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Climate, Commerce, Education, Governance, Public Health, Social Justice

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

January 8, 2021
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.
Salish Current editors
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Education, Governance

San Juan school districts face big budget shortfalls due to levy cap

January 7, 2021
A law to make state education funding more equitable has had the opposite effect in the San Juan Islands. While San Juan property owners are paying more in state education taxes, less funding is going towards local schools.
Hayley Day
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Culture, Public Health

Wanted: the ‘right’ dog — pet adoptions set records during the pandemic

December 28, 2020
During the social distancing and isolation of this year’s pandemic, many people have sought the companionship, unconditional love and friendship that comes from adopting a dog — and now, more than ever, people are having trouble finding the “right” dog because so many others are doing the same.
Alex Meacham
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Governance, Social Justice

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

December 18, 2020
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.
Stella Harvey
photo: Mike Sato © 2020
Community Voices, Governance

Community Voices / Election reforms are key to restoring public confidence

December 18, 2020
Community Voices: “Restoring public confidence in elections is a concern for every one of us, regardless of party.”
Doug Ericksen
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Community Voices, Governance

Community Voices / ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident’

December 18, 2020
While we as citizens may chafe at what seems like an inordinately slow process, this waiting period offers an opportunity to reflect on the brilliance of our elections system.
Allison Aurand and Michael Jay
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Community Voices, Culture, Public Health

Community Voices / COVID be damned — if you could be anywhere in the world on the Winter Solstice, where would you choose?

December 18, 2020
Readers were invited to share their ideal locations for marking December’s Solstice this year … if it weren’t for COVID-19. Read on, for a travelogue of cherished spots around the globe.
Salish Current readers
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Journalism

Bellingham Herald news reporters opt to unionize, for the cause of ‘robust local news’

December 18, 2020
Reporters at Washington state’s McClatchy Company-owned newspapers, including those at the Bellingham Herald, have moved to unionize.
Mike Sato
Climate, Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

New thinking, new technology needed for ‘transformation’ to a greener future

December 11, 2020
For over a century, hydroelectricity has provided the Pacific Northwest with clean energy. Can we meet the challenge of living better electrically with greener energy?
Heather Spaulding
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Governance, Public Health

Be fine or get fined: how businesses are achieving (or ignoring) COVID compliance

December 11, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shifting hours and sales, to comply with shifting state-ordered public health mandates to keep businesses and their customers safe from the virus. But not every business complies.
Matt Benoit
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Culture, Governance, Natural Resources

Vulnerable lands — and creatures — of San Juan Islands National Monument await management details

December 4, 2020
The one thousand unique and fragile acres of the San Juan Islands National Monument wait for a plan to outline the next 20 years of protection and recreation.
Genevieve Iverson
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

Unlikely partners’ compromise will halt new fossil-fuel development at Cherry Point

November 29, 2020
An effort to steer future development at Whatcom County’s primary industrial center away from fossil fuels while providing regulatory certainty is inching closer to completion with the help of an unlikely partnership between environment and industry interests.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Community Voices, Journalism

Community Voices / Erosion in local news threatens democracy

November 27, 2020
Local dailies in Northwest Washington are turning into ghosts — ghost newspapers, existing in name but no longer having the staff or the commitment to cover local and regional news. The trend is part of a national crisis that’s been accelerating at warp speed since 1990.
Bill Dietrich
Culture, Governance

Whatcom Arts Project brings local groups together — at a crucial time

November 20, 2020
Soon-to-be-realized funding reductions from the City of Bellingham, combined with the economic hardships of pandemic restrictions, have had a profoundly negative effect on the local arts community.
Matt Benoit
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Agriculture, Governance, Public Health

New report details action plan for fixing Padilla Bay fecal coliform sources, urges participation

November 20, 2020
The Padilla Bay Freshwater Tributary Fecal Coliform Total Maximal Daily Load (TMDL) Report is due to be submitted by Ecology to the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 2020 and lists fecal coliform bacteria sources and strategies for cleanup.
Alex Meacham
photo: Alex Meacham © 2020
Commerce, Governance

Much more than a marina: Port of Bellingham drives economic recovery and growth

November 13, 2020
When the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, responsibilities of the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners changed, to focus on keeping local businesses afloat through the economic downturn.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2020