On the economy

Yes, we are in a sweetie pie economy, but the market is oversold. When the crash begins, margins will dump, causing panic and selloff. The tariff of today is only a small indication of what can happen. Even the good solid, dividend-paying monarchs will not stop the downfall.

When that happens, I will be ready to jump in. Reports of closing stores and restraints of big players is just one indication. Inflation is killing farmers and big business. There is no end to wage rates. Everyone wants more and will vote for more to keep up their spending habits as the money tree dies. Depression will cure the racial problem we have, so we are in the same boat, except the thought of the freebee crowd, not knowing how to survive could become an army of criminals. If you were brought up by old-school rules, you will be fine.

P.S. This will happen in my lifetime. Even if I plan to live to 150 years, yes scratch 10, I will survive. I would appreciate opinions.

— Darryl Ehlers, Lynden


Seaport seafarers 

We in northwest Washington are certainly blessed with two oil refineries, Alcoa Aluminum and other industry at Cherry Point. These are a key links for our economy, commerce, and employment for so many, both locally and abroad.  

What many do not see, behind the scene, is the immense shipping industry by sea in and out of our sea ports. The oil tankers and freighters are run by crews from the nations around the globe. These people are indispensable and valuable, hard-working seafarers, or mariners, as they are called. They leave home and family for up to 6-10 months to make a better life for their families.

These seafarers are often lonely and homesick. Many cannot get out to shore for three reasons: no time, no passes, or being detained. We see ships from which no one gets to shore because of issues  between countries.

This is why it is so important that a chaplain and volunteers visit the crews to make a difference and to listen to their stories, to provide encouragement, love and hope, which are often very well received. 

Here is a story that just happened and is still unfolding. A ship with aluminum ore with 19 crew came from Australia. It took a month to come here. It took another three days to clear for shore leave for those with passes. On  the big blue sea for a month there was no phone connection, only email. Now in port, the smart phones work. How good to see family and catch up with the latest, in color.

It was my privilege to take a load of seafarers to the mall. A service of worSHIP and fellow-SHIP on board is scheduled for all who want to come. These are the “...ships” much needed.

What we need are your prayers, for seafarers and their faraway families, for care and support. For more, contact me as chaplain at cell 561-351-1239 or email pastorvanhemert@gmail.com.

— John Van Hemert, Lynden


On Kathy Kershner and climate change 

I  am a Bellingham resident who had the pleasure of visiting Lynden for the first time during the Raspberry Festival. By chance I stumbled upon the Whatcom Republicans booth and found myself in an engaging conversation with County Council candidate Kathy Kershner.

I asked her how she would help workers at Cherry Point and farmers whose livelihoods respond to climate change. Unfortunately, Kathy responded that she does not believe the planet is warming or that climate change poses a threat to the workers and children of Lynden. It is disappointing that she is choosing to overlook the reality that we must take climate change seriously. 

A leader is not afraid to acknowledge and discuss the problem with civility. A leader advocates for the children and workers in their community by having a reasoned and sensible dialogue on real issues that face their constituents.

Kathy Kershner, please act like a leader and don’t cower in the face of climate change by pretending the problem does not exist. The workers and children in your community deserve better.

— Alec Howard, Bellingham