Youth has its day and its say in 42nd District Senate vacancy vote

January 13, 2022
Matt Benoit and Mike Sato

In a special meeting Jan. 11, the Whatcom County Council appointed Simon Sefzik as the newest — and youngest on record — member to serve in the Washington State Senate, filling the vacant 42nd District seat of the late Sen. Doug Ericksen.

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For the people: what local legislators plan for the 2022 session

January 7, 2022
40th and 42nd District Legislators

Dealing with climate change, providing economic relief post-COVID-19 and ensuring sustainability for the Washington State Ferries system made the priority lists of elected officials returning to take care of the people’s business when the 2022 session opens Jan. 10.

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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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2021: A look back at some stories from the first full year of Salish Current

December 31, 2021
Salish Current editors

2021 was a year like no other, with themes such as public health vis-à-vis COVID-19 and opioid addiction; social justice in the courts, the arts, housing and policing; and climate change and natural resources including water rights management. Salish Current offers a look back via articles published during the nonprofit newsroom’s first full year.

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Whatcom farmers face manure management challenges after flooding

December 22, 2021
Lauren Gallup

Flooding in Whatcom and Skagit counties in November put major stress on local dairies, including lost animals and lost revenues for some. Now there’s another hurdle: With storage lagoons overtopping, where can they store all that manure? Farmers and county and state agencies are stepping up to the challenge, to prevent pollution downstream and restore infrastructure.

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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 / 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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Nooksack Tribe and partners face up to climate change challenge on South Fork Nooksack River

October 29, 2021
Kimberly Cauvel

Since long before more than 2,000 chinook salmon died this summer before they could spawn in the South Fork Nooksack River, the Nooksack Indian Tribe has been working with a wide range of partners to plan for supporting at-risk habitat and species. A new report from the tribe aims to translate the science and put boots on the ground.

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Voters to have their say — amid controversy — on San Juan County charter amendments

October 28, 2021
Heather Spaulding

San Juan County voters will have had their say by Nov. 2 on hotly debated amendments to their charter proposed by the Charter Review Commission. The amendments have raised controversy, with one group launching a campaign encouraging voters to reject all the proposals.

 

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‘Food hub plus’ part of ambitious collaboration to meet housing and food needs

October 1, 2021
Lane Morgan

A complex housing and food resources proposal for the Bellingham waterfront aims to employ a fusion of community and economic development in “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet local food supply needs — with the help of local farmers and suppliers.

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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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Author of ‘Orca’ has a message for the Northwest: hope has a price tag

September 14, 2021
Gretchen K. Wing

The new book Orca: Shared Waters, Shared Home begins in crisis, as author Lynda Mapes tells the gut-wrenching story of Tahlequah (J35), the mother orca who in 2018 carried her dead baby around for 17 days. Mapes will speak Sept. 18 at the Lopez Island Library.

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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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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: 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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photo: Kimberly Cauvel © 2021

Electric buses to debut, marking trend in Whatcom County

June 10, 2021
Kimberly Cauvel

Two new all-blue additions to Whatcom Transportation Authority’s fleet are its first electric buses — and part of a growing movement to replace fossil-fuel-powered vehicles with electric models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.

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