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Start spreadin’ the (cough, choke, wheeze) news

Earth's imaginary central axis gets smoked

By Ron Judd Executive Editor

Hasty Introductions Apparently Are in Order: East Coast, choking wildfire smoke. Choking wildfire smoke, East Coast.

Seriously: If anyone still needed a vivid, choking example of East Coast bias, this week’s literal coughing up a lung by penny-loafered right coasties over choking Canadian wildfire smoke in their midst clearly (pardon that pun) provided it.

Not That We’re Enjoying Their Travails: Having been on that end of the Planet Maple Leaf exhaust pipe ourselves on far too many occasions — and likely to be right back sucking the gas pipe as soon as the wind shifts — we wouldn’t wish that on anyone, including tenants of Trump Tower. But still …

It Does Lift the Lid On: A certain arrogance, long exhibited especially by self-absorbed corporate media, that the entire planet literally spins around an axis of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard. Which it hasn’t for decades. But good luck breaking that news to anyone in Manhattan or Queens.

Looking at the Dimly Bright Side: The smoke has got to go a long way to overcome the Big Apple’s trademark summertime warm urine smell.

The Fish Must Go? Say it Ain’t So: We join the rest of Subdued Nation in mourning the passage of the big fish mural down in Bellingham’s (Iconic) Arts District. The Centennial Mural, created by East Los Streetscapers in 1990, is being power-washed into history after more than 30 years this week. Big bummer.

But Then, This: It’s understandable that the building’s owner took down the mural out of structural self-defense because the paint was eroding the outer walls of the building. But if that was the case, something about the possible replacement plan, which might involve “something growing on it” to enhance local greenery, seems like a dubious prospect. Total straight-out-of-the mildew-and-into-the-root-rot situation. But Hammer wishes them the best.

It’s A Shame That: Candidate Joel Johnson’s plan to submit signatures in lieu of a filing fee didn’t earn him a spot on the ballot for Bellingham mayor. Especially since practically everyone else in town already qualified.

Not Really, But: It’s quite momentous to see five candidates file for both that job and a city council at-large seat. Are they giving away donuts at meetings or something now?

Wait; We’ve Seen This Flick Before: Thank the gods that the Director’s Guild of America come to agreement with Hollywood studios last week. It means six more weeks of marginally competent streaming series.

Speaking of That: The new director’s contract contains landmark language clarifying that artificial intelligence “is not a person and that generative AI cannot replace the duties performed by members.” Isn’t that exactly the sort of smokescreen an industry would use knowing that AI only has to be good enough to fool the average Lifetime Movie Network aficionado?

The Home Office (BTW Have We Mentioned It’s Downstairs?) Wants Us to Ask: What’s your favorite completely meaningless, non-scientific online “polling” question? Results might be published in correspondingly meaningless front-page story next week. Or not.

Hearty Hammer Congrats: To the Bellingham Training & Tennis Club, for a half-century of backhanded accomplishment. No small task in the fickle and rollercoaster fitness industry, and props for creating and maintaining a fine community hub in Fairhaven.

And Finally: American corporations, it sezhere in The Washington Post, “are stepping up efforts to get workers back into the office” after their extended departures during the pandemic. How are these forward-thinking, corporate America 2.0 businesses accomplishing that? “A combination of threats and incentive,” according to the report. Same old same old, heavy on the former.

The Hammer, a somewhat-less-studious alter ego of CDN’s executive editor and various other pointed-barb influencers, appears online on Fridays and in CDN’s print edition on the first Wednesday of each month; ronjudd@cascadiadaily.com; @roncjudd.

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