Broadly aware of COVID suffering

  First, I want to thank Roger Van Dyken for the excellent letter he submitted (May 13 Tribune), with a perspective and encouragement to love our neighbors by appropriately practicing social distancing and using PPE. 

  Second, inspired by what Roger said, I’d like to encourage additional perspective for folks in our community as we go through this “plague” together. While we have been blessed in this local area with significantly lower numbers of infection and deaths, some of us have directly experienced the vicious impact of COVID-19 on the lives of family members and friends elsewhere. Many of us also have relationships with frontline health care providers locally and in other parts of the country who have had overwhelming experiences as they faithfully served others in need.

  When folks in our community somewhat cavalierly discount the need to observe the various precautions, it fails to show love for those suffering and experiencing the devastating impact in their lives and the lives of their family members and friends, wherever that may be.

  As a Christ follower, I cannot live and act as if I am in a local bubble in this community with little regard to what is happening in other parts of our country and the world. I am a part of the larger global Christian community as well as the global human community. In communities primarily made up of persons of color and those on the lower end of the economic scale, the disparate and much greater devastation and impact reveals deep social ills and should deeply trouble us. It is inappropriate for those of us who have not been impacted to think and behave as if this epidemic is exaggerated while others are experiencing overwhelming suffering.

  Please join me in becoming more aware of suffering people in places beyond. Jesus’ love constrains me.

— Allen Likkel, Lynden


The value of printed material

  For a while now, the Lynden Tribune has been generously partnering with the Lynden Community/Senior Center to produce a full-color, engaging and informative monthly newsletter for our members.   

  The center has been closed to all use since March 12 except our hot, freshly prepared, home-delivered and now pick-up meals program. Our newsletter has always been a valuable communication tool, but in this time of closure it has become one of the few methods we still have to reach out and continue connecting with our members.  

  Due to this pandemic, much of what used to be done face to face or through paper publication is now being done digitally and online. The community/senior center has a website ( and is using group emails to engage our members, but at least one-third of our seniors do not use computers, smartphones or internet. This limits how much we can do digitally, and not having online access makes those folks even more isolated.   

  Isolation is perhaps the worst pandemic side effect there is for older adults, and they are the ones needing to stay home the most at this time. Anything we can do to stay in contact with our seniors now is critically important! Our printed, monthly newsletter is the one communication that is sent to every one of our members. 

  Like most other businesses, the Lynden Tribune is dealing with decreased income while still bearing the cost of keeping a business going. Advertising is a lot of what pays for publications, and also what helps support our newsletter.

  Times are tough for advertisers (and subscribers) also, but I encourage everyone to support the Lynden Tribune in any way you can.  We all need our local news source and our seniors (especially the “non-techie” ones) need their monthly senior center newsletter!

  P.S. Cook Keith Mc-Kenzie and the rest of us had a busy day today (Friday). We delivered 35 hot meals, had 66 picked up at our window, and also 23 frozen meals either picked up or delivered! 

— Cathi LeCocq, Lynden Community/Senior Center director


Prayer Day did happen after all

  Thanks to the Lynden Tribune and to yourself for the paper’s contribution to our community in these current and past times that our community and our nation has seen and witnessed.

  Just two days before this year’s National Day of Prayer, Bender Fields was reopened and we were able to gather and pray for our nation and our nation’s people and beyond. How blessed we all were that we had this opportunity to gather and pray! 

  Thanks again for the paper’s contribution to this very important event, the likes of which we have never seen or needed before.

— Don Toler, Lynden 


Supports the Tribune’s cause

  That was a fine piece written in last week’s Tribune about “The Way Forward for Newspapers.” I read it online, and I hope it prompts some in Lynden to contribute more to the paper than just their subscription payments.

  The Los Angeles Times that I worked for during nearly 30 years was struggling and shrinking until it was bought recently by a billionaire who wants to rebuild it, and it’s adding staff again. But not all papers are so lucky. If only some philanthropists would think of community papers when they’re giving out millions.

  Good luck. I hope you and all of the Tribune family are well.

— Don Bremner, Pasadena, California, and Lynden native


Businesses in Lynden: Trying, not dying!

