To Jay Inslee


This letter is directed to our out-of-touch governor, missing in action for a long time. Your focus should be to save the taxpayers money. Your hiring of bodyguards tells me you must be pretty insecure.

Instead of trying to change the world, you should be cleaning up your back yard. Drive Interstate 5 and you’ll see the junkyard I’m talking about. Seattle isn’t dying; it’s dead! 

We need change. Bring back the death penalty only with some changes. Give them six months to prove their innocence. 

The crowding at the border should be taken care of immediately. Don’t let them even view freedom. Electrify the fence, not to kill but just enough that they won’t want to touch it if they do somehow get across. Bus them home immediately. We are not the keepers of the world.

Thanks to the Tribune for the opportunity to voice an opinion.

One last statement: I will never vote for a Democrat ever. (Semper Fi)

— Robert Raplee, Lynden


Planning ahead 

in health care 


During a long, rewarding career in healthcare, I witnessed the heartbreak, stress, guilt and burdensome costs imposed when patients and families had not expressed preferences for what care they’d want if a crisis occurred and they could no longer communicate themselves.  

There are burgeoning efforts in Whatcom County to increase awareness about the importance of Advance Care Planning. However, with the recent closure of Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement, we need more community partners to support initiatives and programs to keep this critically important message in the public’s view. WAHA provided myriad services, including advance directive facilitation, which will hopefully land in new homes soon. ACP leads to more appropriate care, with improved symptom relief, greater patient and family satisfaction, at lower cost.

PeaceHealth supported the “I’ve Got Mine!” campaign for National Healthcare Decisions Day 2019 that encouraged healthcare providers, patients, caregivers and community members to complete their advance directive. This initiative must grow to wider participation. Will it languish? It’s up to us to make certain it doesn’t.

I challenge Whatcom County to get involved in “I’ve Got Mine!” by displaying posters, fliers and billboards to encourage completion of advance directives — in clinics, libraries, credit unions, faith-based venues, college campuses, restaurants, service clubs, high-risk places of employment, city halls, high school health classes, anywhere where people gather. 

I encourage you to make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss your values, goals, healthcare preferences before a crisis develops. Also, ask your provider, “do you have yours?’ 

T hank-you to Dewey Griffin Subaru, a dealership that is leading by example, displaying “I’ve Got Mine!” messages on their electronic community billboard on Iowa Street!  

— Barbara Aiken, Bellingham


On Brian Estes


I’m voting for Brian Estes for Whatcom County Council District 4. With so much changing in our rural communities we need new leadership and innovative solutions and Brian Estes represents the change we need. Brian Estes is working for the middle class and those who struggle financially in Whatcom County. He is concerned about family farming, reducing uncertainty over Nooksack watershed issues as well as mental health, reforming the criminal justice system, and the lack of high-paying jobs in our county. 

As a first-time candidate, Brian Estes represents us, the Farmlands district, not politicians. He is dedicated to building stronger communities in north-central Whatcom County and has an extensive record of doing just that. As a volunteer leader with the Boy Scouts, a volunteer advocate for Whatcom County’s National Alliance on Mental Illness and a member of the ARC of Whatcom, on top of many other roles with community organizations, he is committed to strengthening our rural way of life. He is ready to get to work and deserves your vote. 

Join me in voting Brian Estes for Whatcom County Council District 4 on Aug. 6.

— Alta Toler, Lynden 


Thoughts on Congress


My image of Congress these days is pretty well captured by American actor Hal Holbrook, in his one-man show, “Mark Twain Tonight,” performing as Mark Twain: “When I was putting together my first book, I did a stretch in Washington as a newspaper correspondent; and every day I was over to the Congress, that grand old benevolent national asylum for the helpless, and I reported on the inmates there. Well, it was very entertaining; and I had never seen a body of men with tongues so handy and information so uncertain. Well, they could talk for a week without ever getting rid of an idea. If one of those men had been present when the Deity was on the point of sayin’, ‘Let there be light!’, we never would of had any.”

— Larry Davis, Custer