Jan 29, 2018

#BellinghamWA: Department of Ecology Public Meeting for Cornwall Ave Landfill Engineering Design Report

----- Forwarded message ----
From: "Fawley, Ian (ECY)" <IFAW461@ecy.wa.gov>
Date: Jan 29, 2018 11:49 AM
Subject: Department of Ecology Public Meeting for Cornwall Ave Landfill Engineering Design Report
To: "Fawley, Ian (ECY)" <IFAW461@ecy.wa.gov>

Greetings,

You are receiving this email notice because you have expressed interest in the Department of Ecology's Bellingham Bay cleanup activities. 

In December 2017, the Department of Ecology invited the public to comment on an engineering design report for the cleanup of a portion of the Cornwall Avenue Landfill cleanup site on the Bellingham waterfront.  The report provides the preliminary design for isolating contamination and controlling landfill gas. The report was prepared by the Port of Bellingham, the City of Bellingham, and the State Department of Natural Resources, with Ecology oversight.

The report has been available for public review since December 18.  Ecology has received requests for more information and has scheduled a public meeting for February 15.  We have also extended the comment period through Thursday, February 22. 

Public Meeting
February 15, 6-8 pm
Ecology Office
(New location next to Squalicum Creek Park)
913 Squalicum Way, Unit 101
Bellingham, WA 98225


  
You can view a Fact Sheet [attached] that outlines the design details of the report and continue to provide comments by visiting the Cornwall Avenue Landfill webpage below:

·         Cornwall Avenue Landfill webpagehttp://bit.ly/CornwallAveLandfill

·         Attached:  Cornwall Avenue Landfill EDR Fact Sheet & Map to New Ecology Office Location

·         Online Comment Form (extended through Feb. 22):  http://bit.ly/Cornwall-EDR-Comments

Best Regards, 

Ian Fawley
Community Outreach & Environmental Education Specialist
Washington State Department of Ecology
Bellingham Field Office  |  Toxics Cleanup Program
**NOTE** NEW ADDRESS:  913 Squalicum Way Unit 101 Bellingham, WA 98225

#BirdYourWorld: It's the Year of the #Bird - Celebrate With Us! | The Cornell Lab of #Ornithology

This Red-breasted Nuthatch, by Donna Keller, won the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count photo contest, composition category. Get ready! This year's count happens Feb 16–19, 2018.
Click to view eNews:
eNews: It's the Year of the Bird. Celebrate With Us!

Jan 22, 2018

USA: Hullabaloo re ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units)


I am concerned with the harmful impact of excessive development on a variety of conservation responsibilities we have. These include preventing soil erosion, assuring clean and abundant water sources, facilitating safe corridors for wildlife, making coastal habitats safe, and preventing air pollution.

Officials where I reside are in an ongoing discussion about code revisions the City of Bellingham is considering that would facilitate some or all areas presently zoned for single family homes to be allowed development of "Accessory Dwelling Units" on owners' properties, subject to many stipulations.

There are publicly viewable comments on this proposed ordinance that have been submitted online and the Planning Commission is expecting a large turnout at their next meeting on January 25, 2018 at 7pm. Mention of the upcoming meeting is at the Planning and Development page.

Notice of Public Hearing

ADU Ordinance amendments Planning Commission

Location: City Council Chambers, 210 Lottie Street … Materials: Available in the Planning and Community Development Department and at http://www.cob.org/meetings at least one week …
Neighborhood(s) City-wide
Project Number(s) ADU Ordinance amendments
Meeting Jan 25, 2018 7:00 pm at City Council Chambers
I believe it is an important issue for Americans to participate in whenever their jurisdiction is dealing with it. It is part of the "Smart Growth" vs. "Dumb Growth" conundrum which perhaps doesn't have a solution, but it's vital to try. There are many sources of information this topic and on ADUs and DADUs (Detached Accessory Dwelling Units) that are easy to find online. There are specialists in many fields (construction, real estate, law, etc.) who as proponents are consulted by homeowners and developers who want to "cash in."

