It is easy in this recession to lose track of all the positive growth and economic visionaries working hard to keep Bellingham, WA the cutting edge, progressive, enlightened force it is, bundled up to America's 49th parallel. For a city of only 75,000 we generate a lot of political noise, energy and hope. And we should be lauded for it. For all the criticism you may read in this blog and others, this is not in anyway a dangerous, depressed, unfruitful place to live. Quite the opposite. Free thinking and visionary souls are drawn here because of our tremendous physical beauty and then they stay to contribute their arts, their minds, their souls to this beauty by the bay. Is it Brigadoon? Of course not. But come springtime when the vitamin D gets back into our blood for the first time in six months, this is a beautiful place to live and work. Let me show you what is going on in this town right now.
First, the City of Bellingham is making a first class pitch for Google Fiber. You can view excellent presentations here that highlight not only the beauty of our city but the intellectual intensity and community activism that drives much of the economic pulse of this very serious college town (WWU, WCC, BTA). COB's video presentation with a little girl gleefully running red string through out our town may be one of the most touching city video presentations ever. It is important to realize that there are standout technical environments in Bellingham like SPIE and VRI. This is SPIE's pitch for Google Fiber. This is the Bellingham Angels (venture capitalist) pitch for Google Fiber. More links:
- http://cob.org/issues/google.aspx : Google Fiber Video Presentation Page
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Google-Fiber-for-Communities-to-Bellingham/481749265625 : Google Fiber Facebook Page
Second, with strong community effort, Whatcom County is trying to preserve the high quality of its previously well-financed transit system. This is a laudable effort to my mind. Public transit stimulates economic growth, creates a unified community and provides stable public employment. I just don't see how an extra two-tenths of one percent sales tax could hurt us now,despite the ferocity of some of the WTA's critics:
- http://www.preserveourpublictransit.org/ : WTA Prop 1 Measure
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Transit-Works/298055563932 : Prop 1 Transit Works Facebook Page
Last, a group of very determined private investors are attempting to finance and build a top notch college-preparatory high school - right at the end of my Columbia neighborhood block! Across the street is currently Bellingham's best private elementary school (I am biased since my daughter attends Kindergarten there!) The end result will be a multi-story, 56,000 sq. ft building (with a gymnasium) on a plot of land slightly less than two acres. Gary Gideon will be the architect. Some links:
- http://www.sp-academy.org/ : Saint Paul's Academy Bellingham
- http://www.sp-academy.org/aboutHighSchoolConstruction.asp#hswebcam : SPA Construction Site
- http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bellingham-WA/St-Pauls-Academy/89901418700 : SPA Facebook Site
Truly, these ongoing and possible contributions to our community are part of the enlightened effort that make Bellingham the beautiful city it is to live in now and will continue to be.