Editor’s note: This week’s issue is the last one in which The Northern Light will accept political letters for this election cycle. We will continue to publish political letters online.
It’s a go. Thanks to the overwhelming positive response from our community, the Blaine Food Bank is proud to host our first ever ‘Spooktacular’ on Saturday, October 31 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Blaine Food Bank, 500 C Street in Blaine.
Please join our volunteers for a fun family evening of ghosts and ghouls, pirates and witches, pumpkins and scarecrows, and of course treats.
We ask that you enter the Northwood Alliance Church parking lot by driving east on C Street. You will be greeted and directed by parking lot attendants and take your spot within the car queue.
We are so happy to be doing something fun for the children, and for our wonderful community that has given so much to us.
We hope you and your trick or treaters can join us. Please note this is a family event for children accompanied by an adult. If you don’t have a vehicle and want to participate, please call 360/332-6350 to schedule a walk-through time. Don’t forget to bring your cameras along as there will be several opportunities for photos.
We look forward to seeing you.
Sally Church on behalf of Blaine Food Bank volunteers
Please make an apples-to-apples comparison if you look into who is supporting and paying for election mailers. A letter last week in The Northern Light suggested that for one candidate she did not support, you should just look up who paid for an independent outside mailer that was not authorized by that candidate, but for the candidate she did support, you should look up their actual direct contributors. That’s apples to oranges.
All the four women running for legislature have individual donations by regular citizens, and all four of them also have independent organizations that are sending unauthorized separate mailers, by which those groups are forbidden by law to ask permission and consult with the candidates. Some of those outside special interest groups are hardworking union people who want legislators to support good pay and benefits and protections for working families. Other mailers are paid by profitable companies that want legislators to take away restrictions and protections, so that they can make more profit.
Whatever you do, compare the personal donations of one candidate to the personal donations of their opponent. Or check independent spending about one versus the other, keeping in mind that the candidates have zero control on outside spending, or from whom it originates, or what it says.
Eight years ago, I was on a plane chatting with a Greek woman bringing her daughter to London for university. I asked if she had considered any schools in the U.S. She chuckled and said, “America for us is like a dream world – you can do anything there. But it is too far away.” Today, my friends abroad that I met during my time as a Peace Corps volunteer and as a graduate student ask gently if my family is okay. They ask about the virus, they ask about the civil unrest. They fear for my safety in America.
Their questions have made me feel something I never associated with my national identity: Pitiful. It is unsettling to think my country is an object of pity in the world. In our history, we have been, by turns, praised and scorned by other countries, but I don’t know that we have ever been pitied. The attacks of 9/11 spurred expressions of solidarity, and much of the world mourned with us. But it was not pity we received in that darkest
Our situation is pitiful because we brought it on ourselves. We have chosen to demonize one another, ignoring the validity of one another’s experiences and right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have chosen to trust talking heads and social media, amoral and accountable to no one, to tell us what reality is and what we ought to value. We have chosen to believe a person cannot hold that both Black lives matter and that police are essential to our community. Half of eligible voters don’t even vote. That indispensable democratic right for which American soldiers and activists have fought and died.
Our friends in developed democratic nations abroad pity average Americans because they recognize the president, uniquely unsuited to the task of governing, exacerbates our challenges for his own benefit. While I see the flaws with Mr. Biden, I believe his leadership will take us a little closer to where we ought to be – a place of decency and rule by consensus. You know, a dream world.
As an independent voter, resident and property owner in the Blaine area for years, I have voted for Democratic, Republican and independent candidates. I have agreed to disagree with my neighbors in a friendly, neighborly way. I don’t hate anyone with an opposing political view.
As citizens of Blaine, Birch Bay, Semiahmoo and all surrounding communities, we learn from each other. We share our concerns about our schools, businesses, employment and infrastructure. We cry out for a train bypass, a crime-free and safe community and good-paying jobs to live and raise our families peacefully among each other.
