Politics Blog

  • Latest coal terminal study: Impacts to Central Puget Sound mostly negative

    Posted by Ralph Schwartz on July 24, 2014

    A new study concludes that a proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point would bring modest benefits but also economic losses and declining property values to communities in the Central Puget Sound.


  • Public access TV in Bellingham: not 'anything goes'

    Posted by Ralph Schwartz on July 21, 2014

    Citizen-produced programming should be on Bellingham's BTV 10 by October.


  • Lummis endorse Knutzen; a call for more grammar funding?

    Posted by Ralph Schwartz on July 21, 2014

    A Republican organizer sent this email on Friday, July 18, inviting people to a fundaiser for state House candidate Luanne Van Werven.

    Lummi Nation has rewarded Bill Knutzen for a good working relationship by endorsing him in the race for state representative in north Whatcom County.


  • UPDATE: Lummi Nation responds to coal terminal redesign

    Posted by Ralph Schwartz on July 17, 2014

    UPDATE: As promised, I am including in this post the response from Tim Ballew, Lummi Nation chairman, to Gateway Pacific Terminal's alternative site plan. I asked specifically about known prehistoric or historic cultural resources on the coal terminal site. Here is Ballew's written statement:


  • Gateway Pacific Terminal submits alternative site plan

    Posted by Ralph Schwartz on July 15, 2014

    Gateway Pacific's alternative site plan.

    Gateway Pacific Terminal announced this afternoon that it submitted a new layout for the proposed terminal at Cherry Point.


  • Week in oil train news: Evacuation zones for Whatcom County and more

    Posted by SAMANTHA WOHLFEIL on July 11, 2014

    Here is a roundup of a few interesting things from this week in oil train stories.   Oil Train Evacuation Map: A new site called blast-zone.org released an interactive map that allows you to see if your house, school, workplace, favorite store, etc. fall in the potential evacuation zones for explosive train derailments.   Put together by environmental group ForestEthics, the map traces railroad tracks used to transport crude oil and illustrates potential evacuation zones using guidelines from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Emergency Response Guidebook. (See P. 162)   A red line marks the 0.5-mile evacuation zone recommended in case of a spill of explosive materials, like crude oil. A yellow line marks the recommended 1-mile evacuation if that spilled material catches on fire.   That puts most of Fairhaven, downtown Bellingham, Western Washington University, the entire Bellingham waterfront, and much of Ferndale, Custer and Blaine in the evacuation zones for derailments


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