Letters to the Editor, October 15-21, 2020

Posted

The Editor:

Recently, there has been expressed more concern for the elderly since the Covid-19 pandemic. It may be timely to establish a group to protest what other concerns this age group has. It could be referred to as ELM (Elderly Lives Matter). All members of this group have an existing condition – they were born. Most of the individuals would probably be considered “old geezers,” someone between old and dead.

The following are some concerns:

If receiving an enhanced flu shot is recommended, then why aren’t the shots readily available?

A lot of these folks own and have lived in the same home for many years. What has become apparent for a number of these folks is they can’t afford to own the home because of the increased assessed value, living on a fixed income and hiring help for maintenance. If they sell and wish to move to a smaller home on a smaller lot, none appear to be available in Blaine.

The need to travel some distance for medical issues becomes a problem. The loss of the ability to drive requires public transportation and for some, this is new and scary and requires a considerable amount of time. Friends help but they’re not always available. It is imperative the proposed medical facility is constructed in Blaine.

An ELM protest march might be a first and unique. The distance would be no more than one block. Porta-potties would be in abundance. Aid vehicles would be required in order to hold the march. Some of the participants might have unique means of transportation. But, in all seriousness, Blaine has a large population of elders (and your mother taught you to respect your elders). An effort is required to see their concerns are serious and need to be addressed.

Dennis M. Olason

Blaine

 

The Editor:

I have been hearing political commercials for Alicia Rule and Sharon Shewmake on my Pandora station for the last couple of weeks. I kept hearing “paid for by New Direction PAC.” Being the curious person I am, I decided to look up this political action committee. This search led me to the Public Disclosure Commission website, you can do a web search and type ‘PDC plus any candidates first and last name’ to see how much money they have raised, and exactly who and where it is coming from.

This was very eye opening. I highly recommend every voter do this. These two ladies who are running to represent Whatcom County have a lot of money coming from Seattle, Olympia and out of state – most of their donations are also from unions. Why? You will have to answer that for yourself, but some of these donors are the same big money groups that tried to push into our schools the alarming comprehensive sex education curriculum that many of us fought hard to get on the ballot, instead of having it just mandated for our local children.

When I looked up the contributions of the other two ladies running to represent Whatcom County, Jennifer Sefzik, and Luanne Van Werven, I saw vastly more personal donations from real local people like you and I.

Do yourself a favor and know where the money is coming from for who you think you want to vote for, and ask yourself if that money represents you and your family’s interests. Does their “new direction” line up with your values and what you want for Whatcom County?

Shelly Button

Blaine

 

The Editor:

Over the last weeks I have seen flyers and TV ads that make false and misleading statements about Sharon Shewmake’s position on “defunding the police.” These ads say she is in favor of defunding. That is just not true.

On September 16, Ms. Shewmake clearly stated her position. You can find her statement on her Facebook page. As the Position 2 State Representative in the 42nd Legislative District, Sharon has consistently voted for budgets that fund law enforcement and she will continue to do so. Yes, she is in favor of increasing mental health resources for those in mental health crises and that is an area where law enforcement wants and needs assistance. But, more than just being pro law enforcement, she has obtained funding for Whatcom County’s Crisis Stabilization Facility.

It is very disappointing to see these flyers and ads that include lies and distortions coming from a PAC exclusively funded by the state Republican Party. We need differing ideas but in these times, some choose the low road. These kinds of lies, divisiveness and political dirty tricks are not what the citizens of Whatcom County deserve.

Therefore, I am calling on Sharon’s opponent Jennifer Sefzik to publicly distance herself from these lies and dirty tricks, and clearly and unambiguously disavow the PAC, the flyers and ads. Such behavior is not appropriate. Sefzik knows better. We deserve better.

Truth has become a rare commodity. Sharon Shewmake tells the truth. That makes her a valuable representative for all of this county’s residents. Let’s play fair.

Sue Berkman

Blaine

 

The Editor:

Are you aware that Friends of Libraries groups have their own national week of recognition and celebration? They do. And United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association will be coordinating the 15th annual National Friends of Libraries Week on October 18-24, 2020. What an appropriate time to extend a huge thank you to the Friends of the Blaine Library. Their help and support through the years has been instrumental in making our library a much loved and well-used hub of the community.

