Not taking it: the hows and whys of religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement

November 19, 2021
Matt Benoit

With some employees seeking religious or medical exemption from the state’s COVID-19 mandate, employers and workers both have continued to adapt over the past month to how that plays out in the workplace. Receiving a medical exemption is often relatively straightforward, but religious exemptions are less so, in the application and the approval processes.

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In country, town and city, treatment for drug addiction is urgently needed

November 18, 2021
Heather Spaulding

Harm reduction programs and collaborations among police, health professionals and society at large pave the pathways to treatment needed by those addicted to drugs, agreed an expert panel at the recent Ralph Munro seminar. Along with looking at why people turn to drugs and how to get them the help they need to overcome addiction, the panel offered ideas as to what’s needed in the way of policy.

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On the street and in the forum: tackling homelessness with meaningful solutions

November 12, 2021
Mallory Biggar

The complex and urgent problem of homelessness has been the focus of academics and policy makers as well as people with a firsthand knowledge of the experience, in two separate gatherings recently in Bellingham — and activists say that those most affected should be involved in creating solutions.

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COVID-19 cases highest among 18- to 24-year-olds as students return to campuses

October 20, 2021
Mallory Biggar

At the same time students were returning to university, community college and technical college campuses that had been closed to in-person instruction for a year and a half — and where full vaccination against COVID-19 is now required — the 18- to 24-year-old age group was reporting the highest number of cases.

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Pack a lunch, don a mask: kids go back to school in person as COVID-19 persists

September 8, 2021
Ella Banken

In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, students are dusting off backpacks, packing lunches — and picking out masks to accompany their back-to-school outfits.

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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.

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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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Books under scrutiny: censorship and cancel culture in a changing society

April 1, 2021
Ella Banken

In a time of massive reevaluation of once widely accepted tropes, celebrities have been called out for past insensitivities and much worse, schools renamed and statues toppled. But what does it mean when books are brought into the discussion?

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photo: Matt Benoit © 2021

‘Crazy’ high school sports seasons arrive … better late than never

March 26, 2021
Matt Benoit

High school athletics have finally returned in Whatcom County after being delayed through the first half of academic calendars by COVID-19 restrictions.

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Masked young adults key to beating COVID in the long term

February 26, 2021
Alex Meacham

With the number of COVID-19 cases in Whatcom County spiking among young adults, the county council has approved a public awareness campaign to influence young adults to adopt safer COVID-19 behaviors and help end the pandemic.

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Internet connectivity has improved in Whatcom County, but many gaps remain

February 25, 2021
Jacqueline Allison

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many more students in Whatcom County are able to connect to the internet for remote learning, thanks to communitywide efforts, particularly in rural communities with limited or no internet options. Still, a clear digital divide remains.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Community Voices / Powerful stories bring understanding, in celebration of Black History Month

February 5, 2021
Terri Thayer

The study and knowledge of Black history bring understanding to race and racism in the United States.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Economy, environment, social justice, COVID recovery, housing: legislators anticipate the 2021 session

January 8, 2021
Salish Current editors

Salish Current asked 40th and 42nd District legislators a few questions about how they see the legislative session that convenes on Monday, Jan. 11; their answers follow.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

San Juan school districts face big budget shortfalls due to levy cap

January 7, 2021
Hayley Day

A law to make state education funding more equitable has had the opposite effect in the San Juan Islands. While San Juan property owners are paying more in state education taxes, less funding is going towards local schools.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

‘Your life can’t stop’: class of 2020 faces the ‘real world’ during COVID-19

September 25, 2020
Stella Harvey

This year’s graduates are entering a “real world” disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite challenges, they’re moving forward — even when it means changing long-held plans.

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photo: TechNotes © 2020

Students, teachers step up to remote-learning challenges — with help — as school year begins

September 4, 2020
Matt Benoit

School districts have worked since spring to ensure they’re adequately prepared for the 2020-2021 school year. Many, including here in Whatcom County, are receiving local, state and federal funding to help build infrastructure for remote learning.

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