Recent Stories

Deforestation and 5G

There are many legitimate health concerns surrounding 5G technology, but our local governments remain anywhere from uninformed to actively defensive of the anti-net neutral, anti-first amendment big telecoms, but those are topics for another article. Today, I want to write specifically about deforestation and 5G. I was shocked by the permitted deforestation on Samish Hill to make way for new housing developments.  These developments–along with the clear-cutting of trees–are unnecessary until the many abandoned (some publicly owned) buildings in Bellingham’s downtown and surrounding areas are renovated to provide new housing stock. Yes, new builds should be built to the LEED Platinum standard, but nothing is as green as refurbishing old buildings in the first place. Still, this topic got me thinking about all kinds of unnecessary deforestation, including that taking place around the installation of 5G technology.

Saving The Orca And Salmon – Does Inslee Have The Political Will?

Photo Credit: Washington State Department of Ecology

In March 2018, Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order that directed state agencies to take “immediate” action to help the critically-endangered Southern Resident orcas and formed a nearly 50-member Southern Resident Orca Task Force (the “Task Force”). The Executive Order recognized the inextricable link between the orca and its main prey—the endangered Chinook salmon. The Task Force released a 148-page report in November 2018, with prioritized recommendations for orca recovery (the “Report”). The recommendations and their order of importance was the result of compromise—a natural consequence of the diverse composition of the Task Force. About 20 percent of Task Force members are state agency employees.

The Zelda II Conspiracy?

Nintendo
has come to be known for many great achievements over the years, but
to me their greatest achievement was that of consistently making
reliable games that were fun to play and always displayed the best
play control. Well, almost always. This review is about one of those times when I believe that Nintendo threw caution to the wind and created a title based entirely on name recognition just for the sole purpose of making money. Craftsmanship be damned Zelda was hot and they were going to make another Zelda title, as quickly as possible, no matter the result. This is what I believe happened with Zelda II, or more accurately this is what Zelda II felt like to me when I played it as I will expand on below. During
the NES era this would hardly be the first time that Nintendo would
do something this foolish with one of their premier titles.

Your Necessities Are Going Up In Cost… Again!

This holiday season I was informed that my property taxes would be going up with no real good justification as I expanded on in this previous article. I also received notifications, as the rest of my fellow Bellinghammers and Whatcom County residents did that most of our already over-priced necessities will be going up in cost as well. Here is a list of the most recent rate increases on our necessities here in Bellingham and Whatcom County. PSE (Puget Sound Energy) Service: Electricity —

The rate increase is about a half a percent in most cases but this is hardly the first time that PSE has increased electricity rates in the last 5 years and it’s not because they’re providing better services. The featured image in this article is of a PSE pole that cracked in half and fell over mostly from neglect in my neck of the woods.

Appealing Voodoo Economics Housing Values

Years ago, the first time my property value was raised, I wrote to
the assessor about it. The reply I received was essentially a “canned
answer.” I pressed and asked the assessor how my house could have gone
up in value when, although kept in good repair, no real improvements had
been made to it in years. My purchase price for the house, before their
“re-valuation,” was already almost five times what it sold for in the
70s. I know the inflation arguments, fair market value arguments, and
all of that, but I still have a hard time understanding how something
made of materials with a limited lifespan, like a house, can go up in
value as it is used. The normal trend is for items to go down in value
as they are used, like cars.

COB Produces Elementary School Level Dig Once Draft

I don’t want to always paint the picture that nothing good is going
on with public broadband. I am happy to report that both the Port and PUD have teamed up and are pursuing the issue. In the meantime, the City of Bellingham is hell bent on being as
backward about the issue as possible. They have even created a fable
about pretend meetings that never took place with Mount Vernon as I’ll
explain below. So we have yet another installment in the saga of
protecting the big telecoms, embarked upon by the upper echelon of our
city government.