Tag Archives: Kaila Cove

New trustee appointed to board

By Kaila Cove

Teresa Taylor was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve a five-year term as a member on the board of trustees at Whatcom Community College in October.

“Trustees face the exciting challenge to seek out, consider, and balance many diverse values and interests as they engage in the policy-making process that guides the colleges to excellence and success,” Kloke said.

Taylor says that she has been living in Ferndale for 25 years where she is a member on the Ferndale City Council.

Teresa Taylor

Teresa Taylor accepted for position in October

Taylor moved to Whatcom County at the age of 3 after previously living in Chicago.

“I grew up in Bellingham where I attended Roosevelt Elementary, Assumption Catholic School, and Bellingham High School,” Taylor said by email.

Whatcom Community College is familiar grounds to Taylor.

“I am a graduate of Whatcom Community College where I received my AAS [Associate of Applied Science] degree.”

Taylor also was a student of Western Washington University. “I studied accounting and more recently project management,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s educational background also includes attending Washington State University.

“I completed the Master Gardener, Master Composter & Recycler, and Carbon Master programs from Washington State University and the Patient Navigation program at WCC,” she said in her email.

Taylor replaces board member Tim Douglas whom Taylor says she admires. Douglas served for 10 years on the board, Taylor said, but he decided to not continue for another term.

“I filled his position, and he’s a tough act to follow,” she said.

The board consists of five members from the community: John Pedlow, Steve Adelstein, Wendy Bohlke, Rebecca Johnson, and Teresa Taylor.

In addition to the Ferndale City Council, Taylor is an active member in various community groups, including Ferndale Downtown Association and Bellingham International Airport Advisory.

“Involvement with your community is both priceless and invaluable, and the feeling of fulfillment can be endless,” Taylor said.

As a member of the board of trustees, Taylor explained that her job, along with all the members on the board as “setting the college’s strategic direction, establishing policy for the college, awarding tenure, approving the operating budget and hiring the college president.”

Taylor, who is a registered member of the Lummi Nation and active on the Lummi Indian Business council, said she hopes to help contribute to making Whatcom inclusive and diverse by providing “a cultural and environmental feeling of belonging.”

Rafeeka Kloke, who is the special assistant to the president of Whatcom, said that trustees such as Taylor have an essential link with the community.

“They both represent the community to the college and advocate for the college in the community and state,” she said.

Part of Taylor’s role in this process is to establish partnerships with various agencies and organizations.

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The Olde Fashioned Christmas shines

By Kaila Cove

The Olde Fashioned Christmas, which is held at Pioneer Park, is an event that includes live performances, holiday cookies and refreshments, horse-drawn sleigh rides, games, arts and crafts, baking, and a visit from Santa to kick-start the holiday season for Whatcom County.

This event is held by the Ferndale Heritage Society and attracts visitors from all over.

“Pioneer Park is the world’s largest collection of cedar log-slab cabins,” Linda Harkleroad said, who is coordinator of the Olde Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Park. These log cabins started arriving in the 70s and contain historic artifacts.

Harkleroad said Pioneer Park was created in 1901. Back then, it was known as a picnic for settlers to gather.

She said that Ferndale owns the park and the log cabins, the Old Settlers own the artifacts, and the Ferndale Heritage society takes care of the park.

One of the parks newest additions is new Americans with Disabilities Act compliant sidewalks.

Dusty Sager, who has been attending the Olde Fashioned Christmas since the 90s says he, “can’t wait to go this year with the new pavement walkway.”

Pioneer Park holds public tours and runs the education program, in the spring, and the Olde Fashioned Christmas, in the fall.


Linda Harkleroad and Dusty Sager at the Olde Fashioned Christmas Festival

Harkleroad said that the Olde Fashioned Christmas is “an annual event. We always do it the first weekend in December. We try to keep it very non-commercial.” Everything is included in the $4 ticket at the door.

During this event, each historic cabin has a theme. “This year’s theme is our ‘favorite collections,’” Harkleroad said.

An example of “favorite collections” are angels, miniature Santas, and toy trains. Each cabin has a separate activity.

Tom Brand, a member of the Ferndale Heritage Society says, “It is nice to have that educational aspect for the younger kids and the reminiscent part for the older folks.”

