Our new year begins with a January 11 general meeting presentation by RaChelle (Shelly) Zylstra, Director of Planning for the Northwest Regional Council. Zylstra currently provides oversight to the development and monitoring of homecare and senior services of Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties. Her presentation is titled “Hospital 101”
With health care an increasingly complex and costly challenge, Zylstra’s 7 p.m. presentation at Birchwood Presbyterian Church is certain to provide answers to vexing questions already confronting us and whatever else the future might bring. Election of a board of directors will be held at the January meeting with officers chosen from among directors who volunteered at the February 1 board meeting. Voting eligibility for officers and any other business at the January 11 meeting is limited to Association members who have paid this year’s $10 dues due January 1. Volunteer directors are encouraged to make their interest known.
Our Neighborhood, renamed Cordata (official recognition is imminent), has been reduced in size by nearly one-half, yet our intense involvement has not slowed.
We will be closely following three housing development projects plus three potential hotels near our neighborhood that will affect traffic patterns and congestion. The hotels on the drawing board are Marriott on Northwest just south of Bakerview, LaQuinta on Bakerview plus one being developed across from Fred Meyer by Morgan Bartlett, owner of Bakerview Square.
Blair Murray is working with the Planning Department on his 52-acre site between Stuart and Horton on the east side of Cordata. His planned urban village of 300 residential units will include a park and trail.
Ted Mischaikov continues to bring changes to his 72-acre development at the end of Cordata Parkway. One aspect is certain: an extension of Cordata Parkway with the median restored. Key considerations: how many housing permits will be allowed plus the amount of parklands and wetlands. Then, there is the Ron Jepson group, responsible for 340 units on 65 acres and barely off the dime on June Street.
Bottom line from our Library Committee is that we are not successful at this time. We tried to find free space and money to start, but struck out. We’ll go to bat again this year following a regrouping as we search for other tactics. Meanwhile, many thanks to Bev Jacobs, Janet Kahn, Bill Dubay, Helen Leimbacher, Linda Langey, Karie Solomon, Adrienne Lederer and others who worked on the project.. If you want to participate, please let a board member know.
Nominations for this year’s board include: Steve Crooks, Bill Dubay, Julie Guy, Beverly Jacobs, Vincent Latimore, Adrienne Lederer and Bob Sanders. The Insider, reflecting Board opinion, would be remiss if it didn’t acknowledge the impressive work done by out-going president Adrienne Lederer. Paramount in her leadership has been a unique knowledge of Bellingham, how it works and doesn’t, and who does what and for whom?
A Disaster Prep Update comes from the City of Bellingham urging us to “Map Our Neighborhood.” Our elected leaders continue to remind us that if there is a major disaster such as earthquake, flood, or gasoline explosion, we will be on our own for at least three days and, maybe, five. Be alert to your surroundings and take note near where you live of small children, the elderly or the infirmed. Call Julie Guy (she heads up our efforts) at 738-8466 for more information.
Deadline Dash….That move by Herald political writer Sam Taylor to a Ferndale City Clerk gig was a surprise and another indication of journalism’s declining role in today’s world. There was a time when such a decision by a young and talented reporter would have been close to un-thinkable. Taylor’s high regard by the public is reflected in the 63 reactions registered in his blog about the decision to leave. As we know, blog reaction tends to be decidedly indelicate almost regardless of the subject. While comments about Taylor were all positive, his acceptance by the Ferndale City Council was 4-3—hardly a ringing endorsement.…Board members Bill Dubay and Julie Guy have met with Bellingham Neighborhood Services Coordinator Linda Stewart to discuss details involving our new Neighborhood name (Cordata), details attendant to the name change, and our new boundaries….Our already heavily-used Cordata Park will be the site of a Neighborhood Walk to be held Saturday, July 16. A jazzy name is being sought for the event as Cordata NA Board Members Steve Crooks and Vincent Latimore work out details with Lance Romo of Parks & Recreation….Looking for a book that will explain a great deal about Bellingham to those who either can’t get enough of the place or unfortunate not to live here? The answer is Returning to the Branch by Alan Rhodes whose wit can be read monthly in the Cascadia Weekly. It’s available at Village Books in Fairhaven….Mystery surrounds Paul Leuthold’s firing from his position as Director of Bellingham Parks & Recreation Department. A man with a highly impressive track record, Leuthold is the fourth department head to depart Mayor Dan Pike’s administration. The story, more than a week old, finally was told in the Herald by former employee Sam Taylor in Thursday’s (January 6) publication after the paper was beaten the day before by both the Cascadia Weekly and KGMI whose stories were based on a City Hall release of bare bones substance. All the stories (Taylor’s did have some detail) are full of murk because of Leuthold lawyering and a mayor who won’t talk. In terms of fact, the only obvious consideration is that we’re looking at the tip of an iceberg and City Hall has clammed up like, maybe, never before. Any mention of the mayor prompts the subject of whether he will seek a second term. B’ham buzz has Kelli Linville, a Tea Party victim after serving 17 years in the Washington State Legislature, giving thought to challenging the mayor.