Cover Story

  April 2021

Proposed Whatcom County Jail

1983 The current Whatcom County jail in downtown Bellingham opened. 1996 Oct. 1  The county executive formed a blue ribbon panel to address criminal justice issues. On 3/20/1997, the panel recommended a 750-bed minimum security facility be funded by a … Continue reading

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  April 2021

Bellingham Pondering Single-Use Plastic Ban

The city of Bellingham’s Public Works and Natural Resources Committee began discussing a draft ordinance on single-use plastic in 2020. The ordinance would ban most forms of single-use plastic foodware and hotel personal care mini-containers.  However, in March 2020, it … Continue reading

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  April 2021

Reimagining Jail Sentences

Part 1  Navigating Through an Overcrowded Jail Three hundred twenty-two inmates were packed inside a jail built to house 148 in the early 2000s. This was the most crowded Corrections Lt. Caleb Erickson ever saw the Whatcom County Jail. (1) Despite … Continue reading

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  March 2021

Bringing the Beach Back to Birch Bay

After decades of erosion, the county is restoring the bay’s natural shoreline. When a storm hit Birch Bay in 2018, it was accompanied by towering 11-feet-tall king tides, much like the storms the town had seen before. The waves managed … Continue reading

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  March 2021

Blaine Air Force Station

The Blaine Air Force Station was one of 28 stations that was built as part of the Air Defense Command. In the early 1950s, the United States Air Force saw a need for increased aerial protection in certain sectors of … Continue reading

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  March 2021

Zero Energy Buildings Promise Affordable Housing

If people had more affordable housing options to choose from, more people struggling with homelessness would be able to find a place to rent, John Moon, Habitat for Humanity Whatcom executive director said in a statement. When it comes to … Continue reading

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  February 2021

Solar Industry Has Grown in Whatcom County

Environmental laws have been burgeoning in Washington state recently, despite the federal downplaying of environmental stewardship under the Trump administration. Governor Jay Inslee announced an array of new climate-related policy proposals in mid-December 2020. If passed, these policies — dubbed … Continue reading

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  February 2021

Once Hearty “Hooligans” Declining in the Salish Sea

This article was first published in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. A river spawning species of forage fish known as the longfin smelt is rare and getting rarer in the Salish Sea. Biologists are looking into the mysterious decline of the … Continue reading

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  January 2021

Giant Hornets Could Decimate Raspberry Pollinators

Author’s Note: On December 27, 2020,  funding was finally secured through the “Murder Hornet Eradication Pilot Program,” which was signed into law by as part of the government’s massive 2021 omnibus spending package. The program, introduced by the Secretary of … Continue reading

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  January 2021

Drinking Water Harmed by Invasive Species and Pollution

We all have a lot on our minds these days, and the quality of our water might not be at the top of the list. But Lake Whatcom, the drinking water source for 100,000 Whatcom County residents, including Bellingham, faces … Continue reading

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