Letters to the editor, September 17- September 23

The Editor:

Locals, I have seen tons of apple and pear trees ripe with fruit. Would you consider letting our Blaine/Birch Bay Girl Scout troop glean for you? We make apple pies for the community Thanksgiving meals and we also would be happy to donate the produce to the food bank.

Let us know and we can arrange an hour to come out and take whatever you don’t need. Contact us at serviceunit111@gmail.com or call 483-8163.

Rikki Lazenby

Girl Scout Volunteer


The Editor:

A huge thank you to all those involved in response and subsequent repair and cleanup of the huge cottonwood tree that blew over the Anderson Road on August 29, 2015. Everyone from Mike King, resident deputy, to Charlie Hagin and his crew from the water district, to the PSE crew, CNG and finally the Whatcom County Public Works Department. We are indeed fortunate to have all of you in our Birch Bay community.

Steve and Jo Ann Baker

Birch Bay

The Editor:

After the full page ad on the back page of last week’s The Northern Light, how disappointing not to see any blue ribbons (except the ones I put on a couple of trees and my truck) to show appreciation for all the county law enforcement agencies. Shame on Blaine.

Dorothy Bush


The Editor:

Everyone in Birch Bay, Custer, Ferndale and Blaine who opposes the GPT Coal Terminal needs to write a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regulatory Branch, P.O. Box 3755, Seattle, WA, 98124-3755. One line will suffice: “No Coal Terminal at Cherry Point in Washington State.”

USACE has had enough time to study the issue. The Lummi have spoken forcefully in opposition to GPT at Cherry Point. We the people have made it clear we do not want this environmental mess in our neighborhoods.

Just to make it clear, the five piles of coal from Montana, six stories high and half a mile long each will not be covered. Eighteen 1.5-mile-long coal trains will enter and leave Cherry Point, making noise and blocking traffic every day and night. They will share the tracks with three oil trains a day.

We have two oil refineries and an aluminum plant at Cherry Point. That is enough industrial risk in a “protected” aquatic reserve and fishing grounds. Along with Lummi there are American Swedes, Finns, Greeks, Norwegians, etc. who are in the business of fishing, processing, boat building, repair and fishing supplies. So you want to trade 247 coal jobs for 2,700 fishing jobs?

Whatcom County has a water allocation problem already without spraying 5.33 million gallons of Nooksack River water a day on the coal to keep the dust from blowing around the neighborhood. Fish and irrigation get first priority. Food comes first.

Alice Brown

Birch Bay

The Editor:

I am actively researching the 11 years Loretta Lynn spent in Custer and various areas of Blaine where she started her musical career. I was told that many years ago, a local resident put a wooden guitar on the outside of his house with a sign: “Loretta Lynn Lived Here.”

Apparently, the guitar kept disappearing but it was replaced, only to be taken over and over again. Sadly, it has not been replaced. If anyone recalls the whereabouts of this house, has any photos of the guitar and signage or any comments concerning Loretta Lynn, kindly advise The Northern Light newspaper and your name, email or phone number will be forwarded to me for direct response. Thank you.

Arlene Marie Hartley

Birch Bay

The Editor:

The deadline for Tongue River Railroad Draft EIS comments is September 24. Here’s mine. Get yours in today at tonguerivereis.com/draft_eis.html.

Dear Mr. Blodgett and all Draft EIS personnel:

I live in Birch Bay, Washington, about 2 miles from the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) and have been educating myself about coal and this export project for the last four years. I understand that it is a strong possibility that the proposed Tongue River Railroad and Otter Creek Mine are depending on west coast export terminals being built in order for there to be sufficient demand for their products.

I oppose GPT and all coal-related projects because no mitigation is possible for the fact that we already have too many industries and projects that depend on processing materials with toxic components and storing or releasing the toxic elements in some fashion. We cannot afford to approve any more. Period. The toxic chemicals stored inertly in coal are released when coal is processed. Even if you take those toxic materials out, they have to be put somewhere. We live in an age where we really cannot even afford any storage space for such dangerous items, let alone have them escape by accident or from negligence.

I do not know if you have studied and addressed this in your very long Draft EIS (that I understand is confusing and is missing vital items that should be studied). But I think focus on this one item is essential and will keep the process short.

More mining, more transporting materials that release their toxins in transport equals more danger, thus speeding up this potential mass extinction that we are running into head-on. I’m sure it won’t take you long to find out what trouble we are in here on Earth.

Tell big corporations to go back to the drawing board and to start proposing projects and getting investors whose primary focus is protecting and preserving our sacred lands, waters and life forms. That’s where the big pay-offs will really start to show up for all of us!

Dena Jensen

Birch Bay

The Editor:

I am very excited about the opportunity to elect Bobby Briscoe to our port commission. Making his living fishing for over 40 years, he understands the maritime economy up close and personal. He has worked in ports from San Pedro, California to Alaska. He has a wealth of knowledge about what a great working port can look like and how it can be a legacy we proudly pass on to all descendants who make Whatcom County home.

He wants to hear everybody’s ideas and will work for transparency as he participates in overseeing Port of Bellingham operations and providing policy direction and decisions in public meetings. He believes the port commission serves all citizens of Whatcom County.

He does not believe the port is in the business of making money. He does believe in putting ongoing infrastructure maintenance and improvements on the front burner, not passing the immensely larger bill on to the next generation. He is against selling off our land with no vision of the future.

I love his belief that we can do the best for all citizens and he is committed to finding the best plan. We could again see a working port most of us have no memory of. Bobby does. We live in a special place and I hope you will join me in electing Bobby Briscoe for port commission.

Peggy Borgens


The Editor:

Todd Donovan is running for county council district 1. He impresses me for several reasons. He is incredibly smart and knowledgeable about fair elections and representation.

Todd has lived in our community since 1991 and understands the many important water issues such as phosphorus runoff, managing near shore development and preservation of our various watersheds. He is ready to work on the big picture issues that will affect us all down the road. He gets that these issues affect our quality of life here in Whatcom County and our economic future as well.

Please join me in supporting Todd Donovan.

Annie Welch


The Editor:

The decision in League of Women Voters v. Washington State has pretty much done in charter schools in Washington. The Washington State Supreme Court ruling showed it cares about appeasing the WEA, the union that contributed the maximum allowed to most of the justices who voted with the majority. They do not care about the quality of education that the ruling will produce.

Our Supreme Court has shown its loyalties lie with the labor leaders who keep them in office rather than the Constitution they swore to uphold. We have a corrupt monopoly system that badly serves our students. Again this time, we see Washington state has the best court union money can buy.

Joan Dow


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