Doing the work of the people: Nooksack adjudication, Billy Frank, Jr., statue and a wrap-up of 40th and 42nd legislator success
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.
Caught in a web of causes: homelessness hits harder than ever
The growing presence of unhoused individuals and their expanding footprint into residential neighborhoods has shocked and bewildered others in the community, while the urgency of the problem threatens to distract from understanding the underlying realities perpetuating this crisis.
Pandemic job loss, quarantine, anxieties fuel opioid use surge
The physical and emotional toll wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures has been accompanied by an increase in opioid use and related deaths over the past year — after five years of decline — in Washington state. At the same time, use of even more dangerous synthetic opioids is becoming more prevalent, making the increased use even more hazardous.
‘Crazy’ high school sports seasons arrive … better late than never
High school athletics have finally returned in Whatcom County after being delayed through the first half of academic calendars by COVID-19 restrictions.
From the Editor’s Desk / Readers respond to why the San Juans need a rescue tug
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.
From the Editor’s Desk / Young adults weigh risks in choosing to mask, distance in COVID-19 fight
To help stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, young adults are making choices that range from the hard decision to curtail visits home to see family, to feeling safely unmasked with family or select friends.
Masked young adults key to beating COVID in the long term
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.
Internet connectivity has improved in Whatcom County, but many gaps remain
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.
Local food banks have been addressing a hunger crisis — even before COVID
Even before the pandemic lockdowns caused unemployment to skyrocket, food banks worked to help millions of Americans who were not able to feed their families.
Oil train derailment in Whatcom County drives home transport risk concerns
An oil train derailment spilling more than 29,000 gallons of Bakken crude in Whatcom County is prompting officials lobbying for state and federal oil train regulations in recent years to consider whether more can be done.
Business has been good — if not better — for some local enterprises, despite pandemic
Not all businesses are struggling during the pandemic, as some have seen upticks in business as people navigate the “new normal” nearly a year into the pandemic.
Economy, environment, social justice, COVID recovery, housing: legislators anticipate the 2021 session
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.
Wanted: the ‘right’ dog — pet adoptions set records during the pandemic
During the social distancing and isolation of this year’s pandemic, many people have sought the companionship, unconditional love and friendship that comes from adopting a dog — and now, more than ever, people are having trouble finding the “right” dog because so many others are doing the same.
Community Voices / COVID be damned — if you could be anywhere in the world on the Winter Solstice, where would you choose?
Readers were invited to share their ideal locations for marking December’s Solstice this year … if it weren’t for COVID-19. Read on, for a travelogue of cherished spots around the globe.
Be fine or get fined: how businesses are achieving (or ignoring) COVID compliance
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shifting hours and sales, to comply with shifting state-ordered public health mandates to keep businesses and their customers safe from the virus. But not every business complies.
New report details action plan for fixing Padilla Bay fecal coliform sources, urges participation
The Padilla Bay Freshwater Tributary Fecal Coliform Total Maximal Daily Load (TMDL) Report is due to be submitted by Ecology to the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 2020 and lists fecal coliform bacteria sources and strategies for cleanup.