Today’s Updates on Dinner & Negotiations (3/24/11)

These notes come to us via Paul Davis, Editor;  Paul Revere, Horse Rider;  and (of course) Brown Betty, HorseLummi Island Community Association (LICA).
The two Pauls and Betty can be contacted at:

From Paul: This is a bit complicated, so please take the time to consider all.  It is about the Lummi Nation invitation to dinner next Monday.  And also some information about ferry negotiations. 

The Lummis would like to get some idea of how many will come, so if you plan to attend the dinner, please RSVP by sending an e-mail to Terry at The dinner and discussion is next Monday, March 28, 7 to 9 PM at the Wex li em Community Building, 2100 Lummi View Drive (located to the left on he road leading up to the Lummi Nation School).  All Lummi Island residents are invited – but please RSVP

We have conflicting reports about whether the Dinner is a potluck.  It boils down to this:  They have said it is not a potluck dinner – just come with an appetite and some questions.  Another report says if you prefer to bring something – like a pie for example – it would be appreciated –but not expected.

The ferry capacity getting folks to the dinner is limited, so car pooling with cars full of passengers is recommended.  If you are driving over and have space for passenger(s), please hang a piece of white paper outside the driver side window of your car.  Hold the paper by a corner and put the window up to hold the paper sheet fluttering outside – or just hold it in your hand.  Then a pedestrian will know that you have space and can ask for a ride.  And, drivers, please bring the same number of passengers back with you.

You can also go as pedestrians – Wendell Terry and Chris Immer will be using their vans to shuttle foot passengers between the Gooseberry ferry dock and the dinner.

(1) A special note From Terry:
RSVP to and please include the number of folks in your group. Carpooling is highly suggested.  If you have room in your car as you sit in the ferry line put your hand out the window with the number of additional passengers your car will hold.
Also, for walk ons Wendell Terry and Chris Immer will run shuttle vans from Gooseberry to the dinner location.  They will be able to transport 20 people on each run. The suggested ferry runs are 6:10 and 6:30.
This is not a potluck and gifts are not expected.
This will be a good experience for school children, but please do not bring very small children
who would be a distraction.
See you all there.
Terry Terry
(2)  From Colleen Berg about potlucking:
I have contacted the Lummi Council office to ask if we could bring pie to the dinner.  There was a warm, “that would be very nice” response.  So I would like to extend the invitation to everyone who will be attending the dinner and discussion to help “set the table.”  I will be bringing two berry pies, and I understand that we can take them to the kitchen upon arrival.  Also, the
invitation says the gathering would be from 7-9.  I let the council office know that the ferry arrives on Gooseberry Point at 6:40 and 7:20 so that islanders may be either early or late.
Thank you.
Colleen Berg
(360) 758-7048
Note:  Colleen’s and Terry’s sources differ on their responses to the “can we bring something” question.  Stay tuned for more information on that one.
(3)  A note from Mike about ferry negotiations and also about the Lummi Dinner: 

1. U.S. Congressman Rick Larsen spoke at Bellingham City Club on Wednesday. In a Q&A from the club moderator, Larsen spoke about the ferry negotiations. We have it on video, linked from our site to this You Tube posting:

In face time afterward, he said that he had written to the BIA, and that he couldn’t quantify his talks with County and LIBC officials but that they were going back to the table with a commitment to get a settlement and to use creative means of doing so. (In the Bellingham Herald’s Wed edition, County Council Chair Sam Crawford referred to some possible quick-fix solutions discussed in a closed-door meeting Tuesday. Last week in an interview w/ PLIC, County Executive Pete Kremen said he ran a few specific “what-if” situations past LIBC Chair Cliff Cultee when they met in Washington, D.C. That interview is posted on and

One of Larsen’s aides said that PLIC’s delivery of about 2,500 signatures on petitions was both impressive and influential in Larsen’s posturing with both parties. He spoke of how he’d written to the BIA for clarification of its role, and had personally met with Kremen and Cultee in D.C.

He said he expected the all-day negotiating session that takes place today (Thur, 3/24) to last past 5 o’clock.

2. The PLIC Blog ( describes some tips about attending the Monday dinner hosted by Lummi Nation. Two sources — one representative of the Lummis, one Islander — said not to take food or gifts. Another Islander said she spoke to the Lummi Council office and was encouraged to take pies that she offered, and suggested that others consider doing so, too.

