Open government vs. ‘legislative privilege’ in long legal fight
December 8, 2023
Court upholds legislative privilege; open-government advocates continue to fight as scope is determined. In the 40th and 42nd Districts, Shewmake unequivocally rejects legislative privilege while other legislators wait to hear what the courts decide.
The barn owl: a good neighbor
December 7, 2023
Unique among owls, this species has co-evolved with humankind and throughout its range has sustained and even expanded its numbers by routinely using the structures that we construct as sites to raise their broods.
Washington State Ferries problem is a management problem
December 6, 2023
Commentary: On the San Juan Islands/Anacortes route, one day it’s an old boat with mechanical problems. One day it is the lack of necessary crew. Some days it is both.
Behind the uniform: first responder mental health challenges
December 5, 2023
First responders have an elevated risk for mental health challenges due to the nature of their jobs, which involve repeated exposure to stressful situations and traumatic events or incidents.
The Skagit: Seattle City Light and a river to fight over
December 4, 2023
A river as magnificent as the Skagit will inevitably be fought over. The Skagit delta is where diverse interests converge — fish, farms, and now, Seattle’s endless need for hydroelectric power.
Zylstra Lake trail project removed from county plans
December 1, 2023
County council removes controversial trail from San Juan County transportation plan; options are pending.
Thoughts from an observer
December 1, 2023
Commentary: How the San Juan County League of Women Voters Observer Corps started — and why.
Skagit’s white birds of winter are ambassadors among land use, values conflicts
November 22, 2023
Hunters, tourists, wildlife photographers, birdwatchers and farmers have distinct relationships and sometimes competing interests when it comes to these wintering flocks.
Adam M. Sowards
Strangled by ferry crisis, islanders demand action
November 20, 2023
San Juan County, Town of Friday Harbor and Vashon Island identify impacts of disruptions and possible solutions to alleviate ferry service ills.
Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project is a looming environmental disaster
November 20, 2023
Commentary: What started as a single man-made pod in the estuary is now a massive port complex with both coal and three-berth container terminals and many trains daily.
Homeless student numbers trend up; agencies, school districts respond with support
November 17, 2023
Myriad reasons for youth homelessness include fleeing domestic violence, abuse and uncomfortable foster care situations as well as becoming a teenage parent or being estranged from family based on sexual orientation.
Orcas fire district levy defeat forces ‘austerity’ budget
November 16, 2023
Two-time “no” vote on levy proposal and turnover fire district board elections conclude campaign characterized by “turmoil.”
So we had an election: a few comments
November 15, 2023
Commentary: Lessons from this year’s general election results suggest attention to strategic campaigning and messaging are needed to win in “light-blue” Whatcom County.
Samish Nation protects ‘breathtaking’ kelp forests, nearshore habitat
November 14, 2023
Restoration work by the Samish Indian Nation is addressing the 36% decline in kelp forest acreage in the San Juan archipelago.
Richard Arlin Walker
Local festivals, theaters — and movie lovers — boost independent films
November 13, 2023
Not just cozy portals to other realities, local independent theaters and film festivals provide pathways to exposure for otherwise unheard voices — and sometimes to huge success for filmmakers.
Bellingham’s minimum wage, rental relocation initiatives pass. Now what?
November 10, 2023
Strong voter support propels measures forward; employees and management react.
Multimodal trail in San Juan Valley opposed by farmers
November 9, 2023
San Juan County’s six-year Transportation Improvement Plan hearing to be continued, with proposed Zylstra Lake trail in the balance.