On Saturday, Oct. 8, Western Washington University's lakefront recreational facility, Lakewood, held its first seasonal kick-off event. The event featured various free activities on the water to help first-time visitors get excited about Lakewood. Lakewood Manager Nino Johnson said he believes Lakewood should be accessible and open to new students. He wants to get people in the water, whether they have prior experience or not.
A blue house with white trim appears unassuming from the outside. Propped up on the steps is a hand-painted sign reading “Bluebird House.” A faint thumping can be heard from the street, but nothing too head-turning. Inside, however, the living room overflows with people, floorboards swaying under jumping feet. Where one would expect to find a couch is a handmade stage loaded with musical instruments and members of some of Bellingham’s most popular bands. Bellingham-based indie band Foxy Apollo held Foxy Fest, a two-night house-show music and arts festival on Friday, Oct. 7, and Saturday, Oct. 8 at Bluebird House. The lineup included Asterhouse, The Hookups, Hockey Teeth, Where’s the Exit, CHRVNS, Foxy Apollo, Madam Monarch and ebony.
Chalk floats through the air. Thumping feet hit the mat-covered floor. Athletes cling to colorful round holds that cover the high walls, pure strength and stamina holding them in place. This is Vital Climbing Gym. Finbarr Anderson, a new climber as of April 2022 and a third-year student at Western Washington University, said when people start climbing, they generally find their skill level rapidly advances.
Western Washington University was ranked 16th last month on Washington Monthly’s list of master’s-granting liberal arts colleges for its success in promoting public services and social mobility. According to its website, Washington Monthly ranks liberal arts colleges - “four year institutions that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees and that focus on arts and science rather than professional programs.”
The sixth floor of Western Washington University’s Alma Clark Glass Hall is designated as the hall’s “Pride Housing floor.” It’s the only floor on campus with entirely gender-neutral room assignments, but the program goes beyond just gender-neutral housing. Pride Housing’s mission statement, as provided by Western Residence Life, is “To provide students with opportunities for learning about the development of their own multidimensional personal and social identities.”
Western Washington University’s alternative student publication got a new name to kick off the new school year. Wavelength, formerly known as the AS Review, offers a fresh take on campus happenings from the Associated Students. While the publication’s URL still bears its former name, one visit to the website shows its evolution to a more energetic, modern media outlet topped off with a new blue-and-white wordmark logo.
The Washington state midterm elections are fast approaching – ballots are mailed Oct. 19 and due by 8 p.m. on Nov. 8. If you’re in Whatcom County, you’ll see statewide and local elections on the ballot. Local elections, the focus of this column series, tend to have lower media coverage and voter participation compared to statewide and national elections.
At almost 11 p.m. on the first Wednesday school night of October, dozens of Western Washington University students - many of them first-year students - gathered for an impromptu party at the campus sculpture popularly known as the “Stairs To Nowhere.” Away from their parents, first-year students at Western are getting a taste of what adult life is and the liberty that comes with it.
After opening a first location in Ferndale last February, family-owned-and-operated thrift store Mystery Thrift opened a second location in downtown Bellingham on Sept. 3, with a focus on charity, affordability and sustainability. Kyle Weiss, his wife Nicole and their daughter Avery own the business, while other members of the family work or volunteer within it. Co-owner Kyle Weiss was hoping to land a larger second location in Ferndale, but the best building for the business was on Commercial Street in downtown Bellingham. The building will soon be shared with We Care, another donation-based thrift store.
For the first time in over a year, the Carver Gym location of Freshens Fresh Foods Studio has opened for the fall quarter. The on-campus dining option was closed all of last year and some of 2020 due to the pandemic, subsequent labor shortages and supply chain issues. Now, Western Washington University students who have been craving Freshens in its absence are excited to see it up and running again.
A month out from the Nov. 8 midterm elections, community members are finding ways to build solidarity and civic engagement on local and regional levels. A local political action group, Indivisible Bellingham, is hosting an action-oriented Rally for Reproductive Rights, Freedom and Privacy at Bellingham City Hall on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 3 p.m.
Bellingham residents have experienced a surge in car and auto-related thefts since the beginning of this year. By March 27, 193 vehicles had been reported stolen since the start of 2022, according to the Bellingham Police Department’s daily activity logs.
High rent costs continue to be a struggle for Bellingham residents due to several factors, including low vacancy rates.
In an email to students and faculty at Western Washington University on Monday afternoon, President Sabah Randhawa announced that remote learning will be extended another two weeks, starting Tuesday, Jan. 11. The extension will last until Jan. 24.
Governor Jay Inslee visited Whatcom County to talk about the impact and damage the county faced following record rainfall and unprecedented flooding, two days after declaring a severe weather emergency on Nov. 15.