Letters

Letters to the Editor, Week of Aug. 10, 2022

August 10, 2022 at 5:10 a.m.


Editor,

I am thankful that the victim of the bear attack (CDN, Aug. 4, 2022) wasn't hurt more seriously, and I wish him a quick and as full a recovery as possible. But I am very, very disappointed with the fact that this mother bear was killed simply because she felt that she was protecting her young.

It is well known that mothers of all species will do whatever is necessary to protect their young if they feel they are threatened. Bears are no exception. This bear, at most, should have been tranquilized and her “sub-adult yearlings” should have been taken to a very remote area and released.

It is true that sometimes these bears will return to the area in which they were captured, but it is just as true they do not. A tracking collar or just a bright non-deteriorating collar could then have been placed around her neck and if she was found to be returning to the area where she was captured, the agents then would be justified in killing this mother bear. 

But to intentionally kill a mother bear for doing what all mothers would do if given the means and ability is not only unjustifiable but also likely totally unnecessary.

We should be better than this.

Humans that intentionally murder people, sometimes dozens of innocent people, are rarely put to death and sometimes only serve several years for these very intentional and horrific acts. But somehow, we justify the killing of a mother bear for merely protecting her young. More importantly, we should remember and realize that she only escalated to the point that she felt necessary to stop the perceived threat, and then she retreated to the safety of the woods.

Ken Mason

Bellingham


Editor,

The decision is in, folks (CDN, Aug. 4, 2022), the omniscient “scoring machine,” like the “Wizard of Oz,” told the Port officials that they should build another boutique hotel and some new housing down at the site.

“Whew! We sure love that scoring machine,” one official exclaimed. “Otherwise we’d have to take the hit for tossing out that pesky YMCA/aquatic idea.”

Scoring as a tool is analogous in some ways to board game spinners. You spin the needle and the needle stops on a pie-shaped area. The information in the pie-shaped area directs your next move.

In the Port case, all one can conclude is that they made their own spinner. Not surprisingly, on that disk, the hotel and housing options would have gobbled up a sizeable amount of room on the dial. 

The YMCA and the “build it and they will come” soccer field were fighting each other for space on the spinner, and probably fell off during the spins anyway. 

The Port and City Poobahs got a turn. The needle stopped mostly at the desired result.

The most important stakeholder, the public, once more, didn’t get a turn to play.

Nevertheless, the city will have a boutique hotel, and there will be new unaffordable affordable housing.

No doubt the request for reservations at this new hotel will flood in as the views of the new structure will overlook a big pile of toxic dirt; and as an added bonus, an excellent view of the illegal activity on Cornwall. 

Other recent decisions, to date, by the Port and City are: approval of an additional 100 beds at the Lighthouse, and selection of a $258 million anaerobic digestion treatment process for the Post Point waste plant. A perfect trifecta of expensive warts that will linger for years.

Bob Morton

Bellingham


Editor,

Thank you for reporting on the independent money being spent to attack 42nd District state Senate candidate Sharon Shewmake (CDN, August 3, 2022). So helpful that you shined a light under the oily hood of the North Cascade Jobs PAC and its lone funder, Jobs PAC. These are not easy entities for normal citizens to research.

Whatcom voters might like to know that in addition to fossil fuel interests including Marathon Petroleum and Koch Industries, who have ponied up to attack Ms. Shewmake, Jobs PAC donor “Hospitals for a Healthy Future” has a local connection. This group is the Political Action Committee for the Washington State Hospital Association, of which PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center is a member.

How many of the rank-and-file local employees of St. Joseph hospital (in 2019, Whatcom County’s largest employer with 3,116 employees) know that some of the resources of the “not-for-profit healthcare system” that employs them are being used to finance TV and digital ads attacking a local mother and economist running for the state Senate? Or that on its members' behalf, the WSHA PAC also made the maximum allowable contribution to Ms. Shewmake’s Republican opponent?

It’s easy for a small donor to know whom to support in this race. Sharon Shewmake for Senate.

Edward Wolf

Bellingham


Editor,

A fellow Hamster recently wrote of a new Bellingham growth industry described as services for the unhoused whom he characterizes as “people unwilling to incorporate into productive society" (CDN, July 20, 2022). This narrative of the houseless is all too common and, after my experiences volunteering with Lighthouse Mission, is a narrative that I think we must challenge. It is inaccurate and demeaning, and obscures the policies and societal structures that have led to steadily increasing houseless populations in Bellingham and across the U.S. 

I'd like to invite the writer and others of a similar mindset to spend a day working with Lighthouse Mission staff and their guests. Each is simply a human being with varied life stories behind their current experiences of houselessness, with flaws just like any one of us, and with the same needs and desires as those of us fortunate enough to be living out a privileged middle-class life. All of them navigate structural barriers and the stigmatization of their circumstances that make accessing the support and resources they need extremely difficult. The Lighthouse Mission offers a space for the unhoused to access their basic human rights to food and shelter — it dignifies them as human beings. Do not each of us, no matter our circumstances, deserve nourishing meals each day and a roof over our heads each night? 

The writer ended with the question “Do I really want my city to become a mecca for homelessness?” No, I’d like Bellingham to become a model for how we treat all human beings without food or shelter. Kudos to the city and our hearing examiner for approval of the new 300-bed facility. And much gratitude to Lighthouse Mission for the work they do!

Larry and Carley Kwiatkowski

Bellingham


Editor,

The beautiful proposal from the YMCA is what is needed, to reinvent, reinvigorate and redefine the old GP industrial site at the Boardmill site. 

The new YMCA proposal for the waterfront will serve all of our Bellingham and Whatcom County citizens. For 50 years, I, my children and grandchildren have learned to stay healthy, cradle-to-grave throughout all the YMCA programs. The YMCA supports thousands of our local citizens, employing staff and building partnerships with our schools, PeaceHealth, Opportunity Council, Bellingham Parks and other organizations to provide daycare for working parents, healthy classes for older adults, sports for all ages, swimming skills and safety skills, early learning, after-school programming, Youth Institutes for Teens, chronic disease prevention programs, survival programs for cancer survivors, Girls on the Run, Trailblazers, youth government skills, and showers and support for the homeless. 

Working with an experienced and knowledgeable design and community team, the YMCA is showing leadership in building a community facility for all. The YMCA at the Boardmill proposal has been designed as an architectural centerpiece for Bellingham for all. We hope that our elected Port commissioners will think about what will draw their families and friends to the waterfront. Please support the YMCA proposal at the Boardmill.

Wendy Scherrer

Bellingham

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