Letters – March 2021

Posted

The Editor:

I grew up playing in the woods by Baker Field and I was saddened to see bright orange paint on the trees and cheap tchotchkes nailed to the trunks. I know that many children might enjoy seeing the gimmicky attractions maybe once or twice, but the woods in their original splendor is what evokes a child’s imagination.

I appreciate the effort and I know it was done with good intentions. However, I wish that the person in charge of the Enchanted Forest had considered asking the people who lived here as children what they thought. I always felt that decisions regarding the lives of children in Point Roberts were often made without asking for the input of the children themselves.

I spent countless hours in those woods; making mud pies, watching tadpoles swimming, pretending I was a wizard of the magic forest. We didn’t need any shiny whirligigs or brightly painted doors. I know there are plenty of trails in Point Roberts, but these particular trails are especially significant to the children of Point Roberts and I am deeply saddened to see how they have been transformed. I feel like the forest has been vandalized. It’s as if someone spray painted a giant neon yellow smiley face on a Monet painting. The forest was perfect the way it was.

I remember once a few years ago before the Enchanted Forest appeared, I was walking in that area and there were three snowy owls up in the trees. I stopped and basked in the beauty of this sacred place, feeling extraordinarily grateful to have grown up here. I remembered the adventures we had in that forest.

On these adventures we only needed one crucial thing with us and that was our imagination. We imagined that the forest was our kingdom, and in that realm, we could be whoever we desired until the school bell rang or the sun began to set and it was time to go home. The enchanted forests of Point Roberts are full of magic, but those who were never children here are unable to see it.

Alex Mayorga

San Francisco

 

The Editor:

As we bear witness to the aggressive removal of houseless people from the encampment at Bellingham City Hall, we should remember this sort of combative response to people power is not new in Bellingham. The beginning of the U.S. Army occupation in this region was marked by the forced removal of people from their homes in order to construct a watchtower and prison. Bellingham is no stranger to militaristic actions disguised as public safety measures.

My question is: If safety for all is a priority of mayor Seth Fleetwood (as it should be), why did he deploy SWAT officers, paramilitary units, Customs and Border Patrol officers, rooftop spotters, weapons, bulldozers, vehicles and police from both Bellingham and out of town against his own constituents? No city is safe when occupied by agents of state terror. Far from advocating for the houseless people of Bellingham, Seth Fleetwood has waged war against them.

One of the main authorities of the mayor is the ability to expropriate unused properties – and in the middle of a pandemic, there have never been more unused properties in Bellingham. This should mean that it has never been easier for city government to create safe and dignified housing for its community. Existing shelters in town, including Lighthouse Mission and Base Camp, have faced serious criticism from those seeking support.

Issues include: Discrimination based on mental health status and addiction, sexual assault allegations, forced religious views, and the myth of meritocracy – the idea that only people who work hard deserve housing. These are some of the many ways existing shelters in Bellingham have denied people’s humanity and dignity.

I am calling on mayor Seth Fleetwood to make reparations for the damage he has done in terrorizing the community, both housed and houseless. He must secure safe housing for every individual in Bellingham, and publicly apologize to the entire community for waging war on our streets.

Marii Herlinger

Bellingham

 

The Editor:

Concerned, worried – legitimate feelings relative to the federal policies being established these past weeks – especially relative to energy and fossil fuel issues.

Most individuals are not well versed (nor should they necessarily need to be) in the inter-related technical aspects. Fossil fuel usage, like most all ‘useful’ commodities, is accompanied by both negative and positive trade-offs.

One side effect of fossil fuel usage, for transportation and electric-power generation, is the creation of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide increases the reflective characteristic of the atmosphere, contributing to a warming effect in the atmosphere – arguably a negative trade-off.

Carbon dioxide also induces a fertilization element into the environment – a definite positive trade-off. Studies have shown that the reflective contribution of carbon dioxide has near-leveled off. Studies have also determined that its fertilization contribution is not only ‘of value’ but a necessity. The present concentration of about 400 parts per million (ppm) is well below the recommended fertilization level of 800 to 1000 ppm, and the saturation level of 1300 ppm.

As well, the present growth rate of carbon dioxide is only about 0.6 ppm per year. Therefore, many experts contend that the positive ‘fertilization’ component of a carbon dioxide enhanced atmosphere far outweighs the negative, very moderately increasing, ‘reflective’ characteristic.

Worldwide, human-mass, over the past 100 years, has selectively migrated toward year-round increased temperatures, at a significantly greater rate than the overall increase in atmospheric temperature(s). Human beings, as opposed to polar bears and penguins, are a naturally tropical species that, without the direct and indirect support of fossil fuels, would not likely survive unprotected, much above the 23rd parallel. Humans inherently flourish in warmer climates. As well, fossil fuels, particularly petroleum products, are required raw material for thousands of products that support our lives.

The above issues are not of my expertise – simply information that is factual. Conversion and control of both power and energy (each quite different), and electric vehicles, are areas of my career knowledge and experience; however, time/space here is limited.

Suffice to say: Concern, worry and fear are justifiable. Not relative to the disciplines themselves, but for; that our political class is directing the ‘solutions,’ not our technical communities. Not yet sure why that is.

Peter Werner

Blaine

 

The Editor:

I am a bit weary of people who use terms without understanding that they are painting with a broad brush. There are those who believe that affordable health care for all is socialism. There are those who believe that health care for only those who can afford it is democracy. (Now, that’s painting with a broad brush.)

My view is that if the nation has affordable health care for all, the result would be a healthier workforce with fewer production days lost to sickness or ill health. Not only that, the 1 percent who control the workforce would thus make even more money and increase the employment rate. 

If only.

Richard Mollette

Custer

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