How The Waterfront Is Really Being Sold / Facebook post, Whatcom Hawk

waterfront toursYesterday at 7:58pm  July 12, 2015  Wendy Harris

Well, the city and port propaganda machine is in full swing selling the public on the waterfront deal and how everything about it is going to be so great, great, great..from the sale to Harcourt, to the clean-ups, the demolition of historic structures, and of course, public access, which in Bellingham somehow increases habitat function. (Hooray for the Camelot that is Bellingham.)

San Juan Cruises is offering a bay tour with “representatives from the Port of Bellingham and the City of Bellingham.” Now that is a public/private partnership! City and port propaganda sold to the public with the profits going to private business. Hope they are holding a few slots for the homeless.

And this month, there is a special MNAC (Mayor’s Neighborhood Association Committee) meeting at the Maritime Heritage Park Environmental Learning Center promoting waterfront development.

Isn’t the irony just sooooo delicious? Where better to promote the most environmentally destructive program ever conceived of for Bellingham’s shorelines than MHP and the ELC? This is a park, estuary and riparian corridor the city is very deliberately destroying, despite prior promises to better connect the creek to the bay. And the city is trying to lease the Environmental Learning Center to a private business for a restaurant or retail sales, instead of what it was intended for… learning about the hatchery, spawning fish, native plants, wildlife species in the estuary, and all things under the “Environmental Learning” umbrella.

After they are greeted by the Mayor, they will walk over to the ASB trail. And guess who is going to there? “We will have representatives from the City of Bellingham, the Port of Bellingham and the Dept. of Ecology…” Anyone notice how the MNAC meeting sounds just like the San Juan Cruises bay tour, (except for a private business profiting from the propaganda being peddled and a special appearance by DOE?)

I have been told that the MNAC meeting is open to the public, so if you happen to find this heavy-handed sales pitch approach troublesome and want to monitor what is being said, or if you are just curious to hear and learn, you can attend the MNAC meeting Wednesday, July 15, at 6:30PM, and them walk to the ASB trail, with the mayor leading the way.

After visiting the ASB trail, MNAC will return to the Learning Center for questions and a roundtable discussion, “if there is time.” Which makes me feel so sentimental. Anyone remember the time when the purpose of MNAC was for the city to listen to the citizens? Now it is primarily tool of an administration that has successfully consolidated and increased its power, and is now exercising it in the most effective way possible.

Potato, potatoe; propaganda, cultural hegemony. When someone is selling you something, whether it is a waterfront, or an extremely flawed planning process, just know that you are being pitched.

Read Wendy’s post on Whatcom Hawk on Facebook here.

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