Letters to the Editor: March 2018

The Editor:

To the thoughtless person(s) who dumped all their old books in the library book drop this month and then crammed all their returns in so tightly that the book drop couldn’t open:

Whether or not the library is open, we are not accepting donations due to lack of space. The book drop is only for checked out library items.

If the items don’t fit, there are other options: Go online at wcls.org and renew them on your account, or come in when we are open and our staff can easily waive any fines incurred because the book drop was full. Open hours are Tuesday 1-7 p.m.,Wednesday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

It was both infuriating and difficult to pry out enough items to even pull the receptacles out, without damaging either items or hands, and many fell to the ground.

Kristin Lomedico, branch manager

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has comforted me during these past weeks with hugs, love, support and food. This is a wonderful community with very special residents and I am so blessed to be residing here during trying times. Ed would also appreciate you support if he were here. Thank you all again.

Virginia Lester

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Another day, another heartbreaking mass shooting. Although our schools and concert venues have become increasingly unsafe, senator Doug Ericksen can’t see his way to doing anything about it.

The Las Vegas shooter in October used a “bump stock” – a trigger modification that turns a semi-automatic weapon into a machine gun – to kill 58 and wound over 500 in less than 10 minutes.

To its credit, our State Senate just passed a bill banning bump stocks – with bipartisan support. But Ericksen opposed it, saying a ban in Washington wouldn’t prevent a purchase in another state.

It’s up to our state to protect us. Other states should step up, and many will, to protect their own. Saying that one law won’t automatically prevent every mass shooting is no excuse for doing nothing.

Senator Ericksen seems to favor doing nothing.

Myra Ramos

Lummi Island

The Editor:

Be on the lookout for petitions for I-1600 – Universal Healthcare for Washington State. The measure would provide for the establishment of a comprehensive state non-profit program to pay for healthcare for all Washington residents.

Rather than the 12-15 percent of salaries individuals now pay to for-profit insurers, the Medical Care Trust would be funded by premiums and assessments on employers, individuals and capital gains, to make individuals pay 8.5 percent, a huge savings and held separated from the general fund!

Gone would be profit margin based denials, the lawyers who we must fight for implementation of policies we have paid for, those who divide citizens into acceptable risk pools, or premiums we pay that yield dividends for Wall Street investors. Say goodbye to huge CEO salaries, masses of offices workers who have to process paperwork for multiple for-profit companies, and Charge Master lists that require negotiation for coverage of hospital procedures.

Goodbye multiple competing computer software company programs that processes patient records, because there would be one integrated system. Good thing I-1600 includes retraining of displaced personnel.

Did you know Toronto General Hospital has only two insurance processor personnel? With our large medical infrastructure already in place, I-1600 would save Washington multiple millions to add to our economy and education, long term benefits for short term adjustments.

Donna Starr

Blaine

The Editor:

Do we need a destination off-road vehicle all-terrain vehicle park on Sumas and Red Mountains in east Whatcom County? If you ask the local residents the answer is a resounding no!

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been working on a Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan which includes opening up a section of Sumas and Red Mountain DNR timber lands to ORV/ATV machines. This plan is dangerous. These forested areas become very dry in the summer and so are vulnerable to forest fire. The local firefighting system is primarily overburdened as well as the East County Sheriff’s Department. There is no additional provision or support for these areas proposed.

These forested lands are homes to many of our wild critters and potential habitat for our Endangered Marbled Murrelets. The mountains host many feeder streams for our local salmon streams and rivers.

It is ill advised because the local residents overwhelmingly do not want ORVs and ATVs on these mountains and are concerned about the noise, pollution and disruption to the land their use and peaceful areas. They do support all kinds of non-motorized recreation.

You can find out about this plan at the DNR Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan website.

Oh, and the DNR has asked the county to amend the law to allow motorized trail systems for all commercial forest zones in Whatcom County. You can write to them expressing your opinion or show up when it is introduced to the council.

Do we really want this?

Pam Borso

Custer

Online comment in response to mandatory garbage pickup moves ahead:

“I already resent having to pay for water that I don’t use , and now trash that I don’t put out. I get it but for someone who perhaps spends less than a month a year at our place it still makes it the most expensive trash ever. Thanks so much! How about a seasonal summer rate of 4 months?”

Tricia Scott

“Just a few thoughts to ponder on the new forced garbage pickup in the Point.

As I already have to pay 13.5 cents per pound, I wonder how much per pound it will rise to now that many people will have to pay for garbage that will not have to be collected as they don’t permanently reside on the Point.

Another thing I am curious about is the amount of money the county is charging for the lease of the publicly-owned transfer station. If it is still a nominal fee being paid by waste company, then perhaps that should change to reflect the new garbage regime and maybe that money could stay in the community for much needed infrastructure improvements.

I am sure everyone is in agreement that the dumping of garbage on our streets was a problem but it was mostly large items and not really household garbage; you will still have to pay to get rid of these large items. It seems to me that most of the benefit of this mandatory pickup is one sided. Lastly, I don’t really like to hear the quote “the county is forcing me to become a millionaire.” – R Taylor

In response to Community rallies to help local resident Bradley Everett

“This warms my heart and soul that this community has embraced my brother’s fight in this disease. When all six siblings, spouse and Bradley’s 91-year-old Mother Helen and 90-year-old Aunt Renee arrived on the Point, it wasn’t long before we saw how loved Bradley was and that this was truly his home. Thank you for organizing this wonderful event!” – Lynette Vecchio

“A heartfelt thank you to the Point Roberts community for rallying around our brother, Brad Everett. His six siblings, spouses, mother and aunt all came to Point Roberts in 2016, from Tampa, Nashville and Minneapolis, to celebrate his 60th birthday and fell in love with the people and community. Words cannot convey how much your support means to our family. With gratitude, Ann Everett Pfister and the rest of Bradley’s family.” – Ann Everett Pfister

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