Letters to the editor: June 13-19, 2013

Published on Thu, Jun 13, 2013
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The Editor:
Recently, the state released its economic forecast for the upcoming 2013–2015 budget cycle. Shortly after, Senator Doug Ericksen released his interpretation of the forecast.
“Sen. Ericksen’s update – state tax receipts grow by $2 B; No need for new taxes.”
At the same time the Washington State budget and policy center released its opinion of the same forecast. “Today’s forecast shows state tax revenue remains short
of need.”
The Budget and Policy Center goes on to say, “Without new resources, it will be impossible for policymakers to develop a state budget that responsibly maintains services and other critical investments that create jobs and support a strong state economy.”
Just like the Paul Ryan budget, Republican math doesn’t add up.
Bob Seaman
Custer

The Editor: 
A fine young gentleman came to the visitor center and made a donation to our fireworks fund. Thank you, Quentin, you’re a kid to be proud of!
Carroll Solomon
Blaine Visitor Information Center

The Editor:
I was pleased the Lummi Nation presented the beautiful play, “What About Those Promises,” depicting their heritage and the misrepresentation of government leaders in treaty negotiations. We are so fortunate to have the Lummis living among us and willing to let us learn about their history and traditions.
I, for one, believe there is much we must learn about all the suffering our forefathers brought upon their ancestors.
It was also made clear that we cannot stand by and let a coal terminal threaten this heritage further. Goldman Sachs and SSA Marine already violated the rights of the Lummi Nation in 2011 when they desecrated parts of the site that are specifically designated as historically significant. (Editor’s note: The writer is referring to land clearing activities undertaken by a sub-contractor in violation of its permit.) The Lummi still fish and hold traditional ceremonies at Cherry Point, and these rights were protected by treaty. Why are we continuing to break our promises to the Lummi Nation?
Let us begin to make our word mean something and bring justice to all Americans, especially those who were here first. In looking forward to our Independence Day, let us acknowledge that we are bound to this land and this planet as one people and we need to care and protect it for all nations.
Judith Akins
Bellingham

The Editor:
It’s only June, but time flies and in no time at all the next election season will be upon us! I am interested in caring for our beautiful local environment, providing healthy habitats for fish and wildlife and protecting the area’s resource lands. The future of a healthy Whatcom County depends on who we elect come November. 
So I have a few questions for voters to ponder over the coming summer days: Why don’t we have a balanced planning commission that listens to and appreciates the opinions of all our citizens and represents the values of their constituents? Why is there so much waste of taxpayer dollars to litigate cases that don’t protect critical areas? Who will have a vision to provide financial necessities over the next years such as adequate services for water, sewer, proper police and fire protection? Don’t we always want to comply with the growth management laws?
Please enjoy these lovely Whatcom County summer days, but please be thoughtful about who will be elected come cold, windy November.
Annie Welch
Bellingham

The Editor:
I hope that people still undecided about the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point were among the audience for the June 1 theater production of “What About Those Promises?” at Bellingham High School. Through wonderful and accessible theater, the play offered a short course on the long history that has separated the Lummi people from their traditional lands.
Those original lands included the area of Cherry Point, which was taken from the Lummi by fraud and coercion in the many years following the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliot. While possession of the area has been contested since the 1870s, the Lummi Nation’s reverent and passionate connection with these historical lands continues.
Existing industrial development has already degraded their heritage around Cherry Point; this must not be continued with a huge coal terminal. Enough is enough! 
It is no surprise that the Lummi Nation opposes the terminal, with the support of many other tribes. We should respect tribal members’ rights to historical sites. It’s our responsibility to join them in standing up prevent this project. I thank all of those involved in the theater production for telling their story so well.
Hank Kastner
Bellingham

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