The Hammer

The Hammer, Vol. LXII

The only thing to fear is the fear of fear itself
April 27, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.

Executive Editor

This Celestial Object Could Crash Into Your House: And “this tiny home village could relocate to your neighborhood,” according to a recent local headline. Good Lord, lock up the children.

Really Shouldn't Do This, But: The raconteur gene in the Hammer would like to hereby officially begin spreading the rumor that said tiny home village, currently near the treatment plant in Fairhaven, is destined to move into the Hundred Acre Wood when it has to resettle sometime next year. 

Bwahaha: Wait 'til the Chuckanut Community Forest Park District (Motto: Overstaying Our Welcome Is the Point!”) gets hold of that one. 

Happy to See This: The room at the recent Indivisible Bellingham forum on the Whatcom County Jail process was filled to overflowing. That's a healthy sign of civic engagement. For the many, many folks still acquainting themselves with this important issue likely to be a key election matter, via a bond issue, feel free to take a look at the recent Special Report on same, found on CDN's website.

One Notable Moment: Noticeable twitching from Whatcom County's exec and other officials when the chair of the local Democrats went on an extended tear about what he sees as the administration's bumbling acquiescence to the incessant push for a large jail that the local prosecutorial industrial complex will be simply incapable of not filling.

But One Big Takeaway: All but the far fringes of the local political spectrum seem firmly in agreement that a new jail is needed, for humanitarian concerns, if nothing else. Left on the table: size, place, cost. None of which are small matters, but forward movement beats stasis.

Holy Lapel Mic, Batman: This unexpected firing of talking tube heads Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon on the same day (Monday) raised sky-high hopes of a perfect Talking Head Trifecta that might be capped by the offing of MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and/or Chuck Todd. Alas … 

Just Going to Put This Out There: The Hammer generally does not support mandatory retirement rules, especially for pundits. But if anyone finds him sitting here still plinking away at this pursuit when he's like, 80, please feel free to launch voluntary commitment proceedings — or just strap him to a board and dispose of properly.

Apologies in Advance: Sadly, sort of like the arrival of spring this year, that could mean another solid 20 years of torture for some of you.

Water Under the Dam: The state Legislature took “important steps” in the recent session to begin planning to “transition” current energy, transportation and irrigation services presently provided by Snake River dams — a federal decision not yet made, according to the group Save Our Salmon. 

Notably: Notably, all of the reps lined up next to conservation groups in praise of the $7.5 million in planning expenditures, including local state Sen. Sharon Shewmake, are from Western Washington, half a state away from any impacts, real or imagined, from breaching of dams on the lower Snake River.

Also in Olympia: Washington on Tuesday became the 10th state to prohibit sales of AR-15s and dozens of other semiautomatic rifles. Gov. Jay Inslee, D-MSNBC, signed the ban into law in a ceremony closed to the public — out of security concerns, naturally.

You Can’t Make This Up Dept.: Gary Bettman, commissioner of the National Hockey League — as such, overseer of a game rife not only with frequent violent, head-versus-wall collisions, but sanctioned fighting allowing players to tear off helmets and punch one another in the noggin — last week flat-out refuted mounds of empirical and scientific evidence and proclaimed that there’s no direct link between the game and the plague of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) brain disease prominent among athletes. 

Logical Conclusion: He’s running. 

Speaking of Running: Chris McCoy, founder and CEO of Kombucha Town, is running for mayor. If he wins, just go ahead and cancel the Peak Bellingham News contest. 

Popcorn, Please: It will be fascinating to see if McCoy’s local Kombucha Bloc is able to forge strategic politcial alliances with the Bike Lane People, Mead Sippers and Anti-Social Socialists who generally guide public policy in the Iconic Acid Ball city while everyone else dozes off to Apple TV+.

And Finally, a Note to Skagit Flats Residents: Stay strong. These tulip tourons, too, shall pass. Alas, probably at a pace of about 12 mph, with a turn signal on.

The Hammer swings in print Wednesdays and plops online on Thursdays or as needed.

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