Last year the park celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Olde Fashioned Christmas, and this year will be the events 26th year.

“It’s the main Christmas event for the community,” Harkleroad said. She says the main goal of this event is to get the holiday season started in a calming manner.

Harkleroad says the Ferndale Christmas tree lighting starts the event.

People come from all over to attend the Olde Fashioned Christmas. The Foresters Association has “pre-ordered 75 tickets already for their group to come in on Saturday,” Harkleroad said.

Brand says, “We get people from Seattle, Everett, Canada that have been here before, and they come back because they say it’s so spectacular. We bring people to town and Whatcom County.”

Harkleroad said that the mayor of Ferndale, Jon Mutchler, is expected to make an appearance and play the piano. At the same time, Ferndale Heritage Society said they hope that this event doesn’t become so large that the Olde Fashioned Christmas loses its intimacy.

The admission price to attend the Olde Fashioned Christmas is $4 for adults and $3 for children. “The cheapest entertainment you’ll ever have,” Harkleroad said.

She says this is an event worth people’s money because it is possible to spend the whole afternoon here.

Brand says, “It’s an easy two-hour amount of time to go through here. You can get as much out of it as you want.” People who attend this event have the option to walk through 12 decorated cabins that each have a holiday activity.

“It’s an outing for four bucks — coming down here and going though these cabins getting some hot coffee or cocoa to drink and cookies while going on a horse drawn ride and enjoying the entertainment,” she said.

Harkleroad said that this year was the last year that the Olde Fashioned Christmas will be able to provide tickets at such a low price.

Harkleroad believes that this event is “as close as you’re going to get” to an old fashioned Christmas. “It is definitely authentic. There is nothing phony about it,” she said.

Harkleroads says, “For those interested in history, this is a gold mine.” Also if you enjoy Christmas lights, Harkleroad said that the park provides a beautiful visual display when the lights brighten up the park at night.

“It’s a treasure to have something like this all in one place,” Brand says.

Harkleroad says she appreciates the heartfelt spirit, the cabins, and the lights.

She also enjoys “the glee in some of these little kids — some of them concentrate so hard on writing that letter to Santa, and they are so cute.”

Brand says his favorite part of this event is seeing the joy of kids and learning about the artifacts. “I just think it’s neat to give back to the community and to keep a focus for people to have in this troubled time,” he said. Both volunteers feel this event is a great way to indulge in the atmosphere holiday spirit.

Harkleroad says live performances from local performers happen throughout the weekend and Rainbow Ranch brings their horses for horse-drawn carriage rides at no extra cost. Refreshments and cookies will be provided at no charge and old-fashioned games will be available. Crafts will be provided in every cabin and Santa Claus will be there to visit. Cookie baking and applesauce will be at the Jenny House and the Shields.

Harkleroad said some people have attended this event since they were children, and now they bring their own children along as a family tradition.

Sager says, “It’s a family tradition to see the park decorated for Christmas.” Sager says he brings his children to visit Santa and enjoys the tastiest applesauce.

“I think it brings the best of our small town together for a few nights,” Sager says. He says some of their favorite parts about the event is singing Christmas songs and going on horse-drawn carriage rides.

Harkleroad says that the “real Santa” visits the Olde Fashioned Christmas at Pioneer Park. “We have the real Santa, just saying,” Harkleroad said. It has also been noted that Santa writes back every single person that writes a letter to him at the Olde Fashioned Christmas.

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At Whatcom, we dance if we want to

By Kaila Cove

Hannah Andersen, a professor at Whatcom Community College, runs the dance program at Whatcom.

Andersen grew up in Spokane, Washington, where she first learned how to dance.

At the age of 11, in the midst of Andersen’s dancing career, she changed from ballet dancing to competitive Irish dancing. Andersen was also the captain on her high school dance team.

“I wasn’t sure that I was going to be a dancer until I transferred to Western and took modern dance as a sophomore in college,” Andersen said.

Hannah AndersonProfessor Hannah Anderson poses with a skeleton she uses to teach.

