Letters to the Editor -- April 12, 2001

Published on Thu, Apr 12, 2001
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Letters to the Editor

History hysteria
The Editor:
The Blaine Heritage Association, a new historical society in Whatcom County, invites you to be a partner in researching and writing the “Blaine Story.”
The goal of the association is to collect stories, letters, photographs, and other artifacts pertaining to Blaine and the surrounding area, then present the unfolding story in an entertaining and informative manner to the public.
Many people in Blaine and the surrounding area have collected family treasures that could be a resource for telling the Blaine story. If you have or know of anyone who has such treasures please contact
Jim Zell at 332-3402 or blaine heritage@aol.com.
A current and ongoing project is the videotaping of oral histories from people with a story to tell. Our goal is to provide schools, libraries, and individuals with inexpensive video tapes and computer CDs of these oral histories. If you would like to learn how to produce oral histories and possibly assist us in this project again, please contact me.
Jim Zell
Blaine

The Editor:
In the November 4-10, 1999 issue of The Northern Light, on the bottom of page six there is a quote from Ed Magner. The first several lines are reproduced below:
“When I think of why we are here today, in 1999, I think of how it must have been in 1899. Blaine as a booming city, third largest on the west coast.”
Huh? Was Blaine really the third largest city on the west coast in 1899? I have been wondering about this for well over a year now. My research attempts do not indicate that Blaine was the third largest city on the west coast at that time.
Could you please get in touch with Mr. Magner and find the sources for his statement?
Todd Strong
Point Roberts

The Editor:
An article in the March 22-28 of The Northern Light titled “Semiahmoo Museum to Open” had a few incorrect facts.
The article said the museum closed in 1995.
The museum was open in the years of 1996, 1997 and 1998 under the direction of Janell Griffin, employed by the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation department. Several community members including 20 members of the Semiahmoo Ladies Club and their husbands contributed their time so the museum would be open to the public. Money was raised through public donations to purchase the museum sign which is on the property at this time.
The ladies club board does not know where the reporter got the information, but would appreciate the correct information be printed in a future publication.
Barbara Dolph & Sharon Missiaen
Semiahmoo Ladies Club
Ed. note: Whatcom County Parks and Recreation closed the Semiahmoo museum in 1997, according to parks director Roger DeSpain. The museum was leased to the Inn at Semiahmoo in 1997 and 1998, he said, during which Janell Griffin, the inn’s promotions director, coordinated volunteers to keep the museum open weekends. We apologize for the error in the March 22 issue.

Support local schools
The Editor:
The Blaine school district is asking the citizens of Blaine to support them in their attempt to improve their facilities with a $19.7 million bond. The way I see it, the proposed bond has many positives.
It will add classrooms to each of the four schools on campus, thus making smaller class sizes, which will give students more individual attention. This bond will also provide modernization and remodeling of existing classrooms and restrooms, as well as roof repairs. The PAC will receive annex seating and sound, the “older” gyms will get a facelift, while the high school gym gets locker and wrestling rooms.
Safety and security are two other items that will be addressed. A new phone system will be installed, campus lighting/security video will be put in place, and all of the buildings will get up to date sprinkler systems.
By making all of these improvements to the Blaine schools, the citizens and the youth of this community will be better off. The people of Blaine will be able to see and be proud of their “newer” looking school facilities and the children will have safer surroundings to learn in. After all, isn’t it easier to learn and work when you feel really good about where you are, and the surroundings you’re in?
So in closing, please give the youth of the community and the people that work with them a vote of confidence by saying yes to the upcoming school bond issue.
Randy Kirk
Boys & Girls Club
Blaine

The Editor:
As a senior at Blaine high school, I have the best interest of the school at heart when I say that the upcoming school bond issue, if passed, would be used well. The district has plans for renovations not only for the high school, but also the middle school and various other buildings. Students will enjoy a renovated cafeteria and Ken Waters Gym which are focal points for almost all students at Blaine. Also, additional classrooms that are greatly needed would allow for the several middle school classes presently located in the high school to be moved back. Lockers that have been used for decades for sports and P.E. classes will be updated and a more modern library would be instituted via a small computer lab addition.
With all of these things in mind, students and teachers are in agreement that renovations would benefit the school immensely. Vote yes on the bond issue this May.
Haily Braumberger
Blaine

