Letters to the editor: April 24รข30, 2014

Published on Wed, Apr 23, 2014
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The Editor:
I have a solution to the stop sign issues and woes at H Street and Peace Portal Drive. Abolish it, and rather than focusing stops on this one traffic intersection, patrol the entire length of Peace Portal.
As it’s a State Highway, it really doesn’t make sense to have a stop sign there – it’s a T intersection and there hasn’t been a stop sign there but only for the last 10 years or so.
I would say most traffic infractions at this intersection could be considered “California stops.” I believe brake lights need to be showing for three full seconds. Yeah I know, when does that happen, unless you’re being extra careful, as you see a patrolman hiding, or dozy.
Of course folks that totally miss the stop sign and sail through are dangerous and I’ve seen it happen. I’ve also seen people slow down, look for officers and keep on rolling.
But isn’t it also dangerous to have folks sailing down Peace Portal, many times right by my coin/antique shop going 35, 45 or even 50 mph or more, then braking hard for the H Street sign, or even keep going?
So the ticket, if they get one, is for a stop sign infraction, when the more dangerous problem is someone speeding through town, with their vitamins and China-made shoes Amazon purchase.
How much more likely is it for a bad accident resulting in death or injury to happen in one location versus the many intersections on Peace Portal Drive in the downtown and surrounding area?
Install more obvious (mid-block, every block) 25 mph speed-limit signs the length of Peace Portal and ditch the dang stop sign.
Bill Becht
Blaine

The Editor:
Calling all Legos, old and new. The Blaine Public Library will be starting a Lego Club as part of the summer reading program and beyond. We are looking for new or gently used Lego sets for the 7–12 age group. If you have Legos you are no longer using or would like to purchase new, please bring them to the Blaine Library or contact me at 360/305-3600.
Cindy Leffel
Public services assistant, Whatcom County Library System

The Editor:
The state legislature just concluded its short session with a distinctly short record of accomplishments. In an oft-repeated pattern, good bills passed the House of Representatives, many with bipartisan support, but were killed in the Republican-controlled Senate. Our own Republican Sen. Doug Ericksen often wielded the dagger, sometimes killing many jobs as well.
The legislature thus failed to pass a supplemental capital budget, and a transportation package, which between them would have created thousands of jobs across the state and addressed serious issues such as classroom shortages, inadequate mental health care, clean water and our crumbling highway infrastructure (remember the Skagit River bridge?).
Another bill critical to the safety of our communities and the security of our state’s transportation networks was the Oil Transportation Safety Act, a priority for first responders. Thanks to the obstructionist politics of Sen. Ericksen and other Republican “leaders,” that bill also died in the Senate.
Sen. Ericksen, who recently embarrassed our county by accepting more free meals from lobbyists than any other state legislator, has frequently obstructed popular bills that would have brought great benefit to our state and our county. Who is this great friend of lobbyists actually working for in Olympia? Not, it would seem, for us ordinary citizens (and voters).
Ken Kaliher
Bellingham

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