Letters to the editor: March 14 - 20, 2013

Published on Wed, Mar 13, 2013
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The Editor:

How gracious of Don Starr to reveal that his arrival in Blaine prompted a public official to pronounce, “There must be a magnet buried in Blaine, as every nut in the nation seems to end up here.” I find that self-deprecating humor is a nice approach that endears a person to those around him, but it is a trait not often seen in those of the liberal left.
I’ve been traveling so may have missed whatever incident involving Jason Overstreet caused Mr. Starr’s outburst. However, I have been comfortable with Jason’s quiet and competent conservative governance since he was first elected to public office, compared to the incessant complaining, whining and ranting from those at the other end of the political spectrum.

Phil Gardner

The Editor:

I had a brief smirk and headshake when I read Don Starr’s grumpy comment that Blaine attracts nutty people, then indicating that representative Overstreet might meet that description. Starr’s entire comment was two sentences long, and a vague generalization.
I was shocked by the six irate responses printed, some rather lengthy, battling Mr. Starr’s flack, as if it had offered any substantive criticism or specifics. Were these respondents just regular objective citizen spectators, speaking out? Well, no, these orchestrated letters may have come in separate emails and envelopes, but most were directly from Overstreet’s personal campaign team (and email alert list) of top donors, several of whom are not from Blaine.
Folks, 46 percent of district 42 did not vote for Overstreet, and public officials will be depicted in cartoons with oversized ears and eyebrows and called playground names. It’s part of the deal. Representative Overstreet has chosen not to sit in back and make boring bills and votes. He has put himself out on a limb by jousting windmills with long shot protest bills and votes where he is isolated. Some of those I dislike and some I support. Some constituents like a bit of chaos and freedom-fighting grandstanding. Others don’t. Either way, Overstreet has intentionally chosen to be a legislative square peg risk-taker against convention, and Don Starr called it as he saw it. Others may feel the same.
Supporters can chill – the gerrymandered districting map has guaranteed Jason another three terms. Not everybody has to like him.

Richard May

The Editor:

Republican representative Ed Orcutt has lain to rest many of the most pressing issues of the day. He has ended the fighting over gun control once and for all. There is no need for any gun regulations or background checks at gun shows when the Republicans know the real carnage and mayhem is being perpetrated by people riding bicycles. Oh yes, representative Orcutt has put the word out – it is bicycle riders who are polluting the world with their heavy breathing as they ride their bicycles.
Logic is clearly not one of Republican representative Ed Orcutt’s strong points, but still good enough for the Tea Party.

Ray Wilkett

The Editor:

I would like to thank The Northern Light for printing Mr. Starr’s letter as well as the rebuttals the following week. 
The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech, the press and the right to assemble.
There must be two Jason Overstreets – the one whose campaign literature vowed to take away a person’s right to choose and to pass legislation based on his religious beliefs and ideology, and the one letter writers claim is a “staunch defender of individual rights.”
The Jason Overstreet who campaigned on small government and cutting spending, and the one some writers have referred to, citing just “some” of the legislation Mr. Overstreet proposes. How much more is there? Who is going to enforce his ‘right to life begins at the moment the individual comes into being’ law? How much will it cost? Who will pay for it? What happens if someone does not comply?
As a U.S. Marine I swore an oath to “uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign or domestic, with my life if necessary.” I served a tour of duty in Vietnam and received commendations. Mr. Overstreet’s campaign literature, mailed to me, cited his religious beliefs as his basis for legislation. The constitution I defended grants me the right to be free from religion. It also grants Mr. Overstreet the right to his religion and his beliefs, but it does not grant him the right to legislate his religious beliefs on to the rest of us.
To those who responded to Mr. Starr’s letter, the constitution grants you the right to express what you believe, be it right or wrong, just as it does for Mr. Starr and The Northern Light.
During his campaign, Mr. Overstreet sent me literature expressing his desire to meet with voters, maybe over coffee. I accepted his offer but he has never responded. I do not feel his concern for my principals or liberties but I am still open to that cup of coffee.
An old warrior once said, “For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.”

Brian Wiederspohn

The Editor:

While I wrote a letter supporting Jason Overstreet, I have to respond to several letter writers who expressed opinions criticizing you for publishing a “personal attack” on a public servant or “conservative office holders.” First, public officials should be stood up in the spotlight and criticized, especially when they are wrong, and certainly those that disagree with them are free to express their opinions. 
Attempting to limit such opinions by criticizing the editor is against freedom of speech and against what Overstreet and those that stand for liberty believe and fight for. Differing opinions spawn (hopefully intelligent) discourse, and attempts to silence the opposition by political correctness, insults, expressing disgust, etc. is certainly not intelligent. 
I say let all those who disagree with Overstreet or any other public official have at it with their opinions. There are plenty of us who can factually and logically defend them when needed and provide our own well-founded criticisms of any public official as well.

Joe Murphy

The Editor:

Hello, my name is Christina Corona. I am a fifth grader at Napa Valley Language Academy in Napa, California.
The reason I am writing to you is because my class is doing state reports and I have chosen your magnificent state, Washington. I would really like it if you posted my letter in your newspaper, so that I can get all the help I need for my report. What I need from you or your readers are pamphlets, postcards, souvenirs or anything else that would be useful.
I will be writing about your state’s agriculture, history, economy, famous people, events, historical figures and National parks. I will also be doing an oral report, poster and Microsoft Power Point presentation.
Thank you for your support and help in making me a great researcher of your outstanding state.

Christina Corona
Napa Valley Language Academy
c/o. Mrs. Dearborn
2700 Kilburn Avenue
Napa, California, 94558

The Editor:

I’m doing some research on a family connection with Blaine, and my husband and I are tentatively planning to visit your area in September of this year.
In the meantime, I wonder if any of your readers or your historical society would know when the first hospital opened in Blaine? Someone once said, “Memory is not history,” and I have a strong suspicion that some of the information I’m getting from this very complex family is faulty, being of the, “I remember that Grandma said ...” type of evidence.
Additionally, and this would be a very long shot, are there any Seul families still living in the area that may have had a Philipp Seul ancestor? He emigrated to Australia in 1912, but then vanished from the scene altogether and I wonder if he went back to the U.S.
I’d be grateful for any information your readers might be able to provide.

Mary Seul
Brisbane, Australia

The Editor:

I’m writing to encourage Whatcom County Council to vote in favor of the Lake Whatcom land reconveyance. This resolution would transfer 8,800+ acres of land in the Lake Whatcom watershed from management by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources to management by Whatcom County. This is important to me because I care about water quality. The lake provides drinking water to over 100,000 people and is now on the state department of ecology’s list of contaminated water bodies. Establishing a county-supervised low-impact forest preserve park would provide an excellent strategy for protecting the land from the disturbance of logging, thus helping to protect water quality for the future of the county. Gaining more local control of how our resources are used and managed is a winning proposition. Let’s do it.

Joyce Jimerson

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