Looking out for people

  I have lived in Lynden for 25 years, but for the first time I worry that we are not looking out for our friends and neighbors the way we used to. Yes, we have COVID fatigue. My young children would love nothing better than to be back in a normal school. Still, our personal desires are one thing, our community health needs are another. 

  Restrictions feel stifling, but they work. Currently in Washington we are not experiencing overcrowded hospitals or massive amounts of deaths like other states are. This is because our state has made the effort to control COVID spread since our first case and death back in March. We shut down quickly, imposed restrictions, socially distanced and kept our hospitals from surpassing capacity. 

  These measures are not in effect forever. We have every indication that successful vaccines are on the horizon, but to effectively beat back this danger we will need to mask, distance and avoid large gatherings until enough of our community members can be vaccinated. The guidelines and rules are there, and we need to do our part to follow them. It will be hard, but it is important to think about our holiday plans.

  We must also support our businesses and community safely. We can patronize restaurants with take-out orders. We can shop locally, but with proper social distancing and masking. As a community it is imperative that we support the physical health of our small business owners and employees as well as their financial health during this very confusing, stressful and unpleasant time.

  Above all, please remember to be kind and patient with one another as we navigate the holiday season amidst this strange pandemic. We are all hurting in different ways and we can all use a little grace. Stay healthy and well.

— Genevieve Wolf, Lynden


Never seen such hysteria

  The governor of the state of Washington did it again — issued an executive order to close down all restaurants in the state and also mandated quite a number of other restrictions.

  It may be time for his royal highness to take a little stroll, like perhaps follow the yellow brick road back to the Land of Oz. The wizard might be able to give him a brain.

  I must confess, I don’t really think he’s stupid — just insane!

  During my lifetime I have seen this country survive several horrible wars plus quite a few serious epidemics, and we are still locked in a seemingly endless battle against cancer.

  However, in my entire life I have never witnessed this level of hysteria, all of it due to one so-called “deadly virus” — and the news media seem intent on fanning the flames of panic.

  The truth is, most healthy people can survive these viral infections okay. Those most at risk are elderly folks with existing health problems and people with breathing problems. 

  The widespread over-reaction to this virus problem is amazing — like this senseless face mask mandate. At first we were told that we must all wear masks, not to protect ourselves, but to keep the virus from infecting those around us.

  For example, if you were to enter a store with no mask but everyone else in there was wearing one, it is claimed that you would somehow be putting all those people, who were wearing masks, at high risk. In other words, they are saying those masks are useless!

  Give me a break. Do you realize how idiotic that sounds?

  A huge number of folks wear their masks everywhere, walking down the street with no one else in sight, driving alone in their car, etc., etc. It’s insane!

  The wizard of Oz might be hard-pressed to provide a brain for all who might need one.

  There’s just one redeeming factor about people wearing masks: Some might look a lot better if their faces were covered.

— Bill Swinburnson, Lynden


A message from the Lynden public school principals

To the Lynden community,

  While we will surely miss the appropriate timeline to mail this letter before Thanksgiving, it’s for all the right reasons that this little thank-you note is late, for we have been very, very busy in the Lynden School District bringing our students back to in-person learning. And while there is no crystal ball to tell us how long we will be able to stay in-person, it is such an important accomplishment to celebrate and recognize.

  The efforts to start the school year remotely with devices for all our students seemed insurmountable in July. Bit by bit, with amazing teamwork, we were able to secure orders, prep computers, distribute laptops, train staff in online platforms and start school on time, albeit remotely. Sure, we would all have preferred it to be the old way. The classic Meet and Greet before school starts, open house, jog-a-thon and many other traditional start-of-school activities were canceled as we subbed in Seesaw, Zoom, Canvas and other ways that were new. Yet students showed up to their remote learning classes, and Lynden families rallied to pick up resources and devices, sending their children to living rooms, kitchen tables and other makeshift classrooms instead of out to the bus stop. There were plenty of glitches and plenty of glitching, but it worked and students began school again. 

