Fall, wind, and rain are here; legal homeless camping or emergency shelters aren’t

Click the graphic of the agenda for the 9/25/2020 Homeless Strategies Workgroup (HSW) meeting to access the HSW meeting materials page on the Whatcom County website

September 24, 2020 Dena Jensen

Fall, wind, and rain are here. Late-November, (which is the last time severe weather shelters were offered) is two months away. At Friday’s 1:30 p.m. Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting, 5 minutes are scheduled for discussing Winter Shelter (temporary and emergency) and 5 minutes are scheduled for discussing Encampment clean-up/sweeps. How are these critical topics not a priority topic when people who are unsheltered are in positions -right now – to have their tarps and tents either blow away or be flooded, and freezing temps are weeks away? 

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‘She comes and goes addressing the camps’: Who decides homeless camp ‘clean ups’ for the City of Bellingham? / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the screenshot of a HomesNow. Not Later. Facebook post with text and picturing a Zoom meeting still frame of the 9/11/20 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting in order to access a recording of that meeting


September 12, 2020 Dena Jensen

On Friday, September 11, 2020 Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup (HSW) held their most recent meeting. Many critical issues were discussed and people should watch and listen to the whole meeting. Homelessness is an emergency for many members of our community.

In this blog post, however, I am providing a transcription of a discussion during the meeting, which began shortly before public comment was taken and continued throughout some of the public comments later on. The discussion focused on Bellingham Police Department (BPD) policy/procedure related to City of Bellingham unauthorized homeless “camp clean ups”, as they are referred to by COB.

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Agency glorification won’t generate community trust in law enforcement / Letter to BPD Chief David Doll and Bellingham City Council

Click the still frame of the Bellingham Herald video “Messages show how police used man with mental health issues in prank” to access the video on The Bellingham Herald website

August 27, 2020 Dena Jensen

Dear Chief Doll and Bellingham City Council:

I want to address the statement made by Bellingham Police Chief Doll at Bellingham City Council’s August 24, 2020 meeting. Chief Doll’s remarks were in regard to the four Bellingham Police officers who were involved in an incident where one of the officers responded to a 911 call during which a phone number was requested to a cab company from a man with a severe mental illness on Sept. 19, 2019. The incident developed into four BPD officers agreeing to one of them intercepting the victim who had called 911, and was not seeking BPD involvement or services, to use him to play a prank on some off-duty officers. 

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More BPD public relations: Chief Doll’s statement at the 8/24/20 Bellingham City Council meeting / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic of a screen shot of the YouTube video showing Chief David Doll at the Bellingham City Council meeting on August 24, 2020 to access the recording

August 25, 2020 Dena Jensen

I am posting below Bellingham Police Department Chief Doll’s statement at the 8/24/20 Bellingham City Council meeting last night, which was regarding the September 2019 prank involving BPD officers taking advantage of a severely mentally ill community member to play a dangerous prank on fellow officers at a local restaurant. The incident was reported in the Bellingham Herald on August 15. I will put the link to the part of the meeting where the statement begins at about 00:52:30, https://youtu.be/7-r7GZCe5r0?t=3146

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Regarding topics from today’s 8/21/20 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting / Letter to Whatcom County’s Homeless Strategies Workgroup

Click the graphic image of the 8/21/2020 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting agenda to access the agenda, and links to other Meeting Materials on that page, for the Homeless Strategies Workgroup on the Whatcom County website

August 21, 2020 Dena Jensen

Here’s the link to access the agenda and meeting materials, for today’s August 21, 2020 Homeless Strategies Workgroup meeting: http://whatcomcounty.us/2748/Homeless-Strategies-Workgroup-Meeting-In

I was able to remotely attend the last 45 minutes. I will view the first half of the Zoom meeting after the recording gets posted. Below is my email to the HSW regarding what was discussed during the period of the meeting for which I was present. I had tried to make a public comment, but today was a technical difficulty day for me. When I was unmuted in the Zoom meeting, alas, workgroup members still couldn’t hear me.

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Some Bellingham City Council Members are ready to commit to action regarding policing / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic of a cropped image of a smiling woman in a dark shirt, in her radio studio with a light green wall, with lettering across the photo, to access the KGMI Saturday Morning Live August 15, 2020 radio show

August 16, 2020 Dena Jensen

Q: So guess who’s not at all afraid to commit to actions regarding the Bellingham Police Department? (And don’t get excited on this first one, because, in this case, it’s not good news).

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Speaking power to truth: current law enforcement public relations in Bellingham and Whatcom County / Noisy Waters Northwest

Click the graphic of a black police car with white and blue lettering and white and blue striping to access a June 24, 2020 KGMI radio news extra on Bellingham Police Department’s “Police Perspective” video series

July 30, 2020  Dena Jensen

Since the body count of victims of unjust killings by police officers culminated with the slaying of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers in late May this year, community members in various areas of Whatcom County have been calling more intensely for numerous types of law enforcement and justice changes aimed at eliminating racist, discriminatory, biased, violent, militaristic, unjust, or unnecessary law enforcement actions. Increasingly, voices of local law enforcement officials are resounding in response.

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Bellingham Police use of force statistics focus could obstruct reductions in use of force / Noisy Waters Northwest

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Click the screenshot of a YouTube video image of BPD Lieutenant Don Almer in his police uniform speaking to BPD Outreach Officer Jon Knutsen to access the video on YouTube

July 11, 2020  Dena Jensen

A July 8, 2020 Bellingham Police Perspective Project Video, is a good example of recent public relations material going out to the community from law enforcement. It seems beneficial to examine such communications as we seek to make strides toward reducing police use of force and discriminatory practices. Continue reading

Attending sweeps of unsheltered residents during pandemic sounds alarms for better solutions / Letter to Whatcom County Council & Bellingham City Council

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Click the graphic of a portion of a recent listing of Bellingham Police Daily Activity displaying four different items regarding Illegal Camp clean ups and notifications to access this information on the COB website

July 9, 2020  Dena Jensen

Sent: Wednesday, July 8, 2020, 07:47:20 PM PDT

Subject: A call for providing funding and land for tiny home communities

Dear Whatcom County Council and Bellingham City Council:

I am writing to call on you to support the request of community members and members of HomesNOW! to act quickly to reappropriate funds from things like unauthorized tent site clean-ups toward the creation of tent, tiny home, or cottage communities.

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Harvest vs. safety; ag workers at risk in Chelan-Douglas counties / Facebook post, The Searchlight Review

Butler to Austin 043020

Click the graphic to enlarge a copy of a 4/30/20 email from Malcom Butler, a Chelan-Douglas Health Officer, sent to JT Austin of Governor Inslee’s office. The complete text of the email is contained in the blog post

July 7, 2019  Sandy Robson

From this recent Searchlight Review Facebook post, we can get some insights into the foundations of why agricultural workers continue to struggle against the imbalance of negative impacts suffered by them due to COVID-19.


 

In reviewing public records I recently obtained from the Chelan-Douglas Health District related to a COVID-19 outbreak at Stemilt Growers, a grower, packer and marketer of apples, pears, cherries and other tree fruits, I came across an email that I wanted to share. Continue reading