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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photo: Rowan Forsythe © 2021

Caught in a web of causes: homelessness hits harder than ever

April 16, 2021
Rowan Forsythe

The growing presence of unhoused individuals and their expanding footprint into residential neighborhoods has shocked and bewildered others in the community, while the urgency of the problem threatens to distract from understanding the underlying realities perpetuating this crisis.

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Books under scrutiny: censorship and cancel culture in a changing society

April 1, 2021
Ella Banken

In a time of massive reevaluation of once widely accepted tropes, celebrities have been called out for past insensitivities and much worse, schools renamed and statues toppled. But what does it mean when books are brought into the discussion?

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Community Voices / Clyde Ford on speaking up and raising eyebrows

March 25, 2021
Clyde W. Ford

Change happens when you speak up, and speak out. Drawing the attention of politicians and ordinary citizens to the need for change often helps bring it about … to shine light on the work that remains to be done in this great state, particularly with regard to racial equity and social justice.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

Community Voices / Powerful stories bring understanding, in celebration of Black History Month

February 5, 2021
Terri Thayer

The study and knowledge of Black history bring understanding to race and racism in the United States.

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Local MLK Day events set the stage for new year of racial justice action

January 15, 2021
Stella Harvey

A combination of potent social and political turmoil made many people eager to close the book on 2020 and emerge into a fresh year.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Economy, environment, social justice, COVID recovery, housing: legislators anticipate the 2021 session

January 8, 2021
Salish Current editors

Salish Current asked 40th and 42nd District legislators a few questions about how they see the legislative session that convenes on Monday, Jan. 11; their answers follow.

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photo: Mike Sato © 2020

Bellingham police budget tweaked for near future; equity advocates continue push for more

December 18, 2020
Stella Harvey

In Bellingham, some local racial justice advocacy groups transitioned their demands from over the summer to budget season, looking for tangible proof that their representatives heard their calls for change over the last six months.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Local law enforcement complaint procedures under scrutiny amid new calls for accountability

August 24, 2020
Stella Harvey

Local Black Lives Matter protests are calling for reduction of police budgets and re-examination of how police are held accountable to the communities they are sworn to serve.

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photo: Mike Sato © 2020

‘Defund the police’ movement drives Whatcom racial justice discussions

August 14, 2020
Alex Meacham

Local activists are advocating for a 50% reduction in the Bellingham Police Department budget, even as BPD says it could use more resources for meeting the calls it routinely answers now — including a large number related to behavioral health and social welfare. While reformers would like to see change soon, community-wide conversations are just beginning, and the eventual direction and pace of change are as yet unknown.

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