photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2020

Much more than a marina: Port of Bellingham drives economic recovery and growth

November 13, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, responsibilities of the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners changed, to focus on keeping local businesses afloat through the economic downturn.

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photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2020

Intalco’s closure brings pain for now — what may the future bring?

October 30, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

After 54 years in operation, the Intalco smelter near Ferndale this summer stopped producing aluminum, put hundreds out of work and sent shockwaves through the community. The pain cut deep but may point a way to cleaner, more competitive heavy industry.

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photo: Port of Vancouver © 2020

Proposed Roberts Bank terminal will add cargo capacity — but at what cost to Salish Sea

August 25, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

A lesser-known yet major Canadian infrastructure project could bring major changes to shipping traffic in waters shared by British Columbia and Washington. If constructed, Roberts Bank Terminal 2, would enable Canada to move another 2.4 million shipping containers per year through its southernmost terminal about 1 mile from the Washington state border.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Farming is more challenging than ever during the pandemic

August 7, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, farms are facing more challenges than ever during the busy season, with their workers among the most vulnerable to the virus and produce reaching fewer buyers through usual markets, festivals and tourism outlets.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2019

No Whatcom vote this November on increase in Port commission members

July 24, 2020
Mike Sato

Port of Bellingham commissioners took no action at their July 14 meeting on allowing Whatcom County voters to decide whether to expand the commission to five members from the current three, effectively closing the issue for now.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Necessary travel: ferries’ winter schedule in summer brings travel delays for locals, visitors in San Juans

July 3, 2020
Genevieve Iverson

Currently, several COVID-shutdown related factors require WSF to continue running on a limited schedule even as summer travel increases, creating travel delays and raising as-yet unanswerable questions about when things may change.

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photo: Tony Angell © 2020

More scrutiny sought on proposed logging around North Fork near Glacier

June 26, 2020
Alex Meacham

The U.S. Forest Service has proposed logging about 5,700 acres near the North Fork of the Nooksack River around Glacier, Canyon and Wells creeks. Called the North Fork Nooksack Vegetation Management Project, the proposal focuses on the timber harvest part of the Forest Service’s multiuse mandate. That puts it at odds with the priorities of some conservation groups, and it is being met with requests for further evaluation.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Stakes are high for restaurateurs and staffs as eateries open under COVID-19 Phase 2 rules

June 18, 2020
Stella Harvey

Restaurants and cafés in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties are re-opening — to a profoundly changed environment — after weeks of being able to provide only take-out services due to statewide efforts to thwart the spread of COVID-19.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Solidarity rally, Cornwall landfill, Cherry Point occupy local officials during the week ending June 12

June 11, 2020
Mike Sato

City officials praised organizers and participants of Bellingham’s Peaceful Solidarity Rally on June 6 at Maritime Heritage Park, in one of several local government meetings last week.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Economic recovery, shrinking local budgets, Cherry Point moratorium in the news for the week of May 29

May 29, 2020
Mike Sato

Economic recovery, a shrinking budget and the Cherry Point fossil-fuel shipping moratorium were among topics discussed by Whatcom County and City of Bellingham councils this week.

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photo: Island Adventures © 2020

Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic

May 16, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Like much else in the time of COVID-19, searches for black-and-white orcas, speckled grays and humpbacks were interrupted in early March. Dozens of whale watching boats, from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island, from Everett to Edmonds, bob in place dockside.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Cherry Point development, solar, waterfront project more in the news for the week ending May 15

May 15, 2020
Mike Sato

Port of Bellingham commissioners will vote May 19 on a pass-through agreement with Silfab Solar related to a $4,000,196 project proposal to expand the company’s  facilities in Whatcom County and create between 20 and 40 new full-time jobs in five years, among local government business this week.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

The things we do for COVID: iconic local businesses change their ways

April 21, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

At several local companies, trying new things has been essential for keeping dollars coming in and meeting their missions of serving the community.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Community Voices / Business as usual not happening soon, per Whatcom’s Satpal Sidhu

April 10, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Family dairies, the annual Ski to Sea race and visitor and shopper traffic from Canada are just a few archetypal activities being disrupted in Whatcom County as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Business as usual is not due back in Whatcom County any time soon, said county executive Satpal Sidhu in an April 10 interview.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Community Voices / Life in the time of COVID-19

April 1, 2020
Salish Current editors

We asked Salish Current readers and writers to share their stories about how the COVID-19 virus is affecting them in this time of the evolving “new normal” — virtual coffees and happy hours, worries about the vitality of the arts and cultural sphere, isolation and social-distancing rules, and more.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Virus versus visitors: San Juan residents weigh health risks of tourism amid pandemic

March 26, 2020
Hayley Day

In the San Juan Islands, locals bank on a bustling tourism economy to generate business and provide wages, particularly during the sunny summer months. But with a growing pandemic, islanders, like others in small vacation destinations, are realizing fewer visitors might mean healthier locals.

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