Community Voices / MLK Day in Bellingham: looking backward, stepping forward

January 10, 2022
Clyde W. Ford

Community organizers of Bellingham’s 30-plus-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. Day event are refocusing this year from an in-person gathering to a call for voting rights action — and asking the community to urge Bellingham officials to commit to support for the community-based observance going forward.

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Community Voices / Nooksack flood, water solutions to protect families, fish and farms will require collaboration

January 5, 2022
Rich Appel

Whatcom farmers are calling for communitywide collaboration in pursuing solutions to flooding and water supply issues in the Nooksack River Basin.

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Community Voices / Is time running out? Streamflow trends in the Nooksack watershed

December 15, 2021
Eric Hirst

Given the high volume of rain and flooding during the past few weeks, it may seem strange to talk about water scarcity in the Nooksack River system. Although the watershed has ample water in the winter (often too much water), it holds too little in the summer to support healthy salmon. Complicating the water supply issue are the adverse effects of climate change.

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Community Voices / How farmers can fight climate change

November 17, 2021
Stevan Harrell and Katherine Steensma

Farmers are in a powerful position to help curb climate change, and many locally already are taking steps to do so, note dairy farmer Katherine Steensma and author Stevan Harrell. While this bodes well for the future of agriculture here, there is more to be done to stop “wasting and poisoning the good and beautiful things of the world”: natural resources.

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Community Voices / East Whatcom parents say, ‘We want our youth to stay drug-free!’

November 11, 2021
Wa'Lynn Klein, Emma Giri, Kristi Slette and Matthew Thuney

East Whatcom County parents want their youth to stay drug- and alcohol-free. To that end, the Mount Baker Community Coalition engaged a local teen as a Summer Youth Prevention Fellow in a collaborative effort with alcohol and cannabis retailers, to increase safe storage and reduce youth access to those substances.

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Community Voices / Electric vehicles and the Tesla experience

November 4, 2021
William Dietrich

With the state legislature and some local governments contemplating a future without fossil fuel-powered vehicles, Northwest Washington car buyers are beginning to ponder what it’s like to drive an electric vehicle — a computer on wheels — and some already are behind the wheel.

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Community Voices / The loudest jets in the quietest park: How Growlers invaded the Olympics

November 4, 2021
Karen Sullivan

It’s good to take a rational look at how we came to have an electronic warfare training range for the loudest jets on the planet over the quietest national park in the lower 48, writes a Community Voices commentator.

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Community Voices / Voting is what constructs a democracy: be a voter

September 30, 2021
Robin Bailey

Voting is what constructs a democracy, and elections have consequences, with decisions made at the local level having direct effects around planning, housing, police, fire, parks, transportation and public works. People vote to make changes they think are necessary by putting people in office or by voting for or against issues.

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Community Voices / End-of-summer hike brings home climate effects on Mount Baker

September 16, 2021
Alan Fritzberg

Hotter-than-usual weather — including a heat dome incident — resulted in more extensive snow and glacier melt than usual on Mount Baker this summer. A hike up Heliotrope Ridge Trail yielded dramatic close-up views of how much the mountain has changed over the last several decades.

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Community Voices / Addressing climate change in Whatcom County

August 17, 2021
Stevan Harrell

Climate change effects are here, and the Whatcom County’s Climate Impact Advisory Committee is calling for establishment of an Office of Climate Action to lead planning to deal with the multiple problems climate change is bringing now and in the near future.

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Community Voices / San Juan County to vote on climate, environment, equity, justice amendments to county charter

August 12, 2021
Kevin Ranker

Priority for climate and environment; justice, equity and inclusion; and an emphasis on citizen engagement are driving proposals the San Juan County Charter Review Commission has advanced for the November ballot. The commission is continuing its work and plans to submit additional propositions for the 2022 ballot.

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Community Voices / New police laws will make our communities safer

August 3, 2021
Sen. Liz Lovelett, Rep. Debra Lekanoff and Rep. Alex Ramel

In response to “a clear call” for reforms in criminal justice and police accountability, Washington’s state legislature responded with several new laws. Now, 40th District legislators say they believe there has been some misinterpretation of the new laws, and hope that lawmakers and law enforcement agencies will continue to work to implement the new laws in good faith.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

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

June 3, 2021
Terri Thayer

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.

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Community Voices / Trouble in paradise: Lummi Islanders react to a national exposé of its famous restaurant

May 20, 2021
Jean Godden

A historic inn on Lummi Island made national news lately when a story focused world attention on problematic operations. Locally, the report stirred mixed reactions from island residents

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Community Voices / Local team launches innovative approach to help curb climate change

May 12, 2021
Allison Roberts with reporting by Kiahna White-Alcain

We must act, not just worry, and use as many solutions as possible to curb climate change as we can, say a team of professors, graduate fellows, student interns and sustainability professionals working on one solution for Whatcom County — that can be replicated anywhere.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2016

Community Voices / Acknowledge, learn — and transform, during Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May 6, 2021
Terri Thayer

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.

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