Letters to the editor, March 3 – March 9

The Editor:

On Tuesday, March 15 there is a very special farming election. Theresa Sygitowicz is a candidate for Whatcom Conservation District supervisor.

As a lifelong resident with farming experience and a solid record of public service, she is in tune to local issues that challenge our way of life. As a past member of the Farm Service Agency board, she is current on the conservation district programs.

We need to protect our water rights: residential, agriculture and private wells. We need to both promote and protect local agriculture. We must have open and transparent procedures. Let’s review each of the current conservation programs for actual benefit and viability. All conservation district policies need to be based on best practices, best available science and plain old common sense.

To vote, you must come in person on Tuesday, March 15 to the conservation district office at 6975 Hannegan Road. Polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All Whatcom County registered voters may vote. Free shuttle service to the polls from the Lynden and Ferndale senior centers will run between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Please vote Theresa Sygitowicz for Whatcom Conservation District. Together we can make Whatcom County’s agriculture economy strong.

Larry and Cheryl DeHaan

Lynden 

The Editor:

Bob Milne is coming to Blaine! This is an opportunity to hear the “best ragtime/boogie-woogie pianist on the planet” and to make a contribution to your community.

Bob was designated a National Treasure by the Library of Congress and named a musical ambassador by the U.S. Department of State. He plays by ear – the music comes from inside his head, not from sheet music. He comes on stage, gets a feel for his audience and knows what to play.

Come to the Blaine schools Performing Arts Center on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. for an evening of fun, upbeat music. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. Proceeds from this concert will benefit Blaine Library improvements.

See you there!

Theresa Pomeroy

Blaine 

The Editor:

I am deeply disturbed that a racist comment against the Lummi by a person filling out a Northwest Jobs Alliance online comment form on the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update would have been forwarded by the Northwest Jobs Alliance to Whatcom County Council and copied to Becky Boxx (planning) and the county executive. The comment by “g” (no full name/identity was provided) was one of the 24 comments that were forwarded by the Northwest Jobs Alliance to the county council on January 22, 2016.

I can understand that Whatcom County Council may not have had time to review in detail the large volume of comments on the 2016 Comprehensive Plan Update that have been posted so far on their website, and they promptly removed the racist comment by “g” when it was brought to their attention.

It seems unconscionable to me though, that the Northwest Jobs Alliance would not have carefully reviewed that manageable number (24) of citizens’ comments they forwarded to the county council on January 22, 2016. I believe the Northwest Jobs Alliance’s disclaimer memo, “The views and opinions expressed in these comments are those of the author(s),” on the comment by an unverifiable individual that made racist allegations does not alleviate Northwest Jobs Alliance of culpability for providing a vehicle for hate speech to be distributed without any context that it is unacceptable.

Dena Jensen

Birch Bay

The Editor:

With “big data” satellite surveillance, U.S., Russian and other enforcers of the UN’s 23-year-old high-seas salmonidae fishing prohibition in the North Pacific soon will be allowing Chinooks, cohos and fishers to return en masse to the Northwest. Add practical restrictions on seining, gill netting and long lining inside the 200-mile limit here to Attu, as well, and even more of our kings and silvers will return.

Back into close touch with local markets, our returned fishers will soon want more water filtering by clams, mussels, scallops and oysters from Lummi Bay to Neah Bay to Cornwall Beach in order to get herring back, as well. Suddenly in support of a secondary sewage plant at Victoria, they’ll likely also push for 100-foot treed riparian setbacks along rivers flanked by deep-root agricultural “nutrient buffers” and/or nitrate-grabbing “buried wood-chip trenches” to catch farmland runoffs.

And, but for our state’s overly-limiting Model Toxics Control Act, funding endorsed by Senator Ericksen’s environment committee for cleaning up waterfronts and filtering storm drains eventually could have the same fishers returning fresh halibut and other Salish bottom feeders to tables – not to mention more money to their pockets!

Finally, after reading “King of Fish” and “American Catch,” returned fishers, too, could cut environmental funding enormously by “river watching” when not fishing, say at $9.9K/yr., their 14 or so two-page synopses cumulatively rendering habitat improvements that are quick, efficient and less impacting on farmers.

Terry Montonye

Bellingham

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