Letters to the editor, March 30 – April 6

The Editor:

I want to thank Saturday’s Democratic Caucus PCOs, precinct volunteers (and conscripts) for a successful and important event.

I roughly counted attendance of 346 voters. It could not have been done without universal cooperation and respect by everyone for each other. While the caucus procedure may seem ancient and clunky in our age of “push button” voting, the Blaine Middle School cafeteria was stuffed full with young and old, and no one glued to their cell phones or texting. They were building connections, meeting their neighbors, exchanging opinions, ideas and increasing enthusiasm for their chosen candidate.

At 10:30 a.m., when the precinct caucuses officially started, I looked at the huge crowd and thought, “How will we ever finish before mid-afternoon?” By 11:30 a.m., through cooperation and intelligence, the delegates for the May 1 Whatcom County Caucus were elected.

Well done Democrats and neighbors!

Don Starr

Blaine

The Editor:

The Friends of the Blaine Library want to thank everyone who contributed to the success of our Bob Milne ragtime piano fundraiser on March 18. Bob, an amazing and talented man who has been declared a National Treasure by the Library of Congress, treated us all to an evening of superb ragtime and blues music.

Having him play in the Performing Arts Center, where the acoustics are superb and the operations staff is top notch, was a real treat for our community, and Bob gave us a night of music and entertainment that will long be remembered.

A special thank you goes to Kathy Stauffer, who supported and encouraged us and donated funds to help defray costs. To our community businesses and library patrons, your donations and support were invaluable – we truly could not have had the success we did without your help and we are most grateful.

Our student scholarship ticket project, to provide concert tickets for our school music students, was a success due in large part to the generosity of our Blaine and Birch Bay citizens, who donated funds to provide 69 tickets to interested music students from the Blaine schools.

What a wonderful experience for the students, made possible because so many of you answered the call. The cooperation of the Blaine school district staff – administrators, operations personnel and music teachers – allowed us to implement this project and even bring Bob to play for some of the students the day prior to the concert.

Thank you, everyone – you are all truly Blaine Library heroes!

Pat Kingshott and Carol Macmillan, Friends of the Blaine Library

The Editor:

I would like to respond to a recent editorial concerning the Lummi Nation and jobs for a proposed coal shipping port at Cherry Point.

While I agree that jobs are important, I take exception to the opinion offered. First Nations peoples, including the Lummi Nation, have occupied Whatcom County and the greater Puget Sound area for thousands of years. They were living in the Americas long before Europeans established a foothold and judged that ownership and exploitation of the land was for them and not for native peoples. Thus, over many years, Native Americans lost their rights while we lost an opportunity to share a diverse and valuable culture.

The Point Elliott Treaty of 1855, between the U.S. Government and the First Nations peoples living in the Puget Sound area, guarantees them permanent rights to their lands and the resources they require.

Nevertheless, SSA Marine has elaborate plans to build the largest coal shipping port in North America at Cherry Point, while the Lummi Nation is holding firm to the promises they were given which provide for their ability to continue their culture and subsistence lifestyle unhindered.

I believe we need to reward and show respect for those who have honorable motives for creating jobs that contribute to and enhance the public good.  Comparing casinos to a huge coal port at Cherry Point would not only violate the treaty rights of First Nations people, but will add 18 more trainloads of coal through Whatcom County each day, destined for Asia, where it would be burned.

The market for coal is vanishing because most governments understand that burning coal, a fossil fuel, is one of the main causes of global warming. Even if you deny global warming, you certainly cannot deny the toxicity of coal as a carcinogen and the cost of environmental and health hazards associated with it. There is a huge difference between a recreational industry and one that will create dangerous hazards for the environment and for all life in exchange for about 260 permanent jobs, according to the original project permit.

Christine Westland

Birch Bay

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