What do ‘community policing’ and ‘police reform’ mean … in the islands?
Island-style policing in the San Juans may be an embodiment of real police reform—or it may fall victim to changing times.
Review: ‘Of Blood and Sweat’ traces role of Black labor in building white wealth and power
Bellingham author Clyde Ford meshes storytelling talents with meticulous skills as a historian in tracing how Black labor built the structures and systems creating white wealth and power, notes “Of Blood and Sweat” reviewer.
Election 2021: City, county candidates vary on police reform needs, approaches
Urgency around police reform and public safety has not brought people to the streets this year, but voters in Bellingham and Whatcom County have the opportunity to weigh in on what approach their local officials should take when it comes to local policing and public safety.
Summer of rallies, marches sparks multiple approaches toward social justice in Whatcom
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.
Police, mental health workers face challenge, confusion with new use-of-force law
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.
Community Voices / San Juan County to vote on climate, environment, equity, justice amendments to county charter
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.
Local Juneteenth event celebrates diversity, freedom, challenge
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.
Local MLK Day events set the stage for new year of racial justice action
A combination of potent social and political turmoil made many people eager to close the book on 2020 and emerge into a fresh year.
Laws banning private armies go unenforced in Washington
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.
Local law enforcement complaint procedures under scrutiny amid new calls for accountability
Local Black Lives Matter protests are calling for reduction of police budgets and re-examination of how police are held accountable to the communities they are sworn to serve.
‘Defund the police’ movement drives Whatcom racial justice discussions
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.
Solidarity rally, Cornwall landfill, Cherry Point occupy local officials during the week ending June 12
City officials praised organizers and participants of Bellingham’s Peaceful Solidarity Rally on June 6 at Maritime Heritage Park, in one of several local government meetings last week.