Letters to the Editor - October 15 - 21, 2009

Published on Wed, Oct 14, 2009
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The Editor:
Whatcom County is a place in which most of us chose to live. The beauty of the bay, the ruggedness of the mountains, the fertility of the farmland, the myriad recreational opportunities are all an undeniable draw. Like me, Ken Mann has chosen to live here, but in addition, he has chosen to serve this community by running for county council. He brings to Whatcom County his energy and experience, his commitment to wise and intentional growth, his dedication to preserve the unique characteristics of this county. Welcome. Vote for Ken Mann, county council.
Erika Malone

The Editor:
Some folks along Semiahmoo Drive have found non-stamped political screed from unidentified sources in their mailboxes of late, delivered by supporters of anti-incumbent candidates for the Whatcom County Council. Politics is politics, and free speech is a given, but use of the U.S. postal boxes in this way is a federal offense. These candidates should call a halt to this practice, and the culprits better hope they aren’t caught.
Keats Garman

The Editor:
I am writing in opposition to I-1033. As bad as things are now, they will only get worse if this passes. Under this initiative nursing home care, in-home care and adult day care will be far more costly or not available. Proposed cuts in the Basic Health Plan would be made permanent. Fewer people will be eligible and cost will increase.
If you think health care is unaffordable now, just wait. Consider just a few of the groups that are opposed to I-1033. They include Children’s Alliance, Community Health Network of Washington, Group Health Cooperative, Washington State Hospital Association, Washington State Nurses Association, and the Washington State Labor Council are only a few who say no to I-1033.
Please vote no on I-1033.
Jean Savidge

The Editor:
We need a council member who is not a professional politician which would be a refreshing change and long overdue.
Michelle Luke is known for listening to all sides before making a decision and she is solutions-oriented, which is what we need at this time. She is respectful of all people, even those who have a different opinion from her own.
Michelle Luke wants to serve the people of Whatcom County, not special interest groups. She will always put the needs of our community above her own. I appreciate her deep devotion to the citizens of our county so please join me and vote to elect Michelle Luke for county council! Thank you.
Judy Criscuola

The Editor:
Blaine has been fortunate to have a number of dedicated people who have worked tirelessly to promote this city and develop, or protect, its assets. People like Debbie Harger, Bruce and Sandy Wolf, Carroll Solomon, Kimberli Shea, Jim Jorgensen and, in more of a support capacity to others in charge, Terry Galvin.
Unfortunately, Terry’s position on making developers responsible for following the law, paying impact fees, and safeguarding the environment allowed his detractors to turn those causes against him and, by some mysterious power brokering, were able to convince the majority of Blaine City Council to ask for Terry’s resignation.
Another contractor, who is eco-responsible and has also worked with Terry to get permits, told me the people of Blaine are going to suffer – with higher taxes or increased fees when the council’s plans to eliminate the impact fees become final. Does the council not understand how the city’s income stream is going to be affected by a loss of these fees?
During my comment at the city council meeting in support of Debbie Harger, I said her vocal detractor, John George, should not be trusted as he has a negative agenda. It is too bad several members of the council have joined ‘the dark side’ and sided with the developers. The damage they may cause will have to be dealt with by others down the road and in positions of authority when it is too late to assess impact fees.
What is most distressing, and ironic, is that the ravings of David White about the city council now appear to have been spot on.
Karl King

The Editor:
What people don’t remember is that the Marxist philosophy came into our country following World War II with the object of infiltrating America through its educational system. In 1965 the NEA president was a registered communist. Does that tell you anything about our school’s curriculum?
1959 was the year they infiltrated the Democratic Party and terminated the House Congressional Committee on Un-American Activities. The committee warned us the enemy wanted to control our land and water through environmental policies. The control of our properties through legislation and bureaucratic regulations may be the reason for the demands on our properties.
Now it appears we have four progressives controlling our county council, with Ken Mann again trying to gain a seat. Even with the help of Acorn in his bid to unseat Sam Crawford, he lost.
They say his money comes the “East.” Who knows? Will the four independent property rights candidates: Knutzen, Tiegrob, Kerchner, and Luke be able to win any positions at all? Let’s vote for them. We’ll see in November.
Vote yes on 1033; reject 71.
Martin Van Buren

