Letters to the Editor: October 17-23, 2019


The Editor:

On behalf of the Blaine Booster Club and Hall of Fame Committee, I would like to thank all who attended Blaine High School’s first Athletic Hall of Fame induction. The event was a huge success and the 12 individuals and one team were duly recognized for their past achievements. They were all appreciative of the honor bestowed upon them and for the fantastic crowd that attended the induction.

We would like to thank the following for their time, donations and efforts to make it so successful. A special thanks to The Northern Light and Molly Ernst for their write-up of the induction. You did a great job! Also, to Dave Freeman at AMS. Your help developing and producing the program and team certificates was amazing, and they were enjoyed by all. A special thanks to Janell Kortlever for taking pictures to immortalize the event. A special thanks to the city of Blaine, West Mechanical, Kam-Way Transportation, Jones & Jones, Border Cargo Service, TC Trading, Glen Tuski, Mike Dahl, Doug Freeman Real Estate, Chuckanut Bay Foods and Starbucks for their donations.

We look forward to hosting the second annual induction next year in September. We hope to also make it a memorable occasion for the new inductees. Hope to see you there.

Gary Clausen and Hall of Fame Committee



The Editor:

Next month we vote for the county executive, who together with the county council, leads the Whatcom County government.

I’ll be voting for Satpal Sidhu because he has the relevant experience and the depth of understanding that we need in this position.

Satpal understands what business start-ups require, having done two of his own. He connects with the ideas and needs of young people, first as dean of engineering at Bellingham Technical College and now as a board member of Whatcom Community College.

I have watched him on county council where he is clear-spoken, even-handed and a practical problem solver. He is a bridge builder and will make the county government work for all citizens, not just one group.

We especially need these traits in our next county executive, who will have to deliver visible progress on affordable housing, water quality and the opioid crisis. He will also need to face the reality of climate change, bringing with it melting glaciers, more violent storms and sea level rise. Satpal’s proposals for reducing the county’s carbon footprint and planting one million trees to capture the emissions of 30,000 cars are practical things the county can do and they have merit. 

When you vote, consider the future health and safety of ourselves, our families and the next generations and vote for Satpal Sidhu as our next Whatcom County executive. 

Charles Bailey

Lummi Island


The Editor:

Port commissioner Bobby Briscoe deserves your vote to serve another term as your port commissioner. Bobby, a longtime resident of Whatcom County and a respected commercial fisherman, was asked by his colleagues to run for port commissioner. Once elected 3.5 years ago, he has admirably stepped up, learned the workings of a large port and its many initiatives, and is now the president of the commission. He runs a fair and transparent meeting applying his common sense and honesty to decisions while always maintaining his primary goal of carefully stewarding the public’s money. We all appreciate his willingness to listen and value the opinions of the people he represents.

He deserves your vote so that he can continue the hard, collaborative work with all stakeholders to fully implement the initiatives that are in-process. From installing broadband connectivity throughout our county, to working to preserve our marine trades infrastructure so that living wage jobs are not ousted by gentrification, to looking forward to assisting our agriculture sector, he knows there is much remaining work to get done. He has earned the opportunity to continue applying his knowledge and practical common-sense approach to further developing the infrastructure and economic engine that the port provides to Whatcom County.

Deborah Rightmire Granger



The Editor:

I’m writing in support of Richard May for Blaine City Council. Richard has long been involved in the Blaine community; campaigning to save the Blaine Library, and serving on the planning commission for many years.

As a lifelong traveler and a man with many skill sets, Richard has varied experiences to draw from in helping to chart the future of Blaine. He is a good listener, straightforward, and works collaboratively. He will have my vote on November 5!

Melodie Finnson



The Editor:

Don’t let political leanings and discomfort with new kinds of faces pollute your choice for the best candidate for Whatcom County executive. There is more to our county needs than the familiar.

With a master’s degree in business administration, B.S. in electrical engineering, B.S. in math and physics and certification in project management from the University of Calgary, Satpal Sidhu landed a job as general manager/project manager for Valvoline Oil/Safety-Kleen Corp. in Anacortes and Treoil Industries Ltd. in Ferndale. He also was president of Sunlogics Inc., a solar energy company working with GM Chevy on the Volt electric car.

While working in these various technical industries, Mr. Sidhu realized that good jobs in these and other industries needed specific training, so he designed the process technology degree while dean of engineering at Bellingham Technical College.

The depth of Mr. Sidhu’s practical knowledge of how to take learning and make it work for citizens, in four languages if need be, along with his passionate energy to serve, renders him as the best possible candidate to lead Whatcom County. 

Donna Starr



The Editor:

Bobby Briscoe’s tenure as the senior member of the port commission and current president deserves support and to be re-elected.

Our current commission operates like a well-oiled machine. With representation from environmental and business interests, as well as from Bobby’s vast knowledge of ports and maritime industries from his commercial fishing background, we have a balanced and capable commission.

The law dictates that our port be an economic driver for Whatcom County. Bobby works tirelessly towards that goal. A self-sustaining port is his vision, not funded through the taxpayers’ pocketbooks. As a fisherman, Bobby witnesses first-hand the effects of climate change and believes in steady progress toward eliminating the port’s carbon footprint.

Multiple labor organizations, the fishing industry, farmers, firefighters, the Lummi Indian Business Council amongst others, support Bobby because of his common sense approach to resolve their issues.

Bobby’s dedication to his work as a commissioner is commendable; he has never missed a commission meeting and always does his homework.

Continuity in leadership is a benefit that voters can choose to accept by re-electing Bobby. He has my vote and I encourage you to give him yours.

Tanya Baumgart



The Editor:

Satpal Sidhu, candidate for Whatcom County executive, is a retired petroleum engineer. In that capacity he has worked in all of our local refineries. Several years ago, he saw a work force ready for retirement and understood there were few trained replacements.  He approached Bellingham Technical College and successfully developed a training and certification program for refinery workers. Several hundred students have completed that training and gone on to work in refineries locally and in other states. He is a job creator.

It will be awhile before we end our dependence on petroleum powered cars, boats and airplanes and until that time we will need the petroleum refineries. With that in mind, Satpal, who is also a Lynden farmer, will use his long experience to guide a wise and practical path on environmental concerns and future development in our county.

Point Roberts, Blaine, Birch Bay and Ferndale all rely on the county-funded senior centers, recreation programs, parks and museums. We all depend on county roads and water resources. We need a thoughtful long-term plan for water management to provide for towns, fish, farmers and well owners.  Mental health care and jails are separate issues and need separate facilities. Satpal has the experience of serving on the council with insight to planning and budgets to accomplish our daily and long-term needs.

Satpal looks to the future and plans for county growth and ways to enhance employment opportunities, infrastructure, water resources now and in years to come. As a 35-year Lynden farmer, he knows we must plan ahead. As a business owner and current county councilmember he has the experience and knowledge to be an effective Whatcom County executive.

Please vote for Satpal Sidhu for Whatcom County executive.

Sunny Brown

Birch Bay


The Editor:

I just have to say I love our little paper here in Blaine, The Northern Light! Some of the articles they’ve been running lately are great. They are not easy topics to talk about. Their letters to the editor with the responses to them are awesome.

They aren’t afraid to really get into and report on some difficult subjects. It’s awesome to read real, thoughtful journalism and not opinion pieces all the time.

Janell Todhunter Kortlever

Via Facebook


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