Back in early March, The Blaine Friends were excited to see their sizeable investment in the hiring of the Johnston Architects/King Architecture team result in a beautifully designed library building for the Blaine community. Then the pandemic hit. While disappointing indeed that the project has been put on a temporary hold ever since, the Friends continue to work in the background, busily planning next steps.

As we celebrate this group of individuals who have worked countless hours – some over the course of 10, 20 or amazingly, 30 plus years – would you please consider joining their team in support of our Blaine Library? Many of you have discovered the wealth of library resources for the first time during these latest months. Others have been awaiting our building reopening, anxious for access to many of the library’s critical services. Your help will be needed more than ever as we venture in to a recovery period and face a future library project. Please consider joining the Friends of the Blaine Library today, and have fun while sharing your skills and talents in promoting the value of the public library in your community.

Debby Farmer

Blaine


The Editor:

My Biden supporter friends are not fascists. Fascist believe in a powerful central government that assumes responsibility for all outcomes and results in a utopian society. Trump supporters believe in capitalism, individualism, reduction in government control of our lives, and know life cannot be made perfect by politicians.

Fascists are militaristic. Trump supporters appreciate that he brokered Middle East peace agreements and is the only president in 40 years to not start a new war. The Trump Doctrine would no longer have America involved in endless wars that kill thousands of Americans and incur enormous debt.

Fascists suppress opposition. They tell you what words you can use, overturn elections, cancel the lives of dissenters, demand allegiance to their ideology, and attack people who wear clothing or hats that express opposition support. Trump supporters believe it is wrong to make people afraid to express their beliefs and know where the road to vilifying fellow citizens leads.

Fascists governments disarm civilians, making them more vulnerable to oppression and easy targets for criminals. Trump supporters are for the right to bear arms.

Fascists erase and re-write history. Trump supporters do not believe controversial statues should be destroyed because they provide an opportunity to learn from our history rather than repeat it.

Fascists perpetrate genocide. Trump supporters are anti-genocide. They oppose their taxes going to fund Planned Parenthood, founded by racist eugenicist Margaret Sanger, with the majority of their abortion clinics in minority neighborhoods.

Nazi fascists had Aryan privilege laws that rewarded people based on race. Trump supporters are against laws that give preference for race because America should be a meritocracy.

I support Trump because he built a great economy and will do so again, supports law enforcement, is getting us out of endless wars, is brokering peace in the Middle East, enacted justice reform that helps minorities, will hold China accountable and has an America-first attitude. America is great and I do not want the Biden-Harris-AOC-Bernie coalition to fundamentally change it.

I do not think my Biden supporter friends are fascists. I think they are good people who are uninformed or consumed with a blinding hatred for Trump.

Dave Berry

Birch Bay

 

The Editor:

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it/America 2020. Harris/Biden administration’s America?

Public knowledge that Biden will be short term. Biden wanted a woman of color. Harris’ parents are from India and Jamaica. Isn’t it “racist” to choose by skin color? Harris openly supports open borders, thus creating sanctuary cities, like Seattle, while eliminating ICE. Entering the U.S. illegally is breaking the law. Sanctuary cities say it’s OK to break the law since ‘we’ll hide you and pay for your needs’ with taxpayer dollars.

Harris supports the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) to pay bail for those unable to pay. This sounds very philanthropic but the obvious fact is, any criminal who chooses to break the law should know you can be arrested and sent to jail. MFF says cash bail discriminates, is oppressive and targets folks who can’t afford bail. Once again, you break the law then there are consequences and one might be jail. Wouldn’t that fact alone be a deterrent? How many violent protesters got a “get out of bail free” card?

Harris praises Black Lives Matter, a Marxist organization, and supports Planned Parenthood. Yes, Black lives matter, in fact, all lives matter. However; Planned Parenthood has more clinics in largely Black neighborhoods. Harris said the timing of an abortion is up to the woman, even if late term. Harris praises BLM as essential and BLM advocates defunding the police and eliminating the Drug Enforcement Administration. Harris said BLM protests are an essential component of evolution in our country, and a mark of a real democracy.