Lummi Nation asked that participants RSVP by writing to A representative said that questions would be welcome from Islanders, to be written on note cards upon arrival, and that Lummi Nation has a ferry task force that would give a report.

Carl Hanson, secretary of Lummi Island Community Assn, suggested at LICA’s meeting Wednesday night that, based on a large number of phone calls he received from folks planning to attend, that everybody consider car-pooling wherever possible because of potential ferry overload.

3. PLIC Board members will be meeting in Seattle today with top aides of Sen. Maria Cantwell.

4. We rearranged the top of the home page of so that you can dig into all correspondence of the last 2 weeks in sequential order, starting with County Executive Kremen’s interview and County Attorney Dan Gibson’s commentary prepared by him and Kremen as counterpoints to some information in a chronology of ferry history distributed widely by LIBC on March 11.

All ferry-related documents are appearing on a new repository site,, and as usual, lively discussion takes place on

Stay active. We’re still gathering petition signatures for submission to Congressional delegates and their aides, BIA, Dept of Interior, and the POTUSA.

And let’s hope for a productive day at the negotiating table today…
Thanks for all you do to help,
Mike McKenzie for PLIC Board of Directors

3 thoughts on “Today’s Updates on Dinner & Negotiations (3/24/11)

  1. Would it be useful for us to organize the questions/comments posed by Tip in his very thoughtful post of 3/22 (and followed up on 3/23) so that they could be “assigned” to folks willing to submit them and assure that we cover the waterfront, as it were? If that would be helpful, I’d sure be happy to volunteer to coordinate that. (I purchased a home on the island last spring that I will retire to from Alaska, visit whenever I can, and that my daughter going to Western enjoys in the meantime. I don’t know many of you, but have been busy writing letters, circulating the petition, and helping as I can from afar.)

    • In case there is any interest in this, I’ve taken the liberty of using Tip’s excellent material and framed them into questions that could perhaps be asked. Please let me know if there is interest in pursuing this further. Thanks.

      1) How can Islanders help Lummi Tribal members make the most of their historical and significant properties on Lummi Island?

      2) How can Islanders best help the Lummi Nation advocate for funding for safe streets, and shuttles and remote ferry parking that make waterfront land available for Tribal plans?

      3) Since Islanders have never been included in ferry discussions between the County and the Lummi Nation and are losing faith in the ability of that process to reach resolution, how can we change that so both of our communities can work together to achieve a mutually-satisfactory resolution?

      4) We believe the ferry could be of benefit to the Tribe, not only in pursuing grants for safe harbor, but also in making tribal development successful at Gooseberry Point. What steps can Islanders take with you to promote that?

      5) We pay taxes to help maintain rights-of way throughout the Lummi Nation. These make all lands accessible for their highest and best use. We will likely find the most productive solutions once no one is worried about being able to go home. Can you help us by affirming our right-of-way so we can all feel secure in our homes?

      6) We hope to get to work, back home and raise our children. Times are tough enough, and they are getting much tougher for us with ferry fare increases. Most of us are struggling with bills, with getting to work and school, buying groceries and fuel, and the increasing costs of seeing our family and friends. Our elders are concerned about their access to health care and emergency services. Wouldn’t it be more productive for all of us to focus on building better opportunities for businesses and jobs than squeezing blood from an increasingly dry, small stone?

      7) We will always be your neighbors and we would like to be your friends and partners. We don’t want to have to go to Fairhaven. We want to work with our neighbors. Every moment is our chance to make things go a bit better or worse. Will you work with us? We want things to be better. Shouldn’t we all want that? What do you want?

      8) We would be grateful for your company and continuation of this important discussion at a pancake discussion at the Lummi Island Grange commencing at 7:00 a.m. on April 11th. Will you join us as our guests?

  2. This morning I called A.J. Barse, Director of Communications for the Lummi Nation, to ask who is coming to dinner. I was hoping that there were going to be plenty of ordinary people from the reservation. This will not be the case. It’s going to be islanders and tribal representatives (the negotiating team and tribal officials) only.

    Although Mr. Barse sounded very friendly over the phone and stressed repeatedly that the occasion was about reaching out in the spirit of neighborliness, it seems to me, given the makeup of the invite list, that tribal officials are more concerned with controlling “the message” than fostering neighborly feeling.

    I’ll still be attending. I’m very disappointed, however, that I won’t actually be getting to meet and rub shoulders with my neighbors across the water.

    Michael Schneider

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