Supports Kenner

Having attended commission meetings of Public Utility District No. 1 of Whatcom County for more than 25 years, I strongly believe voters need to re-elect Paul Kenner as one of its commissioners in the Nov. 6 general election.

Mr. Kenner´s leadership has been crucial in guiding the PUD. His background as a longtime owner and manager of a prominent local insurance company are ideal for financial issues. He has ensured fair rates for major Cherry Point employers, agricultural users and water associations while protecting the PUD’s stellar financial condition, all without going to taxpayers for a dime in his 38 years as a commissioner.

Mr. Kenner also has contributed to the PUD’s excellent stewardship of environmental resources. Its water customers have increased production while reducing their water usage by 30 percent in the last 10 years.

While Mr. Kenner has been a regular attendee and active contributor at PUD meetings, his opponent hadn’t even attended a meeting until last month. His opponent presents ideas without consideration of what the PUD can legally and practically do.

The PUD will play a critical role in developing a plan for Whatcom County’s water supply that balances the needs of users and the quantity and quality of our water. We can’t afford an uninformed and unproven commissioner with a questionable record of leading his own business. Please vote for Paul Kenner for PUD commissioner on your Nov. 6 ballot.

— Rick Maricle, Bellingham

Supports Vargas, Shewmake, Boneau

Do your beliefs match how your elected representatives voted? If not, they don’t deserve more time in power. Do you believe employers should offer paid sick leave or that there should be a family leave program for a parent to stay home for a short time with a newborn? See HB1356, SB5875. Do you believe legislators should hide their actions and not be subject to public records laws? See SB6617. Do you believe registering to vote should be both legal and easy? See HB2595. Do you believe it’s dangerous to use a cell phone or text while driving? See HB1371, SB5289.

Our Republican representatives all voted against sick or paid family leave, against transparency in public records for legislators, against legal and easy voter registration, against fines for texting/cell phone use while driving, and other logically beneficial legislation. And one of them, Ericksen, took an EPA job in Washington, DC, but did not give up his state legislative salary while working there, when he was supposed to be representing us here.

Ericksen also voted against a bill to protect you from being fired if you talked about your salary with your work colleagues (see HB1506), while Van Werven and Buys voted against banning bump stocks. See SB5992. By the way, bump stocks are not arms; arms work perfectly well without them, and banning them for public safety does not counter the Second Amendment.

Go for productive change! Vote for Democrats Pinky Vargas, Sharon Shewmake and Justin Boneau. Vargas has experience and understands future planning. Shewmake, an economics transportation professor at WWU, understands budgets and transportation needs, and Boneau understands housing affordability. All are committed to health care, public safety, infrastructure projects, affordable housing, generating jobs and working to make our lives better.

— Chuck Kinzer, Birch Bay

Supports Ericksen

Since childhood we’ve had it drummed into our heads that we must save, we must prepare for a rainy day. These are sound words of advice. Aesop’s fable tells us of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant is prudent, works hard and prepares for winter. The grasshopper is carefree, frivolous and doesn’t worry about the future.

Unfortunately, the Democrats in control of the legislature in Olympia identified more with the carefree grasshopper this past January. They voted to raid the “Rainy Day Fund” designated for financial emergencies.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, our representative here in the 42nd District, sounded the alarm. He warned the Democrats that their reckless spending will return Washington to the days of unsustainable budgeting and major shortfalls.

I want our legislators to be the “ants” in Olympia, not fiscal grasshoppers. Sen. Ericksen was correct about uncontrolled spending. That’s why I will vote for him on Nov. 6.

— Joan Dow, Bellingham

No on I-1639

Imagine being awakened in the night by the sound of breaking glass, and realizing they were already inside your home. You reach over to your bedside table for your firearm to defend yourself and your family only to realize it’s now locked safely away, inaccessible to you. By this time, the intruders have found you, free to do whatever they want or intend to. Far-fetched, you think? If I-1639 passes, it isn’t far-fetched, it’s a reality. Vote No on I-1639.

— Ralph L Myers, Bellingham

Strong on politics

Various recent letter writers seem to have lost their ability to reason. One supports Mr. Erb for county prosecutor. We are told “He understands the value of collaborations” and “He is committed to policies that prevent crime.” Those are commendable attitudes, but the job is prosecutor.

Each year, Whatcom County suffers from hundreds of serious crimes within its borders. In such cases, our agent of justice need not ponder multiple options as to what to do. His clear priority is to prosecute with tenacity and vigor — as Dave McEachran did for 46 years.

Pinky Vargas complains about Doug Ericksen’s double duties. But Doug, an energetic public servant, fulfilled both assignments with distinction. All of us owe him kudos for jobs well done.

Another complainer alleges that Vincent Buys and Luanne Van Werven suffer from “disconnect with their constituents.” One wonders: “Where have you been for the last several years?” Like Rip Van Winkle, have you been comatose for two decades? It takes a lot of effort to avoid connecting with Vince or Luanne. Likewise the writer says “They are out of step with their own constituents.” Yet they busily nurture their supporters and openly court their opponents. They do refrain from bodily tackling the disinterested.

