Letters to the editor: May 4-10

The Editor:

I would like to thank Heidi Holmes and the Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 for sponsoring World Tai Chi Day 2017 at the Birch Bay Activity Center this year. Tai Chi and Qigong (chi gung) are exercises that have been shown in research to reduce anxiety, depression and chronic pain conditions, and improve balance.

Thank you to all those who participated in this worldwide event to bring wellness to ourselves and peace to the planet. May we all succeed in our efforts to learn well, laugh well, grow well and be well.

Kelly Hong-Williams
Birch Bay

The Editor:

I read with interest Mr. Atchley’s letter regarding Canadian drivers and Canadians in general. I have a different view of our brothers and sisters to the north.

As far as Canadian drivers being discourteous, I would challenge Mr. Atchley to take a drive to Seattle sometime. He would find an abundance of Washington plates riding on his tail, cutting him off and refusing to let him merge.

As far as gas being high in Canada, buying our gas helps keep the workforce at Cherry Point and Anacortes employed and the companies that hire them continuing to be a major contributor to our state and county tax base.

Border traffic is down since the Loonie has been hovering around 75 cents to our dollar. I personally wish more Canadians would visit Whatcom County and spend more money. The milk they buy in such large amounts helps support out dairy farmers. Last, but not least, they help pay our taxes. The fuel they buy contributes to gas tax revenue that is needed for our roads and highways. The post office boxes they use in Blaine is a real shot in the arm for our local economy and soon proceeds from the newly minted .02 percent sales tax will help the city maintain and improve local roads and sidewalks.

Thank you, Canadians, for helping our local economy. Tell your friends that Whatcom County and Blaine are open for business.

Tim Howe
Blaine

The Editor:

Zoom, zoom, monster trucks! Please go 25 or less on Bay Road. We have children walking, and ducks and geese crossing. Why would you want to run over them with your car or truck? We lost five ducks last year, two of which were juveniles due to people’s carelessness. Maybe for the PTSD medic in Birch Bay you can be more careful.

Michael Fitzgerald
Birch Bay

The Editor:

On behalf of the United States Power Squadrons (USPS) in Bellingham and the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) in White Rock, I’d like to thank all who attended our SeaSkills Marine Expo on Saturday, May 13. The concept of a public boating festival in May stemmed from Carroll Solomon of the Blaine Chamber of Commerce and Debbie Harger, tourism development coordinator with the city of Blaine.

Along with support from Andy Peterson and his staff at the Port of Bellingham (Blaine), they all built the day of boating skills education into a family festival of entertainment, education and celebration. Members of both USPS and CPS-ECP provided the instruction.

Saacha Vantyler of CPS-ECP was instrumental in bringing over 50 members of her organization to Blaine from Canada to participate in distress flare training and subsequent seminars.

Despite a day threatening rain, our volunteers, along with booths of exhibitors and vendors all combined to present a day featuring marine distress flare training, paddle sport demonstrations,
classroom and boat seminars and kids’ activities.

Captain Richard Sturgill conducted tours of the harbor in the historic Plover ferry. Members of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Service conducted fire extinguisher and CPR training. We received valuable support from the Blaine Senior Center and Andrea Reiter of the Bellingham Bay Community Boating Center.

And last and certainly not least, please accept our thanks for the support from your paper in promoting SeaSkills Marine Expo to Blaine and surrounding communities.

Steve Lorimer
Commander, United States Power Squadrons
Bellingham

The Editor:

How does Washington state manage to cover all of the expenses needed to sustain our growth, education and economy? Our state is suffering trying to squeeze needed spending out of limited resources. How do you get more resources without raising taxes?

Millions of dollars go into private pockets because of medical delivery for profit. A single-payer system in our state would save money on teacher pay compensation as well as other publicly employed workers. The net savings might be a huge savings to the state, as paying for a state system without the profit motive would cut about 8 percent of costs.

Under the ACA, insurance companies are allowed to charge up to 20 percent of their premiums for “administrative costs,” which include advertisement, actuarial specialists, litigation for disallowed coverage, stock market dividends and huge CEO salaries. Before ACA they could keep up to 34 percent. Medicare covers administrative costs for 5–7 percent depending on location. Washington could pay providers more than Medicare coverage and still come out way ahead.

Think about the current issue of funding education. Wow, savings on medical coverage could be very important to our state.

Donna Starr
Blaine

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