I would like to start by thanking the Blaine Police Department and the city of Blaine for installing the radar-controlled, speed-indicating traffic signs on D Street. They work.
I live near the westbound sign on D Street and have frequently noticed vehicles traveling in excess of the posted 25 mph speed limit. Once these drivers receive notice that they are speeding, 90 percent of them quickly slow down.
This passive intervention changes behavior without traffic tickets and fines, allowing our police officers to freely patrol and respond to higher-priority calls for assistance. It also reduces the risks associated with the simplest of traffic stops to both officers and the public, and of course reduces accidents.
I must admit that, even as a former police officer, I was skeptical that these signs would be so effective, but from my perspective, they work.
Fact: Whatcom County has one hospital.
Fact: Whatcom County has one hospice provider.
Fact: The hospital and hospice are operated by the same organization.
Fact: Whatcom County has an aging population. In 2018, 16.9 percent of our population was age 65 or older. That age group grew 43.2 percent since 2010.
Fact: An aging population means that growing numbers of us will require more medical services for increasingly complex health needs.
Fact: An aging population means that more of us are choosing at-home hospice care following a terminal illness diagnosis, with a prognosis of six months or less to live.
Fact: In Whatcom County, there is a delay in access to at-home hospice care for new hospice patients. New patients have been referred to independent home healthcare organizations because our community’s established, certified hospice provider has been unable to meet the demand.
I recognize that there are challenges to meet the ever-increasing needs in healthcare, including recruiting and retraining physicians, nurses, social workers and other providers. But this disturbing delay in access to at-home hospice care requires a solution posthaste to ensure that this compassionate, holistic, patient and family-centered care model is seamlessly accessible, supported and sustainable in our community.
Perhaps the remedy is a second hospice provider in Whatcom County.
The last time Congress fulfilled its exclusive constitutional authority to formally declare war was during World War II. Article I of the Constitution states that only Congress has the power to declare war.
Ordinary citizens in our country – and the world – do not want another disastrous war in the Middle East that would have the potential to expand to other regions. Bills have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate to prohibit the use of funds for military actions against Iran unless Congress, after debate, declares war. There is bipartisan support.
For decades, Congress has been ceding its Constitutional authorities and prerogatives to the executive branch. To safeguard our system of checks and balances, Congress must reclaim its role as a check on presidential power.
Contact your members of Congress and tell them to take back their authority before our very system of government is further and irrevocably damaged.