Letters to the Editor, Week of Feb. 3, 2022

February 3, 2022 at 5:20 a.m.
A truck pulls into the lot at the FedEx regional distribution center on Saturday in Burlington, Skagit County. Countless customers point to the facility as a frustrating shipping sticking point.
A truck pulls into the lot at the FedEx regional distribution center on Saturday in Burlington, Skagit County. Countless customers point to the facility as a frustrating shipping sticking point. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)


Thank you for your article, FedEx Burlington: A black hole for packages.

This has been a problem for years, not just since the pandemic or hiring problems. As far back as four years ago I had packages delayed at the Burlington terminal for five or six weeks. (That’s five or six days from Anchorage to Burlington, then four or five WEEKS from Burlington to Rockport.)  I had the same experiences with tracking posting “as out for delivery” or some such thing. I would repeatedly change my routine to stay home and receive very expensive airplane parts and the truck would never show up. It became a problem more than once delaying or completely shutting down projects. I would call the terminal and get nowhere. When I asked the shipper to call there was still no resolution. I had all the same experiences as the others you talked to for this story on more than one occasion. The problem with this facility is management, plain and simple. I long ago started calling in orders to suppliers, specifically asking them not to ship with FedEx, and continue to do so to this day.

David Adams



Regarding Kai Uyehara's report, “Washington Safeway stores tackle food insecurity:”

Safeway's Director of External Affairs stated, “Food insecurity is a problem this nation can and should solve.” The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in collaboration with grocery stores is a cornerstone to solutions. I was pleased Cascadia Daily News gave space to this story, which warrants more in-depth reporting from various health angles.

The SNAP Produce Match program that promotes eating more fresh produce can be one tool to help halt or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes, and other serious health problems, including kidney failure. Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney disease. Diagnoses of diabetes increased dramatically during COVID-19 for reasons that are not yet clear.

Even before COVID-19, Type 2 diabetes was on the rise. According to the CDC, approximately 96 million American adults, more than 1 in 3, have prediabetes. Of those, more than 80% don't know they have it. Prediabetes is not a benign condition, damage to health accumulates in the prediabetic phase if it is not addressed early. 

There are diabetes prevention programs (DPP) available in our region, one program is offered through Washington State University extension services. For information about WSU's program contact Diane Smith at 360-395-2355, dpp.skagit@wsu.edu.

For information about the YMCA's program, contact Tara Marshall, 360-733-8630 x1109, tmarshall@whatcomymca.org

These prevention programs are highly successful. Preventing Type 2 diabetes doesn't require major lifestyle changes — gradual, modest steps lower risk. Not only that, participants say, the programs are fun!

Micki Jackson



The Bellingham School District Facilities Bond, which purports to “minimize the effects of energy and water consumption and dependence on fossil fuels,” in fact includes immediate plans to replace a grass field with plastic turf and improve traffic and parking facilities, thus facilitating car commutes and discouraging sustainable alternatives. The sustainability plans in the bond, according to the district website, are “future” initiatives “to be determined at a later date.”

This is greenwashing. I know school buildings should be updated, and systems don’t change overnight. Maybe we really do need to keep coating fields in plastic and pavement. But if so, let's hope future such real initiatives will be offset by more than imaginary environmental stewardship. Our children deserve that, too. 

Julie Dugger



“... wholly reject becoming a community only for the affluent. All our goals and values are to build a variety of housing types that are affordable to us all.”

This is a laudable quote from Bellingham's Mayor Seth Fleetwood. Critically, it does not get to the nut of the problem to be solved in order to create housing justice. That problem is the speculative market system for residential real estate that treats housing as a commodity rather than an essential social need.

Most municipal efforts in the U.S. and most of the world are focused on creating housing density and variety in hopes that this will result in lower prices for homes. These efforts will not work.

Successful housing efforts in places like Denmark, the U.K., and Austria center on creating community equity ownership of homes, specifically housing land trusts and co-ops. These systems work. Community equity ownership is where we need to focus our efforts for housing equity, not simply tweaking zoning rules and offering weak and temporary incentives to builders. 

I will not support or encourage upzones of residential properties in any form unless those upzones have a minimum component of 50% permanently affordable homes tied to them. Many builders support the spirit of this idea and would build such homes if the money was there to make such projects pay a reasonable profit.

Let's put our money where our Mayors' principles are and find every way that we can to convert existing homes to community equity ownership and to ensure that new homes are permanently affordable. 

Michael Chiavario



In reading Satpal’s statement regarding the flooding issue in Whatcom County, I am reminded of what a good choice we made in electing him as our county exec. The clarity he brought to the situation demonstrates a concern for all of us, as well as the understanding of the scope of the problem, and the necessity of working with nature. Thank you, Satpal. 

Neal Bittner



I just wanted to let you guys know that you are doing a fantastic job it is refreshing to see independent journalism return to Whatcom County. Also, I can’t wait to read Ron Judd's columns.

Fernando Gonzalez


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