Tag Archives: Livestock

“Save Ozzie” – Because All Pets Lives Matter

Ozzie is 28 years old with the probability of 2 more years of life. We invite you to join us Tuesday, July 19th, 2016, 12 noon, at the Department of Ecology’s Regional Branch, in Bellingham ’s Fairhaven District (see map below), to seek answers.  What are their intentions for the lives of all pets in Whatcom County, and Ozzie in particular? Last week we shared a post from a Whatcom County rural resident about her problem dealing with the State Department of Ecology (DOE). We shared Kathy and Ozzie’s post because we have heard rumblings from the county that DOE is expanding their compliance programs with real negative effects on rural lives. Well, Ozzie’s story has struck a chord in our county and beyond.  (See Kathy’s story below.) When a state agency comes knocking at your door it is intimidating. They come with the full weight of the state behind them. You can only hope whatever compliance they are seeking will not crush you. Whatcom County rural land owners are finding there is no easy, quick, or inexpensive way to keep their pets on their acreage when the DOE comes knocking. They are being told they must comply with similar …

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Is Whatcom County Winning?

Last Tuesday’s County Council meeting had two disconcerting moments for this County resident. The first uncomfortable moment was when the Council brought forward nominations to fill a vacancy on the Ferry Advisory Board.  At the time that the Council agenda packet was published there were two applicants.  Both of these applicants were well qualified and had submitted their applications on time for consideration by all of the Council.  During open session one applicant withdrew her name and the second spoke to the council about the ferry.  When it came time to approve the applicant a last minute additional applicant  was added to the nominees, that of Byron Moye. At this time, Mr. Moye’s application is not available online for public access to view his qualifications for the position he was successfully nominated to.  The first applicant, Mr. Jim Dickinson’s application is available online.  It clearly shows that Mr. Dickinson would have been a quality member to fill out the Ferry Advisory Board. All of that said, what bothers me most is not only that Mr. Moye’s application was added at the last minute with no access for the public to see his qualifications for the position, but the whole process of how he …

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Last Night at County Council

It was a full house at Council up to the moment that Council approved their interim-ordinance on marijuana production, processing and retailing.  Once this ordinance was passed by a unanimous vote of 7 – 0, the crowd dispersed to the Courthouse Rotunda and had a fairly noisy meeting.  The discussion was audible for about 30 minutes after the Council vote, so we’ll have to wait to learn what the outcome of that will be.  I do know that the people in attendance at the public hearing (which was not mandated) were heavily against approval of the interim-ordinance. Open session did not start until after 9:45 pm, so after making my comment it was time for me to go home, but I have pasted a copy of the outcome of last nights council meeting below. Upon listening to the many comments by the public and council, I formed some thoughts that I wonder about and wanted to share here. The water issue, especially the Hirst, Brakke, Stalheim, Harris and Futurewise v. Whatcom County lawsuit is the most important issue facing Whatcom County now and likely far into the future.  A recent Bellingham Herald article spoke to a potential settlement being proposed by …

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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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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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