Election 2021: Parties aim to influence Port elections; candidates embrace nonpartisanship

October 13, 2021
Ralph Schwartz

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.

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‘Where’s the ferry?’ islanders ask as crew shortages stymie scheduled sailings

October 12, 2021
Heather Spaulding

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.

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Election 2021: Candidates vie to drive the engine of Whatcom County’s economic development

October 8, 2021
Ralph Schwartz

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.

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Election 2021: Grassroots effort puts four People First Bellingham initiatives before voters

October 7, 2021
Ella Banken

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.

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‘Food hub plus’ part of ambitious collaboration to meet housing and food needs

October 1, 2021
Lane Morgan

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.

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Vaccine mandate becoming latest COVID ‘new normal’ for work or play

September 24, 2021
Matt Benoit

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.

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Lummi Island’s original Willows Inn was a local-food hotspot — 100 years before ‘locavore’ was trending

July 1, 2021
Matt Benoit

Today’s Lummi Island in Whatcom County is home to permanent and vacationing residents, local businesses — and a historic resort known for more than 100 years as The Willows.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Down to the wire, petitioners seek signatures to put initiatives on city ballot

June 23, 2021
Ella Banken

Days away from a June 25 deadline, People First Bellingham is racing to collect signatures from Bellingham voters in order to get their slate of initiatives on November’s ballot.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Efficiency, diversity, integrity: how many port commissioners to best serve Whatcom County?

June 17, 2021
Alex Meacham

As Whatcom County voters prepare to assess candidates vying for two of three seats on the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners and four of seven county council positions, some are once again raising the question of whether the area would be better served by a larger port board.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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photo: Matt Benoit © 2021

Sumas, border town of boom and bust, stays hopeful

April 21, 2021
Matt Benoit

The main thoroughfare through Sumas on its way to the Canadian border isn’t seeing much traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic forced closure of the border crossing to all but essential traffic. Although the town is home to 1,700 people and still growing, closed gas stations, empty storefronts and a lack of grocery stores give the impression of a town in decline.

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North Fork Nooksack Forest project: thinning for habitat or harvesting for profit?

April 8, 2021
Alex Meacham

Following the comment period on a draft Environmental Assessment of a proposal to cut trees and manage vegetation to improve habitat and stand conditions and to harvest timber in the North Fork Nooksack area, next steps are up to Forest Service project managers.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

A next step to resolve Nooksack water rights waits on legislative budget decision

March 19, 2021
Alex Meacham

The state Department of Ecology has announced its intent to resolve the contentious issues around water rights in the Nooksack Basin through the legal action of adjudication, and money to move that process forward is proposed in the budget under consideration by the Legislature.

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