Cherry Point

SSA Marine’s ‘Good Faith’ Attack on Xwe’chi’eXen (Cherry Point)

by Sandy Robson

In a January 5, 2015  letter sent to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (“the Corps”) by the Lummi Indian Business Council (LIBC), LIBC Chairman Tim Ballew II wrote: “The devastating environmental  impacts associated with this project, as well as the trust responsibility of federal agencies to ensure the protection of the treaty rights of the Lummi Nation, mandate the denial of any and all permits under the Corp’s jurisdiction.” (more…)

Consider the $ource

by Sandy Robson

Public records reveal that some of the local elected officials in Whatcom County, Washington, continue to put SSA Marine Inc. in the driver’s seat, working directly with the company’s hired public relations and advertising consultants to promote SSA Marine’s proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT); a coal export terminal, which would store, handle, and ship 48 million metric tons of coal annually at Cherry Point, located just outside the city limits of Ferndale, in Whatcom County. (more…)

Cherry Point industries have not endorsed GPT

(This commentary was originally published in The Northern Light, Letters to the Editor, December 11-17 edition)

Commentary by Paula Rotundi

There are three existing Cherry Point businesses – BP Refinery, Alcoa-Intalco Works and Conoco-Phillips – and none of them has endorsed the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). The GPT proposal gives our existing Cherry Point industries significant reasons for concern. For them, GPT would be a horrific neighbor. (more…)

Right Here in Whatcom County: Trouble With a Capital “T,” Rhymes with “D,” Stands for Deindustrialize

by Sandy Robson

NWJA Co-Chair Brad Owens at October 27, 2012 GPT EIS scoping hearing in Bellingham

NWJA Co-Chair Brad Owens at October 27, 2012 GPT EIS scoping hearing in Bellingham

On September 13, 2014, about seven weeks before the November 2014 Whatcom County elections, KGMI’s Saturday Morning Live radio show host Kris Halterman interviewed Brad Owens, Co-Chair of the Northwest Jobs Alliance (NWJA), which was created in 2011 specifically to promote the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project. The topic of the interview was Cherry Point industries. Owens told Halterman that NWJA’s focus has changed from focusing on the GPT project, to the Cherry Point industrial area, as Owens claimed: “In the past few months we have come to know that there’s a very organized, what I would view as an attack on our job base at Cherry Point.” (more…)

An Introduction: Some things you won’t see in Whatcom Watch 

by Sandy Robson

I am aware of two individuals, who submitted Letters to the Editor (LTEs) to Whatcom Watch (WW) in response to Editor Bob Schober’s August 2014 brief editorial, “Legal Claim Withdrawn.” In both cases, there was resistance from Schober to publishing these LTEs in which the authors expressed their views about his editorial. The LTEs were eventually published by WW; Carol Follet’s LTE was published as written, and Ellen Murphy was required to revise her LTE before WW would publish it. (more…)

Let’s not be distracted

(This is the first publication of this piece which Whatcom Watch refused to publish when it was submitted to their publication in May 2014)

Commentary by Sandy Robson

On February 5, 2014, SSA Marine’s local consultant for its Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) project, Craig Cole, sent a letter to Whatcom Watch threatening a libel lawsuit in response to my article entitled, “What Would Corporations Do? Native American Rights and the Gateway Pacific Terminal,” published in the January issue of Whatcom Watch. The fact that Mr. Cole claimed he was libeled in an article in which he was never mentioned, and threatened to sue Whatcom Watch, distracts and misdirects attention from the article’s content. (more…)

A Million Plus for Ferndale Schools from GPT: Now You See It, Now You Don’t

by Sandy Robson

On October 22, 2012, during the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) scoping period for Gateway Pacific Terminal, Ferndale School District Superintendent Linda Quinn sent an email to the Ferndale School Board summarizing a meeting she had earlier that day with SSA Marine’s public relations consultant for the GPT project, Craig Cole, along with three others who joined the meeting. (more…)

A teaspoon of action and beyond

by Dena Jensen

This weekend’s activities are beginning to come vividly to life across the country to protect our planet and the precious life upon it in concert with the People’s Climate March on September 21. Locally, there is the international rally, “Climate Change Knows No Borders,” organized by 350 Seattle,  Wilderness  Committee and the Georgia Straight Alliance, and taking place at Peace Arch Park at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 20, with the blessing of the Semiahmoo First Nation on their traditional territory. (more…)

Cole’s Op-Ed Sugar-Coats GPT Project

Commentary by Christine Westland

On August 15th, an op-ed by Craig Cole was published in the Bellingham Herald, giving a “Mary Poppins” version of the intentions and actions of SSA Marine/Pacific International Terminals (PIT) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point. According to Cole, it was “human error” in 2011, when PIT accessed the Cherry Point wetlands, clearing nine acres, degrading a Native American archaeological site, and filling in 1.2 acres of wetlands while taking borings on that land without a proper permit. Professional companies who behave legally and ethically know what they are doing don’t make these kind of mistakes. For these violations, SSA Marine-owned Pacific International Terminals was sued and paid $1.6 million in fines and penalties. These actions by PIT were deceptive and show a blatant disregard and lack of respect for the Lummi Nation and Cherry Point, which was the first archaeological site to be placed on the Washington State Register of Historic Places. (more…)

Will the Real Craig Cole Please Stand Up?

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Unauthorized land clearing at Cherry Point by SSA/PIT’s engineering consultant. Photo is from Whatcom County PDS website.

by Sandy Robson

Craig Cole, the local paid spokesperson for SSA Marine/Pacific International Terminals’ (PIT) Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) wrote an Op-Ed published on August 15, 2014 in the Bellingham Herald entitled “Gateway Pacific Terminal working to safeguard environment, job creation.” (more…)