Hot on the heels of my Adventures In Small City News post from last week, the news this week from my adopted hometown — Bellingham, Washington, out on the edge of the Salish Sea — is breathtakingly embarrassing.
First, early in the week, Bellingham made international news, thanks to a small group of loud-mouthed, nationalistic idiots.
From The Bellingham Herald:
Facebook page about Bellingham Costco creates media buzz
International media outlets are abuzz over a Facebook page about the Bellingham Costco store and the crowds of Canadian shoppers.
The Facebook page called “Bellingham Costco needs a special time just for Americans,” was created last month but was discovered by Canadian media last week. Along with Canadian television, radio and newspaper reports about the Facebook page, it’s attracted the attention of the Daily Mail newspaper in England and National Public Radio…
The Facebook page has a variety of complaints about the Bellingham Costco, including that it’s too crowded, lines are too long at the Costco gas station and that Canadians are rude. As of Monday afternoon, the page had more than 2,500 “likes.”
[Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry president, Ken Oplinger] said the Canadian reaction has ranged from being amused to deeply offended, particularly with some of the Facebook post comments, which Oplinger described as “over the top.”
Next, in today’s news, Bellingham raises the bar for irony to dizzying new heights.
Also from The Bellingham Herald:
Oil-containment barge under construction in Bellingham spills oil
Construction of an oil-containment vessel destined for Alaska has been plagued by minor oil spills in the past few weeks, prompting the state to threaten fines against the builder.
Three spills, each releasing about one quart of oil into Whatcom Waterway, came from leaks in pressurized hydraulic systems…
[Washington State Department of Ecology spokesperson, Katie Skipper] said the spills could be happening because crews were working hastily to finish the barge so exploratory oil drilling can begin in the Alaskan Arctic.
It all adds up to one hell of a stark contrast with my occasional outbursts of Bellingham pride.