Jul 28, 2020

Bellingham WA: Think globally, Act locally - Downyland

For decades, there has been a slogan "Think globally, act locally" and I abide by it. My volunteer activities have usually been very meaningful to me over the years relative to my paid jobs because they served a purpose greater than myself, my employer and the employer's customers. I wish I could report the same satisfaction, however, with my volunteer efforts towards protection of plants and animals in the little wetland below North State Street, near the roundabout and Wharf Street. 

There are people besides me who love this spot, and some do defend it. I would love it if even more influencers could advocate for the beautiful little spot I am referring to. 

A Parks & Rec WHARF STREET TIMBER TRESTLE REPAIR should start this month or next and take three months. Access by pedestrians and bikers will be blocked. The first step will be to build an access road for the trucks to get in from East Laurel Street, involving widening the current path about 12 feet into the buffer. 

For over a year, I have been calling the area from East Laurel Street to Wharf Street "Downyland" after the woodpecker. Searching the hashtag Downyland will display many of my attempts at stewardshipI summarized some of my concerns in a letter to City Council on May 24th 2019 and subsequent messages, but there was no response. 

Many creatures were particularly displaced and/or harmed the fourth week of March 2020 when the railway company (BNSF) damaged it by chainsaw. Parts of the wetland is either owned by the railway or they have an easement (I have heard both descriptions). The chainsaw operators actually started their activity the day the Governor's first pandemic-related shut-down started. Many people complained to the City of Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department about the logging. My objection was passed along by a senior planner to the environmental complaint department of the Community Development and Planning Department. I don't know if others' complaints were directed there. In these four months, I don't know if any correctional action was or will be taken, despite my many requests for information. One needs a clearing permit from the City if one is going to destroy trees (per the Critical Areas regulations contained in the Bellingham Municipal Code). I submitted a complaint to the Stormwater Hotline as well, but my requests for status there have also gone nowhere. The trees and trunks that were removed posed no hazard to people because it was a No Trespassing zone. Furthermore, the trees were not dead as one of the loggers said. 

It was nesting season when the 30-40 mostly maple and alder trees and trunks were felled. Even if there were a legitimate reason to fell trees in that area, it should only be done in fall or winter. You can tell where a person's heart is if they down trees in Spring. Some of the trees could have fallen on nesting ducks. I saw a downy woodpecker flying around like crazy in subsequent days. A varied thrush was looking lost and desolate. The chickadees were not understanding.  Meanwhile the promised cleanup of squatting humans' toxic trash by BNSF that was begun in January was never completed.

People are a huge danger to the air, land, water and wildlife in the wetland. For buffers and other Critical Area or conservation easements in Bellingham, human-made hazards that get in the way of wildlife transit or the health of the ecosystem should not be there.

Apartment & condo dwellers in three complexes are helped by the woodland in that the trees somewhat muffle environmental noise, provide shade and cool the air in summer, and shield the wind off Bellingham Bay in winter. Trees absorb stormwater runoff volume and toxic load, enrich the soil, fortify the slope against landslides, provide food for forage fish which salmon and others need, and gift the world with grandeur surpassing the built development. 

Birds, rabbits, deer and so on should be able to transit the paths, trees and bunkers they have made through the buffers, and not be blocked or struck by tossed litter, downed trees, or poison substances. Juncos are one bird species, for example, that nests low to the ground. Birds travel through the blackberry bushes and forage on the ground - they are not always in the air. Therefore, items thrown into the brush potentially land on and directly harm the life forms that live there. I believe the Critical Ares chapter of Bellingham Municipal Code (https://bellingham.municipal.codes/BMC/16.55.340) should be enforced. Similarly, protective County, State and Federal rules should be enforced.

5/19/20 (BEFORE) and 5/20/20 (AFTER)

We are always grateful when the folks under contract with the City's Police Department keep cleaning litter and dangerous stuff from illegal encampments over the years. Besides trespassing, environmental harm, and toxic debris, the fire hazards from such sites are preventable therefore we would hope for more permanent prevention of these violations.

On a bright note, little kids did some volunteer planting of conifer saplings along the buffer March 1, 2020. I happened to observe their activity which looked like it was authorized. Shortly thereafter I emailed a logical person at Parks & Rec to find out details and received no answer. I recently wrote to a different logical person to see if those saplings may be saved during the trestle repair, and again no reply.

6/23/20 Deer and Eagle families in Critical Area. The spot under the trestle is continually littered.

Jul 14, 2020

USA: Wireless Antennas to Flood #Yellowstone Park - 100 #Trees Already Cut Down

image source:
National Park Service

Please subscribe to Environmental Health Trust's weekly newsletter if you can. EHT is taking the FCC to court for its refusal to update its 24 year old guidelines on cell phones and wireless radiation.  They have podcasts and a Patreon site as well as their website, YouTube, etc. 

----- Forwarded message ----
From: Environmental Health Trust <info@ehtrust.org>
Date: Mon, Jul 13, 2020 at 2:30 PM
Subject: Wireless Antennas to Flood Yellowstone Park: Trees Already Cut Down

There's so much significant news to share with you this month!
Watch for one more EHT newsletter this week — they'll be different videos, different articles and more.
100 Trees Already Cut Down
A company called AccessParks wants to install 484 wireless antennas within and atop historic lodges (including the iconic Old Faithful Inn), visitor centers, and other buildings to bring broadband throughout most of the park's developed areas. 100 trees, in a stand approximately 30 years old, have already been removed to increase reception for a facility.
Conflicts of Interest Revealed
January 7, 2020 Letter to the President of the Swiss Confederation, endorsed by several international experts, documents the twisting of scientific data towards industry friendly conclusions.

new report released by European MPs accuses the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) of being under the influence of the telecommunications industry.

To the US Food and Drug Administration
Experts in the field of bioelectromagnetics are calling for the FDA to retract its recently released report on cell phone radiation and cancer due to "numerous scientific errors." 

To the Federal Communications Commission
Paul Ben Ishai, Mikko Ahonen, Hugo Gonçalves Silva, and Devra Davis submitted a 78 page Report to the FCC on why 5G should be halted, along with a policy update by Theodora Scarato

"Without the FDA performing a quantitative risk assessment on available cancer data on cell phone radiation, it is inappropriate for the FCC to accept the FDA's conclusion that "current safety limits for cell phones are acceptable for protecting the public health."
Dear Friends,

This newsletter covers a large amount of the latest breaking news in 5G and wireless. Resolutions to halt 5G are being passed and the conflicts of interest are being revealed. We felt it was critical for you to have all this information.

This month EHT testified to the Washington DC National Capital Planning Commission on 5G, presented to Ohio on 5G and is finalizing yet another publication.

We could not do this without your support. We need to raise 50,000 immediately for our legal action against the FCC.

Please DONATE to EHT today so we can continue our work pushing for government accountability, raising awareness and promoting sound protective policy.

Theodora Scarato,
Executive Director, Environmental Health Trust

A new article by Frank Barnes and Ben Greenebaum published April 2020 "Setting Guidelines for Electromagnetic Exposures and Research Needs" based on the urgent need for adequate safety limits.

A filing submitted on behalf of the BioInitiative Working Group by: Dr. David O. Carpenter, M.D. Director, Institute for Health and the Environment University …

Latest Policy

 "...cease development of 5G infrastructure within the county until it has been proven safe for humans through 'independent research and testing.'"

Watch A Video
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EHT is taking the FCC to court for its refusal to update its 24 year old guidelines on cell phones and wireless radiation. We will hold them accountable. We will win. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LAWSUIT
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