Letters to the Editor: September 6 - 12, 2012

Published on Wed, Sep 5, 2012
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The Editor:

We would like to take an opportunity to thank the following businesses for allowing us to post fliers regarding the rescue of a miniature dachshund named Snoopy. Thank you to Bow Wow and Woofs, Industrial Credit Union, PetSmart and Kinko’s, and anyone else who has made donations for their support and donations for our cause. 
For an update on Snoopy’s recovery and to make donations please visit drnc.org or follow him on Facebook. 

Debbie Henderson 
Birch Bay

The Editor:

Let’s look at the image of the American flag and the word “justice,” this time from a different perspective. Let us, for a moment, picture the image of a young woman. She lives in a small country. It could be any number of countries around the planet. She hasn’t much in the way of material wealth. She is a happy person in spite of her poverty. 
She works hard and prays regularly, giving thanks to her God. Her prayers lately have been even more in earnest, for less than a year ago she gave birth to her first child. She loves, cares for and worries about her baby like most young mothers do. She is well liked by her neighbors, family and friends. It brings them joy to hear her singing and laughing through the thin walls of her home throughout the day as she works and as she bathes, feeds and plays with her baby. Despite the fact that her country is at war she is hopeful about the future. She is dedicated to giving her child the best life possible.
One day bombs explode in her neighborhood. Her home is ruined. Her child has been hit by shrapnel and lies bleeding on the floor. She picks up the baby in her arms. In anguish and shock she holds her child as the life bleeds from the infant’s broken little body. Then there is nothing but silence and grief. 
The bombs that exploded were made in America and many think that they were dropped in the name of “justice.” But who among us with any sense of humanity and decency could look into this woman’s eyes and say the word “justice”? Who could hold up an American flag with pride looking into those heartbroken eyes? 
The word written has become now just meaningless scribbles on a page. The word spoken just two garbled syllables that once uttered vanish like the wind. The flag is now just a piece of dyed cloth that could be best used only to wipe tears away from a sorrowful face or to soak up a pool of blood from the floor and then thrown away.

Jim Agnello
Birch Bay

The Editor:

I have been reading some of the blatant lies and exaggerations of so-called facts that have been published in The Northern Light regarding the coal terminal by both the opponents and proponents at Cherry Point. Let me throw my point of view into the fray. 
I have lived downwind about six miles from the Terminal Island coal terminal near Long Beach, California. The huge coal piles were watered down with sprinklers and that was supposed to reduce the amount of coal dust in the air. Not so, folks – we were dusted daily, when the prevailing northwesterly winds kicked in. 
Every morning we were treated with a light dusting of coal dust and soot. The coal dust mixed with the dew and formed an acid that ate into fiberglass material. I ultimately covered my boat with an expensive Sunbrella cover to prevent more damage – the acid then ate through the stitching in three short years.  Ask the homeowners who lived near the shoreline what it did to their furniture and their children’s health. 
Just imagine what coal dust will do to our mucus-laden lungs. Between the combination of coal dust and ongoing port operations, it’s no surprise that there was a high incidence of lung cancer and respiratory diseases in the L.A. and Long Beach harbor area (psr-la.org/issues/environmental-health/air-pollution-and-goods-movement). When we complained they blamed the freighters, but we will have those too at Cherry Point. 
One thing is for certain – we will get covered with coal dust from the huge coal piles and soot from the freighters’ smokestacks when we have a southeast wind, and our quality of life and our property values will change. Is it really worth it to give up our clear air and pristine water in exchange for obscene corporate profits? Isn’t it time that we stood up for our quality of life?

Peter Winterfeld
Birch Bay

The Editor:

I’m responding to Mickey Masdeo’s letter to the editor last week regarding the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point in which once again he has proven himself to be uninformed. 
This is the second time he has mentioned my name and tried to discredit the facts I wrote about. I wrote in my June 2012 letter to the editor expressing my opinion against the proposed GPT coal transport facility at Cherry Point. Mr. Masdeo stated that I was “highly inaccurate” when I said that 48 million tons of coal is expected to be transported (by SSA Marine) out of that facility. He said that the correct number is 24 million tons. Mr. Masdeo, I wish you would do better research and see that yes, the initial estimate of coal to be transported at GPT is about 24 million tons annually, but that at “full build-out” as noted in the permit application submitted by SSA Marine, that number is expected to be 48 million tons of coal.
Hopefully you can spend more time educating yourself by researching the facts regarding the proposed GPT instead of simply reacting to opinions that differ from yours. Maybe you might even change your opinion once you really see all the facts. 
I’ve researched the information that has been made available to the public about the GPT and to me it is a no-brainer – a small amount of jobs does not even begin to mitigate the damage that storing and transporting up to 48 million tons of coal will do to our communities, our health, our environment and even our property values. 
Wake up, Whatcom County. We will be paying for this project in new infrastructure that will be needed to handle up to 18 trains daily since we already know that Burlington Northern Santa Fe will only be paying a fraction of that. 
Most of all, we will be paying for a few very large corporations to make tons of money while we get choked by tons of toxic coal – paying not only with money, but with a huge degradation to our lives and our beautiful natural surroundings in Washington.

Sandy Robson
Birch Bay

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