I would like to correct an inaccuracy printed in the letter by Jay James last week.
Hugo Chavez is not a dictator but the elected President of Venezuela. Venezuela has been a democracy since 1958, and he is the elected president of that country. His policies are controversial to many, but he has been re-elected president in spite of those controversies.
You may disagree with his policies, but you are in error to describe him as a dictator. That is no different than having our presidents described as dictators by non-U.S. citizens.
As members of the Whatcom County Public Health Advisory Board, we believe that public health is vital for safe drinking water and food, disease control and services for children.
While our state focuses on economic recovery, cuts have reduced local public health services. More than $387 million and over 635 staff have been cut across local health jurisdictions.
In Whatcom County, cuts have reduced or eliminated public health services including tobacco prevention, oral health, WIC nutrition, communicable disease and children’s services despite the fact that three out of five adults are overweight or obese, a quarter of our 10th graders report clinical depression and a third of our lower-income adults smoke.
Many are working to protect the infrastructure that is left at the local level. Within the next week, legislators will make final decisions on public health funding. State funding cuts shift responsibility for paying for public health services to cities and counties.
Take action by contacting members of the 40th and 42nd legislative districts at 800/562-6000. Ask them to: 1) Maintain current state funding for public health. 2) Support a dedicated state funding source for public health functions in all counties.
Whatcom County Public Health
I would like to express my support for SSA Marine’s proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. With the loss of 1,400 family-wage industrial jobs in Whatcom County since 2007, we need to welcome this investment in our community.
SSA Marine is a stable company with 125 operations worldwide and who will employ over 1,000 union and nonunion full- and part-time employees in Whatcom County. I would like to see our local workforce have an opportunity to get the 4,400 construction jobs that would be created with the building of the terminal and when in operation the 1,250 jobs created for running the terminal.
Cherry Point would provide a good outlet for U.S. products to be shipped to international markets helping to create jobs not only in this county but throughout the state. Are we going to allow this opportunity to pass us by and watch railcar loads of U.S. dry bulk goods roll through our beautiful county for some other community or country to collect? $92 million in tax revenue and $700 million of private investment dollars over a two-year construction period is greatly needed here, not to mention the $11 million per year in state and local taxes.
Please join me in supporting Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point. It is good business for Whatcom County and Washington state.
Brendan J. Walter
The Washington State Patrol would like to thank all the wonderful people of Washington who showed their compassion and care following the tragic death Trooper Tony Radulescu.
When we in law enforcement lose one of our own, the outpouring of support from Washingtonians is a big factor in easing a very difficult time and helping with the healing process that follows. We find real comfort in a community that cares, and I can assure you, so do the family and friends of the fallen officer.
So on behalf of all of us who work to protect our citizens, I want to express our gratitude for all of the support we have received from the communities, citizens, agencies, media and others. Thank you for the funds, food, time and so much more. Your support helped all involved better grieve and honor Trooper Radulescu’s life.
Trooper Radulescu’s death is not only a loss to our agency and the state of Washington, but to law enforcement as a whole. We are always mindful of the price that is paid to safeguard our citizens. Trooper Radulescu will never be forgotten.
Thank you for your care and kindness.
Chief John R. Batiste
Washington State Patrol
On behalf of the Blaine Baseball Boosters I would like to thank all who participated in our spaghetti dinner last February. The proceeds are being used to build a new outdoor batting cage and nets.
A special thanks to Big Al for providing his restaurant and great meal. Thanks also to the following for their donations to our raffle: Blaine Building Center, Subway, Border Brew, Silpada/Angela Abshere, and the Dougan and Trueblood families. Thanks also to Kristin Clausen for making the special Valentine cupcakes, and Laura Vogee/Christ the King for providing centerpieces for the tables.
Your support is greatly appreciated and has helped provide our program with a valuable practice station that will be used by this year’s team and future Borderite baseball players for years to come. Best wishes always.
Head Baseball Coach