Housing is a basic human right that too often goes unaddressed on both local and global levels. Whatcom County residents struggle to find affordable or quality homes, and climate change demands an immediate pivot towards renewable energy to build a more resilient world.
These are some of the concerns that Western Washington University’s Advanced Energy Studies program sought to address. During his time as a student at WWU, Kellen Lynch participated in a class where the main emphasis was designing a net-zero energy building. Net-zero energy buildings “produce enough renewable energy to meet [their] own annual energy consumption requirements.”
Whatcom County was approved in its request to advance to Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start plan for business reopening during the new coronavirus pandemic, it was announced Friday, June 5.
Phase 2, which takes effect immediately, allows opening of many businesses that have been closed since March 24 and eases limits on social distancing that have been in effect to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Bill Tsi’li’xw James, hereditary chief of the Lummi people, was a teacher of culture, language and art who passed on teachings until his last breath.
Sharp in his mind until his passing June 1 at age 75 from a hereditary liver disease, Chief James was stood up as hereditary chief of the Lummi People in 2010, a role for which he was selected and groomed by the heads of Lummi families as a young man. He grew into a formidable spokesman for his people on the front lines of some of the most important fights of a generation, including a successful campaign in 2016 with tribes and their allies to block construction of the largest coal port in North America at Cherry Point.
He brought his people’s culture and way of life to the fight to save the southern resident orca whales from extinction, explaining to an uninitiated public that the orcas are not just black-and-white wildlife, but relatives of the Lummi people. He similarly fought for salmon and the Salish Sea and to protect the ancestors at the ancient village at Cherry Point, not just in everyday terms of land use, but sovereignty.
Slowly but surely, Gov. Jay Inslee’s four-phase plan to reopen Washington has taken effect throughout the state. Inslee unveiled his plan May 1, and as of Monday, June 1, about two-thirds of the state’s counties have advanced to Phase 2.
However, on May 29, Inslee introduced “Safe Start” — a plan to continue the phased reopening of the state after the stay-home order expired Sunday. In this new approach, each county can apply to the secretary of Health for advancement through the different phases on a case-by-case basis. Inslee’s office also introduced a “modified Phase 1” that allows counties not yet qualified for Phase 2 to ease restrictions on some business activities throughout. The secretary of Health can modify the plan to address the needs of different counties.
America is going through a challenging time. Many in America are responding to the deaths of George Floyd, Amaud Arbery, Atatiana Jefferson, and many others at the hands of the police. They are also responding to systemic racism that has affected people of color for many years. Too many years.
As the chief of police of Blaine, I stand for truth and righteousness. I condemn any abuse, however slight, of police power and authority. The members of the Blaine Police Department are highly trained and have the utmost respect for life and humanity. Blaine police officers are trained in de-escalation techniques, effective use of force, crisis intervention and the unjustness of bias-based policing. We have been taught how to recognize our own implicit biases, understand how biased policing impacts community members and have developed skills and tactics to reduce the influence of bias.
A total of 100,000 disposable face masks are in a warehouse, waiting to be distributed to Whatcom businesses that need them as the county moves to reopen from COVID-19 restrictions.
Whatcom Unified Command, the multi-governmental agency overseeing the local pandemic response, bought the non-medical masks so that businesses that are reopening can follow a directive from the county health officer that went into effect May 22.
The Whatcom County Health Department apparently has stopped releasing coronavirus data that is independent from COVID-19 data the Washington State Department of Health is releasing for the county.
The county health department in a press release Wednesday, June 1, announced that it has launched a new, interactive COVID-19 dashboard, that it says displays new metrics and should allow for better comparisons to other counties. The new dashboard still provides the same information that was previously available on the county’s page, including epidemiological curves and case counts, but in an interactive format and with new daily numbers.
With the economic slowdown from the new coronavirus moving into its fourth month, Gov. Jay Inslee extended his emergency order temporarily halting evictions and freezing new increases on residential rents.
The extended order — which now runs through Aug. 1 — also adds a variety of new provisions, according to Inslee’s office.
“In the current moment, it is just picking another fight with our allies on trade at a time when the administration’s trade agenda — particularly with China — is unraveling,” said Edward Alden, a professor at Western Washington University. “It’s hard to see why the administration wants another fight.”
Jason Oxman, chief executive of the Information Technology Industry Council, which includes Amazon, Facebook and Google, endorsed the administration action and expressed hopes for a negotiated solution.
Western Washington University President Sabah Randhawa, himself a Pakistani immigrant, discussed the “heavy burden” on every person of color in a statement Friday, May 30.
“I urge every member of our community to consider the ways systems of oppression and violence harm us and others, and to find ways to support and uphold members of our community who are suffering right now,” Randhawa said.. “While we are distant from each other, the simple act of checking in with friends and colleagues, of reaching out, is more important and more powerful than ever.”