Climate, Culture, Governance, Natural Resources, Social Justice

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

May 27, 2021
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.
Amy Nelson
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Climate, Governance, Natural Resources, Social Justice

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

May 21, 2021
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.
Heather Spaulding
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Commerce, Community Voices, Culture

Community Voices / Trouble in paradise: Lummi Islanders react to a national expose of its famous restaurant

May 20, 2021
A historic inn on Lummi Island made national news lately when a story focused world attention on problematic operations. Locally, the report stirred mixed reactions from island residents
Jean Godden
Governance, Public Health, Social Justice

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

May 13, 2021
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.
Stella Harvey
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Climate, Commerce, Community Voices, Natural Resources, Public Health

Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change

May 12, 2021
We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions as possible to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.
Allison Roberts with reporting by Kiahna White-Alcain
Public Health

Who’s getting their shots? Whatcom develops a new strategy for COVID-19 vaccinations

May 12, 2021
Whatcom County health officials are now reporting COVID-19 vaccine rates in the county by school district, enabling a new, more strategic approach to making vaccine opportunities available to reach the largest number of people and those with access problems.
Alex Meacham
Governance, Natural Resources

Second phase of fish passage work underway on Padden Creek

May 7, 2021
When work is completed by the fall of 2022, coho, chum and chinook salmon will have access restored to 2.7 miles of Padden Creek from its mouth in Bellingham Bay near the ferry terminal.
Mike Sato and Alex Meacham
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Community Voices, Culture, Social Justice

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

May 6, 2021
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.
Terri Thayer
photo: Amy Nelson © 2016
Agriculture, Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources, Public Health, Social Justice, Transportation

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
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.
Salish Current editors
photo: © 2006

Late data delays Whatcom County districting; US Census blames COVID-19

April 26, 2021
A months-long delay in the delivery of 2020 U.S. Census data has compelled the 2021 Whatcom Districting Committee to postpone updating county voting district maps, despite the county charter’s strict May 1 deadline on map generation and submission.
Kenneth Duncan
Governance, Natural Resources, Recreation

Little estuary to see big restoration investment

April 25, 2021
A small city park on Bellingham Bay will soon include a valuable asset for the local aquatic ecosystem, as the City of Bellingham identifies funding needed to establish an estuary at Little Squalicum Park.
Alex Meacham
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Commerce, Culture

Sumas, border town of boom and bust, stays hopeful

April 21, 2021
The main thoroughfare through Sumas on its way to the Canadian border isn’t seeing much traffic since the COVID-19 pandemic forced closure of the border crossing to all but essential traffic. Although the town is home to 1,700 people and still growing, closed gas stations, empty storefronts and a lack of grocery stores give the impression of a town in decline.
Matt Benoit
photo: Matt Benoit © 2021
Public Health

Pandemic job loss, quarantine, anxieties fuel opioid use surge

April 16, 2021
The physical and emotional toll wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures has been accompanied by an increase in opioid use and related deaths over the past year — after five years of decline — in Washington state. At the same time, use of even more dangerous synthetic opioids is becoming more prevalent, making the increased use even more hazardous.
Heather Spaulding
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Public Health, Social Justice

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

April 16, 2021
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.
Rowan Forsythe
photo: Rowan Forsythe © 2021
Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

North Fork Nooksack Forest project: thinning for habitat or harvesting for profit?

April 8, 2021
Following the comment period on a draft Environmental Assessment of a proposal to cut trees and manage vegetation to improve habitat and stand conditions and to harvest timber in the North Fork Nooksack area, next steps are up to Forest Service project managers.
Alex Meacham
Governance, Recreation

Skaters, business, Port collaborate for Bellingham waterfront skate park

April 2, 2021
A local business owner and rag-tag group of skaters have cleaned up an abandoned parking lot under the Chestnut Street bridge on the Bellingham waterfront with the goal of establishing a skatepark, as the City and Port of Bellingham look at expanding the area’s current agreement to include that use.
Jack Finley
photo: Jack Finley © 2021