Letters to the editor, July 7-July 14

The Editor:

This is a follow-up to my letter in the June 16 edition. On June 6, I emailed all three state legislators who represent Whatcom County to express my dismay over the $155,000 that county taxpayers must pay for safety and security costs during Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Lynden. I asked them to stand up for Whatcom County taxpayers and send the bill to Mr. Trump’s campaign.

That was 21 days ago at the time I’m sending this letter. Neither Mr. Buys nor Mr. Ericksen bothered to respond. Ms. Van Werven lived down to my expectations by responding, “This is standard when security is required. If Hillary Clinton comes to town we will pay for her security as well.” Then she wrote, “I hope you are equally outraged by the $300,000 price tag to Skagit County local government for safety and cleanup as a result of the fossil fuel

I am equally outraged, but I don’t live in Skagit County. I’m also dumbfounded that Ms. Van Werven apparently doesn’t realize there’s a huge difference between the two events.

Washington could take a stand. Washington could make it clear to political candidates, action committees, protest organizers, sports teams et al. that they will be held financially liable and legally accountable for any and all public costs associated with their event. But no, that would take political courage. It’s safer and easier to let the taxpayers pick up the tab.

John Yirak


The Editor:

Our city clown school has screwed the citizens; nice work to the council for completely ignoring us again.

This council is a complete joke. I watched as they feigned interest in our complaints and appeals for the ULID the city has imposed on our neighborhood. They stood by as the city officials gave us half-truths and lies about this project.

The council had the choice to give us some relief from the nearly $16,000 lien imposed on 65 properties in the Vista Terrace neighborhood, but they chose to stick us with the whole bill for their infrastructure that nobody asked for.

The city installed an unwanted sewer line to our neighborhood to get new customers to fund their failure to maintain a reasonable budget. The city has shown gross negligence by building a sewer treatment plant with the most expensive design I could imagine with no foresight for infrastructure to support it and stick their citizens with the burden of it.

The city council voted to stick us with the bill and ignore the fact that city planning is incompetent. I could train a monkey to do a better job of planning – oh wait, I wouldn’t have to train them.

Our city council and city planning is an embarrassment. All the other towns around here are booming yet Blaine shows no growth or hope of improvement for as long as I have lived here. Blaine has some of the highest GFF fees and utilities in Whatcom County. As they form ULIDs to stick the people for their budget shortcomings it is no wonder nobody is interested in doing business here.

The city is paying for a sewer line to go through Lincoln Park to service exactly zero homes. After seeing the public forum at the council meetings I am sure the people have no voice and the council will do whatever they want. Getting involved is pointless. Don’t waste your time voicing your opinion because it falls on old deaf ears. At this point I am at a net loss on my property. Thanks again for a bang-up job stealing our money, and remember if they can do this to us, it could happen to you.

Dan Shea


The Editor:

Once Donald Trump gets sworn in as president and the wall starts to be built along our southern border. I think that we, up by the northern border, do something to make America great again, and that we do it with style.

Let’s face it; it’s all pretty dull at our border now. The Peace Arch is a low-energy building. Keeping in line with the other fantastic policy ideas of Donald Trump, let’s tear it down and replace it with a huge spinning tower.

Of course, we need to have a fancy restaurant serving fine steaks and tacos at the top. Also, at the very top, we could have one of those waving, inflatable plastic men. You know, like the kind you see in front of used car dealerships. What a great companion piece it would be next to all the fully armed, body-armored, homeland security agents and their high-tech spying equipment.

Hey, let’s torture suspected terrorists at the tower too. Let’s do water-boarding and even worse to them. Let’s kill their family members there too. We could have all those evil Muslims catapulted from the top into targets set up in the large lawn of Peace Arch Park. Then we could have the
appropriate passages read from II Corinthians.

We could also incorporate some of our own local traditions. For instance, we could have over 500 Subaru cars drive around the tower in a circle spewing carbon into our atmosphere. Maybe the following week we could do it with Chevrolets, then Toyotas, and so on. We might even get into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most frivolous polluters that the world has ever seen. What an honor!

We could not only torture and kill people on the tower, we could have fireworks shot off as we do it. Because nothing says “I love America” quite like igniting huge amounts of gunpowder. We could package it all into a great reality TV show. We’ll all end up spectacularly rich… very, very rich! What a fantastic way to show the rest of the world that we are great again!

Jim Agnello

Birch Bay

The Editor:

I agree with most of Mr. Dan Defoe’s June 30 letter praising our excellent community policing that helps make Blaine the best small town in America.

However, I take serious issue with Mr. Defoe’s suggestion that cannabis legalization has contributed to an increase in local property crime.

The people who commit break-ins and other property crimes to get money for dope are opioid addicts and methamphetamine addicts, not marijuana users. The worst is the opioids, including prescribed and black market prescription drugs and street heroin and fentanyl, which together are killing tens of thousands of people across the USA every year.

The upswing in opioid addiction is also claiming an alarming number of victims in B.C.’s Lower Mainland. I will let a friend who is an RCMP officer and patrols drug-infected streets in Surrey explain the cause:

“Every day I meet people who are in very bad shape and it’s sad because so many of them tell the same story. They had a great life, they were successful, some had families, and then a doctor prescribed Oxycontin and told them it was not addictive. Now they are on the street.”

Purdue Pharma, the makers of Oxycontin, lied to doctors through the ’90s and early ’00s, telling physicians the opioid painkiller was not addictive. Unfortunately, thousands of gullible doctors believed what Purdue’s high-powered drug salesmen told them.

In 2007, Purdue and its top executives pleaded guilty to intentionally misleading the public about Oxycontin and agreed to pay a $600 million fine. Convicted of felonies, the executives were given community service instead of the prison time they deserved.

If Mr. Defoe wants to know the causes of drug-related crime in America, he should look to the pharmaceutical companies and the doctors who do their bidding. The small business owners who are working hard to make Washington an international model for the emerging global cannabis industry deserve our praise, not our scorn.

Raymond Cushing


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