Lynden needs a care center

A while back, Lynden council member Gary Bode pointed out how our community could use its own urgent care center.

He is so right! Our own facility would eliminate a trip to the Bellingham emergency room and a two- to four-hour wait — waiting to even be seen.

On my walks around town I have noticed several properties for sale that would work great, plus they have parking.

Our community is growing rapidly — the traffic tells us that — and trying to get an urgent care center for Lynden would be a worthwhile effort.

— Nancy Stolcis, Lynden

A vision of America

Are we then to join the crusade for socialism and open our borders? Are we then to apologize and deny/abandon our American heritage that has developed over the last 200 years? I say not until we can understand how America has prospered from the so many of its regional cultures, each one having contributed so much to our rich American heritage.

Books like “America Remembers” by Rapport and Schwartle (1956) present precious, personal accounts of such cultures like working in a northern Michigan lumber camp, a Vermont maple sugar farm and at a ranch in Montana where calves are branded, to name a few — all part of America. The culture we are mostly familiar with here is the Whatcom farm life.

There is a commonality in our rural way of life out here. If it’s a cotton plantation in Mississippi, an Iowa corn field, a Kansan wheat field or a berry field near Lynden, country life in America shares values.

One account, “Down on the Farm” begins with “… America began on a farm. The land is our heritage, and the strength of our national character is rooted there. A modern homestead may be as mechanized as a factory, but the old traditions and customs have kept their place not alone in the heart of the farm family, but in the hearts of those of us who, having left the country, find that the country will not leave us.” (AR, p.147)

But America also is a melting pot of many cultures. That is a part of our rich heritage too. “America is a nation of contrasts. Her regions differ not only geographically, but as widely as the people who live in them. For it is the people — in their differences as well as their alikeness — who make the common character of the nation so rich.”

— Gerald Hulbert, Sumas

Sanctuary cities

The topic of sanctuary cities is a political flashpoint. Some cities adopt sanctuary policies, some enact policies to crack down on immigrants — both legal and undocumented — settling in their cities.

In Lynden, with a large portion of our population owing our residency to Dutch immigrants, we should be reflective on the plight of the migrant seeking refuge, safety and economic opportunity. My own heritage is a confluence of Cornelijs Van Wyk seeking a better life outside of limited opportunity in Friesland, and Guadeloupe Alvarado Alexander following her husband from Corpus Christi, Texas, to harvest potatoes in the rich agricultural area that is north Whatcom County. These predecessors of mine uprooted their lives and left all they knew because the risks might have been great, but the hope of a better tomorrow lay in their new home.

The Latino population in Lynden came close to doubling between the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Some of these families have called the United States home for generations; others, only recently. They harvest our berries, milk our cows, build our houses, teach our kids, grow our plants, drive our tractors, work for the government (like my grandfather, a U.S. Forest Service arborist) preach in our churches, and enrich our community — no matter how they came here.

Shouldn’t they also receive the famed Chamber of Commerce “Welkom Basket,” hospitality, and a sense of community that Lynden is known for? To silo our communities because we fear our differences allows for assumptions and stereotypes to cloud our judgment.

Our town matriarch Phoebe Judson was once a foreigner on Nooksack land, but established the community we call home today. Let us not forget our town roots of a pioneer woman, struck by the beauty of the area, finally realizing her dream of a place to call home.

— Erika Boyd, Lynden