This election, I support the following candidates. I have met and support Jeffrey Beeler for our 1st Congressional District. He is aware of our need for a train bypass as part of our local infrastructure. He will work and coordinate with representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers who accomplished getting funding for a similar multimillion dollar train project in the Spokane area.
I also support Representative Luanne Van Werven. Her experience and unyielding support for the needs of all of our students at all academic levels is worthy of her reelection. I also join many of our neighbors who also support Jennifer Sefzik. She is a strong advocate for good-paying jobs needed to raise our families. She supports and will speak for our environment and law enforcement. As my neighbors, I ask all of you to join our community in supporting these well-qualified candidates.
A letter to the editor in the October 15 issue of The Northern Light said that Trump had built a great economy. Prior to the pandemic, Trump’s giant tax giveaway to the wealthiest 1 percent might have stimulated the stock market but it did not improve the economy, which is not the same as the stock market.
Republican presidential candidates consistently claim they can vastly improve the economy, a claim long disproved by actual history. First, Ronald Reagan passed the biggest tax reduction in history but spent even more money on the military and other pet projects resulting in tanking the economy in his second term. It was so bad that both Reagan and George H. W. Bush, who was a decent man, after him had to raise taxes, contributing to Clinton’s defeat of W. Bush in 1992. Courtesy of the Supreme Court, G. W. Bush with his former Reagan administration minions gave another huge tax cut to the top 1 percent. Add to this his endless unnecessary Middle East wars and the economy tanked again, reaching a low point in 2008. The Fed had to then bail out large banks and other large businesses mismanaged by Republican free-market orthodoxy.
Enter Barrack Obama, who had to clean up that mess. This required doing things such as bailing out General Motors. Obama did a smart and necessary job reviving the economy until, term-limited, he had to give way to Trump. Trump again repeated the mistake of massive tax reductions favoring the top 1 percent, which boosted the stock market but not the economy. Add to this abysmal failure with the coronavirus pandemic and we have but a trashed economy again.
Trump’s claim of creating the world’s greatest economy is his biggest, and one of his most often told, lies. So, history shows that Republican economic orthodoxy is much more effective at trashing the economy than stimulating it. To quote the line from Forrest Gump: “Stupid is as stupid does.”
In response to Mr. Berry’s letter last week attempting to contrast Trump supporters’ beliefs with fascism, I don’t believe all Trump supporters are the same. But since Mr. Berry discussed Trump supporters as a unified group, so will I, modeling my subject lines on his. Mr. Berry states that fascists:
• Believe in powerful, centralized government that’s responsible for all outcomes. Trump supporters believe he alone defines what makes our country great, and that state governments are subservient;
• Are militaristic. They don’t mind sending troops to gas protesters (making no distinction between protesters and rioters) or sending troops to states where governors don’t want them;
• Suppress opposition. Rather than individual free speech, Trump supporters seem to appreciate being told what to chant in unison, demand allegiance to a single individual and don’t seem to know where lying, bullying, grabbing women at will and denigrating fellow citizens and a free press will lead;
• Disarm civilians. They support the right to bear arms regardless of weapon or outcome, while Trump won’t disavow terrorists who want to storm elected state houses to kidnap and execute governors;
• Erase and spin history. They glorify statues of “losers” from a war to break up our union and continue slavery and oppression.
Mr. Berry says Trump supporters believe in meritocracy, where individuals rise on merit, though Trump got millions from his father to start businesses, and millions more to bail out multiple bankruptcies. Furthermore, meritocracy thrives when racial disparity is replaced by a level playing field.
Please don’t support Trump. He simply continued Obama’s economic trajectory, won’t support additional training for law enforcement, is removing troops in areas against military leaders’ and allies’ advice, bungled a pandemic response, began trade wars that hurt American farmers and consumers, appoints cabinet members who he says are “the world’s most overrated general,” “dumb as a rock,” “ill prepared,” “not mentally qualified,” and promotes a rest-of-the-world-be-damned attitude. America is great and I don’t want a Trump-Pence-McConnell coalition to change it.
