In country, town and city, treatment for drug addiction is urgently needed

November 18, 2021
Heather Spaulding

Harm reduction programs and collaborations among police, health professionals and society at large pave the pathways to treatment needed by those addicted to drugs, agreed an expert panel at the recent Ralph Munro seminar. Along with looking at why people turn to drugs and how to get them the help they need to overcome addiction, the panel offered ideas as to what’s needed in the way of policy.

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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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Vaccine mandate becoming latest COVID ‘new normal’ for work or play

September 24, 2021
Matt Benoit

As the Delta variant of COVID-19 ravages the unvaccinated population, killing some and filling hospitals, public, private, and government entities have renewed masking mandates, and more are enacting vaccination mandates and requiring proof of testing to stamp out the virus from places of both work and play.

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Community Voices / New police laws will make our communities safer

August 3, 2021
Sen. Liz Lovelett, Rep. Debra Lekanoff and Rep. Alex Ramel

In response to “a clear call” for reforms in criminal justice and police accountability, Washington’s state legislature responded with several new laws. Now, 40th District legislators say they believe there has been some misinterpretation of the new laws, and hope that lawmakers and law enforcement agencies will continue to work to implement the new laws in good faith.

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Have enough water? San Juan prepares to find out, with USGS study

July 21, 2021
Heather Spaulding

A study funded by the state legislature and the U.S. Geological Survey will address a major barrier in both predicting San Juan County’s future water needs and managing current systems: the capacity of wells in the county is unknown.

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Major funding, new policies aim to provide ‘basic necessity’ of broadband

May 28, 2021
Jacqueline Allison

State legislators approved a record $411 million in the capital budget this session to expand high-speed internet across the state, in particular in communities with limited or zero connectivity.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2021

‘Bold’ ideas around equity, environment proposed as San Juan reviews its county charter

May 21, 2021
Heather Spaulding

San Juan County voters could be voting this fall to create a county climate and environment office and a justice and equity commission by amending the county’s 15-year-old home rule charter.

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photo: Konrad Roeder © 2007

San Juan council candidates outline positions on vacation rentals, COVID rules and more

October 6, 2020
Salish Current editors

With issues ranging from strengthening the county’s economic base to balancing vacation rental inventory in an area inhabited year-round by tourists and second-home owners

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photo: Ann Potter © 2020

Toxic tansy ragwort is having a boom year

September 14, 2020
Alex Meacham

Pernicious, invasive and even sometimes deadly for livestock, tansy ragwort has enjoyed a booming bloom this summer in Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties and across the rest of western Washington and Oregon.

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photo: Amy Nelson © 2020

Farming is more challenging than ever during the pandemic

August 7, 2020
Kimberly Cauvel

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, farms are facing more challenges than ever during the busy season, with their workers among the most vulnerable to the virus and produce reaching fewer buyers through usual markets, festivals and tourism outlets.

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photo: League of Women Voters Skagit © 2020

Ballots in the mail July 15, primary vote Aug. 4

July 17, 2020
Mike Sato

The primary election clock today started its three-week countdown to primary election day, Aug. 4. Washington voters are able to stay safe by voting by mail during COVID-19 times, as always, so there should be no excuse for not exercising one’s most powerful citizen’s right: voting.

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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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