Letters to the editor: January 16 - 23, 2014

Published on Wed, Jan 15, 2014
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 The Editor:
Opinion pages are important to our democracy. Opinions, informed and uninformed, share space, giving citizens an opportunity to learn of issues and gain a clue to uneducated and other perspectives.
Two issues demonstrating this are found in a recent comment about how unions need to make up their minds what they want. In essence, “Unions support the Gateway project and potential jobs in Whatcom County, while the Boeing machinists wanted to lose jobs.” 
Gateway supposedly offers jobs where there are none. The Boeing workers were to lose retirement and medical coverage benefits while Boeing management voted a 50 percent raise in stock dividends – part of their compensation package. Boeing also forced Washington to continue huge tax write-offs. Boeing celebrates their second-highest sales in company history. Who actually makes their airplanes? It is just another story of those at the top gaining on the backs of workers. This is one reason Macy’s stock increased 6 percent when 2,500 employees lost their jobs to “restructuring.”
I believe that the small growth in our economy mainly benefit those who own stocks and make profits from people who can finally afford to buy again. Time was when workers actually participated in the economic growth of this country with wages that allowed them to buy homes, education, food and furniture. Now, in new age capitalism, winners win on the backs of losers way too often.
Donna Starr 
Blaine

The Editor:
After returning home from the holidays I spent today reading through accumulated issues of The Northern Light. I don’t think that Blaine residents take the time to show their appreciation for this fine publication and I want to do that with this posting. 
We tend to take for granted what we have and in the New Year we should remedy that attitude. Also; thanks to all the people who take the time to write in and vent their opinions. We readers really do appreciate the food for thought presented, whether we agree with it or not. 
You have my kudos for a job well done. Continue the good work for this great community.
Carole Tabb
Blaine

The Editor:
Compassion, sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others; does it exist anymore? 
For the second time, someone very close to me has been in a single car accident in the Semiahmoo area, causing serious injury. The one thing that they both have in common is that many people drove by and looked but not one stopped to help or even took a second to call 911. 
It’s extremely disheartening to know that someone can just drive by a person in need. Is this the type of society we live in today, does this little community in Whatcom County need to be known for its uncaring residents, or can we do something about it? 
I just ask any of you readers to stop and help if you are ever in a similar situation as you never know whose life may depend on it. Please, as a community, let’s slow down and show a little compassion for your fellow human beings once in a while.
Garrett Barrow
Blaine

The Editor:
More oil trains are coming. An increase in the number of trains carrying oil will be coming to our county and you need to be aware of what this means for our community.
In the past six months there have been four horrific oil train explosions in Canada and the U.S. Oil from the North Dakota Bakken oil fields is more flammable than traditional oil.
The Audubon Washington has recommendations for you to pursue and act upon. Please check their website (wa.audubon.org/oil-trains) for their advice.
RE Sources for Sustainable Communities recommends that we ask our legislators to expand the state barrel tax to cover rail to go along with vessel and barge tax, close oil tax loopholes and pass an oil spill prevention act.
Learn more about what is at stake. Spread the word. Notify your elected officials of your concerns. There are steps we can take to slow the progress of these trains and also make the venture less profitable. Less potential profits may make this venture less attractive to investors and the people involved in the industry. We need less fossil fuel dependency and more sustainable resources.
Naomi Murphy
Ferndale

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