Letters to the editor: July 13-19

The Editor:

In this year’s election on November 7, the Blaine–Birch Bay Park and Recreation District #2 will be seeking to renew its levy to provide predictable and dependable funding over the next six years so as to continue serving the communities of Blaine and Birch Bay.

The district seeks to continue the same regular property tax levy of 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation for the district’s general fund. The fund pays for the general expenses of staffing, operations, maintenance, and capital improvements of the Blaine–Birch Bay Park and Recreation District #2, such levy to be voted on and collected during the six-year period from 2018 to 2023.

At this rate, only $20 per year (that’s $1.66 per month) from a residence with an assessed valuation of $200,000 will allow the district to offer activity classes, sports opportunities, recreation events and year-round leisure-time activities for all ages including two indoor recreational facilities, one in each community; continued development of two new parks, again one in each community; continue to develop playgrounds and expand inter/intra-urban bike/pedestrian trails.

While I urge a yes vote on this levy, you may write a con statement for the voter’s pamphlet by contacting the Whatcom County Auditor at 360/676-8740 or voterspamphlet@co.whatcom.wa.us. The initial paperwork is due by 4:30 p.m.
on August 8.

Kathy Berg
Birch Bay

The Editor:

Harry Robinson, our current mayor, is running again on August 1 for the council at-large position 7. Please vote for him.

Harry has provided outstanding service to the city of Blaine. He served on the planning commission for 10 years; the city council, also for 10 years and has been our mayor for the last six of those years. During this time, Harry has shown the leadership that is necessary for the future of Blaine and now wishes to complete that challenge.

It is very important that this position is filled by someone with deep knowledge of Blaine and Harry certainly has those qualifications. Let’s permit him to continue the job!

Trevor Hoskins

The Editor:

I am thrilled to see that Alicia Rule is running for a position on Blaine City Council. Alicia was raised in Whatcom County but she has lived and worked in other cities, where she helped coordinate community action that led to revitalization.

She is exactly the kind of motivator Blaine needs. Upon returning to Blaine, Alicia has witnessed Blaine’s economic stagnation brought on, in part, by cumbersome and restrictive permitting processes. She wants to fix that and more. Alicia brings a sense of enthusiasm and new ideas that can breathe life into Blaine’s economy.

She may not be able to do it alone, but electing her is a giant step in the right direction. She will become a role model for other people who are ready to infuse fresh ideas into the council.

Please, give Alicia a chance. Give her your vote.

John Yirak

The Editor:

It has come to my attention that the five major health insurance companies in the U.S. are led by CEOs, each of whom are paid between $130 million and $138 million a year. That is about $670 million a year to the five CEOs. Not one person is treated or cured by that $670 million. In addition, most hospitals and insurance companies are for-profit institutions and accountable to stockholders.

Insurance companies compensate their lawyers and accountants to figure out what your premium will be or whether or not your claim will be paid. With the exception of doctors, nurses, med techs and hospital staff, none of these CEOs, shareholders, attorneys, accountants and clerical staff are helping you get well or curing your injury. Our insurance premiums and taxes are subsidizing this industry and it is not about healthcare.

Single-payer is a pool of money designated to keep us healthy and to cure us when we are sick or injured. We would all pay into it just like Social Security and Medicare. It is a tax but less expensive than for-profit insurance premiums plus copays. It provides care for those who have no income. It assures fair pay for medical professionals, support staff and facilities maintenance. The pool of money would keep rural hospitals open. Veterans would get care no matter where they live. Makes sense to me. If you agree, tell your senators and congressional representatives.

Alice Brown

The Editor:

I’m writing to tell you about a problem in Blaine. We recently have had somebody hitting golf balls into backyards. The golf balls have caused damage and have almost hit people. They are landing in yards on Garfield Avenue and Mitchell Avenue. This is causing concern. I’m hoping by writing this that whomever is hitting the golf balls will find out they’re causing grievance and move to a more suitable location for hitting golf balls.

Rosiettia Zeringue

The Editor:

In response to a letter written by Betty Rainwater, which ran in the July 6 edition of The Northern Light, there are nonfactual statements needing clarification.

To start with, Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network (WMMSN) does respond, in person, to all calls received about harbor seal pups and other marine mammals that are reported abandoned in the Whatcom County area. Certified responders typically locate the animal, assess its condition and monitor abandoned pups.

During the time referenced by Ms. Rainwater, WMMSN responded to a call at the Blaine Marina. The response continued through two consecutive days, with multiple volunteers responding.

On both days the pup was in the water and the pup being monitored swam away. No signs of human interaction – a term used by NOAA to denote any event in which people affect the health or wellbeing of marine mammals – were observed by WMMSN responders.

Furthermore, from the responders’ assessment, a plan was developed to relocate the seal pup in question back to a haul-out site nearby, if the animal remained in the marina without signs of its mother returning. Federal protocols for responding were observed by WMMSN, and responders didn’t see the pup again after the second day.

The sad truth is seal pups suffer a nearly 50 percent mortality rate. Factors affecting their survival include poor fetal development or premature birth; disease; shoreline predators including dogs; infection; dehydration or starvation.

This summer, WMMSN has responded to more than 30 calls for abandoned or deceased harbor seal pups. With nearly 100 harbor seal pups being born here this season, Ms. Rainwater may not be aware that it’s possible to see multiple pups at the same location. While I applaud her concern and passion for these amazing creatures, I sincerely wish she would have taken the time to speak to us directly, rather than presume nonfactual information. Outreach is vital to our mission.

WMMSN is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with certified responders. To report a stranding, please contact 360/966-8845 or visit wmmsn.org.

Rick Wood
WMMSN board member

The Editor:

This letter is directed to those people who can in all honesty stand behind the current Republican health plan. Have you looked into how this bill was passed, how it might affect you now or in the future and how it will be financed? If you haven’t, please do so for you may find yourself very surprised.

First, do not lose sight of the fact that this bill will cut taxes for the wealthy. According to the Congressional Budget Office it will result in 88.3 billion dollars in tax cuts – mostly for the wealthy. Is this a health care issue for you?

Secondly, if you purchase health care on your own, you will get greater tax benefits if you are young rather than old. Yet, is it not the elderly who will need greater support due to their age?

Thirdly, it will control how Medicaid funds are distributed. Medicaid funds will be given to states on a “block grant” basis. This allows each state to further define how such funds are spent. There will be no uniformity on health coverage from state to state as each state will control what services are provided.

The latest Congressional Budget Office projects the Republican plan will increase the numbers of uninsured by approximately 22 million and increase premiums by 15-20 percent in 2018–2019. Do you consider this an improvement in health care? I don’t. This is wealthcare, not healthcare.

Peggy Borgens

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