As gun death rates rise in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties, state refocuses to public health approach

June 11, 2021
Kenneth Duncan

With the number of gun deaths in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties on the rise and outpacing statewide trends, policy and law makers are stressing public health-focused solutions that could be more effective in prevention than legal tactics.

read more
photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2021

Electric buses to debut, marking trend in Whatcom County

June 10, 2021
Kimberly Cauvel

Two new all-blue additions to Whatcom Transportation Authority’s fleet are its first electric buses — and part of a growing movement to replace fossil-fuel-powered vehicles with electric models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

read more
photo: © 2019

In an age of social controversy, the show goes on

June 9, 2021
Matt Benoit

Theater producers, actors and audiences are bringing new perspectives to the question of what play content may be inappropriate, offensive or even harmful. Responses to a recent choice by Western Washington University’s theater department prompted a debate of those questions among the local theater community.

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

From the Editor’s Desk / One year old and changing life for the better

June 4, 2021
Amy Nelson

Nonprofit local news organization Salish Current is celebrating its one-year anniversary of incorporation on June 5, and continuing on its mission to fill gaps in covering vital news and provide a forum for civil discourse in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties.

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Community Voices / A moment of pause. A time to grieve.

June 3, 2021
Terri Thayer

In a difficult week for Indigenous communities following discovery on May 28 of the remains of 215 Indigenous children near a residential school in Canada, memories of boarding and residential schools and the trauma that has impacted generations are resurfacing.

read more

Major funding, new policies aim to provide ‘basic necessity’ of broadband

May 28, 2021
Jacqueline Allison

State legislators approved a record $411 million in the capital budget this session to expand high-speed internet across the state, in particular in communities with limited or zero connectivity.

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

House of Tears Carvers visit Bellingham with totem pole bound for DC

May 27, 2021
Amy Nelson

Several hundred people in Bellingham visited a totem pole created by Lummi carvers from a 400-year-old cedar log — the latest stop in the Red Road to D.C. tour of the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere across the U.S. toward its final destination in Washington, D.C.

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

‘Bold’ ideas around equity, environment proposed as San Juan reviews its county charter

May 21, 2021
Heather Spaulding

San Juan County voters could be voting this fall to create a county climate and environment office and a justice and equity commission by amending the county’s 15-year-old home rule charter.

read more

Community Voices / Trouble in paradise: Lummi Islanders react to a national expose of its famous restaurant

May 20, 2021
Jean Godden

A historic inn on Lummi Island made national news lately when a story focused world attention on problematic operations. Locally, the report stirred mixed reactions from island residents

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Law and order, alternatives to jail: Bellingham compiles a wide-ranging priorities wish list for new police chief

May 13, 2021
Stella Harvey

As Bellingham’s search for a new police chief moves forward, the community has weighed in on what priorities should be under new leadership: some say law and order should top the list, others say it’s time to reimagine policing.

read more

Who’s getting their shots? Whatcom develops a new strategy for COVID-19 vaccinations

May 12, 2021
Alex Meacham

Whatcom County health officials are now reporting COVID-19 vaccine rates in the county by school district, enabling a new, more strategic approach to making vaccine opportunities available to reach the largest number of people and those with access problems.

read more

Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change

May 12, 2021
Allison Roberts with reporting by Kiahna White-Alcain

We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions as possible to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Second phase of fish passage work underway on Padden Creek

May 7, 2021
Mike Sato and Alex Meacham

When work is completed by the fall of 2022, coho, chum and chinook salmon will have access restored to 2.7 miles of Padden Creek from its mouth in Bellingham Bay near the ferry terminal.

read more
photo: Amy Nelson © 2016

Community Voices / Acknowledge, learn — and transform, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 6, 2021
Terri Thayer

America continues to struggle to recognize the contributions of all to the building of this nation. In May — Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month — we have an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the resilience and voices of these communities.

read more
photo: © 2006

Doing the work of the people: Nooksack adjudication, Billy Frank, Jr., statue and a wrap-up of 40th and 42nd legislator success

April 30, 2021
Salish Current editors

How did bills introduced by 40th and 42nd District legislators fare in the session ending on April 25? See an update on the full list: planning for zero-emissions transportation, standardizing definitions around homelessness to help improve services, and more.

read more

Late data delays Whatcom County districting; US Census blames COVID-19

April 26, 2021
Kenneth Duncan

A months-long delay in the delivery of 2020 U.S. Census data has compelled the 2021 Whatcom Districting Committee to postpone updating county voting district maps, despite the county charter’s strict May 1 deadline on map generation and submission.

read more