Editor’s Desk, Governance

From the Editor / About my first time … voting

October 16, 2020
The first time I voted was in November 1968. What is your first-vote story?
Mike Sato
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Public Health

Fighting COVID with a swab: testing remains a vital weapon in saving lives

October 16, 2020
What does it mean to get a negative COVID-19 test result? It means an unmasked sigh of relief, that once again, in a year fraught with worry, there’s one less thing to be actively worried about.
Alex Meacham
photo: Centers for Disease Control © 2020
Agriculture, Community Voices, Natural Resources

Community Voices / Whose water is it in Whatcom County?

October 9, 2020
This may surprise you: Water, even in wet Whatcom County, is a scarce resource.
Eric Hirst
photo: Washington State Department of Ecology © 2020

San Juan council candidates outline positions on vacation rentals, COVID rules and more

October 6, 2020
With issues ranging from strengthening the county’s economic base to balancing vacation rental inventory in an area inhabited year-round by tourists and second-home owners
Salish Current editors
photo: Konrad Roeder © 2007

Ready to vote? 40th and 42nd district candidates tell where they stand on policing, COVID, more

October 2, 2020
Policies and funding decisions set at the state level have profound influence on our daily lives — and our long-term safety, health and well-being. Salish Current editors invited candidates for 40th and 42nd Legislative District House and Senate seats to answer questions on ten topics.
Salish Current editors
photo: Salish Current © 2020
Community Voices, Culture, Public Health

Community Voices / Comic relief — laughter in the time of COVID

October 2, 2020
On the evening of March 5, I did a four-minute stand-up set at Bellingham’s Upfront Theatre
Matt Benoit
photo: Matt Benoit © 2020
Education, Public Health

‘Your life can’t stop’: class of 2020 faces the ‘real world’ during COVID-19

September 25, 2020
This year’s graduates are entering a “real world” disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite challenges, they’re moving forward — even when it means changing long-held plans.
Stella Harvey
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Climate, Governance, Natural Resources, Public Health

As wildfire smoke endangers health indoors and out, questions arise about government response

September 21, 2020
Mara Kardas-Nelson / InvestigateWest
photo: Taimi Dunn Gorman © 2020
Agriculture, Climate, Natural Resources

Toxic tansy ragwort is having a boom year

September 14, 2020
Pernicious, invasive and even sometimes deadly for livestock, tansy ragwort has enjoyed a booming bloom this summer in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties and across the rest of western Washington and Oregon.
Alex Meacham
photo: Ann Potter © 2020
Culture, Editor’s Desk

From the Editor / Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

September 11, 2020
Salish Current editors are taking a Presidential-election year look back and wondering what readers think: Are you better off now than four years ago?  
Mike Sato
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Students, teachers step up to remote-learning challenges — with help — as school year begins

September 4, 2020
School districts have worked since spring to ensure they’re adequately prepared for the 2020-2021 school year. Many, including here in Whatcom County, are receiving local, state and federal funding to help build infrastructure for remote learning.
Matt Benoit
photo: TechNotes © 2020
Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

Proposed Roberts Bank terminal will add cargo capacity — but at what cost to Salish Sea

August 25, 2020
A lesser-known yet major Canadian infrastructure project could bring major changes to shipping traffic in waters shared by British Columbia and Washington. If constructed, Roberts Bank Terminal 2, would enable Canada to move another 2.4 million shipping containers per year through its southernmost terminal about 1 mile from the Washington state border.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Port of Vancouver © 2020
Governance, Social Justice

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

August 24, 2020
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.
Stella Harvey
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Education, Public Health

Back to learning, back to school to happen in the shadow of COVID-19

August 20, 2020
Coronavirus has this fall replaced the excitement of starting a new school year — new books and pens, new lesson plans, and, most of all, classes and classmates — with an air of uncertainty.
Genevieve Iverson
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Governance, Social Justice

‘Defund the police’ movement drives Whatcom racial justice discussions

August 14, 2020
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.
Alex Meacham
photo: Mike Sato © 2020
Agriculture, Commerce, Public Health

Farming is more challenging than ever during the pandemic

August 7, 2020
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, farms are facing more challenges than ever during the busy season, with their workers among the most vulnerable to the virus and produce reaching fewer buyers through usual markets, festivals and tourism outlets.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020


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