  Behind the scenes, we kept working to bring our students back. Our Lynden School Board grappled with this unprecedented dilemma being experienced throughout the county, state and country: How can we get our students back to schools and keep staff and children safe and healthy? We followed closely the indelible efforts of Lynden Christian Schools, and they graciously welcomed us, allowing us to borrow their safety plans and procedures. We were able to first welcome back small populations of students needing access due to language, learning and internet barriers. Then on Oct. 13 we welcomed back our newest and youngest learners: kindergartners, first and second grade students. Exactly seven months since we had closed our doors, I’d like to say that the clouds parted, the sun shone brightly and birds sang, but reality brought us a downpour of rain. It didn’t stop this amazing community. We added third, fourth and fifth grades on Oct. 26 and just recently added back the rest of our learners at both the middle and high schools.

  It’s such a beautiful sight to see students back in their classrooms. It’s also been a Herculean effort by all, and our families have been so incredibly gracious and flexible with all the information, protocols and procedures we’ve sprung on them. Our staff have been pivoting non-stop since last March trying to adjust and build a learning environment like never before.

  Thank you to the Lynden School Board for trying to find the right balance between families worried to send their children back and families worried to keep their children home and out of schools. Thank you to the district leadership for tirelessly listening along the way to each stakeholder and trying to develop untested, yet viable plans to meet student needs while also keeping both students and our staff members safe and healthy. Thank you to the teachers and support staff for their continued commitment to serve our Lynden children. Thank you to all our families who flexed work schedules, child care and continue to trust us with their children during a pandemic. And perhaps most importantly, thank you to the Lynden children for coming back with the same enthusiasm and excitement to learn. They come smiling with their masks on, toting their heavy backpacks filled with laptops. Their days look a bit different with all the ways we are working to maintain social distancing. Yet these students are so much the same — so happy, so playful and so eager to engage with their peers and teachers. It’s  wonderful to be a part of it.

  We are about to head out on the first holiday break of the school year. Typically this time of year sees us wrapping up elementary conferences, students performing at the middle school for Veterans Day and perhaps the Lynden Lions are off to football playoffs, but clearly this year is like no other. And perhaps more so than ever before, we want to extend a note of thanks to the Lynden community for rallying on behalf of our children. Thank you so much for all your support.

  I write on behalf of all the principals in the Lynden School District.

— Courtney Ross, Fisher Elementary School principal


Follow guidelines

Mayor John Perry,

  I am writing to follow up on our phone conversation of Nov. 20, 2020. As you know, at 2:30 on Nov. 19 my wife and I entered the Everson City Hall offices for an appointment to apply for some permits. When we approached the counter, we were assisted by a city employee who was not wearing a mask. As I looked around the room, I saw six to eight individuals, none wearing masks or observing social distancing guidelines. I was immediately concerned and asked the city staff worker why she was not masked. She responded, “We were told we don’t have to.” I explained to her that I am 71 years old and in the high-risk category, and that I felt unsafe, to which she responded “I understand,” and went about her business, choosing not to put on a mask or maintain a social distance in the face of a complaint from a citizen.

  The next day, I phoned you to express my concerns and to request that city employees follow the COVID-19 safety protocols as directed by the CDC, the governor’s office and state and county health departments. You explained that you had been trying to work within these guidelines, but stated “everyone is responsible for their own actions,” then stated that those were the feelings of yourself as well as your staff. As mayor, you stated you were not going to direct your staff to follow the COVID-19 safety guidelines. I disagreed with your position then and I disagree with it now. We are responsible for our actions in our private lives, but as public servants the responsibility is to the public you were elected to serve. 

  I am asking you as my mayor to instruct all city employees to follow the guidelines.

— Richard Sorenson, Everson


Encouraging gatherings

  There is a Turkey in Olympia strutting around in his basement, issuing demands that certain small businesses, including restaurants, close for indoor dining, throwing thousands of workers into unemployment as we enter the holidays, while he continues to draw a huge paycheck. In addition, he is telling us that we can’t gather with our families to celebrate the holidays. He is causing great fear by weaponizing the coronavirus and morphing it into the “control-us-virus.”

  The China virus, though serious, is being way overblown. Enough is enough. It’s time for a Santa Rebellion. We refuse to cower in fear and kowtow to these unlawful, unconstitutional, freedom-robbing edicts. We will pay no heed to his incessant gobbling with his false statistics and ridiculous school closures.

