The Hammer

The Hammer: September 2023 Pumpkin Spice Edition

Running this detective story up the flagpole
September 4, 2023 at 12:26 p.m.
Updated September 22, 2023 at 5:49 p.m.

Executive Editor

Sept. 22, 2023

Taken to the Cleaners: It appears the City of Subdued was, in this unauthorized hero’s sendoff for fired city detective Bo McGinty, the accused perp in the most sweeping laundry-starch scandal in the city’s history. 

The View from the Tavern District: B. Hammer is uncharacteristically (almost) without words at the reach and spread of dumbness literally on parade here. But as already noted, having various city cops now on the hot seat for possible misuse of public funds — for feting a colleague already axed after being accused of misusing public funds — is a bad look on steroids. 

Especially When: The chief of police seemed to find out about it from the local news org after it was plastered across the anti-social media channels by genius supporters of the accused detective, all this after a lopsided Seattle TV report (pardon the redundancy) about the firing.

And Then This: Among the questions lingering from this stunningly ill-considered hero’s sendoff (for a public servant fired for theft and dishonesty, including a flag-raising and dropping and, one assumes, conferring, and a full-lights-ablaze escort through our fair city): What, were all the local bagpipers on vacation?

The Mind Reels: Stay tuned.

Sept. 13, 2023

Sorry For the Long Absence: Or, you're welcome, depending on how much the Hammer is a welcome tool in your local-commentary quiver. Lots of stuff going on down here. Much of it good.

Nothing Good Will Come From This: The Guide Meridian, it sezhere, is going to be shut down from Sept. 18 to 21 near Lynden. A state Department of Transportation detour routing north county residents through Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, is anticipated. Don’t say you weren’t warned, double-warned and over-warned.

Lipstick on Pig Dept.: The original Pioneer Wagon Ruts (Patent Panding: COB Public Works, 1973) on both ends of the Exit 252 Interstate 5 interchange have been … painted with new striping, to make them even more alarmingly visible! Gaping pavement ruts at the intersection serving as the Gateway to Subdued Excitement were reported many moons ago via the city’s ingenious SeeItClickItFuhgeddaboudit app, with zero response from the city. 

If All That Sounds Like: An angry person shouting at the clouds, it basically is, given the abject lack of response. What can the Hammer say except: Spite is a powerful motivator.

What We Do Know Is: Somewhere around the ‘Ham, there’s now a city paint striping truck sitting in a garage with front end problems. 

A Big, Fat Amen: To the surprise of absolutely no one, especially folks in Kitsap County, Joe Kennedy (no relation), the Bremerton midfield praying football coach who hornswoggled the U.S. Supreme Court into ordering him back to a job he didn't want, promptly resigned from his assistant coaching gig recently after one final bending of the knee at the 50 yard line. We’d say he’s likely headed from the field to the grandstands, but he’s already spent a couple years engaging in the active version of the latter. 

Sept. 4, 2023

If it Pleases the Gods, Send Sunshine: Thousands of ... er, celebrants apparently are still "mudded in" at Burning Man down in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Toilets and showers were said to be failing for the 70,000 souls on hand, but the CEO says everything is completely under control.

What Happens Next? So far, the Burning Men in charge have rebuked offers of assistance from the Nevada National Guard. But let's be honest: How long can that crowd really go without an emergency airdrop from the nation's Strategic Ganja Command? You're looking at a full-on stems-and-seeds emergency.

(Not) Smarter Than Your Average Bears: Lots of huffing and puffing on the socials this week about the trio of black bears roaming around north Whatcom, feeding on garbage and whatnot. Prevailing theme: Don't kill them, relocate!

Problem Is: Relocations of wild animals habituated to human food rarely go well — for the animal or other humans they are bound to run across down the road. It is what it is: lamentable, but not some demonstration of heartlessness by the public servants we pay to deal with these problems. Hammer has known quite a few wildlife officials and not one qualifies as a soulless animal hater. The opposite is the norm.

Solution-Seems-Obvious Department: The Hammer's lesser half, the Opinion page editor, received a missive this week complaining that op/ed coverage of the pending Whatcom jail tax ballot measure is slanted towards voting "no." Fact: CDN has published just about every scrap of opinion on this issue offered up, by either side — perhaps not possible as the campaign heats up. Couldn't help note the irony that the complainant letter was marked "not for publication."

Jail Cont.: Since many new subscribers have come along since, allow us to re-up a suggestion here that a good way to get educated on the jail issue is via CDN's extensive report on the matter, "Beyond Bars," published in March. It's free outside the paywall as a CDN public service, because we care about the community and actually live here.

More Inbox Fodder: It truly was likely coincidental. But it did not escape the watchful eye of the Hammer that later in the same day CDN published a probing piece about county public-notification response times to the recent south Lake Whatcom wildfire, the county sheriff's office issued a release hailing September as National Preparedness Month.

We Kid the Sheriff's Office, But: The message is legit: The news was that the county has a beefed-up central site for emergency preparedness: Do check it out, and do prepare. Trust the Hammer's long experience on this: It's only a matter of time before something bad happens. 

And Finally: This being Labor Day, we hand the closing mic to the late songmaster and labor force of nature Joe Hill, "The Man Who Never Died," who left us with wise words still ringing true:

"What a blessed if painful thing, this business of being alive," and "Don't believe everything you hear today."

The Hammer, a somewhat less studious alter ego of CDN's executive editor and various other pointed-barb influencers, publishes online monthly and is updated somewhat regularly. Previous editions can be found online;; @roncjudd.

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