Pack a lunch, don a mask: kids go back to school in person as COVID-19 persists

September 8, 2021
Ella Banken

In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, students are dusting off backpacks, packing lunches — and picking out masks to accompany their back-to-school outfits.

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Summer of rallies, marches sparks multiple approaches toward social justice in Whatcom

August 24, 2021
Ella Banken

Calls from the streets of Whatcom County last year for social justice have inspired new groups to form and older ones to revitalize, as each takes its own approach to creating a more equitable community.

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Police, mental health workers face challenge, confusion with new use-of-force law

August 20, 2021
Matt Benoit

House Bill 1310 established new rules about use of force by police when it took effect in Washington last month, and law enforcement and social service agencies continue to grapple with confusion related to challenges to the new law.

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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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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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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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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: Amy Nelson © 2021

House of Tears Carvers visit Bellingham with totem pole bound for DC

May 27, 2021
Amy Nelson

Several hundred people in Bellingham visited a totem pole created by Lummi carvers from a 400-year-old cedar log — the latest stop in the Red Road to D.C. tour of the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere across the U.S. toward its final destination in Washington, D.C.

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In Whatcom’s 42nd Legislative District, a series of changes is turning election tides

March 3, 2021
Matt Benoit

Gains in voter support made by local Democrats in recent years may be due to demographic shifts caused by a wide variety of trends in who lives here, how they work and how each political party gets its messages out.

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Internet connectivity has improved in Whatcom County, but many gaps remain

February 25, 2021
Jacqueline Allison

One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, many more students in Whatcom County are able to connect to the internet for remote learning, thanks to communitywide efforts, particularly in rural communities with limited or no internet options. Still, a clear digital divide remains.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Back to learning, back to school to happen in the shadow of COVID-19

August 20, 2020
Genevieve Iverson

Coronavirus has this fall replaced the excitement of starting a new school year — new books and pens, new lesson plans, and, most of all, classes and classmates — with an air of uncertainty.

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photo: Mike Sato © 2020

‘Defund the police’ movement drives Whatcom racial justice discussions

August 14, 2020
Alex Meacham

Local activists are advocating for a 50% reduction in the Bellingham Police Department budget, even as BPD says it could use more resources for meeting the calls it routinely answers now — including a large number related to behavioral health and social welfare. While reformers would like to see change soon, community-wide conversations are just beginning, and the eventual direction and pace of change are as yet unknown.

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photo: Leta R. Sanchez © 2020

Justice delayed by COVID creates hardships, weakens protections

May 22, 2020
Matt Benoit

From local courts to federal ones, stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines have had a significant effect on the wheels of justice across the United States.

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photo: Melissa Marteny © 2020

Downtown Bellingham waterfront site sprouts new signs of life

February 26, 2020
John Stark

After almost 20 years of frustration and stagnation, the first tender shoots of redevelopment have appeared amid the post-industrial desolation that Georgia-Pacific Corp. left behind on Bellingham’s downtown waterfront.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2019

Whatcom plans as climate crisis threatens shorelines, homes, livelihoods

January 7, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

The worst impacts of climate change in Whatcom County are yet to come, scientists say. Researchers say that while some changes may seem to be emerging slowly, swift action is needed to curb and prepare for them.Residents are already seeing impacts on the waterfront, air quality and fisheries they treasure.

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