The natural world provides us with the most important and profound information, if we choose to listen. The physical world is indifferent to us and is governed only by the laws of physics, resulting in events that are often shocking, fierce and seemingly destructive.
We humans are a hard-headed lot, and our focus and values have little to do with the natural world around us.
With two months of summer nearly gone, we have seen unprecedented weather calamities with ever-increasing force and occurrence in the U.S. Our opinions and thoughts run the gamut on this topic, but science has no doubts, for its realm is the careful study of the physical laws of our earth. NOAA and other scientists now confirm that global warming is real, and it is here. The earth is continuing to warm at an alarming rate primarily because of our ever-increasing use of fossil fuels.
Levels of atmospheric CO2 have remained constant for hundreds of thousands of years – 275 parts per billion – because CO2 is naturally recycled or trapped in the oceans and trees. However, since the industrial age began 200 years ago we’ve been burning fossil fuels like crazy, and the increases now exceed the earth’s ability to recycle or absorb it. The excess CO2 is trapped, causing the earth to heat abnormally. Readings for CO2 are now 395 ppb and 400 ppb in the arctic. We are close to the ‘tipping point,’ when climate changes will be irreversible, and we will be the victims of that process.
Let’s face it – the laws of the universe are greater than we will ever be. Setting aside all political or wealth acquisition goals for the few, we may still have time to make significant changes to replace much of the fossil fuels with cleaner sustainable energy sources. With almost seven billion people on earth with energy needs, we can no longer afford to avoid restraint, but must rather start making painful choices.
In consideration of these ideas, we can begin to understand the magnitude of the amount of CO2, which will be further generated, after the six new coal-shipping terminals in the Pacific Northwest are built. Each ton of coal burned generates two tons of CO2 into the air, where it stays for many years, adding to the problem. Knowing the facts about the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) and the other six planned coal-shipping terminals and doing nothing to stop them reveals our collective blindness and apathy. We are currently continuing to dig a deeper and deeper hole, if you will, and may end up being buried alive. If you’re in a hole, stop digging!
I have had the unique experience of having Carrie Coppinger Carter and Deborra Garrett represent me as my attorney in two separate trials. I have had the opportunity to observe and experience them both at work in a courtroom trial for days, and I can honestly say the differences and contrast between them were nothing less than remarkable – it was like night and day.
There is not even the slightest bit of hesitation, nor is there any doubt in my mind, that the best person for Whatcom County Superior Court judge is definitely Carrie Coppinger Carter.
The people of Whatcom County deserve the best, and she indeed is the best. She is an extremely hard-working, very intelligent, ethical attorney. She is also a fair-minded and kind person. She is real in every sense. If you vote for Carrie Coppinger Carter, I assure you that you will be voting for the best, and you will be getting the most competent person as our Superior Court judge for Whatcom County. If you knew her as well as I do, you would know that no one else will do.
Go online and watch the League of Women Voters judicial forum taped on July 10 with all three candidates. It will become even clearer and very quickly obvious which one of them stands out and would make the best judge. Should you find yourself, family or friends standing in Superior Court, which one would you pick to listen to you?
I support Deborra Garrett for Superior Court judge. For 23 years I have had the privilege of practicing law out of my offices in Ferndale and Blaine. The vast majority of my clients’ cases in Superior Court involved civil matters, as opposed to criminal matters.
Deborra Garrett has practiced in areas of civil law for 30 years. Her opponent has a specialized government experience as a police officer (law enforcement), prosecutor (law enforcement) and District Court Judge (primarily hearing misdemeanor criminal cases). But judges are not law enforcement officers, their role is to impartially determine the facts and then apply the law to those facts.
Criminal law consists primarily of felony crimes (punishable by a year or more in prison). Civil law includes divorce, probate, construction, contracts, wills and trusts, real estate, land lord/tenant, civil rights, personal injury, land use, workers compensation, commercial litigation, slander/libel, equity and consumer protection. Garrett’s experience will allow her to hit the ground running in these numerous complicated areas of the law.
Importantly, Garrett has a great judicial temperament in that she is patient, calm and respectful. She is honest, articulate, has a strong record of professional excellence, sensitive to the problems and frailties of ordinary people, and strong in her convictions.
Most importantly, Deborra understands the importance of defending our Constitution when governments exceed their proper authority.
If you want a judge who is experienced, articulate, honest, hard working and who will protect our civil rights, vote for Deborra Garrett.
Two weeks ago, I started to write a letter expressing my support for Jim Agnello’s excellent letter to the editor. He had the courage to stand up and tell the truth at a time when religious zealotry is tearing humanity apart. Oh, the irony!
Then, I decided it might be interesting to wait a week and see how the “true believers” responded. As I expected, two Christian “soldiers,” Charles Robbins and Shirley Reed, took offense.
Not surprisingly, Robbins and Reed ignored the indisputable truths stated by Mr. Agnello. Instead, they used twisted logic to justify Christianity’s manifest destiny and ended each of their letters with personal attacks on Mr. Agnello. I’d just like to say that Mr. Robbins and Ms. Reed met nearly all my expectations.
They stopped short of condemning Jim to “Christian Hell,” but they did suggest he might be Canadian (gasp!) and, if not, that he should leave the country anyway.
Ultimately, their letters only revealed the ugly and repulsive heart of religious zealotry, which, in turn, underscores the importance of Mr. Agnello’s letter. Talk about irony!
The Blaine Family Services Center will distribute school supplies to students and families in need again this year. Donations are very much needed to ensure enough supplies for all.
