About the Author


I live in Whatcom County in the NW corner of Washington State. I am a middle-aged male Christian conservative. I am married to a woman, have 2 kids, a dog and a cat? We own a home. I have a job.

Reality Bites in Ferndale

In this case, reality is taking a bite out of Jon Mutchler and his faltering campaign to be the next mayor of Ferndale. The one big problem for him is that even though he has lived in and around Ferndale for decades, his day to day reality is not the same reality occupied by most people in Ferndale.  And that living in another reality is especially true when it comes to large scale retail development in Ferndale. (aka Walmart)

In one of his Facebook comments Jon Mutchler said that the law won’t allow us to ban certain stores.

Reality Bites: Yes, cities can block large retail from certain areas. If we remember, Bellingham and Ferndale both had “big box” bans in place at one time and now they don’t. The City of Ferndale is tasked with managing growth for the people of Ferndale and rolling over for developers isn’t a management style I can agree with. We really can say no and I really don’t want Ferndale to be known as the “Walmart Exit”

I’ve also read on Facebook somewhere that Jon Mutchler is trusted to maintain a Ferndale that’s “open for business” in the fashion that Mayor Jensen has established.

Reality Bites: The people of Ferndale that I know don’t want Ferndale to be open for just any old type of business that comes along. The people I know want us to be open for businesses that bring positives to Ferndale like good jobs and needed services. Most people I know in Ferndale, don’t want a Walmart, especially next to Haggen near the already busy Main Street/I-5 interchange. The people I know recognize that large retailers, especially Walmart, will bring a whole host of problems with them when they come to town.

  • Walmart brings large traffic volumes and it brings them 7 days a week.
  • Walmart brings crime, parking lot theft, store theft, drug trafficking.
  • Walmart will burden our Police.
  • Walmart brings vagrancy.
  • Walmart will burden our EMS.
  • The deeper you look, the worser and worser it gets.

Several times I’ve heard and read from Jon Mutchler that large retailers will pay to mitigate the traffic problems they create and that Ferndale won’t experience any worsening of traffic. <<== anyone else’s spidey-sense tingling?

Again, Reality Bites: Large retailers moving to Ferndale will pay only a small fraction of the cost to mitigate traffic. A rough estimate that  was used in Ferndale City Council meeting, is that on a good day the business would pay only about 25% of the cost for traffic mitigation leaving the rest to us taxpayers. Another brutal reality is that the Ferndale City Council voted to additionally rebate half of the impact fees to large retailers after 3 years. You can be certain that any large retailer will be filling out that rebate coupon.

Ferndale is a great town, but to keep it a great town, or even make it a better town, we desperately need better city management.  I see Cathy Watson as the natural leader for that better city management.  On City Council, she recognized that Ferndale could do better than just accepting large retail and all of the financial and traffic burdens that it brings. She also recognized and voted against the flawed system where impact fees are rebated to developers, only to be paid for by taxpayers (that means you and I).  In decision after decision I see her working a balanced approach that doesn’t value business over people.

I won’t say that Cathy Watson will be a perfect mayor.  However, I will say that I believe she will be a darn good mayor with a tremendous heart for the people of this town and most importantly, she lives in the same reality as most of us in Ferndale do.

Pleading the 2nd

On October 1st another mass shooting occurred.  Just recently another occurred.  In the near future another will certainly occur.

Mass shooting  of theses types are all criminal acts, perpetrated by criminals, and using guns illegally.   It doesn’t matter how or where the guns came from, nor whether they were stolen, purchased illegally, or even legally.  Using guns in for mass shootings is illegal.

Is there nothing that we can do?  Well given the situation, most people targeted by the shooter were either critically injured or died.  I guess that’s what you do in a “gun free zone.”  You could also attempt to take out the shooter like unarmed Army Veteran Chris Mintz did.  I’d like to think that his heroic actions saved at least a few people by slowing the shooters actions, but ultimately it is very unlikely that an unarmed person will be able to take out a person with a gun.  So without a gun, what we do is get shot.

The 2nd amendment to our US Constitution assures us that we have the right to both keep and bear arms.  To keep means to own,  and to bear means to carry.   The 2nd Amendment means that citizens not only have the right to own guns and they have the right to carry them around with them.  The 2nd amendment was not included to assure that criminals will have access to guns, it is there to make sure that non-criminals will have access to guns to defend themselves. This was reaffirmed as recently as 2008 by the US Supreme Court,

On June 26, 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller, the United States Supreme Court issued its first decision since 1939 interpreting the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.  The Court ruled that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution confers an individual right to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense


Unfortunately, in last week’s shooting, just like many recent shootings, the rights of people to bear arms in their own defense had sadly been infringed upon.  More sadly their rights were infringed upon by our own government.

The Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 requires each state receiving federal funds to have a state law in effect requiring local educational agencies to expel, for at least one year, any student who is determined to have brought a weapon to school.

In addition, schools are directed to develop policies requiring referral to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system for any student who brings a firearm or weapon to school.


And in the case of this latest shooting, someone at the local level made the decision to infringe upon people right to use a gun in self defense.

Under state law, people in Oregon could carry concealed firearms on college campuses like the one where a gunman killed nine people and wounded several others on Thursday. However, Umpqua Community College has been established as a gun-free zone thanks to a loophole in state law that has made every third-level institution in the state almost entirely gun-free.


