Every picture tells a story

whatcom falls water color full size
Welcome to Noisy Waters Northwest! Many facts, figures, stories, and perspectives are, sadly, often unheralded in our local media in Whatcom County, Washington.  Click on the title of items on our picturesque story board for a refreshing splash of information that won’t be held back. There is a search page to search all information on this blog site. All posts note their categories of commentary or news related content. Continue reading

Whatcom County Council seeks to lighten workload by cutting back on community voices / Letter to Whatcom County Council

Click the screenshot of a 12/2/2022 memo from Whatcom County Council Member Carol Frazey to access the document on the Whatcom County website

December 5, 2022 Dena Jensen

In this post is an email I sent last night regarding tomorrow’s 12/6/22 Whatcom County Council Committee of the Whole meeting. The COW agenda says Council will be discussing general meeting rules. It is left to community members who have some experience on where to find more details, to learn that apparently this discussion is to be solely focused on limiting our time to speak at their meetings. It would have taken very few extra words to say that on the agenda. Here is the link to the memo for the meeting: https://whatcom.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=F&ID=11493559&GUID=01A69383-70BC-41D5-A732-01A369E4CD18

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Update on previous email related to information and activation for accessible severe weather sheltering / Letter to Whatcom County officials

November 27, 2022 Dena Jensen

Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2022, 07:30:34 PM PST

Subject: Update on previous email related to information and activation for accessible severe weather sheltering

Dear Whatcom County Health Department, Whatcom County Council, and Whatcom County Executive Sidhu:

Below my signature line, I am including a copy of the email  I sent you earlier today regarding information on the County website and various social media pages related to severe weather shelters being available. 

I wanted to write again on a related matter having to do with the recording on the night by night shelter hotline, at 360-788-7983.

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In pursuit of justice: who all is breaking the rules? / Noisy Waters Northwest

November 6, 2022 Dena Jensen

Included in this post are some important points to consider regarding questions and input for the Whatcom County Justice Project (jail and services) Town Hall Listening Session on November 15th at 6:00pm. Click here to join via Zoom or attend in person at 311 Grand Avenue, Bellingham, WA 98225.

I spent the time-changed hour “early” that I woke up today thinking about moldy kitchen and bathroom ceilings in the Whatcom County Jail, and encampment sweeps happening in Bellingham when our one 24/7 emergency shelter in the County is full. I thought about how legal codes and laws are being broken by officials month after month and year after year. 

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Displacement creates a stronger need for increased emergency sheltering options / Letter to Bellingham and Whatcom County officials

Click the screenshot of a NEWS webpage on the website of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness to read the statement from USICH Director Olivet, “Collaborate, Don’t Criminalize: How Communities Can Effectively and Humanely Address Homelessness”

October 31, 2022 Dena Jensen

On Friday of last week, I had posted on Facebook about a recent article in Cascadia Daily News, “Bike lanes to displace homeless campers on Cornwall. At the time of my post, I was just responding to information in the article. Since that time, I have had a chance to listen to a recording of the Bellingham City Council Members’ October 24, 2022 Committee of the Whole discussion of the proposal to eliminate parking on portions of four Bellingham streets, including the section of Cornwall Avenue that is near the Bellingham waterfront.

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Services needed to address more regular occurrence of severe smoke events / Letter to Whatcom County officials

October 18, 2022 Dena Jensen

Keep sharing the things you learn and observe with our officials that will help result in more and better services for our community members who are in crisis or are in danger of being so.  

Here is an email I sent this evening to the Whatcom County Council and the County Executive:

Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2022, 05:31:04 PM PDT

Subject: Services needed to address more regular occurrence of severe smoke events

Dear Whatcom County Council, and County Executive Sidhu:

I have been watching the rapid increase today in poor air quality due to wildfire smoke. I am including a couple screenshots. 

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Calls for action regarding 2022 plans for Whatcom County severe weather shelters / Letter to the Whatcom County Council

Click the image of a screenshot of a chart that is included in the Whatcom County Coalition to End Homelessness 2022 Annual Report to access the chart in the report on the Whatcom County website

October 14, 2022 Dena Jensen

I sent the following email to the Whatcom County Council this afternoon related to the presentation on severe weather sheltering that was given on September 27, 2022 by the Whatcom County Health Department Human Services Manager to members of the County Council’s Committee of the Whole at their meeting that day. Here is a link to a transcription of that presentation along with some highlights from it: https://noisywatersnw.com/2022/10/05/transcript-update-from-the-whatcom-county-health-department-on-severe-weather-shelter-plans-noisy-waters-northwest/

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Voice your support for Whatcom County Council passing an ordinance establishing a Racial Equity Commission / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image of the event information graphic for the Whatcom Racial Equity Commission Bring All the Bright Celebration to access information on the Facebook information page for the event

October 10, 2022 Dena Jensen

I sent in my email of support for the Racial Equity Commission this last weekend. I’m including that email, a response from Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu, plus my email reply to him below. 

Meanwhile, there are addresses at the bottom of this post where you can send your own. There is a Public Hearing for the ordinance establishing the REC at the October 11, 2022 Whatcom County Council meeting that starts at 6:00 p.m. Additionally, there is a celebration starting at 4:00 p.m. the same day on the Bellingham Public Library lawn in honor of all the work that has been done to create this community-driven public/private advisory commission.  (Pizza and cupcakes will be shared!)

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Transcript: update from the Whatcom County Health Department on severe weather shelter plans / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the still frame of a video recording of the 09/27/22 Whatcom County Council Committee of the Whole meeting to access the recording via the Whatcom County website

October 4, 2023 Dena Jensen

At Whatcom County Council’s September 27, 2022 Committee of the Whole Meeting, committee members received an update on severe weather shelter plans for the upcoming cold weather season from the Whatcom County Health Department’s Human Services Manager, Ann Beck. I am providing a written transcript of that presentation in this blog post.

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Whatcom Democrats pass resolution to support city funded immigrant resource center / Press Release, Community to Community Development

Over a dozen strings of multi-colored origami butterflies, created as part of the community-wide Migration Makes Us Stronger campaign, brighten the picture window of the ideal shop in downtown Bellingham. Photo Credit: C2C

September 30, 2022 Community to Community Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 09/30/2022 

WHATCOM DEMOCRATS PASS RESOLUTION TO SUPPORT CITY FUNDED IMMIGRANT RESOURCE CENTER 

As city council prepares to draft the 2023-2024 biennial budget, community demand for immigrant resource center grows 

On Saturday September 24th, The Whatcom Democrats voted 58-0 to pass a resolution encouraging the city of ellingham to fund an immigrant resource center. This comes as Mayor Fleetwood is preparing to propose a biennial budget to city council on October 24th, 2022. 

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Calling on Whatcom County officials to protect those exposed to extreme climate impacts/ Letter to Whatcom County Council and Executive Sidhu

Click the screenshot to access a Facebook post by Community to Community Development displaying a video of Skagit Farmworkers out in the pumpkin fields during smoky conditions in early September 2022

September 18, 2022 Dena Jensen

Many of our friends and neighbors are put in a position to feel they have to work, without critical protections under severely smokey or hot conditions. There are currently no sufficiently protective provisions from our local, state, and federal governments for farmworkers and certain groups of people whom we have left to live or work outside during dangerous weather conditions.

I am including below an email I sent to Whatcom County officials today to call on them to take action locally and use their influence to urge state and federal governments to take action, as well.

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