Letters to the editor: February 16-22

The Editor:

I want to thank Mr. Agnello for his response. Unfortunately, he misquoted what I wrote. I simply said without a “landslide” win in California the results of the popular vote would be different. As a native Californian, I am well aware of the Democrats’ vast margin over Republicans in registered voters. It was not unusual for Clinton to receive 61 percent of the vote. I did not say anything about not counting the
California votes.

I do not recall so much violence and rioting in an election as occurred after Trump’s victory. I can understand Democrats and their supporters being upset since they expected an easy victory which did not occur apparently due to ineffective campaigning.

I do support the U.S. Postal Service but not the poor level of service by the Blaine station. I went to the Ferndale station recently and spoke with the postmaster. She told me that the Custer station asked her if she could handle two carrier positions at Ferndale and she told them she had no physical facilities available to handle the transfer. She told me for 46 years she is not aware of any change similar to what I proposed and also does not have the physical facilities to hand either transfers from Custer or Blaine.

So, as residents we need to continue to provide constructive comments to the Blaine postmaster and supervisors in hope that they will make an effort to improve the level of service.

Mickey Masdeo
Birch Bay
(Editor’s note: This letter has been edited as per The Northern Light’s letter policy)

The Editor:

We echo the sentiments expressed by Mr. Metz in his letter in the last issue of The Northern Light. We thank the city council for choosing a small (.2 percent) sales tax increase to fund a Transportation Benefit District for streets and trail connections, and appreciate that the council is seeking Blaine voters approval regarding this funding decision.

It is a creative solution because all revenue generated will be dedicated to maintaining and developing Blaine’s system of trails and streets that serve and link us to neighboring communities. Since other sales tax revenue supports other aspects of Blaine’s operation, having a dedicated source of funding for trails and streets is critical.

Safe streets and a continuum of quality trails are important to attract and keep businesses in Blaine, and to encourage and welcome people to visit and shop here. We like that the costs of maintaining these amenities will be shared by all who use them, including those who pass through. We are especially pleased that the targeted projects were selected based on priorities expressed in a survey of Blaine’s residents. All listed projects will have a positive impact on our neighborhoods.

We appreciate the city’s desire to find creative ways to fund needed services and to bring life back to Blaine. We urge Blaine voters to approve this form of funding during the April special election.

Bob and Lois Franco
Blaine

The Editor:

POTUS #45 may try to deflect the American people from the Mike Flynn issue, but the intelligence leaks are very important in keeping us aware about secret and nefarious dealings with Russia. It is regrettable it must be done this way but I applaud the leakers for the revelations which alert us to problems affecting our government and our freedoms.

POTUS #45 did not suddenly “lose trust” in Mike Flynn. The reality is that #45 could not hide knowledge learned several weeks before about Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador. The “deal” was exposed and there were no acceptable “alternative facts” for a cover-up. So #45 huffs and puffs outrage, not about Flynn’s actions, but simply because the truth was found out. Subsequently we are now learning about other contacts with Russian intelligence occurring during his campaign.

Reporting acts of subversion, disinformation, cover-ups, illegality and plain lies is not a crime, the acts reported are. They affect our country, constitutional rights and safety. What is left of accurate reporting and investigative journalism needs our attention and encouragement. While that news may seem “liberal,” it only informs us, causes us to think, evaluate, and maybe act.

The conservative entities have been prone to “cover-up,” accept press releases, ignore issues or swallow the alibi: business as usual is OK. While #45 childishly attacks the media in general, his actions and bombastic and short opinions have been rather accurately reported, discounting those “faux news” entities. He really should be grateful for the extensive coverage, as it provided a dung pile of free campaign advertising (with little content) for his supporters to gobble up. I think some of them may now be choking on the menu.

Don Starr
Blaine

The Editor:

Now that the voters of Whatcom County have seen the true colors of the Republican party, perhaps now they are ready for real change. These people have always had their prejudice, religion-based, zealot ideology. How ironic and hypocritical is it that they have chosen a liar with no moral compass to lead the self-proclaimed “family values, Christian-based, moral majority party.”

To my neighbor in Custer who believes most of us are Republican and wanted lower taxes and less government. Now you have to pay for a wall, not Mexico. You have to pay more for secret service protection for the wife who doesn’t want to move and all the children while they jet set around the world running the family business and killing elephants. I assume that by “less government in her life,” she meant regulations. Who will she and her Republican neighbors turn to after the EPA is gutted and their water supply gets contaminated, or the air is too polluted to breathe, or the fish all die because the river is too polluted to sustain life. I will bet they will want the government to be involved in their lives then to fix a problem that they helped to create.

But we the people can change this. We can vote them out of office next election but more importantly, more directly and more often, we can vote with our wallets. Tell the mayors of the towns that posed for campaign photos with our legislators that you are not shopping there. Tell the businesses why you will no longer be spending your hard earned cash with them. Lost revenue every day will get action faster than a vote every other year

Remember, Ericksen promised to pay back the cost of the campaign rally for the predator in chief, who himself promised that he was paying for his own campaign and that, I quote, “No taxpayer dollars are being spent on my campaign.”

We need fully funded education, family services programs, infrastructure, services for handicapped, disabled and mentally ill, revisions in our justice system, just to name a few, not the lies and subpar work we are getting from our current representation in Olympia.

