Letters to the editor: January 12-18

The Editor:

To the person in the southbound border lineup, who gave me a jump, thank you! One Thursday night recently when the lineup was inching along, I turned my car engine off after idling away for 40 minutes or so. It was a cold night and my car is old. When it came time to start up again, there was no response from my engine… the battery was dead.

I was about to scream and tear my hair out when the driver behind me pulled up and offered to help. She said, “Do you have jumper cables?” and fortunately I carry them with me always. With not a moment’s hesitation she turned her car to face mine and in just moments my car was running again. Thank you for your quick thinking and
thoughtfulness.

Linda Gibbs
Birch Bay

The Editor:

On the eve of the inauguration of President elect Donald Trump, all Americans are asked to give him a chance to govern. For me and many others this is too much to ask.

Since Election Day, Mr. Trump has continued to bully and insult those who dared to criticize his actions and policy agenda. He has tried to demean the intelligence community which is there to protect us. This behavior is not worthy of a United States president.

I believe many of his cabinet appointees are unqualified to head the departments they are to lead. The EPA appointee is a climate change denier. Congressman Tom Price, the HHS [US Department of Health and Human Services] appointee, wants to privatize Medicare under the name of reform. Mr. Trump has pledged to not change Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Let’s see if he keeps this pledge.

Although Donald Trump won the electoral vote, there are more Americans who voted for Hillary Clinton. Remember, those of us who did not vote for Mr. Trump are the majority and need to hold Congress and the new president accountable.

Layne Boyce
Birch Bay

The Editor:

I support the proposed Transportation Benefit District (TBD) which would raise funds for city roads and trails with a small sales tax of two-tenths of one percent (0.2 percent). Good roads and trail connections are vital to economic development for Blaine.

Generally, I am opposed to additional taxes but am coming out in support of the TBD for a number of reasons. As a volunteer on the Public Works Committee, I can support this plan because it’s not just a tax on local residents. The TBD raises money for road and trail projects from visitors to Blaine who also use these services.

For example, an estimated 35 percent of sales tax revenue comes from P.O. boxes in Blaine, which is over one-third of the income from mailbox businesses alone! Additional purchases at restaurants and tourism means that a large percentage of money raised from sales will come from outside the city limits to help pay for Blaine’s infrastructure.

The money raised through the TBD goes directly to the city of Blaine for streets and trails instead of to Olympia or Washington D.C. where they decide how much to give back to the local government.

Every other city in Whatcom County has a TBD except Blaine. The overall increase in tax works out to an additional 10 cents on a $50 bill at a restaurant or an additional 40 cents on a $200 bill at a hardware store. When you buy items outside of Blaine you are paying the same amount in sales tax and supporting roads and trails in those communities. Why not our own?

Eric Davidson
Blaine

The Editor:

I am writing about the “Year in Review, Part 1.” The very first item was about state Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale). Doug Ericksen has stayed busy since January of 2016 by undermining civil rights and creating a bill that limits free speech.

I am a Republican, but Doug Ericksen and his new bill that would call any disruption of commerce by protesters “economic terrorists,” really gets my goat. This bill would make it so that nonviolent protests or shows of civil disobedience would be a Class C felony with prison sentences up to five years (on the same level as assaulting a child) is preposterous and a direct threat to our first amendment right.

The fiscal conservative finds another flaw that it is easy to point out. Using basic math (and a lot of averages and generalities) a state senator in Washington makes about $44,000 a year, with 80 legislature days, with about 574 votes per year; knowing this information we can estimate that each bill through our state senate takes on average 54 minutes for a discussion and vote. Every bill then has a monetary value of $62. There are 49 state senators. Thus, each bill costs the taxpayer on average $3,031 to bring to the floor for a vote.

Thus, I say state Senator Doug Ericksen, by knowingly bringing this vote to the floor (which he knows, will ultimately be voted down or vetoed), he is the economic terrorist and deserves five years in prison for wasting tax payer money.

Megan Delaney
Blaine

The Editor:

I had the privilege to be present during the signing ceremony of the Portage Bay Partnership at the Lummi Council Chamber last week. I fully support this bold and prudent initiative by very forward-thinking dairy farmers and AG community leaders in our county.

It is easy to be timid and reject the possibilities out of sheer uncertainty and fear. Uncertainty is the only certainty we have, because no one can tell the future. Water quality and quantity issues are real and we cannot pass these on to our kids and grandkids because we are afraid of the
outcome.

I would urge not only the farm community but all Whatcom County residents to work together and make it a success. This is a real opportunity for all the environmental organizations and critics of farmers to show not only their respect but true support to this bold initiative.

Satpal Sidhu
Whatcom County Councilmember District 2

The Editor:

Since the new administration seems to be intent to repeal and replace Obamacare with something less flawed, it is time for America to join the rest of the developed world in having universal care. But we should be asking some fundamental questions about our current healthcare system dominated by for-profit insurance companies, profiteering for the benefit of their shareholders by exploiting the sick and injured. We have a replacement staring us in the face that has a 50-year proven track record of 2 percent overhead (compared to private insurance over 20 percent), allows patient and physician choice and autonomy, and enjoys a 90 percent approval rating – Medicare!

Transitioning to a “Medicare for all” system addresses the problems of universal coverage, portability, and cost efficiency. We currently spend more per-capita on healthcare than any other nation, yet our health outcomes are not even in the top 10.

Please do not be fooled by our leaders in Congress who are bought and paid for by insurance companies spending millions of dollars in campaign contributions. Their fear mongering about “socialized medicine” and higher taxes for “everyone” are designed to hide their major concern with universal healthcare – preserving insurance industry profits.

Please write to your congressional representatives along with all the members of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health and the Senate Health Committee demanding Medicare for all as the replacement for Obamacare. Let’s stop the immoral profiteering by insurance companies on the sick and injured.

Douglas L. Madsen, MD
Bellingham

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