Pollution cleaned up, Anacortes shoreline preps for development

January 31, 2023
Kai Uyehara

MJB Properties proposes residences, retail businesses and restaurants, and an event center on the once pollution-contaminated shoreline of Fidalgo Bay.

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Port promises to dampen loading noise in wake of complaints

January 26, 2023
Riley Weeks

Port of Bellingham officials responded to neighborhood complaints with promises to lower the noise level related to a new work contract.

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Ship-loading noise tests Bellingham port’s neighborliness

January 13, 2023
Riley Weeks

Nighttime scrap metal activity at Port of Bellingham draws noise complaints from hillside residents.

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Marijuana 2022: strong market, evolving rules after 10 years of legal pot

December 16, 2022
Matt Benoit

Ten years after retail legalization, the local cannabis industry continues to grow green, both literally and financially.

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New options change choices for that final resting place

December 1, 2022
Matt Benoit

A cultural shift is underway from traditional burials and cremations to terramation, a composting process, and aquamation, a water-based process.

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Child care shortfall frustrates families, hampers local economy

September 22, 2022
Matt Benoit and Sadie Fick

Demand far outstrips the supply of available and affordable child care locally. The problem is multifaceted, as solutions also will need to be: Part 1.

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Local unionization efforts aim to raise wages, lower burnout

August 12, 2022
Matt Benoit

Unionization efforts in retail, healthcare and journalism have become more frequent since the pandemic heightened awareness of risks and hazards for workers.

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‘Not normal’ high prices, low availability challenge car shoppers

June 10, 2022
Chris O'Neill

In a semi-post-pandemic world, the automobile market is among many businesses suffering from factory shutdowns, computer chip shortages and inflation, leaving prices rising and inventory low.

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Retail theft surge prompts varied responses

June 3, 2022
Matt Benoit

As the presence of security guards grows in response to increased retail theft, some residents say de-escalation is a better strategy.

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Fire damages historic downtown Friday Harbor buildings

April 7, 2022
Nancy DeVaux

No one was injured in an early-morning blaze on lower Spring Street in Friday Harbor that was reported when it drew the attention of a passing driver at 3:43 am. At least four businesses sustained damage.

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Reuse, repurpose, re-imagine: mall properties are in transition

March 25, 2022
Matt Benoit

What’s next for once-major shopping malls in Skagit and Whatcom counites that are among others nationwide seeing vacant storefronts on the rise? Some are empty shells possibly facing demolition, while others seem to be in the process of reinventing their roles in real-life brick-and-mortar.

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Recent robberies prompt renewed look at security for cannabis retailers

February 11, 2022
Matt Benoit

An uptick in brazen robberies and burglaries of regional cannabis retailers since November has prompted local dispensaries to reinforce security, while the cash-only operations — legal here for eight years — remain stifled by banking regulations related to marijuana’s federal illegality.

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Anticipated Salish Sea vessel traffic increases spark calls for more environmental protections

January 28, 2022
Clifford Heberden

Fossil fuel and terminal expansion projects up and down the Salish Sea are estimated to boost annual shipping vessel traffic by at least 25% in the near future, and the projected increase has raised concerns about increased risk to the environment.

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21st century evolves from setbacks to optimism for developer David Syre

December 23, 2021
Matt Benoit

Despite success in the 1980s and 1990s, Whatcom County real estate developer David Syre and the company he founded faced setbacks at the turn of the new century. These days, he looks forward to countering misinformation through a local news project.

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Half a century on, Syre influence continues in Whatcom County

December 17, 2021
Matt Benoit

Local real estate developer David Syre was a driving force behind some of the most high-profile Whatcom County construction over the last 40 years. His vision evoked both applause and dismay, not only locally, but from Alaska’s Kodiak Island to the tip of South America. Now spending his time primarily as a painter and philanthropist, Syre has turned his focus back on Whatcom County.

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Growth in local cannabis business amplifies challenges as well as revenues

December 16, 2021
Kenneth Duncan

Cannabis industries in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties have experienced a large increase in both revenue for retailers and excise tax proceeds for governments over the past two years. But sales growth means competition for supplies and workspace, and smaller, more locally based businesses are struggling to keep a foothold among the bigger players.

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