Some people debate whether such zoning changes increase or have no effect on the availability of places for low-income or homeless people to live. Regardless of whether they were to increase housing inventory (citizens, homeowners, economists, developers, government officials, investors disagree with each other), I am of the opinion that apartment buildings are more suitable than attached units or backyard flats for low-income people. Multifamily residences with proper accounting, regulation and site management are easier for the tenants, for the owners, and for the public authorities to monitor in an orderly fashion. I feel it is a specious and illogical argument to base a policy about development on the homeless crisis.

There is land available in this locale to provide more multifamily choices. Multifamily complexes economize on the use of land, air and water. There is one source of water in the City of Bellingham and one wastewater treatment plant. Upzoning single family zones into something different (variations of multifamily) may not be efficiently supported by the current infrastructure in single family zones.

As a low-income person, I rent a unit in project housing and share the hope of peace and shelter for all. I take issue with pro-ADU/DADU folks accusing the other side of being heartless about the homeless calamity (see HUD report quantifying homeless people in USA during 2017).

As a one-time real estate agent, I dreamed of owning and residing in a single family home. If I did, I would not be able to tolerate neighbors digging, hammering and sawing their ADU and DADU dreams next door to me - and what if neighbors simultaneously did that on all three sides of a home!? Nor would I enjoy loss of trees, birds, or the addition of badly-behaved tenants wreaking noise, debris or other havoc.

An investor in another region told me that his city was embroiled in the question of allowing the city to reap rewards by partnering with developers versus allowing private property owners to create and enjoy lucrative investments. They were not centering their arguments around whether or not more affordable housing for low-income people would be achieved.

I don't think the City will be able to effectively regulate and monitor ADUs because the contingencies and ramifications are too complex and unwieldy. Recently the City Council passed an ordinance declaring that people should not feed deer, but the Council at the same time admitted that it would be tough to control. The Whatcom Humane Society, which is contracted as the City's "Enforcer," even advised against the ordinance explaining that it would be awkward to try to enforce, that they don't have the resources, etc. I presume that if the City can't control people feeding deer, they cannot control the details associated with ADUs and similar activities. The City has a new department that is supposed to monitor apartment building management but according to some local media reports isn't performing up to expectations. It is a good step but if the City is having a tough time with that, they will have a tough time with overseeing and enforcing D/ADU rules.

Neighbors' rights to quiet enjoyment should be respected. It will be challenging to enforce noise ordinances or litter laws, and to control anyone with a hammer and a truck who wants to remodel space into an ADU or rent rooms, basements, and attached sheds to passersby.

The City has a page promoting Landscaping for Wildlife. They used to enlist volunteers (maybe they still do) to mentor other citizens to enhance their backyards for wildlife and even qualify for certification as a garden for wildlife. I believe this positive idea goes directly against the idea of development on single family plots. 

Another aspect of the problem is that current homeowners may be taxed additionally to pay for growth. Governments might sweeten deals with ADU developers to entice them and thereby create a spiraling need for more new taxes. Consider the example of Springfield OR which waived transportation, stormwater, and local wastewater system development charges on newly permitted ADUs in an effort that is supposed to create more affordable housing.

You can read more about Bellingham WA ADU/DADU topics at Save Our Hoods which is a website containing general articles as well as specific notes about the present Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance being reviewed by the Planning Commission and City Council. The current Agenda Packet of the ordinance provided by the City online is a 375 page pdf! The Don't Ballardize Bellingham Facebook page is maintained by the owner of Save Our Hoods and includes an event notice for the January 25th, 2018 meeting.

