Thursday, June 29, 2006

What to do with Georgia Pacific's old Lagoon


Viewing old treatment lagoon over flower beds at WWU campus.

I guess I don't really care whether it becomes a marina, or a park. It's just another thing for people to fight about.

Then there is someone, I know, who suggests just leaving it a waste water treatment lagoon. Who knows, we may have future needs for the lagoon as a treatment facility.

Another writer leans toward the marina idea because he says it brings income and "having a job, being able to eat." is an important priority.

Well, I don't consume very much and I still can live on "part time" work, but it does take money to build something. There are many exciting plans for Bellingham's central waterfront (the old GP mill site), of which this lagoon is just one section.

A bit south of the lagoon are plans for trails, parks, mixed use neighborhoods, old building restoration. There are even plans for relocating WWU's Huxley College of the Environment down there.

I just want to see them get something done, before I pass from this planet.

Maybe the marina is most practical, just so that something gets done. A revenue source.

At least it's a plan that's been on a roll.

There is still a long process of studying, community input and clean up ahead. It will be several years before things really get going. Maybe I am advocating being hasty, in planning, but I just want to see fences come down and the new waterfront take shape, what ever they decide, with-in reason, to do.

There is now the "Bellingham Bay Initiative" as some folks feel there needs to be an even more thorough cleanup than what's currently proposed.

I just point out that 42 thousand people die each year in car accidents. Why can't we throw up a bunch of "paper shuffling" roadblocks in front of the cars?

As for what they do with mercury in the old GP site; it may not be a dreadfully serious hazard. I tend to trust "departments of ecology," and so forth. They will be studying it, planning things and taking extra precautions, for years.

One can count on that.

It was said that the process will cost reams of paper and a truckload of "copy machine toner."

I just hope I am still alive, and able to take a stroll, when that new "waterfront neighborhood" opens.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Service station gone, but old reader board remains. Says, "ride your bike."


I am not sure why they tore down this old filling station near my home. Besides the reader board, there is little left in this weed tangled lot. Little besides an aeration device. Must be for environmental cleanup.

Could said service station be the victim of a leaky tank?

Anyway, I like the message. With all the problems of an oil economy, it is time more people rode bikes. Public transit also.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Healthy Fast Food For Living Alone

But some might disagree.

My sister helped confirm my habits by sending a clipping from the May 23 Spokesman Review.

"Chocolate milk may be the new Gatorade."

Bike racers in the Spokane area are finding that "plain old chocolate milk" is just as good, if not better, than so called fitness drinks.

I'm not a racer, but the bicycle is my transportation. Chocolate milk is a fast source of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. It's better than so many fitness drinks which can taste like chemical toilets and cost twice as much.

Still it isn't always easy to find. There are drive up coffee spots all over town and just about every restaurant, bar and store has it's coffee, but cartons of chocolate milk? Not common.

Some people say chocolate milk isn't healthy, all full of sugar, dairy, even the low fat that I drink. Then they sip their coffee with sugar, or eat an ice cream cone.

A friend suggested I try "soy milk."

Soy is supposedly healthier, yet it's more expensive. The flavor doesn't hit the spot for me. This friend then admits that she drinks her soy with whipped cream; a whole bunch of whipped cream.

I just drink the carton of chocolate milk and skip the whipped cream.

One can get a quart carton for as low as $1.29 or $1.39, but in just a few places.

Bellingham Food Co-op only stocks "organic" chocolate milk and it's about twice as expensive.

Living in downtown Bellingham, I find myself frequenting places like Rite Aid Pharmacy or the Grocery Outlet for my fix.

If these aren't accessible, I end up at "filling station convenience stores;" heaven forbid.

At Rite Aid, groceries aren't the main stay, but so many people live around there that they stock a few groceries for convenience. Still, one occasionally finds an "out of order" sign on that refrigerator.

Someone recently wrote a letter to the Herald saying we need a "grocery store" in downtown Bellingham. A grocery store that is near where so many people live.

The city is emphasizing "downtown residential" so wouldn't a supermarket be the next step?

A Haggen's, or something?

Unfortunately, these "one stop for everything" kind of markets seem to be all out by the freeway.

Well, we do have groceries, but one must piece together several businesses to make it work.

Good produce at the Food Co-op and also at the Public Market on Cornwall, but one must go elsewhere to get affordable chocolate milk.

Then we have bargain foods at the Grocery Outlet, which usually stocks the milk. Grocery Outlet has a lot of things at good prices, but it's inventory is unpredictable. "They've got it if it's a bargain," such as "overstocked" at another store.

Walking to the Grocery Outlet isn't very inspiring either as that intersection is one of the crazyest near downtown Bellingham. More than 4 streets come together in a big jumble and one of the corners is a "no croswalk" corner.

So, I go to more than one place for my groceries. No, "one stop for all" supermart. I hear that's common in Europe.

With my active lifestyle, apples, carrots, chocolate milk and graham crackers go a long ways. Then I usually eat one restaurant meal per day. Restaurants are a good way to get salad. When one lives alone, salad makings can go bad in the refrigerator.

How long does it take to eat a whole head of lettuce?

For single people, these often go bad, thus causing one to never buy salad makings.

