Letters to the editor: June 27 - July 4, 2013

Published on Wed, Jun 26, 2013
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The Editor:
Having lived in the Blaine area for more than 51 years and having served in the border patrol for 21 of those years, I am saddened to see a vocal minority try to dismantle the system that has protected us for more than 50 years.
Some incidents come to mind wherein the system proved invaluable: The apprehension of a killer of seven people from Seattle who might have escaped were it not for mutual assistance and a shared frequency with Blaine police, numerous assaults on local, county and state officers that were thwarted by border patrol response, the capture of Arty Ray Baker, who had killed customs officer Jerry Ward in Lynden and a multiplicity of incidents in which local residents received help from border patrol agents until the proper agencies arrived.
For a small group to destroy a system that has served northern Whatcom County efficiently and faithfully for over half a century would be a tragedy.
George Tranberg

The Editor:
In regards to the article about the C2C Group filing a discrimination suit against the cities of Blaine, Lynden and Sumas. Are they nuts? What part of illegal doesn’t this group get? 
Yes, I guess these illegals wouldn’t want the border patrol showing up, so yes, I guess they wouldn’t use 911. If they weren’t “illegal” they would have nothing to fear. And if they are illegals, then we have immigration laws that need to be enforced. That’s what the laws are for!
I personally would like to thank the border patrol for the service they provide at the risk of their own lives. Do any of you C2C people even get that the border patrol are protecting you and me 24/7 while you’re all snug and happy in your beds at night? Feel pretty safe, don’t you? Well, now picture your night’s sleep without any border protection at all.
Mary Garrett
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I recently attended the performance of “What About Those Promises,” a historical play about relations between the Lummi Nation and the U.S. government. A talented and passionate cast ranging from tribal youth to elders told the story of the Lummi’s deep connection to the land, sea and wildlife of the Salish coast, as they remembered a history of unfulfilled promises.
Unfortunately, new threats to their sacred sites and traditional fishing grounds have emerged with the proposal of a coal terminal at Cherry Point. This is a site of archaeological and cultural significance to the Lummi where artifacts from 3,500 years ago have been discovered as well as the remains of Lummi ancestors. As “the home of the ancient ones,” it is linked to their creation stories and traditional salmon ceremonies.
The treaty of Point Elliott of 1855 gave the Lummi primary fishing rights to the waters surrounding Cherry Point, an important reef-net site for salmon fishing. Coal tankers and coal dust will threaten their livelihoods, which have historically depended on fishing if this terminal is built.
The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship recently passed a resolution in support of Lummi efforts to protect their sacred lands and waters. With them, and in support of Lummi resistance to this coal terminal, I also ask: what about those promises to respect native sacred sites and fishing rights?
Wendy Courtemanche

The Editor:
I am concerned that our current Whatcom County Council and planning commission are not complying with the Growth Management Act (GMA). Most Whatcom County residents believe in and support the GMA. 
Eighty percent of those responding to the 2009 Whatcom County Legacy Project survey felt that growth should be concentrated in the existing cities and population centers. 
The county planning commission and the county council should be responding to these constituents and not to their own whims or special interests. 
As a resident of Whatcom County I am troubled by not being represented in this arena. For myself, my children and their children, I feel that it is critical that we have reasonable well-planned growth.
I am not seeing this in the actions of our current council and planning commission. My question is “why not?” Perhaps it is time for a change.
Ann Schwandt

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