The Editor:
Kathy Kershner is a candidate who brings a depth of public service and knowledge of our local community to the office of county council that will bring the growth and vitality that the people expect.
Her background as a business owner and officer in the Naval Reserve has given her the skills she will put to good use in her capacity as county councilwoman. In these roles she has learned the value of transparency and accountability, both qualities that voters today require of their representatives.
A significant part of Kathy’s career was devoted to a large service organization that provides, among others, employment programs for Whatcom, Skagit, Island and Snohomish counties, and she rose to the position of administrator of these programs.
Four generations of Kathy’s family live in Whatcom County. Her roots are here and with the people she hopes to represent. With the qualifications she brings to the table I can think of no better candidate than Kathy Kershner for the office of county council, seat three.
Richard Hunter

The Editor:
The summer is over and fall is now in full swing. The city is planning on finishing our 2009 work plan for Salishan, Kilmer and Montfort parks.
This work includes installing three new shade trees in Salishan Park, installing some perimeter landscaping in Kilmer Park and graveling dirt trails in Montfort Park before winter sets in. The city will be using a local landscaping company for Salishan and Kilmer parks but we could really use help in Montfort Park.
Now more than ever, the city’s park budget is facing some challenging realities and if the Neighborhood Parks Association would be willing to help out, it would really make a difference. Last year the Montfort neighborhood came together and formed a work party that spread gravel on the trails in the Montfort Park and it really worked great for everyone involved.
The city is willing to use some of the last remaining funds for 2009 to have gravel delivered to the park, but we do not have the budget to hire a landscape company to spread the gravel. If this is something you wish to pursue, please organize, pick a date and let us know.
If other park-related issues come up, please don’t hesitate to contact me or your parks board liaison as follows:
Salishan: Amanda Dahl, congodahls@hotmail.com or Jan Hansen, jgh1167@verizon.net;
Kilmer: Shelly Button, buttonfive@gmail.com; Brickyard: Tiiu Kuuskmann, tiiuk@comcast.net; Montfort: Joan Clark, zeroavenue@hotmail.com or Terry Johnston, terry@nwrecreation.com
Alex Wenger

The Editor:
Last weekend my friend and I borrowed his girlfriend’s car to do a bit of local exploration: Whatcom County style. We headed out through Nooksack and onto South Pass Road, stuffed $2 into a can in trade for a bag of local hazelnuts, toddled around Silver Lake and completed our journey with a pint at the North Fork Brewery.
Whatcom County you are an outstanding place – you keep it rural, you keep it clean, you keep it wide open and green. I found myself fast forwarding 30 years and considering, for a moment, how different this same trip might look. Are we doing a good job of preserving this place?
Well, the good news is we can be. Good jobs take good leadership, good leadership takes commitment, and somewhere in there you have to spice it up with thankless appreciation, unpaid service, proven experience and above all a curious mind and good heart.
To help lead Whatcom County you need to prove that you understand and support the ideals of smarter growth, farmland preservation, a commitment to environmental quality and a strong local economy. These ideas are unique in a place like Whatcom County.
Ken Mann represents these ideals and provides me with confidence that Whatcom County will grow stronger. We need Ken Mann on county council, vote Ken Mann.
Nick Hartrich

The Editor:
The only way that I believe Blaine downtown could benefit from the Olympics or I-5, is for us to divert all traffic from Exit 276 into downtown via Peace Portal Drive.
Joel Douglas

The Editor:
Libraries are institutions that help set us apart from ignorant nations. They protect our freedom to read, freedom of ideas and freedom of information. Now we need to protect our Whatcom County libraries in the upcoming election and restore their funding so they can continue to serve the local citizens from Sumas to Sudden Valley and Deming to Blaine.
As more people have moved to the county, library usage has increased, however, the libraries have been limited to an annual budget increase of one percent. That does not even cover the cost of living increase. If the levy passes, a $200,000 home will cost about $20 per year, barely a cup of coffee per month.
I recently visited an elderly friend at an adult family home. Outreach services from the county library had just delivered a stack of books to these homebound individuals. The many children’s and teen’s programs are critical to keeping our population educated. These services are invaluable. We need to keep our dedicated library staff serving everyone, all ages.
When economic times are tough, it is even more important to support the libraries. They are a great source for books, DVDs, help with job searches, information, computer access, as well as the heart of our many rural communities.
As Walter Cronkite stated, “Whatever the costs of our libraries, the price is cheap compared to that of an ignorant nation.” We have a choice, please join me in voting yes to Proposition 1. Yes to libraries!
Candice Ambrosio

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