Letters to The Editor: October 14-20, 2021

Posted

The Editor:

We're writing in support of Colin Hawkins for Blaine City Council. We first got to know Colin through Blaine Community Theater over 20 years ago. We experienced firsthand his willingness to give of his time, talent and problem-solving skills to achieve a group goal. He always found a way to help.

Fast forward a few years and we became neighbors with Colin and Brandy. We've watched them grow to a family of four always helping family, friends and neighbors – shoveling snow off sidewalks, turning over garden dirt when we had a medical emergency, helping with our giant storm windows, helping with fence building info.

With Colin's demonstrated love of his hometown, his willingness to listen to all sides, his experience with issues, and his great attitude he is our choice for city council, and we hope he will be yours.

Melodie Finnson and Rick Collier

Blaine

The Editor:

Thank you for the opportunity to share my endorsement of Colin Hawkins who is running for Blaine City Council Ward 2 Position 4. We who know Colin are not surprised that he is running for city council. In fact, I would have been surprised had he not run.

You could have no better training to be a good council member than to literally grow up with parents who themselves were on the council. Between Marsha and Charlie, they served on the council for at least 20 years. For that time Colin was immersed in city issues. Knowing Colin, I am certain that he didn’t just sit in the corner and listen. He is an intelligent and articulate young man who shared his thoughts.

At an early age, Colin took interest in all that was happening around him. He was a natural leader whether it be at home, church or school. He has a positive outlook on life. Like his family, he has empathy for those in need. He is always ready to help.

For 41 years I worked with various types of local government in three states. I worked with and knew many outstanding elected leaders. I believe that I know what makes an excellent council member. The most important characteristic of good leadership is not what you say, but how well you listen. Colin is not just a good listener, he knows who he is listening to. As a lifelong resident of Blaine, Colin knows who he will be working for and with. He knows your first name.

Colin has a long history of community involvement. Whether it be in school, church or other settings, he is a good follower; good leader and hard worker. Most recently he helped raise funds to build the Marine Park playground; he volunteered with the local giving tree program; he was a president of the community theatre and he currently chairs the city’s Public Works Advisory Committee.

As I said earlier, I know an outstanding elected official when I see one. I see Colin Hawkins. I hope that you will too.

Gary Tomsic

Blaine

The Editor:

There is no level of government more directly responsible for serving your community's needs than that of city government. Decisions about police, utilities, streets, housing, land use, fire and parks are all made at a local level. It is because of this, that I enthusiastically endorse Colin Hawkins for Blaine City Council.

Colin has been putting in the work in Blaine for years as a member of the Public Works Advisory Committee, the last two of which he has served as chairperson. He understands the importance of infrastructure planning. Most important to me, he shares my values and will put the people of Blaine first. Unlike other city council candidates, he hasn't sought the endorsement of any political party, because first and foremost, he wants to work for you. Not parties or special interests.

I trust Colin. He's a local family man with a heart of gold. I hope you join me in support of this outstanding candidate by voting for him this November.

Jaime Arnett

Blaine

The Editor:

I read with interest that the population of Birch Bay has increased by over 1,700 people, according to the last census. This would make Birch Bay, if incorporated, the fourth largest city in Whatcom County. We have also heard of the plans to build many more homes in the area, which will result in an even bigger increase in population. And, with growth, we know that we will need additional new infrastructure to serve both existing and future citizens of Birch Bay.

Infrastructure comes in many forms and one essential type needed, to provide the services and activities that the entire community will benefit from, is the new Birch Bay Vogt Community Library. We have heard repeatedly how libraries bring benefits, in one form or another, either directly or indirectly, to all citizens of a community. The time has come for the citizens of Birch Bay to have its own library and the benefits that come with it.

We know that libraries cost money to build. The proposed Birch Bay Vogt Community Library is projected to cost $6.5 million. The good news is; over $2 million of that amount is already available through donations and a state grant for $2 million, which has already been appropriated. These funds mean a savings of one-third of the cost to local taxpayers. To save that amount, however, we must approve the upcoming measure on the November ballot by voting “yes” to Prop 14. This is a great opportunity to add to the quality of life for the citizens of Birch Bay and do so at a very reasonable cost.

It should also be noted, that with an increase in new homes, it will make paying off the bond for the new library go that much quicker. This is a real win-win for our community. Please join me in voting “yes” for Prop 14 in November for the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library. It is a wise investment that will benefit us all, for generations to come.

Pat Jerns

Birch Bay

The Editor:

During WWII, getting a vaccine became synonymous with patriotism. Science helped us win the war (Seattle Times 10/07/21). Vaccinations were successful in eliminating polio by 1979 and eliminated measles by 2000, until some parents began to resist having their children vaccinated, and by 2019, more than 1,200 cases were reported in the U.S. Vaccine requirements (DTaP, etc.) have been a standard for school children to attend public schools for many years.

People who claim that they have the right to refuse getting vaccinated (unless they have legitimate underlying health issues or religious reasons) are being selfish by putting their family and others in the local community at risk. In spite of what some pundits are saying, Covid-19 is a health issue and should not be construed as a political issue. We live in a democracy, and people need to get vaccinated for the sake of the health and economic well-being of our society.

People should choose to do the right thing and get vaccinated. Unfortunately, this has not worked. Thus, vaccine and masking mandates are necessary to protect all of us, because of the refusal of some.

I find it alarming that, until October 8, the Lynden school district refused to update their Covid-19 case dashboards on the Whatcom County school district website, while the Nooksack Valley school district continues to refuse to update their dashboard. The other five Whatcom County school districts, have regularly updated their case dashboards since the beginning of the school year.

