Governor Jay Inslee issued a decree Sunday night to shut down all bars in Washington, and severely limiting the operation of other businesses. Here is the full statement:
Given the explosion of COVID-19 in our state and globally, I will sign a statewide emergency proclamation tomorrow to temporarily shut down restaurants, bars and entertainment and recreational facilities.
Restaurants will be allowed to provide take-out and delivery services but no in-person dining will be permitted.
The ban will not apply to grocery stores and pharmacies. Other retail outlets will have reduced occupancy.
Additionally, all gatherings with over 50 participants are prohibited and all gatherings under 50 participants are prohibited unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met.
These are very difficult decisions, but hours count here and very strong measures are necessary to slow the spread of the disease. I know there will be significant economic impacts to all our communities and we are looking at steps to help address those challenges.
Tonight, after consultations with me and with the Department of Health, King County announced that they will be taking these actions immediately. King County has been the hotbed of this outbreak and has the largest population center in the state. I have spoken to Executive Dow Constantine and I applaud their decision to act quickly. We will do a joint media announcement with more details tomorrow morning.”
The Downtown Bellingham Partnership held a public Q&A with mayoral candidates Seth Fleetwood, April Barker, Pinky Vargas and Garrett O’Brien on June 19. Note that the first 11 minutes of this video are introductions and procedural discussion – best to skip ahead.
Bellingham breweries had a strong showing at the North American Beer Awards this month, bringing home a total of 14 medals. In addition, Chuckanut Brewery won overall in the Best Large Brewery category. Here are the winning breweries and their entries, listed in order of domination.
Silver – Chuckanut Maibock – Helles BockMaibock
Gold – Chuckanut Asian Lager – Latin American or Tropical-Style Lager or Ale
Silver – Chuckanut Mexican – – Latin American or Tropical-Style Lager or Ale
Silver – Chuckanut Rye Lager – Rye Beer
Gold – Chuckanut Altbier 9 – Altbier
Gold – Chuckanut Dortmunder – DortmunderExport
Silver – Correspondent – Foreign-Style Stout
Gold – Oud Bruin – Flanders-Style Red or Brown Ale
Gold – Champagne Toast – Berliner-Style Weisse
Kulshan Brewing Company
Bronze – Helles – Helles Lager
Silver – Cherry Gose – Flavored Gose
Aslan Brewing Company
Bronze – Frances Farmer – Brett Beer
Bronze – A Study of Dreams – Berliner-Style Weisse
Silver – Honey, Wheat Shrunk the Kids – American-Style Wheat Ale
Citing public interest in food trucks and “more creative uses of underutilized parking spaces,” the city announced new rules governing food truck, sidewalk vendors and “parklets,” curb-level decks that extend the sidewalk into the street. The parklets can be used as sidewalk cafes where the existing sidewalk in front of a restaurant is narrower than the required eight feet.
Previously, food trucks had to park on private property. Now they will be able to reserve metered street parking spaces. It’s not a free-for-all, though. The new rules limit food truck parking space permits to ten per district, and each permit must be approved by the abutting business or property owner, as well any restaurants within 50 feet.
Sidewalk vendors aren’t limited in number, but will require similar approval from neighboring businesses.
Western Washington University has some big construction projects in the works, including a new science building, academic support offices, and the replacement of an old dormitory with a larger one.
The Highland Hall dorms are slated for demolition this fall. They were built in 1956, and house 136 students. The new building will house 400, and will include amenities to make them more appealing to students beyond their first year of school, according to WWU Director of University Communications Paul Cocke. It’s expected to be completed in time for the 2021 fall semester.
WWU’s student housing includes 16 dormitories and an apartment complex, accommodating more than 4,000 students. In the fall of 2018, WWU had 16,121 enrolled students, including a record number of incoming freshmen, who are more likely to live on campus. Eight-eight percent of WWU freshmen spend their first year in the dorms.
Crews will be busy in Boulevard Park all summer, removing the wooden pedestrian overpass at the north end of the park and rerouting utility lines that the overpass currently supports. Both the main park entrance off Bayview Drive and the entrance at the end of the South Bay Trail will be closed intermittently while utilities are rerouted underground. Pedestrian access via the Taylor Street Dock will remain open.
“New underground utilities will be installed in Bayview Drive up to State Street, resulting in predictable services to the park for decades to come,” said Leslie Bryson, Bellingham’s Park and Recreation Director. “The City asks for everyone’s patience while contractors move around the site with large equipment.” Completion expected in September.
Boulevard Pedestrian Overpass was built in the 1970s to provide pedestrian access to the park from State Street prior to the opening of the South Bay Trail in 2004. The overpass is in poor condition, and has been closed for safety reasons since 2016.
Happy hour, bar and nightlife guide to Bellingham, Washington