The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. XLII

Behold, your new pickleball overlords
November 9, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

By RON JUDD
Executive Editor

So There’s That Election and All, But: The Hammer at present is more focused on immediate concerns, such as: Meeting and greeting our new pickler masters.

Sorry, But Yes: We are expecting nothing short of that because, as it sezhere in CDN today (Hammer gets an advance copy), Bellingham Parks recently conducted a survey suggesting, among other things, that people want more pickleball. Lots and lots more pickleball.

How Much More? Well, survey says: “It’s really kind of taking over the community,” according to City Council member Lisa Anderson. 

Wait Just a Damn Minute: Do the Bike Lane People know about this? There’s really room for only one public-policy prime directive in the ‘Ham. 

Devil, Details, Etc.: Slaking the thirst of the picklers might be problematic because like most things in city government — except the wagon ruts on approach streets to the Samish Way overpass at Interstate 5 Exit 252 — recreational needs are planned out well in advance, in this case via the city’s PRO (Parks, Recreation, Open space) plan.

Peering Therein: Pickleball is on the board in the PRO, but only as a “policy recommendation.” It needs exalted “Project recommendation” status to get in line for city funds. Take a number and organize your public-hearing skills, people.

Our Take: Thinking maybe Hizzoner Seth Fleetwood, if he’s as smart as we suspect, can find some discretionary cash between the civic cushions on Lottie Street to provide some supplemental funding for the picklers. Or he might be run out of town on a paddle and Wiffle-like ball. 

Speaking of Questionable Taste: The last time we heard from Riley Sweeney, Ferndale’s communications officer and person afraid of drinking his employer’s wastewater plant effluent alongside his city’s mayor, he was sounding like he was trying to weasel out of his pledge to do the above deed. Something about being “happy to let it rest” because the water, while meeting drinking standards, is still “treated poop water,” and was likely to taste like, well ... you know.

Anyway: This is exactly what we expected. Lots of talk, little follow-through. We’ll give it some more time, but doubts are exceedingly high.

Still Having a Ball: B. Hammer can’t help but notice that COB and tourism folks keep pushing this “... iconic Acid Ball” language out there — unfortunately in the latest instance, it got connected to antisemitic graffiti there. We hate to get out in front of our skis on this, but it’s generally the case that if you’re a booster trying to make something truly iconic, trying to get folks to call it that before it is is usually evidence that it never will be. 


The Hammer is swung on Wednesdays, or as needed for treatment plant happy hours.

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