Governance, Social Justice

People’s choice: renter protections, police tech, workers’ rights initiatives make November ballot

July 26, 2021
After a major volunteer-led effort, four initiatives presented by People First Bellingham received enough verified signatures to be on November’s ballot, even as some city council members expressed concern potential legal challenges the initiatives may present.
Ella Banken
Social Justice

Local courts work to catch up on COVID-backlog delays in delivering justice

July 23, 2021
Courts in Whatcom County are trying to regain the flow of delivering justice that was in play prior to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown — and the recovery is proceeding differently at each level of the court system.
Matt Benoit
Natural Resources

Have enough water? San Juan prepares to find out, with USGS study

July 21, 2021
A study funded by the state legislature and the U.S. Geological Survey will address a major barrier in both predicting San Juan County’s future water needs and managing current systems: the capacity of wells in the county is unknown.
Heather Spaulding
Governance, Public Health

Whatcom council axes young adult social media COVID campaign despite vaccination success

July 15, 2021
In January, Whatcom County began an awareness campaign to engage young adults with information about COVID-19 safety. On June 29, a tie vote by the county council nixed an extension of the campaign.
Ella Banken
Agriculture, Climate, Governance, Natural Resources

Clock starts on Nooksack basin water rights inventory; stakeholders yet to discuss solutions

July 9, 2021
Weeks of sparse rainfall and a historic heat wave marked the end of June — and the start of a process to establish water rights among various users in Whatcom County’s Nooksack River basin.
Mike Sato
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Commerce, Culture, Recreation

Lummi Island’s original Willows Inn was a local-food hotspot — 100 years before ‘locavore’ was trending

July 1, 2021
Today’s Lummi Island in Whatcom County is home to permanent and vacationing residents, local businesses — and a historic resort known for more than 100 years as The Willows.
Matt Benoit
Commerce, Governance, Social Justice

Down to the wire, petitioners seek signatures to put initiatives on city ballot

June 23, 2021
Days away from a June 25 deadline, People First Bellingham is racing to collect signatures from Bellingham voters in order to get their slate of initiatives on November’s ballot.
Ella Banken
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Governance, Public Health, Social Justice

Search for new police chief surfaces questions about transparency and the public’s role

June 23, 2021
As the City of Bellingham, city council and the newly formed Racial Equity Commission seek to address systemic racism in and out of policing, some community members looking to engage in the selection process for a new police chief in good faith have raised questions about the city’s commitment to transparency.
Stella Harvey
Culture, Social Justice

Local Juneteenth event celebrates diversity, freedom, challenge

June 21, 2021
Black Lives Matter signs waved over the Maritime Heritage Park amphitheater and booths lined the concrete walkway on Saturday, June 19 — the fourth annual Juneteenth celebration in Bellingham.
Teya Heidenreich
photo: Teya Heidenreich © 2021
Commerce, Governance, Social Justice

Efficiency, diversity, integrity: how many port commissioners to best serve Whatcom County?

June 17, 2021
As Whatcom County voters prepare to assess candidates vying for two of three seats on the Port of Bellingham Board of Commissioners and four of seven county council positions, some are once again raising the question of whether the area would be better served by a larger port board.
Alex Meacham
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Culture, Governance, Public Health

As gun death rates rise in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties, state refocuses to public health approach

June 11, 2021
With the number of gun deaths in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties on the rise and outpacing statewide trends, policy and law makers are stressing public health-focused solutions that could be more effective in prevention than legal tactics.
Kenneth Duncan
Climate, Transportation

Electric buses to debut, marking trend in Whatcom County

June 10, 2021
Two new all-blue additions to Whatcom Transportation Authority’s fleet are its first electric buses — and part of a growing movement to replace fossil-fuel-powered vehicles with electric models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2021
Culture, Education, Social Justice

In an age of social controversy, the show goes on

June 9, 2021
Theater producers, actors and audiences are bringing new perspectives to the question of what play content may be inappropriate, offensive or even harmful. Responses to a recent choice by Western Washington University’s theater department prompted a debate of those questions among the local theater community.
Matt Benoit
photo: © 2019
Culture, Editor’s Desk, Governance, Journalism, Social Justice

From the Editor’s Desk / One year old and changing life for the better

June 4, 2021
Nonprofit local news organization Salish Current is celebrating its one-year anniversary of incorporation on June 5, and continuing on its mission to fill gaps in covering vital news and provide a forum for civil discourse in Whatcom, San Juan and Skagit counties.
Amy Nelson
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Community Voices, Social Justice

Community Voices / A moment of pause. A time to grieve.

June 3, 2021
In a difficult week for Indigenous communities following discovery on May 28 of the remains of 215 Indigenous children near a residential school in Canada, memories of boarding and residential schools and the trauma that has impacted generations are resurfacing.
Terri Thayer
photo: Amy Nelson © 2021
Commerce, Education, Governance

Major funding, new policies aim to provide ‘basic necessity’ of broadband

May 28, 2021
State legislators approved a record $411 million in the capital budget this session to expand high-speed internet across the state, in particular in communities with limited or zero connectivity.
Jacqueline Allison