Letters to the editor, February 25 – March 2

The Editor:

Attention primary voters: our local Democratic caucus meets March 26 at the Blaine Middle School cafeteria. Arrive around 9:30 a.m. The doors may close at 10 a.m., when the caucus begins. We want your vote to be able to be counted.

Four Blaine city precincts, two Custer precincts and four Blaine area precincts will all meet that day at the middle school.

Paula Smith


The Editor:

There are 70,000 Americans living in B.C., and 41,000 in Metro Vancouver. There are Democrat and Republican clubs, with a keen interest in the primaries and the ongoing debates.

The major differences with their meetings in Canada: both party members meet together for lunch at a pub or a golf course, and they don’t carry placards in the streets, or protest in public.

Donation to the cause is more difficult with the low Canadian dollar, but they remember when the Canadian dollar was higher than the U.S. dollar. They try to explain the U.S. election process to Canadians who are unfamiliar with the American political process.

In response, the Canadians simply point out that their parliamentary election process takes only six weeks from start to finish.

Aside from that, Canadians take a keen interest in the TV debates and hope that whoever is the next President won’t build a wall on the 5,000-mile northern border, so they will no longer be able to get cheaper gas and booze, and winter sunshine in California/Arizona and Florida.

Jay James

Birch Bay

The Editor:

A donkey basketball fundraiser event was held at Ferndale High School on February 13, 2016, sponsored by, and to benefit, the Ferndale FFA.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals declares its opposition to donkey basketball in its official “Policy and Position” statements, and to my understanding, all other animal advocacy organizations are opposed to donkey basketball. The Whatcom Humane Society voiced its opposition to the donkey basketball event at Ferndale High School, as well.

As part of its justification for refusing to cancel the donkey basketball event, the Ferndale school district said the donkey basketball game is a tradition that has been going on for 40 years there.

Traditions are tricky, however. They are often seen as positive and good, but some traditions can be negative and objectionable, especially after education occurs that results in social awareness and social progress. But there is a phrase that can often stand in the way of that progress: “It’s a tradition.”

Tradition enabled the town of Whitesboro, New York, to keep using a town seal dating back to 1883, which depicted a white settler choking a Native American man. Only after nationwide controversy erupted about the town seal, which is viewed by many people nationwide as being racist, did town officials decide to finally change it on January 21, 2016.

The controversy over that town seal had heightened last year, causing Whitesboro village officials to query its residents in an unofficial vote. On January 12, residents voted (157–55) to keep the town seal, but afterward, The Daily Show and other public outcries lambasted Whitesboro for the vote. These objections across the nation finally led to the decision by the mayor and others to change the town seal.

I think the Ferndale school district needs to do the right thing. When a tradition, even a long-standing one that some community members support, involves the exploitation of animals for profit (including fundraising) and exposes them to mistreatment/cruelty or other morally and ethically unacceptable practices, then it’s time to retire that tradition based on our evolving social consciousness.

Sandy Robson

Birch Bay

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