Letters to the Editor: January 31-February 6

The Editor:

There were a lot of shed tears and shared hugs at the Blaine Food Bank on Saturday when we opened our doors to exclusively serve our friends and neighbors who were impacted by the shutdown.

The event was made extra special by the generous outpouring of support from our community. We received diapers, baby formula, paper products, $350 in grocery cards, $300 in gas cards, $100 in coffee cards, numerous gifts of cash and bags of coffee – all donated anonymously and very, very much appreciated. No donor wanted credit, they just wanted to help. To our donors, thank you for caring. To our federal workers and their families, thank you for your dedicated service, and for allowing us to serve you.

Sally Church, volunteer
Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:

Once again, Blaine teamed together to support the Blaine Harbor Music Camp. Recently citizens of Blaine matched and exceeded a $10,000 challenge that will help finance camp for 2019.

The Blaine community supports music students every year by attending Pacific Arts Association events, volunteering where help is needed, cheering for our efforts in the 4th of July Parade and encouraging students to attend camp. What an accomplishment for a small town! We work together in so many ways to offer this annual music camp.

Thank you for your unfailing support. We are honored to be part of such a thoughtful community and look forward to providing musical opportunities throughout 2019.

Along that line, you won’t want to miss the concert coming up at Semiahmoo on Valentine’s Day. It will be one of the best jazz concerts we’ve ever facilitated. You will be able to watch three of your Blaine Harbor Music Camp’s world class instructors and a rhythm section from New York in a concert that really lets them shine (watch for details in The Northern Light). Hope you can come and enjoy the talent of these fine teachers and incredible musicians.

Marla Tuski, vice president
Pacific Arts Association

The Editor:

Thank you for your very kind piece regarding my experience in South and Central America with  the U.S. Navy recently. The mission was the honor of a lifetime.

One important correction needs noting. On my prior mission to the far Western Pacific in 2016 with sister ship USNS Mercy, I was honored and fortunate to have been selected for the amazing Philippines portion of that mission, and not the entire itinerary as stated in the story.

That is what made this recent mission all the more significant, working together with the entire crew of today’s active duty and partner nation professionals for the entire mission. America does great things around the world on a regular basis. I’ve seen it!

Patrick Rooney

The Editor:

I was always under the impression that our schools in the outlying communities were shortchanged to put more money into the town schools.

Now I find out this is not the case. We are now informed that our ship is rotten, rat-infested and sinking and we’re all going to drown if we do not buy a new boat immediately.

In a sane society, who would operate like that?

We have school administration, ample paid salaries (no need to moonlight here), and a school board elected by, and theoretically representing, the people. Why haven’t these, the “highly educated,” who are in positions of trust and authority, dealt with these problems in a timely manner before we were faced with a crisis?

We are a well-funded school district, with a city, businesses and a highly-taxed, heavy industrial area. Where has all our money gone?

Even a “no” voter such as myself kinda, sorta hopes this bond passes. We have been led – or driven – to a place where there are no alternatives. If and when you “yes” people win, what will you have won? You will still have to live with us, the alienated 40 percent, who are still concerned with the very real issues of trust, accountability and the daily exigencies of just
plain living.

The simple fact is, the constant demands and ever-escalating costs of government, including schools, is unsustainable.

Mark Aaron Aamot

(Ed. Note: the writer is referring to the Ferndale school district’s special bond measure.)

The Editor:

We would like to express our deepest appreciation for your phenomenal help in cleaning up Birch Bay after the 2018 solstice day storm disaster.

Crews were pushing logs off Birch Bay Drive just hours after the storm allowing our community members to return home safely.

Because of your long hours of hard work, the Birch Bay community and visitors were able to celebrate and bring in the New Year with our Ring of Fire and Hope and Polar Bear
Plunge events.

Your support to our community is gratefully appreciated and we commend your efforts and hard work on our behalf. Thank you.

Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce board of directors

The Editor:

Here in Whatcom County we are getting ready to vote again. Actually, in Ferndale we have two elections coming up. The first vote will be for the Ferndale school bond special election on February 12. You should have your ballot by now and hopefully are close to sending it back.

We are being asked to consider a bond for a new high school with improvements for school security, critical facility repairs and upgrades and a modernized performing arts center. Because the vote on the school bond in November was so close, members of the community have requested that the school district run the bond again. The vote was 58.64 percent but needed 60 percent to pass.

Ferndale schools really need help! They are old and crumbling, especially the high school, which has been patched and added to for almost 90 years. Our children need safe, healthy environments to grow and learn in. It is time. Please vote yes on the Ferndale school bond, for our kids and for our community.

Another election that is also important for Whatcom County residents is the electing of a supervisor to the Whatcom Conservation District Board. This board has been helping landowners and farmers of Whatcom County conserve natural resources since 1946. It is beneficial to all of us.

Every registered voter in Whatcom County is eligible to vote in this election. You must, however, request a ballot. To do that, you can go online to Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) and follow the prompts to request a ballot. You can also go to their office at 6975 Hannegan Road to pick one up. You must do this on or before February 8. You will receive your ballot in early March and must mail it back by election day. If you would rather, you can vote at their office on election day, which is Tuesday, March 26.

Please consider voting for Valeri Ward for this position. She is a 30-year resident of Whatcom County, is a U.S. Army veteran and a local small business owner who is committed to listening to every voice in our community to help promote the valuable programs
of the WCD.

Linda Schonborn

The Editor:

Since the winter storm, the road in front of our Richmond Resort has been reduced to 10 miles per hour going one way, northbound. This is in name only and (if no action is taken to enforce this) someone will die or be seriously injured, and Whatcom County does
not care.

When I called the sheriff’s department, I was told public works is in charge of the road. I called and spoke with Joe Rutan who told me they have done all they are going to until they rebuild the road within a year.

I explained that the sign says for people to walk and ride bikes on the shoulder, but many people ignore the one way (there are no signs saying one way anywhere) and drive on the shoulder to dodge people
coming north.

They also speed through this at 40+ miles per hour going southbound. Rutan said people have to obey the law and they have put up all the signs and barricades they are going to. We have nearly been hit two times pulling out of Richmond Resort by speeding
southbound cars.

When, not if, someone is killed, please remember public works said they have done all they are going to.

Harriett Lenardson

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