Lighthouse shelter, track coach discipline, antisemitism: your May 4 weekly news briefing
The Port of Bellingham is buying waterfront property the city wanted to use for a low-barrier homeless shelter. The port commission voted 2-1 to buy the property for $765,000 at their meeting on Tuesday, May 2. The port had the option to purchase due to a land swap deal with the city. Mayor Kelli Linville had asked the port not to purchase the property, as she felt it was the best option for the proposed Lighthouse Mission shelter. The shelter would’ve had space for 200 people.
Head track and field coach Kelven “Pee Wee” Halsell received a written reprimand for failing to inform higher-ups of volunteer track coach Tanner Boyd’s criminal history. The reprimand letter from Athletics Director Steve Card is dated April 10, 2017. Card wrote that Halsell made him aware of his knowledge of Boyd’s earlier arrest on November 12, 2016.
President Sabah Randhawa released the report from the Task Force on Preventing and Responding to Antisemitism on Tuesday, May 2. The Western Front published that morning questioned when the report would be released, as the task force submitted it to President Randhawa on March 31, according to emails obtained by the Front.
In The Western Front:
Alumni have taken to Facebook to criticize the proposed KVIK restructure. The Associated Students plans to cut the student filmmaking program and reallocate paid positions to the AS Communications Office.
An immigration paralegal training program for students will begin in fall 2018 due to a partnership between Western and Whatcom Community College. Paralegals would assist local immigration lawyers with tasks such as preparing clients and drafting legal documents.
Simrun Chhabra, AS president-elect, told The Western Front she looks forward to working with underrepresented communities.
Fish from the Fairhaven Pond remain missing. Students took the fish during pond maintenance, as they were worried there wasn’t enough water for them. Lead gardener Heidi Zeretzke said students should not have taken the fish, as they are state property.
Former AS presidential candidate Mary Moeller’s selfie with President Sabah Randhawa has drawn questions. While other candidates said this seemed like an endorsement, Director of Communications and Marketing Paul Cocke said the president does not get involved in AS elections.