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Commerce, Journalism

Bellingham Herald news reporters opt to unionize, for the cause of ‘robust local news’

December 18, 2020
Reporters at Washington state’s McClatchy Company-owned newspapers, including those at the Bellingham Herald, have moved to unionize.
Mike Sato
Governance, Social Justice

Bellingham police budget tweaked for near future; equity advocates continue push for more

December 18, 2020
In Bellingham, some local racial justice advocacy groups transitioned their demands from over the summer to budget season, looking for tangible proof that their representatives heard their calls for change over the last six months.
Stella Harvey
photo: Mike Sato © 2020
Climate, Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

New thinking, new technology needed for ‘transformation’ to a greener future

December 11, 2020
For over a century, hydroelectricity has provided the Pacific Northwest with clean energy. Can we meet the challenge of living better electrically with greener energy?
Heather Spaulding
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Governance, Public Health

Be fine or get fined: how businesses are achieving (or ignoring) COVID compliance

December 11, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in shifting hours and sales, to comply with shifting state-ordered public health mandates to keep businesses and their customers safe from the virus. But not every business complies.
Matt Benoit
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Culture, Governance, Natural Resources

Vulnerable lands — and creatures — of San Juan Islands National Monument await management details

December 4, 2020
The one thousand unique and fragile acres of the San Juan Islands National Monument wait for a plan to outline the next 20 years of protection and recreation.
Genevieve Iverson
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
Commerce, Governance, Natural Resources

Unlikely partners’ compromise will halt new fossil-fuel development at Cherry Point

November 29, 2020
An effort to steer future development at Whatcom County’s primary industrial center away from fossil fuels while providing regulatory certainty is inching closer to completion with the help of an unlikely partnership between environment and industry interests.
Kimberly Cauvel
photo: Amy Nelson © 2020
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