Managing waste: what’s in your bins?

May 18, 2022
Clifford Heberden

China’s 2018 steps back in accepting the world’s throw-aways have resulted in better local systems for managing our millions of tons of waste and recyclables—but more needs to be done.

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Affordable housing—however defined—is in short supply in Skagit County

March 24, 2022
Lauren Gallup
Everyone’s versions of “affordable” housing are in high demand—and short supply—in steadily growing Skagit County.
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Masks off, vaxxed, ready to go out … what’s next with COVID-19?

March 11, 2022
Kenneth Duncan

Washington residents won’t be required to wear masks inside many public areas starting March 12. But experts advise not to throw out those masks yet and caution that vulnerable groups are still at high risk of infection from COVID-19.

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Skagit sheriff-social-worker partnership is a game-changer in mental health calls

February 4, 2022
Lauren Gallup

A different approach to how first responders in Skagit County address mental health crises is changing the outcome of behavioral health emergencies and helping people stay out of the hospital or jail.

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2021: A look back at some stories from the first full year of Salish Current

December 31, 2021
Salish Current editors

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.

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Whatcom farmers face manure management challenges after flooding

December 22, 2021
Lauren Gallup

Flooding in Whatcom and Skagit counties in November put major stress on local dairies, including lost animals and lost revenues for some. Now there’s another hurdle: With storage lagoons overtopping, where can they store all that manure? Farmers and county and state agencies are stepping up to the challenge, to prevent pollution downstream and restore infrastructure.

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Housing and growth issues surround Skagit County consideration of ‘fully contained community’ proposal

November 18, 2021
Lauren Gallup

Mostly rural Skagit County — with a population density about half of Whatcom County to the north and one-sixth of Snohomish County to the south — has a big-county problem: housing. Planners are looking at solutions including a comp plan amendment to allow “fully contained communities,” or FCCs, to create urban villages in currently rural zones.

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‘Food hub plus’ part of ambitious collaboration to meet housing and food needs

October 1, 2021
Lane Morgan

A complex housing and food resources proposal for the Bellingham waterfront aims to employ a fusion of community and economic development in “a once in a lifetime opportunity” to meet local food supply needs — with the help of local farmers and suppliers.

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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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Skagit fair sates longing for fun and ‘normalcy’ in face of COVID-19

August 19, 2021
Teya Heidenreich

After a year’s hiatus, the Skagit County Fair resumed Aug. 11-14 with an increased attendance over past years — despite COVID-19 infections spiking in the county.

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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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photo: Elisa Claassen © 2021

Water supply on Guemes: an island paradise faces challenges

July 27, 2021
Elisa Claassen

More people and rising sea levels mean continuously increasing freshwater challenges on Guemes Island, compelling action on the part of individuals and possibly government — to ensure enough water supply to meet demand.

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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: Alex Meacham © 2020

New report details action plan for fixing Padilla Bay fecal coliform sources, urges participation

November 20, 2020
Alex Meacham

The Padilla Bay Freshwater Tributary Fecal Coliform Total Maximal Daily Load (TMDL) Report is due to be submitted by Ecology to the Environmental Protection Agency at the end of 2020 and lists fecal coliform bacteria sources and strategies for cleanup.

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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

Local schools seek parent, student feedback before announcing fall plans

August 2, 2020
Genevieve Iverson

As fall school start dates approach, many local districts are waiting to release detailed back-to-school plans amid uncertain COVID-19 health concerns.

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