Get involved in the Whatcom County Justice Project needs assessment / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image of white text on a vibrant pink background to access a PDF version

May 2, 2022 Dena Jensen

As people are becoming more and more aware, Whatcom County is moving forward in various government meetings towards a needs assessment for what they are calling a  “public health, safety and justice facility.” In general, that facility is acknowledged to be a new jail in combination with mental and behavioral health services.

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Part One – The race to displace: reviewing parking enforcement videos for obstacles to services for those in crisis

Edited body cam still frame in black and white of a car with rear door open showing the car interior and a person in jeans and socks laying under a long sweatshirt on the back seat. There is some graffiti on the door and seat-backs and one white athletic shoe next to the person on the seat. Some identifying material in the original image is removed.

April 22, 2022 Dena Jensen

Preface

On March 14, 2022, a presentation was given on RV parking code enforcement by Bellingham Police Department’s Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Claudia Murphy to Bellingham City Council’s Committee of the Whole. This presentation was given about three and a half months after City of Bellingham had initiated rigorous parking code enforcement following the lifting of the statewide ban on evictions.

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Or they could just give the land back: so-called Pacific International Holdings’ property at Xwe’chi’eXen

Click the image of a 2016 multi-color collage of photos and text honoring elements of Lummi Nation’s efforts to protect their treaty rights in the face of the Gateway Pacific coal terminal project to access “A LETTER OF GRATITUDE TO THE LUMMI NATION” written in 2016 on the occasion of the United States Army Corps of Engineers upholding Lummi Nation’s treat rights

April 2, 2022 Dena Jensen

At Whatcom County Council’s March 22, 2022 public hearing regarding the Ordinance that Council Members Donovan and Galloway proposed for repealing Ordinance 2022-005, temporary closure of Gulf Road, many people turned out to voice their desire to retain vehicular access to a beach area that they testified was a very important element to the well-being in their lives.

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A matter of public records: challenges in the quest for transparency

Click the Los Angeles Times image of farmworkers silhouetted in front of an indigo sky and the headline of the publication’s 12/9/19 article, “Berry farm company fined $3.5 million over worker abuses” to access the article on their website

March 31, 2022 Dena Jensen

From some of my experiences and observations over the course of the last year, I would say that we are in a period where the tools for community members in Whatcom County to hold their elected and appointed officials accountable are more challenging to employ in some ways. There are at least some public records requests that are being filled more slowly than they were in years past, and rules around providing open public comment at local government meetings have fluctuated, with some opportunities to do so in the City of Bellingham having been eliminated. It remains to be seen if this pans out to be a temporary phenomenon or one that we continue to increasingly struggle with.

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Support of farmworkers draws fire from Save Family Farming / Noisy Waters Northwest

Image of two screenshots of some of the information included in Save Family Farming’s 5/17/21 corporate Annual Report on the Washington State Secretary of State website, plus one screenshot of an Amazon link to access Gerald Baron’s 2018 book for review or purchase.

March 24, 2022 Dena Jensen

PR specialist, Gerald Baron is at it again, continuing to carry out the agenda he described in a 2018 book promoting the defeat of activists, and specifically of Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Development (C2C). You can read all about their leadership and ecofeminist efforts at https://www.foodjustice.org/team.

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A resource to learn about Whatcom County Council business rules, policies and procedures

Click the image of the Whatcom County Council 3/1/22 Special Meeting agenda to access it on the Whatcom County website

March 13, 2022 Dena Jensen

For community members who regularly follow or who periodically become interested in the activities of the Whatcom County Council, the Council’s March 1, 2022 Special Meeting and informational retreat is a good resource when we have questions about standards, rules, and laws the Council should be following.

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Consider actions to protect beach access in Whatcom County / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image to access the March 8, 2022 Bellingham Herald article, “After public outcry, Whatcom Council rethinking its closure of this popular beach”

March 10, 2022 Dena Jensen

From The Belingham Herald article, “After public outcry, Whatcom Council rethinking its closure of this popular beach” by Robert Mittendorf:

“Oregon and California give their residents broad freedom to cross private property to reach public tidelands, through the 1967 Oregon Beach Bill and the 1976 California Coastal Act.

“But Washington state’s 1972 Shoreline Management Act, established by referendum, has much less explicit language.”

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Don’t let the tiki torches fool you / Glenn Stewart

This image links to an August 15, 2017 CBS video,
‘Tiki torch CEO says he’s “appalled” at protesters’

February 20, 2022 Glenn Stewart

“It ain’t what people know that gives ‘em trouble, it’s what they know that ain’t so” — Will Rogers

The philosopher, theologian, medical doctor and Nobel Laureate Albert Schweitzer disagreed with Descartes’ famous idiom, “Cogito ergo sum,” I think, therefore I am.  That was too easy for Schweitzer.  “If humans think at all, they must think something,” he wrote.  Our most fundamental thought must be, Dr. Schweitzer surmised, “I will to live amongst others who also will to live.”  Quite right.  Our survival depends upon finding some basis by which we can co-exist—perhaps even thrive if possible—with millions of others.  The most fundamental empathy; the very basis of Human Ethics, and our best chance for survival (Schweitzer was saying) is the knowledge that all Humans ‘will to live.’  

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No room at the inn: current homeless strategies in Whatcom County / Noisy Waters Northwest

February 13, 2022 Dena Jensen

What’s encouraging

Three years have passed since the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County governments held a joint discussion that broached the subject of advance planning for severe weather shelters without action being taken to do so. But on Tuesday, February 8, 2022, Whatcom County Council finally authorized an interlocal agreement between the two government bodies to provide winter shelters during severe weather emergencies.

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Searchable meeting summaries of Bellingham City Council meetings January 2021 through December 2021 / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the image to access the City of Bellingham meetings page on the COB website

February 5, 2022 Dena Jensen

It finally dawned on me that placing text of the meeting summaries from a series of Bellingham City Council regular meetings in one searchable post could be a way to more quickly discover when certain issues and measures were discussed and/or voted on.

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