In the June 14 issue of The Northern Light, I read a letter to the editor from former Bellingham Technical College professor Bob Landon, who expressed concerns about an informational workshop hosted by Western Washington University that was focused on making effective written and oral comments for environmental impact statements. As a member of the Western Action Coalition, the primary organizers for this event, I feel compelled to respond to Mr. Landon’s concerns.
The workshop was never meant to be a forum for debate about the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT). Its purpose was to inform the public about the political process surrounding GPT and encourage community involvement.
--Understandably, one might have misunderstood our purpose without some contextual understanding of the EIS and its foundations, the National Environmental Protection Act.
The National Environmental Protection Agency expressly recognizes “the profound impact of man’s activity on the … natural environment, particularly ... industrial expansion and resource exploitation” along with “the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and development of man.” To this effect, an EIS is required by NEPA for any “proposal that is likely to have significant adverse environmental impacts.”
Our workshop was designed to clarify this purpose of the EIS. We presented the aforementioned information, as well as details about the GPT and its potential impacts, to all the folks who attended our workshop in hopes of dispelling any perceived bias and providing a level of familiarity with the issue. The majority of the workshop, including the portion facilitated by the Professional and Technical Writing Center, focused primarily on how to deliver or write a clear and focused comment that would provide valuable information to the agencies involved in this project.
But you’re right, Mr. Landon – the Western Action Coalition is opposed to the Gateway Pacific Terminal. As students and concerned citizens, we have a right to use the university facilities within reasonable boundaries.
Encouraging public participation in a decision of this magnitude is the only way to honor democracy. We look forward to 120 days of commenting on the scope of the EIS for the proposed GPT and encourage you to join us in this process!
We are so proud to write this letter of endorsement for our daughter, Carrie Coppinger Carter, who’s running for Whatcom County Superior Court judge. We strongly believe she is the most qualified candidate.
Carrie is a fourth-generation Whatcom County resident. Her great-grandparents, Ed and Helen Willert, owned and operated the original Welcome Store just east of Deming in the 1940s and ’50s.
Carrie developed a strong work ethic from a young age by picking berries, milking cows and driving garbage trucks locally. She waitressed and managed apartments to support herself through Whatcom Community College and the University of Washington as a single parent.
Carrie brings all her energy, passion and focus to any job she undertakes. Her loyalty, heart and roots run deep in Whatcom County.
With experience in criminal, family law, property, civil and commercial issues, Carrie is respected by her peers for being knowledgeable about Superior Court proceedings and rules of evidence.
She has the most relevant Superior Court experience of all the candidates. Carrie has also served as a judge pro tem in District Court.
Your vote can make history by electing our first female judge to Whatcom County Superior Court. We hope you’ll support her by voting for Carrie Coppinger Carter in the August 7 primary election. Visit her at ccc4judge.com to learn more about her.
Mark and Mary Lou Coppinger
It can be somewhat difficult to determine how to vote for judicial candidates. Judicial ethics prevent them from taking positions on any issue that may come before them in court. However, when one looks at credentials and endorsements, it’s easy to see why Carrie Coppinger Carter deserves our votes for Whatcom County Superior Court judge.
A lifelong county resident who grew up picking berries and milking cows, Coppinger Carter has 13 years of experience as an attorney and runs her own law practice. Since she represents plaintiffs and defendants in Superior Court trials, she’s highly respected for her knowledge of its rules of evidence.
Coppinger Carter also is admitted to practice law in federal, state and tribal courts. She’s served as Judge pro tem in Whatcom County District Court since 2007.
Her experience includes complex civil and commercial cases, plus criminal and family law issues. She’s received awards for her legal skills and her community service.
Coppinger Carter’s bipartisan support includes mayors of Blaine, Everson, Nooksack and Sumas; fire chiefs of Lynden and District 1; and many others, including pastors, attorneys, business owners and front-line law enforcement. For a complete list, please visit ccc4judge.com.
On top of all that, I admire her work ethic. Please join me in voting for Carrie Coppinger Carter for Superior Court judge in the August 7 primary.