The Editor:
I urge support on the Blaine school district bond initiative. The Birch Bay area population has increased 87 percent in the last 10 years, as a result some middle school classes are being held in the high school for lack of classroom space. The bond would add classrooms, build a larger computer lab, refurbish the cafeteria, update the phone system, and incorporate a security and sprinkler system and other important items.
Please vote yes on the Blaine school bond issue May 15.
Douglas Cross, Sr.
Birch Bay

Support local train stop
The Editor:
Letters to the editor are not something I usually write. However, as a small business owner in Blaine I felt compelled to respond to the recent The Northern Light story titled “Amtrak to stop in White Rock” and the viewpoint article on the same subject written by senator Georgia Gardner. I am in complete agreement with senator Gardner! As a local business owner I’ve watched this town’s businesses close, one after another – evidenced by all the empty store fronts. When is the leadership of this community going to get the message that this town is dying?
Here is a legitimate opportunity to bring people to our business community, via the Amtrak, and our leadership throws in the towel on this subject without any input from the community they are supposed to represent.
Perhaps they should reconsider their stand on this matter!
In the past they have spent large sums of money with independent companies assessing ways to attract consumers to our community. Then they make a decision like this! What’s wrong with this picture?
Doug Denell
Blaine

The Editor:
After reading about our city writing checks to consultants for $25,000 to tell us what we need to do to get tourism in this city I was confused by the city manager’s decision to promote White Rock by discouraging the Amtrak stop in Blaine and give it to a foreign country. (He cites better parking – what parking?) Has he been there? And paid the meters just to eat dinner? Those meters are in effect day and night. After people get off the train in White Rock why on earth would they board a bus to go through customs and come back to Blaine?
The city of Blaine wants to move the visitor center up to the Subway building. We could have done a renovation on our landmark train station and built a covered parkway to the visitor center, provided regular parking and RV parking behind the old Vista and encouraged people to stay in Blaine.
I would think this would be a better alternative for our dollars than to dump enormous amounts of money into the airport for a few people (most who live in Semiahmoo) and a ‘pilots lounge’ (to be used before or after flights?). I appreciate Georgia Gardner’s support for our city and I wouldn’t blame her if she stopped telling people she’s from Blaine. Do you think our ineffectual city manager is only biding time in Blaine until his retirement?
Lesley Hofley
Blaine

Sign slip-up
The Editor:
In the March 22 edition of your paper, you ran a story “Regulating the signs of the times.” Your reporter named Terry Martens as the proprietor of Signs Plus, then went on to quote him as saying that the city of Blaine was so hard to do business in that it was not worth his time to go out and sell signs. I would like to set the record straight as some of your information was incorrect.
Signs Plus is located in Bellingham and is owned and operated by husband and wife teams John and Betty Vargas and Jim and Jamie Sutterfield. Paul Lachapelle and David Soule are also partners in the Signs Plus team. I would also like to add that we have a very good working relationship with the city of Blaine and have no problem building signs to fit whatever regulations the city requires. The Signs Plus team finds the sign needs of the Blaine businesses well worth our time.
Betty Vargas
Bellingham

Thanks
The Editor:
Sunset Sailing Charters would like to take this opportunity to thank the citizens of Blaine and the Resort Semiahmoo for making our fourth season a success for us. We are looking forward to a busy fifth season.
We hope that all who went sailing in our 34 foot sailboat had fun and would enjoy another charter in the future. We are looking forward to another season of sun and fun in the quaint town of Blaine. We offer a two hour crewed sailing charger in the local waters, you can see another view from the water. Our season has already begun and we are excited about the prospects!
Again, we would like to thank the people, and tell you that Blaine does have a chartering company and we are doing okay.
Tanya & Dale Johnson
Blaine

The Editor:
During the last seven months, I have had the experience of calling 911 three times. During each of these calls the Blaine police, Birch Bay ambulance and Medic One has responded.
Each of these units has been fast, professional and concerned with the needs of the call. My husband, son and I would like to thank all who responded to these calls. If it wasn’t for their fast and professional service my husband wouldn’t be here.
A special thank you goes out to Officer Glover who on the last call was concerned with me driving. He offered to transport my son and me to the hospital.Once again thank you to all.
Mike, Donna and Michael Gibson
Blaine

Letters Policy
The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank-you letters should be limited to 10 names. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
E-mail:editor@thenorthernlight.com

Letters Policy

The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please email letters to letters@thenorthernlight.com