Step up and protect citizens

There has been an ongoing struggle to get our Lynden Police Department the staffing it needs, the staffing this community needs. Now I am hearing rumblings that a position promised to our police department has either been delayed yet again, or is off the table altogether.

This is wildly unacceptable on the part of City Hall. It goes beyond a broken promise to our police department. This hits directly at turning a blind eye toward public safety, and every single one of us needs to pay attention.

Growth in this town shows no sign of slowing down, a fact that should be obvious to our city leaders considering they share the same space with those who approve all this growth. Yet there seems to be a struggle to keep up with the idea that more growth requires more public safety.

It doesn’t matter what community you’re in, it doesn’t matter how safe your community is, bad things can happen anywhere. Some online poll about Safe City rankings means nothing in today’s world.

I recently overheard the foolish argument that when we face a real problem here, then we will address it, which is akin to laying down sand bags after the flood is over. We cannot take a reactive approach to public safety, as it creates haste and bad decisions and undue stress when the problem could have been addressed before it even started. Waiting for the problem is a reckless approach, and when it comes to public safety ignorance is most definitely not bliss.

Mr. Mayor, no more bargaining, no more maybes. It is time to step up and protect the citizens you lead and to show your willingness to respect and protect the law enforcement officers who serve us.

— Kris Keene, Lynden

On PeaceHealth

My husband and I are retired healthcare workers who are always open to new ideas and new perspectives on this great adventure of living and dying.Because of that curiosity, I was pleased (and amazed) that the Rotary Club of Bellingham recently hosted a 13-week series of talks titled “Contemplating End of Life.”

Rotarians welcomed non-members to the talks, so I attended several of them. In an important take-away, I learned that PeaceHealth Medical Group is a repository for advance directives for anyone, even those who have never seen a PeaceHealth physician, have never been a patient at St. Joseph Hospital, and do not have an electronic medical record at PeaceHealth.

You may wonder why this is important. I have an advance directive, but my doctor is a Family Care Network physician. I also travel frequently. If I had an accident or serious illness while traveling, the hospital where I was receiving care would contact the closest hospital to my home address to determine if I had an advance directive on file to try to ensure that my stated wishes are followed. Voila, that is the PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center!

This invaluable, free service from PeaceHealth gives me comfort, knowing that they will create an electronic medical record for me solely to file my healthcare advance directive. Contact Hilary Walker, advance care planning program coordinator (, to find out how to file yours.

— Barbara Aiken, Bellingham

Thanks for a great field trip

Last week, I was able to take my combined class of third- and fourth-grade students to the Whatcom Farm Circle, organized by Whatcom Family Farmers. I was so impressed.

We were greeted in the parking lot by a friendly gentleman who brought us right into the event and guided our group through the entire process. There were numerous stations we got to visit and they were all different, but all interesting. The presenters were engaging, and they engaged the students. The topics discussed were age-appropriate, too. Clearly, a lot of time and effort went into preparing these displays and presentations for over 900 students in the county.

It’s my understanding that most of the people the day we attended were volunteers as well. These are people who clearly care a lot about agriculture, good education and the environment. In addition, we were sent home with many treats and treasures for each student.

So here is my thanks for an excellent field trip. It was greatly appreciated.

— Debbie Johnson, Lynden