Would the outcome have been the same if Umpqua Community College were not a gun free zone?  Well it’s possible that the shooter would have chosen not to bring his evil into the college knowing that he’d have likely been shot without ever getting his sick 15 minutes of fame.  It’s possible that a US Army veteran, trained in the use of guns, would have quickly taken out the shooter and not had to rush unarmed at the shooter.  It’s also likely that in a college of that size several people would have chosen to carry guns onto campus, making it very likely that several of the victims would alive today, not dead.

But there were no guns on campus, except those of the crazy shooter, because our government prohibited them.  Not only prohibited, but essentially paid the schools to take away a peoples right to use a gun to defend themselves and others while on campus.   Sounds like a good old fashioned gangsta threat, “yous guys betta do what I says or else…or else you’re gonna lose funding.”

And for the things keep getting worser and worser crowd, while the critically injured victims are still being treated, and the dead are being buried, our President is siding with the criminals by calling for more infringements on our right to keep and bear arms in our own defense.

The residents were barely given time to begin the grieving process when President Obama decided to openly politicize the event in an effort to push his anti-Second Amendment agenda. In July, Obama lamented that he was not able to do more about gun control stating America, “is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient common-sense, gun safety laws.”


And apparently he is also lamenting that he is “powerless to prevent another tragedy.”

WTH Mr. President?  Powerless?

Mr. President, the power to fight back against these tragedies lies in the US Constitution, the same Constitution that you are sworn to uphold.  Do your job.  The power is our right to keep and bear arms.

Money in the Ferndale Mayoral Race

“I will tell you that our system is broken. I give to many people, I give to everybody, when they call I give, and you know what? When I need something from them, two years, three years later, I call, they are there for me”
— Donald Trump

Even though The Donald is no rocket surgeon, he seems to have a fairly firm grasp on the proven process of purchasing political favors through political donations.

Technically a donation has no strings attached and most politicians will tell you that they will not be bought. However, I think everyone knows that the candidate who doesn’t cater to the needs of his donors, won’t have them as donors in the future. In drive thru terms, if you pay at the first window, you expect some food at the second window.

So one of the many things that struck me about Cathy Watson is that she is not accepting donations for her mayoral campaign in Ferndale. That is, no donations from anyone at all.  Really, I checked the PDC website  and it’s zip, zero, nada.

Copy of pdc 092115

And from talking with Cathy, her refusing donations is not because she doesn’t need signs and such, it’s because she wants to make sure that we know she will be there to serve all of us, not just campaign donors. I find that to be both admirable and gutsy.  Gutsy, because her opponent isn’t following suit. I’m sure we’ve all seen the tsunami of JonJon signs that has washed over Ferndale. I don’t think they were paid for from his own pocket.

pdc 092215

So signs seem to be mostly courtesy of local land development and construction donors. In fact, Jon Mutchler recently joked that two of his donors probably have single handedly financed the entire planning department for the City of Ferndale through impact fees.

Remember The Donald?

What do you think Jon Mutchler’s donors will be asking for?  Likely not the same thing you, I, nor most others in Ferndale will be asking for. Seriously, do we really need more development right now?  How about a more balanced approach where we improve access through downtown and to the hill, before adding more homes, businesses and traffic, but that’s just me isn’t it?

It’s clear to me that every person in Ferndale needs Cathy Watson as Mayor. Cathy is a broad focused, intelligent and gutsy public servant who will represent all the people of Ferndale.  Please check her out on Facebook or her website.  In fact, do more than check things out.  Ask her a question or two.

Cathy Watson Facebook

Elect Cathy Watson Web Page.

Suitcase Clock

Irving’s police chief announced Wednesday that charges won’t be filed against Ahmed Mohamed, the MacArthur High School freshman arrested Monday after he brought what school officials and police described as a “hoax bomb” on campus.


I built an electronic hobby clock when I was about this kids age, but it wasn’t in a suitcase, it was in a tuna can.  My tuna can clock didn’t alarm anyone.  True, that was pre-9/11, quite a different time, but nobody would have arrested me had I chosen a suitcase over a can.

muslim attitudesSo why the alarm now?  Well because now is post 9/11.  Now is in a nation whose Muslim population is made up of people who, to varying degrees, think suicide bombing in defense of Islam is an option.

Now is a time when common sense would say to a Muslim teenager and his parents, don’t build a clock in a suitcase, just don’t.  You likely are as innocent as Bambi, but don’t build a clock in a suitcase because you’re an Arab looking Muslim and your clock looks like a suitcase bomb which everyone has heard of and not a suitcase clock which nobody has ever heard of.  Parent’s use common sense and teach your children the same.

As for the teacher calling this in to authorities, I can certainly understand their position.  For someone who has never built a clock in either a can or a suitcase it’d be pretty tough to pick out the clock from a bomb.  Try it.  I just snipped this from a Google search.  Quick, which is the clock?suitcase clock

And authorities, maybe you were a little harsh, but I won’t blame you a bit after the Marathon Bombings.

I think this whole thing falls back onto the parents.  Them, sending their Arab looking Muslim kid to school with a suitcase clock was about as dumb as me, a white Christian guy, sending my kid to school with a rope to show his friends a knot he learned called a noose, and how to spell a new word that starts with an “N” and ends with a “double ga er.”  Either situation is asking for trouble and should be avoided.