Letters to the editor: January 26-February 1

The Editor: 

Doug Ericksen is Washington State Senator for the 42nd district. He is paid to represent this district by the taxpayers. This January, he accepted a position as communication director for Trump’s deconstruction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Trump and his nominee to head the EPA, Scott Pruitt, have called for “tremendous trimming” of the laws and regulations the EPA uses to protect the environment that all Americans rely upon. Senator Ericksen is all too eager to help with this effort.

Ericksen was an early Trump supporter in Washington state and has a long track record of anti-environment efforts. Ericksen has stated that he will not resign his Senate position; instead, he will collect full pay but only dedicate a portion of his time to the real issues of the 42nd district.

As evidence, Ericksen did not even show up for a January 24 Senate committee hearing on a terrible bill he sponsored. Instead he was giving interviews to national media outlets about his new position and how he would be collecting tons of frequent flyer miles for all his travel.

Michael Shepard
Bellingham

The Editor: 

Last week, 42nd district state senator Doug Ericksen accepted a post in the new president’s administration, but he did not resign from his current job of representing the people of northwest Washington. He claims he will do both jobs, flying back and forth across the country.

Already this week he failed to attend a hearing in Olympia for one of his own bills. At that hearing, 51 citizens made the effort to show up, yet he did not. Senator Ericksen chairs the state Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee but is not present to run the meetings. And we the taxpayers are still covering his $45K salary plus $120 per diem.

This is unacceptable. As a constituent of the 42nd district, I demand Senator Ericksen resign immediately so that his seat can be filled by someone who will fulfill the duty of representing me and my neighbors.

Eowyn Savela
Bellingham

The Editor: 

This is a call to all those that believe that the city over enforces the H Street/Peace Portal stop sign. There are days when there is rolling stop tickets written here one right after the other, also the stop sign just south of US Customs on the truck route and no doubt other locations.

I’m all for professional police work, they have a tough job sometimes and I believe in enforcement of the law and keeping the peace.

That said, the day after Christmas, MLK day and around New Year, a particular officer lays in wait and poaches this intersection at H street and Peace Portal Drive.

I’ve had customers from out of town tell me they rarely come downtown anymore, because of these kinds of ridiculous petty rolling stop tickets.

Another customer and I were standing in front of my store watching all the police lights one right after the other, and she said, “That can’t be good for business”

Exactly, it is real bad for business. The day after MLK day, I had two folks in my shop the entire day. This type of action is helping turn downtown into a ghost town!

I am hoping others show up and speak out protesting this over aggressive action.

This over enforcement sends a loud message to those visiting our town and is bad for business.

Please show support for a successful downtown and come to the meeting at Blaine council chambers on February 27 at 6 p.m.

Bill Becht
Blaine 

The Editor: 

A phone call from a friend reminded me of the severe depression and conflict that has enveloped this country. We seem to have become polarized to the point of constant angst. For perspective, think about the electorate’s 42 percent turnout. Of that embarrassingly small turnout, less than 50 percent actually voted for our President. This small percentage is far less than 1/4 of all citizens, just counting registered voters!

Most people in this country are people of good will who, if looking at the economic consequences of knee-jerk policy, understand that citizens all share our ship of state.

The Women’s March demonstrated the larger will of the majority, showing once more that a vocal, active, well organized 3 percent of any population can actually move the total.

Lift your spirits, and remember that this country is peopled with steadfast, courageous, caring people, unfortunately many of whom did not vote. As a country, most of us are more concerned with terrorists than immigrants, jobs more than competition for those jobs and the environment more than a quick, short-term, comfortable answer to habits of lifestyle. Take heart – if we will communicate without vitriol, we can do this country and ourselves the justice of the American Way.

Donna Starr
Blaine

The Editor:

This letter is in response to one written last week by Mickey
Masdeo.

Mr. Masdeo made the point that if the California votes were not counted in the presidential elections, then Donald Trump would have won the popular vote. I find it hard to understand the relevance of the comment. Californians voted, as did the people of Missouri, New Hampshire, Texas and all of the other states of this nation.

Clinton won the popular vote, Trump the electoral college, by law Trump is President, period. I agree with Mr. Masdeo on that point. But when he goes on to state that “…everyone should support the new President and move on with your lives,” I become confused. Does he mean that we should support Trump the same way that Trump supported President Obama when Obama won the presidency? You remember that, don’t you? Trump suggested that Obama wasn’t a U.S. citizen. He claimed, for years, that Obama was born in Kenya and that he didn’t have a right to be President. He did this even after Obama produced his birth certificate. Should I support him that way? Or should I support him in the same way that you support the U.S. Postal Service?

Are you saying, Mr. Masdeo, that it is my duty to support a person whose policies would, I believe, be harmful to the well being of my grandchildren, to the country and to the world? Am I obliged to support someone who has bragged about sexually assaulting women and who wants to overturn Roe vs Wade? Someone who thinks we should build up an already over bloated military industrial complex? Someone who claimed that climate change science is a hoax and who wants to get rid of the EPA? Someone who has repeatedly been proven to lie? Someone who wants to build walls, torture other human beings and promote fear? Sorry, I can’t do that.

But as you suggest, I will “…get on with my life.” Part of that life will be as Paula and Michael Smith suggested, “Fight for economic, racial, social and environmental justice.”

Jim Agnello
Birch Bay

The Editor and Blaine boating community:

It has recently come to our attention that a marine storage and repair facility proposal in Blaine Harbor is being considered. This project is inconsistent with the 2007 Wharf District Master Plan in place at this time. The facility could negatively impact accessibility and use of the Blaine public boat launch.

Please stay apprised of the process by Blaine City Council and the planning commission. We as a boating community cannot afford to lose this public launch. City council’s public hearing on the proposal to amend the Wharf District Master Plan is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 6 p.m., 435 Martin Street, 4th floor.

David W. Carr
Blaine

The Editor:

As a constituent of Washington’s 42nd Legislative District, I was alarmed to learn that my state senator, Doug Ericksen, is almost entirely absent from his duties in Olympia. He recently took a position with the US EPA, but has declined to resign his state senate seat. That means we are still paying him at the rate of $45,000/year, and possibly also $120/day per diem, plus travel expenses, while he is working in D.C. for the federal government and collecting a second paycheck there.

He has cancelled the majority of his meetings in Olympia and neglected to show up for hearings (even on a bill for which he was the sole sponsor). Ericksen’s team claims this arrangement is legal, but our state constitution seems pretty clear, Article II Section 14 states: “No person, being a member of congress, or holding any civil or military office under the United States or any other power, shall be eligible to be a member of the legislature.”

If Senator Ericksen resigned his senate seat, his replacement would be nominated by the local Republican Party and his constituents would have authentic representation in Olympia. We are paying twice and Ericksen is obstructing progress in our state, wasting the time of other state senators as well. Senator Ericksen should resign.

Elizabeth Hartsoch
Bellingham

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