Project Hope, community resource

  Many members of our community are facing difficult challenges, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Project Hope of Lynden wishes to remind the community that we are here to help meet the needs of our neighbors through the food bank and community assistance programs.

   The food bank at 205 South B.C. Ave. is open Monday from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Tuesday from 3 to 6 p.m., and Friday from 9:30 to noon. The Project Hope Food Bank is capable of distributing a broad spectrum of basic food items via a curbside model whereby people may drive up (or walk up), complete an order form, and the food will be delivered to the vehicle. This process ensures social distancing.

  Individuals and families are welcome to use the food bank on a weekly basis. If you are unable to visit the food bank or if you have relatives, friends or neighbors who are unable or feel unsafe visiting the food bank due to health concerns or other issues, contact us at 360-354-4673, and we will see if home delivery is an option. 

  Project Hope may also be able to provide a limited amount of financial assistance to families who are struggling to pay utility bills or rent, or need to obtain a laundry, gas or clothing voucher, for example. We may also be able to refer and advise access to other community resources and services.

  Many within our community wish to assist others who are struggling. We are grateful for this loving and generous spirit and financial support. It is the goal of Project Hope to compassionately and effectively distribute these funds on behalf of the community to help bridge short-term financial gaps. 

  If you are in need of food or if you know of someone who is in need, we encourage the use of the food bank. If you are in need of community assistance or if you know of someone who needs help, we encourage a call (360-354-4673). 

— Don Kok, executive director, Christian Hope Association

Commending Intalco rallyers

  It’s a breath of fresh air to see brave courageous citizens gathering for a rally in Ferndale to support and strategize to keep Intalco from being closed. The desire is to keep those employees working, providing for their families and subsequently putting money into the community. Taxes paid also support town services.

  Unless you are myopic, 100% sold out to global warming, globalist with a rigid narrow-minded set of expectations, you might want to consider the gravity in regard to national defense this operational plant is. Do some research and look around your own home to see how many items contain aluminum. In regard to national security, find out just how many products this metal is needed for. China has 140 smelters versus the USA’s seven. 

  This is the same Communist government that demands a rigid totalitarian set of values on its people. Read factual, not politically biased world history and you will find regimes that savagely wiped out their own people in the “Cultural Revolution,” silenced dissenters at Tiananmen Square and recently bullied Taiwan and Hong Kong. This is a country that has stolen technological ideas and seeks to be the dominant economic and military world power.

  For decades American manufacturing and industry was shipped overseas. I come from a family in Connecticut, many of whom worked in factories, as my grandfather from Scotland did. These were good-paying jobs for men and women not afraid to put their sweat and labor into work honorably done. Bridgeport is gone from being the “Park City of the Nation.” Now enter gangs and a value system of relying on government, and the city is no longer recognizable.

  In comparison to the present virus pestilence from China, one would think concern would be generated by all those who usually respond emotionally to world events. As American and Israeli ingenuity looks to drugs and medicine, some “repurposed” already on the market, you just might become aware of the China-India link that you rely on for 90% of your generics and antibiotics. Working as an occupational health nurse in Connecticut, I can assure you companies such as Intalco are mandated and monitored to follow rigorous standards. Seriously, do you think these other countries have the same regulations? I have come alongside patients who have not found the same efficacy in their generic drugs. I wonder why.

  Likewise, amidst the fear in response to this particular virus, medical personnel, first responders and citizens like me that receive antibodies monthly due to compromised immune systems seek an appropriate mask. China again has the monopoly, producing most of the PPF. Once again, it’s reliance on a government not caring two hoots about your “go green tech” or, for that matter, your life.

  At this time in America, specifically Whatcom County, as people strive to individually take personal responsibility for their lives, I would hope that the people here would also get involved for their nation and its security and protection and fight for the men and women of Intalco at Cherry Point. This plant can be the best smelter, refining a metal made by a Creator who has a purpose for its design and utility. Grandma, that’s me, would have been at the rally, mask and gloves on. But now those much younger who value American exceptionalism should get involved. 

— Cynthia Ripke-Kutsagoitz, Lynden

Concern about unlimited power

  Over the last two months, governors, mayors and county executives have declared “states of emergency” granting themselves authority to restrict our personal liberties, shutter private businesses and close public parks and recreation lands. The COVID pandemic is real, but it remains that those decisions and restrictions are from the power they have granted themselves and are done without public or legislative review. 

