In the last few years, I have been continually plagued by the phrase: Make America Great Again (MAGA). It left me terribly baffled and anxious. Just what were we lacking, what was missing to cause us to be no longer “Great”? It had me seriously worried, what was needed from us to return America to Greatness?
This puzzle regularly returned to torment me; I searched for an answer, but sadly without success. I searched many different sources, but still nothing revealed itself; all I had was the continued challenge to “Make America Great Again”.
Then last month, the solution was revealed in a clear, precise and to my embarrassment, amazingly simple term. It had even been written down for me over 200 years ago – in a strong, bold phrase: We the people.
Last month 140 million Americans voted. A larger portion of Americans voted in the 2020 election than in any other election in 120 years. Sixty-six percent of the eligible voting population cast ballots. The answer became obvious; what makes America great is our vote. Every year, We the people return to the polls and continue to Make America Great. Every year we vote and advise those that serve us in Washington, D.C., in our state capitals, in our city halls exactly what we expect and what we need. Every year we have the right and obligation to either return individuals to their government seats to continue to serve us or to replace them should they prove themselves unworthy of our trust.
At the polls it does not matter what our skin color is or what religion, gender, sexual identification or even our political party affiliation. At the polls we are all equal, we are citizens of the United States of America. Our vote must be protected from all threats. America is still great and will continue to remain great as long as We the People continue to cast our vote.
Lee C. Bravener
Let us start by saying how we are all so thankful for the support of our volunteer staff, donors and this paper, especially in these enduring times. 2020 has been a very rough year for many in our community and hopefully this program was able to bring some much-needed joy.
Through the dedication of volunteers and the generosity of our great community, 1451 people (969 adults and 482 children) enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner.
Once again the firefighters of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue were crucial in helping make this year’s distribution a success, and we cannot say thanks enough.
We would also like to thank businesses like Edaleen’s Dairy, Bedlington Farms and Cost Cutter of Blaine for their continued support. In particular, Becky Gutierriez from Cost Cutter of Blaine who went above and beyond this year and played a vital role to our success.
Lastly, we are especially thankful to all of the volunteer team members who took time out of their lives to take the reservations, bag the groceries, setup the baskets, manage the distribution and help the whole operation run smoothly. We deeply appreciate your heart-felt generosity. We want to wish everyone a safe and happy end to 2020 and look forward to continuing this great tradition in the future.
Shirley Tobian and Rhyan Lopez, Thanksgiving Day Baskets co-directors
How I saved Christmas Day
‘Twas a cold winters night in the heart of Birch Bay
When I looked to the sky and caught glimpse of his sleigh.
I knew in an instant something just wasn’t right,
Rudolf was sneezing, and his nose wouldn’t light.
Three feet of snow on the rooftop was gleaming,
When the sleigh lost control, and Santa was screaming …
He crashed thru the roof, landed flat on his back,
As each neatly wrapped present fell out of his sack!
He wasn’t going anywhere, it was so plain to see,
Then he gave me his reins, said it’s all up to me...
So I gathered the presents, every bow, every tag,
And so very quickly, put them back in the bag…
Rudolf too sick and the sky filled with fog,
I borrowed his antlers to put on the dog.
I whistled quite loudly then hitched up the sleigh,
And with a wink and a nod, we were soon on our way.
I hit every house, it was no easy chore,
To go thru a chimney, a window or door …
I ate every cookie, I drank all the milk,
And left presents all trimmed in satin and silk.
And when I was finished, I returned Santa’s sleigh,
And that’s the story, How I Saved Christmas Day!
Conducting a fair and efficient election in the midst of a pandemic and a contentious political environment was a challenge met exceedingly well by Whatcom County auditor Diana Bradrick, her elections supervisor Amy Grasher, and their seasoned and experienced staff. The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County would like to publicly commend the excellent work of these, all too often unacknowledged, public servants during this election season.
From developing innovative ways of reaching out to the public with information about the electoral process and registering voters, to putting measures in place limiting exposure to Covid-19, the auditor’s office worked tirelessly to assure a safe and efficient election that encouraged the greatest possible participation of voters across the county. This effort resulted in one of the highest voter turnout rates in Washington, with 87.9% of our registered voters voting in Whatcom County.
