Western Washington University students came prepared with a list of safety considerations including adding lighting, dense vegetation and litter control. Much of the early work is being done through a city collaboration with WWU’s Sustainable Communities program. At an estimated cost between $32,000 and $40,000, students will do a great deal of the planning grunt work on the project.
ust-released numbers show Whatcom County retailers were busy last spring, ringing up a record number of sales.
Taxable retail sales in the second quarter totaled more than $1.14 billion, the highest quarterly total ever in Whatcom County, according to data released by the Washington State Department of Revenue. The second quarter total was a 6.2 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017.
What was behind the strong retail growth? Here are three factors:
Last spring high gas prices prompted Canadians to come into Whatcom County, particularly the border towns of Blaine and Sumas. According to the data, retail trade, which focuses on items sold at businesses, was up 19.1 percent in Blaine and 53.2 percent in Sumas year-over-year for the second quarter.
During the second quarter, nearly 3.6 million people crossed southbound across the five Whatcom County border crossings, according to data from the Border Policy Research Institute at Western Washington University. That’s a 14.7 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2017.
The difference between gas prices in British Columbia and Whatcom County was wide last spring. In late March prices were hovering around $1.50 a liter (around $5.67 a gallon in Canadian dollars at the time), while gas in Whatcom County was averaging around $3.23 a gallon, according to AAA Washington.
“In the United States, traffic noise can be heard nearly everywhere,” said Jennifer Tennessen, first author of the paper who was a graduate student at Penn State at the time of the research and is currently a research associate at Western Washington University. “Noise can have a number of negative consequences on wildlife, for example by interfering with communication and reducing the ability to find food. Frogs are particularly vulnerable to noise because they rely on sound to find mates and reproduce. Wood frogs travel to ponds in the spring to mate and lay their eggs, but many of these ponds are located near noisy roads. We wanted to know if traffic noise has negative physiological effects on wood frogs and, if so, whether they can adapt.”
Western Washington University Police are investigating a string of recent homophobic and racist messages and threats of sexual violence left on dormitories and artwork around the Bellingham campus this week.
According to a WWU release on the incident, University Police were alerted at 10:57 a.m. Sunday to incidents and are conducting an “active, ongoing investigation,” and the believe all of the incidents are related to a single suspect.
Western Washington University is so hot right now: Or at least, the future piles of dorm compost will be hot, as it ferments into a beautiful soil enhancer. That’s right, WWU is starting one of the country’s first dorm-composting programs, a program started by students working with the University Residences and the Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund.
The future of a popular program at Western Washington University is in doubt as it tries to find consistent funding.
The Industrial Technology Vehicle Design program, which is the classroom portion of the Vehicle Research Institute, is expected to be put on a moratorium until it can become accredited. To do that, the university would need money from the state — and past proposals have not been funded.
Earlier this week, faculty members in the engineering and design department voted for the moratorium. The proposal now heads to two more committees for a decision.
If the moratorium is approved, students already in the program will be allowed to continue, but no new students would be accepted while a proposal is put together to get enough funding to become an accredited program.
This year’s program, sponsored in part by Island Market and San Juan Propane, will include presentations by noted speakers James McCafferty, director of Western Washington University’s Center for Economic and Business Research; Dr. Anneliese Vance-Sherman, regional labor economist for the State of Washington; and Victoria Compton, director of the San Juan County Economic Development Council.
Western Washington University just launched one of the first residence hall compost programs in the country.
The student-led project was created by three students who had all lived in the dorms at Western. Juniors Risa Askerooth, Jessica Loveland, and Abby Severns completed the project by collaborating with University Residences and the Sustainability, Equity and Justice Fund.
Competition begins at noon Thursday at Carver Gym on the WWU campus. The Vikings open against Cal State East Bay at 7:30 PM.