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.

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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.

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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.

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Local courts work to catch up on COVID-backlog delays in delivering justice

July 23, 2021
Matt Benoit

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.

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Search for new police chief surfaces questions about transparency and the public’s role

June 23, 2021
Stella Harvey

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Down to the wire, petitioners seek signatures to put initiatives on city ballot

June 23, 2021
Ella Banken

Days away from a June 25 deadline, People First Bellingham is racing to collect signatures from Bellingham voters in order to get their slate of initiatives on November’s ballot.

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photo: Teya Heidenreich © 2021

Local Juneteenth event celebrates diversity, freedom, challenge

June 21, 2021
Teya Heidenreich

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Efficiency, diversity, integrity: how many port commissioners to best serve Whatcom County?

June 17, 2021
Alex Meacham

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.

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photo: © 2019

In an age of social controversy, the show goes on

June 9, 2021
Matt Benoit

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

From the Editor’s Desk / One year old and changing life for the better

June 4, 2021
Amy Nelson

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Community Voices / A moment of pause. A time to grieve.

June 3, 2021
Terri Thayer

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

House of Tears Carvers visit Bellingham with totem pole bound for DC

May 27, 2021
Amy Nelson

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

‘Bold’ ideas around equity, environment proposed as San Juan reviews its county charter

May 21, 2021
Heather Spaulding

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Law and order, alternatives to jail: Bellingham compiles a wide-ranging priorities wish list for new police chief

May 13, 2021
Stella Harvey

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2016

Community Voices / Acknowledge, learn — and transform, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 6, 2021
Terri Thayer

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.

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photo: © 2006

Doing the work of the people: Nooksack adjudication, Billy Frank, Jr., statue and a wrap-up of 40th and 42nd legislator success

April 30, 2021
Salish Current editors

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.

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