The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. XIV

Just askin' about demaskin'
April 20, 2022 at 5:45 a.m.

Executive Editor

Freedom, Freedom, Freedom! It took many major U.S. companies (and also marginal ones, such as airlines) about 1.5 seconds following the mask ruling from that Florida Trump judge to remove mask mandates from their workplaces and, in the case of air carriers and some bus systems, public transportation. Which is OK, we guess, but …

Without Judging the Response: The Hammer couldn’t help but notice that Alaska Airlines assured customers that they would still have the right to wear a mask while traveling if they felt the need. Gee, thanks, Dad. Is it OK if we wear mismatched shoes and belts as well?

Seriously That’s Essentially What They Said: “We respect your decision to keep using this added layer of protection.” The words appear below the face of a presumed Alaska Air employee, removing a mask as if she’s waited two decades to do so, revealing a smile befitting someone who has won Powerball and received a permanent no-contact order from the inlaws on the same afternoon.

Not That There’s Anything Wrong With That: At least someone is having or being paid to have a good day at Sea-Tac.

We Hate to Cause Further Trouble Here, But: Someone has to point out that with the new Alaska policy, masks continue to be required for flights “both to and from Canada.” Which prompts the obvious question: What if you’re on a domestic flight into, out of, or over top of Point Roberts?

Speaking of Which: We’re still waiting for a response from Justin Trudeau for our generous offer to trade Point Bob for a couple of decently equipped Tim Hortons. At this point, we're considering opening the doors to more creative offers. Maybe a couple of barrels of maple syrup from Nova Scotia? Work with us here, folks. 

And by the Way: The silence is not the sort of international cooperation we expect from a neighboring nation that frankly relies on us for produce, gluten-free potato chips, video games and other life/safety essentials. Do better, Canada.

Meanwhile, Up on the Hill: Western Washington University, it sez here, is searching for several new administrators to manage important university departments. When exactly did this “management” trend become a thing in local public higher ed?

And More Important: Does the Faculty Senate know?  

Zebra Mussels and Various Aquatic Weeds, Take Note: The mandatory inspection of watercraft entering lakes Whatcom and Samish have resumed. The Hammer used to be upset about these permits, which keep out invasive species at certain places between certain hours of the day. But like other personal watercraft users, he has come to accept that this make-work project for college students is worth the price just to have a human-witness presence in the launch-ramp lots here in the Smash/Grab Capital of the Western United States. 

Speaking of Scofflaws: New parking rates and restrictions take effect in downtown Bellingham and — sit down for this, senior hippies — Fairhaven on May 1. This is of great concern to all the newbs who are unaware that most city streets are basically never patrolled for parking scofflaws. 

By the Way: If you’re the one out of a thousand parkers who reads the above item and gets a ticket, you didn’t hear it here first. 

And Finally: A couple sharp-eyed readers (you know who you are) noted that we found a creative new way to spell “sheriff” in a CDN headline last week. Thank you. Just trying to stay out there on the … creative edge, which is doublespeak for: We missed that, sorry.

The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays and updated as needed. 

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