Letters to the Editor -- April 17, 2003

Published on Thu, Apr 17, 2003
Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Protesters have no control over war
The Editor:

Those anti-war demonstrators give me a pain where I sit. Here they are protesting against something they have no control over and never will have. They will never change the direction of this country�s actions.
If they put half as much effort into protesting against these things that they do have control over, for example, education cuts, tuition rate increases, the proposed gas tax (to which the people of this state overwhelmingly said no) and house bill 1079 which gives state tuition rates to illegal immigrants (which both of your local representatives voted for) which also means that the difference will have to be made up by the rest of the legal citizens, then maybe this state wouldn�t be the second highest taxed state in the nation.
So for most of you anti-war protesters who don�t even know what you�re protesting against, take your heads out of your butts and protest the things that will affect things that are a part of your everyday lives and have a direct effect on not only your well being but the well being of the people who pay the bills, your parents. It�s about time you started doing something for them, after all they have done for you.
Dave White
Blaine

Total support for Bush
The Editor:

As our nation enters a time of war against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, I want to express my total support for President George W. Bush. He has had to make some difficult decisions in the past months and will have to make more in the days and weeks ahead.
The world has changed since 9/11 and President Bush understands that our world will never be safe again unless we take vigorous action against terrorists and nations that harbor and train terrorists. We must never allow another 9/11 to happen on our soil.
I, for one, support our president in his efforts to protect our nation from terrorism, and I am praying for him daily. I urge others to pray for him, too.
Dick & Barbara Preston
Bothell, WA

Grazing a serious issue
The Editor:

It�s time for the citizens of the state of Washington to decide if they want to subsidize grazing. In much of the rural areas this has become a very contentious issue. So much so that the small time media and some of the politicians are trying to misrepresent and confuse the issues.
The grazing takes place on 800,000 acres the state manages for the citizens of Washington. These lands are held in trust. The beneficiaries of the trust are our children�s schools. The law states that the only use of these lands is to raise money for the beneficiaries. The leaseholders are paying into this trust. From the figures that the Department of Natural Resources provided in 2001, no money reached our schools. This is an on-going problem.
The damage to private property is escalating every year. The fences that are meant to keep the cattle on state land must be maintained by the private property owner. Even though the private property owner receives no money from the state�s leases, they are the ones expected to maintain the fences. DNR says they don�t make enough money to maintain the fences, and the cattlemen say they don�t make enough money to maintain the fences. As the population density increases these policies are asking thousands of people to fence off their property. This is so a few dozen cattlemen can get subsidized grazing.
This argument over fencing and the damages caused by trespassing has created a division in our rural communities. This year the private property owners are promising to shoot the cattle when they are put out on the state land June 1.
In Stevens County, residents have tried for years to close range by petitioning the county commissioners. The county commissioners in Stevens County are so tied to the Cattleman�s Association that they would rather have a range war then close some range.
We are a schizophrenic community in the fact that we advertise our county as a retirement haven to bring in a sustainable diversity. The retirement community is looking for places like Stevens County to live in. They are not thinking they will have less rights then a trespassing cow when they move to our area. The private grazing laws state that the owner of the leased land is responsible for the containment of the livestock. This is a double standard.
The environmental damages are immeasurable. The lands are over-grazed especially during this last six years of drought. This is the same as destroying public assets. The watersheds and riparian areas are unprotected due to lack of funding. The impact on wildlife has offset the income from hunting.
Closing these ranges from grazing would not end cattle ranching. It would make it more responsible. Right now, the use of these lands is driven by the state�s and the cattleman�s greed. If the cattlemen want to do the responsible thing they will not renew their leases. For the state they should not be offering the leases.
Beef consumption has dropped off. People are eating differently today then they were in the 1890s when these laws were written. Doctors are telling people to reduce their intake of beef. We are not going to change people�s eating habits. To keep subsidizing this industry, just for the sacred cow is hurting our school�s trust. Money that could go to our schools is going into supporting grazing.
If you have a beef to settle please contact us at our website. If you would like to make a donation, or help with signatures please contact us. No debaters please. You can reach us at Citizens to End Grazing on Public Lands, P.O. Box 233, Airway Heights, WA 99001.
Terry Cunningham,
Airway Heights, WA

Healthy lifestyle
The Editor:

Daily physical activity is essential for kids and adults. Kid�s dependence on adults to drive them around represents a missed opportunity for physical activity. Thirty years ago, 65 percent of all children walked or biked to school, today only 10 percent do.
The reasons range from fear of traffic, to fear of strangers, to simply a perceived lack of time. Whatever the cause, children are paying the price: they are more sedentary, lack independence and traffic safety skills and there's a major increase in traffic going to/from schools. It�s time for �kids walk and roll to school!�
The bike to work and school organization has been awarded a yearlong grant from the Whatcom County physical activity coalition and will work with Columbia elementary school on the project. The kids walk and roll to school team, composed of energized teachers/staff, parents, kids, neighborhoods and community organizations will collaborate and utilize the CDC kids walk-to-school guide, safe routes to school toolkit and local expertise in designing a program to get kids to school safely, under their own power.
Kids walk and roll will result in a healthy, physically active lifetime habit for children and participating adults as well as reduce traffic in school neighborhoods.
As Jeff Koplan of the center for disease control states, �Automobile trips that can be safely replaced by walking or bicycling offer the first target for increased physical activity in communities.� For more information, call 650-0515.
Donna Merlina,
Project Coordinator
Bellingham, WA

Letters Policy
The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank-you letters should be limited to 10 names. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
E-mail:editor@thenorthernlight.com

Letters Policy

The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please email letters to letters@thenorthernlight.com