Alan Rhodes

Pontifications and Postulations

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Aug. 6 primary election is over and the campaign smoke has temporarily cleared. Here are a few of my blatantly opinionated and highly subjective observations.

The Executive Suite: In the County Executive race Satpal Sidhu and Tony Larson will face off in November. Sidhu, who is arguably the best -ualified candidate to ever seek this office, should then get most of the votes that went to Karen Burke and Jim Boyle, thus enabling him to make short work of the ethically questionable Larson. First-time candidate Karen Burke was very impressive. She has a lot to offer and hopefully she’ll take another try at elective office someday.

The Mayor’s Chair: Seth Fleetwood came out in first place in the Bellingham mayoral primary, despite a campaign that was so low-key it was almost invisible. Seth is not known as a flashy guy. Intelligent? Progressive? Visionary? Yes. Flashy? Not so much. Fleetwood’s opponent will be one-term City Council member April Barker. She’s certainly a perkier campaigner than Seth, but in comparing experience, talents and knowledge, if this were a pugilistic event it would be considered a mismatch.

The Senator’s Seat: Incumbent Liz Lovelett (D) will face off against perennial candidate Dan Miller (R) in the 40th Legislative District senate race, a contest that Miller doesn’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Lovelett has been a quick study and an effective senator. Miller, who wears a hat that might have been borrowed from Chico Marx, explores scientific views possibly channeled from an alternative universe, doesn’t appear to know much about the issues, and composed a statement for the voters’ pamphlet that is an affront to literacy. His main concern seems to be an aversion to paying taxes. His role in the election will be to provide comic relief.

Ward Wallopings: Bellingham’s two City Council races were lopsided drubbings. In the third ward contest it’s unlikely that A. Monts-Treviska can overcome Dan Hammill’s 63 percent showing in the primary. In the at-large race things look equally bleak for Dana Briggs, who came in second to Hollie Huthman’s 67 percent. Hammill and Huthman are definitely the best choices, but high-fives to Monts-Treviska and Briggs for putting themselves out there and giving it a shot.

Foregone Conclusion: Kathy Kershner racked up a 68 percent win in County Council District 4, where just being a Republican is the key to victory. She is all but certain to win the general election, barring some sort of scandalous revelation that might hurt her in this powerfully red region, such as being spotted reading The Nation magazine or volunteering at Planned Parenthood.

Pretty Close to a Foregone Conclusion: In the County Council At-Large race it would be surprising if David Ramirez could catch up with the incumbent Carol Frazey, who is head-and-shoulders the better choice. Even if Ramirez got all the votes that went to disgraced dropout Brett Bonner and clown car candidate Bill LaFreniere he’d still be a long way off. LaFreniere should get a special award for being the most entertaining candidate, passing along such gems as “Socialists are trying to control our State and Country… all we have will be property of the state.” He also warned that the social security system is going to collapse because of illegal immigrants. Undocumented workers cannot, of course, receive social security, even though many pay into it. Anyway, Bill, I’ll miss you. I can’t make up stuff this good.

Mr. Cranky Roots for the Underdog: Speaking of saying stupid things, that brings me to Ben Elenbaas who came out on top in the District 5. Ben said, “Activists say we can’t have clean water and agriculture. They say we can’t have clean air and thriving industries.” Really? I’m an activist and I’ve never said that. I don’t know or know of any activist who’s ever said that. Ben is the only one who said it and it’s dumb. Ben also says he’ll restore balance to local government, although much of the reason he was on the Charter Review Commission appeared to be to unbalance future county council elections in ways that would be advantageous to his views. Ben’s opponent, Natalie McClendon, actually would bring a more balanced and nuanced perspective to the council. She has an uphill battle, but hope springs eternal.

The next couple of months will be entertaining, and I’ll certainly have more to add as we get closer to November. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the summer.

Alan Rhodes can be reached at mr_cranky @cascadiaweekly.com

Past Columns
The Lilliputian Gazette

November 20, 2019

Election Elucidations

October 15, 2019

Buying Sedro-Woolley

September 4, 2019

Rescued by Rachmaninoff

July 17, 2019

Hurrahs and Harangues

May 8, 2019

Ranting and Raving

March 6, 2019

Bellingham 2050

February 13, 2019

Looking Backward

January 2, 2019

Joy to the World

December 19, 2018

A Second Spring

October 3, 2018

Dog Days Deliberations

September 12, 2018

Mr. Cranky’s Files

July 11, 2018

Can We Talk?

