Letters to the editor, July 14-20

The Editor:

I’ve had several intelligent customers with vision that love this area and want to contribute to the betterment of our community and Blaine’s success going forward that live just outside the city limits.

The current rule says you have to live inside the city limits to be on council. I’m not sure when this was enacted, but I think it’s way past time we change this and allow more of the population to contribute to our community in a positive manner.

My suggestions, which so far seem to have fallen on deaf ears, would be to allow anyone in 98230 to run for city council positions – at least have it extend to the same farthest limits of the “city limit” line.

What I mean is that the current city limit is 6.2 miles all the way to Semiahmoo.

Let that be the limit, a 6.2-mile radius from downtown, which would go over halfway to Guide Meridian and almost to Custer.

By allowing more citizens to run for council, it would mean folks that don’t contribute in a positive manner to Blaine being a downtown to be proud of would be voted out and replaced by folks that have smaller egos, helpful, friendly attitudes, a positive point of view, and vision of what could be.

This wonderful community in such a beautiful setting, with so much potential deserves that as a minimum.

I welcome anyone that cares about downtown to come into my shop, Horseshoe Coins and Antiques, and let’s figure out how to change the rules and help Blaine receive new councilmembers to drive a prospective future for our downtown and community.

Fitting quotes:

“I’d rather be a pilgrim without a destination, than walk through the same threshold everyday.”  (Unknown)

‘There are two types of people: The ones who give you 50 reasons it can’t be done … and the ones who just do it.” – Hoda Kotb

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“High expectations are the key to everything.” – Sam Walton

“Do it now or forever wish you had.” (Unknown)

“Do you want to live a safe life or an authentic one?” (Unknown)

Bill Becht


The Editor:

The unmitigated and vicious assaults and murders of officers in Dallas are indicative of a growing trend in the dangers confronted by law enforcement and corrections officers on a daily basis.

This should trouble us all. Regardless of whether classified as targeted assassinations, terrorism, committed during the course of other crimes or perpetrated by those who are dangerously mental ill, officers are being increasingly injured, disabled and killed while protecting society.

Officers do not have the luxury of fleeing from risks, but rather willingly run toward danger to save others.

Law enforcement in Whatcom County enjoys widespread support, which reflects well on the men and women who serve our community with honor, compassion and bravery. Some however, criticize decisions to provide officers with the protective equipment, training and exercises needed to effectively respond to active shooters, which they characterize as a scheme to “militarize the police.” Recent events in Orlando, Dallas and across our country should crystalize necessities and provide clarity.

Citing aberrations of police misconduct in other parts of the country as a basis, there is a movement afoot within our state to strip officers of the legal protections they need to safely and effectively perform their jobs. If we are to expect our officers to rush towards danger, we need to provide them the support they need.

Washington state has one of the lowest ratios of officers to citizens of any state. Our deputies and officers do an incredible job.  As Sheriff, I am very proud of our deputies and all officers in Whatcom County for their professionalism, integrity and commitment.

Bill Elfo

Whatcom County Sheriff

The Editor:

Our nation is 240 years old and we celebrated with fabulous explosives. A wonderful Fourth of July for many, the symbol of devastating loss to others. The message on our Statue of Liberty has been lost over the years. The Mother of Exiles spoke, “Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp! Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.  Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

These words might not be only for refugees from foreign lands, but the disenfranchised in our own country. Both political parties in this country are managed and controlled for the most part, by the few powerful elite that profit from foreign policy that has caused wars and angst throughout the world in the name of jobs and progress.

We are the most powerful nation in the world, at one time the most loved for our generosity and material support for countries threatened and bereft. We have become a juggernaut, in the eyes of many – our own citizens left behind because of policy based on profit for the few.

How is that our votes perpetuate the very policies that are killing our middle class and denying hope to the majority of citizens? Perhaps it is time to rethink what we are doing to ourselves.

Donna Starr


The Editor:

A time of great challenge.

The officer involved shootings in Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and the ambush in Dallas have been a heart wrenching and horrific week for America. America is in a time of great challenge with violence, race issues, declining mental health services and increased illegal drug use. As a society we must embrace humanity and the sanctity of human

The law is the cornerstone of any democracy. The police are the guardians of democracy. The expectation in a democracy is that force will be used sparingly and only in those circumstances where it is lawful. Tragically there have been incidents where force was used too quickly, too strongly or with the wrong intent. As a profession, the police serve America and their communities with the spirit of service, justice and fundamental fairness. There has never been a justification for violence against law enforcement.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” I am hopeful we can improve as a society by engaging each other with communication, listening, understanding, respect and considering each other’s perspectives in life.

As citizens of America, we live in one house (under one nation). We must not let hate and violence define us as a people.

Pat Brown


The Editor:

With all the focus on the presidential race, voters may be surprised to find a ballot in their mailbox come July 15. Washington has a primary election and there are lots of important races to vote on.

The only local race is in the 42nd legislative district. I am supporting Independent Doug Karlberg for position 1, and I hope you will too. We have far too many legislators in Olympia who would rather sit in their partisan corners than get up and fight for all the people of their district.

As Karlberg says, you have to get to 51 percent to get anything done, and that requires working with people across the political spectrum. If you are tired of the gridlock and partisan bickering, please vote Karlberg.

One of Karlberg’s top concerns is restoring trust in government by getting big money out of politics and increasing transparency to expose corruption. Karlberg believes the economy is rigged, and we won’t unrig it until we can expose the corruption. Another top concern, finding an equitable solution to our water rights problems, for farmers, fish and people, is dependent on trust in government. Without trust, we won’t find consensus on much of anything.

As an independent, he has an uphill battle to get through the primary because Democrats and Republicans will tend to vote for their own. I challenge party voters to take a chance on this Independent in the primary, so we can have a real competition for the 42nd this fall.

Natalie McClendon


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