Letters to the editor: October 20-27

The Editor:

The Community Assistance Program would like to say a huge thank you to everyone in our community who donated coats and other winter clothing to the annual CAP/Interfaith Coalition Winter Coat Drive.

Over 500 coats were donated this year, along with many beautiful handmade hats and scarves. Just over 260 coats were given out, along with 524 pairs of socks, 260 pairs of gloves, and 213 hats. Some of the left over items will be distributed at the Blaine Clothing Bank through the winter, while the remainder were taken to the Bellingham coat distribution last weekend.

We also want to thank the churches, businesses and other organizations that were collection points for the coat drive, as well as the volunteers who helped out. Every year we are amazed at the generosity of people in this community. Thank you all for helping to keep our neighbors warm through the winter months ahead.

Linda Bennett
CAP Coat Drive director

The Editor:

Luanne Van Werven’s Sunshine Committee, as noted in The Northern Light two weeks ago, is actually the appropriations committee tasked with dealing with the McCleary decision and general budget.

According to today’s Bellingham Herald, she shows misinformed knowledge of education. One of the problems with educational funding is that “full funding” was last defined in 1978, before computers and new telephone and technology requirements. It did not include new testing requirements and the incumbent costs. It did not include foreign languages, Advanced Placement and most remediation programs.

Added cost is not about inefficiency and poor planning, it is a matter of legislated requirements and the basic needs of specific learners. Legislators and people who mistrust trained professional educators are sold the idea of requirements lobbied by text and testing publishers. They do not understand the needs of today’s students. Accountability is important, but the cost of constant testing and results analysis should be evaluated for worthiness of expensive and learning time consumption.

Educational funding is anything but sunshine. It should be about student-focused learning: not about politics.

Support Sharlaine LaClair, whose son attends a publicly funded school, and who understands that education and other issues are serious.

Donna Starr

The Editor:

I’m 71 and my mailing address indicates Custer which, as most folks know, is just a crossroads. I’m still quite active working on projects in my shop or outdoors, but should I injure myself, I am pretty much on my own until aid arrives. Hopefully, I would be able to reach my cell to call for it. I’m voting for the EMS levy based on common sense.

First, the county’s population has increased by about 22,000 people over the last 10 years with more coming. The more people with the current number of aid cars indicates longer wait times for aid. Americans are noted for being reactive when disaster strikes and not having been proactive. Reversing this characteristic is common sense.

Second, I have health insurance but what good will it do me if I can’t get stabilized and to the hospital in time. The extra $75 tax per year is definitely worth it for me; common sense.

Third, citizens usually demand the maintenance of a community’s infrastructure but don’t want to pay for it. One gets what one pays for, it’s common sense.

Vote with thought.

Richard Mollette

The Editor:

In my six or so years of being involved in politics I have never met a more inspiring and genuine person than Washington State Superintendent (OSPI) candidate Erin Jones.

Erin has spent most of her life working as a teacher, instructor, administrator, assistant superintendent under two administrations, and executive director for AVID. She’s earned many teaching awards, she has her own TED Talks, and was once recognized by President Barack Obama for being a “Champion of Change.”

Working in these roles requires an ability to reach across party lines and collaborate with different kinds of people because it’s not about politics but providing all children access to the last great equalizer in our country. Erin has garnered support from a wide swath of political interests I see this as one of her greatest strengths, not a shortcoming.

I’m involved with Democratic politics but I also believe education is not a partisan institution that belongs to one party. I’m proud to support someone whose good character, experience and decency as a human being resonates across the spectrum.

Tara Nelson

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