67.1 F
Sunday, July 12, 2020

Mailbag: Letters to the editor the week of Jan. 17, 2018

Here are the letters to the editor we received for the week of Jan. 17, 2018.

Racism in Whatcom County Council

Watching council member Tyler Byrd question Timothy Ballew II at the Whatcom County Council meeting on January 16th made my stomach churn. At the meeting, each of the finalists for the At-Large council seat gave a short speech and answered questions from the council. After Ballew’s speech, Byrd repeatedly asked him how he would navigate any potential conflicts of interest between the County and the Lummi Nation should he become a council member. Byrd’s questioning implied that because Ballew is a tribal member and formal tribal leader, he would put tribal interests ahead of the interests of the county when making decisions as a council member. Byrd’s implication reduced Ballew’s character down to his ethnicity, completely discounting Ballew as fellow, equal community member. I do not know if this is what Byrd intended to do, but lack of intent does not change the impact of his actions. Byrd’s questioning of Ballew was racist. While Byrd half-heartedly asked several other candidates about potential conflicts of interest, he did not frame the question around their ethnic backgrounds.

I am saddened and deeply ashamed to see this racist behavior in our own council chambers, perpetrated by a sitting council member towards a prospective council member. Byrd’s actions were disgraceful.

I encourage all community members to watch the video of the meeting on the Whatcom County Council YouTube channel and view Byrd’s actions yourself. With so many people paying attention to local politics these days, it is not a time when such appalling behavior from our elected officials will go unnoticed. We are watching you, Tyler Byrd, and we are expecting better from you. And to other members of the council, especially the chair, Rud Browne, don’t allow this nonsense in the council chambers; challenge it early and often.

Eowyn Savela, Western alum ’02

(Note from The Western Front: The county does not allow videos to be embedded, but the video of the meeting can be viewed by clicking the hyperlink above or this one here. Questioning of Ballew is from 7:38 to 16:25.)


Woodring and the Applicant Problem

To the editor,

It is nothing new that the Woodring College of Education here at our own Western Washington University is one of the top programs in the state since 1893 for those pursuing teaching. What is new, would be the application process. The program has continuously faced the problem of having double the applicants than the actual space available- which is 32 spaces to be exact. There were many workshops available prior to the application stage of last year that advised those applying that the priority of applicants would be changing. This change was made due to the influx of students who have had to apply multiple times before getting accepted into the department.

This change would consist of admission being based off of seniority rather than the amount of GURs accomplished or, singularly, the score of the admission essay. They noticed that the students that had to apply to the program numerous times before admission were upperclassmen and had a mass amount of credits under their belt. New form of admission states that those with highest number of credits and a passing score on their essay now have a higher chance of being accepted into the program.

This new form will hopefully lend students who have been applying to the program, for multiple quarters, a helping hand.

Bryonna Cruz-Bucklin, WWU


Letters to the editor are not the opinion of The Western Front. The Western Front is committed to publishing letters to the editor from the community, as long as they meet the paper’s editorial standards. For more information on letters to the editor, or to submit a letter, contact westernfrontonline@gmail.com


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Must Read

The history of the KKK in Bellingham

By Emily Stout You may think of the Ku Klux Klan as a distant monster, an organization that tormented the South....

Resident advisers hold open forum with university officials to discuss concerns

Written by: Bram Briskorn and Questen Inghram Over 300 people packed into Arntzen Hall, room 100 as if it were...

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Latest News

How the mask mandate looks in Whatcom County

Everything to know about how local jurisdictions are handling the order

Call your grandparents

The isolation caused by the pandemic is hitting older groups harder, it’s our job to help them stay connected.

Commercial fishing industry braces for strange season

 Upcoming local, Alaskan fishing season will be seeing low prices, high uncertainty Boats in Squalicum...

Staying healthy is essential right now, no matter the method

Many are turning to simple self-care practices in order to promote their own health. // Illustration by Julia Vreeman

Whatcom County combats unreliable internet during COVID-19

Pandemic highlights the lack of quality internet access many Washingtonians face Wifi symbol in front of...

More Articles Like This