Spring is here. Have y’all noticed?
The crocuses are beginning to bloom. The sun has peeked out from the clouds. It’s no longer dark both when you get to work and when you get off work. And the birds are back in town on their migratory way from here to there.
Ah, the migrating birds. We had one of our own fly south for the spring in February, and we here at the BBJ were sad to see her go. Reporter Heidi Schiller and her beau, David, bought one-way tickets to Mexico and are hitting the road for an open-ended adventure in Central America. Although she tried to get a gig as the BBJ’s (currently nonexistent) foreign correspondent, I’m afraid we will be missing her friendly face and bright writing. (Of course, for those of you who may remember, I was one of the birds that tried to fly the BBJ roost at one time, only to return last year. I’m not totally convinced that Heidi is gone for good. Only time will tell.)
But as with all departures, on the bright side of things we have the great fortune of a new welcome. Lance Henderson, a recent graduate of Western’s excellent journalism program, has joined our staff full time as a reporter, and we have great plans and aspirations for him. You all will be seeing more of Lance in the next several months as he gets to know you all better.
Because of these transitions, we have a diverse stable of writers in this issue, which is always interesting. One of Heidi’s last stories in this issue was about the recent rash of robberies that have been sweeping our area, and how businesses and their employees should respond in the unfortunate case of an armed robbery. I urge each of you to read her story on page 40 and to pass it around to your employees. The most important thing is to keep everyone safe, and police have given clear instruction on how to stay calm and prevent anyone from getting hurt.
And speaking of the police, hats off to the Bellingham Police Department and their canine friends for hunting down and catching several of the robbers in the past month. It’s often thankless work to “protect and serve,” but the business community is thankful that the cops are on the beat and reacting quickly to potentially dangerous situations. Kudos!
Also in this issue you will find a couple of stories about our short and mid-term economic outlook, including Isaac Bonnell’s story analyzing how our local economy has fared in the face of the subprime crisis and rumors of a recession (page 10) and Ryan Wynne’s look at how retiring baby boomers will affect industries such as manufacturing and health care (page 18).
It’s stories such as these that reiterate the importance of staying informed and awake as we move forward in our lives, as business owners, employees and neighbors. Be safe, be alert — and for goodness sake, don’t forget to enjoy the sunshine!