I encourage others to read up on the topic of ADUs and see what they can contribute to the challenge of sustainable growth in their communities. Some places to explore for pros and cons in this discussion of ADUs might include:
MRSC (Municipal Research and Services Center is a WA  State nonprofit organization )  
HUD (U.S. Housing and Urban Development)
City-Data.com
Quora.com 
Zillow Blog (real esate)

and to appreciate what the little birdies can tell us see:
All About Birds and 
Audubon
###

#Bellingham #WA: Update. 2/15 Public Hearing. Comments accepted thru 2/22 RE: Engineering Design for proposed $9 million project

Good news. A public hearing will be held. Please click on one of the links below that go to the Cornwall Ave Landfill site at Washington State Department of Ecology and view the details. Please attend the 2/15 meeting which will be in the evening in Bellingham at the Ecology office. Comments may still be submitted online or via other means through 2/22. Thanks to all who are participating in trying to prevent harm to nature.
******************************
1/19 POST
1963 photo of Cornwall Ave Landfill (by Phil Robbins)
I imagine there are many similar projects nationwide, such as former landfills and former logging transportation sites. It would be interesting to compare how other towns, counties and states have addressed such waste sites, are considering the problem, or are ignoring it.

A public comment notice was published and mailed by the Washington State Department of Ecology in December 2017 saying at least 10 comments from Bellingham area citizens calling for a public hearing would result in one being held. This is in regard to preliminary designs for a portion of contaminated coastal land and bay being cleaned up. Did you happen to see it?

December 2017 mailing from
WA State Dept. of Ecology
I imagine comments by any number of citizens beyond ten would be constructive. Comments may be submitted by individuals or organizations. In the past, extensive comments have been submitted for work being done at this site, but it seems to me that louder input by more people/associations would help a lot.

Please review the Cornwall Avenue Landfill Cleanup Site (which includes links to the Engineering Design Report and addresses of locations where you can review hard copies). Please submit a comment, whether one sentence or a scientific study. You can attach files too. Include your specific request for a public hearing if you agree this so warrants. In my comment, I asked that more than one opportunity be created for citizens to contribute their input.

Please note that Ecology is upgrading its website and I got some 404 errors when I was hopping around. Please make note of how the Department has set up the specific page URL for the moment: https://Bit.ly/CornwallAveLandfill

The page to submit comments is https://Bit.ly/Cornwall-EDR-Comments deadline to request a public hearing is January 31. 

Thank you!

P.S. I recommend the very informative background provided by North Sound Baykeeper in these two articles:
http://northsoundbaykeeper.blogspot.com/2011/12/bellinghams-cornwall-landfill-in-1960.html
http://northsoundbaykeeper.blogspot.com/2013/04/rds-road-to-mrf.html

Jan 21, 2018

#NY: The injustice of condemning #Chimpanzees to a lifetime of #captivity

---- Forwarded message ----
From: "Kevin Schneider" <info@nonhumanrights.org>
Date: Jan 19, 2018 10:21 AM
Subject: The injustice of condemning chimpanzees to a lifetime of captivity
To:

Court Case Update

Dear Liz,
Our New York clients Tommy and Kiko are chimpanzees who've never known what it's like to live freely. Today we have an update in their cases. The New York appellate court that last year denied our habeas corpus petitions on their behalf has denied our motion for permission to appeal its decision to New York's highest court, the Court of Appeals. But this isn't the end: far from it. 
Within the next 30 days, the NhRP will file a motion for permission to appeal with the Court of Appeals itself, urging it to reject the First Judicial Department's erroneous approach to our common law habeas corpus cases and to engage in the mature weighing of public policy and moral principle these novel and complex legal issues demand.     
In NhRP President Steven M. Wise's words: "The First Judicial Department decision is disappointing, but no surprise. We believe it is unjust to condemn extraordinarily complex—indeed autonomous—beings, such as chimpanzees, to a lifetime of captivity for the sole reason they are not human. We think the Court of Appeals should recognize that New York notions of fundamental justice support our arguments in favor of recognizing chimpanzees' right to bodily liberty, and we are hopeful we will be given the opportunity to make that case."
Thank you for your support for Tommy's and Kiko's legal personhood and fundamental right to bodily liberty. Have a good weekend, and we'll keep you posted!
Kevin Schneider
Executive Director, the NhRP

Working for the recognition and protection of fundamental rights for nonhuman animals.
info@nonhumanrights.org

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