Skagit fair sates longing for fun and ‘normalcy’ in face of COVID-19

August 19, 2021
Teya Heidenreich

After a year’s hiatus, the Skagit County Fair resumed Aug. 11-14 with an increased attendance over past years — despite COVID-19 infections spiking in the county.

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Out of the news desert: Bellingham to get a new startup

August 15, 2021
Jim Simon / Post Alley

A local newspaper owner has announced he will launch a new for-profit local news site supplemented by a weekly print piece in Bellingham in January.

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Whatcom director among public health leaders stressed by threats, resistance re pandemic management

August 11, 2021
Stephen S. Howie / Crosscut.com

Email threats, irate officials and dealing with misinformation have become part of the job for stress-filled public health workers, including the director of Whatcom County’s health department.

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photo: Matt Benoit © 2021

Prepared for the worst, local agencies plan wildfire-fighting strategies while hoping for the best

August 5, 2021
Matt Benoit

Whatcom County’s emergency management teams will focus this year’s training on fighting wildfires, and are stepping up reminders to the community that most such fires are caused by human actions — and therefore preventable.

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Homelessness, fossil fuels, food deserts: primary candidates face the issues in Bellingham, Whatcom forums

July 30, 2021
Mike Sato

Candidates in the 2021 primary election for Bellingham city and Whatcom county council positions answered questions on topics from homelessness to fossil fuel in forums hosted by he League of Women Voters of Bellingham-Whatcom County.

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Years in the making, amendments ban new coal or oil industries, new shipping terminals at Cherry Point

July 29, 2021
Kimberly Cauvel

No new oil- or coal-based industries will be allowed at Cherry Point west of Ferndale under Whatcom County’s latest — and groundbreaking — Comprehensive Plan amendments, following a unanimous vote by the county council.

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photo: Elisa Claassen © 2021

Water supply on Guemes: an island paradise faces challenges

July 27, 2021
Elisa Claassen

More people and rising sea levels mean continuously increasing freshwater challenges on Guemes Island, compelling action on the part of individuals and possibly government — to ensure enough water supply to meet demand.

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

July 26, 2021
Ella Banken

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.

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

July 23, 2021
Matt Benoit

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.

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

July 21, 2021
Heather Spaulding

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.

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

July 15, 2021
Ella Banken

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

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

July 9, 2021
Mike Sato

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.

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

July 1, 2021
Matt Benoit

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.

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

June 23, 2021
Stella Harvey

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

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

June 23, 2021
Ella Banken

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.

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photo: Teya Heidenreich © 2021

Local Juneteenth event celebrates diversity, freedom, challenge

June 21, 2021
Teya Heidenreich

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.

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