Brian Wiederspohn
Custer
(Editor’s note: This letter has been edited as per The Northern Light’s letter policy)

The Editor:

In case you wondered…

Money saved from quitting smoking at the rate of smoking one pack per day from Saturday, March 19, 2011 (quitting day) to Sunday, February 19, 2017.

Number of days: 2,164

Daily cost: $10 (Note: Carton cost as of February, 2017: $138 or $13.80/pack)

Saved so far: $21,640 (transportation cost not included)

Thomas Kimberly
Blaine

The Editor:

In last week’s issue of The Northern Light, BP Cherry Point took out a full page ad presenting, foremost, their monetary investment in their refinery and how their plant can be made to look beautiful. In fine print the ad said BP has modernized their fossil fuel refinery to improve environmental standards, safety and efficiency. To me, it seems BP feels money and pretty lights at sunset are the main thing that people care about.

What the ad didn’t say is that BP has been putting pressure on Whatcom County government to let go of proposed county planning and policy that would be in line with those same goals of improving environmental standards, safety, and efficiency.

In December 2016, according to minutes of the Whatcom County Planning Commission meeting, Pam Brady, BP’s associate director NW government and public affairs, asked the council to reconsider proposed planning policy requiring a study of legal ways the county can work to limit unrefined fossil fuel exports above levels existing last summer, advocating for alternative policy that would not include the study.

According to the company’s renewable energy webpage, “BP currently has the largest operated renewables business among our oil and gas peers.” Aren’t people in our county, who live and work with Cherry Point industries, supporting of this truly modern direction in energy for our industries at Cherry Point, not further expansion of exporting resource-depleting fossil fuels?

This is one of the things the county’s planning study can help us achieve. Please contact the county council, council@co.whatcom.wa.us, and support their proposed study. And since BP is going straight to the public, we should contact them directly too, to ask for a speedy transition to renewable energy operations and more safety for their workers, the surrounding aquatic reserve, and us, their good neighbors who see energy industry names in signage tethered to our state park and soccer park where our youth play. Phone, 360/371-1519, email, pamela.brady@bp.com.

Dena Jensen
Blaine

The Editor:

Dear neighbors, please remember, politicians come and go, but slug races at the Blaine Gardener’s Market are forever. See you all at this year’s eighth annual Blaine International Slug Races.

Cathy Taggett
Blaine

The Editor:

America has always been great, and we all want to make it better. Here’s a few suggestions either party can agree on:

• Stop drinking and driving.

• Stop littering our highways and Blaine roadways.

• Remember the value of “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” when you speak to each other.

• Smile more.

• Become a volunteer in your community.

• Please, please, don’t drink or smoke grass and drive your car.

Thank you.

Ron Snyder
Blaine

The Editor:

Two front page articles on the court case and the protests surrounding President Trump’s travel ban and the local paper manages to avoid actually printing any facts about the ban.

Fact 1: The ban is specifically authorized by 8USC1735. You may not like it, but it is in the law, a law that was passed by a Republican House and a Democratic Senate unanimously.

Fact 2: The ban is temporary. The order put a hold on travel for 90 days to allow DHS to review its procedures to ensure that people wishing to harm the United States could be identified.

Fact 3: It is not a Muslim ban. Eighty-five percent of Muslims come from countries not affected. The ban does not name any particular religious group.

Fact 4: The list of countries comes from the administration of President Obama who temporarily suspended travel from suspect countries 19 times during his
administration.

Fact 5: Over 60 people from these countries have been involved in terror plots or support for terrorism and 23 of them have been convicted. Readers might remember the recent Ohio State University car and knife attack.

This is a non-story and the fact that it has engendered a politically motivated lawsuit upheld by a legally suspect justification from a court that has a long history of issuing rulings that are overturned by the Supreme Court makes it even more dubious. Perhaps before the media whips the American people into a frenzy over a common policy that transcends political party they should do a little research, and before people start chanting in the streets and the parks, they should do a little of their own. Doesn’t take long and the results might surprise you.

Calvin Armerding
Blaine

The Editor:

The energy at Saturday’s Democrat 42nd LD monthly meeting was tangible. I was impressed with the turnout, with the involvement of new voices and with the obvious interest in our district.

Among the new faces were two young Bellingham lawyers, a union spokesperson, a statistician, a native American who has stepped up to represent us at the state level and a new (to me) young chairperson. All of this involvement bodes well for our future as a viable organization here in Whatcom County. I found this refreshing and energizing. Naturally, there was discussion about our district’s Senator Doug Ericksen. There was a call to action that will be refined in committee and presented to the community.

This is an important and exciting time to add your voice to the others. Together we can accomplish our goals of including all voices from our district. While other groups may speak with one voice, we are Democrats and include all voices in our conversation. It may be noisy and messy, but it is so necessary for our
democracy!

Naomi Murphy
Ferndale

The Editor:

Open letter to Senator
Ericksen:

I have been reading your posts at facebook.com/SenEricksen but have been blocked from replying on this social media site and my previous replies were deleted. From reading posts of others, it appears that many other constituents have also been blocked from posting and their posts were also deleted. As your logo for this site depicts your elected office and it is called @Sen Ericksen, it seems totally inappropriate to block constituents from replying to your posts and asking you questions and deleting replies that are critical of your positions.

Can you please explain to your constituents why you are censoring speech on this social media site and how this practice is in accord with the Washington State constitution and your oath
of office?

Paul Englesberg
Ferndale

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