I would like to thank our local UPS driver and a lady motorist for helping me with a traumatic incident yesterday on H Street and Ronald Drive. I was walking my dog at the nearby cemetery, when she took off after a deer, tried to cross H Street and got hit by a car. These two good Samaritans kindly carried my dog and stayed with her while I ran to my house to get my car. They then helped me carry her gently into the back of my vehicle. Unfortunately, my Molly passed away this morning as she had been hit hard and her injuries were severe. My heart is broken, but I am so grateful for the kindness of these two strangers, that got me through the initial shock of the accident. It’s comforting to know there are still many good people today. To the UPS driver and lady who helped me yesterday, I just want to say thank you.
Newspapers, television, magazines, and social media present endless remedies to change political and social platforms for leaders, followers and the in-betweens. I reminisce the days when signs read, “Peace not war,” and songs chorused, “All we need is love,” and that infamous Coca-Cola commercial where a chorus crowd sang, “I’d like to teach the world to sing (in perfect harmony).” We all knew that drinking Coca-Cola would not stop the world’s problems, though some would debate this, but the message was clear: Love one another.
There lies within all of us three commonalities: Our blood is red; our heart has the ability to love regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, and political and social stance; and in the deepest reaches of our heart is soul, that incredible place that defines us as a unique individual unlike any other. It is here, that the heart of man births love and guidance of thought and action.
A current theme in communities is the statement, “We’re in this together.” Yes, despite our differences or commonalities, we are. The ’80s song writer, Wayne Watson, penned, “Baby, it all comes back to you and me.” What does? The prevailing wind of our radical love for one another.
There is a story told that in 1900, The London Times posted a question to its audience of readers: “What is wrong with the world?” Of the responses received, one held the reader captive in thought. G. K. Chesterton, English writer, philosopher and poet, replied, “Dear sirs, I am.”
On Tuesday, October 20, my friend and I were meeting in front of Starbucks to walk our dogs. I had three in the car and was leashing my whippet when my Saluki leaped past me and onto the sidewalk. He proceeded to run at a slow pace down the sidewalk and then decided to cross the street a few times back and forth. People who were outside tried to corral him but no dice. I noticed a Border Patrol truck coming toward where we were. He saw what was going on and immediately parked his vehicle and stood in the middle of the street to try to control traffic. Eventually, we got my Saluki back into my vehicle and I thanked everyone for their help. However, I did not get a name of the Border Patrol agent who stopped traffic and tried to help.
Whoever he is, if he reads this, I would like to thank him from the bottom of my heart. Traffic was not going fast but if a dog darts out, it is still dangerous being hit by a car.
I am grateful for all the help. It was
More than 69 million babies have been aborted since the 1973 Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision. Here are a few facts regarding one of the most contentious and profoundly important issues of our time.
Less than 8 percent of abortions are performed due to medical risk to mother or child, or rape and incest. More than 93 percent of all abortions are elective. Quoting from an Alan Guttmacher Institute source, a staunchly pro-choice organization, “The reasons most frequently cited [for having an abortion] were that having a child would interfere with a woman’s education, work or ability to care for dependents (74 percent); that she could not afford a baby now (73 percent); … she did not want to be a single mother or was having relationship problems (48 percent). Nearly four in 10 women said they had completed their childbearing, and almost one-third were not ready to have a child”
Prior to 1973, less than 6 percent of women who were considering abortion chose to put their baby up for adoption. By 2002 that number dropped to less than 1 percent.(National Council for Adoption, 2002 CDC report on Adoption statistics). Quoting from an American Adoption website article “Abortion or Adoption – Know the Facts Before Making a Decision,” “from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016, the organization [Planned Parenthood] performed 321,384 abortions and only 3,889 adoption referrals.” (Planned Parenthood: 2016 – 2017 annual report).
What happened in the U.S. that it has become common that the decision to end the life of a child could be equated to a career decision? Consider the rights of unborn children when you vote this year. Consider that every day in the U.S. more than 1,600 babies will die unknown in their mother’s wombs; unwanted, torn apart, put in bags and thrown out. But not forgotten. Not by the God, who made them, and not by the millions of people who would love them if they had the chance.
Whatcom County Executive Satpal Singh Sidhu and Mayor Seth Fleetwood, through their recent listening sessions on race and social justice, launched an open and transparent process that is identifying essential issues of race and social justice. I admire their openness and awareness that such controversial and sensitive topics benefit from widespread community input and a structured process that allows equitable input.
I hope this will be only the beginning of efforts toward more inclusive formats as our democratically-minded community (and society) wrestle with many issues we have ignored for too long and are now committed to confronting. I agree with the county executive’s statement that joint problem solving is when governments work best. Working together on the many issues that face us will bring us into conflict as we seek pathways and solutions. Conflict is inevitable and can be a constructive and very powerful force. It is not something we can or should avoid.
