Whatcom council axes young adult social media COVID campaign despite vaccination success
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.
Search for new police chief surfaces questions about transparency and the public’s role
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.
As gun death rates rise in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties, state refocuses to public health approach
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.
Law and order, alternatives to jail: Bellingham compiles a wide-ranging priorities wish list for new police chief
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.
Who’s getting their shots? Whatcom develops a new strategy for COVID-19 vaccinations
Whatcom County health officials are now reporting COVID-19 vaccine rates in the county by school district, enabling a new, more strategic approach to making vaccine opportunities available to reach the largest number of people and those with access problems.
Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change
We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions as possible to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.
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.