A robust and vibrant democracy depends on the active and informed participation of its citizens and Whatcom County’s election officials have ably demonstrated their commitment to this ideal.
Allison Aurand and Michael Jay, co-presidents of League of Women Voters, Bellingham/Whatcom County
Why do so many “Christians” who are used to bowing to authority and honor a man who gave up his life for them reject wearing a paper mask to save their neighbors?
Check “facts” you believe and pass around. Online information is often incorrect. In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows an average of 102 people per day were killed in motor vehicle crashes, nowhere near the 3,000 Covid-19 deaths per day as touted in one Lynden Tribune letter.
Don’t trust the government? Why does the Senate hold citizens hostage for help in order to protect large corporations from being sued for not protecting their workers? Who is being manipulated and lied to?
Consumption and jobs can resume when we reach a 2 percent infection rate. Unmasked Lynden and Nooksack keep our county numbers high. Those who want to bring numbers down, bring back economic participation and protect others by wearing masks are getting tired of waiting for non-maskers to take this problem seriously.
You flaunt economic stability in the name of liberty. Give all of us the opportunity to get our lives back – not just your bubble group, which now produces 55 percent of new cases.
Merry Masked Christmas!
I never thought I would fall in love again. It had only been two months since he died – my sweetheart, companion, friend. For 11 years he had been there by my side through deaths, crises, relocations, madness. Never complaining. Always devoted. Always there. Unconditional love!
Now he was gone. Seeking solace, needing to be alone, I spent my afternoons on the waterfront, trying to lose my ghosts. My heart was broken.
The blue goggles caught my attention first – an interesting touch to his jaunty look. His sleek black hair looked unruffled by the wind. He wasn’t overly friendly, but he wasn’t aloof either. He was returning from a hard day at sea and must have been exhausted. I had to give him some slack.
I knew this would be unrequited love. He belonged to another. Couldn’t I still fantasize? I would always look for him and smile when I saw him below the pier on his boat. Perhaps, I would catch a glimpse of him climbing his ladder. Maybe someday we would meet again.
His name is Beamer. That’s all I know. Maybe that’s enough. Thinking about him makes me smile. Being happy does not dishonor the one I loved. Seeing me smile, I know Cactus would be happy too.
The Editor and community:
On behalf of the city of Blaine organization and the entire community, I’d like to express a very hearty thank you to everyone who came together to make our holiday lights display the best we have ever seen. As of December 15, over $25,000 was raised to support the lighting project through in-kind and cash donations. Downtown Blaine shines brighter because of the contributions of dozens of businesses, organizations, families and individuals. Special thanks to our partners in this effort, Wildbird Charity, the Blaine Chamber of Commerce, The Northern Light newspaper, and to our primary sponsor, Whatcom Educational Credit Union – WECU.
The city could not have done this alone. This fall, the Blaine Tourism Advisory Board requested that Community Development Services Department (CDS) investigate options to enhance our holiday lighting program. Staff explored options and sought help. CDS sought community partners to help advertise, promote and administer this year’s Harbor Holiday Light program. Tourism tax dollars were used to purchase four large nautical themed lights, but the vast majority of the money spent on the lights was raised through donations. We hope to purchase more nautical themed lights for next winter as we continue to promote “Blaine-by-the-Sea” as a great place to visit. If you can help us make next year even more spectacular, I’d encourage you to consider making a contribution today at wildbirdcharity.org.
Like all efforts at the City, the holiday lighting program was the result of group energy and expertise. Alex Wenger, Economic Development and Tourism Coordinator, especially praised the help of Blaine City Light and Public Works crews and the support of Public Works management; who spent days installing wreathes, the large Christmas tree and ornaments.
It has been a tough year, and winter has arrived in the Northwest. The lights will help brighten our nights, and bring some beauty and some joy that we could all use. Please visit downtown to see the lights, shop at local retailers, dine at our restaurants (or get take out), and enjoy the beauty of the season.
Happy holidays and thank you,
Michael Jones, Blaine City Manager