October is Conflict Resolution Month: A time we celebrate the many who are working to resolve conflicts of their own or working as professionals to manage and reduce conflict. October could also be a time when Whatcom County residents try to build our conflict resolution skills as parents, partners, activists, group members, health care providers, teachers, or just concerned citizens hoping to have a positive influence from the side-lines.
The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center offers many short skill-building workshops for the public and professionals, as well as more extensive training for those wishing to become professional mediators. Information can be found on the web, whatcomdrc.org, and Facebook at facebook.com/whatcomdrc.
The Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center also offers mediation services for those seeking assistance with a current or chronic ongoing conflict in their lives. For these mediation services, which are offered on a sliding scale, contact the WDRC at email: Wdrc@whatcomdrc.org or by phone 360/ 676-0122.
Currently, all workshops and services are offered in online formats.
Catherine A. Riordan, boardmember, Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center
From now on, I vote only for Democrats. Democrats have supported almost every policy I favor. Republicans have historically opposed them. Some of these are Social Security, worker and consumer safety, environmental protection, fair labor standards, equal justice, fair wages and spending on infrastructure and public education. The list also includes universal access to affordable health care and unobstructed voting. The concept of “voting for the person” sounds commendable. However, based on party platforms and history, a Republican legislator or executive will work against my interests. Even if a particular Republican holds some positions consistent with mine, that Republican, if elected, gives power to that party. The Republican Party proclaims that every elected Republican is evidence of general public support for their policy objectives, many of which the majority of Americans oppose.
So, go ahead and vote for Donald Trump who allowed payroll taxes from the last few months of this year be deferred until next year. He said he would ask the next Congress to end the deduction altogether. Referred to as the payroll tax, it is paying for our current monthly Social Security payments and pays for our medical bills under Medicare. "What the hell do you have to lose?"
I am voting for James Erb for Superior Court Judge. I met Erb on the phone and was so impressed with his understanding of the challenges that we are facing in our criminal justice system that I felt inspired to learn more about him.
Income should not determine who succeeds in our courtrooms. Erb stands out among the Superior Court Judge candidates when looking at what they have done in their legal careers to improve access to justice. Erb has volunteered countless hours of legal advice to people lacking resources for legal support, including his assistance to Street Law. He has a passion for impartial justice. Those hours of volunteer work make a huge difference for people who need the help.
Erb takes his coaching high school mock trials and debate teams very seriously. They compete successfully at regional and state levels. This is a great way to teach young people how our democracy works and what that democracy demands of us all.
Of course, Erb’s volunteer time, free service and coaching is not required to become a Superior Court Judge. But when I consider who will be a champion of justice for all who encounter our county's court system, Erb is the right choice. His compassion and experience is evident and that is why I’m voting for James Erb for Superior Court Judge, Position 2.
We are living in a day where traditional Christian values are not acceptable in America. Those who hold the faith of their fathers are being maligned as hateful bigots and racists. Not because they are trying to bring physical harm or are even making verbal threats at anyone, but simply because Christians are not changing to “catch up with the times,” they are labeled as such. A Christian who bases their opinions on biblical principle, as opposed to public opinion or sentiment, is simply out of touch.
We can no longer agree to disagree in today’s America. Some think that Christians should deny their faith and accept that they are nothing more than deplorable. Just this week one of our local candidates running for office, Jennifer Sefzik, has been attacked because of her faith. Because she holds traditional biblical views, she is being maligned as a hateful individual.
The reality is her faith doesn’t teach her to hate, but to love. It doesn’t take more than a short conversation with Mrs. Sefzik to realize she is a warm and kind individual. Yes, her faith does affect her world view and it should. Yes, her Christian views might not be yours but that doesn’t mean she isn’t entitled to them or that she hates anyone. It simply means she might see things from a different perspective than you. In America, that used to be called diversity. Now it’s called hate. If you don’t like her policies then fine, but please don’t devalue her because she has faith in God.
Pastor Josh Carter, Bellingham Baptist Church
I’m voting for Christine Grant for Whatcom Public Utility District and here are three reasons why.
First, she’s the most qualified candidate in the race, hands down. She has 12 years of professional experience advising utilities across the country, from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association to the Columbia River PUD to Inland Power and Light. She’s been successful at delivering for her clients, including securing $25 million in competitive grant funding for clean energy jobs and projects in Washington.
Second, now more than ever, we need fast, affordable internet for everyone in Whatcom County. Our students need reliable internet to do their online learning. More and more businesses use the internet to operate and deliver goods. Christine has made building public, fast, affordable fiber internet infrastructure her top priority. She’ll use her skills with securing grants to help fund this critical infrastructure.
Third, Christine will be a strong ally for workers in Whatcom County. She is committed to prevailing wages at PUD projects and supporting apprenticeships for local workers. She’s been endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 77 and LiUNA Laborers Local 292. We need a candidate that will stick up for workers and Christine is that candidate.
Please join me in voting for Christine so we can have an innovative PUD that will make Whatcom County a better, more successful place for all of us.
Rev. David Weasley