Refugees & immigrants flee US crackdown for British Columbia
As the Trump administration expands its efforts to crack down on immigrants without documentation, ban travel from several predominantly Muslim countries, and rescind temporary refuge programs, there’s a sudden influx of arrivals in British Columbia, reports Travis Lupick in The Georgia Straight. As the Trump administration ends protected status for Haitian refugees (and threatens to do so for other Latin American countries) Vancouver is seeing a huge surge in arrivals. One complicating factor: the Safe Third Country Agreement (STCA) requires refugees to be returned to the country they first arrived in. Some activists are calling for Canada to back out of the agreement.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Times reports that immigration officials, apparently tipped off by a previous feature in the paper, have detained a man in Southwest Washington who spoke out about the immigration crackdown.
More of Cascadia’s recycling is now trash
A report in the Inlander confirms that Chinese companies, which accept most of the recycling waste produced in the Pacific Northwest, are asking for higher standards, and as a result, some recycling with high contamination with other trash is headed for landfills. A similar report last month at OPB raised the possibility that high costs for sorting and a decreased market for recyclable material will send a lot of this material to landfills.
The takeaway: only put clean, correct materials in your recycle bin, and reduce the wasteful packaging you buy.
Some Cascadia cities just aren’t hip enough anymore
There’s been a lot of comical chatter in the past few days about Vancouver, WA being chosen by some London lifestyle website as the “hippest city in America” (and don’t forget Boise is number three!). It raises an interesting point: many of the Northwest’s major cities are getting too expensive for young people. The Willamette Week points to cities around the world that are doing a better job than Portland at creating affordable housing. And in BC, the NDP is considering helping renters with annual grant, but the Green Party says it’s a waste of $265 million.
Momentum grows to ban net-pen salmon farms
After the escape of 200,000 non-native salmon from a Puget Sound fish farm this summer, efforts to severely curtail or ban fish farms is growing. Two Republican legislators in WA have introduced legislation to immediately outlaw the farms, KNKX reports. On Vancouver Island, the Namgis First Nation is developing a series of fish farms built completely on land to eliminate the problem of escaped fish.
Portland Art Museum tries again to create new pavillion
Last year, the Portland art museum unveiled plans for a $50 million expansion, but faced loud opposition because the plan would enclose a popular public stairway between the two wings of the museum. The museum unveiled new plans this week, which would allow free pedestrian passage between 7 am and 11 pm. The Portland city council, which can approve or deny the plan, will listen to a presentation on the proposal today.
Melinda Mueller’s new poems honor historic women activists
In a conversation at KUOW, former Washington state poet laureate Elizabeth Austen talks about “Mary’s Dust” a new collection of poems from Seattle poet Melinda Mueller. Meticulously researched, the poems lyrically take us inside the lives of bad-ass women (all named Mary) who fought oppression throughout history. You can listen to recordings of several of the poems online at her publisher, Entre Rios Books, and Mueller will read from her work at 7 pm on Dec. 12 at Elliott Bay Books.
That’s all of today’s news and arts from the great Northwest. –Andrew Engelson
Photo credit: ICE officer making an arrest courtesy Wikimedia Commons