I don’t think Trump supporters are fascists. I think they’re good people, possibly uninformed or hoodwinked by a self-aggrandizing, impeached, reality TV buffoon.
When Donald Trump announced his 2016 run for presidency, I thought he was joking. All I knew of him was what I’d heard on media and a couple of episodes of his TV show. I wasn’t so impressed.
But then I heard a little of what he was saying – he, himself, speaking and I started listening. The more I heard, the more I liked him. And agreed with him – strongly. I must stress that I was listening to him – to what he said (not what the media was telling me he stood for, which I found was distorted beyond all recognition).
I’ve always been an informed voter but Mr. Trump was the first candidate I was truly excited about. He is a compassionate and gracious human being and I am proud to call him my president.
People may not always agree with, or even like, him but as evidenced by his words and actions, there is no (truthfully) denying that President Trump loves this great nation we are so blessed to live in. And he loves the people – all our people – who comprise it. He has, and will continue to, work tirelessly to do what makes America and its people stronger, better and more empowered.
President Trump has accomplished extraordinary things, especially considering the full-on opposition he has relentlessly faced from Democrats, media and others.
President Trump is a warrior who defends our Constitution and our personal freedoms. I want us to keep America: Keep the strong Christian values that have served us so well throughout history. Values of expression, faith, family, equality, justice, liberty, life … (we must offer protection to the unborn). We have become a strange people – paralyzed by fear of Covid-19, yet think nothing of the 623,471 helpless lives intentionally ended in 2016, according to the CDC.
Thank you for letting me share what is on my heart and mind. I respectfully ask that you listen to what President Trump himself says – directly – without his words being misinterpreted for you by those who think they are smarter. They are not. Look up a speech he has given or tune into one of his rallies. Listen for yourself. And vote. Prayerfully and wisely, vote.
I spent my life living in California under the rulings of governors Browns and Davis. The Democrats have always had a huge voting majority and only acted properly when they recalled Gray Davis in 2004 when he announced that the new state budget (starts the same as the federal government on October 1) would have a shortfall of $5 billion and after the re-election corrected it to be $35 billion and then he was recalled and the state is now closer to recovery 15 years later. So that is how Democrats operate despite rantings of Starr and Kemp in their letters.
I spent much time working in the Young Republicans and met many legislators of both parties and got to admire them. The problem is the larger picture of both parties is what rules our country and not the local legislators.
As to the other party, I refer you to the recent California wildfires and resulting deaths. Democrats blamed the federal government for this tragedy since they own 58 percent of the land there. Until recently, forests were maintained through controlled burning that ceased about five years ago and apparently that was the prime cause for this disaster and the Democrats would not accept any responsibility. I also had a direct experience of being involved with an earlier wildfire in the Sierras while fishing and it was and is a scary moment.
Starr and Kemp tend to attack with their own version of their opposing party’s qualifications. So, I urge you to ignore their rantings and make your own vote based on your research or commitment to either party’s platforms. Democrats push for illegal immigrants to be treated and paid like us legal residents and Nancy Pelosi, I read, wants to pay them and protect them in the next round of payments. Why does this party want to do so much for illegal immigrants and not you and me? The simple reason is they want their votes.
Do your homework and ignore letters entirely and vote for your own choice.
History shows that after countries adopt left wing, progressive policies, it doesn’t take long for citizens to realize that what sounded like a good idea at the time, turns out to crush the freedoms they once took for granted.
Remember, people can vote their government into socialism but have to fight their government to get themselves out. People around the world don’t flee capitalist countries to socialism. They flee socialist countries to get to capitalist countries.
So, be careful of what you wish for. It’s your future and freedom at stake.
