Governance, Public Health
Election 2021: Addressing homelessness is priority for city, county candidates — and there’s agreement on how to do so
October 14, 2021
Candidates for Bellingham city and Whatcom County councils share concern that there are not enough options for people living unhoused in the area, and incumbents and challengers both say they want to do more to address the housing crisis.
Election 2021: Parties aim to influence Port elections; candidates embrace nonpartisanship
October 13, 2021
Port of Bellingham commission seats are nonpartisan, but that doesn’t mean the political parties aren’t trying to sway the outcomes of this year’s elections with endorsements and campaign funding support.
Commerce, Governance, Public Health, Transportation
‘Where’s the ferry?’ islanders ask as crew shortages stymie scheduled sailings
October 12, 2021
In San Juan County, where ferry service is an integral part of the state highway system, recent cancellations of ferry sailings related to crew shortages have resulted in some residents unable to get home, to work or to doctor appointments, and have delayed arrival of groceries and other vital supplies.
Election 2021: Candidates vie to drive the engine of Whatcom County’s economic development
October 8, 2021
Two of three commissioner positions for the Port of Bellingham — the county’s economic engine — are up for election on the Nov. 2 ballot. Along with speaking to the issues, candidates have found they need to explain the job’s impact whenever they knock on voters’ doors.
Governance, Public Health, Social Justice
Election 2021: City, county candidates vary on police reform needs, approaches
October 7, 2021
Urgency around police reform and public safety has not brought people to the streets this year, but voters in Bellingham and Whatcom County have the opportunity to weigh in on what approach their local officials should take when it comes to local policing and public safety.
Commerce, Governance, Social Justice
Election 2021: Grassroots effort puts four People First Bellingham initiatives before voters
October 7, 2021
Bellingham voters will determine in the November election whether they want to live in a city with expanded protection for renters’ rights, where police can’t use invasive technology, where the right to unionize is protected and where hourly workers’ compensation is protected when they vote on four initiatives promoted by People First Bellingham.
Agriculture, Commerce, Public Health
‘Food hub plus’ part of ambitious collaboration to meet housing and food needs
October 1, 2021
A complex housing and food resources proposal for the Bellingham waterfront aims to employ a fusion of community and economic development in “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet local food supply needs — with the help of local farmers and suppliers.
Community Voices, Governance
Community Voices / Voting is what constructs a democracy: be a voter
September 30, 2021
Voting is what constructs a democracy, and elections have consequences, with decisions made at the local level having direct effects around planning, housing, police, fire, parks, transportation and public works. People vote to make changes they think are necessary by putting people in office or by voting for or against issues.
Commerce, Governance, Public Health
Vaccine mandate becoming latest COVID ‘new normal’ for work or play
September 24, 2021
As the Delta variant of COVID-19 ravages the unvaccinated population, killing some and filling hospitals, public, private, and government entities have renewed masking mandates, and more are enacting vaccination mandates and requiring proof of testing to stamp out the virus from places of both work and play.
Community Voices / End-of-summer hike brings home climate effects on Mount Baker
September 16, 2021
Hotter-than-usual weather — including a heat dome incident — resulted in more extensive snow and glacier melt than usual on Mount Baker this summer. A hike up Heliotrope Ridge Trail yielded dramatic close-up views of how much the mountain has changed over the last several decades.
Author of ‘Orca’ has a message for the Northwest: hope has a price tag
September 14, 2021
The new book Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home begins in crisis, as author Lynda Mapes tells the gut-wrenching story of Tahlequah (J35), the mother orca who in 2018 carried her dead baby around for 17 days. Mapes will speak Sept. 18 at the Lopez Island Library.
Gretchen K. Wing
Community Voices, Editor’s Desk
From the Editor’s Desk / 9/11: Who we were, who we’ve become
September 10, 2021
Twenty years after 9/11, have the terrorist attacks and their aftermath changed us? Salish Current readers shared memories of where they were 20 years ago when they first learned of the attacks and what they thought and felt.
Pack a lunch, don a mask: kids go back to school in person as COVID-19 persists
September 8, 2021
In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, students are dusting off backpacks, packing lunches — and picking out masks to accompany their back-to-school outfits.
No new reservations, for now: Living and working around ferry delays, cancellations in the San Juans
September 2, 2021
This year’s peak-season summer Washington State Ferries sailing schedule has been plagued by delayed and canceled sailings, some due to a shortage of crew and some to mechanical problems. For the long Labor Day weekend, things are not looking much brighter for the San Juan Islands runs.
Summer of rallies, marches sparks multiple approaches toward social justice in Whatcom
August 24, 2021
Calls from the streets of Whatcom County last year for social justice have inspired new groups to form and older ones to revitalize, as each takes its own approach to creating a more equitable community.
Police, mental health workers face challenge, confusion with new use-of-force law
August 20, 2021
House Bill 1310 established new rules about use of force by police when it took effect in Washington last month, and law enforcement and social service agencies continue to grapple with confusion related to challenges to the new law.
Skagit fair sates longing for fun and ‘normalcy’ in face of COVID-19
August 19, 2021
After a year’s hiatus, the Skagit County Fair resumed Aug. 11-14 with an increased attendance over past years — despite COVID-19 infections spiking in the county.