Farming is more challenging than ever during the pandemic
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, farms are facing more challenges than ever during the busy season, with their workers among the most vulnerable to the virus and produce reaching fewer buyers through usual markets, festivals and tourism outlets.
Local schools seek parent, student feedback before announcing fall plans
As fall school start dates approach, many local districts are waiting to release detailed back-to-school plans amid uncertain COVID-19 health concerns.
Local music plays on — differently — with stages dark during pandemic
For performers and proprietors with fully booked schedules from outdoor concert series and private weddings to indoor venues, the COVID-19 pandemic struck suddenly in March, indefinitely altering the lives of anyone associated with live entertainment.
Fate of fall sports remains uncertain in haze of COVID-19 pandemic
After a spring of no sports for students across the region, summer is giving school districts a chance to plan for what may happen come fall.
Former Public Market on fast track for refit as emergency shelter
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.
Community Voices / The coronavirus pandemic adds new twists to the ‘good death’
In our time of pandemic, the hackneyed phrase, “a good death,” has come to have new meaning and, yes, a new life.
Economic recovery, shrinking local budgets, Cherry Point moratorium in the news for the week of May 29
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.
Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic
Like much else in the time of COVID-19, searches for black-and-white orcas, speckled grays and humpbacks were interrupted in early March. Dozens of whale watching boats, from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island, from Everett to Edmonds, bob in place dockside.
In-person comment is out, for now: local governments adapt to life under COVID
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.
San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom nonprofits refocus to meet basic needs, uncertain future
For the 375,000 people living in San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties, community foundations and other nonprofits are adapting to provide the most essential services to people affected by COVID-19 and unemployment. Throughout the region, many organizations are seeing dramatic increases in demand. People need help ranging from mortgage and rent relief to mental health support to deliveries of food and medicine.
The things we do for COVID: iconic local businesses change their ways
At several local companies, trying new things has been essential for keeping dollars coming in and meeting their missions of serving the community.
Community Voices / Kids in the time of COVID
Very few kids would trade being able to see and hang out with friends, participate in football and other sports, go to restaurants now and then, and even go to school every day for being confined at home with their families, all day, every day. But that’s where they are for now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed schools around Washington state.
Community Voices / Safe on a ‘plague’ ship in the time of COVID-19
Our once-in-a-lifetime, 50th anniversary world cruise was sunk by a coronavirus somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Nobody had COVID-19, but our vessel was treated like a plague ship nonetheless.
Community Voices / Life in the time of COVID-19
We asked Salish Current readers and writers to share their stories about how the COVID-19 virus is affecting them in this time of the evolving “new normal” — virtual coffees and happy hours, worries about the vitality of the arts and cultural sphere, isolation and social-distancing rules, and more.
Virus versus visitors: San Juan residents weigh health risks of tourism amid pandemic
In the San Juan Islands, locals bank on a bustling tourism economy to generate business and provide wages, particularly during the sunny summer months. But with a growing pandemic, islanders, like others in small vacation destinations, are realizing fewer visitors might mean healthier locals.
A wood stove swap-out is helping clear the air in rural Whatcom County
The tree-dense Columbia Valley, flanked by Red Mountain to the east and Sumas Mountain to the west, contains at its center around 1,600 homes. Many rely on wood stoves as a primary heat source. As a result, the valley’s large amount of wood smoke often combines with specific weather conditions to produce the county’s worst air quality.