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Letters to the Editor, Week of Jan. 4, 2023


Thank you for your excellent articles on the Hundred Acre Wood and for exposing the public malfeasance of the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District (CCFPD). I appreciate you looking out for all of Bellingham’s citizens, and not just a few self-entitled southside neighbors. This letter is primarily a fact-check of Mr. [Christopher] Grannis’ letter in your Dec. 21 edition.

 1.) The park district was not created “in perpetuity,” but has a clearly stated end date of one year after the loan is repaid, which happened last year. 2.) Also clear in the original petition and 2012 ballot initiative, and the resulting legally binding conservation easement they created, is the protection of human access and recreation activities such as walking, biking and dog-walking. 3.) The city’s professional park staff exhaustively crafted a master plan with significant public input, that closely adheres to the conservation easement in every way, including environmental protections and prescribed access for people to enjoy it for generations to come. 4.) The city is bound by the conservation easement constraints in perpetuity, which cannot be changed as Mr. Grannis implies. 5.) The master plan assures the conservation of this park due to its careful crafting and adherence to the conservation easement, thanks to the hard work of our city’s park professionals. 6.) A legal conservation easement, which was originally created to satisfy the CCFPD at its inception, already exists and is being closely followed by the city’s plan. I’m sorry that Mr. Grannis no longer likes the easement’s terms and conditions already agreed to by all parties and represented to public taxpayers. 

Mr. Grannis, in his incorrect and misleading claims, is acting like a religious priest interpreting a sacred book for an illiterate populace, picking and choosing the content he likes and hoping that the rest of us don’t learn to read any time soon. The original petition, the ballot initiative, the CCFPD’s mission statement, the conservation easement, the administrate inter-local agreement between the city and CCFPD, the city’s master plan, and the public’s perception of all these are all consistent with each other regarding the uses of the Hundred Acre Wood park. 

The CCFPD needs to dissolve as described in the existing legally binding documents — which they signed together with the city — stop spending the $300,000 excess they legally owe the city when they dissolve, and stop taxing residents for their invented and selfish pet projects. In the meantime, we will all get on with enjoying the forest environment and trails of the Hundred Acre Wood. 

Thank you, city of Bellingham! 

Bill Hasenjaeger 



Commenting on the mayor’s now-iconic photo at the Post Point poop plant (well, maybe not iconic, I know, I know, don’t even suggest it, but nevertheless interesting photo).

The plant management dressed him all up in (mostly) appropriate PPE: blue coveralls, a day-glow yellow vest and the official ’50s-style hard hat. All that’s missing from the shot is a pocket protector, 6-inch mini slide rule and cell phone holster. 

Nevertheless, the Mayor’s studied pose evokes the image of a man who’s truly mastered the art of city poop.

Unfortunately, the really cool ’50s style shades stand out in the photo, big time. Thanks to the mayor, the treatment plant manager will get a visit from the “man from OSHA.” Not nice.  

The city’s safety culture is known, mostly by a few. Therefore, in the spirit of civic duty, I offer a heads-up to Mr. Mayor. Next time, you need to be wearing OSHA-approved safety glasses or a face shield. Wandering around in the, er, bowels of a sewage plant wearing sunglasses could pose a personal safety hazard. To the untrained eye, there’s tanks of smelly stuff to fall into there … even worse, don’t expect future endorsement from the Bellingham Fire Department if they have to haul you out.

In the interest of Mr. Fleetwood’s personal safety, (and of course the future of the city’s well-thought-out Climate Action Plan) next time, please wear safety glasses, or even better, a face shield. Because you never know, conveyors can, unannounced, launch a juicy chunky right into your personal space.

Just sayin’.

Bob Morton



This letter is in reference to Ron Judd’s Dec. 14 opinion article, “Service clubs aren’t dead yet — but the prognosis isn’t good.” Judd argues that service clubs such as Elks, Kiwanis and Rotary have served our community well through the decades, but membership in these is flagging due to reasons such as antiquated membership standards and (implied) ambiguous or irrelevant missions and objectives.  

We can’t speak to what other organizations are doing to remain relevant in the eyes of up-and-coming generations, but we can share the mindset of rotary clubs of Whatcom County. A key objective now and in the years ahead is encouraging service-minded individuals to join our ranks. Our clubs need people who have a rotary spirit, who put service above self and who are ready to roll up their sleeves and work for the good of the community. It’s not about who you know, where you work, how much you make, where you were born or what you had for breakfast — we want people who want to make the world a better place. Committees in each club are focused on a variety of initiatives including helping communities internationally, helping Whatcom County students through our robust scholarship program, implementing a Youth Exchange Program with other countries throughout the world, providing a hands-on workforce of volunteers when the need arises in our community, and even providing nominal and large monetary grants to nonprofits in our community in need of small additional funding amounts or large capital improvements.  

This isn’t the moment to paint all service organizations with a broad brush, but if you like painting, cleaning up our parks, helping youth and being part of Whatcom County’s legacy — and beyond — take a closer look at Rotary. Make 2023 the year you take action to make the world a better place.  

Shauna Naf

Rotary Club of Bellingham, membership chair and board member


I appreciate all the local sports coverage from the CDN, but would remind you there are two colleges in town fielding teams. How about some coverage of Whatcom Community College?

Richard Fulton


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