  Daily, as I try to balance taking care of my family, overseeing our businesses and navigating all new protocols to ensure the health and safety of staff and guests, I am truly inspired and motivated by my fellow business friends here in Lynden.

  I watch our neighbors push themselves to learn new skills, implement new technologies, adjust forecast models, while taking on challenges never before experienced. Here at the Inn at Lynden, our staff and guests are grateful, respectful and sincerely want to support all businesses that are open and patiently waiting for others to open, soon. There are so many wonderful caring people in Whatcom County. 

  This amazing community has survived the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, the Great Recession and many other very difficult times. Folks in Lynden are resilient, resourceful, independent, caring and compassionate. We support our first responders and their families, as we know they are trying to keep us all safe.  

  We choose to do business here because of the incredible beauty in north Whatcom County and the great work of the City of Lynden leadership and staff, our City Council, Chamber of Commerce, Lynden Downtown Business Association, Northwest Washington Fair group, Jansen Art Center group, the enormous irreplaceable farming community, all the independent businesses in our community and all the residents and visitors. We are grateful for each and every one of you!

  Billy Waples is one of my heroes as he represents kind and generous leadership. As Mayor Scott says, “Let’s be good neighbors and care for one another, respect one another as we always have in every crisis and challenge. We are part of an amazing community here in Whatcom County.”

  With deep respect for my fellow friends and neighbors,

— Teri Treat, Inn at Lynden


Watch out for Facebook fakery

  This may have come to your attention already, but if not, you might like to know that one of the recent letters to the editor, passed off as an original composition, is actually a Facebook meme that has been going around recently. Some of the language in the letter is slightly different from the meme, but much of the language is exactly the same and the sense of the meme was wholly borrowed/stolen. Very disappointing. 

  I did very much appreciate, however, other letters included in your letters section. The letter by Jessica Nymeyer about her experience in New York was particularly powerful and moving. Thank you for printing it. 

— Melissa Tamminga, Bellingham


 Supports Grant for PUD position

  A few weeks ago, Jeff McClure was quoted in the Lynden Tribune saying how “amazingly productive” the PUD has been. Jeff has been serving as a PUD commissioner for 12 years. Jeff claims success because “Last year, the PUD entered into an interlocal agreement with the Port of Bellingham to extend broadband infrastructure throughout the county.” Jeff would have us believe the PUD is bringing high-speed internet to all Whatcom County residents, and it’s coming soon. 

   So what has the PUD actually done? The interlocal agreement between the PUD and the Port was simply for a strategic plan. The plan focuses on the future (and mostly unfunded) development of a publicly owned, open-access fiber backbone throughout rural Whatcom County, referred to as the Public Fiber Strategic Plan. The cost of the strategic plan was $75,000. The PUD chipped in just $15,000. The Port and consultants did most of the work on the plan. This $15,000 contribution to the plan is all the PUD has done on broadband infrastructure. 

  COVID-19 demonstrates how critical broadband is to everyone living in our county. Many rural Whatcom residents still have dial-up or no internet at all. Taking credit for a solution that doesn’t exist yet makes the problem worse. McClure wants a third six-year term as a PUD commissioner. Is Jeff trying to fool voters with misinformation, or does he not understand what the interlocal agreement is? Either way, the snail’s pace of progress toward a countywide broadband solution needs an immediate speed boost.

  I am looking for an upgrade in leadership with Christine Grant. Maybe she will get us all online with affordable broadband before it’s too late.

— Jamie Douglass, Bellingham


Pentecost prayer power

  I, chaplain HollyJoy Basaar, and the residents of the Christian Health Care Center are praying for God to move in a special way this Pentecost Sunday, May 31. Like Daniel in Daniel 9, we have together repented for the sins of this nation, the church and ourselves. And now, just like the disciples isolated themselves in the upper room and gathered with one heart to wait on God and pray in agreement (Acts 1), we here are isolated and praying in agreement for God to awaken his Church worldwide.

  Will you, Christians of Lynden from every denomination, join with us and set yourselves to seek the Lord in the remaining days leading up to May 31? Jesus is coming soon. The signs are all around us. Indeed, Jesus said when these things begin to take place, that we are to lift up our heads for our redemption is drawing near (Luke 21:28). Let’s be ready!

— Holly Basaar, Lynden