Kudos to Buys’ bill

You have seen these food trucks buzzing around construction sites. You have seen them in downtown Ferndale, Lynden and Everson. You believe the food trucks provide safe and sanitary food, which they do. These food trucks keep the high local and state health standards we demand as tax-paying citizens.

Thank you, Vincent Buys, for introducing and passing State House Bill 2639, which removed huge obstacles for these small businesses. Outdated laws required them to do all food preparation outside of the truck. Now they can be more efficient in their work and provide better service to the community, but still be held accountable to all health standards.

Vincent Buys, Luanne Van Werven and Doug Ericksen are dedicated to building up our economy, improving small business opportunities and continuing to increase employment. They care about the well-being of our community and our workers. The work that was done on HB 2639 is evidence of this, and is one more reason that I support these candidates for the Washington State Legislature.

— Elinor King, Ferndale

Supports Erb

I will be voting for James Erb for Whatcom County prosecutor on Nov. 6. After 44 years with the same prosecutor in office, it is our chance to forge a new path forward and to make our criminal justice system more responsive to the needs of our community.

James Erb has a wide range of experience. He has been a criminal prosecutor in Florida, a prosecutor with the Nooksack Indian court system and at present he is the Bellingham senior assistant city attorney in the civil division.

James Erb represents an enlightened approach to criminal justice by evaluating ways to reduce incarceration. He wants to expand the drug court and treatment options and expand mental health facilities.

James Erb is committed to keeping our communities safe from people who have committed serious crimes. However, many people are in jail before even being convicted because they cannot afford bail. Wouldn’t it be better to have them wear an ankle bracelet ($15/day) as Bellingham does, so that they can continue working rather than being incarcerated ($130/day) as the county does?

Join me in voting for James Erb. He has the vision and experience we need.

— Peggy Stewart, Ferndale

Supports Erb

A recent magazine article about prosecutors was headlined “The Most Powerful Elected Officials You’ve Never Heard Of.” On Nov. 6 Whatcom County will elect its first new prosecutor in more than four decades. This is likely our most important choice on the ballot.

In a nationwide poll, nearly nine of ten people, regardless of party affiliation, said it was important to have a prosecutor who prioritizes alternatives to incarceration and commits to transparency in sharing data and policies with the public. This is the platform James Erb has been promoting since he announced his intention to run for the office — before the current prosecutor said he wouldn’t seek reelection.

The prosecutor’s office has consistently touted its expertise at prosecuting serious crime. However, recently the office admitted in a court brief that it “failed in its discovery obligations in a myriad of ways.”

Little has been done to reduce incarceration. The office has promoted the building of an even larger jail. And the drug court has been underutilized and doesn’t follow nationwide best practices.

James Erb’s opponent has been embedded in that office for 25 years. Though he now talks of more progressive practices, one wonders why he supported the current policies and practices all of those years. Furthermore, even if he’s sincere in his desire to modernize the office, how successful will he be changing a culture that he has supported for so long?

The prosecutor’s office is the largest law firm in Whatcom County, dealing with civil as well as criminal law, and James Erb’s opponent has no experience in civil law. James Erb has civil and criminal law experience in three separate jurisdictions.

The choice on Nov. 6 is clear. If you want real change, elect James Erb as Whatcom County prosecutor.

— Chuck Robinson, Lynden

Criticizing I-1639

Initiative 1639 is an all-encompassing measure that will take your guns, put them in a locked box, or put you in jail with a felony. It will classify all semi-automatic arms, even a .22 or any typical hunting rifle, as “assault weapons.”

Of course, you could oppose the state and fight this initiative’s measures in court, but at your own expense. Most of us do not have deep pockets. The fact that our state would give us a choice of making our weapons inaccessible by locking them up, or making us felons is inexcusable.

I see our freedom this way: the Washington State Constitution, as well as our nation’s constitution, gives us the right to keep and bear arms for our protection and the state’s protection. This initiative causes me great pause as to whether I would ever wish to protect, defend or engage with my state at all if such a measure was passed.

Sen. Doug Ericksen and Reps. Luanne Van Werven and Vincent Buys fight to protect our rights every time they go back to Olympia. Please vote for our 42nd District legislators and against I-1639.

— Jason Cronk, Deming

Supports Shewmake

Sharon Shewmake is running for state representative in 42nd Legislative District Position 2. She is an associate professor of economics at Western Washington University.

Sharon is running “because our economy isn’t just dollars and cents. It’s how we care for one another and grow our communities. We need leaders who fight for our values. Protecting children, the environment and workers isn’t charity. It’s an investment in our future.” She believes no child deserves to live in poverty. No family deserves to go hungry.

Her platform includes environmental protection and well-paying jobs for families. She has a Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics from UC-Davis and a bachelor’s in economics from Duke University. In addition to teaching, she is married with two children, and has written a children’s book.

Sharon is exactly the kind of representative Whatcom County needs working in Olympia fighting for our values, our environment, and supporting the best interests of our families. I hope you will take the opportunity to hear her speak. She is inspiring and her enthusiasm is contagious. She cares deeply for Whatcom County and no one will work harder in Olympia.

Please check out her Facebook page to find out more and get a schedule of her upcoming campaign events. Don’t forget to vote, all the way down the ballot.

— Linda Schonborn, Ferndale