CAST is a hidden gem needing help, to help
Commentary: Starting in 1999, CAST volunteers have been feeding the unhoused and food-insecure four days a week in downtown Bellingham.
Open government vs. ‘legislative privilege’ in long legal fight
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
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
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
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
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.
Thoughts from an observer
Commentary: How the San Juan County League of Women Voters Observer Corps started — and why.
Zylstra Lake trail project removed from county plans
County council removes controversial trail from San Juan County transportation plan; options are pending.
Skagit’s white birds of winter are ambassadors among land use, values conflicts
Hunters, tourists, wildlife photographers, birdwatchers and farmers have distinct relationships and sometimes competing interests when it comes to these wintering flocks.
Strangled by ferry crisis, islanders demand action
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
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
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
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
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
Restoration work by the Samish Indian Nation is addressing the 36% decline in kelp forest acreage in the San Juan archipelago.
Local festivals, theaters — and movie lovers — boost independent films
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.