The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. XXVIII

A lingering sinking feeling about that Hotel Titanic
July 27, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

Executive Editor

This Just In: In a number of completely separate and apparently unconnected encounters with sources and community members this week, B. Hammer was described by locals as either “too liberal” or “too conservative” for Bellingham. To which, of course, he says: OK, then.

Meanwhile, Down at Pump Track University: Duel momentum picked up after last week’s announcement by the Port of Bellingham of new proposals to redevelop the old G-P plant’s Boardmill building.

Momentum I: Much renewed, active mocking of the Port, which after 20 years of planning has come up with a waterfront redevelopment project that appears likely to be — sit down on a sheet of toxic-impermeable plastic for this — a hotel, quite possibly named Titanic.

Go Ahead: Insert your own deck-chairs line here.

Momentum II: Quite a bit of Bham Buzz in favor of the one proposal to expand the existing building into a new YMCA headquarters with a more state-of-the-art aquatic center. This one, with the unique and for the Port, perhaps unprecedented, feature of actually solving a local problem, appears to have some serious civic momentum. You all know what that means. It was good while it lasted.

One More Thing About That: You could argue that said facility might present safety problems in the event of the Big 9-Oh earthquake we’re all waiting for. Then again, you could argue that about anything built on the local city garbage-fill mudflat, a goodly portion of southwestern downtown.

Is Defund DOA? Intriguing results from a recent Crosscut/Elway Poll of registered state voters. On policing, 63% of respondents said they would be more likely to favor candidates placing more emphasis on law enforcement and tougher sentencing; 21% said less.

And Further: On gun violence, 49% listed more mental health services as the most effective way to reduce gun violence; 45% said more restrictions on gun ownership; 7%, remarkably, had no opinion.

Speaking of Policing: The Hammer got all excited seeing the headline the other day about a hearing over a possible grant of $60,000 to attract more prospective cops to the long-understaffed Bellingham Police Department. The Hammer was significantly less excited to learn that it’s $60,000 total, not per cop.

Actually: The federal money would more likely be spent on recruitment efforts to draw more prospects to our fair city. Which is perfect because everyone was just saying at a bidding war for a Lettered Streets house that what the city really needs is more prospects.

And Finally: The state Department of Agriculture has renamed Asian giant hornets, AKA “murder hornets,” the Northern giant hornet. Northern giant hornets were out ripping the heads off honey bees and consuming their bodies and unavailable for immediate comment.

The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays and updated as needed. See an extended version of The Hammer online at

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