Thursday, May 23, 2013

Updates: Mike McShane, Whatcom Rural, Fluoride and Junipers

A few short updates before heading out to field work: 1) Yes, I am related, 2) Whatcom County Rural planning, 3) Fluoride struggles and 4) Juniperus maritima.

My Brother Mike

Yes, Mike is my brother and I am proud of him oregons_newest_federal_judge

Mike and Mount Lassen

Whatcom County Rural Update

Whatcom County's Rural Element policy efforts (whatcoms-rural-element-iii) were taken by the County Council on Tuesday. I attended the County Council meeting Tuesday to see how it would go. The public hearing was fairly standard with a few property rights activists, a few specific property owners or attorney representatives wanting to maintain the status, and Growth Management Act advocates. A few had over the top testimony - there is some real hatred of Futurewise.

Once the hearing ended, Sam Crawford moved approval of the ordinance as forwarded by the Planning Commission. Crawford then offered some amendments and Carl Weimer put forward a couple. The amendments were in line with staff recommendations regarding the 10 acre zoning and the cluster provisions. Smooth sailing other than the discussion which mostly revolved around Barbara Brenner's poor grasp of the issues.

Further discussion stalled with the final vote deferred to after a work session. Hopefully the council members will read the staff memos on the boundaries of the rural zones and avoid yet another Hearings Board failure.


Portland, Oregon just ended another round of struggle over fluoride in drinking water (oregonlive.portland_fluoride). Sarah Kliff at Wonk Blog had a nice write up on fluoride policy battles (wonkblog/a-brief-history-of-americas-fluoride-wars). In a manner the policy and science tribalism that shows up in climate debates also shows up in fluoride debates. Its just the tribes are different. I am non tribal on the matter, but will say I drank fluoride treated water with the exception of my time in Bellingham. Bellingham has natural fluoride in its water, but at levels below the level of fluoride treated systems.

Juniperus Maritima

Turns out those Rock Mountain junipers (isolated-rocky-mountain-junipers) in the San Juan Islands and Skagit County are not Rocky Mountain Junipers. I have been informed I am behind the curve on junipers. As of 2007 we have our own local juniper.

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