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The Hammer, Vol. XXXII

Mulling that jail, the ferry and monkeys

By Ron Judd Executive Editor

Smelling Some Smoke Over Here: The heat definitely got turned up a notch with the new urgent plea from the county’s mayors to the Whatcom County Council to finally get moving on a new county jail. With its twice-failed legacy, it’s a tough nut to crack, for sure. But pols on both sides of the aisle at the county will ignore the growing public sentiment behind that message at their own peril. 

Seriously: When the local administrative inner sloth tendency gives way to written words such as “untenable,” stuff’s getting real.

Parting Thought on That Sailboat: To the few folks who felt obligated to point it out: Yes, duh, we know that the removal of the abandoned sailboat from the Whatcom Waterway last week was surely coincidental to the suggestion in a column on this page that local leaders leave it there and promote it as a tourist attraction.

How Do We Know That? The amount of time between the column’s publication and the sailboat-raising, initiated by the Port of Bellingham, is about 18 years short of the Port’s traditional thought-to-result time sequencing.

Surely You Jest: Surely not. You can look it up. Somewhere.

We Kid the Port: A little. But the rep is well-earned. 

It’s Wednesday: And in the newsroom, we all know what that means: Only two more days left this week for various politicians to claim credit for the $25 million in funding for a new Lummi Island ferry (we’re holding a spot for the Coast Guard’s 13th District Commander and the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere). 

Serious Question: Given the latest Torturously Muddled Advice by the Centers for Disease Control: Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, do you feel more or less informed about how you should be approaching it, and what to expect in the near to midterm?

We’ll Go First: The Hammer, albeit with a head made of forged steel, feels dumber by the week on this subject. 

Guns, Guns, More Guns: More than 70% of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, including about half of Republicans, the vast majority of Democrats and a majority of those in gun-owning households, the Associated Press reports. Rest assured, Mitch McConnell will get right on that. 

A Pox on You Monkeys: Researchers are mulling the need to rename the monkeypox virus after a spate of violence against monkeys in Brazil, apparently due to confusion that the primates are passing the virus to humans. 

We Could Not Make That Up: In fact, the World Health Organization recently issued a statement clarifying that monkeys should not be attacked because of monkeypox. “What people need to know very clearly is the transmission we are seeing is happening between humans to humans, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters earlier this month. “They certainly should not be attacking any animals.” 

Prompting the Washington Post to Report: “With cases of monkeypox surging globally, it’s not a good time to be a monkey.”

Wait: That’s somehow a choice?

Post Pointing: With last week’s news about the new price estimates for the Post Point sewer project (anyone’s guess, $422 million to $1 billion, give or take a billion), a question comes from a reader: Can Bellingham taxpayers start a GoFundMe page? Answer: Probably, but are we not a GoFundMe page already?

And Finally: Rest assured, we’ll wait until the next official estimate before putting up that now-famous image of a hard-hatted Hizzoner Seth Fleetwood staring glumly through dark shades into the passing sludge. We know how you feel, dude.

The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays and updated in cases of local emergency.

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