The Editor: As the idiot in the White House pushes his social agenda upon the people when there is a clear mandate from the people they don’t want it, the majority of the Blaine city council is doing the same thing. More than 70 percent of the people and businesses of this economic starved city have said they don’t want roundabouts and these pinheads still push it despite the objections of the people. When most of the businesses in the affected area are barely hanging on for dear life, the disruption of putting in these obstructions will probably cause more of them to shut their doors because whatever customers happen to stumble into this town on their way south won’t be able to get to these businesses. It was only a few years ago when this city wasted a few million dollars to put in streetlights and now they are wasting $7.2 million of your tax dollars to put these in which no one wants. All the money this city has wasted over the last 20 years in the hopes of driving more people to this city has done the opposite and drove them away and these traffic circles will do more damage to the city, its business climate or lack thereof and will lead to more traffic accidents. Do I hear the word recall anywhere? These pinheads couldn’t manage a toilet let alone a city, so let’s have a recall and flush these fools out of office before they flush the city and the businesses away with their stupidity. David White Blaine
(Editor’s Note: The roundabouts are a federally-funded DOT project with the exception of $70,000 from city funds to pay for lighting upgrades consistent with the turn-of-the century theme indicated in the city’s comprehensive plan.)
The Editor: Seven years ago, Larry Bellamy was a guest at the Westview Motel. He departs as the Seascape condominium manager. His life has been turned around, thanks to the VA, medicine, prayerful church support at the United Church and his own persistence. In late May, he is returning to North Carolina to be remarried to his former wife Gloria on the occasion of their 35th wedding anniversary. Larry’s story is a great example of the power of the Holy Spirit working in this community and the lives of those surrounding it. We will miss and remember him with thanks. Joel Douglas Bellingham
The Editor: Community and technical colleges, like Whatcom Community College and Bellingham Technical College, have been hailed as an important solution to our ailing economy. These colleges, with an open door policy, create hope for a better life through education. Whether it’s access to a four-year college degree, an opportunity to learn skills for a trade or profession, or even a chance to start on a later-in-life new career, the community and technical colleges do the job and do it in a cost-effective manner. Our students tell us, “We are the future of this community: Wouldn’t you like us to be educated?” “While a cut in state funding for education would relieve pressure now, an educated public is essential for future economic stability.” These are the voices of Whatcom Community College students, numbering over 7,000 at our school each quarter. They understand just how critical education and a trained workforce are to turning around this recession. Our enrollment is up almost 13 percent this quarter and over the past three years it’s grown 20 percent. Our growth in worker retraining students (laid off workers) has skyrocketed by almost 100 percent in just one year. We have exhausted our financial aid for this program, but we continue to help any student coming through the door in search of a better life. Budget cuts for community colleges have reached more than 11 percent in the past year, with more on the horizon. Like other state agencies, we have managed to serve our clients, the students, doing more with less. But there are two programs slated to be eliminated that are especially concerning: the state’s need grants and the work study program. Washington’s state Need Grant, which helps nearly 43,000 of our lowest income families, would leave many eligible students unable to continue or even begin their studies. Without this assistance, students will be forced to take fewer classes, work more, borrow more, or simply drop out altogether. The other program, the state’s Work Study, gives practical experience students need to qualify for jobs that desperately require a trained workforce. In healthcare and technology, for example, they will make Whatcom County a place where businesses both small and large can expand. Community colleges are mandated by the state to offer open access throughout the community. Laid off workers need retraining, retired citizens need retooling, and the general student population needs the workforce education and academic degrees. We are delivering on our mission and looking to more and creative ways to do so, such as a new online nursing program to train the nurses we need for the future. However, the consequences of lack of investment in the community and technical college system will impact students and our community for years to come, slowing down the state’s drive towards economic recovery. Education provides the tools to a better life and a community where we don’t leave behind those who wish to contribute to a society that works for all of us. Community and technical colleges are valuable state investments that pay huge dividends towards our economic vitality, now and right into the future. Please help us keep our doors open and encourage our legislators to step up and support us as the valuable economic resource we are and will continue to be. Sue Cole, Barbara Rofkar, Chuck Robinson, Steve Adelstein and Tim Douglas Board of trustees, Whatcom Community College
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