Letters to the Editor: September 12-18, 2019


The Editor:

I would like to thank Lily Kerlin for her courageous and insightful letter published in the August 29 – September 4 edition of The Northern Light. The Northwest Washington Fair is a highlight of the summer, a place for family fun and celebration of what makes our unique corner of America such a great place in which to live.

While Lily is correct in pointing out the fact that all citizens are entitled to freedom of expression, there is a time when good judgement should be exercised, and the feelings of others taken into account. Vulgar statements and crude images of any kind have no place at an event such as the fair. If political preferences (or any other controversial opinion) must be expressed in such a setting, they should be limited to wholesome comments and endorsements, not tasteless and crude negativity.

As adults, we have an obligation to be positive role models for young people. We would not tolerate hats, shirts and stickers like those mentioned by Lily at public places like school. The fair is also a public place where many kids gather. The management of the fair should adapt similar standards to schools for what may be sold, seen or given away to the kids who attend their event.

Kids are learning every moment of every day, not just in school. We, as adults, must strive to make sure that what they are exposed to is respectful of the rights of others and uplifting, no matter what the venue.

Thanks, Lily, for a great wake-up call.

Bryan Johnson



The Editor:

The future health and safety of Whatcom County citizens are in voters’ hands this fall. At issue is the expansion of new fossil fuel projects at Cherry Point. Industry pressures to increase the export of highly volatile unrefined fuels, coal and gas from the west coast have put Whatcom County and Cherry Point in their crosshairs.

If Satpal Sidhu is elected as county executive and Natalie McClendon is elected to the district 5 council seat (which includes Blaine, Ferndale, Birch Bay and Lummi Island), they will support the current county council work to restrict unrestrained expansion at Cherry Point.

County council has proposed sensible amendments to the comprehensive plan for Cherry Point, prohibiting any new piers and fossil fuel projects which would increase transport and export of unrefined fossil fuels. At the same time, the amendments protect existing industries and refineries, allowing limited expansion to safeguard their competitive viability and protect the jobs they provide.

However, opposition to the council’s efforts has resulted in very large sums of money from the fossil fuel industries flowing to Tony Larson’s campaign for county executive and Ben Elenbaas’ campaign for the district 5 county council seat. Because I support moving towards cleaner energy, job retraining as needed and a healthy environment, I will be voting for Satpal Sidhu for county executive and Natalie McClendon for the district 5 seat.

I am also voting to re-elect Carol Frazey to her at-large council position to continue her good work. Winning these races is critical if we want responsible development at Cherry Point and a healthy environment for ourselves, our families and future generations.

Judy Bush

Lummi Island


The Editor:

It was Labor Day, with westerly swells in excess of two inches inundating Birch Bay directly out on the open water of the Georgia Strait and, beyond the horizon, Hurricane Dorian was wreaking havoc in the Caribbean. Alf and Shaun (last name omitted to protect their humility and because it is disclosed below) navigated the crabbing vessel “POS,” with a full limit of crab from blue water toward the safety of the Birch Bay Village (BBV) marina.

Approaching the safe harbor, they noticed a small boat about a quarter mile off of their starboard quarter bow with numerous individuals, as they described, “appearing to be doing jumping jacks or attempting to fly.” Upon closer observation, they concluded that the flappers were waving their arms in an appeal for assistance. In keeping with maritime aid protocol, they altered course and found the disabled boat and crew in need of a tow to the BBV gas dock. Fighting the slack tide and limited visibility from the oppressive sunshine on a brutal 75-degree day, the rescuers secured a tow line and were able to safely deliver the distressed vessel and crew to the dock at speeds occasionally exceeding two knots!

These good Samaritans delayed their crab processing, and nearly missed their tee-off time in order to save these strangers. Furthermore, the conflicted Canadians declined an offer of beer from the grateful skipper of the runabout even though their neighbors in Pirates Cove, BBV could have shared it.

In a time when international relations can be stressed, we should be grateful for selfless humanitarians like the Kellners for their courage and compassion.

Bob Edwardsen



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