Canadians not in a hurry for their mail-ordered stuff have delayed pickup, and “there’s no space here, I can’t walk anymore. Packages are holding. One lady, she has 200 boxes. I’m like a warehouse,” Hannon said.
Hannon is among several businesses and Washingtonians that are feeling a big hole where Canadians used to travel through. An estimated 7.3 million Canadians crossed the border going south in 2019, and they outnumber U.S. crossers three to one, according to a fall 2020 report by Western Washington University (WWU).
Bill Wright, the first Black competitor to win a United States Golf Association event in an era when African-Americans were not welcome either in segregated country clubs or in the top amateur and professional ranks, died on Feb. 19 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 84.
His wife and only immediate survivor, Ceta (Smith) Wright, confirmed the death. She said he had a stroke in 2017 and had Alzheimer’s disease.
Wright was attending the Western Washington College of Education (now Western Washington University) in 1959 when he won the U.S.G.A. Amateur Public Links Championship in Denver.
After barely qualifying for match play, he had little trouble in the tournament. His skill on the greens led The Spokesman-Review of Spokane to call him a “slender putting wizard.”
Twenty-four new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Whatcom County were reported on the Washington State Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard on Saturday, Feb. 27. Deaths are not reported on the weekends.
Overall, Whatcom County has seen 6,604 confirmed cases and 83 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data as of 11:59 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, meaning 1.2% of all COVID cases in Whatcom County have been linked to a death.
A former Western Washington University student who was expelled after allegedly writing racist and hate-filled slurs on campus property has been given a suspended sentence.
Shayne Robert Merwin, 22, of Gold Bar, pleaded guilty on Jan. 13 in Whatcom County Superior Court to harassment and first-degree criminal trespass, both gross misdemeanors. Merwin was sentenced to 364 days in jail, with all of them suspended, according to court records.
Recently, legislative debates turned from carbon pricing to the Healthy Environment for All Act (HEAL) uplifting environmental justice (EJ). This is important legislation, but what we really need are bold solutions and different laws addressing a persistent form of unjust and ongoing pollution. Air toxic exposure disparities and their impacts on communities like the Duwamish Valley are still being ignored by politicians and industry. This inattention continues even as new research suggests that higher air pollution may increase COVID-19 vulnerability and deaths.
Many environmentalists in our region not only overlook decades of toxic air pollution injustice, some even gloss over the problem. In January, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Seattle office announced that industrial toxic releases declined in the Northwest. Pollution dropped 12% in 2019 for 752 facilities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. They further asserted “that U.S. companies that use and manage chemicals and metals continue to make progress in preventing pollution.”
But we knew that regional averages likely obscured trends in our heavily polluted Duwamish River Valley neighborhoods of Georgetown and South Park — often first documented by our community. EPA analysts lumped air, water, and land pollution together. When viewed separately, air and water pollution went up in the Northwest. Surface-water discharges increased by 1.17 million pounds and air pollution by 610 thousand pounds between 2018 and 2019.
The ink had barely dried on 23-year-old Rick Eskil‘s Western Washington University diploma when he joined the Union-Bulletin news staff on Jan. 2, 1980. He graduated from WWU in December 1979.
He has been a joy to work with ever since — for more than four decades.
His wry, rapier-sharp humor, lightning wit, accuracy, political acumen, passion for community dialog, committed belief in reporting the facts and memory-like-a-trap are legendary.
“From the beginning, I was taken by Rick’s skill and quick wit. I admired and learned from his intelligence, tenacity and more,” said former colleague Terry McConn.
Days after marking a solemn milestone in the pandemic, President Joe Biden is celebrating the pace of his efforts to end it.
On Thursday, Biden marked the administration of the 50 millionth dose of COVID-19 vaccine since his swearing-in. The moment came days after the nation reached the devastating milestone of 500,000 coronavirus deaths and ahead of a meeting with the nation’s governors on plans to speed the distribution even further.
“The more people get vaccinated, the faster we’re going to beat this pandemic,” Biden said at the White House ceremony, noting that his administration is on course to exceed his promise to deliver 100 million shots in his first 100 days in office.
Whatcom County saw 43 new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported on the Washington State Department of Health’s coronavirus dashboard on Thursday, Feb. 25, but no related deaths were reported..
Overall, Whatcom County has seen 6,542 confirmed cases and 82 related deaths during the pandemic, according to state data as of 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, meaning 1.2% of all COVID cases in Whatcom County have been linked to a death.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Thursday announced a pause on regions moving backward in the state’s “Healthy Washington — Roadmap to Recovery” plan, meaning the entire state will remain in Phase 2 of the two-phase plan for now.
“We’re making this pause in recognition of the fact that we’ve made incredible progress in knocking down the infection rate of COVID in the last several weeks,” Inslee said at a virtual news conference.
February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors’ offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. But not this year.
Flu has virtually disappeared from the U.S., with reports coming in at far lower levels than anything seen in decades.
Experts say that measures put in place to fend off the coronavirus — mask wearing, social distancing and virtual schooling — were a big factor in preventing a “twindemic” of flu and COVID-19. A push to get more people vaccinated against flu probably helped, too, as did fewer people traveling, they say.