Letters to the Editor -- March 24, 2005

Published on Thu, Mar 24, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
In the legislative roll call report in the Bellingham Herald, on Sunday, March 23, I noticed the votes of state representative Doug Ericksen. Being a minority floor leader, Mr. Ericksen can no longer avoid voting on bills he might question. He has to vote and it is obvious that his votes have been bought by Republicans outside of Whatcom
County.
Case in point, HB 1779 – Homeowners Insurance - passed by a bipartisan vote of the House and which would prohibit insurance companies from denying, renewing or charging a higher rate on homeowner’s insurance rates solely on the fact that the consumer made an inquiry into the nature and extent of the policy.
Ericksen voted against.
Point two – the house passed a bipartisan bill requiring school districts to provide medically accurate sex education in addition to subject matter that emphasizes abstinence in order to provide all ways to prevent teenage pregnancy.
Ericksen voted against. Ericksen voted against the truth.
Ericksen voted against his constituents twice in just this week.
Gerry Ford
Ferndale

The Editor:
On the Fourth of July, a good portion of my house was destroyed by fire. My computer was replaced just this week. As with most large entities, the mills grind slowly, but to date State Farm Insurance has been more than adequate in helping to cover my losses. In my 84th year, new names stick to me with difficulty. But it will always be “Detective Dan” who pounded on the door and aided me to escape in my skivvies with only a bit of singed hair saving me from making an ash of myself.
The community response to my situation was prompt and somewhat overwhelming. The Red Cross representatives and fire department worthies seemed to be on the scene instantaneously and Big Jim, division chief, was most meticulous in his search for the root of the problem. Within hours, I was comfortable in a new residence having a 10 minute nervous breakdown.
Also to be given kudos were the kindly, diligent staff members of our senior center who gave aid and comfort and the multitude of friends there who loaned and gave me clothing, furniture and kitchen utensils to fill in the temporary gaps. Certainly, the local law also eased my anxiety.
In Oregon, in the early 70s, my now deceased spouse, Dr. Dory and I, were probably the second or third couple in the state to raise pedigree pack llamas. We heard this little ditty:
A one-llama is a Tibetan priest.
A two-llama is a Peruvian beat:
A three-llama is a conflagration.
I must have had a three llama.
Thank you Blaine.
Phil Walrod
Blaine

The Editor:
After six hours of listening, almost entirely, to the legal team representing the applicant, the public will have the opportunity to speak at the hearing on the proposed Seagrass Cottages development to be held in the performing arts center at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24.
An announcement in last week’s The Northern Light, indicated that the entire evening would be dedicated to general public testimony. In an article in the same issue, the applicant’s attorney stated that cross-examination was allowed at such hearing but that he would question, not cross-examine, speakers.
As far as I know, any citizen is entitled to voice his/her opinion at a public hearing. So I hope that citizens wishing to comment on this issue will do so without concern for intimidation. I am certain the chairman of the planning commission knows how to handle his own meetings and that interference will not be tolerated.
This is your opportunity to state your concerns. Please come and do so.
Trevor Hoskins
Blaine

The Editor:
It would be my hope that every reader of The Northern Light took the time to read Warren Aller’s excellent commentary on the failings of No Child Left Behind. Warren is a skilled educator and correctly points out the several imperfections of this unfortunate piece of legislation. Rather than providing true remediation for our educational system, it adds a superfluous layer of accountability that burdens schools and drains funds (bear in mind that this legislative gem is accompanied by no additional funding). Sadly, everyone has an opinion about, and remedy for, the state of our present educational system. Mr. Bush seems to think that walking into a pharmacy makes him a pharmacist. Reading a book to students – whether he holds it right-side-up on not – and being married to an ex-teacher hardly provide the cachet necessary to tamper with our public education system at such a profound level. Our president would better serve the nation by funding pay raises for childcare and public school staff and by rebuilding aging schools. If he needs a source for such funding he might consider diverting a billion or two from the affair in Iraq or tapping the pockets of some of the rich beneficiaries of his tax cuts.
Ironically, on the same day that I read Warren’s timely piece in The Northern Light, I learned that Mr. Bush had proposed a dramatic cut in federal funding for 21st Century Community Learning Center programs, effectively gutting federal support for this wonderful after school program – one that is currently offered at our middle school. Mr. Bush has not, by any stretch, been a friend to education, educators or, most importantly, children.
Leaf Schumann, counselor,
Blaine school district
Blaine

Letters Policy
The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank-you letters should be limited to 10 names. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
E-mail:editor@thenorthernlight.com

Letters Policy

The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please email letters to letters@thenorthernlight.com