Voting for a judge: does it matter?

April 21, 2022
Matt Benoit

A Whatcom District Court judgeship will be contested in the primary for the first time in 24 years—prompting the question of why some judges are elected.

read more

Review: ‘Of Blood and Sweat’ traces role of Black labor in building white wealth and power

April 12, 2022
Mary Kinser

Bellingham author Clyde Ford meshes storytelling talents with meticulous skills as a historian in tracing how Black labor built the structures and systems creating white wealth and power, notes “Of Blood and Sweat” reviewer.

read more

Leaning into ‘treatment over punishment’: jail diversion programs show potential

April 8, 2022
Matt Benoit

Amid calls to reform policing and criminal justice — and an aging, crowded jail — Whatcom officials, residents and law officers are looking to diversion programs for detainees with serious mental health or substance abuse issues.

read more

Refugee resettlement in Whatcom works to meet growing needs

April 1, 2022
Kenneth Duncan

In barely six months of existence, the Whatcom County office of World Relief Western Washington has assisted 30 Afghan refugees in building new lives — and its staff expect to resettle 75 more refugees by September.

read more

Community Voices / MLK Day in Bellingham: looking backward, stepping forward

January 10, 2022
Clyde W. Ford

Community organizers of Bellingham’s 30-plus-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. Day event are refocusing this year from an in-person gathering to a call for voting rights action — and asking the community to urge Bellingham officials to commit to support for the community-based observance going forward.

read more

Editor’s Desk / Readers respond to NewsMatch challenge

December 9, 2021
Mike Sato

Salish Current is not done fundraising for matching funds yet; we still have a few thousand dollars more to raise — but we’ve come a long way with the votes of confidence cast by donors in our Publisher’s Circle. The Circle’s grown and shows the breadth and depth of support from readers in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties.

read more

On the street and in the forum: tackling homelessness with meaningful solutions

November 12, 2021
Mallory Biggar

The complex and urgent problem of homelessness has been the focus of academics and policy makers as well as people with a firsthand knowledge of the experience, in two separate gatherings recently in Bellingham — and activists say that those most affected should be involved in creating solutions.

read more

The Gardenview Village tiny homes open avenues of hope for those experiencing homelessness

November 5, 2021
Lauren Gallup

Gardenview Village, a new community of tiny homes located off Lakeway Drive in Bellingham, will include 35 houses to serve unhoused members of the community when complete. The site already is providing homes to some residents since opening in mid-October.

read more

Voters to have their say — amid controversy — on San Juan County charter amendments

October 28, 2021
Heather Spaulding

San Juan County voters will have had their say by Nov. 2 on hotly debated amendments to their charter proposed by the Charter Review Commission. The amendments have raised controversy, with one group launching a campaign encouraging voters to reject all the proposals.

 

read more

Continuing case backlog slows wheels of justice for Whatcom public defenders — and their clients

October 22, 2021
Matt Benoit

Public defenders report having hard conversations about what they see as “completely unfair” options with in-custody clients, as the pandemic-driven halt to jury trials keeps people who are denied or unable to afford bail incarcerated and unsure of when their days in court will arrive.

read more

Election 2021: Grassroots effort puts four People First Bellingham initiatives before voters

October 7, 2021
Ella Banken

Bellingham voters will determine in the November election whether they want to live in a city with expanded protection for renters’ rights, where police can’t use invasive technology, where the right to unionize is protected and where hourly workers’ compensation is protected when they vote on four initiatives promoted by People First Bellingham.

read more

Election 2021: City, county candidates vary on police reform needs, approaches

October 7, 2021
Stella Harvey

Urgency around police reform and public safety has not brought people to the streets this year, but voters in Bellingham and Whatcom County have the opportunity to weigh in on what approach their local officials should take when it comes to local policing and public safety.

read more

‘Food hub plus’ part of ambitious collaboration to meet housing and food needs

October 1, 2021
Lane Morgan

A complex housing and food resources proposal for the Bellingham waterfront aims to employ a fusion of community and economic development in “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet local food supply needs — with the help of local farmers and suppliers.

read more

Summer of rallies, marches sparks multiple approaches toward social justice in Whatcom

August 24, 2021
Ella Banken

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.

read more

Community Voices / New police laws will make our communities safer

August 3, 2021
Sen. Liz Lovelett, Rep. Debra Lekanoff and Rep. Alex Ramel

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.

read more

People’s choice: renter protections, police tech, workers’ rights initiatives make November ballot

July 26, 2021
Ella Banken

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.

read more