The latest vaccination rates published by the Washington State Department of Health on October 2, shows the Lynden and Nooksack Valley regions being among the three lowest vaccination rates for the seven regions in Whatcom County, with 52 percent and 48.8 percent, respectively. Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale and Meridian regions have rates of 74.1 percent, 66.6 percent, 62.9 percent and 61.6 percent, respectively. Why the differences? Are there budget or staffing problems in the Lynden and Nooksack Valley school districts or could there be some other reason?

We need to pull together to fight Covid-19 for the good of all.

Brady Green

Blaine

The Editor:

It is our honor and pleasure to support and endorse Colin Hawkins for the Blaine City Council – Ward 2 Position 4.

We have known Colin and his family since Colin was in kindergarten.

Colin has been involved since 2015 with the Blaine Public Works Advisory Committee and is the current chairperson. His volunteer time assisting with organizing the Blaine Christmas Giving Tree, fundraising for the Blaine Marine Park playground and the Blaine Food Bank, has shown his commitment to this community!

He always acts with integrity, caring, and thoughtfulness – useful traits during city council deliberations. He has a commitment to public safety, increased parks, recreational programs and economic development within our city. His leadership and thoughtfulness will be evident working with council members and in applying decision-making for Blaine.

We believe Colin has an excellent background to contribute to Blaine City Council. His family has contributed to serving in politics in Blaine; his family has run businesses in Blaine for a century and Colin has managed a business in Blaine. He encourages small family run businesses – economic growth should not be measured by Canadian traffic but how the city supports small business owners while at the same time enriching this beautiful city.

Colin’s focus is the growth and expansion in east Blaine, how it can put a strain on current aging utility systems. The expansion of these utilities needs to be a priority, which Colin has recognized and does not wish current homeowners to “foot the bill” for new homes and infrastructure.

Colin wants this city to be a great place for his young family to grow up and live for generations to come.

Colin Hawkins has shown he has the ability, desire and leadership skills to be the man needed for city council. This is not a stepping-stone for a higher government position nor is it to be in the limelight. It is for the betterment of the community.

Thanks for considering Colin Hawkins as your representative on city council in ward 2-position 4. We think he is the person who will serve you well.

Stephen and Leslee Smith

Blaine

The Editor:

We strongly recommend Barb Sturdivant for the city council, Ward 3, Position 6. 

After receiving degrees in nursing and history, followed by a master’s in business administration degree, she went on to a successful and accomplished career in nursing and in clinical trial research in oncology, interrupted only by her own battle with cancer. She continues to be actively involved with and supports the National Cancer Society, the National Lymphoma/Leukemia Society, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Wounded Warriors’ Project.

Barb and her husband, John, have been year round residents of Blaine for 17 years. She has involved herself with community volunteering, such as organizing food delivery service to residents during the pandemic; being a member of “WE WILL,” a local grass roots initiative to support small businesses; as a secretary for the member advisory board of the Semiahmoo Golf Club; and assisting in charitable causes with Christ the King Church in Bellingham.

So what will Barb bring to the table? For one, she will represent any citizen who is interested in a seat at the table – anyone who wants to be actively involved in the governance of the city. For instance, she recommends publishing the city council agenda in the local media to encourage citizen participation; limited government spending, balanced budgets, properly funded emergency services, particularly law enforcement, and a logical regimen for manageable growth. She will always be approachable.

We believe Barb will bring a dedicated and motivated enthusiasm to this position. Barb for Blaine.

Doug and Rene Tomaso

Blaine

The Editor:

I am writing in support of Colin Hawkins for the Blaine City Council.

I first met Colin in my position as the administrator of the Stafholt Care Center over 16 years ago. As a student, and as a young adult, Colin was actively involved as a volunteer. Colin was often seen bringing his dogs in to visit with the residents. Other activities involved helping residents connect and navigate the “mysterious” internet. I particularly recall an occasion when Colin went to great lengths to help a sight-impaired resident adapt. The residents enjoyed music played by Colin and his friends and family. Most appreciated was the time and energy that Colin gave yearly in helping coordinate Stafholt’s massive community Christmas Giving Tree effort. It seems to me that almost anytime Stafholt was involved in a community event, Colin was there ready and able. Most impressive was Colin’s sincere connection with the residents (and staff) as he kindly listened.

Finally, a word about Colin’s character, I have always known him to be about service, helping others. Notably, Colin doesn’t talk much about himself. He seems more interested in others, what is going on with them. As a retiree, I still call upon Colin for chores that I find are getting beyond me. He is always cheerfully there to assist.

If you want a positive listener for city council, Colin is your guy.

Wayne Weinschenk

Blaine

The Editor:

To all the voting citizens of Blaine, you will soon have a chance to elect some “new blood” to the Blaine City Council. It is my belief: however, that “old blood” is vital to understanding our city and the diverse communities it serves.

Colin Hawkins comes from some of the “oldest blood” on which Blaine’s foundation has been based.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Colin on a personal level for many years and can attest to his character and lover for Blaine. He has not only spent many years volunteering for numerous good causes in our community (the Marine Park playground, Xmas Giving Tree and Blaine Food Bank to name a few) but has spent the last six years serving on the Blaine Public Works Advisory Committee, as committee chair for the past two years.

It is because of such dedicated involvement with the city of Blaine that he is the most qualified to understand the challenges when dealing with current and future growth and infrastructure needs.

It is for these reasons I encourage your vote for Colin Hawkins.

Nancy Hobberlin

Blaine

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