The nostalgic holiday season is gone, and all that's left is a cold, wet winter here in the Northwest. It's the time of year when we remember the good and bad times, and it's the time of year when publications like The AS Review start publishing “best and worst of” lists.
While the national media was building circuses around Britney Spears' shaved head, Lindsay Lohan's cocaine possession, and Senator Larry Craig's tapping foot, there were more important things going on in Bellingham:
It was a stellar year for AS Pop Music. After a concert series that included Ben Kweller, The Faint, Ratatat, Rocky Votolato, and The Thermals, coordinators Hunter Motto and Victor Cuellar brought chart-topping indie rockers The Decemberists to Red Square on May 5, 2007. It was the first time a band had played in Red Square in six years.
On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho shot and killed 32 people and wounded several others on his college campus before killing himself. Western students responded to the tragedy by writing messages in chalk on Red Square for the victims of the shooting.
Several prominent faculty members left Western in 2007. In September, Western President Karen Morse announced her plans to retire. In September 2008, Morse will end her 15-year tenure. Provost Andrew Bodman resigned in July, and director of public safety and Chief of University Police James Shaw retired in August.
There was a good stretch of time last year when Holly Street was narrowed down to one or two lanes and littered with traffic cones and steam rollers. It took half an hour to drive two blocks to the Food Co-op from any direction. Let's all be thankful that that time is over and enjoy the fancy new crosswalks and traffic lights.
As we look back at 2007, we also remember Western students who passed away last year. The losses of Nate Hagen, Nicholas DeLauder and Cecil Elsner saddened Western students. At The AS Review, we respectfully remember our fellow students and wish their friends and families the best for the new year.
May 1, 2007 was the first anniversary of the “day without an immigrant” job walkouts. Hundreds of people marched to the Whatcom County Courthouse from Cornwall Park in protest of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement raids.
Last spring, students approved the transportation fee, which went into effect fall 2007. For $25 per quarter, students got a bus pass good for unlimited use of WTA shuttles. Western also got two new night shuttles that operate until 3 a.m. every day.
The future of the world famous potato burrito looked uncertain after Casa Que Pasa closed in August 2006. When the popular Railroad Avenue restaurant and bar re-opened in spring 2007, Bellinghamsters rejoiced. The new owners kept the same name, menu, and atmosphere, to the delight of Casa regulars.
At the end of 2007, the Georgia-Pacific tissue mill shut down. Ideas for what the waterfront space could look like after re-development in the next 10 to 20 years began to take shape. Western opened offices in the old Port of Bellingham headquarters building, and there is more talk of a new branch of campus to be built on the waterfront.