Letters to the editor, July 23- July 29

The Editor:

The family of Collin Miller would like to thank all those who helped when he hit a bump in the sidewalk and sustained a compound fracture of his right arm two hours after arriving in Blaine for a 10-day vacation. Plans had to change!

Thank you to Officer Farrer of the Blaine Police Department, who helped the family stay calm whilst waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Thanks to the medics who took such good care of the patient on his way to PeaceHealth St. Joseph hospital, the surgeon, Dr. Ferrari, who performed the surgery late in the evening, nurse Maggie and all the team members who attended him for the following 48 hours.

Officer Farrer contacted us later in the week to check up on Collin and we were able to visit him at the police station, where he signed Collin’s sling. Sergeant White also showed interest in a young boy going through a difficult time.

We have a great police staff in this town and I hope that they know how much they are appreciated. Thank you again.

Sandie, Mike, Heather, Alex and Collin Miller


The Editor:

We highly recommend Joan Lotze for the Blaine school board, district 3. We have been neighbors and friends in Birch Bay for over 10 years, during which time we have observed Joan’s concern for and involvement with Blaine schools and students.

Joan is a caring, honest, professional teacher who has taught in several other countries as well as in Bellingham. She has been involved in education in a number of ways – as parent of four children who attended Blaine schools, as a dedicated teacher and as a person in touch with current education needs and goals.

Joan has served on the Blaine school board since June 2014. Your vote to continue Joan Lotze’s position on the board would be a vote for a leader who desires and will work for the best interests of all the students.

John and Genemary Falvey

Birch Bay

The Editor:

My name is Vincent Paterson. I have a home in Blaine, but live in Hollywood, California, and am a successful director and choreographer. Several of my family members live in Blaine so I visit twice a year, usually in July and around the Christmas holidays.

I want to commend the Blaine/Birch Bay Park and Recreation commissioners on the wonderful job they have done for the Blaine and Birch Bay communities. Every time I visit, I see how dedicated they have been to providing more events for the locals and the tourists, as well as continuing to support interesting and necessary activities for the community.

When I am here I take advantage of the fantastic Zumba classes that Brenda Gelwicks provides at the Birch Bay Activity Center. I have been taking her classes for the past three years and it thrills me to see the attendance continue to grow. Being in my profession, I know the importance of exercise at any age. Not only does it push endorphins through the body, providing happiness and joy to the individual, which can’t help but have a ripple effect of goodness in the world, but it keeps the body active, leading to less medical problems and a healthier community overall.

Today I attended the sand sculpture contest for the children and tomorrow will attend the one for the adults.

I want to congratulate the commissioners for their support, care and investment in the communities of Blaine and Birch Bay. In my business, I would give them a standing ovation.

Vincent Paterson

Hollywood, California

The Editor:

An election is fast approaching for the Port of Bellingham commissioner representing district 3. Recently the port held its budget and planning retreat, a full day of detailed studies on the present and future direction of the port. Would it be important for port candidates to attend this meeting and spend the time knowing which direction the port is moving towards? Only one candidate regularly attends port meetings. Only one candidate attended this important meeting. Gary Jensen is that candidate.

Similar to his past 10 years of service to Ferndale, Gary puts in the time, works hard on every issue and earns the respect of his peers. All of us should want a port commissioner who actually gets things done rather than promises activities that have yet to happen. Politicians should “walk the talk.” Gary Jensen has always put in the time and effort to make our community better. All of us should want Gary to continue his service to the public.

Dawn Bungard


The Editor:

Have you ever met someone that just seemed so sensible, thoughtful, grounded, intelligent and forthright that you wished you could vote for them for public office? If only they’d run!
I met just such a person recently. His name is Bobby Briscoe, and he’s running for port commission. I’m excited to vote for Bobby in the third district primary and you can too.

The third district includes Blaine, Birch Bay and Ferndale. Bobby Briscoe is a commercial fisherman. That alone gives him real-world experience about how ports work, and sometimes don’t work, that we landlubbers will never have.
But think about what it takes to be a successful fishing boat captain, making a living at it for over four decades. You have to master hundreds of different skills, make judgments that risk everything and are totally accountable for the choices you make. You have to be smart, agile, tough-minded and absent of ego. That’s Bobby Briscoe.

Someone Bobby has worked for and with over the decades told me that at first he wasn’t sure about supporting Bobby, because he didn’t know anything about Bobby’s politics. But then he realized politics didn’t matter, because he knew Bobby has all the right qualities, as I’ve described above, to make a great port commissioner.

Bobby’s goal for the port is to create the family-wage jobs this county lacks by focusing the port on its core responsibility: the infrastructure that supports seagoing trade and maritime business.

Join me in voting for Bobby Briscoe for port commission.

Natalie McClendon


The Editor:

Diplomacy works! The agreement reached in Vienna through talks including the governments of the U.S., China, France, Russia, the UK and Germany have hammered out a deal with the Iranian government that is a remarkable achievement. Diplomacy proves that real progress comes through negotiation, not violence. This historic agreement dramatically curbs Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing international sanctions on that country. Importantly, it keeps the United States from another devastating war of choice in the Middle East.

Congress is expected to vote in September on whether this agreement moves forward. Some members of Congress want to sabotage this diplomatic effort, so I call on Washington’s Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell and Representative Rick Larsen to publicly go on record in support of the deal with Iran. We need an impenetrable firewall in Congress to prevent any legislation that would kill this hard-won diplomatic agreement.

For the biggest vote of the year on war-and-peace, the Friends Committee on National Legislation has more information: fcnl.org/iran.

John Chadwick


The Editor:

Governor Inslee and the Democrats started advocating for tax increases right away last December. Despite that, some excellent results came out of this year’s legislative session in Olympia. Without any major tax increases, the Republicans were able to cut tuition for thousands of college students while also funding treatment for mental illness and adding $1.3 billion for K-12 education, meeting the McCleary ruling. They did not add a capital gains tax, a carbon tax or a bottled water tax. And they provided a cost of living adjustment for teachers and state employees.

The conservatives were not able to head off a truly unfortunate increase in the gas tax, although they tried. This will be the highest gas tax in Washington state history. Drivers in our state will pay almost 68 cents (state and federal) per gallon, one of the highest in the nation. Over the next 16 years, we’ll pay $96 million more in gas taxes than we get back in projects, a really bad deal for Whatcom County.

Joan Dow


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