Local

What mattered most in 2022

10 top news topics, chosen by CDN staff
December 21, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.
Then-Rep. Sharon Shewmake receives a congratulatory fist bump after receiving the first round of election results at the Hotel Leo on Nov. 8. Shewmake beat incumbent Simon Sefzik in the race for the 42nd District Senate seat.
Then-Rep. Sharon Shewmake receives a congratulatory fist bump after receiving the first round of election results at the Hotel Leo on Nov. 8. Shewmake beat incumbent Simon Sefzik in the race for the 42nd District Senate seat. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

By CDN Staff

When we hit the online “LIVE” button for an all-new, digital daily, print-weekly news organization on Jan. 24, 2022, Cascadia Daily News launched with a concerted mission: Fill part of a news void in northwest Washington state with a fiercely independent, locally owned and managed, broad-based publication, shining light on a wide range of local public life. Nearly a year later, we hope that our first 12 months of work show some solid steps in that direction.

Visit our Year in Review page (or pick up a copy of the Dec. 21 print paper) to see what our newsroom reporters, editors and photographers consider to be the most memorable and important examples of that work — a glimpse at a year in the life of people in a place we are proud to call home.

Presented below is a list of the 10 most impactful news subjects of the year, chosen by CDN staff.

 —Ron Judd, executive editor


• Key swing district flips: Whatcom County's 42nd District, long a GOP stronghold, went fully blue after the death of Sen. Doug Ericksen of Ferndale and a narrow midterm victory by Democrat Sharon Shewmake.

• City chastened for lofty climate change goals: Bellingham rolled back a costly plan to renovate its wastewater treatment plant and shelved an expensive, proposed climate action fund amid political blowback.

• Whatcom County reckons with race: Whatcom County Council forms a racial equity commission, and two Black community members took seats on the Bellingham City Council.

• Attempts to recover from global pandemic hampered by economic shortfalls: As COVID-19 restrictions lifted, businesses and institutions struggled with labor shortages, inflation and supply-chain issues.

• School administrators on the hot seat: Bellingham Public Schools was struck by simultaneous year-end scandals, one involving hazing and one involving the alleged failure of administrators to report sexual assaults.

• Whatcom County mulls industrial future: Ferndale's Intalco aluminum smelter, part of a cluster of industries based around Cherry Point, saw hopes of reopening dashed — at least for now — in December.

• Housing, and lack thereof, shapes agendas: “Livability” issues extended past homelessness this year amid rent hikes, safety concerns, soaring housing prices, a low vacancy rate and a surge of newcomers.

• Police face shortages while crime rises: Bellingham residents, angered by a spike in property crime and other offenses, got little satisfaction from local governments, which cited a struggle to attract and retain law enforcement.

• 22 North at a crossroads: A downtown facility became a symbol for issues like homelessness and drug addiction.

• WWU women lead the way: Continuing a legacy of overachieving women's athletics at Western, the basketball team was a national runner-up and the soccer team clinched its second national championship.

Have a news tip? Email newstips@cascadiadaily.com or Call/Text 360-922-3092

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