Free education and free medical sounds utopian but we, the taxpayers, would fund it. Biden said “More taxes,” then “No, I meant no taxes.” Biden hasn’t been told what his plans are, so he can’t tell us his plans for America. Biden has said “No fossil fuel, no fracking” and then later recants and says he didn’t say it. All verifiable.

Seems Democrat governors and mayors are OK with looting and riots, so what makes you think a Democratic president would be any different? Neither candidate is perfect, but I want President Trump, who fights for America.

Anne Freeman

Blaine

 

The Editor:

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed serious inequities in our country and in our county.

Our children have been going to school remotely, from their homes. That requires efficient, affordable high-speed internet. Whatcom County has fallen far behind in providing this.Adults have been working remotely from their homes. That requires efficient, affordable high-speed internet. Whatcom County has fallen far behind in providing this.

Should people in Whatcom County have to drive to the library or sit outside at a café so they can access reliable internet? No. But that is what is happening.

High-speed internet is not a luxury; it is a necessity. Christine Grant, who is running for a seat on the Whatcom County Public Utility District is passionate about this. She has worked with the utilities industry for years and she teaches energy policy at the Institute for Energy Studies at Western Washington University. She will bring this experience and knowledge to the PUD.

As Christine Grant says, “Water, electricity and fast, affordable internet are building blocks for economic success.”

Please vote for a change agent determined to make Whatcom County a national leader in providing clean, safe, affordable utilities for all people.

Your ballot will not be complete until you vote for Christine Grant for the Whatcom County Public Utility District. The PUD may be the last position on the ballot, but it is definitely not the least.

Helen Worley

Blaine

 

The Editor:

In Whatcom County, we are electing a judge for Position 2 on Superior Court. James Erb is the best qualified choice. In fact, he is well-rated by all the statewide and local bar associations, including Washington Women’s Lawyers and Veterans. They look at experience, integrity and judicial temperament. James Erb has shown those traits throughout his career in service for the people.

Erb has prosecuted hundreds of serious crimes like rape, assault and child abuse. In family law for the Nooksack Tribe, he kept families together so that children could thrive. In civil matters, James has successfully represented local government on behalf of
their taxpayers.

James’ commitment to treating everyone in the court with dignity and respect means a lot to me. It’s reassuring that he is endorsed by state representative Sharon Shewmake, Superior Court Judge Deborra Garrett, who is retiring from this position, and by many current and past elected officials across the county. Erb will be a judge who inspires confidence. Please join me in marking your ballot for James Erb for Superior Court Judge, Position 2. He will serve us well.

Ruth Higgins

Blaine

 

The Editor:

The first election in which I voted was in 1968. I have voted in every election since. This presidential election is the most serious and important one in my lifetime.

From the actions of President Donald Trump these past four years, I believe our democracy is at extreme risk.

Donald Trump has tried to rig the election by attempting to have a foreign country, Ukraine, dig up dirt on his rival, Joe Biden. For this attempt he was impeached, but not removed, because all Republican senators except one voted not to remove him. By this action, Republicans are complicit in the president’s cheating.

President Trump tries to make our votes not count by falsely claiming absentee voting will be filled with fraud. There has not been any evidence that this will happen. The president publicly refuses to commit to accepting the results of the election if he loses. This is the action of an authoritarian. Be ready for weeks of chaos after the election.

You will be receiving your ballots in a few days. Please consider if we are better off today than we were four years ago. With Trump’s failed response to the pandemic, the bad economy and the attacks on our election my response is a resounding ‘no.’

If you agree with me, please vote only for Democratic Party candidates since Republicans have been enablers for this lawless and disorderly president. Let your voice be heard by voting and vote early.

Layne Boyce

Blaine

 

The Editor:

Jennifer Sefzik, “The reports of Seattle’s death are greatly exaggerated and premature.” Mark Twain.

From your website, it is clear you are running a negative campaign. And, are you running for Whatcom County or for Seattle?

Your website highlights numerous negative references to Seattle: “Harmful” and “extreme” twice, “failing politics,” and “saving our state from extreme politics.”

