Social Justice Archives - Salish Current

‘Verge of collapse’: Washington public defenders swamped by cases

January 24, 2024
Jerry Cornfield, Washington State Standard

The pandemic worsened persistent challenges for public defenders — rising caseloads, growing trial backlogs and increasing departures — and for defendants.

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Racial equity commission picks up speed toward March milestone

December 14, 2023
Matt Benoit

With slightly more than three months remaining, a deadline nears to hire an executive director and filling the long-anticipated commission.

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Permission to work boosts local refugees in resettlement

January 13, 2023
Matt Benoit

Court decision accelerates process of securing work for Afghan and Ukraine “humanitarian parolees.”

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Jail needs to change, community agrees; but how?

January 3, 2023
Riley Weeks

An advisory committee for the Justice Project aims to ensure that voters’ priorities are considered in the next Whatcom County Jail ballot measure.

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Changing names to step out of a racist shadow

September 29, 2022
Kai Uyehara

Legacy, racism and inclusivity are at the core of the discussion in decisions to remove name dedications from the titles of institutions.

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Faith-based Lynden group works for racial unity

July 1, 2022
Clifford Heberden

Racial tensions in Lynden in 2020 galvanized the formation of a group working to build bridges between communities and cultures.

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photo: Kai Uyehara

New safe-space resource center would assist immigrants

June 24, 2022
Kai Uyehara

Bellingham’s Immigration Advisory Board is recommending a new resource center to assist immigrants in finding and accessing essential services.

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Transformative power of uplifting diversity is at work in Whatcom

June 10, 2022
Mike Sato

Positive images of contributions made by BIPOC members of the community are needed to transform negative stereotypes, asserts the lead planner of an event designed to do just that.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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