Letters to the editor: January 30 - February 5, 2014

Published on Wed, Jan 29, 2014
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The Editor:
I am writing this letter to thank the Blaine residents for their warm welcome to my returning home to my old job and town.
I moved from California to Washington in May 1999 and started working at Bayside Beauty salon in October 1999.
I then moved to southern Washington to pursue an opportunity in 2006. That endeavor ended up not coming to fruition. So my man and I made our way back home to Blaine.
I hadn’t realized how much I missed Blaine until I returned to my old job at Bayside Beauty where the owner Judy Dunster, the employees and customers welcomed me home with open arms.
It just goes to show that even a transplant from another state can find peace and serenity enough to call Blaine home.
Thank you.
Jennifer Taggart
Blaine

The Editor:
On Tuesday, January 21, I went to mail a letter at the post office. It was very busy, with a long line and three clerks. Then within a minute, two of the clerks shut down their counters. The line got longer – to the door. Then two other clerks reopened their counters. 
I approached the counter and asked if I had the right envelope. The clerk told me I had the wrong one so I asked her for the correct one. She grabbed it, told me the price and asked me to step aside and fill it out. I asked if I should pay for it then fill it out, rather than wait while she helped another customer. She said no so I stepped aside.
Before the next customer approached her counter I asked for the zip code for the Blaine Post Office. She told me she’d rather I use my postal box code. I told her I didn’t have one. She said, “What, are you a transient or something?” I was insulted and smugly replied, “Yeah!” I stared at her waiting for the zip code until she finally gave it to me. 
While I was filling out the envelope, another customer came in and yelled, “The Canadians are here, run!” The clerks laughed and the clerk that was helping me went so far as to say, “God, I love that woman!”
I’m trying to find the right word and not sure I’m correct in calling it racism but I know that’s exactly how it felt. This was downright rude and far from good customer service right from the beginning.
I understand the frustration of Americans with the long lines but don’t take it out on the Canadians who are making a massive contribution to the economy; tell businesses and offices to staff their customer service properly. 
At the southern border, everyone complains about Mexicans while in the north they complain about Canadians. Who are you to complain about these people? White people came to this part of the world and took from the native people and continue to do so. Human rights were and still are a big problem. I ask that you please try to refrain from insulting others; we’re all in this together. That’s life!
Carolyn Quirt
Richmond, B.C.

The Editor:
Are you aware that our local state representative, Jason Overstreet, is sponsoring House Bill 2529 in the state legislature? This bill will exempt state sales tax on firearms and firearm ammunition for the next 10 years. 
Overstreet likens firearms to food and water as a “basic necessity.” He and his fellow sponsors say this bill will cut crime in society. Overstreet is quoted as saying that it’s time to “go on the offense” and push for looser gun laws. He says there are as many Democrats as Republicans who enjoy shooting sports and we should teach our kids about safe handling of firearms.
I ask you, does this make sense? How in the world does this lead to a safer, saner environment? He supposes sport shooting will cut crime. He insinuates that a gun in everyone’s hands will make us safer. 
Where does he propose we reduce services as a result of decreased taxes? Perhaps police funding? He is mad. He calls this “a great offensive measure.” I call this just offensive.
Roger Murphy
Ferndale

The Editor:
I believe we can end homelessness with carefully developed programs and adequate funding. In 2005, the legislature enacted the use of a portion of county recording fees for programs to reduce homelessness. 
Currently, these fees provide the state’s most significant funding source for such programs. In Whatcom County, the Homeless Service Center was created and continues to be maintained using these funds. Since the center opened in 2008, overall homelessness has decreased by 34 percent. This funding also makes interagency coordination more feasible.
Unfortunately, this fee will be reduced beginning in July 2015 resulting in a loss of 62.5 percent of current funding for homelessness. If this happens, effective programs in Whatcom County will experience severe cuts or will need to close.
As for my own experience, when researching how to record a real estate document, I was rather irritated when I saw the fee I would have to pay. But when I learned the importance of this for funding homeless programs, my attitude changed. I was happy to know that I was contributing in some small way to improving the lives of my homeless neighbors.
I ask 40th and 42nd district legislators to support the passage of SB 6313 and HB 2368 to keep this funding secure.
Carol Gavareski
Bellingham

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