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Letters to the Editor, Week of March 20, 2024

Lobbyists, toxic cleanups, Trump, Canadian shoppers and other unpleasantries


Casey Griesemer’s op-ed in Cascadia Daily News (CDN, March 14, 2024) highlights the malign influence the Association of Washington Cities is exerting on our state Legislature in combating common-sense reforms that are crucial to addressing our housing, homelessness and climate crises. The bill he mentions is only one of several that AWC helped kill this session.

Our tax dollars presumably are being used to pay for Bellingham’s membership in AWC and its lobbyist(s) in Olympia.

The city council has declared crises in these areas. Bellingham is among the larger members of AWC. 

Might you want to consider using whatever leverage you may have (possibly in concert with other larger city councils) to demand a change in AWC positions on housing? Or if that is impossible, withdrawing from AWC in a highly public way such as an op-ed in The Seattle Times?

Also, Port Townsend just got rid of all mandatory parking minimums.

Andrew Reding, Chair
Whatcom County Democrats

Your article about cleanups (CDN, March 11, 2024) brings welcome news, I think. Certainly good if the cleanups are done properly. You do not mention what would be done with the garbage in the old Cornwall landfill. There has been controversy in the past whether to truck the muck to a large landfill site in southeast Washington or eastern Oregon, or to attempt to contain it. Both plans have massive cons and a few pros. The details shouldn’t be glossed over. There needs to be public input.

Jeanie Bein

I would like to thank the Skagit Board of County Commissioners for placing an EMS levy renewal on the April 23, 2024, special election ballot to continue critical funding for emergency medical services in our community.

Every second counts in an emergency, and the EMS levy renewal will ensure we have enough personnel, supplies, equipment and ambulances to respond to calls — which have increased by 25% in the last four years.

In 2023, Skagit County EMS provider agencies, like mine in the upper east county, responded to more than 18,000 calls and provided more than 9,200 ambulance transports to area hospitals. More calls mean higher costs for everything from medical supplies to emergency personnel to ambulance replacements.

The EMS levy must be renewed by voters every six years and the April ballot measure asks voters to renew the EMS levy rate at 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This equates to a 17 cents levy rate increase that will ensure our countywide EMS system can continue to provide 24/7 EMS response and manage higher call volumes and costs to provide service.

If renewed, it will fund paramedics and EMTs, medical education and training, fuel, equipment, ambulance maintenance and replacement, and medical supplies.

I am proud to serve you and your family and grateful for your support of 24/7 EMS response.

Joe Frank
Paramedic with Aero Skagit

There was a lot of activity down at the port district recently. The banishment of the ABC scrap barge to the hinterlands, and then the visit from the entire Canadian Fleet. No doubt these ship movements were a source of excitement to the 24/7 South Hill shore watch.

A rumor made the rounds, floated by a regular at Stones Throw. The purpose of the Navy’s visit was Justin Trudeau’s Operation “Occupy Bellingham,” sneaking in in the dark of night. Their mission was a blockade, to let Mount Scrap Pile grow until the Port of Bellingham capitulated to ABC’s demand to allow continued operation.

Trusting rumors while quaffing a Clark’s Point IPA is always risky. Certainly, the timing was suspicious. But, investigation revealed that the rumor was entirely false. It was a humanitarian visit.

The actual mission was to hand out stale bags of maple-flavored pretzels; Kokanee Gold six packs; and boxes of Timbits to the locals. This benevolence, reflective of typical Canadian generosity, was to mollify the grumpy denizens of Bellingham who struggle to park at Trader Joe’s, always crammed with cars from B.C., hogging up all the spaces.

The Navy’s mission was a bust. As it happened, the construction work at the Harcourt Condos was fully staffed, two workers and a supervisor. They mobbed the sailors and grabbed the booty. They traded the pallets of Kokanee Gold for a bag of chips, a small keg of Boundary Bay Scotch and took the day off. The Timbits remain unaccounted for.

Bob Morton

These are astonishing times. The leader of our mainstream conservative political party exhibits every symptom of advanced dementia while urging his followers to visit a “bloodbath” on his opposing party.  And yet those in his party who claim to not really support him, though they will vote for him, make excuses for his behavior while lambasting his opponent who exhibits all the symptoms of a mature and thoughtful leader. 

President Joe Biden misspeaks and they whine. If one of them could muster the concentration to listen to more than a tweet-length sound byte, just listening would reveal that any public speaker of any age, occasionally misspeaks. Their messiah does not misspeak, he garbles. He looses his illness for all to see and, his evil and un-American intent comes across loud and clear. 

Add to that a daily plethora of equally, if not exceedingly ludicrous and ignorant, pronouncements from the right, and it all begins to meld into a mind-melting mass of nonsense.

What a rancorous, frightening realm the Republican mindset inhabits. Yet yelling from the rooftops at these people will not stir any humanity left in their empty vessels. The self interests of those who still possess a modicum of self awareness, cannot be overcome by reason or truth. To them, reality is just a state of mind that they reject.

Michael Waite

The modern pace of life makes it seem like there is no time to reach out to make a difference, but there is always five minutes to speak up for children. Imagine America having the highest poverty rates among the rich countries in our world, especially since we are the richest. Millions of children in our country are facing hunger, homelessness and lack of quality health care.

Right now the U.S. Senate seems too busy to take action on the House bill that would lift half a million children out of poverty, while giving a hand up to 16 million more. But if we raise our voices, calling on Senators [Patty] Murray and [Maria] Cantwell to speak to leadership to get the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act passed, we can make a difference. Both of our senators support this action, but hearing from us reminds them how important this is. A call to them, (202) 224-3121, can help move this bill and create a better future for millions of children.

Willie Dickerson

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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