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Letters to the Editor, Week of Jan. 24, 2024

Great presidents, busted pipes, urine and industrial zoning


Having grown up in Bellingham but now living two hours south, I have come to rely on the CDN to stay informed and it does not disappoint. My thoughts: 1) Mr. Hannam made some logical points in his letter but wrapped up with stating that Trump was the best president in his lifetime, 75 years. Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama would probably disagree. 2) I look forward to seeing Kayla Heidenreich’s byline in every issue; she is a gem. 3) When you think about how to vote for your Whatcom County schools, remember all the stories about broken pipes and water damage, just sayin’.

Scott Thompson

I wanted to reach out and give a big congratulations to all those who worked to put on the Fire & Story gathering last week at the Bellingham waterfront. It was one of the best events I have been to in Bellingham in years. The fires, the songs, the stories all together with a cold but beautiful evening, kid-friendly, dog-friendly, everyone huddled in your best winter duds, drinking hot ciders rotating in and out of the fires, rings of light and warmth, just awesome! This is what a community is all about. Thanks.

Gary P. Malick
Whatcom County

When it comes to addressing problems, urine or you’re out. 

Honestly, I wrinkle my nose at the idea of recycling urine to harvest the plant-growing nutrients that could fertilize agriculture as I watched CBS’s Sunday Morning coverage of this solution, last Sunday, but can’t un-see the potential solution here. 

Hear me out. 

The very marine algal growth that sustains life in the Salish Sea can be overly fertilized by nitrogen and create an over-abundance of life at the surface that — after death, depth and decay — can result in low to no oxygen levels at depth with the consequence of suffocating creatures that we care about.  

Human sources of nitrogen include agriculture and pee. If you’re not already aware, removing nitrogen from pee is a big deal in Washington right now. I’ve been told that it’s billions of dollars big. Many already struggle to pay utilities in Washington and the harm of increased costs to pay for more nitrogen removal from our pee is real. 

What if there is a solution that would allow us to address one harm (to our Salish Sea ecosystem) and side-step another harm (to humans)? What if repurposing our potty nitrogen production into fertilizer could both save fish from suffocating and save humans from the harm of increasing utility costs?  

Are we too averse to the discomfort of doing something different that we’d choose harm to avoid creative problem-solving? I invite you to consider this possible solution. What do you think? Urine?

Rachael D. Mueller

The writer of a Jan. 17, 2024, Letter to the Editor criticized a Jan. 10, 2024, letter writer for claiming that no evidence was cited for the statement that “Republicans don’t know anything about economic issues.” Since lack of evidence was the issue, the following is proffered as verification.

Increase in national debt:

Republican presidents: Trump (one term) + $8.0 trillion; G.W. Bush (two terms) + $6.1 trillion; G.H.W. Bush (one term) + $1.6 trillion; Reagan (two terms) + $1.9 trillion. Six terms total: + $19.0 trillion; six terms equals $3.2 trillion per term. 

Democrat presidents: Obama (two terms) + $8.3 trillion; Clinton (two terms) + $1.4 trillion; Carter (one term) + $299 billion. Five terms total: + $11.2 trillion; five terms equals $2.2 trillion per term. (Biden’s term is incomplete.) 

The aggregate increases in the national debt under GOP presidents exceeded Democrat presidents’ increases by $1 trillion per presidential term and Trump’s term exceeded each of the individual presidents’ terms regardless of party.

The above data show that neither political party has a legitimate claim to fiscal responsibility as measured by national debt increase; secondly, the data indicate that Trump was the “best president ever” as measured by the record-setting increase in the national debt during his one term. 

GOP tax cuts for corporations and the rich have been major contributors to the ongoing rise in our national debt. Congressional Republicans’ current “solution” ignores these facts and instead proposes to limit spending in ways that will hurt the vast majority of people. Please vote!

Jerry Hunter

Thank you John D’onofrio for your editorial exposing the real villain in the ABC scrap metal debacle. It was the three Port of Bellingham directors, elected and paid by the taxpayers of Bellingham, that quietly sold this property to ABC.

Clearly, port officials were aware of the reaction that would follow, to locating this business within 1,000 feet of a school, 600 feet of a day care center, and surrounded by the Alderwood neighborhood. During the hearing and vote to delay this venture (which lost by one vote), Todd Donovan noted the industrial zoning established in the 1800s for this area “slipped through the cracks” and should have been changed to reflect current land use of the area.

Thankfully the Bellingham community is not going to stand still for another ridiculous decision made by the port without regard for the future of our beautiful precious waterfront, as well as quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Claudia DeWees

Editor’s Note: The Port of Bellingham did not sell the referenced neighborhood property to ABC Recycling. The property at 741 Marine Drive was purchased by ABC Recycling in a private sale. 

Letters to the Editor are published online Wednesdays; a selection is published in print Fridays. Send to 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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