We would be better served by reading what your exact plans for Whatcom County are. Where lies your expertise? Where are your endorsements?

Ms. Sefzik, you have fallen into the trap of baseless and childish name-calling. Many people are struggling to put food on the table, facing eviction from their homes or going bankrupt when they fall ill. What are you offering Whatcom County to help people and businesses to recover if you are elected? As people are struggling to keep their heads above water, we need to pull together and act, not fight the culture wars.

In contrast, Sharon Shewmake is running a positive campaign for Whatcom County, without negative words or insults. In office, she has an impressive list of accomplishments and is actively working on concrete things to actually help the people in our area. Sharon’s state House and campaign websites mention specific programs already accomplished, in progress, and in the pipeline. These will have a big positive impact for people and businesses alike. Sharon has specifics behind each program. Rather than throwing out empty political slogans with no discernible plans, Sharon ensures we know what her plans are.

Sharon acts on what Whatcom people care about: Small businesses, protection of farmers, affordable and accessible child care, health care and prescription costs, and high-speed internet for all.

Sharon has a record of getting things done and has concrete plans, not nebulous ones, that will directly help the people of Whatcom recover from the results of the pandemic. Her list of numerous and varied endorsements are impressive, plus, she is an economist.

Susan Pendleton

Blaine

 

The Editor:

The article in last week’s edition of The Northern Light  about Drayton Harbor Maritime’s (DHM) effort in totally restoring and rebuilding the 114-year-old former Bristol Bay sailboat was well written and informative.

However, space was limited as to what could be included in the article about the sailboat project. Hopefully this letter will provide additional information to the interested reader. Besides earning its keep by catering to the corporate clientele from the Semiahmoo Resort, the NN 59 sailboat will also offer this unique experience  to the locals that I am sure will enjoy this unique sailboat as much as they enjoy riding aboard the historic Plover. Visiting tourists, too, will be offered a unique, immersive sailing experience discovering perhaps a glimpse of what it may have been like sailing and fishing on one of these iconic salmon boats over a hundred years ago.

Earnings from these activities will subsidize DHM’s Community Sailing Program, offering youth and interested adults instruction in traditional sailing. The U.S. Coast Guard will require the sailboat to have auxiliary power when carrying passengers for hire. The plan is to install auxiliary electric propulsion. This mode will allow the NN 59 to offer silent harbor tours and excursions out on Drayton Harbor, which I can imagine will be a big hit. There is more information but space is limited.

Captain Richard C. Sturgill, Diamond NN 59 restoration project manager

Blaine

 

The Editor:

My analysis and opinion on the upcoming U.S. election may offend some, encourage others, confuse a few. I’ve spent my career collecting, analyzing, and disseminating predictive intelligence to senior U.S. decision makers. The stakes were high, bad intelligence costs lives. Personal bias was unacceptable – objectivity, accuracy, timely information essential.

Newsflash – Donald Trump did not win the Presidency in 2016 because he was a nice guy. Both political parties despised him; he wasn’t “presidential,” spoke plainly, and offended many by his style. Media labeled him a racist and a fascist.

Regardless, Trump won by a sizable electoral margin. With the exception of a few very populous counties in New York and Los Angeles, he was supported by most of the nation geographically and popularly. Why?

Americans were tired of the Washington and media elite who lost touch with people. They were tired of lying politicians calling their opponents liars, of global corporations shipping jobs overseas to authoritarian regimes, making illegal immigration easier than legal immigration, and fighting wars that we would not win.

Americans were tired of a justice system that favored the rich ruling class but crushed the most vulnerable, tired of being told that police are bad but you can’t defend yourself, or that the color of your skin makes you racist. They were tired of tech moguls selling their data like modern day slave traders, and fed up with a corporate media complex shaping minds like play-dough for profit.

The political spin aside, racists don’t create opportunity zones for minorities and increase minority support from 8 percent to 25 percent to 30 percent in polls. Fascists don’t deregulate, or allow decentralized authority. Inslee locked down Washington, not Trump. Cuomo caused the unnecessary death of elderly with Covid-19 policy, not Trump.

