Letters to the Editor -- January 11, 2007

Published on Thu, Jan 11, 2007
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
When can veterans in north Puget Sound area expect a satellite health care clinic? This is the question raised by 100,000-plus veterans who reside in a five-county area. We feel the size of our veteran population warrants serious consideration in establishing a health care clinic in our region.

Many veterans choose to go without basic eye, dental, hearing, or medical care due to the day-long trip of 200 miles through traffic for an appointment at Seattle V. A. hospital. It is even more arduous for disabled or elderly veterans.

Records show there are 624,000 male and 48,000 female veterans in our state. We are ranked third in the nation for veterans. Unfortunately, our state is ranked 48th in federal funding for veterans and state funding is only $26 million. Eastern states’ funding and facilities is much better. Washington state veterans are like forgotten heroes.

Twenty-nine thousand-plus injured in the middle east military operations will soon need mental and physical therapy as they return to civilian life. Their families need financial assistance. State economists predict 500,000 people will migrate to our state by 2010 for jobs and retirement; many will be veterans.

A request for satellite health care clinic for the north Puget Sound area has been sent to the secretary of the veteran’s affairs office in Washington, D.C. This request must be presented to congress for approval and funding before any local action on site location can take place.

If you have not done so, please write your federal/state elected people stating that a veteran satellite health care clinic in north Puget Sound is of critical need. My veteran brothers and sisters will be grateful!
Earl M. Erickson
Blaine

The Editor:
My parents came to Stafholt Good Samaritan Center recently. The past few months have filled our lives with change and uncertainty. Through it all we have been thankful to friends from our church and community for their support and love.

As a pastor, I have experienced senior care facilities that have been lifeless, drab, and depressing; facilities where care was mechanical and often little more than perfunctory.

The delightful painting/remodeling at Stafholt adds warmth and spirit. Those who work at Stafholt honor their mission statement, (a place where) “In Christ’s love everyone is someone!”

My parents are cared for at Stafholt with great competence, dignity, respect and love. Thank you, all of you, our friends at Stafholt. We could not ask for more!

Our Blaine community is blessed to have such a beautiful fine facility!
Bob and Sharon Rieke
Bellingham

The Editor:
As we look forward to a new and busy year, on behalf of the Birch Bay community, I want to take the time to thank Whatcom County for its support for the unincorporated urban growth areas of the county on the issues of planning and development. The continuing growth and development requires urban solutions uncommon to the usual rural county modes of operation.
The community wishes to single out Hal Hart, director of planning and development, to personally thank him for so skillfully bridging the divide between all the competing interests in our community. No one has worked as hard and accomplished so much over the years we’ve been working together to make Birch Bay a better place to live, work and play.

New assistant director, Dennis Rhodes, has contributed considerable professional and organizational skills. Both communicate well the need to balance urban and rural needs throughout the county. We wish to thank county executive Pete Kremen for his foresight and the Whatcom County council for their support.

We appreciate the partnership that has developed to address issues and solve problems in the unique circumstances of unincorporated urban growth areas being administered by rural/county government.
Kathy Berg, chair Birch Bay
Steering Committee
Blaine

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