Letters to the Editor -- July 12, 2001

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


Plea for peace and civility
The Editor:
When I was 20 I was sure that I had the answer for most of the ills of society but 67 years later I am not sure I have any answers today. My life has spanned the period from the horses and wagons to the automobile to the airplane and to Sputnik with regular flights to the moon. Yet, in all that time there is one thing that hasn’t changed at all and it bothers me immensely: The attitude that we can’t accomplish anything without fighting. We have to get angry at somebody, or call them names or suspect them of evil-doing just in order to make progress in our life.
I am convinced we have to begin to teach people how to communicate with each other without fighting, what’s necessary in order to behave and get along, cooperate, work together on activities. I am not talking about religion. Religion is each person’s prerogative. I am talking about training people how to get along in this world, how to cooperate, how to work together as I said.
This doesn’t mean I want to destroy individual initiative. Most of the progress we have made in this world has been made by individuals coming up with an idea and having the courage to go ahead and develop it. We still need that, but we don’t need battles and we don’t need wars to get these things done. I think we need to begin with two-year-olds, teaching children it isn’t necessary to battle in order to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
At the same time we need to teach people how to be parents. I had very good parents but I realized later that I wasn’t qualified very well myself to be a parent. The human creature isn’t born with these things. True, he may be born with the instinct for survival, but that doesn’t mean he has to kill somebody in order to survive. That may be true in this world we have today, but we created this world.
When I say “we” I mean humanity. Humanity, mankind, has created the society we have all over the world and if we are going to survive in the future we are going to have to recreate it and learn to cooperate as neighbors, cooperate as nations, and make this world safe for humanity. That is going to put restrictions on some things but certainly teaching people how to behave is not going to interfere with someone’s initiative any more than teaching somebody to swim is going to interfere with his operating his business. I am convinced that the day is going to come when we are going to need to begin to teach people the necessity of getting along.
Trav Skallman
Blaine

Why fix what ain’t broke?
The Editor:
The marriage of our city council, elected by the will and the voice of the people, and a city manager appointed by said council for the people is working extremely well. I do not believe that anyone could have done a better job than our current city manager and council in the win-win settlement with our American Indian brothers to the south. A city managed by a full-time mayor plus a required trained administrator would not be cost effective. The cost to the city would not decrease nor would the effectiveness of government increase.
A mayor or a city manager type of government can work and work well. They have their good points and bad points. During 26 years in the air force I have lived in many cities – some with a mayor, some with a city manager. I saw little difference in their results.
The question we need to each ask is what may we as individuals do in support of our elected officials, in cooperation with them and each other to make the most of what is here in Blaine? I too “love Blaine.” I also believe when something is working well not to toy with it. Has everything the city of Blaine done or is doing exactly the way I would like it done? No! Could I, could you make it better? Yes! But not by destroying the current form of government. We who love Blaine can roll up our sleeves and work. How well we do as a city depends on hard work, cooperation, and respect for each other.
A starting point for us could be to attend one of the upcoming town meetings in our wards and participate constructively. Let our elected officials hear what is in our hearts and on our minds. A second point would be for each to attend the bi-monthly city council meetings. If that over-taxes the city hall we always have the PAC. A city runs better with constructive feedback. They can not read our minds. Only about 1/10th of one percent of Blaine normally takes the time to see how our city functions at these meetings.
James Zell
Blaine

Fix what is broke
The Editor:
I am writing in support of Ann Walter’s letter in July 5 issue of The Northern Light in which she urged the city council to approve ordinance 01-2497, calling for a special election for a fire facility bond.
The downtown Blaine fire facility is structurally unusable and the temporary quarters on Yew Street are not adequate to permanently serve Blaine’s needs.
I call upon the city council to approve the ordinance and I urge all registered voters in the city of Blaine to vote September 18 in favor of the construction of a new Blaine fire station. The cost of the new building will not affect our tax rate as the assessment will replace the current levy for construction of the community center. We need to show our support for the dedicated men and women who serve and protect us every day.
Daphne Johnson
Blaine

