Letters to the Editor, October 1-8, 2020


The Editor:

We are the biggest supporters of Alicia Rule, a lovely woman who is running for 42nd District state representative in Olympia. Sharon Shewmake is the incumbent representative for the other 42nd district position. They are a good pair. They are running positive races and will not go negative. These two balanced candidates run as Democrats but would represent all of us. Policy will be formed with concern
for all.

Alicia Rule is a capable woman who accomplishes a lot. She has her own mental health counseling business, is a Blaine city councilwoman, is raising three sweet boys, while she runs for this position.

Alicia enjoys teamwork, will listen to you and she is not extreme. We believe other candidates running are extreme.

As our state deals with Covid-19 and after, we need this kind of ability, talent and leadership to help move our state forward.

We hope you will vote for Alicia Rule. Vote for Sharon Shewmake if you are in her district.

Paula and Michael Smith



The Editor:

As a Lutheran pastor for 30 years, I find it disturbing that so many of my Christian brothers and sisters are planning to vote for Donald Trump, supporting his continued sinning, even if they are following instructions from their churches.

I am including his support for legally outlawing abortion. Many studies have shown that keeping medical procedures legal, safe and rare, and reducing their number is best accomplished by keeping government out of the decision. Don’t pass a law, get to know these people and persuade them it’s wrong if that’s how you feel. That works better. Then a law is seen more as a reminder and is followed, as with seat belts and smoking.

This has to do with people not liking to be told what to do, which may be your reaction to this letter. But like it or not, it’s the truth, which according to John 8 will set you free, even free from voting for such a blatantly and deliberately sinful man as Trump who now admits planning to steal this election. How much of our country “under God” do we want to lose?

Jack Kintner



The Editor:

I would like to thank you for all the kindness shown to me over my nearly 30 years as a Blaine post office rural carrier.

Many customers have become more like friends who I will sorely miss, and the smiles I always got via their four-legged buddies will stay with me. Thanks also to the Blaine postal family, we’ve been through a lot together over the years and I choose to focus on potlucks and kind gestures shared when life wasn’t going so smooth.

It’s been a great career and I’m looking forward to the future and to tossing my alarm clock.

Cathy Dent



The Editor:

For those people out making the argument that we should wait until the American people elect a president before we nominate or confirm a Supreme Court justice to replace Justice Ginsberg, let me point out that we did. He is president until January 20, 2021.

Calvin Armerding



The Editor:

Every morning at about 7:30 a.m. I walk my dog from our home on Morgan Drive, down Harborview, right on Birch Bay Drive, and up Cottonwood back to Morgan Drive. I have been watching the side dumps haul in load after load of rock for the Birch Bay berm project. Right now, the rock has been dumped from the southern end of the project roughly to Harborview.

I know engineers are smart with their formulae and slide rules and all, but I cannot for the life of me see how this rock material is going to stand up to the fury of the sea when unusually high tides combine with unusually strong winds, such as occurred in the December 20, 2018 storm that took out a portion of Birch Bay Drive, destroyed a restaurant and flooded numerous properties on the landward side of Birch Bay Drive.

I will be really glad when my dog and I can walk safely atop the berm from Harborview to Cottonwood. I certainly hope the engineers are right and this berm does not end up as rocks strewn all over the tide flats, or worse, washed up onto Birch Bay Drive.

Pat Anderson



The Editor:

Heartfelt thanks to Girl Scout Troop 42415, who put up the little free library box on H Street. As a lifelong voracious reader, one of the most dismaying closures for Covid-19 for me was our library.

Those of us who love physical books and are unable or unwilling to access them digitally were really hard hit. This tiny box has allowed us to exchange actual books that have provided many hours of pleasure during this confined period. Thank you so very, very much.

Bonnie Ventura



The Editor:

I am writing in response to the letter from Joel Green in last week’s The Northern Light regarding the upcoming Semiahmoo Residents Association (SRA) annual meeting and elections.

The writer’s frustration with the actions of past boards is understandable on the surface. But given the circumstances we were facing of having to find an alternative space for our headquarters, the past board at the time made what they felt was the correct decision. That is what boards do. We may disagree but that is water under the bridge. Construction overruns occurred. This is never good. But if the board had not made aggressive efforts to correct the direction the project was heading, it may have been worse. Have you ever done construction in your home or built a house? This happens.

