First, I support all border agents. The work they do is difficult. However, the story about the elderly woman from Canada who died in Drayton Harbor was disturbing.
This woman was obviously very lost. She had missed Vancouver altogether. She had traveled a long way, and it was late at night. Night driving is challenging for many and even more so in unknown areas. Fatigue also affects driving. Unfamiliar roundabouts can be more confusing.
I think this tragedy could have been prevented. The agent could have had her pull over to the side. Then he/she could have had her call her family, or call the Blaine police. The police could then have led her back to the border.
In the future, agents should be more aware of the condition of the drivers they encounter. It could save a life.
Over the past month or so, we have been inundated with propaganda opposing I-976, including an editorial thinly disguised as a news report in this paper. All of the propaganda trumpets the “loss” to the state of $4.2 billion and how devastating that loss is going to be. Not one of the pieces sent out mentions a key fact, however. The only way the state can “lose” $4.2 billion is to allow us, the taxpayers, to keep our own hard-earned money.
Given the fact that the legislature down in Olympia passed 12 new taxes and tax increases (advisory votes 19-31 in your ballot), it seems to me that they have plenty of money. Here’s a novel thought: what if the government were to create a budget whereby they lived within their means and we kept more of our money? After all, we don’t get to just mandate a raise if we overspend our salaries. Vote yes on I-976 next week.
I’d like to respectfully address a letter to the editor from the October 24-30, 2019 issue alleging “over-patrolling” and “over-policing.” I’m very interested in public safety, having worked in the field back east, and I support many municipal agencies on the West Coast as a consultant.
I know of many locals who are appalled by distracted drivers and speeders along Peace Portal Drive and elsewhere. Despite stop signs surrounded by flashing red lights 24/7, many drivers are oblivious to their existence. If you try to cross Peace Portal Drive in a designated crosswalk near Starbucks or Edaleen Dairy, you had better have your life insurance paid up. I’ve been there with my dog, having three to four drivers ignore me and actually hit the gas.
I lived in Canada for several years. Many of my Canadian friends are equally appalled by what they see here. Of note, B.C. generally has lower speed limits than Washington state and the RCMP enforces them. In Washington, exceeding the maximum speed limit can be considered proof of reckless driving (with evidence of wanton and willful disregard to uphold a conviction).
I supported many Blaine officers in the past at large public events. I’ve known them to be very professional and reasonable, and they honestly wish to serve the citizens and visitors of Blaine. Just because you see an officer pull someone over, it doesn’t guarantee that a written violation will be issued. Many verbal warnings are given and, in some cases where speed could warrant a reckless driving charge (a gross misdemeanor), people have been shown some leniency.
Last December, an elderly person was struck in the crosswalk in front of the Blaine Police Department after the Christmas tree lighting. Not long ago, someone was caught doing over 100 mph in a 35 mph zone in an attempt to beat the train. Need I say more?