Close this search box.
Happy Birthday to us! Try 6 months of unlimited local news for $2.

The Hammer: October 2023 Dark Skies Edition

Detecting minor movement in detective scandal

By Ron Judd Executive Editor

Oct. 26, 2023

Hmmm: Sezhere that fired Bellingham Police detective “Bo” McGinty has been charged with three crimes in Skagit County Superior Court, after an independent Mount Vernon Police Department followup investigation to an original Bellingham Police inquiry about his alleged misuse of public funds.

Justice Marching On: You’re all probably way ahead of us here: Will there be a lights-flashing BPD squad car procession for his Nov. 3 initial court date in Mount Vernon? And where and when can we RSVP for the obligatory flag-raising ceremony?

And Also, For the Love of God: Can someone please find a bagpiper this time around?

Oh, Wait: Also sezhere that in the wake of the laundrygate scandal, Bellingham Police Chief Rebecca Mertzig has issued a proclamation making clear that any future flag-raising or hero’s escort ceremonies for departing officers receive her advance approval. (Hammer would be happy to weigh in on those if she gets stuck. It might save a lot of typing later.)

On the Other Hand: Since no one at BPD was disciplined for the above faux pas, it’s unclear how much weight said dictum actually carries. Perhaps all those involved pleaded to a lesser offense?

photo  A screenshot from the Bellingham Police Department’s Facebook page shows former Detective “Bo” McGinty, right, with former chief David Doll in a 2018 promotion announcement. McGinty was fired in August 2023. McGinty is now facing three charges in Skagit County Superior Court.  

Oct. 18, 2023

Asphalt Upset: B. Hammer stands corrected: Contrary to earlier suspicions, the City of Bellingham, is, in fact, capable of producing, or at least commissioning and laying, fresh asphalt.

We Know Because: Just the other day, Hammer opened the newsroom window, caught a whiff of sweet, fresh tar, and gravitated toward it like a bloodhound on the trail of a bacon thief, eventually sniffing out the source.

Alas: Said pavement was being laid not on one of the heavily traveled, deeply rutted main thoroughfares or major intersections leading most newcomers into our fair city, but … on a two-block stretch of a downtown alleyway between Commercial Street and Cornwall Avenue. 

Even So: Just seeing it brought chills. The potential! It’s almost too much to bear.

Hard Not to Notice: Coming as it does in the mild heat of local election season, the Downtown Alley Makeover Project looks like a blatant attempt by various city incumbents to lock up the dumpster vote. 

photo  Numerous dumpsters are said to be relishing the moment they get a smooth ride on fresh asphalt in the downtown Bellingham alleyway between Commercial Street and Cornwall Avenue — proof that the city can, in fact, produce and dispense the product. (Ron Judd/Cascadia Daily News)  

Speaking of Pavement: The Washington Department of Transportation and Consumer Gouging is said to be mulling rush-hour tolls between $15 and $20 for express lanes along Interstate 405 in the Seattle area. It’s completely in keeping with the state’s innovative Onshore Tax Haven regressive infrastructure-financing scheme. 

You Could Look This Up: The state home to a huge portion of the planet’s wealth has the West Coast’s worst infrastructure, thanks largely to its archaic and regressive tax structure. It’s why folks in the NW corner, decidedly off the beaten path of legislative influencers, still goes on and off the freeway on ramps designed during the Eisenhower Administration. 

Update on Lesser Washington Matter, Below: B. Hammer still might be convinced to serve as Speaker of the House, pro tem, now that U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Shirtsleeves, has as predicted been sent back to the locker room after successive failed votes from the august assembly of ne’er-do- wells, of which he is a charter member.

Waiting, Waiting: Hammer will choose the right moment to make his own announcement go big on social media — likely after upcoming failed attempts to grab the House gavel by various GOP influencers including insane gasbag/apprentice dictator Donald J. Trump, retired action film star Chuck Norris (Dead? Not dead? Does it matter?), several dozen minor league neofascists and the rotted corpse of Francis the Talking Mule. 

Oct. 7, 2023

Reading it Here First: If elected, Hammer might actually serve. 

Judging From Afar: The Lesser Washington has been awash in angst of late as California congressman Kevin McCarthy, R-Born Without A Spine, was unceremoniously stripped of the speaker’s gavel in the House of Representatives by a band of zombie reps from the Deep South. This has opened the floodgates to an atmospheric river of potential replacements, including the plodding would-be dictator, Donald J. Trump.

Given All That: And the fact that insider campaign polling indicates he is unlikely to get the nod over Hizzoner Seth Fleetwood or challenger Kim Lund for mayor of our fair city, B. Hammer hereby declares himself a candidate for (Loud)Speaker of the House, decidedly pro tem. The Hammer’s frequent use of a designated striking object, it stands to reason, makes him imminently more qualified than the likes of Jim Jordan, R-Shirtsleeves.

By the Way: To the Redundancy Cops in our midst, sincere apologies for the item above using the words “unceremonious” and “House of Representatives” and “zombie reps” and “Deep South” in the same sentences. It shall not happen again.

Gravy Train Scheduling: If elected speaker, America could count on a couple of things:

1) The Hammer would wield the gavel judiciously, although it would be useful if the handle was made of something other than softwood (don’t ask how we know this). 

2) Every day would be Infrastructure Day, beginning with an initial early 2024 BNSF coal train shipment of cold, hard cash to downtown Bellingham. Several wheelbarrows full would be pushed directly up the hill to City Hall by staff members of U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, who are rumored to have been awaiting new orders. 

From There: Said funds would first be used to renew the ancient tradition of paving city streets, beginning with a ceremonial filling of the original Pioneer Settlers’ Wagon Train Ruts in the intersections around the Interstate 5 Samish Way overpass, where front-end car parts go to die.

Also on the Short-Term Agenda: A slightly used hatchery chinook on every doorstep. A massive tiny homes village on vacant view lots at Samish Heights. Swift passage of the Bellingham Microbrewery Reduction and Consolidation Act. Immediate and irreversible replacement of waterfront scrap metal operation, plus new business tasked with collecting and shipping unused piles of marshmallow cream to Taiwan. Resurrection and reinstallation of the giant radio tower that once reached skyward from Bellingham Towers, including a giant inflatable angry ape clinging to its side and waving an angry fist at Canada and beyond.

First Step: Seeking endorsement from CDN editorial board. Hammer has an “in” there, but one never knows, and the process is rumored to be sticky.

Wondering What Became Of: COB’s implied promise to find out how many/much tax dollars went to the hero’s sendoff for fired detective Bo McGinty, identities of officials or employees involved, and enumeration of any action taken. Yes, we’ll keep asking.

The Hammer, a somewhat less studious alter ego of CDN’s executive editor and various other pointed-barb influencers, publishes online monthly and is updated somewhat regularly. Previous editions can be found online;; @roncjudd. 

Latest stories

It's time for corrective action to restore critical public transparency tool
By Ron Judd Executive Editor
Feb. 29, 2024 10:00 p.m.
A 'pivotal moment' for preserving peoples' right to know
By Mike Fancher Guest Writer
Feb. 28, 2024 10:00 p.m.
Mark di Suvero lives (!), voter guide bores, scrap metal rankles, rent is too high
Feb. 27, 2024 10:00 p.m.

Have a news tip?

Email or Call/Text 360-922-3092


Sign up for our free email newsletters