We can question these past decisions or focus on these snafus, but long term this property will add to the SRA’s assets and balance sheet.

The board, with help from its expert consultant, has creatively found a way to raise revenue with no increase in dues or special assessments to current homeowners and SRA members. These funds will not only accelerate the retirement of this debt, but it also provides funds for the increasing maintenance and liability costs of the community, now and in the immediate future. Failure to do this would impact all our property values in a negative way.

Not only is our community aging, but deferred maintenance and storm damage have created a backlog of needed maintenance. I think we want to give the board the support and tools they need to do this job, not tie their hands.

A sunset provision on the new revenue source may not be a bad idea but limiting the board’s discretion is not productive. We should not take on debt we cannot afford. But we should invest to keep our property values strong. The board knows that.

I strongly support the current leadership’s forward thinking strategic planning to keep Semiahmoo a great place to live.

Rick Beauregard



The Editor:

I have been involved in distributing election signs and so when I heard that many people have had their signs removed from their private property, I have been dismayed that once again this is happening. Trump said he wanted a free and fair election and as long as people are taking any party signs, it is not free and not fair.

The reality is there is so much more to be concerned about: Childhood poverty, education in the time of Covid-19, caring for lonely elderly, kids in cages and family separation, the discrediting of health professionals and scientists, continued pressure put on nurses and doctors expecting them to save those who do not follow guidelines, lack of awareness that the earth is not ours to desecrate but protect, and financial strife due to Covid-19.

Where do we start to deal with the concerns we all have? We are a small town, and in this small town, we could have a town hall to come together and dialog about what kind of community we want and what we want to leave for the next generation, our hopes and dreams for our children’s future. Will we continue the same course or accept that the need to change? Developing compassion for others, wildlife, the environment and working together for the common good for the benefit of all, not just a few?

Taking signs is an example of not caring for others, not wanting all voices heard, lack of ability to listen on how to live together in peace and harmony while leaving something good for the next generation; parks, wild animals, natural terrain, countries to visit, a diversity of people to meet and love and the earth to be
grateful for.

Someone once said if we want to lift ourselves up, start by lifting up someone else. It all starts with deep listening to the needs of others and a desire to bring people together through cooperative and shared intentions and interaction. Maybe as a community we could make that our goal?

Sharon Somers-Hill



The Editor:

Sharon Shewmake holds a doctorate in and teaches agricultural and resources economics, so she understands the economy and how to bring solutions to Whatcom County. Sharon is committed to restarting our economy by providing high-speed internet to rural business and homes, so they can compete with global business and work and attend school from home.

Sharon understands that education is important for every Washington student, so she works tirelessly to help provide opportunities for early childhood education and rural childcare providers.

Sharon’s background in economics informs her policy decisions on housing. If we provide more housing options, the overall rents will drop. This looks like loosening regulations for folks to build accessory dwelling units (ADUs), allowing more people who are not in a family unit to reside in one home (this is really beneficial for college students and people in nontraditional family units), and encouraging more new housing and apartment developments.

Sharon knows we must protect the environment as well as provide opportunities for our workers in Whatcom County. That is why she has worked on a natural gas bill to improve natural gas reporting, safety and transparency. She knows that gas and aluminum produced in Whatcom County is probably safer and less carbon intensive than in other areas and so has worked to preserve Cherry Point jobs and ways the Alcoa workers can transfer their skills to other living wage jobs, here in Whatcom county.

Sharon supports a community that works for everyone with no one left out so that is why she is committed to affordable, transparent, accessible healthcare, as well as diversity.

These and many other reasons are why I am asking you to join me in voting for Sharon Shewmake.

Pam Borso




The Editor:

Have you been following the national vote-by-mail polemic? Thank goodness Washington state has a strong and tested system we can rely on. But we deserve more when we choose our top election official in November, the Washington Secretary of State. We deserve Gael Tarleton.

State representative Tarleton has years of experience in national security. How helpful could that be in resisting foreign interference in our voting systems? And she is passionate about reaching out to communities that have traditionally under-participated in voting, and ensuring their inclusion.

In contrast, in 2012, the incumbent opposed the Washington Voting Rights Act, designed to provide fairer representation for minorities – a bill that was finally passed by the state legislature in 2018. And last year she testified against HR 1, the landmark measure U.S. House Democrats passed to expand voting rights and end gerrymandering. What’s up with that?

