Sitting silently does nothing for island ferry service
Commentary: Inaction on ferry service issues guarantees that what we know is bad will almost inevitably get worse.
Diesel oil from sunken Aleutian Isle ‘nonrecoverable’
A thin sheen of diesel oil — deemed nonrecoverable — remains on the surface of the water following the sinking of a fishing vessel last month off San Juan Island.
Islanders grapple with concerns over a finite resource: water
Aquifers around the Salish Sea are at risk from seawater intrusion, exhaustion and the concern that replenishment could become more and more difficult with the changing climate.
San Juans adopt island-by-island vacation rental cap
How much tourism is too much? San Juan County sets a cap on vacation rental permits.
Can Southern Resident killer whales have legal rights?
Ecosystem conference: Advocates are promoting ‘rights of nature’ as orca numbers dwindle.
Risk of homelessness high for many in the San Juan Islands
Unhoused individuals and families live in every county in Washington. In San Juan County, the problem is compounded by low-paying jobs in the service industry — among the lowest wages in the state — as well as the high cost of housing and a shortage of affordable rentals.
Food security requires connection to land, to each other
Feeding communities is particularly challenging now, in the face of systemic upheaval, climate change and uncertainty. San Juan islanders making key connections to build resilience for future food security met recently in an ag summit.
Anticipated Salish Sea vessel traffic increases spark calls for more environmental protections
Fossil fuel and terminal expansion projects up and down the Salish Sea are estimated to boost annual shipping vessel traffic by at least 25% in the near future, and the projected increase has raised concerns about increased risk to the environment.
Paradise full: Finding space to rest at Lopez Island cemetery
At 140 years old, pastorally situated Lopez Union Cemetery is encountering high demand — but running out of space. Managers are looking to ground-penetrating radar technology to help determine just how much space is available in the nonprofit cemetery, and considering other options as well.
Ferry delays are beyond inconvenience, islanders stress at community meeting
Islanders gave Washington State Ferries staff an earful at a community meeting about how disruptions on the San Juan-Anacortes ferry route hamper access to healthcare, education, jobs, supplies and families. With COVID-19, freezing weather and crew shortages, ferry riders have endured a chaotic year and want to know what the state will do to improve the situation.
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.
Talking turkey in the San Juans: strutting the line between welcome wildlife and pest
The American wild turkey, introduced for hunting in the San Juan Islands around 1980, seems to have learned well how to live near humans — to the extent of unwelcome encroachment, in the minds of some. Given mixed responses in human-dominated environs, what makes a wild creature a charming neighbor to some and a pest to others?
Fictional whale tale underscores real-life role of kinship in orcas’ survival
In the newly published novel “Beyond the Human Realm,” Lopez Island scientist and author Gene Helfman draws on the real-life intelligence of orcas in a fictional story that affirms that preservation of the species requires the adoption of an approach characterized by kinship.
‘Where’s the ferry?’ islanders ask as crew shortages stymie scheduled sailings
In San Juan County, where ferry service is an integral part of the state highway system, recent cancellations of ferry sailings related to crew shortages have resulted in some residents unable to get home, to work or to doctor appointments, and have delayed arrival of groceries and other vital supplies.
No new reservations, for now: Living and working around ferry delays, cancellations in the San Juans
This year’s peak-season summer Washington State Ferries sailing schedule has been plagued by delayed and canceled sailings, some due to a shortage of crew and some to mechanical problems. For the long Labor Day weekend, things are not looking much brighter for the San Juan Islands runs.
Community Voices / San Juan County to vote on climate, environment, equity, justice amendments to county charter
Priority for climate and environment; justice, equity and inclusion; and an emphasis on citizen engagement are driving proposals the San Juan County Charter Review Commission has advanced for the November ballot. The commission is continuing its work and plans to submit additional propositions for the 2022 ballot.