Americans are tired of being told how to think, what to believe, that violent protest is good but going to church is bad. America pushed back in 2016. They hired Donald Trump – not because he was a nice guy, but because he fights for America. I predicted his victory in 2016. It will be bigger in 2020.

James McKinney

Blaine

The Editor:

A race I usually don’t pay much attention to has caught and sustained my interest this campaign season. Gael Tarleton is running for Secretary of State against the incumbent.

Every time I listen to Gael speak, I’m more impressed with her. She has a longstanding background in national security. She is passionate about protecting the security of our elections and each person’s vote. She has specific plans to overcome any barriers that potential voters experience to increase the numbers of people who participate in our elections. She has a longstanding relationship with the legislature so she knows how to work with that body to pass legislation that will enhance voting in Washington.

Gael Tarleton is an indefatigable worker. She will work tirelessly to keep our elections safe, secure and fair for all citizens.

Trust is paramount in our elections. I know that Gael will earn your trust so that you will know your vote is safe. Vote Gael Tarleton for Secretary of State.

Lucy Morse

Ferndale

The Editor:

Jeff McClure, resident of Bellingham and a civic-minded leader is seeking our votes to continue his service to our county and its communities as commissioner for the Whatcom County Public Utility District (PUD). He has already demonstrated his firm grasp of the challenges we face in Whatcom County to manage the complex issues facing the industries and businesses that rely on a well-managed supply of this precious resource. And he understands the delicate balance between the need to keep the supply reliable while addressing the environmental concerns that surround it.

Jeff has established himself in our communities as a creative person whose work as an architect has enhanced our business districts and neighborhoods with award-winning designs we all enjoy. His well-managed architectural business is a testament to his organizational and motivational skills. For me, working with him has always been a great experience. Jeff listens, clearly understands the goals and delivers the solution. These are the same qualities that are the reason for trusting him in the challenging role of a PUD commissioner.

But beyond the obvious professional qualities we can all see are the personal strengths that Jeff has been willing to use in a wide array of civic roles. His participation on boards, community planning groups and the arts has made our communities better and clearly qualifies Jeff to receive our ongoing support as we vote for the one who fills this important position.

Bob Libolt

Lynden

The Editor:

When is enough, enough? The Democrats in the state legislature wrote and passed a budget that increased spending by $8 billion dollars, a 17 percent increase. This is far above the cost of living and rate of population growth in the state of Washington. Does your household budget go up by 17 percent a year?

After 40 years of Democrat single-party rule, Washington state has long since abandoned any semblance of governmental checks and balances. Governor Jay Inslee and the Democrats have never seen a tax increase they will not embrace. We cannot afford to send anymore Democrats to Olympia because they show such indifference to the budgets of ordinary taxpayers. We can’t afford any more tax increases. Vote Culp for governor and Luanne Van Werven and Jennifer Sefzik for the state House of Representatives.

Joan Dow

Bellingham

The Editor:

So many politicians these days don’t give a darn about the voter. We, the voters, want one thing and the politicians do the opposite. I am enraged that my vote for $30 car tabs has not been honored. The elitist politicians did everything to tell me to vote “no” and after it was a “yes” vote, they used taxpayer money to delay it in court. Recently, I got a flyer from my representative saying she is fighting to honor my $30 car tab vote. Finally, it’s about time. Thank you Representative Luanne Van Werven for fighting for my voice. She has my vote.

Mark Nelson

Deming

The Editor:

Now is the time – vote for Jeff McClure. Today, we must do more than trust our gut or respond to something seen on social media. We must vote with intelligence and heart.

I have worked with Jeff McClure for over 35 years in many capacities, both professionally and in serving organizations supporting our community.

Jeff is trustworthy, educated, caring and dedicated to the work of the Whatcom County Public Utility District (PUD). Since 2008, his work at the Whatcom County PUD has focused on seeking new opportunities and growing a more engaged public utility district.

Access to high-speed internet might not seem a high priority considering all the issues we face today. But, when a community lacks internet access, its economy can suffer as residents deal with limited educational and employment opportunities.

There are 13 PUDs in our state that provide wholesale broadband telecommunications. It is time for Whatcom County to be one of them. Broadband will provide high-speed, high-capacity, reliable internet. Jeff has fully participated in laying the groundwork for better connectivity in Whatcom County. He will get this done.