Gael Tarleton’s experience and priorities match this moment in our history. She’s my candidate for Washington Secretary of State, and I invite you to vote for her as well.

Ben Rogers

Lummi Island


The Editor:

Whatcom County Public Utility District 1 (PUD) can be so much more than it is presently. It has the authority to provide power, water and telecommunication utility services to residents under its jurisdiction. Unfortunately, our PUD has fallen decades behind. Fifteen other PUDs in Washington have built high-speed broadband for their residents and businesses, and now provide faster internet, for less than we pay. Some of these PUDs began building broadband 20 years ago. Our PUD has not built this critical infrastructure and we are now paying the price. Many local students do not have the reliable internet access (or any access at all) that they need for their at-home online school work, harming their education and future career prospects. Many businesses and people working at home have reduced productivity due to slow and unreliable internet. We can do better. That is why I am voting for Christine Grant this November.

Christine has spent her career working with public and private utilities around the country, including PUDs and teaches energy policy at Western Washington University. She has helped secure $25 million in competitive grant funding for clean energy and green jobs and served on the board of Spark Northwest to promote clean energy. She understands the finances and the management of PUDs as she has been an adviser for the industry. Christine is running for a position on our PUD commission, with the hope to spur innovation and move us out of our complacency. She says, “PUDs across the state are innovating to serve their communities through widespread access to affordable high-speed internet, cheaper and cleaner power and innovative water management.”

Vote Christine Grant for Whatcom County Public Utility District 1 Commission. Let’s see what can be accomplished for our future.

Naomi Murphy



The Editor:

I support Alicia Rule for the 42nd Legislative District, Position 1. In the midst of a pandemic and a faltering economy, our future welfare and prosperity will be determined by the choices we make in this election for the role of government in our responses to the economic and social challenges we face. Our choices will also determine the type of society we live in.

Government both facilitates and restricts, overseeing a distribution of privilege and disadvantage, and of support and obligation among us. Two contrasting visions for the character and role of government in shaping our society are present in one of the races in the 42nd district election this year.

Luanne Van Werven’s active membership in one organization is a window into her vision. She shares the chair with Doug Ericksen of the state branch of a legislative lobbying organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council. ALEC writes legislation for its members to sponsor, serving as a privately funded extension of legislative staff.

At the top of the Van Werven’s ALEC webpage is an appeal to sign a “no bailout of states” letter calling for Washington to deny itself the federal financial resources that are needed during the pandemic – financial resources for education, roads, ferries, health care, law enforcement and other vital government services.

The four-year average of the balance of payments between our state and the federal government favors the federal government by more than $1,000 per capita. It is honest and fair for Washington state to accept federal support.

Van Werven’s opponent, Alicia Rule, has a different vision for the role of government in our state. She is an advocate for affordable housing, affordable health care, support for veterans, living-wage jobs, support for small businesses and other issues of importance to all of us. Alicia Rule is the right person to send to Olympia.

Bert Rubash

Lummi Island


The Editor:

The Covid-19 crystal ball is still very foggy. But it is now very clear the American public deserves straightforward information on potential complications from the highly infectious Covid-19.

We get endless stats on the number of cases, deaths, tests and recoveries, but many of those so-called recoveries come with long-term, even permanent, disabilities.

There’s much we still don’t know but studies now show that Covid-19 causes serious complications across the age spectrum. The naive notion that young people don’t need to worry because Covid-19 mainly kills the elderly demands proper perspective. There are plenty of young victims who survive, but with months’ long recoveries and uncertain health issues. The virus can attack cells in their lungs, heart, kidneys, blood vessels, liver and even the brain.

Most Americans are unaware that Covid-19 can cause long-term kidney damage. A majority know that Covid-19 causes respiratory problems but few are aware of potential renal damage which may even require dialysis.

Do your homework on this deadly virus. Also, contact the health department, your doctor, organizations that serve our most vulnerable, local hospital management, news reporting outlets and tell them the public needs unvarnished scientific information on Covid-19. Statistics don’t motivate people to adhere to protocols to slow Covid-19 spread, but hard facts on the dangers of the virus do.

And, get your annual flu shot. The flu shot won’t prevent or reduce the severity of Covid-19, but experts agree in addition to preventing or mitigating the severity of flu, the vaccine may simplify the evaluation of patients during the flu season who may have a more serious condition.

Delores Davies



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