Letters to the editor: February 5- February 11

The Editor:

A wide range of businesses and people studied the GPT proposal and reached the same conclusion as the Lummi Nation – GPT is unworthy of support.

Goldman Sachs studied the GPT proposal and concluded GPT wouldn’t be profitable enough to invest in and, like the Lummi Nation, apparently decided it didn’t want any part in GPT. In 2013 Goldman Sachs sold its entire 49 percent share of SSA Marine (the corporation proposing GPT).

Like the Lummi Nation, none of Cherry Point’s three existing industries has endorsed GPT. For BP Refinery, Alcoa-Intalco, and Conoco-Phillips, GPT would increase the likelihood of costly, catastrophic accidents.

In a 2011 lawsuit, BNSF testified that coal trains can destabilize railroad track and cause train derailments. Because GPT’s 18 daily coal trains would use the exact same track as Cherry Point’s crude oil and chemical trains, GPT would increase the likelihood of existing industries’ trains derailing.

Coal ships, among the world’s biggest vessels, have the worst safety record of all vessels, according to maritimeaccident.org. Too big to move in a single shipping lane, a GPT coal ship would take up both northbound and southbound shipping lanes, causing delays and hazards for other industries’ ships and increasing the likelihood of catastrophic accidents in our local waters.

GPT’s 2.5 miles of six-story high, uncovered coal stockpiles would emit approximately 3 million pounds of coal dust annually and sit directly across Aldergrove Road from BP Refinery. GPT’s windblown coal dust would accumulate upon BP’s towering structures, sensors, valves, etc.

After careful study, like the Lummi Nation, 214 Whatcom County doctors decided they could not support GPT, saying, “…we are deeply concerned about the health and safety impacts of this proposal.” (http://bit.ly/1HVzC2D)

While our values may differ, businesses and people who’ve studied the GPT proposal agree with the Lummi Nation – GPT would harm what we value. And like the people of the Lummi Nation, we will not be bought or bullied by SSA Marine into surrendering our right and individual responsibility to protect what we value from being harmed by GPT.

Paula Rotundi, Birch Bay

The Editor:

Joy Monjure is running for a position on the Whatcom Conservation District board. As a member of the Everson City Council, Monjure has worked on water conservation issues with the conservation district for over 30 years.

She was an active member of Whatcom Watersheds Information Network, and, having her own farm and working as education and communication coordinator with the city of Bellingham, she thoroughly understands county water and watershed issues.

The conservation district does not have the budget to put election of the five board positions on the February ballot, so each voter must request their own ballot.

Voters must go to the conservation district’s website, whatcomcd.org, to request their absentee ballots. Voters can call Dawn at 526-2381 or 354-2035 ext. 5 to request a ballot; or they can vote in person on March 10 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the conservation office, 6975 Hannegan Road, Lynden (corner of Pole Road).

Ballots must be requested by February 9, 2015 by 4 p.m.

Joy Monjure will be a wonderful addition to this board. Please make the effort to get a ballot and vote to enrich the conservation district board.

Donna Starr, Blaine

The Editor:

Al Capone owed well over $150,000 in back taxes. He went to prison. Al Sharpton owes $4.5 million in back taxes, and he goes to dinner at the White House.

Radical Islamic terrorism is happening in France and elsewhere, and our President won’t say the words or retract his previous claim that Al Queda is dead.

Now he’s pushing to make junior college free, as if the faster this nation drops to its knees financially the happier he will be.

Who could possibly have voted for this man?

Susan Blondell Kaplan, Bellingham

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