Letters to the editor: March 16-22

The Editor:

Thank you, Sally Howell, for speaking up about the garbage problem in our town. It’s not just the truck route but the problem is all over. One of the most influential memories in school was letting us out on the first Earth Day to pick up as a whole, kids with broom handles with a nail in one end. It left a lasting
impression for me.

Currently, the city is working on starting a volunteer group to go out once a month for three hours to start cleaning up after these people who are too lazy to do for themselves. You are not expected to pick up body fluids or fecals, just trash. Myself or another city employee will be available to do the dirty work. Vest, grip-and-grabs and disposal of garbage will be provided by the city. Please contact Sheri Sanchez at city hall if you wish to volunteer.

Let’s try and take back our home and make it a place we are proud to have our kids come back to.

Leo Baldwin
Blaine

The Editor:

In response to a posting by Bill Becht of Horseshoe Coin & Collectibles in last week’s issue of The Northern Light, I
offer the following:

While you blame the local traffic authority for your lack of business and its attendant loss of profit, I must ask you a direct question. What part of stop is unclear to you and the alleged offenders?

The traffic control signage is placed at their respective locations for a reason. I suspect the reasoning is in consideration of safety and not a detriment
to local business.

All too often these days, motorists dismiss traffic laws for their own selfish interests. Speeding, tailgating, non-use of signals, blowing stop signs, holding phones to their ears and looking down as they text are the norms.

Bill, I suggest that if you find our traffic laws to be offensive and detrimental to your business, you relocate to an area where there are no traffic laws.

Or, at least, to the other side of the stop sign.

Andrew Brocklehurst
Birch Bay

The Editor:

I was surprised to read the letter from Ms. Starr about the “entitlement” of men and its unfairness towards women. I grew up when the “glass ceiling” was impenetrable and rarely, if ever, were women working in upper management positions. I disagree completely that we are still facing that problem to the extent Ms. Starr writes about in her letter.

A quick look at the number of women in financial management, CEOs of major corporations, major players in politics and even the most important judges in our country testifies to the incredible progress of women in this county. Yes, women have supported men in their lives, but it is also true that men have supported women. Millions of young girls have had fathers who changed their diapers, cooked their meals, cared for them while they were sick, mended their wounds, drove them to school, talked to them about reaching for the stars and supported them in fulfilling their dreams.

My biggest supporter was my dad and we spent hours debating a thousand topics at the kitchen table when I was a teenager. He rejoiced in every business success I ever had.

Let’s talk about winning the West. How many men physically lifted wagons filled with a family’s worldly possessions to repair a wheel, hunted to make sure women and children had food as they crossed the country, fought off intruders and built the buildings that put a roof over women’s heads? It was not women who explored this country when it was new, it was men who broke the trails, faced the very unfriendly environment, starved and even died breaking ground to build this nation.

Yes, women were there too, but I’d wager that there are many women that thanked their lucky stars that they had a man to help them get through life. It’s a partnership and both men and women are essential to successful living. The stab at the GOP over medical care in this argument is puzzling. What is it that the scriptures demand regarding government-sponsored healthcare? Another subject for another day.

Lorrie Conyac
Blaine

The Editor:

Youth exchanges are being canceled between the U.S. and Canada, starting with Girl Guides of Canada with over 70,000 girls and 30,000 adult volunteers. Headquarters of the guides decreed recently: no more visits to USA, not even day trips, and no flights that land in USA for its members, because of the concern that if even one member [a girl who was born in a travel-banned country] is declined at the border then the entire group would turn back to Canada from a safety point of view. They would never leave a member behind.

Some B.C. school groups recently have also canceled school trips to visit Washington. American Girl Guides and school students continue to be welcome to visit Canada. What’s next? Is this the beginning of the end of USA/Canada youth exchanges?

Church groups, Boy Scouts, school musicians in bands, athletics, other fraternal groups? And what about the adults – a busload of Canadian fans going to a Seahawks game, music groups, volunteer bands to play in parades in Washington, Canadian military bands sharing concerts in USA with American military bands?

Is this the beginning of the end of such exchanges between Canadians and Americans for the last 200 years? All Americans continue to be welcome to Canada.

Jay James
Birch Bay

The Editor:

The Whatcom County Council moratoriums on Cherry Point industrial growth and drilling previously exempt home-use wells have a dramatic impact on our economy and tax base. They cost businesses and individual property owners hundreds of millions of dollars. Because of the council decisions, our quality of life is at risk.

Petrogas Energy Inc. requested to reduce Cherry Point property values from $262 million to $42 million, a $220 million loss, due to council-imposed regulations. Ironically, the county assessor had to ask the council for $150,000 of taxpayer funds to fight the request. Other Cherry Point industries are preparing similar requests. These devaluations create a massive tax revenue shortfall.

The value of property without access to existing water service is drastically reduced with the moratorium on domestic well-drilling. Taxes must be reduced to reflect the lower values. The county assessor estimates between 1,000 and 1,500 properties are immediately affected. Over 5,000 properties may be impacted over three years with 75 percent devaluations or greater.

The assessor is forced to redistribute the revenue losses. Tax needs are fixed, or services are reduced – county property owners will pay more in taxes to offset the devaluations.

By a significant margin, the county’s largest tax contributors and top-paying employers are Cherry Point heavy industries. Their taxes provide the highest percentage for schools, roads, services and safety in our community. Those same revenues protect our precious environment, parks and trails.

Our primary industries, rural property owners and our tax base are under attack. Life savings, long-held investments and dreams of building in the country are ruined. New businesses don’t move to over-regulated and anti-growth communities. No new business, no new revenues. No new revenues, bankruptcy often follows.

How will local government pay for inevitable inflation and deteriorating infrastructure – raise taxes, again? The math doesn’t work. No growth may be idealistically appealing, but it is economically ruinous.

Whatcom County Council decisions are unfairly punishing all our citizens and undermining our economic future. We cherish our unique environment, but the council must protect our economy too. Hold elected officials accountable – we elect them to work for us, not against us.

Jim McKinney
Blaine

The Editor:

For those of us in Congressional District 1, a gerrymandered district from Medina to Point Roberts, I am looking for Suzan DelBene.

After numerous emails to her were answered by robo-emails thanking me for my input, I started calling her office. First I called her Mt. Vernon office – no reply to my voicemail. Then I called her Bothell office, who did call me back and said they thought there would be a town hall meeting on March 25, but the details were unknown.

Today I got a robo-letter from Suzan DelBene that states although “communication is a vital component of our democratic process,” she now has no town hall meetings scheduled at all.

I am urging all Suzan DelBene’s constituents to please call her Washington D.C. office and request a town hall meeting like I did. We deserve to have a face-to-face town hall meeting with our Member of Congress!

Call Suzan DelBene’s office at 202/225-6311.

By the way, her website, delbene.house.gov, does not list her voting record either. We must make her accountable. I’ve voted for her twice, but never again unless she schedules a town hall meeting soon.

Marian Henderson
Bellingham 

[Ed.note: A town hall meeting is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. – noon on Saturday, March 25 at the Pioneer Pavilion Community Center at 2007 Cherry Street in
Ferndale.]

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