The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. XIII

E-buses on the fritz, and related nightmares
April 13, 2022 at 5:45 a.m.

By RON JUDD
Executive Editor

We're a Bit Concerned About: These pricey electric buses run by WTA, which reporter Ralph Schwartz ably described, using the proper electrical-engineering technology, as being “on the fritz.”

Not That We're Opposed to “Green” Buses: But The Hammer lays awake at night (on the workbench, naturally) wondering what might happen if, on an all-electric bus route to, say, Everson, everyone plugs in their AirPods charger at the same time, draining all available juice and causing the bus to just shut down somewhere outside Deming. 

Seriously: To quote George Clooney's character in “Up in the Air”: Nothing good could come from that. 

Meantime, Over in What Used to be Our Hippie Enclave (Fairhaven): We get why the people now running what used to be called Tony's Coffee Shop now call it something else (“The Old Independent”). But, fact is, that doesn't really roll off the tongue, so most of us will continue to call it something else. Namely, Tony's Coffee. Sorry, not sorry.

Speaking of Marketing to Cranky Folks: The Hammer has a sneaking suspicion that the City of Bellingham's percolating Climate Action Fund/Tax, if it is to pass, needs to produce a line-item-budget list of expenditures for voters, lest it suffer the fate of other aspirational-doublespeak, trust-us-with-your-money measures such as the state's failed 2018 carbon tax package. Lesson learned, anyone?

Lessons Department, Continued: Granted, people who live in newsrooms tend to trend pessimistic because of their work. Guilty as charged for The Hammer. But doesn't anyone else feel like running around like “normal" without masks is just setting us up for Yet Another Round?

Speaking of Newsrooms: A couple younger staffers at CDN a while back returned blank stares when The Hammer called a proposed story involving skiing or something pleasurable a “boondoogle.” Not quite sure how to feel about this, except that someone has been terribly deprived.

Problem Quickly Solved: When the inevitable follow-up question, “What's a boondoggle?” was answered with a swift: “Spending a month in New Zealand covering a sailboat race.” Point made. 

Coming At Us From All Directions: It's normal in April for ‘Hamsters to feel invaded from the south, thanks to the inevitable onslaught of Volvos from the Seattle area to see the Skagit tulips. But with newly unleashed traffic headed down from B.C. after a long respite, it feels like we're surrounded.

One Way You Know This to be True: Grief counselors standing by on the edges of the Trader Joe's parking lot. 


The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays and updated as needed.

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