Voters have received many mailers regarding elected positions in Whatcom County for District 42. There is one, however, which refers to a city council woman who “voted to raise her own salary this year.” I have to take exception to this group’s presentation of the “facts.”
As the Bellingham City Council was voting to form an independent commission to set council salaries on July 7, 2016, councilwoman Pinky Vargas, the present Democratic candidate for district 42 state senator, stated, “I don’t want to be the person deciding what my salary should be.” The commission was formed and they now set council salaries for the city as is also done in Whatcom County.
Washington state senators and representatives have a very different process, however. In order to decline an annual salary increase they are required to vote to end the process in which they receive automatic increases every year.
It seems our “flyer-writers” would rather have us leave the present incumbents in office to receive their automatic raises and travel to endorse elections in foreign dictatorships than support an experienced local public servant who speaks against setting her own salary.
As a Blaine city councilmember, I try to not weigh in on partisan campaigns but I wanted to talk about some of the great work senator Doug Ericksen, representatives Luanne Van Werven and Vincent Buys have recently done for the city of Blaine.
They have been instrumental in Blaine receiving funding of over $1.5 million for infrastructure and utilities, as well as securing $500,000 in funding for planning a southbound I-5 interchange at Exit 274 with a road crossing above the train tracks that would eliminate stopping at the tracks altogether. This will solve the problem for the long term.
Ericksen, Van Werven and Buys were instrumental in helping Blaine receive these funds; funds that, quite frankly, would be impossible for Blaine to secure without additional state funding. I am very happy that Ericksen, Van Werven and Buys have been responsive to the needs of the citizens of Blaine and do not discount our town because of its small size.
I encourage everyone in Blaine to vote for Ericksen, Van Werven and Buys.
I also want to encourage you to vote for Eric Richey for county prosecutor. He has the skills, experience and knowledge of Whatcom County that we need to ensure a safe community in years to come. Richey has over 20 years’ of experience in criminal cases and, as chief criminal deputy prosecutor in Whatcom County, has the skills to be an exceptional county prosecutor.
This is in response to the letter which was written in response to a previously published letter that I wrote which itself was in response to an earlier letter written by someone who was responding to a letter that was written about the wasteful nature of the outdoor fireplace in front of the new Starbucks.
Oh, what the heck – let me just address you by your name. Thanks for writing your letter Shirley Sell. I admire you and everyone else who is willing to share their beliefs and opinions in a public forum. Especially if that person puts their name under it. I also commend you for the commitment that you express towards community.
I have lived in Blaine-Birch Bay for over 30 years. My only daughter went to Blaine public schools from K-12. Now my oldest grandchild is enrolled in first grade. Odds are that I will take my last breath of air in Birch Bay, Blaine or on the road somewhere in between the two. That will be fine by me. I do hope, though, that those air molecules contained in my last breath will not have an overabundance of greenhouse gas molecules in it. If it does, the chances that my grand children’s lives and all the lives of future generations on our planet will be as wonderful as mine will be highly unlikely.
This past week Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell has put Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid at risk under the name of “Entitlement Reform.” What this means is that we seniors will receive fewer benefits in the future and those who are not receiving these benefits will see drastically reduced programs for their retirement. American workers and their employers have paid into these programs during their working years. This is our security in our later years.
The Republican Party passed a tax cut last year which has blown a big shortfall in the federal budget. They want to “fix” this problem which they created by attacking these benefits. President Trump has already canceled a 2.1 percent pay raise for federal employees saying that the budget won’t support it. It is a problem that Republicans created.
By now most of us have received our ballots. I urge voters to only vote for Democratic candidates in our 2018 election.
Use your right to vote to secure a better future for yourself and our country.
Congratulations to Patrick Grubb, Louise Mugar and all the staff of The Northern Light for, one more time, winning so many Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awards.
This achievement is well deserved recognition for all the hard work these people put into producing The Northern Light, our well-loved local newspaper.
To win 29 awards when competing with 146 submissions from 62 higher circulation, mostly paid newspapers is absolutely terrific. Our Thursdays would never be the same without the availability of this free newspaper. May they continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Thank you so much for all you do and best wishes for your continued success.
What right does any branch of the U.S. government have to limit our sexuality by defining it based only on our genitals at birth? How those genitals develop and affect a person as an adult depend on the hormonal chemistry development over time for each of us. Good grief! What are right-wing republicans trying to do to humanity? LGBT human beings are children of God just as politicians are, as each
and all of us are.
The medical profession must become involved in this and challenge what the politicians in health and human services are trying to do. Our state government must become involved in this to defend the rights of all our citizens to claim at any time whether they are male or female. And I hope that ultimately all people will come to realize that we are all “brothers and sisters” in God’s creation no matter our sexual orientation.
I just wanted to say congratulations on the recent awards received by The Northern Light from the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association!
I was especially glad you received an award for your editorial titled, ‘What are they Hiding.’ I enjoyed reading it again.
I also wanted to thank you all for the articles regarding the money behind the various campaigns for the 2018 elections. It’s really valuable information for our community members to have.
Cheering you all on to more great reporting in the months ahead!
Once again, I see you have garnered 29 Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awards and I want to add my congratulations for your well-deserved recognition from your peers! Since I have been reading both The Northern Light and All Point Bulletin since the inception of Point Roberts Press, I feel qualified to state that the only surprise is that you won only 29!
I’m living in an area of really poor press and I, on many occasions, have given copies of The Northern Light to friends so they can see what a good newspaper looks like. I’ve actually given copies to our local paper, but it hasn’t improved them as yet. The amount of color, the layout, the headlines, the number of photos, the variety of topics. The attractive and clever ads invite the reader to read every page.
I’m actually a paid subscriber and I get more than my money’s worth. I am proud of your success and I am proud to be a subscriber. I’m off to Mexico for three months, but it’s okay – I’m having The Northern Light forwarded to me.
Congrats again – great job! You are a class act!
Georgia A. Gardner