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Letters to the Editor, Week of Jan. 3, 2024

Arrogant school admins, 'scrappy' CDN, scrap metal and those 'Boys in the Boat'

Editor,

Ron Judd’s dressing-down of the disdain and arrogance of our highly paid public servants at the Bellingham School District (CDN, Dec. 22, 2023) was spot on. The BSD episode is also a depressing reminder that an aloof citizenry will bring the halcyon days of public corruption to our neighborhoods. 

We’re incredibly fortunate to live in a two-newspaper town! Maybe what we all got wrong wailing and gnashing our teeth about the demise of local newspapers for the last decade was that the public appetite for aloofness was a much bigger threat. Is the citizenry going to continue to just shrug its shoulders over this kind of low-brow public arrogance? 

We chuckle and shake our heads when we hear about members of Congress on the other side of the country surrounding themselves only with professional spinmeisters, not even pretending to do their jobs. 

Is that what we do when public administrators in our own community spin their role in a coverup? How about when a police officer allegedly criminally fakes dry cleaning receipts and then his colleagues publicly salute him on the way out the door? Not one community organization stands up and calls for resignations?

At least we can read about it while Rome burns, haha and LOL.  

Lincoln Vander Veen

Bellingham

Editor,

Ron Judd’s Year in Review for 2023 (CDN, Dec. 29, 2023) is an impressive rundown of reporting on news that impacts all of us — from the environment to elections to drug trafficking and housing to the environment and health care. 

We’re fortunate to have a scrappy newspaper like Cascadia Daily News because it doesn’t shy away from calling truth to power, whether it’s reporting on politicians, city and county government, our only hospital in Whatcom County, school district administrators — you name it, CDN is on it!

As 2024 begins, I hope PeaceHealth corporate management will look themselves in the mirror and admit they need a re-do — not with their expensive new branding and new logo — but in how they communicate with the communities they serve. Honesty and transparency are always the best policy. 

Judd’s year-end review includes this quote related to the reinstatement of the out-patient palliative care program: “We are ramping up to full operations and are on target to reach more than 30 patients per month in the new year,” PeaceHealth Medical Group CEO Scott Foster said on Dec. 19…”

Thirty patients per month is “full operation?”

Whatcom County must be represented on the PeaceHealth System Governing Board. I’d like to see that happen in the new year’s first quarter. 

Delores Davies

Ferndale

Editor,

Hey! Mount Baker Theatre: 

Awesome show on Friday night! Railroad Earth was fantastic, the sound was excellent and the lights were on point! Now grow up, take yourself seriously and start acting like a real music venue. Just a heads up, people don’t sit in assigned seats at concerts. They have something called “general admission.” Also, at real concerts they sell alcohol anytime that you want it, not just during intermission.

Also, pro tip, get rid of the first 15 or 20 rows of seats so that people can cut loose and dance (you can put in some real nice folding chairs when you do the other stuff that you do, like magic shows). 

A couple of little changes and Bellingham might finally have a real music venue downtown. I had a fantastic time on Friday and if you keep booking real music, I’ll keep going to shows. But only if you start acting like a real music venue. 

Brian Martens

Bellingham

Editor,

Can we get on the same page here? At least most of us? 

Georgia-Pacific was fine in its day. Good jobs, etc. But we are a bit more knowledgeable now. The cleanup costs and the disastrous environmental impact about makes “good ole” G-P a draw.

Now we are “considering” the ABC (Always Buy Canadian?) proposal. What a smart environmental step into the future that is. (Not.)

Am I the only one who thought, “Great, G-P is gone, and after a huge, costly cleanup, we can finally see a people-friendly use of the coastal waters of Bellingham Bay!” I think not! Rather than continuing the pollution of air, land and sea (we can now add eyes and ears) perhaps we can find a nice place in British Columbia or anywhere else but NIOurBY!

Our great-grandchildren will look back at our decision-makers and, not quietly, say to all within hearing, “What on Earth were they thinking?”

Lynn Osler

Bellingham

Editor,

The name of the PR guy for ABC Recycling [Riley Sweeney] rang a bell.

He is the same person who ran the failed 2010 campaign for the Huxley professor who sought a seat on the Whatcom County Council. 

Let’s hope that Riley’s current campaign for ABC also fails.

Virginia Watson

Bellingham

Editor,

The article on UW’s historic shell house (CDN, Dec. 26, 2023) was personally interesting. I studied at, and worked for, UW between 1967 and 1973. I learned to sail through UW’s Yacht Club (really a sailing club, since our largest “yacht” was a 22-footer), rising to the rank of Rear Commodore, responsible for a program that taught about 600 students a year, but with no other trappings of power. 

Besides the other entities occupying the shell house, it housed the yacht club’s meeting room, sail locker and dinghy repair shop (students do tend to bang boats around). The hangar space housed five unique boats, 19-foot wooden scows of the Huskie class that were sailed by more expert members of the club, and only in heavy weather. 

I was posting in the sail locker when approached by a professor, Maury Rattray Jr., who invited me to crew for him in a Soling, with the Olympics as a goal. We made it to the Olympic Trials in 1972, a high point in my sailing career. 

Shortly after I left UW, a new waterfront activities center was built and the club abandoned the shell house. It was the focus of many good memories and adventures on the water. I greatly appreciate the look back in time the article provided me. 

Ed Wood

Bellingham

Editor,

I wish to commend you for the huge service that you, through this excellent newsifying outlet, provide us residents of the Fourth Quarter. Specifically, it is your regular commentary on the state of the pavement at a particular intersection that I find to be most insightful. 

I have run the numbers against my assumptions and found it true that there is a direct correlation between the column inches allocated on any one day to the previously mentioned Oregon-Trail-aged wagon ruts and the column inches allocated in that same issue to save-it-for-a-slow-news-day “content.” 

I am certain that I am not alone in appreciating the pure utility of this newsiness meter for the efficiency it provides in our daily lives and, hopefully, it will continue long, long, long into the future.

Ian Craigie

Sudden Valley

Letters to the Editor are published online Wednesdays; a selection is published in print Fridays. Send to letters@cascadiadaily.com by 10 a.m. Tuesdays. Rules: Maximum 250 words, be civil, have a point and make it clearly. Preference is given to letters about local subjects. CDN reserves the right to reject letters or edit for length, clarity, grammar and style, or removal of personal attacks or offensive content. Letters must include an address/phone number to verify the writer’s identity (not for publication).

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