Letters to the editor, April 28 – May 4

The Editor:

Just wanted to thank Kim, new postmaster at the Blaine post office, Gil and the rest of the staff who helped us resolve an issue with our mail. I was hoping the issue would be resolved without any intervention, but over a week had passed and we were not able to receive our mail. I spoke with Kim about it, and within 24 hours the issue was resolved.

I know the Blaine post office has had some issues and a lot of negative press, but I can see from firsthand experience that Kim and her staff are truly trying to make things better.

Susan Walters

Blaine

The Editor:

I recently had occasion to stop at U.S. Customs and, because I lived in Canada for several years, my vehicle, bought and licensed there, was subject to question when I drove across the border.

While attempting to solve this, I felt I needed more information, but after hearing many stories about law enforcement at the border, was a wee bit nervous about my encounter.

I had to park 100 yards away from the office, and because of my compromised lungs, stopped halfway and sat on a curb to get my breath. An officer appeared and asked if he could help. He walked with me to the office, where a couple of dozen people waited in line, and went into the office interior. Shortly, he returned and said the information I sought might be on the doorpost of my vehicle, so I tossed him the keys.

A moment later another officer beckoned to me at the counter. His shoulder boards carried a major’s oak leaves. He counseled me on the information I sought, treating me almost as an honored guest. As I thanked him, the officer I first met walked out with me, saying, “I took the liberty, sir, of moving your van closer.” And there it was, 40 feet away!

My nervousness had been replaced with awe, wonder and gratitude, but it wasn’t done yet, as the young man went to the final clearance booth. He saluted a goodbye, with a smile.

As I paused at the booth, the officer there waved, and said, “Welcome home, sir.”

It is difficult for me to express my feelings about the fine treatment I received at the border. The people protecting us have the worst job in the world, and they are doing it with a lot of class. Police everywhere are faced with the same problem, “protect and serve,” – a dirty and dangerous task most of us take for granted.

Kudos, and thank you.

Washington may not know what it is doing in many instances, but it is hiring the men and women to protect and aid our citizens at the gates, and for that, I am profoundly grateful.

Rod Hulme

Blaine

The Editor:

A majority of Whatcom County’s voters and taxpayers reside in Blaine, Birch Bay, Lummi and Bellingham, but what’s critically important to us oftentimes seems to be low priority for Senator Doug Ericksen. Ericksen took funding from Blaine’s highway interchange improvement project that the mayor says is of “critical importance to the economic viability of the City of Blaine” and gave it to Lynden and Ferndale.

Whatcom County’s coastal communities have critical concerns about bearing the brunt of GPT’s negative impacts if the coal export terminal is built, but Ericksen has used his senate office to promote and support GPT since it was first proposed in 2011.

In coastal communities, safe drinking water and unpolluted bays are critical for our health, property values and businesses. But according to Ericksen’s number one guiding principle, “Respect private property rights,” private property owners’ right to do what they want on their land is more important than the public’s right to safe, clean water.

Drayton Harbor, Birch Bay and Portage Bay are sometimes so polluted with bacteria from agricultural manure that it’s unsafe to eat the shellfish or go in the water. Our local drinking water source, the Sumas-Blaine aquifer, has unsafe levels of nitrates in 29 percent of its wells; nitrates can cause health problems including birth defects.

Most of the nitrate and bacterial contamination results from agricultural manure that escaped unlined manure storage lagoons or was dumped onto crop fields and subsequently contaminated soil, streams and groundwater flowing into our drinking water and bays.

During his many years in the legislature, Ericksen hasn’t solved the problem by offering farmers incentives such as tax credits for fixing manure discharge problems; instead he has undermined Washington state’s efforts to fix the problem.

Many of climate change’s worst impacts – rising sea levels, ocean acidification and more severe storms – will hit coastal communities hardest. But Doug Ericksen has denied climate change and fought efforts to limit it including those that promote clean energy jobs and businesses such as solar panel producers/installers.

Ericksen is a powerful senator who repeatedly ignores coastal community’s critical priorities.

Paula Rotundi

Blaine

The Editor:

Pet owners beware of eagles. I am already seeing the signs for lost dogs and cats.

Unsupervised small pets are easy prey for hungry eagles feeding nestlings. It only takes seconds for them to swoop down and carry off your small animal.

It’s been verified that as many as 24 pet collars have been found in just one eagle’s nest in this area. No doubt there were victims that didn’t have collars.

If you care about your pet, keep them inside or close by your side, especially if you know eagles are in your area.

Sonia Hurt

Blaine

The Editor:

Our state and country need a superb representative like Elizabeth Scott. She is currently a state representative in the 39th legislative district and is now running for Congress in the first district against entrenched incumbent Suzan DelBene. She will work to bring back some of the values we have lost – secure borders, local control of education, term limits and our veterans cared for.

Scott wants to lower taxes via a simple flat tax coupled with decreasing the size of our federal government. With lower taxes and a free market, we might have some chance of achieving a balanced budget and paying down our national debt. It’s also time we quit paying for massive congressional pensions voted in by the recipients for themselves.

We should go to war only if it has been constitutionally declared, and we should defeat ISIS via such a war. These are a few of the common-sense goals Elizabeth Scott will pursue if she is elected this fall. I support her all the way.

Joan Dow

Bellingham

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