Community Voices, Culture, Education

Community Voices / Busier-than-ever librarians connect people with books, job ads, even food during COVID shutdown

May 29, 2020
Whatcom County libraries have been closed to the public for over two months now. Despite the closures, staff have been busier than ever, working from home and pitching in wherever possible to provide services to the public.
Christine Perkins
photo: Whatcom County Library System © 2020
Commerce, Governance, Public Health

Economic recovery, shrinking local budgets, Cherry Point moratorium in the news for the week of May 29

May 29, 2020
Economic recovery, a shrinking budget and the Cherry Point fossil-fuel shipping moratorium were among topics discussed by Whatcom County and City of Bellingham councils this week.
Mike Sato, Managing Editor
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Governance, Social Justice

Justice delayed by COVID creates hardships, weakens protections

May 22, 2020
From local courts to federal ones, stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines have had a significant effect on the wheels of justice across the United States.
Matt Benoit
photo: Leta R. Sanchez © 2020
Commerce, Natural Resources, Public Health, Recreation

Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic

May 16, 2020
Like much else in the time of COVID-19, searches for black-and-white orcas, speckled grays and humpbacks were interrupted in early March. Dozens of whale watching boats, from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island, from Everett to Edmonds, bob in place dockside.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Island Adventures © 2020
Commerce, Governance

Cherry Point development, solar, waterfront project more in the news for the week ending May 15

May 15, 2020
Port of Bellingham commissioners will vote May 19 on a pass-through agreement with Silfab Solar related to a $4,000,196 project proposal to expand the company’s  facilities in Whatcom County and create between 20 and 40 new full-time jobs in five years, among local government business this week.
Mike Sato, Managing Editor
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Governance, Public Health

In-person comment is out, for now: local governments adapt to life under COVID

May 1, 2020
City and county councils and commissions across Washington state are finding new ways to conduct their public meetings since Gov. Jay Inslee issued the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order March 23, requiring local governing bodies to temporarily halt their in-person meetings.
Stella Harvey
photo: City of Bellingham © 2020
Public Health, Social Justice

San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom nonprofits refocus to meet basic needs, uncertain future

April 27, 2020
For the 375,000 people living in San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties, community foundations and other nonprofits are adapting to provide the most essential services to people affected by COVID-19 and unemployment. Throughout the region, many organizations are seeing dramatic increases in demand. People need help ranging from mortgage and rent relief to mental health support to deliveries of food and medicine.
Matt Benoit
photo: Carlos Rexach © 2020
Commerce, Culture, Public Health

The things we do for COVID: iconic local businesses change their ways

April 21, 2020
At several local companies, trying new things has been essential for keeping dollars coming in and meeting their missions of serving the community.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Community Voices, Education, Public Health

Community Voices / Kids in the time of COVID

April 17, 2020
Very few kids would trade being able to see and hang out with friends, participate in football and other sports, go to restaurants now and then, and even go to school every day for being confined at home with their families, all day, every day. But that’s where they are for now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed schools around Washington state.
Salish Current Editorial Staff
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Community Voices, Governance

Community Voices / Business as usual not happening soon, per Whatcom’s Satpal Sidhu

April 10, 2020
Family dairies, the annual Ski to Sea race and visitor and shopper traffic from Canada are just a few archetypal activities being disrupted in Whatcom County as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Business as usual is not due back in Whatcom County any time soon, said county executive Satpal Sidhu in an April 10 interview.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Community Voices, Public Health, Recreation

Community Voices / Safe on a ‘plague’ ship in the time of COVID-19

April 6, 2020
Our once-in-a-lifetime, 50th anniversary world cruise was sunk by a coronavirus somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Nobody had COVID-19, but our vessel was treated like a plague ship nonetheless.
William Dietrich
photo: William Dietrich © 2020
Commerce, Community Voices, Public Health

Community Voices / Life in the time of COVID-19

April 1, 2020
We asked Salish Current readers and writers to share their stories about how the COVID-19 virus is affecting them in this time of the evolving “new normal” — virtual coffees and happy hours, worries about the vitality of the arts and cultural sphere, isolation and social-distancing rules, and more.
Salish Current Editorial Staff
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Public Health, Recreation, Transportation

Virus versus visitors: San Juan residents weigh health risks of tourism amid pandemic

March 26, 2020
In the San Juan Islands, locals bank on a bustling tourism economy to generate business and provide wages, particularly during the sunny summer months. But with a growing pandemic, islanders, like others in small vacation destinations, are realizing fewer visitors might mean healthier locals.
Hayley Day
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Education, Governance

Suciasaurus rex, moss piglet lose bids to represent state — but provide lessons

March 18, 2020
Two creatures — one massive and extinct, one microscopic and thriving — were recently penned into bills with state legislators from the 40th and 42nd districts among the sponsors.
Kimberly Cauvel
Education, Governance, Natural Resources, Social Justice

Plastic bags, clean water: local legislators vote on wide-ranging issues in 2020

March 18, 2020
Here’s how 40th and 42nd Legislative District officials voted on selected bills that were passed and sent to the governor for signing or veto by June 11, according to Washington Votes.
Mike Sato, Managing Editor
Public Health

A wood stove swap-out is helping clear the air in rural Whatcom County

March 5, 2020
The tree-dense Columbia Valley, flanked by Red Mountain to the east and Sumas Mountain to the west, contains at its center around 1,600 homes. Many rely on wood stoves as a primary heat source. As a result, the valley’s large amount of wood smoke often combines with specific weather conditions to produce the county’s worst air quality.
Matt Benoit


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