Letters to The Editor: October 27-November 2, 2022


The Editor:

The upcoming general election may be one of the most consequential ever when it comes to retaining many of the rights we have been enjoying for a long time. Surprisingly, these significant changes to our rights can, and will be predicated to a great extent by whom we elect to our state legislature.  

What makes this possibility a reality is the direction the U.S. Supreme Court has taken with its conservative majority. The first, and presumably not last example of this is the court’s ruling on a woman’s right to choose. The court has ruled that the state legislatures shall have the power to determine how each state will decide this important question. Therefore, if extreme conservatives control our state legislature, it will likely be governed by extreme conservative idealism.

Other issues that the Supreme Court is preparing to rule on will also have long-lasting effects on matters like how we vote, how legislative districts are drawn and giving control to certain political interests. In some presidential elections, the state legislature, not the people, may have the final say in who wins. Additionally, the legislature will be able to impose its will without oversight of the courts or constitution. All of this may become the new law of the land based on something called independent state legislature theory. This will be decided by the outcome of a little-known case before the Supreme Court known as Moore v. Harper, which could lock in right wing control of the U.S. for generations. 

Given this possibility, something we can do to protect our rights is to make sure we are not governed by an extreme conservative state legislature. We need to vote for individuals like Sharon Shewmake for state senate and Alicia Rule and Joe Timmons for the state house. Electing individuals like Sharon Shewmake, Alicia Rule and Joe Timmons will mean that the voters of the 42nd legislative district have done their job to help protect the rights of all citizens of the state of Washington and prevent the extreme idealism sought by others.  

Pat Jerns

Birch Bay 

The Editor:

It’s important to consider the educational backgrounds and life experiences of candidates running for state senate, because these greatly influence one’s worldview and decision-making.

Per his website, Mr. Sefzik attended Patrick Henry College, unaccredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools until this year. His undergraduate degree in American politics and policy basically teaches how to be a politician. Students at Patrick Henry are exposed only to faculty who are required to sign a Statement of [Christian] Faith, and a Statement of Biblical Worldview that says, in part, “Human life begins at conception … Abortion and euthanasia are sins and violations of the public good.” 

Such an educational background is unlikely to lead to careful consideration of diverse philosophies or protection of women’s reproductive decisions. 

In contrast, Ms. Shewmake has an undergraduate degree in environmental science, policy and economics, and a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics (Duke University; University of California, Davis) – schools that don’t require a signed litmus test affirming only one belief system, where students learn from teachers with various philosophies, thus considering solutions from many perspectives. She believes reproductive decisions are personal and private, and her degrees relating to agriculture and economics prepare her well to tackle important, present-day issues.

Regarding life experiences that influence decision-making, Mr. Sefzik is a 22-year-old who does not have the experience of working to build a career. He has not had to budget to raise a family or deal personally with children’s education, day care, housing or family medical expenses. How can he adequately understand the daily stresses and life decisions that affect most of us? 

Ms. Shewmake knows first-hand what it means to work and build a career, is a teacher, a mother, and knows what it means to raise a family. Her educational background, life experiences and legislative experience makes her far better qualified to understand and deal with our important issues. While 22-year-olds often have good ideas, I don’t believe Mr. Sefzik is adequately prepared to be making leadership-level decisions. Please vote for Sharon Shewmake.

Charles Kinzer


The Editor:

As a long-time citizen and voter in Whatcom County, I have decided to vote for Tawsha Dykstra Thompson for state representative position 1. After reviewing the background information for both candidates, I have concluded that the information provided by Alicia Rule on her website, has as its purpose to somewhat mislead the voters.

Originally I was impressed with Alicia’s local roots and family background. However, I quickly noticed certain inconsistencies with what the candidate stands for today. Although she wants us to know that her father graduated from Lynden Christian High School, Alicia herself has no problem with state-funded abortions. Alicia has also chosen to run as a Democrat representing the party that is not anymore John F. Kennedy’s party but stands on the left side of politics.

Alicia Rule has been representing and siding with the party that starting in 2020 closed schools down in Whatcom County for an extended period, destroyed several local small businesses, caused crime to rise by minimizing the effectiveness of the local police force, and finally has driven mental illness to higher levels. As a common sense person and voter, I do not feel comfortable trusting the politicians who created this mess with the job of fixing it.

I hope the voters of Whatcom County will not be fooled by Alicia’s stories and will vote for Tawsha Dykstra Thompson for state representative position 1. Unlike Alicia, Tawsha has remained true to her Whatcom County roots and upbringing. Also, it is a fact that Tawsha has worked in the trenches experiencing firsthand several of the problems that have been affecting a lot of us here in Whatcom County lately. Tawsha believes in public safety and also stands up and fights for all the good things that Whatcom County has been known for.

Please join me in voting for Tawsha Dykstra Thompson for state representative position 1.

Helen Steele


The Editor:

The choice for our state senator is clear: Senator Simon Sefzik.

If you are searching for the candidate who stands up for local businesses, affordable housing and public safety, that person is senator Simon Sefzik. If you want to see the disastrous policing laws changed, don’t risk your vote on the person who voted for those laws, but vote for senator Simon Sefzik. He worked tirelessly to repeal those laws. If you want to support the only candidate who fought to create a temporary repeal of Washington’s gas tax, then vote for senator Simon Sefzik. In spite of enormous opposition, he fought to save you, your family and our agricultural industry from higher prices.

Senator Sefzik has been campaigning tirelessly these past few months in an effort to reach every family in Whatcom County. He is hearing about those issues important to working people like us and our families, how our families are struggling with record inflation and increased health concerns. Senator Sefzik is providing hope that with him representing us, we have a future in Washington state. He is a true believer that Washington can, and does, offer immense opportunities for those fortunate enough to call our district home.

Please join me in supporting our senator in this election; support senator Simon Sefzik.

Dan Robbins


The Editor:

As a retired educator who worked in the Bellingham school district for most of my career, I have met many incredible students and families. One family stands out – a mother with four young children ages 1-8, who was fleeing domestic violence, living in their car on the north side of town. Mom was working so hard to get back on her feet, but needed a little bit of help. Family liaison staff was able to secure housing, which allowed the older boys to enroll in school, and Mom quickly found work. Soon, the younger boys enrolled in pre-K. Without that early intervention, those boys would have been far behind their peers and struggled through school just to catch up.

I’m glad to share that all four children are doing extremely well in school to this day (the eldest is now in high school). Mom was able to save enough money to buy her own home and the boys are thriving thanks to her deep love and commitment and the support of many from the community who have loved and cared for them. These boys now have a very promising future ahead of them and will undoubtedly be huge contributors to our community.

By many measures, this family could have had a different path but they were fortunate enough to meet the right people who could help. Many in our community have not been so fortunate and have tragically slipped through the cracks.

Proposition 5 will put an end to this by making access to early childhood support intentional and available to all children in our community. As a community, we can do better, and that’s why I am asking you to vote “yes” for Whatcom Kids, Proposition 5.  

Steve Clarke

Mount Vernon

The Editor:

Jobs. Jobs. Jobs. Vote “yes” for Whatcom Kids.

I am a long-term, passionate employer in Whatcom County. A recurring, important issue to our workforce is the availability of quality, consistent child care. We have an opportunity to retain and recruit both small and large employers to Whatcom County if we make abundant child care a priority. Vote “yes” for Proposition 5.

Families get the support they need, all children get a healthy start and we are able to keep our employees working. Invest with me in Proposition 5, Yes for Whatcom Kids.

Teri Treat



No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here