Blender whirring away
The Editor:
Congratulations to Mary Rebman for winning The Blender raffle for the opportunity to win a Sunday brunch for two at The Inn at Semiahmoo. Mary was one of many who stopped by our booth at the Skywater Festival on June 23 & 24 and donated two dollars for the chance to win this brunch.
The Blender had just purchased a ping pong table for $160. The raffle raised $157, which means that the table was practically given to The Blender. We now look froward to attaining an air hockey, foosball and pool table in the near future.
Thank you to everyone who decided to contribute his or her money to our organization during the weekend festival. We consider our experience a great success and we hope that everyone else who participated in the Skywater Festival can say the same.
On another note, to the Blaine high school students and parents of students, although the center will not be officially open until the beginning of the fall semester, we do have opportunities to get involved this summer.
Are you interested in learning to sail for completely no cost? How about an opportunity to conquer the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, B.C? We will be taking a trip in August to climb this rock face, the second largest in all of North America. There are also opportunities to help us with a fundraiser that can raise $10,000 and you can win a $100 gift certificate at Helly Hansen.
If you want to get involved in any of the other activities you can get a hold of us at 332-5058, or email us at klmartin@telcomplus.net.
Ken Martin, director
Blaine

Busy 4Hers helping out
The Editor:
The 4-H Discovery Club is a homeschool 4-H club in its first year. We have members from Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale and Lynden. Projects range from archery to leadership, with the main areas of focus on community service and leadership.
Our main community service project is collecting new and like-new stuffed animals to benefit trauma units throughout Whatcom County. These animals will go to young children who have been involved with accidents or fires. If you are interested in donating, contact Wyatt at 647-3341. There will also be drop-off boxes at the Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, and Lynden libraries.
We are also collecting coats, hats, and gloves to be donated through the family service center in Blaine. If you have any of these items that you would like to donate, please contact Ruth at 332-8207.
On June 29 and 30, the Discovery Club held its first annual garage sale. Proceeds went to the general club funds. We would like thank the community for coming out to support us. A big thank you to Lynne VanLuven, of Birch Bay who donated items to be sold at our garage sale. It was a huge success!
Stephanie Hiner
Lynden

Legislative efforts
The Editor:
Advocating for the needs and rights of individuals with mental illness is never an easy job, but it is good to know there are people like Senator Georgia Gardner and Representative Kelli Linville who go the extra mile. While services, treatment programs and access to medications for the mentally ill are still a long way from adequate, it is thanks to the efforts of legislators like Senator Gardner and Representative Linville that some progress is being made.
One in five Washington families is affected by serious mental illness and Senator Gardner and Representative Linville worked with local advocates to understand the needs of those who are ill and their families. They helped guide our state lawmakers toward sustaining funding for programs such as a ticket to work for those trying to re-enter the work force and access to cost-effective new generation antipsychotic medications.
Helping people with severe mental illnesses continue their education, return to work, and live happy and productive lives in their communities are wise investments. Senator Gardner and Representative Linville should be commended for being a voice for people who, left untreated, cannot speak for themselves.
Tom Richardson
Bellingham

What a party...
The Editor and city manager:
I wanted to let you know that my family and I thought that last night’s fireworks display was just fantastic. And we have been watching for 28 years. I know that we must have only a small understanding of what a major undertaking that such a community effort must be and we wish to let you know how much it is appreciated. Please let the city council know as well. Thank all of you very much. A great job, well done.
Sonny Catalano and family
White Rock, B.C.

The Editor:
By all accounts, everyone had a good 4th of July at Birch Bay. A great big thank you to the following for their help in getting the beach and bay back to its lovely self on July 5: The Best Self summer program from Blaine, the Whatcom County parks outdoor crew, Blaine-Bay Refuse for the dumpsters, the Solid Waste Division of Whatcom County Public Works for the trash cans along the bay, Pat M. for his truck & time to haul bags to the dumpsters, Pat at the C-Shop for coffee & goodies to get us started, and all those good people who cleaned up after themselves and were willing to clean up after others.
Thank you to fire district #13 (North Whatcom Fire & Rescue Services) for efficiently putting out the grass fires started by illegal fire works. Illegal fire works are illegal for a reason. They’re dangerous to life and property!
Kathy Berg
Birch Bay

The Editor:
We would like to thank the people who worked so hard for the fireworks display on the Fourth of July. It was a great sho by the bay.
We would also like to offer an idea for the Lady Washington arrival on August 6. How about a flotilla to greet the tall ship and bring her back to Blaine? If you don’t have a vessel you could wait for her at the dock at the end of the pier or at Semiahmoo, or take a charter sail.
We will continue to work on the arrival time. The Lady Washington is a beautiful ship and we are thankful that she is visiting Blaine. If we as a city unite for this arrival, it could be one step forward in putting us back on the chart of nice places to visit and stay.
Tanya & Dale Johnson
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.

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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