The recent article about the Chuckanut Park District has good information but misses the point about the difference between the park district and the city. Not only did citizens create the park district to pay off the loan, we created the park district to protect in perpetuity the plants and animals and ecological functions of the forest. This was clear in the petition to put the district on the ballot in 2012, and in the language on the ballot that was passed to create the district.
But today, the city seems to be trying to keep its options open to do things in the Hundred Acre Wood (or allow activities) that are detrimental to the protection of the ecosystem. The Parks Department has done a good job in the master plan, but the master plan lacks enforcement and can be changed by future park administrators and politicians. The job of the district is not finished until a legal-based conservation easement is in place that prioritizes preservation.
Originally, what we know of as Bellingham was covered with old-growth forest. Loggers cut down all of the 300- to 500-plus-year-old trees. The Hundred Acre Wood was cut around 125 years ago, but the forest is resilient and now we have a mature second-growth forest that could become an old-growth forest again complete with all its beauty and ecological benefits — if we respect and preserve it. Citizens created the park district to protect this postage-stamp-size part of Bellingham so that respectful people can enjoy a natural forest and protect it into the future.
I generally agree with Richard Morgan's views. I suggest the two primary objectives for congressional Democrats are to tell Rick Scott and his ilk to pound sand and then to remove the earning limitation of Social Security contributions.
The CDN recently reported that the City Council received a pay raise.
The city is facing significant public works challenges. The failure of the people on the City Council to successfully manage the Post Point project should be cause for embarrassment for every one of them.
The issue now is: "Does the existing council have the relevant experience to approve large capital works projects?"
The fit-for-purpose sludge treatment process was shown to be fluidized bed incineration. It was ruled out too early by the carbon dioxide police. The irony is that the council was later forced to circle back to including incineration as part of the process anyway.
The final design report, published in July, showed the project had ballooned from $220 million to almost $1 billion. Projects escalate, but by a factor of four is rare. The bottom line is that the council just didn’t ask the right questions as to what was not included in the earlier estimates; clearly none of them understood the later information presented to them for review before approving the project. If they read it.
Lost was over 10 years of effort, and millions of taxpayer dollars for studies and design development. In essence, they bought a car for $99 and found out later it would take another $3,000 for seats, wheels and a motor.
The City Council shut the project down at the mayor's request, which begs the question: If the project had come in at, say, $400 million (double the early estimates), would he have shut it down then? But, it’s public money; just raise the sewer rate more and pass another levy to cover the bill.
It’s apparent that the current City Council doesn’t have the relevant type of experience to do the due diligence required for authorizing projects of this type.
We’re hoping now that there is a salary boost, the additional compensation will attract individuals for City Council whose core competencies go beyond climate change and social justice warrior.
My brother treated me to lunch last weekend at Bayou on the Bay restaurant. Unfortunately for him, he parked in the Diamond Parking lot on Bay Street, He paid at the too-smart terminal with his credit card (he thought). He followed the prompts and thought he was through, but when he hit the final "Finish" button another button appeared: "Continue" then "Start an Account." He ignored it. He received a parking ticket on his windshield. When he got home he tried to set up an account in the parking app, hoping to complete his payment.
Unfortunately, the account setup page was a bogus page linked to the parking app with a bogus continue button. It took his data and tried to make charges on his credit card. Fortunately, his credit union detected the fraudulent charges and asked him to confirm. They canceled and reissued his credit card, which he wouldn't get for seven to 10 days (faster, for a fee).
Now he has to contact four companies that make automatic charges against his card to switch them to another card so they don't have denied charges and charge him a fee, He also has to contact Diamond Parking to explain that he tried to pay but got derailed because their app was hacked (which they will probably deny and blame on user error or tell him his browser or phone is hacked). Wasn't it easier when you could just put $3 in a little box at the parking lot? Out of the question now, when a box like that wouldn't last one night before it was torn apart for the precious money inside.
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