Letters to the Editor: October 11 to October 17, 2012

Published on Wed, Oct 10, 2012
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The Editor:

This coming Saturday is the last day of this year’s Blaine Gardeners Market. It’s also an opportunity to come join your friends and neighbors in support of the Blaine Food Bank. The Circle of Trees Homestead will be selling apples and dried lavender, and 100 percent of the money will be donated to the food bank, where the total amount will be doubled by a generous matching grant. In addition, there will be a box where you can drop off canned and packaged goods to be donated to help our many neighbors who are in need during these challenging times. The Marketeers, Blaine’s own local market band, will be playing, and the Blaine scarecrows will be decorating the town in front of many businesses. Cathy and I look forward to sharing a day in beautiful downtown Blaine with our community, and we say thank you to the shoppers and vendors who participated in this year’s Blaine Gardener’s Market.

Ron Snyder

The Editor:

Good job Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer! The Blaine Food Bank (BFB) is pleased to announce we have received $7,747 in donations toward our goal of $25,000. This amount is almost a third of the way there. Our goal is achievable, but we still need $17,253 to complete the job.
If we raise $25,000 by December 15, a local benefactor will match our community donations dollar for dollar. Working with partner agencies like Food Lifeline, the BFB can get more “bang for its buck” when purchasing bulk quantities. Remember, 67 cents feeds a meal to a family of three.
Our partner agencies don’t always have what we need. BFB has struggled to provide meat for our families, and cereal is rarely available. Summer is over, which means it will be especially difficult to obtain produce. Even dry oats, rice, beans and pasta are becoming scarce. To compensate for the lack of some types of food, bulk purchases must be made. 
BFB also relies on our fall food drives held by grocery stores, schools and churches. We will never turn down any donation (provided it is unopened and before the expiration date). But this challenge is an opportunity to expand our ability to purchase food far into 2013.
So when you receive change from a purchase, think of us. When you find change in your coats or purses, think of us. If you have the inclination, think of us and write a check. No donation is too small (or too large) and is desperately needed by the Blaine Food Bank (P.O. Box 472, Blaine, 98231). Thank you Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer for all your efforts so far to help our neighbors. 

Robin Kendall
Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:

Election day will soon be upon us again. This November we have a chance to re-elect a man that has been true to his word during his first term as the 42nd District’s State Representative. Jason Overstreet has fought for less government, lower taxes and more freedom. He has also held the line on tax increases and voted to fund education first, per article IX of the Washington State Constitution. He did all this while protecting and maintaining individuals’ rights.
Thank you Rep. Overstreet for keeping us informed on what is going on in Olympia through your town halls with state lawmakers Ericksen and Buys. I look forward to connecting the arrow next to your name on November 6, and I encourage all others out there to do the same.

Scott Dodd

The Editor:

On behalf of the Blaine Boys & Girls Club staff, Board of Directors, and most importantly, our club kids, I want to thank our community for responding so warmly to The Northern Light’s recent article about the club and for stepping up with donations of much-needed and speedily consumed apples, pears and blueberries. It truly has been heartwarming to see people respond so generously upon hearing that the club is making a conscious and concerted effort to implement new nutritional guidelines and provide as much produce as possible to the kids.
As one of Blaine’s very few resources for kids, the Boys & Girls Club plays a critically important role in our community and it is only with the support of that community that we can grow and continue to fulfill our mission to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
As we continue to introduce new programming at the club and strengthen our existing framework, we look forward to continuing cooperation with various groups and members of our community and count ourselves lucky to enjoy so much generous support.
Yours for our kids,

Diana Oplinger
Blaine Branch Director
Boys & Girls Club of Whatcom County


The Editor:

I just want to express my appreciation for Jason Overstreet and the job he has done for us as state representative. What a delight in the realm of pandering politicians to have someone actually do what they said they would do before you hired them. How many times have we heard someone espouse their promises and plans, only to have them fall in with the status quo once they have gotten the job?
Thank you, Mr. Overstreet for being single-minded and purposeful to stay true to your convictions and fight for what you told us you would when we hired you! I am proud of the way you held the line on tax increases, fought for less government, lower taxes and more freedom, all the while working to protect and maintain our individual rights. Your communication while you were in Olympia was timely, effective and helped us to know what was happening through email updates, video updates and town hall meetings. I also find it ironic that some would say you don’t support public education when you were a strong voice for a vote to fund education first per Article IX of the state constitution. It is easy to know your record, because you have been honest and transparent as our representative. Keep up the great work. I am so proud to vote for you again as a representative for our district, and my family. God bless you.

Shelly Button

The Editor:

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) calls itself a nonpartisan organization of state legislators and individuals that favors federalism and conservative public policy solutions. It is actually ultra-conservative legislators working with businesses and foundations making “model legislation” to forward big business and a profiteering agenda that has operated since the ’70s.
The Center for Media and Democracy has exposed over 800 “model” bills and resolutions secretly voted on by ALEC members that have changed the complexion of our country – its military-industrial complex growth, anti-EPA and regulatory stances, pushing privatization of (for-profit) prisons, fire protection, police, water districts and schools, etc. This past year, the Center convinced 41 global firms to stop underwriting ALEC’s extreme agenda.
Washington state Senator Doug Ericksen is proud of his membership in ALEC, and as Minority Whip has significant legislative power to put forward the ALEC agenda. The Assistant Minority Whip is Jason Overstreet, being mentored by Ericksen as his legislative helper.
Natalie McClendon has Washington state’s interests at heart. Her knowledge, patience and willingness to listen and think about our 42nd Legislative District and its needs will not have an outside agenda. She will be devoted and accountable to us, committed to moving Washington forward.

