Island waste: can’t burn or bury it, so best to manage it
Islands in San Juan County present unique challenges in waste management and have found solutions meeting each island’s needs.
Thanks for the memories, 2022; what’s next, 2023?
We lived, we learned; now it’s time to get ready for what may be ahead in 2023, after a look back at what happened this year.
A most interesting job
Commentary: Meet Sandy Hart, who may have one of the most interesting jobs in Bellingham.
Lopez pool plan is making waves
An $8 million campaign to build a swimming pool on Lopez Island for its 2,800 residents has brought out donors, supporters—and opponents.
‘I was one of the lucky ones’
Commentary: On the verge of homelessness at a crucial time, Jack Westford considers himself to be “one of the lucky ones.”
Got something to say about homelessness? Write it down, send it in
Salish Current and the Rotary Club of Bellingham want to hear your thoughts on homelessness — a reality for the well over 1,200 people in our area who lack housing.
A twisted path to homelessness
A community resident finds herself without long-term housing after a downward spiral into homelessness.
Hope on the horizon
Despite a difficult start to a difficult life, a woman in her 60s looks forward to finding housing — and reconnecting with family.
Law into action: teaching sexual inclusivity in school sexual education
Local public school districts are preparing to meet new state mandates for teaching about sexuality and gender.
Who are the homeless?
Our concept of the “deserving poor” needs to expand past attitudes mirroring 17th and 18th century mores that drive today’s ambivalent response to homelessness.
A second chance
Sharing the story: A rough road from abuse during an upper-middle-class childhood to an adult life of “camping out,” estrangement from loved ones and time in prison have led one man to the Light House Mission, a new sense of purpose and a better time of life.
Holding the line on phosphorus in Lake Whatcom
Popular as a residential and recreational site, Lake Whatcom is also the source of drinking water for many county residents. Following its listing in 1998 as polluted with increasing levels of phosphorus, the lake is the focus of efforts to meet targets to bring down those levels.
Winter shelter solutions lag behind need as unhoused number continues to grow
Whatcom County’s unhoused population has seen a steady rise over the past decade, making it hard to plan how to meet shelter and housing needs. But planning — a year or more in advance — is an important part of finding long-term solutions.
Housing pressures spark new look at inclusionary zoning
Inclusionary zoning policies that either incentivize or require developers to include some units in construction projects that qualify as affordable housing are being reexamined as a way to provide much-needed affordable housing in Bellingham.
2021: A look back at some stories from the first full year of Salish Current
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.
Growth in local cannabis business amplifies challenges as well as revenues
Cannabis industries in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties have experienced a large increase in both revenue for retailers and excise tax proceeds for governments over the past two years. But sales growth means competition for supplies and workspace, and smaller, more locally based businesses are struggling to keep a foothold among the bigger players.