Vote ‘yes’ on two Meridian levies

  As a parent whose children have benefited greatly from the education provided at Meridian High School, I am respectfully asking everyone in the Meridian School District to vote Yes on the two levy proposals that will be on the ballot this Feb. 11.

  The EP&O (Educational Programs & Operations) Levy will replace the existing level of funding passed in 2016 but due to expire at the end of this year. The Tech Levy is new and will provide money, which together with other funding will allow the district to stay up with the increasingly complex advances in technology and provide our teachers and students with the tools and knowledge they need to compete in today’s marketplace.

  As a co-chair on the committee to promote these levies, I can attest to the level of need in our district and the level of study and restraint used in determining the amount to ask for in each levy. There is real justification to have asked for a higher level of funding. However, the committee decided it would be fair and ethical to ask the people living in our district to fund our schools at the minimum level for maintaining the high quality of educational opportunity we offer our students.

  Levies are very important to the Meridian School District, as are the requests from other districts around the county, state and country. Voters must discern how important they believe education is for the future of our young people and for our country. I, for one, believe it is one of the most important investments we can make in the lives of our children who are the future of our country.

— Bill Chambers, for Meridian Citizens for Education Committee

Clean speech

  We have become  very conscious of pollution. We want to do all we can to keep our waterways, rivers and oceans pure. We do all we can to keep the air we breathe free from pollution. We do all to keep our bodies healthy, free from infections and diseases. All that is good.

  There is another area, however, that needs some serious attention and a thorough clean-up — our language. Swearing, foul, abusive, obscene, hostile  and deceitful language in the media and workplace, politics and human relations are sadly routine, and these appear only to be getting worse.

  Here are some examples: Radio and TV talk hosts use expletives such as “what the H—” or it is “D— this” or “D— that.” Then there are the “JC” and “G” words in the mix. Our President has many good words and speeches, but some words and statements need to be cleaned up. Trump used the “H—” word five times in a press conference.

  I was in a workplace cafeteria recently where the swearing was so bad that some employees do not want to eat there anymore. There are “no smoking” signs, but we also need some “no swearing” signs.

  Then there are all the scandals and news reports in which words have been total lies. How honorable, unifying and building up are these? How about some integrity and honesty?

  What is the solution? First of all, we are accountable to Almighty God who happens to warn us not to speak even one idle word and absolutely not to lie. Of these we personally and nationally are to repent and to receive divine forgiveness. Then we are commanded to love the truth in love.

  Also, we are to see, believe and obey the Ten Commandments, the third of which states “you shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him/her guiltless that takes His name  in vain.”

  And how about that more of us who believe in and practice clean and wholesome speech speak up and call up radio and TV stations, and wherever it happens to protest this pollution? Or write them! To stay silent is to consent. Pray about it and practice it.

  The bottom line is: Love the truth and practice it all the way for God, man and country. The Truth will make us truly free.

— John Van Hemert, Lynden

Thanks to the community

  What a tremendous blessing our community is to the mothers and children at New Way Ministries, the transitional-living facility for women and children right here in Lynden!

  We are currently able to provide a temporary home to 23 families who have struggled with homelessness due to domestic violence, addictions, crisis pregnancy and human trafficking. We have 12 staff and a host of volunteers who open our doors to these families and offer services including 24-hour staffing, case management support for drug treatment, education, jobs, childcare and housing. We encourage each mom to set goals and then work to make a new start by achieving those goals. This process takes time, love, encouragement and perseverance. Our community is a big part of making this happen.

  We are thankful to all who supported and encouraged our families over the past year. You loved these families by delivering dinners, fixing up rooms, installing new windows, mentoring, helping in the office, teaching classes, supporting financially, performing yardwork, delivering flowers and cookies, and so many other ways. We are thankful for donations of sheets and blankets, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies and toilet paper. The list is long, and we cannot begin to thank our community enough.

  You assisted a mother who is recovering from trauma by giving her a safe place to begin a new life. You donated a car so that a single mom can get to work, school or appointments. You helped a young woman who found herself pregnant, with nowhere to go, find a safe and caring environment where she could give birth to her little child. You brought joy to 19 families at Christmas by providing gifts, treats, cards and love that made a difficult situation a bit brighter and warmer. Your care makes New Way a place of change and hope for each mother and child who is with us.

  Community, thank you for your generosity. You are truly a blessing each day, and we are grateful.

— Suzanne Olson, New Way Ministries director