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  • I would expect to see some better reporting here – cross checking the numbers against published numbers – checking with other sources, etc. Aligning expectations with reality: how much to comparable jobs in Whatcom County and throughout the state pay, peer institutions, etc. It’s not that it’s right or wrong, it’s that it so terribly one-sided. It may also be more informative to break the housing market into traunches: the average price of a home in Bellingham includes some incredibly pricey property. I’m the last to say that Bellingham has “affordable” real estate, but there are many single family homes in the ballpark of $350,000, which might be a better benchmark. Then there are cultural expectations that could be questioned: should a middle-class lifestyle be affordable on a single income for everyone? It seems that if it was every that way, it hasn’t been at any time in my life outside of professions like law, medicine, and high-finance. Are we going to continue to expect to live in standalone single-family dwellings on a 5000 sq. ft. lot when land is clearly at a premium, and such dwellings are a very energy intensive way for 2-4 people to house themselves? This isn’t a criticism of the WWU employees who spoke up so much as an urging of WF reporters to go a little further in their reporting to create a bigger and more nuanced view of the story’s core question.

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