As the final days of campaigning wind down, much of it adverse to our better human qualities, I would like the residents of Blaine, Birch Bay and greater Whatcom County, all those represented in the 42nd Legislative District in Washington state house, to take a look with a magnifying glass at the positive attributes Alicia Rule brings to the table. Over and over again, I am hearing from people who voted for her opponent in the last election but are now crossing party lines and voting for Alicia because she seems genuine. There are any number of adjectives that describe Ms. Rule, including genuine, caring, honest, maternal, tenacious, curious and smart as a whip. A local girl who graduated from Meridian High School and went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and later a master’s degree from Cal State San Diego, Alicia came full circle, returning home to Whatcom County with her charming three sons to give back to the community around her.
Over the past several years, Alicia has excelled as a job creator, and has a balanced, non-partisan approach while serving on the Blaine City Council. With her values-driven leadership and her ability as an excellent listener (a good quality for a mental health professional), Ms. Rule will be a strong advocate for all local people.
As a sixth grade teacher, I tell my students, “If you can dream it, you can do it.” Alicia is doing just that, and she models it for her sons every day.
The Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2 (BBBPRD2) is in the process of applying for a WSDOT Consolidated Grants Program planning grant. This will help our district prioritize the portions of county roads and state roads within our park district boundaries to make improvements to the shoulders (right-of-way) to increase the safety of our non-motorized traffic traveling between and around the Blaine and Birch Bay area.
A lot of our planned trail route has our non-motorized traffic traveling alongside vehicles. This planning grant will help us determine which county or state road right-of-ways’ should be improved to benefit the most users immediately and also increase the safety of the most dangerous sections. The goal is completion of improvements to all right-of-ways’ enabling constituents to safely travel to area transit stops, friends, neighbors and between communities.
We are planning on making improvements only to the right-of-way property that is currently owned by the county or state along the planned trail route and arterials. If you would like to send a letter of support, letter of need, letter of any close calls while traveling along these roads, such as Blaine, Harborview and Drayton Harbor roads, as a driver, pedestrian or bicyclist, we would appreciate you sharing. Please send emails to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters can be mailed to 7511 Gemini Street, Blaine, Washington 98230. Please submit so we can receive by October 28, 2020.
We will be highlighting the WTA stops that travel through our park district in the grant and have a five-question survey that is available at bbbparkandrec.org. If you are a current WTA user in our coverage area or have never been one, we would appreciate a few moments of your time to take the survey by October 28, 2020. Simple bus stop improvement suggestions may also be sent to the above email or postal address.
We appreciate your time and the ability to fully represent our community.
Sheli Moore, BBBPRD2 commissioner
With all the distress and chaos confronting our nation and our state, it's time to elect Alicia Rule, someone who will bring us together rather than drive us apart. Alicia is a fifth-generation north county resident who know what real family values are about: Hard work, honesty and sacrifice. Alicia knows that a cleaner environment and a strengthened educational system provide the foundation for greater prosperity in a changing world. A vote for Alicia is a vote for a brighter future and increased opportunity for all of our families.
Please vote to approve the Ferndale School levy that will be on the November 3 ballot. This levy will help ensure that Ferndale schools will have money for student services like, smaller class sizes, special education classes, eight-period high school schedules allowing for more electives, advanced learning and technology for in school and at home learning, which is vital during the pandemic. The levy will also include funding for teachers, nurses, maintenance personnel and custodians.
The passage of this levy will also allow for Ferndale schools to provide extracurricular activities such as athletics, art, drama, band, choir and the wonderful musicals put on by the Ferndale High School’s amazingly talented students and directors.
Three of our grandchildren have attended Ferndale schools. Their lives have been enriched by the education they have received. If many of these programs are no longer available to students, it will be a sad day for the community of Ferndale. We must approve these funds for the educational opportunities they bring to our children. Providing the best education possible is vital to their success in life. It is also important for the community to have schools we can all be proud of. Please pass this levy for our schools, our children and our community.