I’m always fascinated by pejorative references to “Big Oil.” Have you ever thought about how the world would propel itself if we only had “Small Oil”? Each week, our service station would shut down and post “Sorry. Out of Gas. Please take a number and return next week.”

One more Vargas quote: “I feel that our current senator does not represent me or the people I talk to.” I believe her. I believe she travels in a narrow clique of leftists who yearn for the days when Obama was ruining the country with his destructive politics.

— Gary Hardaway, Lynden

Supports Richey

Eric Richey, candidate for prosecuting attorney, is poised to continue retiring Dave McEachran’s legacy of ensuring community safety, fairness and maintaining the high degree of cooperation that exists between the prosecutor’s office and all local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

With tenure of over two decades, Eric has worked closely with law enforcement to hold some of the most dangerous, violent, predatory and habitual criminals accountable and has handled some of the most complex cases. Eric consistently prioritizes the protection of victims and demonstrates empathy and compassion.

This is why victim rights advocates; law enforcement associations representing deputy sheriffs and police officers in Bellingham, Lynden and Ferndale; Firefighters Local 106; Dave McEachran and many other local and area prosecutors have endorsed him.

Eric has a reputation for respecting our state and federal Constitutions and being mindful of concepts of fairness. This is why our public defender, many other criminal defense attorneys and retired judges have endorsed him.

Eric embraces innovation and changes to our criminal justice system that emphasize, in appropriate cases, treatment over prosecution.

I urge voters to choose Eric Richey as our next prosecuting attorney.

— Bill Elfo, Ferndale

Supports Van Werven

Attention, Whatcom County homeowners. Have you looked at your property tax bill lately? Noticed what it costs to buy a home or condo? Shocking, isn’t it?!

Progressive socialist Democrat Justin Boneau is making “housing” part of his campaign. But while he may think he has the answers, his solutions are simply more and bigger government programs. This means he would just add to the problem — with even heavier tax burdens, more regulations and ultimately less housing for Whatcom County residents.

Rep. Luanne Van Werven has a firm grasp on the realities of economic life in Whatcom County. She has common sense, a level head, a gracious spirit and a heart for those she serves. The 42nd District benefits from Luanne’s knowledge and experience as our representative in Olympia. Please join me in voting to reelect Luanne Van Werven.

— Shawn Van Dyken, Lynden

Supports Buys

Our forests are burning out of control. Why do they burn when for many decades we had the fires under control? Maybe we should look at the causes.

Many liberals believed it would be a great idea to prohibit further logging, logging roads or trails being built in our forests, both state and local. Those roads served as firebreaks and served as immediate access in the event of a fire.

Then the liberals thought it would be brilliant to prohibit any logging in these forests. This, of course, allowed huge debris piles of limbs, trees and needles to build up on the forest floor. Now we have many feet of debris on the forest floor acting as kindling for a future fire, started by either man or God (lightning).

In addition, our forests should be managed. They will be managed either by God (forest fires) or by man (logging and harvesting) to add to our state tax base. In short, forests are an asset to be managed and utilized for taxpayer benefit or they are smoke we breathe.

Rep. Vincent Buys supports forest management and fire-wise programs. These are solutions to our forest fire problems. Vote Buys and save our forests and our clean air.

— Bill Henshaw, Bellingham

Supports Vargas, Shewmake

During a recent campaign meeting in Ferndale to which community members were invited, Doug Ericksen was asked about his recent trips to Cambodia. He seemed pleased to respond.

My understanding of what he said was that it was an exciting trip, paid for on his own dime. In fact, according to his previous statements, he used campaign funds to support the trip. Why would our state senator use precious campaign funds to make a trip to another country? Who wanted him and Rep. Vincent Buys to be there? What good will it bring the 42nd District? Or will it benefit one of his campaign donors that are often corporations from out of state?

He stated that it was in hopes of developing trade agreements with the State of Washington. Who authorized or promoted this trip?

Ericksen and Buys were invited by Cambodian officials to “observe” the national election. The election was considered undemocratic both by the U.S. and the European Union because the ruling party dissolved its main opposition party in 2017.

It is important to note that the U.S. State Department met with Ericksen and Buys and asked them not to stay for the election. After that meeting, two other Republican state officials, one a state senator, the other a state representative, cut their trips short and left Cambodia. Despite the State Department request, Ericksen and Buys stayed and “observed” the election. Neither one of them is an internationally trained election observer.

Imagine what would happen here if either the Republican or Democratic party were eliminated prior to November’s election. Would any of us pretend it was an election worth observing?

Why was it so important for them to stay in Cambodia and curry the favor of Cambodian government officials?

We deserve answers to all of these questions. We deserve transparency, which Doug Ericksen is denying us.

We deserve a senator and a representative who will work for the 42nd District, not for Cambodia and unidentified donors.

Vote both of them out of office. Vote for Pinky Vargas and Sharon Shewmake.

— Lucy Morse, Ferndale