People’s choice: renter protections, police tech, workers’ rights initiatives make November ballot

July 26, 2021
Ella Banken

After a major volunteer-led effort, four initiatives presented by People First Bellingham received enough verified signatures to be on November’s ballot, even as some city council members expressed concern potential legal challenges the initiatives may present.

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Whatcom council axes young adult social media COVID campaign despite vaccination success

July 15, 2021
Ella Banken

In January, Whatcom County began an awareness campaign to engage young adults with information about COVID-19 safety. On June 29, a tie vote by the county council nixed an extension of the campaign.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Clock starts on Nooksack basin water rights inventory; stakeholders yet to discuss solutions

July 9, 2021
Mike Sato

Weeks of sparse rainfall and a historic heat wave marked the end of June — and the start of a process to establish water rights among various users in Whatcom County’s Nooksack River basin.

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Search for new police chief surfaces questions about transparency and the public’s role

June 23, 2021
Stella Harvey

As the City of Bellingham, city council and the newly formed Racial Equity Commission seek to address systemic racism in and out of policing, some community members looking to engage in the selection process for a new police chief in good faith have raised questions about the city’s commitment to transparency.

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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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As gun death rates rise in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties, state refocuses to public health approach

June 11, 2021
Kenneth Duncan

With the number of gun deaths in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties on the rise and outpacing statewide trends, policy and law makers are stressing public health-focused solutions that could be more effective in prevention than legal tactics.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

From the Editor’s Desk / One year old and changing life for the better

June 4, 2021
Amy Nelson

Nonprofit local news organization Salish Current is celebrating its one-year anniversary of incorporation on June 5, and continuing on its mission to fill gaps in covering vital news and provide a forum for civil discourse in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties.

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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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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

House of Tears Carvers visit Bellingham with totem pole bound for DC

May 27, 2021
Amy Nelson

Several hundred people in Bellingham visited a totem pole created by Lummi carvers from a 400-year-old cedar log — the latest stop in the Red Road to D.C. tour of the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere across the U.S. toward its final destination in Washington, D.C.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

‘Bold’ ideas around equity, environment proposed as San Juan reviews its county charter

May 21, 2021
Heather Spaulding

San Juan County voters could be voting this fall to create a county climate and environment office and a justice and equity commission by amending the county’s 15-year-old home rule charter.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Law and order, alternatives to jail: Bellingham compiles a wide-ranging priorities wish list for new police chief

May 13, 2021
Stella Harvey

As Bellingham’s search for a new police chief moves forward, the community has weighed in on what priorities should be under new leadership: some say law and order should top the list, others say it’s time to reimagine policing.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Second phase of fish passage work underway on Padden Creek

May 7, 2021
Mike Sato and Alex Meacham

When work is completed by the fall of 2022, coho, chum and chinook salmon will have access restored to 2.7 miles of Padden Creek from its mouth in Bellingham Bay near the ferry terminal.

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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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Late data delays Whatcom County districting; US Census blames COVID-19

April 26, 2021
Kenneth Duncan

A months-long delay in the delivery of 2020 U.S. Census data has compelled the 2021 Whatcom Districting Committee to postpone updating county voting district maps, despite the county charter’s strict May 1 deadline on map generation and submission.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Little estuary to see big restoration investment

April 25, 2021
Alex Meacham

A small city park on Bellingham Bay will soon include a valuable asset for the local aquatic ecosystem, as the City of Bellingham identifies funding needed to establish an estuary at Little Squalicum Park.

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