Letters to the editor, May 14- May 20

Publisher Note:

In the May 7 issue of The Northern Light, a letter written by Christine Westland addressed, in part, the health hazards of coal particles that are inhaled into our lungs.

As submitted, the sentence read: “Over time, these particles cause disease.” Due to a proofing error, the sentence was changed to read: “Over time, it seems reasonable that these particles cause disease.”

It is the policy of this newspaper to run letters as received with no changes other than to correct errors of grammar or spelling. We apologize to Ms. Westland and have reviewed the importance of this policy with staff.

The Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to send my thanks and appreciation to Christine Westland for her letter in the last issue. I support her vision of GPT and its ramifications. So many of the letters bring thought-provoking discussion to our homes and community. That is one avenue to building/maintaining a healthy civic environment.

Carole Tabb


The Editor:

I attempted to buy some coffee at the Arco Station off Slater Road in Ferndale.

They had a staggering array of pouring machines advertising Columbian this and that, but no mention of what I was after: coffee.

I do not equate the word “Columbian” with the substance “coffee.” Should I? What’s going on here?

I can imagine a farmer sending off for 50 tons of corn to feed his herd. Eventually a big truck came by with a big load of “Hasty Feed.”

“Didn’t you order 50 tons of Hasty Feed?”

“No, I ordered corn.”

Tom Kimberly

Birch Bay

The Editor:

Over the last few months I have had the opportunity to eat at the three Subway restaurants in Blaine, and was surprised to learn that none of them recycle their plastic products. I asked each of the store employees why they do not recycle and was told that they don’t bother and that I could just throw my plastic bottles in the regular garbage.

In most states recycling is mandated by law, and I would expect it would be true for Washington. We all have a responsibility to take care of our planet, regardless of whether we are a business or private citizen.

Donna Wendt


The Editor:

I am sorry that I don’t remember your name, but you were so kind to my grandson Paul Flores and me. You came by with cookies and even a Mexican dinner when we were not feeling well enough to cook. Paul loved it and ate every bite. You even dropped off $100, just because, when you heard we may have to replace our entire sewer system.

You were so kind to us and we would like to thank you. You never intruded on our life, just added to it with kindness. I hope you will stop by to visit, if only to remind us of your name and we can say thank you again in person. Paul and I would very much like that.

Nancy Cook


The Editor:

Consider these facts from the Pacific International and Gateway Pacific Terminals permit application and the PUD #1:

1.9 billion gallons yearly taken from the Nooksack River, mostly needed during the dry summer months.

At full operation provide 257 permanent jobs.

Environment negatively affected by more than 3 million pounds of coal-dust emitted into the air yearly.

Uncovered coal piles if laid end to end would run 2.5 miles, six stories high.

Six Ferndale schools are within 5 miles of these piles.

19 1.5-mile long trains passing through our area daily increasing diesel emissions.

Trains would create increase in traffic and block traffic near RR crossings causing delays in emergency responders.

An increase in vessels shipping coal in our local waters would negatively impact our fishing industry that provides us over 2,000 local jobs.

It is proposed that Ferndale school district would receive $1.4 million annually in taxes from GPT, but due to the state-dictated formula, Ferndale won’t receive any additional funds. According to school superintendent Quinn, “It isn’t going to cause an influx of money into our school system.”

For more information, check out powerpastcoal.org and re-sources.org/ppc. These are just two organizations that have spoken out against the GPT project. Now your voice needs to be heard protecting Whatcom County and our environment. We can do better.

Naomi Murphy


The Editor:

The second substitute House Bill 1885 once again palms off on counties in Washington state what should be the state’s responsibility. The bill, which originated in the Democratic-controlled House, will force counties to house repeat offenders. This was accomplished by lowering the jail time of third-time car thieves from 17 to 22 months in state prison to a “possible” 60 days in county jail. Third-time burglary will get a whole 30 days in county jail. Previously that had a 12- to 16-month state prison sentence.

And get this: Democrats in your Washington State House of Representatives can offload prisoners into our county jails by lowering jail sentencing guidelines for state judges. That is what second substitute HB 1885 will do.

Your state judge will just lower the sentencing of car thieves, ID thieves and burglars to under 12 months, which makes those individuals the responsibility of our county.

Why our legislators have not informed our county executive and the public about this is beyond comprehension. If the state intends to offload its felons, the public deserves to know.

Mark Nelson


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