Friends of mine say they prefer eating at home, but you see them in their coffee shops and bars. They spend as much on cookies and beer as I do on my restaurant meals?

Living alone and having no kitchen or garden has an influence my eating habits.

Bicycle touring has an influence also. Everything, including "the kitchen sink," doesn't fit into bicycle panniers.

"Organic living" gurus may scoff at me as they drive home to their suburban kitchens and gardens.

One restaurant meal per day with a salad, chicken or fish works for me. Then it's fast foods like peanut butter sandwiches, graham crackers, apples and chocolate milk.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Did traffic kill Eyman's latest initiative?

Referendum 65 failed to get enough signatures to qualify for Washington State ballots. It was an attempt to overturn Washington's new law adding sexual orientation to the anti discrimination laws. With that initiative out of the way, the new civil rights law goes into effect Wednesday. Gay rights leaders can now celebrate.

It would have been poetic justice if Tim Eyman's referendum was squashed in traffic. At 4:30 PM, 1/2 hour before the signature deadline, a radio report said that an Eyman aid was hurrying toward Olympia with the last of the signatures. Radio said, "It's possible that I-5 traffic could determine the fate of the referendum."

Eyman first became famous for filing an initiative that cut car tab fees in Washington, thus leading to huge cuts in funding for public transit.

Since then, some transit agencies have recovered the lost revenue by adding other taxes.

Gee, maybe those last signatures for R-65 could have traveled to Olympia on Sound Transit? Whoops, I wonder if Sound Transit even goes to Olympia? With more funding, it could. Things like Sound Transit can slide people right past bottle necks on I-5.

Really, the traffic was a moot point. It looked like Eyman, and his aids, may have gotten to Olympia on time; barely. Hurrying up the steps just before that deadline, possibly panting all the way, there still weren't enough signatures.

Speaking of panting, when I hear Tim Eyman on the radio, he sounds like he's hyper ventilating. That's a byproduct of seeming to be angry much of the time. Why those bleep bleep politicians and we're not going to take it anymore.

On Monday, Eyman decided to capitalize on his negative image by showing up at a press conference in a Darth Vader outfit. That press conference was to announce that he was going to wait one more day to turn in the signatures. Rather than comfortably getting them in a day before the deadline, he decided to struggle clear to the last moment.

Well, he didn't make it. Washington State can now include sexual orientation in it's non discrimination laws.

Bellingham Pride parade and festival 2006

Bellingham's Fourth Corner Pride Festival was good. June 4 2006. Downtown at Depot Market Square, also known as the farmer's market structure. Sometime between noon and 5 PM around 1,000 folks dropped by. The Herald said hundreds. One person, I talked to, said 1,200. Maybe it was 900? What ever. A big turn out anyway. Also featured in June 5th Bellingham Herald.

Besides many folks from various lgbt walks of life, there were people from the general public who also stopped by. It's getting to be more of a respected "Bellingham event." Next year, folks say "the city" will be among the co-sponsors, what ever that means.

It should.

Many organizations, such as PFLAG, Evergreen Aids Foundation as well as a lot of individuals pool together to make this a success. Even my web page and Yahoo Group makes it's mark. Thanks to the many folks who attend, and some heard about it on my sites.

I hear that "Pride Festival" was the first "non Farmer's Market" event to use the new facility called Depot Market Square. They were still finishing things up around the edges. Construction machinery was evident behind fences.

Last year, the pride festival was at Blodel Donovan Park and several years back, the mayor was one of the speakers proclaiming our legitimacy; also stumping for the "gay vote."

Each year glbt folks, and friends, become more recognized in our city.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Better to have Bush speak out against gay marriage while he is low in the polls

He could do a lot of damage if he were high in the polls. Bush's low approval rating can help pull down the fortunes of "Focus On The Family" type groups that oppose alternative lifestyles.

My poem.

Religious intransigence. Intransigence almost sounds like insurgency. "Islamic fundamentalist insurgents." "American way" intransigent platforms.

Battle between "closed minded" minds.

Having to keep order with the barrel of a gun.

Policing the world, rising deficits, overpopulation, greenhouse gases, too much "hot air."

It isn't working very well, or at least so say the polls.

The world is hard to manage, especially the intrasigent, insurgent, fundamentalist sides of the world.

Our President on a rough ride.

We need more "alternative lifestyles." Innovate cause there's got to be better ways.

When a sinking ship speaks out against gay rights, hopefully folks of common sense will swim away. Hopefully folks can swim to new paradigms.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Good News From Mexico

There was an interesting segment on today's "Day To Day" show on National Public Radio. Segment titled "Rising Feminist Voice in Mexican Politics." It is about the candidacy of Patricia Mercado. She is running for President of Mexico. She may not be among the top two candidates, but her vision is the beginnings of a new vision in Mexican politics. Supports feminist issues, gay marriage and so forth. New perspectives, rather than the tired old left or right.

I find this interesting as things in Mexico, such as population growth and economics, effects us here in the USA. Population growth especially. These things effect us via immigration. Newer thinking about human sexuality is needed.

Show is archived on the NPR web site. Go to "Programs" and find "Day To Day" Then visit June 1 show for audio.