Doing the right thing

I find it quite disconcerting that a few naysayers, especially those who live on 19th Street behind the property in question, get to decide the economic opportunities or lack of that we have in Lynden. I ask you, who in their right mind would want to live along what is quite obviously a commercial corridor like that of the Guide Meridian Road? No one!

This argument concerning the properties along the Guide Meridian is not about the well-being of our town. It’s about one neighborhood’s preference to maintain a very expensive (not for them, of course) buffer between them and the Guide Meridian. The trend is clear if you drive this road into Bellingham. The houses are being deserted or falling into disrepair because nobody wants to live there anymore. It is a commercial conduit now and will keep moving toward that usage in the years to come.

I can attest to the fact that hundreds of Canadian visitors to Whatcom County crossing at Aldergrove/Lynden largely drive right by our town to go shopping in Bellingham via the Guide Meridian. Think of the potential business that a variety store like Fred Meyers or a similar business would bring to not only the Guide-based businesses but also our core (downtown). Right now, these potential revenue bringers bypass our downtown, go into Bellingham and do their shopping. Then when they have eaten and are all tired out, they head home driving right past our town yet again. It’s crazy!

We need to embrace the future and admit that the Guide Meridian is a commercial corridor now and we need it to stay that way to maintain the standard of living we have come to expect.

Also, I find it disgraceful and elitist to say in the same paragraph that our town is too commercial already and then to state that people should live in stand-alone houses. The retail or restaurant employee cannot afford to live in a stand-alone house. Even the rent charged for an apartment in Lynden is challenging to impossible for the majority of the aforementioned employees. I say the smaller the space allowed to have a residence, the better, and I encourage living complexes that are truly frugal like small studios. Either that or the employers in our town need to decide that their employees deserve to be able to actually live off of the pay they are given.

For the record I as a Lynden-based retail business owner adopted a $15-an-hour base pay over a year ago and I have had to tighten my belt a little, but my heart has grown exponentially knowing that I am doing the right thing.

— Chris Cooke, Lynden

On inequality

You can tell what the main inequality women face is just by looking at the key chains college women carry. All too often, you find women afraid to walk alone at night in the city, evidenced by the pepper spray hanging off their lanyards or gripped in their hands. This is an issue that needs to have greater attention and needs to be addressed.

We need to have politicians in Olympia that can help protect women and investigate the perpetrators of assault and sexual abuse. Rep. Vincent Buys supports bills like HB 1109 that require evidence from sexual assault cases that have been left cold to be turned in to forensic investigators and the cases to be reopened. He also introduced and passed the “revenge porn” bill to make the release of intimate images without the consent of the individual depicted a class C felony.

You may also have heard that women are increasingly applying for concealed pistol licenses to use for self-defense. While most of them will never need to fire the pistols, just the presence of a firearm can ward off assault. Vincent Buys supports our Second Amendment, allowing women to protect themselves however they feel will be most effective for them.

We need to have Rep. Buys in Olympia to ensure that sexual assault is prevented and prosecuted, and that women are allowed to protect themselves and make themselves safe in their own community.

— Krista Kirk, Sumas

Recommending a place to eat

I’d like to recommend the daily lunches available at the Lynden Community/Senior Center.

One of the missions there is to provide at least one nutritious and delicious meal a day for local seniors. But anyone can enjoy these meals.

For only $6, people of all ages can support the center’s vital mission by dropping in for lunch at noon Monday through Friday. Meals are cooked in their own kitchen, featuring fresh local foods. Also for $6, these hot meals can be delivered to seniors unable to leave their homes.

The Lynden Community/Senior Center is supported by its members and by our community and has been a thriving part of Lynden since 1969.

— Jo Dereske, Lynden