Summer of rallies, marches sparks multiple approaches toward social justice in Whatcom
Calls from the streets of Whatcom County last year for social justice have inspired new groups to form and older ones to revitalize, as each takes its own approach to creating a more equitable community.
Community Voices / New police laws will make our communities safer
In response to “a clear call” for reforms in criminal justice and police accountability, Washington’s state legislature responded with several new laws. Now, 40th District legislators say they believe there has been some misinterpretation of the new laws, and hope that lawmakers and law enforcement agencies will continue to work to implement the new laws in good faith.
People’s choice: renter protections, police tech, workers’ rights initiatives make November ballot
After a major volunteer-led effort, four initiatives presented by People First Bellingham received enough verified signatures to be on November’s ballot, even as some city council members expressed concern potential legal challenges the initiatives may present.
Local courts work to catch up on COVID-backlog delays in delivering justice
Courts in Whatcom County are trying to regain the flow of delivering justice that was in play prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown — and the recovery is proceeding differently at each level of the court system.
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.
Local Juneteenth event celebrates diversity, freedom, challenge
Black Lives Matter signs waved over the Maritime Heritage Park amphitheater and booths lined the concrete walkway on Saturday, June 19 — the fourth annual Juneteenth celebration in Bellingham.
Efficiency, diversity, integrity: how many port commissioners to best serve Whatcom County?
As Whatcom County voters prepare to assess candidates vying for two of three seats on the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners and four of seven county council positions, some are once again raising the question of whether the area would be better served by a larger port board.
In an age of social controversy, the show goes on
Theater producers, actors and audiences are bringing new perspectives to the question of what play content may be inappropriate, offensive or even harmful. Responses to a recent choice by Western Washington University’s theater department prompted a debate of those questions among the local theater community.
From the Editor’s Desk / One year old and changing life for the better
Nonprofit local news organization Salish Current is celebrating its one-year anniversary of incorporation on June 5, and continuing on its mission to fill gaps in covering vital news and provide a forum for civil discourse in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties.
Community Voices / A moment of pause. A time to grieve.
In a difficult week for Indigenous communities following discovery on May 28 of the remains of 215 Indigenous children near a residential school in Canada, memories of boarding and residential schools and the trauma that has impacted generations are resurfacing.
House of Tears Carvers visit Bellingham with totem pole bound for DC
Several hundred people in Bellingham visited a totem pole created by Lummi carvers from a 400-year-old cedar log — the latest stop in the Red Road to D.C. tour of the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere across the U.S. toward its final destination in Washington, D.C.
‘Bold’ ideas around equity, environment proposed as San Juan reviews its county charter
San Juan County voters could be voting this fall to create a county climate and environment office and a justice and equity commission by amending the county’s 15-year-old home rule charter.
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.
Community Voices / Acknowledge, learn — and transform, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month
America continues to struggle to recognize the contributions of all to the building of this nation. In May — Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month — we have an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the resilience and voices of these communities.
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.