On Pete Buttigieg

South Bend, Indiana, is well represented in sports with this year’s women’s basketball and perennially powerhouse football team. Pete Buttigieg, the city’s mayor, is now commanding a chunk of the limelight as one  of the youngest presidential candidates ever (37).

What’s baffling is that the Council on American-Islamic Relations claims to have a stake in him which I profoundly doubt for two of many reasons.

First of all, he is a “devout” Christian. He may not be aware of two factors that will not cause him to wander from his roots.

One is that CAIR/Hamas were found guilty in the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trials that climaxed with stiff penalties and lengthy jail sentences for the longtime perpetrators.

Second, a month ago federal judge Cynthia Bashant in San Diego’s district court expelled CAIR from any further educational activity in the San Diego School District and elsewhere.

This began in 2016 and ended March 23. Cause for the expulsion is that CAIR, among other capers, brought carpets to San Diego’s schools to teach public school children how to pray on them.

By the way, of the 20 or so Democratic  candidates CAIR claims are its allies, I am not worried about Pete Buttigieg or Howard Schultz.

Blaine’s Donna Starr is right on (April 17 letter).  It sure is nice to be independent.

— Warren Pugh, Logan, Utah (formerly of Lynden


On Ericksen’s contract with Cambodia

I don’t doubt that it’s legal for Sen. Ericksen to sign a contract to be an agent for Cambodia. But it is what he does with it that may be illegal.

No state employee may have an interest, engagement or obligation of any nature that is in conflict with the employee’s official duties. This would include supporting legislation beneficial to Cambodia, as is reportedly in Ericksen’s contract. Cambodia will be paying him ten times the amount of his state Senate salary, so his temptation to serve Cambodia to the detriment of his Washington constituents will be great.

— Thomas Brakke, Bellingham



I’m writing about Extreme Risk Protection Order laws (aka ERPO or Red Flag law). These laws save lives, but the public may not be aware of them or how they work. Recently there has been a trend among news sources of listing suicide prevention hotline resources at the end of articles dealing with suicide. And that is wonderful! But I would love to also see ERPO resources referenced as well. 

Gun suicide attempts are lethal on a level that other methods aren’t. Eighty-five percent of suicide attempts with a gun end in death; but without a gun, less than 5 percent of suicide attempts result in death. That’s why it’s vital to block access to a firearm when a person is in crisis. Often family members are the first to notice the signs that someone is in trouble and ERPO laws empower family members to give someone they love a second chance to get the help they need. But that’s only if they know the tool exists, which is why broadcasting these resources is so important. 

While some states only allow law enforcement to request an ERPO, in Washington State family or friends can go to the court themselves to request one for a loved one. No lawyer is required, and you can access the petition online at http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms.

The laws save lives, but only if the public knows about them and how to access them. Please consider educating the public using your platform. 

Sarah Spitzer,