Reply to letter

Forty-second District Sen. Doug Ericksen replies as follows to a letter printed May 1 regarding his Pac Rim Bridges LLC contract to be a representative of the Kingdom of Cambodia in the United States:

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen led the military effort  to overthrow the Khmer Rouge and Pol Pot. 
  • The contact for PacRim is for $500,000. I do not receive $500,000.
  • I did not have a contract with Cambodia nor was I being paid by Cambodia during [my] 2018 election. The contract was not signed until March 2019.
  • Hun Sen was not involved in the Killing Fields of Pol Pot from 1975 to 1979. Instead, he led the military with the help of the Vietnamese to overthrow Pol Pot. 
  • I never commented on the political parts of the election in Cambodia. I commented on the structure and implementation of the election process, which was excellent. There were election observers in Cambodia from all over the world (including the EU and USA), not including me.  

I would say most of the letter is a lie. Their opinion about Hun Sen is their opinion.

— Doug Ericksen


Genius Hour

Hello, my name is Perry and I am a local student at Lynden High School. In our class we have been working on a year long project called “Genius Hour” researching and taking action on a topic of our own choosing. We got to choose one of our passions, and as I am an avid gamer, I decided I wanted to do something related to video games. I decided to focus on a hot topic in the industry, loot boxes and micro-transactions.

Micro-transactions in video games are paying for in-game currency that you can use to purchase digital items. While I still feel like this can cheapen a game’s experience, that was not the main topic of my research. Loot boxes are when you use the in-game currency that you bought to purchase a “box” or “pack” that grants you a random item — varying from common stuff worth nothing to extremely valuable in-game items. The odds of getting a rare item all depend on a random percent predetermined by the operator.

I believe that this practice should be banned in Washington and the United States. This practice is essentially gambling as people. A lot of them, young kids, are paying for a chance to win big and get a prize. Paying money for a chance at something worth a lot are the same mechanics that slot machines and other gambling games use. The only difference is that the items you win are digital and it is completely legal for kids to do. I believe we are priming kids to develop a love for gambling and the rush it gives you. Parents who have children that play video games should work toward informing their children on the dangers of gambling and the risk of addiction.

— Perry Wakatsuki, Lynden


Sumas receives $2 million in state money

I am happy to announce that the City of Sumas has been awarded a total of $2 million from the Washington state budget for this year. This money will be used for two different projects.

I want to personally thank Rep. Van Werven and Sen. Ericksen for their ongoing support and encouragement since the beginning of my term in 2018. Without their involvement, we would not be in the position we are today. I want to thank Rep. Shewmake for her support of both projects as well. I really appreciate all of their hard work and effort.

I also want to thank our city staff and community members that were involved in making these funding requests a reality for our city.

There is $288,000 for a new themed playground and spray park that will be located by the downtown City Park. This will help promote downtown revitalization and also help support our local businesses by driving more visitors to our city. Right now, we are looking at a completion date of spring 2020 for this project.

He also received $1,712,000 for upgrading the Howard Bowen Memorial Event Complex. This will include increasing the size of the arena to accommodate motorized and other bigger profile events. This will also include the construction of new partially covered grandstands and parking. We are in the process of doing more research on how to best use these funds to complete this project. At this time, we do not have an estimated completion date.

On behalf of the City of Sumas, thank you to everyone who was involved in this process. We appreciate your support as we continue to make Sumas a great place to live and do business.

— Kyle Christensen, Mayor of Sumas