It was a real pleasure to see in last week’s issue of The Northern Light the full-page advertisement highlighting the dozens and dozens of local properties sold by Jen Freeman and Leah Crews of Windermere Properties during 2020, and to realize what hard-working, helpful women they are, even during the most bizarre year in human history.
In 2008, Jen Freeman helped us coordinate the efforts to sell our house at the top of H Street hill where we had lived nearly 20 years (since 1989) and purchase a new home in Birch Bay. Jen also gave us great advice and service when we purchased another new house in Birch Bay as a rental property.
Jen has that rare commodity of “a servant’s heart”– she helps people buy and sell homes that really will suit their families, and knows how to overcome problems and smooth the way through difficulties. Her knowledge of Blaine and Whatcom County has made her real estate career brilliant; she is well respected by her peers and much appreciated by her customers. I say she is the best realtor in all of Whatcom County and a great asset to Blaine, but I’m prejudiced: She is our daughter.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If you did for 2020 New Year’s, and they did not last – have heart. You can redo them for 2021 New Year’s. Then you can make an upgrade on Thursday, January 14 (Orthodox New Year). Your last chance is Friday, February 12 (Chinese New Year).
Then it is good luck friend. You’re on your own for the next 12 months.
The Blaine and Birch Bay community Toy Store leadership team would like to say a huge thank you for the outpouring of love and support this community showed to our local families in need of holiday gift assistance.
Approximately 800 toys and 165 gift cards were donated this year, in addition to over $6,000 in monetary donations. This allowed us to help the parents of over 300 children from 120 families provide gifts for their children. The parents were amazed and so grateful for the large variety of high-quality gifts they were able to choose from, and I’m sure there were a lot of very happy children on Christmas morning.
This year’s shopping proceeds, which totaled $4,067, will be shared with the Wildbird Charity Weekend Food Backpack program and the Bridge Community Hope Center Emergency Assistance Fund in Birch Bay. Through the work of these organizations, your donations will have an impact on families in the community throughout the year ahead. Thank you for making all this possible. A big thanks also goes to all our volunteers. We couldn’t do this without you.
Laura Vogee, Blaine and Birch Bay Community Toy Store director
Pete Werner’s December 10 letter questioned the accuracy of reporting Covid-19 deaths. The best response to Covid-19 requires sound data predicated on morbidity and mortality statistics. Complex statistical analysis warrants skepticism and diverse perspectives. Vigorous debates about accuracy of Covid-19 numbers can help explain medical and scientific truths. Looking at Covid-19 deaths, remember, dying with coronavirus is not the same as dying from coronavirus.
Common sense makes it difficult to imagine why it’s OK for athletes to wrestle yet prohibit them from shaking hands. Any wonder we question restrictions promulgated by government?
On December 10, Washington State Department of Health announced two modifications in how it reports Covid-19 deaths. The immediate change is a reduction of over 7 percent in the number of deaths.
Based on January 4 data, Washington ranks (per 100,000 population):
• Tied for eighth lowest in deaths in last seven days
• Seventh lowest in cases in last seven days
If governor Jay Inslee followed science, schools should now have safe and actionable plans for returning in-class instruction and doing so very quickly. Kids are suffering untold harm by keeping them out of school. Consider alternatives: Closing school to reduce illness and death versus harm from lost education, depression, abuse, hunger and even suicide. There is no perfect solution, but Inslee needs to lead, make the best decision and open schools as soon as possible.
Restaurants should be reopened immediately because, according to advocacy group Washington Hospitality Association, there is no data supporting closure.
Inslee’s explanation given for killing the restaurant industry: “Restaurants are the most common site of outbreaks in our state … explaining that the number of Covid cases traced to restaurants skews small … because … the system is not set up to track how many patrons fall ill after visiting specific restaurants. People need to understand that there are lots of limitations to the data … there are some major limitations to the data we have around outbreaks.” In other words, we do not have data to support our decision, but we know we are right.
We must encourage discussion of different opinions while respecting others.