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
Culture, Education, Social Justice

Books under scrutiny: censorship and cancel culture in a changing society

April 1, 2021
In a time of massive reevaluation of once widely accepted tropes, celebrities have been called out for past insensitivities and much worse, schools renamed and statues toppled. But what does it mean when books are brought into the discussion?
Ella Banken
Education, Public Health, Recreation

‘Crazy’ high school sports seasons arrive … better late than never

March 26, 2021
High school athletics have finally returned in Whatcom County after being delayed through the first half of academic calendars by COVID-19 restrictions.
Matt Benoit
photo: Matt Benoit © 2021
Community Voices, Governance, Social Justice

Community Voices / Clyde Ford on speaking up and raising eyebrows

March 25, 2021
Change happens when you speak up, and speak out. Drawing the attention of politicians and ordinary citizens to the need for change often helps bring it about … to shine light on the work that remains to be done in this great state, particularly with regard to racial equity and social justice.
Clyde W. Ford
Commerce, Editor’s Desk, Governance, Natural Resources, Public Health

From the Editor’s Desk / Readers respond to why the San Juans need a rescue tug

March 19, 2021
Lopez Island readers of the article “Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan-Gulf waters, study says” responded to the article’s posting in Lopez Rocks.
Mike Sato
Agriculture, Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

A next step to resolve Nooksack water rights waits on legislative budget decision

March 19, 2021
The state Department of Ecology has announced its intent to resolve the contentious issues around water rights in the Nooksack Basin through the legal action of adjudication, and money to move that process forward is proposed in the budget under consideration by the Legislature.
Alex Meacham
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources, Recreation

Rescue tug stationed in islands is best bet to avoid oil spills in San Juan – Gulf waters, study says

March 12, 2021
With increased vessel traffic around the San Juan Islands, some worry that the risk of oil spills may be rising as well. A new study makes the case that an emergency response tug stationed in the islands would be money well-spent.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Monika Wieland Shields © 2015
Natural Resources

Removal of birdseed feeders advised to stem rising salmonellosis deaths

March 7, 2021
Recently, wild birds have been dying at a higher rate, and birdseed feeders are being blamed. A state advisory asks people to take down birdseed feeders until April 1 to protect pine siskins and other birds.
Ella Banken
photo: Alan Fritzberg © 2021