Andersen decided that she to pursue her career as a dance instructor so she could fulfill her love for both teaching and dancing.  Combining her two passions allows her to provide knowledge to students through the means of dance.

“I attended college on the East Coast for part of the time, and I finished my dance degree at Western,” Andersen said. She also attended the University of Oregon for graduate school and graduated in 2017.

Andersen was introduced to Whatcom during her senior year of college, she said, “Part of my BFA [Bachelor in Fine Arts] project was to work with a learning contract program here at Whatcom and through that program to start offering beginning modern dance as an elective class.”

When Andersen had graduated, the modern dance classes at Whatcom had grown so that a professor was hired by the college to continue teaching modern dance. At the time, Andersen was teaching dance both at Whatcom and Western Washington University.

Throughout Andersen’s education, she received both a Bachelor in Fine Arts and a Masters in Fine Arts in dance.

“Then when I went to graduate school, I gained all the experience that I needed to be able to grow the dance program here,” Andersen said. She is part of many national dance organizations where she attends conferences and presents her research. Andersen also has a publication coming out next month on her research.

“I’ve been teaching dance since I was 16. When I went to graduate school, I knew that one of the skills that I needed to attain was the ability to write curriculum and really understand how dance can fit into higher education,” Andersen said.

Since then when Andersen returned to Whatcom last fall, she started to write several curriculums, such as Global Perspectives on Dance, which is a new five credit humanities class that is offered at Whatcom. This class uses time in the classroom as well as time in the studio. No dance experience is required.

Andersen believes that versatility is very important in dancers, “My passion is modern and contemporary dance is my specialties,” Andersen said. Andersen has taught a variety of dance styles throughout her career such as hip hop, ballet, jazz, improvisation, and modern.

Andersen has dance experience with local companies. “I was a dancer with It Must Have Been Violet Dance Productions, which is a local pick up company,” Andersen said.

Andersen also has her own dance company, Hannah Andersen Dance, where she holds auditions, workshops, and performances for the community. “I have been a member of Bellingham Repertory Dance, which is a local nonprofit dance company,” Andersen said.

Whatcom dance is putting on many events in this upcoming year. Andersen said, “We are having an African dance workshop on Nov. 28 in Syre center. I’m bringing up two guests from Seattle. It’s free and open to the public.” Andersen said that this event will occur on a Wednesday from 1:30-3:00 p.m. Whatcom’s dance program is also hoping to put on a show later in the spring.

Andersen has recently created curriculums for upcoming dance classes at Whatcom, “In the curriculum committee currently, I have a jazz class which should be running in the spring and Dance Performance and Choreography, which is a humanities class that should also be running in the spring,” Andersen said.

Andersen explained that she kept ending up back at Whatcom teaching dance throughout her teaching career, “The stars aligned for me to be back here and I am glad that they did.” Andersen said that teaching dance at Whatcom has grown her passion for dance, “Dance and myself are not separate and they never have been. Dance is my first language,” Andersen said.

Stephanie Rytter, a former student of Andersen’s enjoyed Andersen’s teaching, “I absolutely love Hannah. She brings so much to the table.”

Dance class

Kailee Kunz, a student in Anderson’s class, feels the flow of movement while practicing dance.

“She is open-minded and accepting of people as they are. She creates a safe space for everyone to grow and learn in,” Rytter said.

Alicia Silves, another former student of Andersen’s, said, “Andersen helped break down dances and made sure that everyone could do them to the best of their abilities.” She said that no two classes were the same due to Andersen incorporation of new moves or dances.

Zoe Kuchar, a student who has taken one of Andersen’s dance classes said, “She was constantly supportive, and her personality and humor made me look forward to the class.”

Minori Kosuge, who is a graduate from Whatcom Community College, also enjoyed Andersen’s teaching style, “Hannah is very welcoming to everyone even for people without dance experience, so everyone can join and enjoy dancing.”

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Men’s soccer wins North Conference Title

By Kaila Cove

The Whatcom men’s soccer team has won the North Conference title, a competition between regional community college soccer teams.

The team has defended this championship title for the second year in a row.

Bakary Dibba, a forward on the Whatcom men’s soccer team, is satisfied with the way his team played, “We played extremely well, and that’s why we got the win at the end.”