Donna Starr

The Editor:

Property rights are one of the most important rights that we have. Being able to be think outside of the box in the way we use our land without being restrained at every turn by cumbersome government rules and regulations is what has made our country prosper.
I want representatives who will value our property rights. When a candidate does not mention property rights as an issue on their web page, that tells me that they do not think it is important. Natalie McClendon does not think that property rights are important.
That is why I support Jason Overstreet for representative. He knows about and values property rights. He will fight for our freedoms that are slipping away through government regulation and taxation. Vote for property rights. Vote freedom. Vote Overstreet.

Melodie Kirk

The Editor:

Citizens of Whatcom County, we would like you to join us in supporting and voting for Deborra Garrett for Superior Court Judge. We have known her for more than 30 years. She is a person of great integrity and intelligence, works hard and has good judgment.
Superior court hears civil, criminal and juvenile cases. They also oversee the Juvenile Court. Rarely do Superior Court judges come with a background of knowledge of children’s issues, other than that of the law. It is critical that they are knowledgeable about the cycles in these families that are often repeated from generation to generation.
People might think that rescuing one member of the family might solve the problem. Too often we find that abusive people have been abused themselves. Only through education and treatment of all parties can these cycles be broken.
Deborra has extensive knowledge in this area due to cases that she has handled in court. She was also a guardian ad litem. It was a great relief to know that Deborra was assigned to your case, as she would put in more time, effort and concern than many others. She treated the clients with respect and cooperation, which helped defuse the situation and move the case forward.
Her concern for justice for all members of the community and her work as a volunteer attorney for Women’s Care Shelter (1980 to present), YWCA (1997 to present) and Law Advocates (1987 to present) has given her an extensive understanding of the issues of children.
At present there is a great need in Superior Court for a judge such as Deborra Garrett. She has handled cases of business disputes, employment, family law, child welfare matters, wills and probates, criminal law and real estate. She is very qualified to hold a judge’s position in the Superior Court of Whatcom County.

Bob and Jan Kloc

The Editor:

I’m voting for Deborra Garrett for Whatcom Superior Court Judge because she is committed to justice for all members of our community. In addition to her professional resume detailing her years of legal practice, she also has an equally lengthy record of community service. Her volunteer work in a wide range of areas in Whatcom County demonstrates that she cares deeply about the community she lives in. This is a testament to the strength of her personal and professional integrity and assures us that when she takes the bench, she will be well qualified to make decisions that have an impact on people’s lives.

Heidi Alford

The Editor:

As a business owner I am fortunate to have Deborra Garrett as a lawyer. She has extensive and broad-based legal experience, but most impressive to me is her ability to strike a fair balance between the sometimes competing interests of employees and business owners. With Deborra’s help and legal guidance we developed an employee manual that was thorough, legally sound and, above all, fair to everyone concerned.
This initial perception of Deborra has been reinforced by others (both employees and business owners) that I have referred to her. I have no doubt she will uphold the high standards of the Superior Court and the legal profession.
Please join me in voting for Deborra Garrett as Whatcom County’s next Superior Court Judge on November 6.

Elisabeth Harper

The Editor:

As a former human resources director at Intalco, I had the opportunity to work with judicial candidate Deborra Garrett on a variety of projects. Based on that work, I support Deborra for Whatcom County Superior Court Judge.
Deborra Garrett worked effectively in resolving numerous employment issues, assisted in streamlining policy and procedure manuals, and helped to establish a return to work program for injured workers. She spoke to the heart of an issue in clear language and was always positive, fair-minded, well-prepared and meticulous in her work.
Regardless of our political persuasions, we need to elect the best possible judges. Deborra has the qualities and experience that we need in a Whatcom County Superior Court Judge.
I strongly recommend Deborra Garrett for Superior Court Judge and urge you to join me in voting for her.

Harry Allison

The Editor:

My 40 years as a lawyer and part-time judge have convinced me to vote for Deborra Garrett as Whatcom County Superior Court Judge.
Retiring Judge Steven Mura explained in a recent column the need for broad experience in all of the areas of law that a superior court judge faces. His experience as a local private attorney prepared him for the important cases heard only in superior court: family law (custody, support, divorce), juvenile crimes, landlord-tenant, parental rights termination, involuntary mental commitment, probate, tax legality, large lawsuits, real estate, felony criminal and appeals from lower courts.
Deborra Garrett is the only candidate with this broad professional experience – an outstanding 30-year Whatcom County career in business, family, criminal and civil law. She is the current president of the Whatcom County Bar Association, a private attorney and small business owner.
Deborra has represented individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, abused and neglected children and other crime victims. She’s handled criminal, family, housing, landlord-tenant, employment and personal injury cases. Her substantial trial work in the Superior Court and the federal court system shows she knows her way around a courtroom.
It is time for an experienced, accomplished woman to preside as a Superior Court judge. Deborra Garrett has earned my vote.

Edwin Simmers

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