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: League of Women Voters Skagit © 2020

Ballots in the mail July 15, primary vote Aug. 4

July 17, 2020
Mike Sato

The primary election clock today started its three-week countdown to primary election day, Aug. 4. Washington voters are able to stay safe by voting by mail during COVID-19 times, as always, so there should be no excuse for not exercising one’s most powerful citizen’s right: voting.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Former Public Market on fast track for refit as emergency shelter

July 9, 2020
Max Brunt

The City of Bellingham, Whatcom County and Lighthouse Mission Ministries are working to meet a July 15 deadline for refurbishing the former Public Market building at 1530 Cornwall Avenue into a “Base Camp” facility that can provide adequate care for area residents needing housing that enables following social distancing guidelines.

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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

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: Leta R. Sanchez © 2020

Justice delayed by COVID creates hardships, weakens protections

May 22, 2020
Matt Benoit

From local courts to federal ones, stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines have had a significant effect on the wheels of justice across the United States.

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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: City of Bellingham © 2020

In-person comment is out, for now: local governments adapt to life under COVID

May 1, 2020
Stella Harvey

City and county councils and commissions across Washington state are finding new ways to conduct their public meetings since Gov. Jay Inslee issued the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order March 23, requiring local governing bodies to temporarily halt their in-person meetings.

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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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Suciasaurus rex, moss piglet lose bids to represent state — but provide lessons

March 18, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Two creatures — one massive and extinct, one microscopic and thriving — were recently penned into bills with state legislators from the 40th and 42nd districts among the sponsors.

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Plastic bags, clean water: local legislators vote on wide-ranging issues in 2020

March 18, 2020
Mike Sato

Here’s how 40th and 42nd Legislative District officials voted on selected bills that were passed and sent to the governor for signing or veto by June 11, according to Washington Votes.

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photo: Melissa Marteny © 2020

Downtown Bellingham waterfront site sprouts new signs of life

February 26, 2020
John Stark

After almost 20 years of frustration and stagnation, the first tender shoots of redevelopment have appeared amid the post-industrial desolation that Georgia-Pacific Corp. left behind on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront.

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Water concerns spark funding request for groundwater studies for San Juans, Guemes

January 21, 2020
Louise Dustrude

Concerns of island residents about water supply sustainability motivated requests by 40th District Sen. Liz Lovelett for state funds for groundwater studies. As of adjournment of the 2020 state legislative session on March 12, Lovelett’s office reported that funding for groundwater studies on Guemes Island and in San Juan County were approved and included in the capital budget.

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San Juan Islands’ fresh-water supply sustainability is in question

January 7, 2020
Mike Sato

Back in the ’70s, the Lopez Island water witch and other old-timers would rattle a newcomer’s cage by telling him the water feeding wells in the San Juan Islands came from a large undersea aquifer reaching to Mount Baker. The water witch and the old timers are gone, and the specter of climate crisis is here. No one jokes about fresh water in the islands coming from Mount Baker. Instead, talk is in earnest and concerns the question of sustaining the islands’ supply of fresh water.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2019

Whatcom plans as climate crisis threatens shorelines, homes, livelihoods

January 7, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

The worst impacts of climate change in Whatcom County are yet to come, scientists say. Researchers say that while some changes may seem to be emerging slowly, swift action is needed to curb and prepare for them.Residents are already seeing impacts on the waterfront, air quality and fisheries they treasure.

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