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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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: Jack Finley © 2021

Skaters, business, Port collaborate for Bellingham waterfront skate park

April 2, 2021
Jack Finley

A local business owner and rag-tag group of skaters have cleaned up an abandoned parking lot under the Chestnut Street bridge on the Bellingham waterfront with the goal of establishing a skatepark, as the City and Port of Bellingham look at expanding the area’s current agreement to include that use.

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Community Voices / Clyde Ford on speaking up and raising eyebrows

March 25, 2021
Clyde W. Ford

Change happens when you speak up, and speak out. Drawing the attention of politicians and ordinary citizens to the need for change often helps bring it about … to shine light on the work that remains to be done in this great state, particularly with regard to racial equity and social justice.

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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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From the Editor’s Desk / Readers respond to why the San Juans need a rescue tug

March 19, 2021
Mike Sato

Lopez Island readers of the article “Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan-Gulf waters, study says” responded to the article’s posting in Lopez Rocks.

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photo: Monika Wieland Shields © 2015

Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan – Gulf waters, study says

March 12, 2021
Kimberly Cauvel

With increased vessel traffic around the San Juan Islands, some worry that the risk of oil spills may be rising as well. A new study makes the case that an emergency response tug stationed in the islands would be money well-spent.

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In Whatcom’s 42nd Legislative District, a series of changes is turning election tides

March 3, 2021
Matt Benoit

Gains in voter support made by local Democrats in recent years may be due to demographic shifts caused by a wide variety of trends in who lives here, how they work and how each political party gets its messages out.

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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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Community Voices / Thoughts on the Puget Sound Partnership and recovering Puget Sound

February 17, 2021
Al Bergstein

An apparent focus on reducing the ongoing costs of recovery of Puget Sound rather than recovery efforts themselves worries some who are concerned about the health of the ecosystem.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2012

Doing the work of the people: legislation introduced by 40th and 42nd District legislators

February 12, 2021
Mike Sato

A month into the 2021 state legislative session, it’s time to review the legislation introduced by our elected representatives as of this week.

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Democracy in America: Are you a citizen? Let’s test that.

January 29, 2021
Mike Sato

Naturalized citizens of the United States share some common knowledge about our country when they discuss, argue and vote. How much of that do you, as a citizen whether naturalized or born, share?

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