Photo of striking workers at Columbia Reach in Yakima, Washington. According to Yakima Health District records, as of May 21, 2020, there were at least 30 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in terms of Columbia Reach employees. Photo credit: Edgar Franks

by Sandy Robson

May 30, 2020

On May 28, 2020, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee held a press conference, during which he discussed a proclamation that he asserted would, “improve our health and safety guidelines for the hard-working people of the agricultural industry.”

Workers listening to speaker during Allan Bros. strike

    Photo taken on May 11, 2020, showing Familias Unidas por la Justicia president, Ramon Torres meeting with striking Allan Bros. workers. Photo credit: Brenda Bentley

By Sandy Robson

May 24, 2019

Workers at Allan Bros., Inc., a century-old apple grower, packer and shipper located in Yakima County, Washington, have been on strike since May 7, 2020, when more than 50 workers walked off the job.

Click the graphic to access a PDF copy of The Searchlight Review’s full, December 2019, “A Report on the Reports – Examining public records relating to the Center for Economic and Business Research’s 2014 and 2019 ‘Employment at Cherry Point’ reports”

By Sandy Robson

December 10, 2019

Editor’s note: The Searchlight Review assembled “A Report on the Reports” based primarily on public records related to Western Washington University’s Center for Economic and Business Research’s 2014 and 2019 “Employment at Cherry Point” reports sponsored by the Whatcom Business Alliance. Readers can view a pdf copy of The Searchlight Review’s full report, released on December 10, 2019, here. The Introduction, Executive Summary, and Conclusion sections of Searchlight Review’s report are provided below, along with an interactive slideshow containing screenshots of email records which are included in the report. 

Screenshot of photo accompanying an October 3, 2019 post displayed on Estudio Manini Abogados‘ Facebook page

By Sandy Robson

November 9, 2019

Washington state Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) has been keeping busy with his company, PacRim Bridges LLC, which he and his business partner, Jay Rodne, a former Washington state Representative from Snoqualmie, Washington, founded in November of 2017.

Elfo We Speak asking supporters
Screenshot photo of a September 19, 2019 post made by the “Sheriff Bill Elfo” profile on We Speak

By Sandy Robson

September 22, 2019

[Editor’s note: This story has been updated on September 23, 2019 to reflect the fact that sometime today (September 23, 2019) the “Sheriff Bill Elfo” profile appears to have been removed from the We Speak social media platform. Now, when searching on We Speak by entering the former profile name, “Sheriff Bill Elfo,” that particular profile no longer produces any search results. In addition to this new development, it appears that the Re-elect Sheriff Bill Elfo Facebook page has removed the post declaring that “We Speak is running most of Re-elect Sheriff Bill Elfo’s campaign,” which had been posted on that Facebook page on Thursday, September 19, 2019, and which is referenced in this article with an accompanying screenshot photo.]

Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo’s campaign for the November 5, 2019 general election recently urged the sheriff’s supporters to join We Speak, a new social media platform created for Christian conservatives and founded by Ray Gilbride and his wife, Danielle Gilbride, who reside in Bellingham, Washington.

Gilbride We Speak in Austin
Still frame photo of We Speak founder Ray Gilbride taken from video recording posted in an August 16, 2019 post on his Facebook page. Photo shows him in front of the We Speak booth during the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) annual conference held August 14-16, 2019, in Austin, Texas

By Sandy Robson

September 8, 2019

A July 30, 2019 post made by Washington state Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) on his Facebook page read:

“Rep. Matt Shea is a good man, a good legislator, and a great American.

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Photo showing the “Trump Keep America Great 2020” banner draped across the stage at the Whatcom Republicans’ annual summer picnic held on July 11, 2019, at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale, Washington. Photo is displayed on the Whatcom Republicans’ Facebook page

By Sandy Robson

August 11, 2019

The Bellingham Herald published an August 5, 2019, article, “Ferndale Police investigating signs promoting white supremacist ideology.” The article reported that the Ferndale Police Department is investigating posters linked to a group called Patriot Front which were placed in downtown Ferndale, Washington.