Whatcom soccerLucas Leiberman, number six, keeps control of the ball at Orca Feild during a match

Dibba believes the team could win the conference next year because, “the team will be really strong and the chemistry is already there as well.” He hopes to play for Whatcom again next season.

Dibba gives credit to the team’s head coach, Jason Jorgensen, for the success in the game, “The coach contributes in everything as he’s the one who makes us wake up at 5 a.m. to practice all that is to get us better and prepared for our opponents.”

During the conference, Whatcom had won 11 games, tied one, and lost three. The team this season has scored 52 goals.

Jorgensen said, “It occurred with the boys having focus, determination, and knowing what was on the line. They played some of the best soccer in all the NWAC and that day displayed why they are one of the best teams in the country.” Jorgensen says that Whatcom men’s soccer is ranked 12th out of all the community colleges in the nation.

Jorgensen hopes that the team is able to reclaim the North Conference title again next year. He says it will “depend on what the players do in the off season and the new group of players coming in for 2019.”

During this game, Whatcom had the help of a guest, 9-year-old Tyson Barksdale. “He gave the pregame and halftime speech that helped propel the team to the win. Barksdale was given this experience as part of Whatcom’s participation in the 2018 Rotary Auction where he was gifted “Coach a Day” for Whatcom men’s soccer team. He kept it simple and said, ‘go out there have fun and do what you do best.’ At half time he said ‘you guys are doing great… keep it up,’” said Jorgenson.

Whatcom beat Shoreline in the title, winning game with a score of 8-0.


Midfielder Bekele Dowtry dribbles the ball down the field while facing an opponent

A midfielder for Shoreline, Babucarr Cham, said, “My team played really bad.” He said that most of the team’s key players were injured.

“Unfortunately Shoreline had not won a game all season up to that point and were playing their last 2018 game,” Jorgensen said.

“My opponents are really good, and they had a complete squad,” Cham said. He felt the title winning game was very intense.

Jorgensen said, “We just try to install our knowledge and give back the lessons we learned in our years. The rest is up to the team come game day.”

“They push themselves daily to be the best, and this in itself helped each player in the program contribute not only to the conference winning game but the entire season,” Jorgensen said. He explained that each player on the Whatcom men’s soccer team has helped contribute to the success of this season by bringing a unique dynamic that makes this team whole.

In the end on Nov. 11, Whatcom ending up losing in the NWCA championship game with a score of 0-2.

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Street law provides free legal counsel

By Kaila Cove

Street Law provides the community with free legal advice.

Street Law, which is held by Law Advocates, a Bellingham nonprofit, gives counseling on a drop-in basis and is held several times a month in the Heiner Center at Whatcom Community College and at the Bellingham Public Library.

“This civil legal help serves around 1,000 people a year that tend to be low income residents in Whatcom County,” said Michael Heatherly, the executive director of Law Advocates.

Volunteers give advice to community members in a private setting.

“One of the biggest problems for low income and young people is legal barriers,” Heatherly said. “This program allows them to move ahead.”

It is a confidential way to ask civil legal questions.

“They can get free legal advice where they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else. This clinic is an opportunity for those who have no other alternatives and have nowhere to go,” Heatherly said.

The organization serves students who may be dealing with domestic violence, student debt, and many other legal issues.

Not only is Street Law used as a resource for those with legal problems, but it is also a learning tool for prospective paralegals and lawyers.

Luis Aguilar, the coordinator for Street Law says, “It allows students to gain some educational experience and insight in the legal field, while at the same time providing residents with solutions or various services to legal issues.”

Nancy Ivarinen, the coordinator for Whatcom Community College’s Paralegal Studies Program says, “Street Law can often provide people with further resources and directions for how to handle their legal problems.”

Street Law does not offer long term representation. Attendees are given a one-time consultation, which involves recommendations for further help, including whether or not they should get a lawyer.

Street Law was founded almost 30 years ago. It started on a sidewalk in downtown Bellingham, Ivarinen said.

Street Law events are busy, so drop-in spots fill up quickly. It is best to show up early.

It will be at Whatcom on Oct. 31, Nov. 14, and Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m.

Students can visit www.lawadvocates.org for more information.

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