usage, planning and protection.  The Thursday, July 10th Water Woes IV forum was moderated by, Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws. The forum panel featured: Ed Block (Agriculture), Dave Olson (Water Systems Manager), GI James (Lummi Tribal Spokesman), and Skip Richards (Non-government Water Resource Caucus). City of Bellingham – Mayor Kelli Linville was unable to attend at the last-minute due to illness. This is a brief write-up taken from the notes I took of highlighted comments made by the panelists. In addition it is helpful to watch the Water Woes IV video (produced and provided by Whatcom Works) and also read the article published in the Cascadia Weekly on the same subject. Ed Block (Ag District Coalition): Farmers are uncertain about water leases.  They support formation of a Water Improvement District (WID). Mr. Block stated that they do not intend that the WID’s are to be a big stick for local farmers. He stated that they would be self-controlled by land owners within the WID, based on percentages of land owned. The WID would be self …

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Thumbs Up for Costco – Thumbs Down for Jobs and Energy

Today’s headlines tell the story of two businesses. The first is the story about Costco, a darling of many and deservedly so, as they have found a way to stay in Whatcom County within the city limits of Bellingham. Mayor Linville moved heaven and earth to find a work around that would allow Costco to stay in Bellingham. Today’s news shows that this venture looks to be paying off as the plans to move Costco from its current location in Cordata Place over to the W. Bakerview near the Northwest Avenue intersection. It seems like yesterday that the Bellingham City Council placed a moratorium on business sizes in the city limits of Bellingham because Wal-Mart was seeking a permit (AB17301 1. CB 13274 A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER AN ORDINANCE ADOPTING LAND USE REGULATIONS FOR LARGE RETAIL ESTABLISHMENTS) to grow their location into a Super Store. The repercussions of the Bellingham City Council’s decision was that Costco sought an exemption from this decision, or they would be forced to move their store (which was already in the midst of planning for expansion) outside the Bellingham city limits. Long story short, Bellingham elected a new Mayor and everything worked out for …

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Dear Mayor Linville–“United We Stand, Divided We Fall”

Last Thursday, at 4:00 pm, on July 10th, 2013, the Mayor of Bellingham and the Bellingham City Council raised Old Glory with the Gay Pride Flag billowing under Old Glory’s magnificent representation of a unified nation; “one nation, under god, with liberty and justice for all.”   Diversity is something which is beloved and cherished within the United States, that’s why we are proudly described as the melting pot.  The actions by Mayor Linville and the Bellingham City Council, was met with fan-fare and clapping at the flag raising, but was it a unifying gesture?  Or, was their action seen by many as another moment that promotes division not unity? Is it governments place to remind us that we are all different and treat some sectors of society more reverently than others?  Can we, as a society, ever truly meld into the cohesive racial, spiritual, moral and just society that our forefathers envisioned, when government places itself as the intermediaries of support to one public sector over another?  We may not all agree on how individual lives should be lived, but we do all agree that we have the right to our own free will, free association and equality; which government …

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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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