Many of our valuable local businesses have reputations as forward-thinking social and environmental justice champions. Some of these happen to also be members of the Whatcom Business Alliance (WBA) whose publication Business Pulse magazine has hosted guest columns from the Washington Policy Center, described by Source Watch as a think tank that “advances a right wing agenda and is affiliated with organizations in the Koch Network.”
Meanwhile, I haven’t seen any such material from progressive organizations. As another example of their partisan alignment, I noticed in WBA’s Spring 2017 Business Pulse, their article on the new five district elections in Whatcom County included quotes from local Republicans and none from Democratic or Green
The WBA is also showing up frequently on conservative radio shows. One of the KGMI hosts, former Whatcom Tea Party board member Kris Halterman, does not always get her facts right. In speaking about a May 2017 letter that local environmental group Stand.earth sent to WBA members, she incorrectly identified one of Stand’s campaign directors, Matt Krogh, as being a Stand board member and as having served on the Bellingham City Council. On Halterman’s June 24 radio show, she talked about a second letter Stand sent to WBA members that stated Stand takes issue with WBA support of messaging like “America Needs Coal.” In her show, Halterman said that the WBA had removed that ad. But as of June 25, a graphic with that message was still on the WBA’s Step Up Twitter feed.
I am pleased that groups like Stand have been looking out for the interests of the businesses here in our community who are worthy of belonging to organizations that match their own ethical standards.
What’s the Point day June 24 at Point Whitehorn, part of the Cherry Point Marine Reserve was the first time I had participated in a low tide, tide pool tour there.
Well organized by Whatcom Land Trust and the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee, this free event was very well attended. The low tide had left long puddles of warm water to walk through, stretches of beach, and then at the water’s edge a new world of creatures – invertebrates, fish, seaweed, and some, “What’s this?” from youngsters
and oldsters alike.
I couldn’t believe how the kids could find and catch so much stuff – a tiny brittle star, tiny crab molts, little flounders and soles, and tiny shrimp. The amount of seaweed was amazing. Kelp were still attached to the sea floor, red Turkish towel intrigued me, and sea lettuce made the rocks slippery, but I’m told you can eat it!
There were talks on geology, the forest plants, and of course what’s in the water. I was fascinated by the large erratic rocks with brooding anemones all over them – squishy when you gently touch them. When the tide comes in, all this is hidden by the Salish Sea.