Last year more than 230 low-income students were provided with basic supplies during the first few days of school. Supplies will be distributed from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, August 28.
Donated supplies can be dropped off at the Blaine school district office during regular business hours. Supplies needed include pencils, erasers, glue sticks, colored pencils, washable colored markers, pencil pouches and boxes, scissors, binders, filler paper, spiral notebooks, composition notebooks, and medium and large backpacks. For more information, call 360/332-0740.
Earlier this year Washington DOT installed stop signs at the west and east ends of the Grandview off ramp. I am delighted with this. About six years ago I requested DOT to install these stop signs, and they said there was no evidence to support this. I hope a serious accident was not responsible for their installing these badly needed stop signs. I asked them to realign some traffic lights at Portal Way and Grandview, and now they have done that too, and it improves visibility for eastbound traffic. I am sending them a thank you letter and suggest you do also.
Harold Roper seems to be a disciple of Lincoln Rutter who is a master at distortion.
My “gripes” were asking support for a new jail and my wish that Lincoln Rutter get the book thrown at him for his continual behavior toward county employees.
While I misquoted Sandy Robson, her statement is still highly inaccurate. The contract calls for 24, not 48, million tons of coal to be shipped out of the proposed terminal annually.
My quote was that six million tons of coal was exported to China from the U.S. in 2011. I did not mention anything about China’s total imports.
I could not stop laughing at Roper’s comment about one cameraman wearing a face mask in Beijing during December, when it is very cold.
I am also concerned about possible pollution here and globally. Beijing has been taking steps to reduce their pollution problem. It is a huge task, but they are doing something. Roper implies that I am not aware of pollution in China, which is blatantly false as I am very aware of the problem.
I read Anthony Paulson’s survey and he stated that the chlor-alkali plant was the primary source and that mercury sediments “probably” come from global sources. That is neither specific nor conclusive, Harold.
I am all in favor of clean air and environment and do not believe all these ‘scare tactics’ help your cause.
As a U.S. historian I would like to take the opportunity to clarify a few points. Ms. Reed’s chronology is a little off, as Europeans did not practice Christianity within our national boundaries until 1620: 1492 is way too early and in the few settlements that did exist, the religion was Spanish Catholicism. Further, several of our founding fathers were Deists, which is not “Christian” per se. Additionally, sad to tell, all 13 colonies were founded as joint venture trading companies and the Separatists at Plymouth were far in arrears. With regard to freedom of religion, yes, the Separatists did come over to practice religion as they saw fit, but one had better practice as they did. Others were jailed, fined, and run out of town as occurred in other New England towns, which led to Roger Williams founding the colony of Rhode Island. The only early colony that truly practiced religious tolerance was Dutch Nieu Amsterdam, later New York; it was there that Ann Hutchinson, the Rev. Francis Doughty and other dissenters found refuge. I find it disconcerting that passionate people often site historical “events” inaccurately. But ever was it thus whether history is written by the winners, revisionists, or those wishing “to vindicate great names from pernicious erudition” (Washington Irving, who created the Columbus myth, but that’s another story).
I would like to make a few comments in regards to rail traffic associated with the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Being that I have worked in the rail industry as a car repairman for more than 30 years throughout Washington and Canada, I am confident that increased rail traffic would not jeopardize our standard of living. I believe this because rail operations run on a tight schedule, 24 hours a day, just about every day of the year.
Now retired, I can attest that rail provides good family wage jobs for its workers and provides stability to raise a family. Such jobs will be provided by the Gateway Pacific Terminal during the unloading and car inspection process. These types of jobs lend to the highly regulated and safe process that is rail.
Rail is vital to interstate and international commerce. Not only is it the safest way to transport goods but also the most environmentally sound. Removing heavy semi-trucks from our roads keeps our air cleaner and our roads safer. I am in support of the terminal for its ability to be a vital asset to our local economy.
I have been a law enforcement officer in Whatcom County for 35 years. During the last 25 of those years, I have had the privilege of working with David Grant in his capacity as a Whatcom County Deputy prosecuting attorney and as a Whatcom County district court judge.
Dave has always impressed me with his reason, his fairness and impartiality, and his compassion for those who come before him, both as defendants and as victims. In addition, he has achieved a level of knowledge of both criminal and civil law that only many years of training and experience can provide. It is of paramount importance to the safety and well being of our community that our judges possess such qualities and experience.
Because of his qualifications and proven record as a prosecutor and a judge, Dave Grant has been endorsed by both the Whatcom County Prosecutor and the Whatcom County Public Defender, the Whatcom County Sheriff, and the municipal police chiefs from the cities of Bellingham, Blaine, Everson-Nooksack, Ferndale, Lynden and Sumas. I would urge you to join with them in supporting Judge David Grant, the clear choice for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge.
I want to add my support to the efforts of our sheriff and county executive to construct a safe new jail facility on the outskirts of Bellingham. This is a critical need for our community and even though it is not comfortable to admit we need a jail, it is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. Our current facility is literally falling apart and is one disaster away from serious death and injury of corrections officers, volunteers and inmates.
The fire, electrical and general safety violations in our current facility have a long and well-documented history. Our community cannot afford to put off this decision any longer. It will indeed cost money to build a new jail, and we need to get those details worked out. However, if the unthinkable disaster happens, the amount of money paid out in litigation costs due to lives lost will far surpass any cost of building a new jail! Our dedicated public servants deserve a safe place to work and the people incarcerated deserve a facility where they can be safely and securely housed.
Thank you, Sheriff Elfo for doing the right thing and moving ahead! I look forward to seeing continuing progress on this extremely important community project.