The people in Legislative District 42 have the fortune of two great candidates for the state Legislature representative positions. Sharon Shewmake, an economist and professor, is running for re-election in Position 2. Alicia Rule, a Blaine City Council member, is challenging the incumbent for the Position 1 spot.
Shewmake is committed to making policy decisions based on science and fact. She is a union member, a faculty adviser for Western Washington University’s Women in Economics and Finance club, a member of Whatcom County Climate Change Impacts Committee, the Riveter’s Collective, Walk Bike Bus Bellingham and the Washington State Adult Soccer Association. She has supported bills making child care more affordable, advocating for dairy farmers, improving transportation and creating energy and resource efficiencies that protect our climate and save taxpayer dollars. She serves on committees dealing with transportation, energy and the environment.
Rule is a social worker, small business owner and past president of the Blaine Downtown Development Association. Her priorities include affordable housing, climate, environment, healthcare, living-wage jobs and veterans. She supports LGBTQ rights. She comes from a five-generation Whatcom County family, graduated from Meridian High School and the University of Washington with a master’s degree.
These women will put the people first and serve us well. Both are working mothers of young children whom they want to have a bright and peaceful future.
Christine Grant is a bright spot in this election – she has the energy, skill and vision to serve the Whatcom County Public Utility District (PUD) and move our county forward.
Living in east Whatcom County in this time of connecting online for many social and economic needs, I can speak for myself and neighbors in saying that we need high-speed broadband connectivity. Internet access is a necessity. Christine understands this and has seen innovations that are already in place in other areas of our state for affordable and widespread high-speed internet. She has spent her career working with utilities and is currently teaching advanced energy policy at Western Washington University. Christine is the most qualified candidate and will bring depth and breadth to this position on the PUD.
I have heard Christine speak on several occasions and was impressed with her experience working with PUDs. I have learned that in addition to telecommunications services, PUDs can provide access to cleaner and cheaper power as well as innovative water management.
Christine's history of securing $25 million in competitive grants for clean energy and energy jobs speaks loudly of her skills and effectiveness. Whatcom County needs her in this changing time to bring a positive can-do spirit to our PUD. We live in a beautiful place that deserves the best possible stewardship. Business leaders, over 50 local elected officials and the many individuals who have endorsed Christine believe she has what it takes to take on challenges and do so brilliantly and effectively for the good of all.
Please join me in voting for Christine Grant for Whatcom County PUD. You can educate yourself on this topic and learn more about her at grant4pud.org.
It is critically important that all members of our community are represented at the highest levels of our justice system. Fortunately, two highly qualified women of color have been appointed to the Washington State Supreme Court, and this November we have the opportunity to retain them.
Raquel Montoya-Lewis and G. Helen Whitener bring diverse perspectives and fairness essential to the decisions made by our state’s highest court, and enhance Washington’s reputation for enlightened competence. Be sure to vote to keep them there.
Scott Josiah and Debbi Barnes-Josiah
Vote the whole ballot has never been more urgent than this year. For Whatcom Superior Court Judge Position 2, James Erb brings such positive energy and an admirable commitment to fairness and equal justice. For public service requiring integrity, broad experience and in-depth knowledge of the law, James is ready to step into the shoes that Judge Deborra Garrett is leaving. So many of us join her in endorsing Erb. As you approach the end of your ballot, please mark James Erb for Superior Court Judge Position 2.
Politicians don’t know what is best and they need to stop trying to tell people what to support. I was not happy last year when Democrat Alicia Rule, a Blaine city councilmember, told me in a resolution to not vote for the $30 car tabs that was passed by the voters. I am even more angry that the Democrats have used our taxpayer dollars to delay it in court. We don’t have $30 car tabs this year because of them. I paid well over $30 this year for my tabs. I could have used that money for more important things. My budget is tight and I knew what I was voting for when I voted yes to $30 car tabs. I am voting for Representative Luanne Van Werven this year. She respects my decision – and my wallet.