Read about Jeff. Call him. Ask questions. If you do, I am convinced you will join me in voting for Jeff McClure for Whatcom County PUD Position 1. Thank you for voting.

Teri Treat

Ferndale

The Editor:

When I think of the character traits I want in a judge, multiple adjectives come to mind. There are obvious ones such as impartiality, fairness and a strong moral code, but also less obvious ones such as empathy and a willingness to forgive.

I began researching who I would vote for in the Whatcom County elections for Superior Court Judge, and I was pleased to find that James Erb embodied all of these and more. This is best displayed through his work on behalf of the Nooksack Indian Tribe in a child dependency case. In this case, children that had been removed from their parents' care due to substance use disorders were not permitted to transfer their guardianship to their grandparents. This was because one of them had a criminal record that dated back many years. James Erb successfully advocated for an exception to the state's policy rule, and the children were placed in their care. Without his efforts, a family could have been split up, instead, they stayed together.

Efforts like this one show James Erb is a creative problem solver with the strong moral code needed to judge citizens of Whatcom County. He demonstrated the empathy and willingness to forgive that any judge needs when it comes to dealing with returning citizens. Judges need to be able to not only recognize when someone deserves punishment, but also when a person has successfully reformed. If you want a judge who is committed to the everyday people of Whatcom County, vote James Erb.

Finn Calvert

Bellingham

The Editor:

I am writing to encourage everyone to vote to retain Jeff McClure as commissioner of Whatcom County Public Utility District 1 (PUD).

Building public utility infrastructure is a complex task, requiring integration of the diverse interests and perspectives of cities, counties, tribes, agriculture and industry. It’s vitally important work. I am grateful for the PUD’s recent and continued work to improve water quality, as well as working to expand broadband access throughout the county – construction on this groundbreaking project will begin early in 2021. And, not unimportantly, the PUD has accomplished its work without new tax levies.

I’m also excited about future PUD projects. Jeff has been instrumental leading the PUD in partnership with the Port of Bellingham and Whatcom County mayors in an effort to develop 200-300 acres of land at Cherry Point. By supplying the necessary infrastructure for a Clean Energy Industrial Park, the PUD will help create well-paid jobs to support our community’s transition to a clean energy economy, without leaving our industries and hardworking citizens behind.

Jeff’s training and practice as an architect has developed his talent for creating comprehensive visions, and has given him the skills to assimilate and synthesize component parts that bring the vision to life. His involvement with public and private partnerships gives him a practical base of experience.

Projects the PUD undertake often take years to negotiate and implement. That’s why experience matters – without Jeff on the board, only one commissioner will have more than two years’ experience.

Good ideas are a dime a dozen. Good ideas without the persistence and skill to bring them to fruition means perpetuation of status quo. Making positive change requires application of diverse skills. That’s why I support Jeff McClure for PUD commissioner.

Jeff Arvin

Bellingham

The Editor:

When public leaders make decisions that have unexpected consequences, shouldn’t they be held accountable?

Governor Jay Inslee and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz always campaign to protect the Puget Sound region from environmental degradation. Yet recent decisions they made has had the opposite effect. They actually denied permits that would have kept mile-long coal trains from spewing diesel exhaust, coal dust and congestion through the region.

Here’s what happened: When American allies in Asia – Japan and South Korea – signed the Paris Climate Accords transitioning from coal, they sought a temporary source for cleaner low-sulfur coal found in ample supply in Montana and Wyoming. But Inslee and Franz denied permits to build a safe export facility near Longview on the Columbia River.

But for two years the coal has been coming into the state near Spokane to the Tri-Cities, then down the Columbia Gorge. In Vancouver, Washington, the trains turn north and travel past Longview through Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, Everet, and Bellingham to Vancouver, B.C., where Canadian longshoremen load the coal on ships traversing the Straits of Juan de Fuca, adding even more pressure on migrating killer whales. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said no to coal shipments through the Puget Sound region once. We need to stop this madness.

Please let Inslee and Franz know on November 3 we expected better of them. And let the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers know they can override the politicians’ denials in order to protect Puget Sound.