  In our history, such self-appointed power and restriction of personal freedoms, including freedom of movement, were not even used during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919 or the First or Second World Wars. Wartime rationing and other controls were the result of legislative authority, and private businesses continued to function. 

  How long does this unbridled authority continue? How and when does legislative and public input and review occur? 

  Our ancestors fought for and crafted over many years the constitutional rights and freedoms that we as a free people enjoy and we should not allow them to be restricted without rigorous public review. Beyond questions about the restrictions, there are huge sums of taxpayer money at stake, and critical oversight of those decisions must occur. 

  We must be careful of unbridled authority and vigilant in our oversight of its use.

— Thomas Patten, Lynden

On cancellations

  I am shocked and appalled at this new development — activities canceled through May 31, 2020. This appears to be an actual desire by our elected public officials to completely destroy and shut down our blessed, already dwindling economy. They cannot be serious. Summertime activity flourishes in this state, as it does in our entire country. 

  I, for one, a senior citizen of Lynden (born and raised in Bellevue), am so completely frustrated and infuriated by this move. Utter dissension and destruction is no doubt pending if this extremism continues. 

  I am a Washington taxpayer of more than 40 years, an outdoor enthusiast and full-time employee in medical ultrasound technology (a necessary service/addition to this community). I have always thrived, lived and worked hard and diligently, as a single mother for 18 years, to enjoy and plan for summertime activity with my family and friends, while I’m still able! Talk about disastrous, not only for the state economy but for this God-given blessed country. 

  I am just about able to return to my position at Mt. Baker Imaging, a longtime medical and contributing company to Whatcom County residents. What can we do to stop this insanity? Please heed and help!

  P.S. I sent this to the governor, Sen. Ericksen and Rep. Van Werven Monday, April 27. I’ve since changed the closure to May 31, since that proposed date changed recently. 

— Kay Longstreth, Lynden

‘Daddy’ Inslee

  Enough is enough already! I don’t know about the rest of you, but I feel like a teenager who has been grounded by “Daddy” Inslee and now I’m feeling rebellious because I have done my time and I think this being grounded has gone way beyond what is necessary. 

  So, what do we need to do to take back our town and country? I don’t think the protests are doing a lot of good. The best protest is to turn those “Closed” signs in the storefronts to “Open.” 

  We, as Washingtonians and Americans, should set our own “back to work” date. We should have done this a couple of weeks ago instead of standing passively by and letting our governor and others treat us like children who don’t know how to take care of ourselves. We know how to wash our hands, how to wipe off grocery carts and how to practice social distancing.

  Small businesses need to unite together and set a date and stick with it and then the rest of us need to show our support by giving them our business. The Feds have listened to the so-called “medical experts,” the media and Congress — now they need to listen to the American people whom they serve. 

  We should not be begging our government to please let us go back to work. We should not be afraid of them. If we all do this together, we can make it happen. They won’t be able to throw thousands, even millions of us into jail. Americans will not stand by while our salon workers, our pastors and our restaurant owners are thrown into jail.

  If we don’t act soon, then this will keep happening to us in the future. If they think we are passively going to obey everything they tell us to do, then this will be our future, with more of our Constitutional rights disappearing every day. 

  So what do you say? Let’s eat in our restaurants, let’s shop in our stores, let’s picnic in our parks, and let’s worship in our churches. Let’s not let our town become a permanent “ghost town”!

— Sandi Tate, Lynden

On Leadership

  It’s time like these that we need true leadership, not campaign slogans and empty gestures, but leaders that will take the long view of a problem, invest in our people and our county, and not be afraid to protect lives even when there is political pressure from people who want to make money instead. 

  That’s why I’m proud of the work our state legislator Sharon Shewmake has done. Over and over again she has stressed the importance of using data and evidence to make decisions, not just feelings and rhetoric, and we are seeing this in her response to the COVID-19 crisis. Yes, the impacts on lives are terrible, but we need a steady hand at the wheel right now to ensure that we can weather this and we don’t see a second wave of infection. A second wave would cause much more damage and more deaths, but that doesn’t mean we can’t look for opportunities to open business opportunities safely. 

  That’s what Sharon has been working on and I trust her to make public health-based decisions. This is in stark contrast to our other two legislators and her opponent who have been attending rallies and gathering signatures for their own political purposes. They aren’t interested in leadership, just power. 

  Sharon cares about community. Right when the crisis hit, she was the first to send out resources and information about the crisis. She promoted volunteer opportunities, arranged people to sew masks for food service workers, encouraged us to give blood, and organized over 500 lunches for frontline workers including a nursing home here in Lynden. Those lunches came from two local women-owned businesses that buy food from our local farmers. 

