I read The Northern Light regularly because it usually has a good mix of local news, Blaine school activities, and other activities in our area. The recent November 3-9 edition was a significant exception. On page 2 there was a large political advertisement for Republican state representative Luanne Van Werven, and directly opposite this on page 3, was a half-page advertisement by the Whatcom Republicans to “Vote Republican,” which listed all their party voting recommendations.
What really bothers me is that in this important edition, coming out right before the November 8 election, it was devoted only to Republicans. There were no advertisements for Democrats, Independents or the Green Party, or their candidates. Certainly these other parties and candidates could afford to pay for political advertisements. Did The Northern Light attempt to contact these other parties, or candidates, to try and have some balance in the paper?
Someone reading this edition would get the impression that all people dwelling in northern Whatcom County are Republicans. Unfortunately, this edition came across to me like the one-sided approach used by Fox News. I suggest The Northern Light take a hard look at providing a balanced approach to their local news and advertisements.
D. Brady Green
The Community Toy Store is a county-wide program that assists families with financial need in providing gifts for their children this holiday season. The Community Toy Store allows parents to choose two gifts for each of their own children (max of 10 gifts per family) and pay only 25 percent of the retail price, on a cash-only basis.
All proceeds from the toy sales benefit local nonprofit agencies that serve families and children in Whatcom County. For families that need this assistance and who are not signed up for the Tree of Wishes or any other gift assistance program, you may contact Blaine’s Family Service Center at 332-0740 for more information about being referred to this program.
For those interested in donating to the Community Toy Store, new, unwrapped toys may be dropped off at Umpqua Bank or Pacific Building Center in Blaine until Wednesday, December 7. Please attach a note listing prices paid for toys. Thank you for your support!
Laura Vogee, Community Toy Store, Leadership Team
“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
– John F. Kennedy
With the national election over, I want to say to the people of Blaine regardless whether your candidate won or lost, celebrate/grieve accordingly for a few days but let’s get back to the work at hand.
Whomever the president or the president elect is does not change our day-to-day life in Blaine; my neighbor the teacher will continue to teach, my neighbor the contractor will continued to build houses, and I, the nurse, will continue to provide nursing care. Kids will continue their studies, law enforcement will continue their patrols, city management will continue managing our city … the same as it ever was. I guarantee the U.S. dollar will not be devalued and pigs will not fly.
However, what does significantly impact your day-to-day lives is what the people of Blaine contribute to their city. Our churches, nonprofits, neighborhood associations, Blaine City Council and city committees, local businesses and local government have a huge impact on your daily life.
You see, the aforementioned groups are the ones who’ve provided you with The Vigil, Marine Park, Skallman Dog Park, etc., and continue to provide you with downtown Christmas decorations, food (Blaine Food Bank), after school programs (Boys & Girls Club), a gym for seniors (Blaine Senior Center), increased public safety (Blaine Reserve Officer Program), and many other great services and benefits. Most of these groups are made up of volunteers – hard-working, dedicated Blaine volunteers, who alongside our city employees and business owners take action in making Blaine a better city.
So my call is for you, Blaine John/Susie Q. Public, to volunteer with our nonprofits, join a committee, assist our chamber of commerce, organize a work day with your church or neighborhood organization – in a nutshell, get involved in local worthwhile causes. You and your neighbors’ efforts to make Blaine a better place will have much more of an impact your lives than a presidential election, guaranteed.
This morning Beth Lawrenson – erstwhile known as Beth the Barber – came into the Visitor Information Center and told me she was moving to Colorado.
This very much saddened me – Beth is a fixture in Blaine. She cut my hair for many years as she has done for so many years for so many fine guys. She told me there will be a replacement for her; however, her loss will be sorely felt.
I sincerely wish she would reconsider but all of us succumb to the need to move on. I sincerely wish the best for Beth wherever she goes – she is so very deserving. Having your hair cut by Beth along with the ongoing conversation was always on the verge of inspirational.
Your loss will be felt but the overall heartfelt feeling is for you to do your best and enjoy your endeavor.
Now that the campaign is over, where do we go from here? Believe it or not, there is pending legislation in the U.S. Congress that enjoys wide bipartisan support. HR 3119, the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act is one such bill, with over 220 bipartisan cosponsors.
Representatives Rick Larsen and Suzan DelBene are cosponsors, along with others from the Washington state delegation, including Republicans.
HR 3119 ensures expanded education, training, research and public awareness of palliative care impact on patients, families and professional caregivers. The legislation would lift burdens for all ages, but would have tremendous positive impact on our aging population.
HR 3119 addresses life-and-death issues – improving care for older adults, supporting overburdened family caregivers, guaranteeing people with serious illness the kind of care that respects their goals and wishes, and building an age-friendly health system that works seamlessly across the continuum of care. These issues play a decisive societal role in the future health of our nation, our workforce, and our economy.
Historically, some of the biggest legislative successes happen in lame duck sessions. Please encourage your elected representatives to pass HR 3119 (and its companion Senate bill, S 2748) before this session ends on December 31. Passing this legislation would be much-needed validation that Congress can work for We, the People.