photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Solidarity rally, Cornwall landfill, Cherry Point occupy local officials during the week ending June 12

June 11, 2020
Mike Sato

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.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Community Voices / The coronavirus pandemic adds new twists to the ‘good death’

June 4, 2020
Floyd McKay

In our time of pandemic, the hackneyed phrase, “a good death,” has come to have new meaning and, yes, a new life.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Economic recovery, shrinking local budgets, Cherry Point moratorium in the news for the week of May 29

May 29, 2020
Mike Sato

Economic recovery, a shrinking budget and the Cherry Point fossil-fuel shipping moratorium were among topics discussed by Whatcom County and City of Bellingham councils this week.

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photo: Whatcom County Library System © 2020

Community Voices / Busier-than-ever librarians connect people with books, job ads, even food during COVID shutdown

May 29, 2020
Christine Perkins

Whatcom County libraries have been closed to the public for over two months now. Despite the closures, staff have been busier than ever, working from home and pitching in wherever possible to provide services to the public.

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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: Island Adventures © 2020

Whale watch industry sits dockside during COVID-19 pandemic

May 16, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Like much else in the time of COVID-19, searches for black-and-white orcas, speckled grays and humpbacks were interrupted in early March. Dozens of whale watching boats, from Vancouver Island to San Juan Island, from Everett to Edmonds, bob in place dockside.

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photo: City of Bellingham © 2020

In-person comment is out, for now: local governments adapt to life under COVID

May 1, 2020
Stella Harvey

City and county councils and commissions across Washington state are finding new ways to conduct their public meetings since Gov. Jay Inslee issued the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order March 23, requiring local governing bodies to temporarily halt their in-person meetings.

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photo: Carlos Rexach © 2020

San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom nonprofits refocus to meet basic needs, uncertain future

April 27, 2020
Matt Benoit

For the 375,000 people living in San Juan, Skagit and Whatcom counties, community foundations and other nonprofits are adapting to provide the most essential services to people affected by COVID-19 and unemployment. Throughout the region, many organizations are seeing dramatic increases in demand. People need help ranging from mortgage and rent relief to mental health support to deliveries of food and medicine.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

The things we do for COVID: iconic local businesses change their ways

April 21, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

At several local companies, trying new things has been essential for keeping dollars coming in and meeting their missions of serving the community.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Community Voices / Kids in the time of COVID

April 17, 2020
Salish Current editors

Very few kids would trade being able to see and hang out with friends, participate in football and other sports, go to restaurants now and then, and even go to school every day for being confined at home with their families, all day, every day. But that’s where they are for now, as the COVID-19 pandemic has closed schools around Washington state.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Community Voices / Business as usual not happening soon, per Whatcom’s Satpal Sidhu

April 10, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Family dairies, the annual Ski to Sea race and visitor and shopper traffic from Canada are just a few archetypal activities being disrupted in Whatcom County as the COVID-19 pandemic progresses. Business as usual is not due back in Whatcom County any time soon, said county executive Satpal Sidhu in an April 10 interview.

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photo: Bill Dietrich © 2020

Community Voices / Safe on a ‘plague’ ship in the time of COVID-19

April 6, 2020
Bill Dietrich

Our once-in-a-lifetime, 50th anniversary world cruise was sunk by a coronavirus somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Nobody had COVID-19, but our vessel was treated like a plague ship nonetheless.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Community Voices / Life in the time of COVID-19

April 1, 2020
Salish Current editors

We asked Salish Current readers and writers to share their stories about how the COVID-19 virus is affecting them in this time of the evolving “new normal” — virtual coffees and happy hours, worries about the vitality of the arts and cultural sphere, isolation and social-distancing rules, and more.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Virus versus visitors: San Juan residents weigh health risks of tourism amid pandemic

March 26, 2020
Hayley Day

In the San Juan Islands, locals bank on a bustling tourism economy to generate business and provide wages, particularly during the sunny summer months. But with a growing pandemic, islanders, like others in small vacation destinations, are realizing fewer visitors might mean healthier locals.

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