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Letters to the Editor, Week of Jan. 25, 2023

National Press Club, state parks, government, and news coverage


Julia Lerner’s article on police departments accessing military surplus from the federal government was quite interesting. According to the article, Ferndale has received three-quarters of a million dollars’ worth of equipment, all but a few thousand of that for an MRAP (mine-resistant vehicle). Ferndale’s communications officer says this is saving the city a significant amount of money.

In my opinion, you are only saving if you had in your budget money to purchase an MRAP and now can use that for something else, which I doubt was the case. And, there is the fact that nothing really comes free. I assume there are costs for such things as fuel, maintenance, storage, etc. for such a vehicle. Saying this is a big savings for Ferndale taxpayers is more than a bit of a stretch.

Rick Osen



I spent a worthwhile three hours Friday on a Zoom “Belmarsh Tribunal” forum at the National Press Club in D.C. Among 20 speakers were Daniel Ellsberg, Jeremy Corbin, Noam Chomsky, Steven Donziger, former CIA agent and attorney Jeffrey Stirling, and Katrina VandenHeuval. The Club was packed to overflowing, and there were about 5,000 on the call, from Norway to Australia, hosted by Amy Goodman. (I noticed a few others in the chat from Bellingham.) The purpose was to bring attention to the pivotal case of Julian Assange, who is imprisoned in the high-security Belmarsh Prison in London, where the stressors there have caused him to have a stroke. Because, as attorney Ben Wisner said, “no government will reveal its own war crimes,” we the people need to defend those reporters who keep us, the public, informed about what our country is doing in the world. As Columbia professor Dr. Jeffrey Sachs has stated, “U.S. foreign policy is based on regime change.” In this backward world, those who report war crimes are smeared and hushed, while the criminals who commit those crimes, like George Bush, go scot-free.  

There has been absolutely no due process in this case, and the government has no real legal claims against him. Therefore, the Security State is hoping he will languish and die in prison before a trial, as a warning to other potential investigative journalists. I have seen the videos Assange released to various media, including The New York Times and The Guardian, and can testify to the horror of watching innocent Iraqi civilians and Reuters news reporters gunned down from an Apache helicopter, while the gunners were laughing as they viewed from above, shooting again when anyone on the ground moved. I learned that this scene was only one of thousands during these wars, and we don’t know what crimes are being committed with our tax money as we speak. We back genocide of Palestinians, Peruvian protesters, and Black lives here at home. Speak up … democracy dies in silence!

Dianne Foster 



Have you heard of or visited the Westport Lighthouse State Park in Westport? The park’s website describes this park quite accurately:

“Westport Light State Park beaches could have sprung from a novel. Tall dune grasses whisper in the wind. Pathways snake along low bluffs down to sandy stretches of shore. Sunlight plays on the landscape (or storm clouds roll in) and birds cry in the distance.”

This park is exactly that and the only beach without vehicular travel on the sand. 

The Parks Commissioners have a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a developer that wants to install a Scottish-style golf course in this park.

Please search “Westport Lighthouse golf” and select the link to comment against this development. The link is also here:  

Comments are all anonymous. There are numerous biology, hydrology and feasibility studies which all extol the reasons why a golf course should not be developed. If you have visited this park, which belongs to all Washingtonians, you will experience the beautiful beaches, wonderful ocean waves and a step into the wilderness beauty that cannot be replaced. 

Please comment today to save this park from commercial development.

Meghan Anderson



Washington State has a strong Title IX history that includes the landmark 1979 Supreme Court case Blair v. Washington State University that set a precedent for how Washington’s public colleges and universities support women’s athletics. Colleges (like WSU) and sports organizations are celebrating Title IX’s 50-year anniversary. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has been a continuous supporter of the Title IX program since its passage in 1973,

Title IX’s definition expands to many other regulations. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights enforces, among other statutes, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department. These recipients include approximately 17,600 local school districts, over 5,000 postsecondary institutions, and charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries and museums. Also included are vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies of 50 states, the District of Columbia, and territories of the United States. 

On Dec. 7, the Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office announced it was filing charges against three assistant principals for non-reporting of violations of Title IX. There are now legal proceedings regarding this case. This apparent mishandling is very disappointing to those of us who advocated for gender equity in schools 50 years ago.

Clearly, there is some issue with training and support within the Bellingham School District for none of the incidents to have been reported to the Title IX Coordinator. In addition, I find it unbelievable that the school employee would actually put a victim in an uncompromising position of meeting with her accused perpetrator.

After 50 years of Title IX, there is lack of gender pay equity in sports, young women continue to get the leftovers with gym time and continue to be subjected to date rape and harassment while in our public schools. This is not an isolated incident; it continues to happen across our country, state and local schools. It is time to hold individuals and the School District accountable for following federal law.

Catherine Chambers

AAUW (American Association of University Women)


This letter needs a headline!

Thank you for Bellingham’s best news coverage ever. But that’s not the reason I’m writing. Which does bring us to my reason for writing. I understand the purpose of titles and/or groupings of opinions under the same title; it helps one select the letters of most interest. I don’t understand beginning each letter with “Editor,” as we all know Letters to the Editor are to the editor. Here we are again at the point of this letter: Why not have titles for opinion letters? Look at what you just had to read in order to sort out what this letter is about. If it were possible to read more strategically, I’d read letters more. I bet others might, too.

Thanks for your consideration.

Kathleen Grimbly


Editor’s Note: We’re taking this under advisement!

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