Supports Karen Burke

I choose Karen Burke for Whatcom County Executive because she brings strong leadership and a fresh perspective to the problems facing Whatcom County.

Karen Burke is not a politician. She is an experienced community leader and executive manager. Karen has 18 years of executive leadership experience as the director of Lummi Tribal Court and the executive director of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. She managed multi-million-dollar budgets and oversaw large and complex agencies through periods of growth. 

Her campaign is first and foremost about people.

  • Karen will reduce homelessness and incarceration through long-term mental health and substance use treatment. 
  • For too long the county has fought its own citizens in court over water and land use. Karen knows that we don’t solve our problems in court. That costs us money and missed opportunities for local solutions. She knows that we are neighbors first and she has a proven track record of bringing people together to solve complex problems. She will make sure we have water for people, fish and farmers, that we protect land for farming, recreation and wildlife, and do everything we can at the local level on climate and water quality.
  • Karen will invest in a diversity of housing that fits our community character

so that local people can afford to stay here. 

  • Karen is a leader in criminal justice reform — putting treatment first and finding a solution for a reasonably-sized downtown jail near services.

Karen brings a fresh perspective to Whatcom County. She will move past the failed jail measures and water and land use litigation of the past and move us forward, as neighbors. Karen Burke puts people first. Vote for her on Aug. 6. 

— Arlane Olson, Bellingham 


College is a privilege

This letter is in response to Thomas Brakke concerning free college (June 12 edition). When our women and men came home from the Second World War, our government did pass the GI Bill and, yes, they were able to get a job. This was for our courageous military.

How in the world can one compare then with now? No comparison.

College is a privilege, and I certainly don’t want my taxes sending people to “free college.” Our son took out a student loan and paid it off. They can do the same.

— Elaine Derr, Ferndale


On Unity Care

Re: the new Unity Care facility. New clinic denies local blood service. If Quest labs are a tenant and can draw lab specimens from the needy using parts of a $15 million taxpayer facility, I can certainly tell any citizen of Ferndale that as taxpayers they deserve every right and every option of access to convenience and safety afforded to the “needy.”

“Health” providers are in no place to discriminate when it comes to the use of public funds (or public facilities).

Quest labs and any imaging for injury must be close and handy for all Ferndale citizens regardless of income status.

— Joel Douglas, Bellingham



I am writing about the front-page article you wrote in the June 19 issue titled “City will buy Glenning Street land.” I fully support the action of the City Council and commend them for their decision to preserve it as a playfield. In that article you stated that the land “was donated by Holden and Phoebe Judson for a public school.” Since that time the Lynden public schools have made use of that land ffirst or school buildings and more recently for a playfield. Now they no longer need it.”

My question to you and the school district is, shouldn’t this land revert back automatically to the citizens of Lynden? Why should we be required to buy back that which was originally donated for a school?

One could argue that considerable expenditures have been made over the years to build, remodel, maintain and ultimately demolish the school building. However, all of these funds were supplied through the taxes of the citizens.

In conclusion, I contend that the Glenning land by donation belongs to the citizens of Lynden. The school district does not have the right to negotiate as if they own it.

— Don Assink, Lynden


To City Council

An open letter to the City Council: It’s that time of year again and Lynden is about to continue its gamble with fire danger. Already in our neighborhood near Lynden High School you can hear ordinance being exploded. Some of our neighbors have not just one but two and three mortar-type launchers, illegal y the way!

I address this letter to the City Council as directed by the former fire chief Baar in hopes that one might take the initiative to stop this dangerous practice. I have also talked, or pleaded, with the police, but as they say “we can’t be every place at once.” So I am now praying that no one will be seriously injured and our houses won’t be set on fire, amen.

— Ray Manthano, Lynden