  We encourage you to gather with your loved ones as you normally do to celebrate God’s bountiful blessings, especially the gift of salvation and eternal life through Jesus Christ. If necessary, take prudent health precautions to protect the vulnerable. We encourage restaurants to reopen for indoor dining as the Fairway Café is doing. I spoke with two local restaurant owners recently who refuse to open for fear that they will lose their liquor licenses. We say, what’s worse, losing your license or losing your freedom?

  Rise up! Throw off the shackles of this tyranny. Be free again. Let us see your smiles again. Samuel Adams famously observed, “It does not take a majority to prevail... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” Have a joyous holiday season, everyone. Live free.

— Gary Small, Lynden Freedom Steering Committee


The truth about CO2 poisoning

  This information is for educational purposes only. The reader is intelligent enough to make an educated decision based on knowledge and true, scientific facts, facts proven decades ago (and not “fake” news as someone recently accused me of). Please read this with you and your family’s health in mind as you wear masks for a prolonged period of time.

  The Truth About Carbon Dioxide Poisoning (www.thoughtco.com/carbon-dioxide-poisoning-608396): There are several causes of carbon dioxide poisoning and intoxication. It may result from hypoventilation, which in turn may be caused by not breathing often or deeply enough, rebreathing exhaled air (e.g., from a blanket over the head or sleeping in a tent), or breathing in an enclosed space (e.g., a mine, a closet, a shed). Scuba divers are at risk of carbon dioxide intoxication and poisoning, usually from poor air filtration, not breathing at the normal rate or simply from having a harder time breathing. Breathing the air near volcanoes or their vents may cause hypercapnia. Sometimes carbon dioxide levels become imbalanced when a person is unconscious. Carbon dioxide poisoning can occur in spacecraft and submarines when scrubbers aren’t functioning properly. 

  CDC Director: “I think You’re Correct” About Inflated COVID Death Statistics (https://www.cnsnews.com/article/washington/melanie-arter/cdc-director-i-think-youre-correct-about-inflated-covid-death).

  U.S. COVID-19 Death Toll Is Inflated: Although an earlier report, please read to understand how the numbers are being calculated. It may surprise you. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/29/us_covid19_death_toll_is_inflated.html#!

  It is a fact that deaths will ultimately increase because of carbon dioxide toxicity (poisoning) of the masses.

  I would like to leave you with something to seriously ponder. If the mask mandate doesn’t always apply the same for Gov. Inslee as it does for us — because of the First Amendment (his own words), which is also our Amendment — how is it that we are being “forced” into wearing a mask to the point of harm to our health?

— Tina Miller, Lynden


Teach old-school rules

  Let’s proclaim Blue Lives Matter (just about dead) where very few are employed, deserving of free housing, food, medical, TV, I-pad, etc., funded by those who have made a life by their own sweat. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

  Understand you can’t make other people think the same as you or go to the same church, or speak the same way. How in heaven’s name could you have a committee for racism bias control? Maybe they’ll call it “thought control,” so now you will have someone tell you how to think. This is how Hitler’s brown coats rose. To make such a committee work, the majority would have to be mostly of one race, one religion, of the same political party or you can call it (Go Nowhere Committee) where you as a taxpayer get to pay for another political game of scrabble, with no winners.

  Civility has to be taught in the home, like pride, honor, respect and the way you live your life. I am not bashful about calling anyone out on their bad behavior. Teach your child the old-school rules. God’s rules are written in stone.

  The avalanche of finance is about to break loose. Those who don’t believe this will not be a survivor.

— Darryl Ehlers, Lynden


Division is harmful

  Maybe coverage in the Tribune about people — four in one family — who ignore protocols, incited by politicians like Doug Ericksen, and spread the virus. This is serious.

  The CHCC is exposed to the virus via an employee, perhaps now another. How many residents there will become ill, perhaps die? 

  We have a responsibility to not only ourselves, but the greater community. This virus should not be a political issue. The divisiveness is killing people.

— Jeri Harris, Bellingham