Letters to The Editor: April 25-May 1, 2024


The Editor:

If one doubts the power and reach of local, independent journalism, look no further than The Northern Light.

On April 21, the Mount Baker Foundation (MBF) hosted a ‘Share Your Spare’ living kidney donation information luncheon. A Blaine resident whose niece, living in Ohio, needs a kidney transplant read about the event in this publication. (April 11-17, Dr. William Lombard, “Make the Unfathomable a Reality: Eliminate the Kidney Transplant Waitlist”).

In September 2023, Dr. Lombard’s “moonshot” essay to eliminate the kidney transplant waitlist in Whatcom County was featured in The Northern Light. That article, amazingly, caught the attention of Atul Agnihotri, founding CEO of the organization, Kidneys for Communities (Kidneysfocommunities.org/team/atulagnihotri).

Agnihotri lives in Ohio and traveled to Whatcom County for the MBF event. He and the Blaine resident connected. Her niece’s chances of finding a match for a living kidney donor may have increased exponentially because of the serendipitous encounter.

Thank you, The Northern Light. You inform us. You unite us. Local journalism has the power to ignite us to action.

Micki Jackson



The Editor:

Thank you for the informative article on the April 11 Blaine city planning commission meeting. While it was comprehensive in its coverage, I feel it missed reporting some things that were a very, very important part of the meeting that need to be emphasized and/or acknowledged. In fact, what was not in print could have made for a good editorial.

First was the commissioners, unlike our city council, took public verbal comment. The commissioners also acknowledged they’d read email noting in their comments some of what was received. They then took all that one step further by asking several people who had spoken to return to the microphone to question them on their comments. They did not show bias in who was asked back as to whether they were for or had issues with the city parking plan being considered.

So, my applause and compliments to the planning commissioners in their embracing dialogue, involving true community input, and in showing a lack of bias/partiality. They appeared to be a group not guided by predetermined outcomes, were active listeners, exhibited open mindedness, and importantly were seeking perspective on what is best for this community – before they proceed to a vote. That’s good governance.

Our city council on the other hand sits at meetings before the public like a bunch of cold fish with stone faces. There is no dialogue or verbal community input allowed now as council hides (in fear of what, the truth?) behind Robert’s Rules of Order, and mayor’s gag order. (The “gag” by the way, wasn’t voted on by the entire council). The council should very much take a lesson on how to listen, involve the community (as is the law), and to behave and govern as seen in the actions of the planning commission during their April 11 meeting.

Ray Leone



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