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This week I saw the first swans return to the valley and it was delightful to see them flying and calling overhead. Many ancient cultures celebrate the migrations of their local animals.

Last week Democrats easily took the U. S. House of Representatives. Projections of undecided races have them adding more seats to their comfortable majority.

Thank you Skagit Valley Herald for your diligent and balanced coverage of the county charter campaign. Home Rule Skagit chair Gary Wickman also spoke graciously, as quoted in your newspaper, about the ways the charter proponents could have done things differently.

Now that Democrats have won control of the House, perhaps the blind hatred and resentment of President Trump may subside a bit. My question is what do these voters want from any president? What would satisfy them?

I am constantly in awe of the human species. We have such capacity for kindness, compassion and love. We can reach across divides to help each other and to show understanding.

How many times have we heard the same story: If we raise the tax on such-and-such that will cause one industry or the other to adopt more environmentally safe methods? Or cause them to alter their products to be more conducive to human well-being? How’s that working for us?

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He arrived in Seattle in 1899 at age 17. He found work with the railroad, where he was tutored in English by a retired teacher. She saw that he was smart and had leadership skills.

There seems to be an insidious common thread connecting the horrific violent events we are witnessing in the news recently, One that weaves from Squirrel Hill, Philadelphia, to the mean streets of the occupied Gaza Strip.

As a resident and former business owner, I have supported our school district and appreciate your service and the value you bring to our community.

On the base of the Statue of Liberty, it says "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

There is some panic about this Honduran caravan. It seems that illegal intrusion is near a 45-year low, so what is the real issue?

Trump's bloated tax cut has exploded the federal deficit and benefits nobody but the very rich. It is such a bad law that Republican candidates can’t even mention it on their stump for votes.

Every election year, it seems a few politicians may be so uncertain as to their being elected that they think of putting their election signs on nearly every block.

Our state’s Supreme Court was right to call out the state Legislature in the McCleary decision, and the Legislature was right to fulfill its constitutional obligations.

There hasn’t, to my knowledge, been a lot of discussion about public safety in the elections this year, even though it’s perennially important. One thing made clear this very summer is that our public safety issues are changing with the changing climate.

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I am police chief for the City of Sedro-Woolley, and I urge you to vote for Rosemary Kaholokula for Superior Court judge.

Ask any rural resident of Whatcom County how their charter government represents them. Whatcom County farmers and rural residents have no representation on their charter council.

Apparently much of the voting public feels they are inadequately aware of the problems and possible solutions to cast a vote.

I first met Jackie Brunson in 2001 while serving as president for a statewide law enforcement records association. Jackie was new to our organization, however, she volunteered for the treasurer position.

We know how important it is for a judge to be nonpartisan. As a retired teacher, I dusted off my Merriam Webster and found “nonpartisan: free from party affiliation or bias.” The key here is "bias."

The Skagit County auditor routinely touches our lives in so many ways through recording, licensing, accounting and elections. That is why I’m voting for Mike Urban.

I am writing to encourage you to cast your vote for Mike Urban as Skagit County auditor. 

This election we have the opportunity to vote in a qualified and hard-working individual to serve us as Skagit County auditor — Mike Urban.

I'm voting Mike Urban for Skagit County auditor, and I hope you will too. I've known Mike most of my adult life.