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Isolated Point Roberts struggles with labor, border restrictions
Residents try to keep economy afloat

POINT ROBERTS — Isolation has been a universal experience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but no one has experienced isolation quite like Point Roberts and the hundreds of people residing in the small Washington exclave.

Point Roberts juts from the mainland of Canada, just below the 49th parallel. Since the start of the pandemic, the economy of the tourist destination — requiring double border crossings to reach from the U.S. mainland — has been gutted, its population has slumped.

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Homeskillet morphs to social club
Iconic Sunnyland brunch spot closes in May

For the past 10 years, Homeskillet has fed the hearts and souls of the Bellingham community with its iron skillets piled high with fried potatoes and scrambled eggs cooked-to-order on a six-burner stove.

This May, Homeskillet will close its doors and stop serving its delicious hashes, but owners Kirby and Tina White aren't going anywhere for long.

“We'll still be helping folks in the community,” Tina said. “The support isn't going away, just the tater tot hash.”

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Whatcom schools fear election misinformation
Voter's guide contained outside opinion, content

Two school districts have raised concerns about misinformation and opinions from outside Whatcom County that were included in the voter's guide for bond and levy measures in the Feb. 8 special election.

One instance involved what school officials call demonstrably false allegations made by local residents opposed to the Ferndale levy measure. The other highlighted the fact that an opposition statement to a narrowly victorious Bellingham School District bond measure was written by a Snohomish County man who opposed dozens of tax measures around the state. 

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Western's environmental college moves on, but name debate lingers
Students, faculty consider impacts

In an era of deep examination of the ways institutional racism has shaped U.S. social structures, name-change controversies have become almost as common on university campuses as term papers. They follow a common pattern: inquiry, discovery, protest, argument and resolution, often resulting in a changed name, intense feelings and confusion about long-term implications.

That's exactly what happened this winter at Western Washington University, which found itself in a bitter tug-of-war between student demands and status-quo before removing the name of 19th century biologist Thomas Henry Huxley from the oldest environmental college in the country.

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Many Whatcom families switch to home schooling
Public schools see decline in enrollment due to pandemic

BLAINE — With the pandemic changing education, blurring lines between public and home school, many Whatcom County families have made the decision to keep educating their children from home. 

Jenna Schrengohst had two children in the Blaine School District who were doing great prior to the pandemic. When they went online with the onset of COVID-19, she said her 10-year-old daughter, Betty, thrived because she liked working at her own pace and doing extra projects. Her younger child, Coramina, has autism, and she said she was concerned about how she would do returning.

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