As gun death rates rise in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties, state refocuses to public health approach
With the number of gun deaths in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties on the rise and outpacing statewide trends, policy and law makers are stressing public health-focused solutions that could be more effective in prevention than legal tactics.
Ready to vote? 40th and 42nd district candidates tell where they stand on policing, COVID, more
Policies and funding decisions set at the state level have profound influence on our daily lives — and our long-term safety, health and well-being. Salish Current editors invited candidates for 40th and 42nd Legislative District House and Senate seats to answer questions on ten topics.
From the Editor / Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Students, teachers step up to remote-learning challenges — with help — as school year begins
School districts have worked since spring to ensure they’re adequately prepared for the 2020-2021 school year. Many, including here in Whatcom County, are receiving local, state and federal funding to help build infrastructure for remote learning.
‘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.
Community Voices / Busier-than-ever librarians connect people with books, job ads, even food during COVID shutdown
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.
In-person comment is out, for now: local governments adapt to life under COVID
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.
Community Voices / Kids in the time of COVID
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.