Letters to the editor, January 28- February 3

The Editor:

This letter is a reminder that the current maintenance and operations levy for the Blaine school district will be on the ballot for renewal for four more years on February 9.

When the Washington state legislature cut funding for education to the bone, the Blaine school district had to run a levy. The voters successfully passed it.

Just recently the Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature shall provide full funding for basic education in the “near future.” We all know that when it comes to politics, the “near future” is very likely a long way off.

Simply put, this levy is a continuation of the one we currently have. Hopefully the politicians will, in the next four years, provide full funding for basic education as required by the Supreme Court, and just maybe we won’t have to go through this again. I for one am not willing to roll the dice on something as important as our children’s education. I urge you to vote in favor of the maintenance and operations levy on February 9, to ensure the quality of education continues in our schools.

Gary Dunster


The Editor:

Please support Blaine school district by voting to approve its maintenance and operations levy for the next four years. The district relies on levies to fund a variety of academic, extracurricular, maintenance, operating and staffing needs. Programs and activities supported by levies help provide students learning tools and skills today that will help them transition into careers later in life.

Blaine’s levy tax rate is the lowest by far among Whatcom County school districts, and that is not expected to change if the upcoming levy is approved. Please vote “Yes” for our kids and for our community.

Bill Baldwin


The Editor:

Several multi-national corporations and government negotiators dealing with Pacific Rim nations have put our country’s next trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), together. The U.S. Congress is considering whether or not to sign on to this partnership. Though it is over 5,000 pages long, our Congress has already agreed to give it an “up or down” vote without negotiating on any of the terms of the deal. This is an abdication of their role as our elected representatives. They work for us, not for multi-national corporations!

This partnership could put into place rules that say foreign corporations can bring in employees even if it will displace our workers from the jobs. These foreign workers may be paid lower wages, which will bring down wages for all.

Fact Checker finds that in the long run there will be zero new jobs for us and the Center for Economic Policy Research finds that the TPP will result in only 0.013 percent increase in GDP.

Other provisions allow foreign firms to sue the U.S. if our laws interfere with their profits, including minimum wage and environmental laws. They can also sue the U.S. taxpayer for loss of expected future profits. Is this working for We the People?

Please contact your representative and tell them to stop this corporate takeover. More information is available at publiccitizen.com.

Linda Schonborn


The Editor:

Talk about being out of step with the rest of the world! Senator Doug Ericksen (R- Ferndale) is sponsoring Senate Bill 6173 that would block “state regulators from adopting rules that limit greenhouse gas emissions without legislative direction” (The Bellingham Herald, January 20, 2016).

Ericksen claims any policies limiting carbon emissions would affect Washington’s business climate and “sends a bad message to job creators and would hurt working families.” A New York Times editorial from January 19 claims otherwise: “The energy policies adopted by some American states and Canadian provinces demonstrate that those arguments are simply unfounded.” The article further states that over 40 nations, British Columbia, Quebec, California and nine other states have rules taxing carbon emissions without hurting their economies.

What makes Ericksen think otherwise? On what are his claims based? What are his motives? It is time for Washington to join the rest of the world in its quest for a cleaner future, cleaner jobs, safer air, water and soil and better human health.

It is all possible – China has made an announcement that it will be instituting a national cap and trade policy. Join the movement, Senator Ericksen and stop being an obstructionist.

Contact Senator Ericksen to let him know that you want Washington to be in step with the rest of the world: dougericksen.com, 360/920-3276.

Naomi Murphy


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