In the Media

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:25pm
Seattle Times

Sharp-eyed dwellers of Washington’s northwest corner could look skyward in recent weeks and see thousands of snow geese — winter residents of the nearby Skagit Valley — gracefully winging their way north in a migration old as time.

It was a welcome glimpse of seasonal business-as-usual — and a rare one. Most humans with designs on a northerly spring migration get stopped, cold, on roads or waters around Blaine, thanks to a virtual wall between the U.S. and Canada, the result of border restrictions imposed in March to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:22pm
New York Times

Some workplaces have been hit particularly hard. At Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., more than 400 out of about 2,500 total employees have been targeted with fraudulent claims, Paul Cocke, the university’s spokesman, said.

The state has been inundated with calls from people and businesses asking about unemployment notifications that have been sent to them. They have flooded a hotline and have forced the state to hire more people to answer the phones.

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:19pm
Courthouse News Service

“For decades, the right has been fueling a hostility to government that has bread real and deep distrust among Americans on the right to what government, not just what government does, but who the people in government are,” said Johann Neem, an author and a history professor at Western Washington University. “In that sense, there is that idea of ‘leave me alone’ that is being expressed from the right.”

Monday, May 18, 2020 - 2:17pm
The Bellingham Herald

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach is a geophysics professor at Western Washington University. Dr. Josef Dufek is a professor at the University of Oregon, teaching volcanology in the Department of Earth Sciences. Dr. Steve Malone is a research professor emeritus in the Department of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington. Finally, Dr. Seth Moran is a scientist in charge of the Cascade Volcano Observatory of the U.S. Geological Survey. All four presenters will provide perspectives from not only their field of study but also what it was like to live through the eruption.

Friday, May 15, 2020 - 12:47pm
Seattle Times

Washington state officials said Thursday they’re stopping unemployment payments for two days while they attempt to block a gush of fraudulent claims aimed at stealing some of the billions of dollars that Congress directed to workers left jobless amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Between March and April, the number of fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits jumped 27-fold to 700, the state Employment Security Department (ESD) told The Seattle Times. During that same period, the amount of money bled off by suspected f

Friday, May 15, 2020 - 12:46pm
U.S, News and World Report

The most likely cause of the recent swarm is a subterranean movement of magmatic fluids within the volcano, although Neal added the earthquakes could also be caused by gas or fluid escaping from Loihi.

Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, a Western Washington University professor who has studied Loihi for decades, said its periodic earthquake swarms are “interesting, but not alarming.”

“I think Loihi would have to split in half to create a damaging tsunami,” Caplan-Auerbach said. “And we don’t think that’s going to happen anytime soon.”

Friday, May 15, 2020 - 12:44pm
Seattle Times

Disease trackers are calling a choir practice in Mount Vernon, Skagit County, a superspreader event that illustrates how easily the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can pass from person to person.

The act of singing itself may have spread the virus in the air and onto surfaces, according to a report published Tuesday by Skagit County Public Health.

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:30pm
National Observer (Canada)

Canada is not yet prepared to confront the challenges inherent in reopening the shared border with the United States, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, stopping short of confirming that a ban on non-essential travel will be extended to June 21.

The federal government has asked to extend the current ban, which is currently set to expire May 21, and a favourable response is expected from Washington — but likely won't come for a few more days, a source familiar with the ongoing discussions, but not authorized to talk about them publicly, told The Canadian Press. News of the request was first reported by the Globe and Mail.

"Right now, we're making decisions for right now," Trudeau said when asked about the possibility of keeping the border closed even after June 21, regardless of the wishes of the U.S., which is dealing with the worst COVID-19 outbreak in the world.


Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:29pm
The Bellingham Herald

In his most candid moments, Ali Modarres doesn’t talk about the mounting economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis in terms of a recession, even if you put an adjective — like “great” or “super-duper” — in front of it.

Rather, Modarres likens it to a collective trauma.

“We need to go through the stages of grief and be with this,” Modarres, the director of urban studies at University of Washington Tacoma, said last week.

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:27pm
The Bellingham Herald

In what is expected to be a crucial step to fully reopening Whatcom’s economy, a local lab is now offering COVID-19 testing services for workers.

The Regional Economic Partnership at the Port of Bellingham announced that Northwest Laboratory is now providing the testing services at the request of companies, including testing workers that are not showing symptoms.