  We’ve been very disappointed that the same rhetoric we hear from Republicans about COVID-19 are the same talking points they use to talk about guns, vaccines and whatever other boogey man is out there. They aren’t leading, they’re just throwing bombs and spreading viruses in an attempt to divide at exactly the same time as we should be uniting and coming together (just not more together than six feet).

— Dr. Bill and Peggy Warner, Lynden

Ericksen is right

  A critic of Sen. Doug Ericksen alleges that his perspective on Chinese tyranny is “racist and xenophobic.” How so?

  Since 1949 Chinese dictators have inflicted countless, ruthless, homicidal horrors on their people. In gaining power Mao killed 30 or 40 million of his subjects. In the 1960s he launched another wave of massacres of “Cultural Revolution,” amassing more millions of deaths over a ten-year span.

  In 1989 the Chinese smashed some thousands with tanks at Tienanmen Square. Throughout their iron-fisted rule thay have aborted untold millions of unborn children for “violating” their “one child only” policy.

  China is a gigantic torture chamber for Christian pastors, leaders and ordinary believers who have the audacity of worshiping in their homes without government permission. They are seized off the street, dragged to prisons, beaten, maimed, starved, enslaved and often killed and “buried “ in unmarked mass graves without informing their families of any contact whatsoever.

  Some weeks ago, the Chi-Coms shipped various infected Chinese citizens out of China to mega-cities such as London, Paris, Brusels, New York, Seattle and Los Angeles, where they could freely spread the coronavirus.

  Good for Doug who with integrity identifies the Chinese Communists as enemies of humanity.

— Gary Hardaway, Lynden

Giving away doll houses for kids

  What did you do while sheltering in place? I rehab doll houses, so I spent my time building tiny houses.

  This obsession with tiny houses began long ago and most recently culminated in the great doll house give-away. Some time ago, my daughter was a foster parent and I thought the two girls they had living with them needed a doll house, so so I created a tiny house in an athletic shoe box. Put down the lid and it is portable. 

  Since then, about 30 of these have been given away. Some have gone to individuals and others have gone to foster care agencies and several to the Agape House in Bellingham for the shelter kids.

  During the COVID-19 crisis I have been at my work bench cutting and pasting like a mad woman. I currently have 19 doll houses to give away and the great doll house give-away will happen on Thursday, May 14, from 10 a.m. on. They will be on display in the big red barn at 5296 Olson Rd. southwest of Ferndale.

  Yes, they are being given away with no strings attached. I will give to anyone who wants one. These are tiny houses for boys and for girls. I am anxious to see them all go to happy homes.

— Barb DeFreytas, Ferndale

Shop local

  I want to give a shout-out to some of the local business that, without fanfare but I am sure costs to themselves, have stepped up to protect their employees and customers. These include Portal Way Farm and Garden, Carl’s Mower & Saw, Kent’s Garden & Nursery, and Little Caesars Pizza. Please shop local businesses first!

— Kathleen Hopkins, Ferndale

Wear masks

  As a nurse working for the Veterans Health Administration, I believe it is imperative that face masks be worn in all public spaces, especially as restrictions are eased to reopen the economy. 

  A recent study by MIT showed that jurisdictions that acted early and aggressively to limit the spread of the 1918 Spanish flu performed better economically after the pandemic than those that did not. Masks were a factor that improved those economic outcomes.

  As evidence accumulated that people can be asymptomatic but still contagious, and that the coronavirus may spread by talking, coughing, sneezing, runners/walkers breathing heavily, reluctance to promote mask use to the general public abated somewhat. Now many cities and counties require face masks in all public places. (Clean bandanas, scarves, old T-shirts fashioned to cover mouth and nose will do, so compliance is easy.) 

  I have no illusions that wearing a mask is a panacea — masks are an extra layer of protection. Wearing one sends the vital social cue, “I protect you. You protect me.” 

  Cities, counties and health departments have the authority to implement mask policies. A mandate such as this does not need to originate at the state level. While some businesses now require masks for employees and customers, we need uniform, comprehensive containment measures. The race is on to develop a vaccine in months instead of years, but even then, will it prove effective? How fast could it be made available for millions or billions of people? We don’t know. So it’s just common sense to include masks to our armamentaria.        

  Please contact your city, county elected representatives and the health department urging them to implement a mask mandate. It would be a profile in courage for them to do so. Do they have the courage?

— Rebecca Rech Cutler, Bellingham