Letters to the editor: October 13-19

The Editor:

Blaine Harbor Art Gallery sends a huge thank you to the city of Blaine, Blaine Chamber of Commerce, The Northern Light and the many, many Blaine businesses who so wholeheartedly supported the first annual Art-Oberfest.

Through combined promotional efforts we had the greatest attendance of any of our previous art shows and saw a much wider age range of visitors. We loved the opportunity to host Blaine High School Band fundraising efforts. Their enthusiasm at the event coupled with the live music from The Polka Dots and Soul Shadows made the first Art-Oberfest a rousing success. Ooompah!

Georgia Donovan

The Editor:

What we value and hold dear is always worth fighting for. Sometimes this means that we must pay attention to our leaders and understand what is at stake in elections, local or national.

Since 1997, Washington state law requires that the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan be renewed every 20 years for the purposes of assessing growth in cities and unincorporated areas. As such this includes the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area (UGA).

On September 27, Whatcom County Council approved a temporary six-month moratorium for any new fossil fuel industries at Cherry Point. County council and the planning commission will now review proposed amendments to the UGA, submitted by council executive pro tempore Carl Weimer. They will consider public comments, and will soon decide whether or not new and additional expansion of fossil fuels will be allowed at Cherry Point (an unincorporated area) and included in the UGA.

Recently, the U.S. government lifted the ban on exporting crude oil from the U.S., increasing pressure on deep water ports such as Cherry Point to develop into crude export terminals.

Fossil fuels include Bakken and tar sands crude, coal, LNG, propane, butane, methane and others. If more crude oil is brought to the Pacific Northwest, we and future generations will be subjected to increased train and ship traffic, pipelines through private properties, a polluted environment and deadly accidents. Doing so has the potential to affect what we value most: clean water and air; the Puget Sound ecosystem, a vital economic and social resource; safe neighborhoods and roads; and freedom from the threat of dangerous exploding oil trains.

I believe we must act to protect Cherry Point or we will lose it to industries who value money more than life. Please consider contacting the Whatcom County Planning Commission when their first work session begins on October 27 to share your vision of our future: County Planning Commission Attention: Becky Boxx, 5280 Northwest Drive, Bellingham, WA 98226 (360/778-5944). Also, write to the Whatcom County Council (council@co.whatcom.wa.us) to support Carl Weimer’s proposed amendments.

Christine Westland
Birch Bay

The Editor:

As Lily Tomlin famously said, “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.” The more I experience this year’s Presidential election the more I have to agree. The mainstream parties have saddled us with two very unsavory characters who many millions of Americans do not want as our president, although perhaps for somewhat different valid reasons.

Many feel that one or the other is at least marginally less appalling, and so they feel they must vote for that one to try to keep the other one out.

Meanwhile, these candidates spend most of their time tossing verbal brickbats at one another rather than seriously discussing the large number of very important issues we face individually and collectively.

If some voters genuinely want either of these people to be their president, then voting for that person is a perfectly legitimate thing. If, however, you really do not want either of them, then voting for either is a horrible waste of your one vote.

Fortunately, this year every voter in America will have another, much better, option. That is to vote for Governor Gary Johnson (two terms, New Mexico) and his running mate Governor Bill Weld (two terms, Massachusetts). These men ran as moderate Republicans in majority Democratic states, and were re-elected with large majorities.

Their run for the presidency is supported by millions of Americans, most notably active military, young people and independents. Why these?

Well, perhaps because they are sane, honest, experienced in governing and likeable. Also, they do not want to control your life, spy on you, tax you to death, bankrupt the country or engage in endless wars.

Please Google Gary Johnson. Check out his website. Find out who he is, what he believes and what he would like to accomplish as president. Make a decision to use your precious vote this time to vote for something positive rather than negative. You will be better for it, and so will America.

Ron Bailey
Birch Bay

The Editor:

On November 8, Whatcom County voters will return incumbent 42nd District State Representatives Vincent Buys and Luanne Van Werven to Olympia.

As we should: Luanne and Vincent have served rural Whatcom County, our smaller cities and Bellingham well in Olympia.

And here’s a refreshing bonus: these are two of the smartest, most decent, honest and hardest working people I have ever met. As the mayor of Ferndale I am privileged with getting to know these folks first hand.

I am proud of their work on our behalf to keep taxes low, protect the environment, rein in costs, and improve education.

I do my job better because I know Luanne and Vince watch our backs in Olympia. They both deserve another term. Thank you for voting for them.

Jon R. Mutchler
Mayor, City of Ferndale 

The Editor:

Luanne Van Werven has done an excellent job representing us in Olympia. She is intelligent, compassionate and is committed to listen – even to people she does not always agree with.

She works hard, does her homework and is an advocate for education, agriculture and other issues that matter to us. She’s done a great job for Whatcom County.

If you want to support someone who will be fair and represent all the citizens of the district with integrity and good will, I hope you will join us in voting for Luanne in November.

Gary and Cindy Honcoop

The Editor:

I would like to urge my friends and neighbors to vote for Proposition 1, the EMS levy. We have world class emergency medical service in Whatcom County, known as Medic One, and I strongly believe we should continue to fund it.

I have served on the Whatcom County Council for nearly seven years. I have learned about the unique challenges of creating government budgets and prioritizing spending. In a time of scarce financial resources, stratospheric medical costs and a growing population, the current Medic One program has done an outstanding job. The original voter-approved levy was projected to provide funding for seven years, and they have made it last for over 10 years!

As a community, I believe we should protect our investment in training, infrastructure and experience by voting for Proposition 1. The state and federal government have reduced Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements as health care costs and our population continue to grow.

It is up to us to maintain our high-quality Medic One system.

I am willing to pay the estimated 25 cents per day for the peace of mind knowing that if I or a loved one are in a serious car crash, have a factory accident, or face plant on Mt. Baker, there is an experienced team of paramedics only minutes away. Please join me in supporting Proposition 1 – EMS Levy.

Ken Mann

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