I’m an Intalco retiree, retiring after working 34 and a half years. I have been watching and hoping Intalco will restart.
A letter published in this paper recently gave state senator Simon Sefzik credit for securing the $10 million that could help pave the way for reopening the former Alcoa Intalco aluminum smelter near Ferndale.
Unfortunately, this story is fiction.
How do we know? Let’s look at the calendar. Simon wasn’t even appointed to the vacant Senate seat he now occupies until six days after this $10 million was won.
Simon was appointed to the Senate on January 11. On January 5, the first draft of this year’s budget had already been published. And right there in that draft, in writing, we find that $10 million, split between page 10 and page 24.
Simon was in no way responsible for this win for Whatcom County. The person most responsible for this $10 million, who worked the long hours advocating for our workers, negotiating behind the scenes to bring home a huge win for local jobs, was state representative Sharon Shewmake. She has worked hard year after year, for the people of Whatcom County. (And she was in office when the budget was being written.)
Sharon has a real-life track record of fighting for our smelter jobs. Sharon is an economist and has been focused on economic recovery for Whatcom. In 2019, Sharon won $2.4 million in state money to improve efficiency and cut pollution at the Intalco plant. In 2020, Sharon hosted bipartisan roundtable discussions to find solutions. And now Sharon’s brought home money to make those solutions a reality.
Let’s make sure we give credit where credit’s due.
The Birch Bay Historical Society is a young and small organization. We are interested in the history of Birch Bay present and future. This week we want to celebrate captain George Vancouver arriving in this area on June 11, 1792 – 230 years ago – with three ships and his men. We want to honor them. We will have a table in Birch Bay at the end of Alderson Road on Saturday, June 11, 2022 and have more information.
There were other men who came later and stayed and raised families.
We will accept new members for the
Bea Ball, historical society president
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