Letters to the Editor: March 2015

The Editor:

A newly forming in-home care agency needs your help. We have prepared a very short (less than five minutes) online survey and would so appreciate your time and input in order to draw conclusions about what the residents of Point Roberts think and feel about the need for in-home care and caregivers.

If you are a senior, we need to hear from you. If you are a resident with a family, young or old, we need to hear from you. If you would be interested in providing in home care for the residents of Point Roberts, we need to hear from you.

The surveys can be found here:

For prospective caregivers: surveymonkey.com/s/3VR2L6C

For prospective in-home care recipients: surveymonkey.com/s/WFQB6MC

Annelle Norman
Point Roberts

 

The Editor:

I would like to add my voice to those supporting the Lummi Nation in its request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop the proposed GPT coal port at Cherry Point. I believe the many negative effects of this project would greatly impact the treaty rights of the tribe, as well as the rest of us living in this beautiful region.

I urge everyone to investigate the probable consequences of transporting, storing and shipping coal in our area. The document “The Proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) Facts and Impacts” compiled by volunteers at Save Birch Bay is available at the library and bookmobile. Please get informed.

Pat Vavrick
Blaine

 

The Editor:

Staff and patrons of the Blaine school district have learned that the recently proposed capital projects bond initiative has seen greater than a 70 percent approval rate. This level of support is historically high, and well beyond the 60 percent level required for passage of the measure.

On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the patrons of Birch Bay, Blaine and Point Roberts for their support of their schools, and the students who are educated in our preschool through grade 12 classrooms each day. We feel privileged to have the opportunity to make much needed improvements to multiple facilities in the district.

In the days and months ahead, we are committed to keeping our constituents informed of the progress that is being made specific to planning for and the delivery of our commitments. These are exciting times in public education, and with your support our students will have an even greater opportunity to maximize their learning potential.

Ronald C. Spanjer Ed.D.
Superintendent, Blaine school district

 

The Editor:

This letter is an expression of gratitude to my community for passing the Blaine school district bond. As a graduate from Blaine High School and a current senior at Stanford University, I know how exceptional the education at Blaine is for being a smaller public school, and how dilapidated the physical facilities currently are.

Besides the pure need for a school that doesn’t leak every time it rains, the passing of this bond shows that the community believes Blaine students are worth the investment. It shows that they are worth more than these leaky roofs and outdated facilities.

It makes my heart swell with joy to see my community believe and invest in the abilities of our students! Passing this bond provides students with the tools and support they need to be successful not only in high school but also in community college, technical school and even universities like Stanford.

Martell Hesketh
Blaine

 

The Editor:

A wide range of businesses and people studied the GPT proposal and reached the same conclusion as the Lummi Nation – GPT is unworthy of support.

Goldman Sachs studied the GPT proposal and concluded GPT wouldn’t be profitable enough to invest in and, like the Lummi Nation, apparently decided it didn’t want any part in GPT. In 2013 Goldman Sachs sold its entire 49 percent share of SSA Marine (the corporation proposing GPT).

Like the Lummi Nation, none of Cherry Point’s three existing industries has endorsed GPT. For BP Refinery, Alcoa-Intalco, and Conoco-Phillips, GPT would increase the likelihood of costly accidents.

In a 2011 lawsuit, BNSF testified that coal trains can destabilize railroad track and cause train derailments. Because GPT’s 18 daily coal trains would use the exact same track as Cherry Point’s crude oil and chemical trains, GPT would increase the likelihood of existing industries’ trains derailing.

Coal ships, among the world’s biggest vessels, have the worst safety record of all vessels, according to maritimeaccident.org. Too big to move in a single shipping lane, a GPT coal ship would take up both northbound and southbound shipping lanes, causing delays and hazards for other industries’ ships and increasing the chance of catastrophic accidents in our waters.

GPT’s 2.5 miles of six-story high, uncovered coal stockpiles would emit approximately 3 million pounds of coal dust annually and sit directly across Aldergrove Road from BP Refinery. GPT’s windblown coal dust would accumulate upon BP’s towering structures, sensors, valves, etc.

After careful study, like the Lummi Nation, 214 Whatcom County doctors decided they could not support GPT, saying, “…we are deeply concerned about the health and safety impacts of this proposal.” (bit.ly/1HVzC2D)

While our values may differ, businesses and people who’ve studied the GPT proposal agree with the Lummi Nation – GPT would harm what we value. And like the people of the Lummi Nation, we will not be bought or bullied by SSA Marine into surrendering our right and individual responsibility to protect what we value from being harmed by GPT.

Paula Rotundi
Birch Bay

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