The Hammer

Same tool, different box

Wrapping up the week's news with a single swing
May 26, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.

Executive Editor

Seeing is Believing: The move of The Hammer to (mostly) online operation hereby commences. Look for the usual trite offerings here every Friday morning, putting an, uh, fine wrap on the week’s news. Also look for updates via and our social media feeds, @cascadiadaily, throughout the week, whenever The Hammer might feel inspired.

God Save the Print: For the Cascadia Daily News print audience — yes, we see you — a selection of Hammer blows from prior weeks will henceforth appear on the Opinion page on the first Wednesday of each month, commencing July 5. Thanks for following along and following around. 

Speaking of Deities: It’s almost certainly a coincidence. But mere hours after the local CEO of Lighthouse Mission Ministries opined, in a CDN guest commentary this week, that his organization’s work could not be separated from the group’s religious principles, the Whatcom County Council reversed course on an earlier decision not to provide $750,000 in federal funds for the new Lighthouse Mission project because of council members’ concerns over faith-based “discriminatory hiring practices.” Is it safe to say the council experienced a true come-to-Jesus moment?

Never Let it Be Left Unsaid: The Lord works in mysterious ways, especially when it comes to Whatcom County politics (don’t get us started on Skagit). 

Let the Caterwauling Begin: Sporadic dyspepsia already has commenced following CDN’s decision, announced Wednesday, to slim down reader letters to the editor from the previous 300-word limit to the new, improved, 250 words.

We're Not Naming Suspects, But: One habitual CDN letter writer, whose name would be withheld, for embarrassment-avoidance purposes, by any respectable columnist, weighed in from Paris with a statistical analysis of word-counts-per-inch. He concluded that the new, more svelte letter lengths might only allow another single letter, or perhaps maybe two, to appear in print every week. 

To Which the Hammer Sayeth: You might be right, Bob. But we'll take it. 

Credit Where Due: CDN salutes the wonderful Western Washington University event this past weekend to honor hundreds of former WWU female athletes with a varsity “letter.” Props to organizer Terri McMahan, herself a former athlete, for much of the heavy lifting here. And please see CDN’s special report on the local history of Title IX here

Pay No Attention to the Gaseous Fumes: The Hammer did a double take this week, reading over CDN’s report on how much Whatcom County emergency officials don’t know about what sorts of toxic substances are flowing literally past homes and businesses every day in rail cars. It’s nice that the county’s top emergency official feels the county is “prepared as it can be” for a train disaster caused by cars carrying unknown quantities of “all kinds of bad stuff.” Is anyone else very highly unsatisfied by that?

Seriously: Something about the accompanying advice from county officials for CDN reporters to sit by the tracks, watch for trains and jot down boxcar code numbers to get an idea of what’s on all those trains just doesn’t sit well, sorry. That’s not emergency management. It’s emergency acquiescence. 

The Hammer, a somewhat-less-studious alter ego of CDN's executive editor and various other pointed-barb influencers, appears online on Fridays and in CDN's print edition on the first Wednesday of each month;; @roncjudd.

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