Letters to the editor May 2015

The Editor:

Our library offers so much for this community: entertainment with books, movies, magazines, games and indoor and outdoor activities for children, ‘in-betweeners,’ and adults; educational access for adults looking for information, students needing facts for homework and children just learning the pleasures of reading and group activities.

Our library offers a quiet refuge to browse the newest in literature, science, history, crafts, gardening, music, movies and so much more on the shelves and throughout the entire Whatcom County Library System via the computer system.

Saturdays are a treat for the youngsters as staff and volunteers entertain and educate them with stories and activities. Summers offer reading programs for children and teens with incentives to continue reading and learning long after school is out.

These reasons are part of the ongoing effort to build a new library on the Point and the community has met this challenge with enthusiasm and donations. The dream is becoming a reality.

As we all work towards that goal, something additional needs doing. Do you know the Friends of the Point Roberts book sales help fund the local programs for kids and adults and the summer reading program? And while the generous donations of books for the sale are greatly appreciated, the one thing the library is short on is volunteers to help with these sales. Whether it is sorting books, hanging signs announcing the sales, being cashiers, helping people find what they are looking for or helping with setup or breakdown, the library could use your help.

An hour here and there could do so much. Avid readers helping set up for the sales actually have first choice on books to buy as they are placed out for sale. Young people with time on their hands this summer would find satisfaction volunteering for the library and the community.

If you are looking for a way to thank the library for all it offers Point Roberts, this might just be the way and it will cost you nothing but a little time and energy. The result will be continuing programs that can grow to meet the needs of a growing community of young readers, as well as those who are old friends of books and libraries.

Phyllis Van Sant
Point Roberts

The Editor:

KRPI has plans to locate a directional array of five 12-story tall antennas at Tyee Drive and McKenzie Way right as you enter Point Roberts. The fight to stop the invasion of these 50,000-watt radio towers is not over.

While the antennas would destroy five acres of woods and be truly ugly, the bigger problems involve:

1. Electromagnetic blanketing interference on your electronic devices that cannot be effectively mitigated. The FCC does not require broadcasters to fix phones (landlines, cell and cordless) computers, speakers of all kinds, hearing aids, baby monitors and etc., because they cannot be fixed. For details go to: fcc.gov/guides/public-and-broadcasting-july-2008 and read “Blanketing Interference.”

2. The KRPI 1550 AM antennas would produce 50,000 watts of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) 24/7 that moves as both sky and ground waves along the ground near the speed of light, penetrating our homes, businesses and bodies.

Many folks worry about the .5 watts of EMR from a cell phone and the 100 watts that emanate from our local cell tower. But what about the elephant in the room with 50,000 watts of EMR coming from AM radio transmission antennas?

The EMR from these AM antennas would impact every corner of the Point and they represent a serious potential health threat. Visit notowers.webs.com and click on “Concerns about Electromagnetic Radiation” to learn about the latest research on how EMR can effect cells in our bodies or check out Professor Martin Blank’s book, “Overpowered: The Dangers of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMF) and What You Can Do About It” (available at amazon.com).

We have won rounds one and two in our fight and we are warming up for round three later this summer. On another front, our FCC petition to deny and informal objections, filed through our attorneys in Washington, D.C. are working their way through the system and should yield results later this summer.

We have great attorneys representing us but this is resulting in a very expensive fight. Please consider sending a check to: PRTA-FTT, P.O. Box 158. Point Roberts, WA, 98281 or go to notowers.webs.com and select the “donate” button.

We are having a big fundraising event, the Delta Dreamlife Art and Travel Auction on June 7, 1–5 p.m., at Harris Barn in Ladner. Please save the date and if you have an object d’art or a travel package you would like to donate, it would be greatly appreciated. You may contact us at: lrwilk@telus.net or call Lois Wilkinson at 604/943-1821.

We believe we can and will win this battle. Remember, if the towers are ever built, they will be here forever.

Armene Belless, Cross Border
Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers

The Editor:

Re: $15 an hour. What that does is give all the greedy merchants, landlords, services, etc., the opportunity to raise prices accordingly, thus basically nullifying this $5 an hour raise. But it really hurts the seniors who are living on a fixed income and darn near at poverty level before the raise. It will just guarantee placing many of us on the poverty level for sure.

Besides, and this ought to raise a few hackles, the majority of people who work for minimum wage have no skills whatsoever and are really not qualified for such high wages. The people they work for have to train them to do the job. And truth be told, they all want the jobs and the money, but darn few really want the work.

Harold “Tom” Thomson
Blaine

The Editor:

We human beings have such short memories, and our need to have immediate financial gratification puts blinders on us. Hanford is one of the largest and most difficult superfund toxic cleanup sites in the United States. The leakage of radioactive and poisonous chemicals into the ground and water will go on for hundreds of years or longer.

With Hanford as an example, why are we trying to create a superfund site for future generations to clean up in our own backyard? By allowing millions of tons of toxic coal to sit on our ground awaiting shipment to China and elsewhere, we will have a supersite disaster in the making. Every time it rains, poisonous chemicals will leach into the ground and eventually into our waters, both fresh and salt. It will take hundreds of years, if ever, to erase the damage this coal dump will cause to our environment.

And for what? A few jobs, so a couple of corporations can get even richer, so Chinese businessmen can get wealthier selling us more junk we don’t need, so we can breath the chemicals and fumes that are carried back to us by the winds when the Chinese burn our coal?

Like I said, we human beings have such short memories, and our need for immediate gratification puts blinders on us.

We at The Circle of Trees Studio and Homestead support the Lummi effort to keep coal dumps and their toxic chemical legacy out of our lands, waters and lungs forever.

Ron Snyder and Cathy Taggett
Blaine 

The Editor:

The Gateway terminal is a game-changer for Whatcom County. If you take the time to listen to the facts and not the fear mongering, you will see that this industry will really help our community in several ways.

First of course are the jobs. Some people say there won’t be that many jobs but how often do you get more than 1,000 permanent local jobs that can support families, and also 4,000-plus jobs that will develop as a result of a couple of years of construction?

The taxes Gateway will pay go to county schools that need the money the state can’t afford to provide. Unlike big retail businesses that want tax breaks, Gateway is not asking for any subsidy. The project will pay its own way. It will join the other good neighbor industries that have benefited our community at Cherry Point.

Environmentally, the Gateway terminal will surpass all of Washington’s extremely high standards. If you care about the people who are trying to make a living that covers the costs of living her, you will see that this shipping terminal is a real benefit for now and the future.

Patric Sheppard
Bellingham

The Editor:

I’m all for the Gateway shipping terminal. Other states like Wyoming rely on our ports to get their products to market. They would much rather use American facilities and keep jobs in this country than send them abroad. The same is true for Washington – we need port capacity to ship our products such as apples and airplanes overseas.

The trains come through here all the time to older, outdated shipping terminals in Canada. Why would we want to give this work away to Canada when we have people right here in Washington who are willing and able to do it? If you truly care about the environment, then you would want the Gateway facility, because this terminal will be built with the newest, cleanest technology.

I’m disappointed that the Lummi leaders won’t talk with the Gateway people. I hope they look out for the entire community, which supports their casino and other businesses, and find common ways to protect their future without blocking opportunities for working families.

Frank Smith
Bellingham

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