Dennis Weber, Cowlitz County Commissioner

Longview

The Editor:

The race for Public Utility District (PUD) Commissioner on your ballot is more important that you might think. We need to revitalize our Whatcom PUD Commission. A PUD can help a community get cleaner, cheaper power and widespread access to affordable high-speed internet. These are essential building blocks for economic and educational success. Our own PUD needs an infusion of expertise, experience and commitment to help us achieve clean energy goals and provide family-wage jobs.

Candidate Christine Grant will bring these skills to the Whatcom PUD. She teaches energy policy at Western Washington University; has 12 years of experience consulting with electric cooperatives, utilities and government agencies; and has helped secure $25 million in competitive grant funding for clean energy and green jobs initiatives in Washington state.

Her commitment to bring high-speed broadband to all parts of our county has earned a rare endorsement from the Washington Education Association. Students can’t be equally served with quality education until all have access to high-speed internet. Our economic and business growth are also increasingly dependent on fast, reliable broadband.

Christine is endorsed by Washington Conservation Voters and labor unions, including Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local #77 and Washington Laborers Union Local #292.

Make sure you vote your ballot all the way down to weigh in on important local races. Vote Christine Grant for Whatcom PUD.

Robin Richardson

Lummi Island

The Editor:

Christine Grant is the right person to fill one of the three Public Utility District Commissioner seats.

Why? Because at this time in history bold vision is absolutely necessary in order to successfully build the public utility infrastructure that is necessary in order to meet our community's current and future needs. Even though bold vision is needed, it must be combined with the necessary experience and skills to make realization of that vision possible.

What is Christine's vision?

  • Access to broadband internet for all because that access is essential in order to successfully participate in the economic and education systems of today
  • Affordable electricity that is not dependent on increasingly costly fossil fuel generation sources
  • Meeting everyone's water supply needs(including salmon) in a fair and equitable way

How will Christine do this? 

  • By getting the money needed by using her years of experience in accessing grants and other funding sources without levying new taxes
  • By employing the skills that she teaches her energy policy students at WWU
  • By using her experience as a consultant for the last 12 years for energy co-ops, utilities and government agencies

Christine's opponent, Jeff McClure, is seeking another six-year term on the PUD Commission. His expertise is in architecture specializing in affordable housing. He is, by all accounts, a respected public servant and community member. As an affordable housing advocate, I want Jeff to be able to focus on housing.

As a citizen interested in the best public utilities, I want Christine Grant to be on our Commission. Please vote Christine Grant.

Michael Chiavario

Bellingham

The Editor:

The almost 3,000 members of the Mt. Baker Group of the Sierra Club endorse Christine Grant for Whatcom County Public Utility District Commissioner (PUD). Here’s why.

Our county PUD can be so much more than it is now. It is authorized to provide power, water and telecommunication utility services. Though it could provide services throughout the county, it currently has only one electricity customer (Phillips 66 at Cherry Point) and operates two water treatment plants. But it could build power networks based on renewable energy sources, as well as provide internet service. More than a dozen other Washington PUDs in Washington provide high-speed broadband that is faster and cheaper than ours. And we are paying the price for this gap. Many local students, businesses and people throughout the county lack reliable internet access, or any access at all.

Christine is totally onboard with maximizing PUD power to the people. 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.” She also recognizes that “internet access is no longer a luxury; it is an essential utility.”

And Christine prioritizes organized labor. For instance, she is deeply committed to assuring that changing our PUD must also include a just transition for workers – specifically in the fossil fuel energy job sector. The NW Washington Central Labor Council endorses her, which shows that she listens, does her homework and is a bridge builder.

Whatcom County needs someone on our PUD Commission committed to making the PUD work for all of us in as many ways as possible. That is Christine Grant. She is widely endorsed by nearly 150 elected officials, community members and business leaders in Whatcom County. Check out her website at grant4pud.org. The Mt. Baker Group encourages you to support her and give her your vote on November 3.

It is time for bold vision and independent thinking. Our future will be better for having Christine on Whatcom County PUD. Vote Grant.

Rick Eggerth, Chair on Mt. Baker Group Sierra Club

Bellingham

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