June 20, 2018

Midnight Musings

May 16, 2018

April Fools

April 4, 2018

Rollo and Me

March 7, 2018

Egregious linguistic offenses

February 14, 2018

Events
Today
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

The Naughty List Market and Cabaret

2:00pm|Broadway Hall

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Wild Things

9:30am|Connelly Creek Nature Area

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Holiday Craft Bazaar

3:30pm|Lynden Library

Drayton Harbor Shellebration

4:00pm|G Street Plaza

Gingerbread House Making

4:30pm|Ferndale Library

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Photos and Stories with James K. Papp

5:00pm|Gallery Pegasus

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Kids Night Out @ Western

6:00pm|Western Washington University

Lost Feast

7:00pm|Village Books

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Christmastime is Here with Skagit Symphony

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Tomorrow
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Shrek the Musical

7:00pm|Burlington-Edison High School

Treasure Island

7:00pm|Sehome High School Theater

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A Christmas Carol

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Toys for Tots

10:00am

Holiday Tea

11:00am|Willowbrook Manor

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Wonderland Walk

5:00pm|Washington Park

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Tarnation and Holiday Games

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Darkness and Light

7:30pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

NSEA Work Party

9:00am

Breakfast with Santa

9:00am|Sedro-Woolley Community Center

Winter Faire

10:00am|Whatcom Hills Waldorf School

Winter Arts & Crafts Festival

10:00am|Pioneer Park Pavilion

Old-Fashioned Christmas Market

10:00am|Friday Harbor Brickworks

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Fairhaven Winterfest

10:00am|Historic Fairhaven

Sumas Book Club

10:00am|Sumas Library

Mastering Wisteria

10:30am|Full Bloom Farm

Award-Winning Book Club

10:30am|Lynden Library

Snow Geese of Skagit

10:30am|Christianson's Nursery

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am| South Whatcom Library

Saltadena Celebration

11:00am|Saltadena Bakery

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

Holiday Craft Bazaars

11:30am

Holiday Maker's Market

12:00pm|Terramar Brewing and Distilling

Holiday Joy with Fidalgo Youth Symphony

1:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Holiday Tea and Crafts

1:00pm|North Fork Library

Festive Feasting Reception

1:00pm|Good Earth Pottery

Teen Art Fair

2:00pm|Blaine Library

Big Holiday reds tasting

2:00pm|eifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Shrinking the Worry Monster

2:00pm|Village Books

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Bowman Bay Holiday

3:00pm|Bowman Bay

Noel Ensemble

3:00pm|Jansen Art Center

A Deep Dive Into Eve Deisher's Psyche

3:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

One Meditation

4:00pm| Boulevard Park

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

7:00pm|Village Books

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Center Into Solstice

7:00pm|Cafe Blue

Holiday History Hi-Jinks

7:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Winter Solstice Concert with SeaMuse

7:30pm|Firehouse Arts and Events Center

Cidertails with Alexine Langdon

7:30pm|housand Acre Cider House

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

The Kelley World Tour

7:30pm|Lummi Island Library

Sunday
Holiday Pet Food Drive

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deck the Old City Hall

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Giving Tree

9:00am|Village Books

Holiday Festival of the Arts

10:00am

Miracle Pop-Up Holiday Cocktail Bar

4:00pm|Swim Club

Number the Stars

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

Crazy for You

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Pacific Arts Market

10:00am| Sunset Square

Christmas on the Docks

5:00pm|Cap Sante Marina

Valley Made Holiday Market

5:00pm|Maplehurst Farm

Honk! The Musical

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Narnia the Musical

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Winter Wonderland Gift Gala

11:00am|Carnation Building

The Nativity

6:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Heralding Christmas with Skagit Valley Chorale

7:30pm|McIntyre Hall

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Celtic Yuletide

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Scarlett and Dicey

4:00pm|Village Books

Vaudevillingham

7:00pm|Cirque Lab

see our complete calendar »