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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
Public Health

Possible hospice sale sparks concerns in San Juans about changes in end-of-life care

November 13, 2020
Hospice of the Northwest serves about 190 patients a day in San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Island counties. With a possible sale of the local nonprofit to a national for-profit, community members are worried about the potential impact on services.
Hayley Day
Agriculture, Commerce, Community Voices, Culture, Governance, Natural Resources

Community Voices / Nooksack water rights adjudication is an existential threat to farming’s future

November 13, 2020
Whatcom County farmers say they view water rights adjudication as an existential threat to their future, in their long-term battle to maintain farming as part of the local economy and culture.
Henry Bierlink
Editor’s Desk, Journalism

From the Editor / Salish Current looks to the future as two-month fundraising challenge begins

November 5, 2020
Salish Current, a startup local news nonprofit organized to provide more local journalism in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties is participating in a national giving campaign that runs through December. The site’s mission is to provide information needed in order to make informed choices about civic life and to strengthen democracy.
Mike Sato
Culture, Governance, Public Health

Laws banning private armies go unenforced in Washington

November 3, 2020
Paramilitary organizations are illegal in Washington and many other states. But laws meant to stop the formation of ad hoc armies are archaic and vague, so much so that police and prosecutors who have recently had the opportunity to use them describe them as unenforceable.
Katie Hayes / InvestigateWest
Commerce

Intalco’s closure brings pain for now — what may the future bring?

October 30, 2020
After 54 years in operation, the Intalco smelter near Ferndale this summer stopped producing aluminum, put hundreds out of work and sent shockwaves through the community. The pain cut deep but may point a way to cleaner, more competitive heavy industry.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2020
Governance

At age 83, Orcas Islander votes for first time in Presidential election

October 23, 2020
Born in New York City, Tony Ayer moved to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, at age eight. After going to school in the States, he returned to St. Croix where he spent 75 years. Nnow 83 years old, this weekend, for the first time in his life, he cast his ballot in the U.S. Presidential election.
Lin McNulty / The Orcasonian
photo: © 2020
Community Voices, Culture, Governance, Journalism

Reporter’s Notebook / Pursuing the story of the ‘Freedom to Worship Protest’

October 23, 2020
As a reporter for Salish Current, I reached out to WA3%’s website in September, looking to speak with a Whatcom County chapter member. I wanted to know who these members were in our community, how they had come to believe what they believe and how they see themselves.
Matt Benoit
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
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
Governance

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
Governance

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