Letters to the Editor -- August 09, 2001

Published on Thu, Aug 9, 2001
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Letters to the Editor


Wet and wonderful days
The Editor:
The first annual Plover Days Waterfest, an outgrowth of the yearly Plover Benefit Swim, was held July 28 – 29 at Blaine Harbor. Although modest in its scope of events and activities, Plover Days has potential to become a premier waterfront festival.
An awards ceremony is planned for both the winner and losers of the Saturday George raft race. Winners Team Harbor Cafe will be presented with the prestigious George Raft perpetual trophy. Like the America’s Cup it will remain under the care and custody of the Harbor Cafe until won by another team or individual next summer. Stay tuned! The George Raft race is open to everyone, so think about participating next year. Start designing your raft and collecting parts and pieces. Give Team Harbor Cafe a good show and take their trophy!
In the afternoon, 15 brave and hardy swimmers (about half as many as last year, I don’t blame them) jumped in, dove or were pushed into the chilly Drayton Harbor Channel for the Plover swim. Safety patrol was provided by boats from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Port of Bellingham staff and Mark Baeder of Western Yacht Systems.
The dauntless group reached the safety of shore at Tongue Point, Semiahmoo. They were greeted by resort staff with much appreciated hot beverages, bottled water and great cookies.
The winner again this year was the Plover. The many pledges the community donated to their particular swimmer will go towards retiring the debt on Plover’s covered moorage. Although pledges are still coming in, it looks like Chrissy Westerhoff is in first place, having the most pledges. She stands to have a free night’s stay at Resort Semiahmoo, compliments of the resort.
Second place winner was “Team Semiahmoo, Women’s Club,” Terry Price and Kathy Cullen, who raised the second highest amount of pledges. I owe these two very brave women a sincere debt of gratitude. They both swam without fins (not recommended) and exposed legs, oh my! Terry and Kathy will receive a dinner for four at chef Ed Magner’s La Bonne Maison French restaurant. Chef Magner who has in the past swam in the Plover swim, was unable to do so this year, but is donating this dinner as his contribution to the swim. Thanks, Ed.
Third place winner according to the amount of pledges garnered went to Marsha Hawkins. Marsha will receive a boarding pass for her and her guests aboard The Plover on an international cruise to the exotic seaside town of White Rock, BC.
Thanks to all of the swimmers and donors who again helped make this benefit swim a success.
Sunday was the Wood on Water Festival & kayak race. Several members of the Northwest steam society displayed their steam launches as numerous onlookers were given excursions around the harbor aboard their unique craft. The steamers all liked the harbor and plan to be back next year with more boats.
At noon, Captain Nick Bartlett of the M/V Tahoma oversaw the ocean kayak race in the Blaine Harbor. Ricky Lopez was the first place winner replacing Jim Gibson who was way out in front until taking a wrong turn ending up a DNF (did not finish). Many thanks to Ocean Kayaks, Inc. of Ferndale and the M/V Tahoma, who provided the plastic ocean kayaks free for race participants.
Many thanks to Pam Taft, harbormaster and her port staff whose support helped to make this event possible.
If you have a cool wooden boat, want to be in the George raft race or have an idea or whatever, call us at Drayton Harbor Maritime 332-5742. Plover Days can only get better with your support.
See you next year.
Richard Sturgill
Blaine

Time for shots
The Editor:
With a new school year starting in less than a month, we would like to share some important information with Blaine parents.
Students entering kindergarten and first grade are required to have two doses of Measles vaccines at or after 12 months of age. An additional measles vaccine may also be required for students new to the district or entering sixth grade. We recommend that you check with your family doctor.
Also, now is a good time to schedule a physical if your student will be participating in our extra-curricular school sports program. You and your doctor will be glad you didn’t wait until the last minute to make an appointment. Your family doctor will have the appropriate forms available.
If all goes according to plan, we will have our new telephone system in place and working on August 23. We anticipate interruptions in service as we install it and complete the required trouble shooting during the next few weeks. Thank you for your cooperation during this process.
The school district calendars are now available. If you would like one or have questions regarding the Blaine school district, please call the education service center at 332-5881.
The first day of school is August 29 and we’re looking forward to a great school year!
Gordon Dolman, Superintendent
Blaine

Fire station only fair
The Editor:
We have a great opportunity to support our local fire fighters by voting “yes” for the new fire station. We have been talking about a real fire station for Blaine for the entire 26 years I have lived here and the time is now. As the fire station tax comes on, the Senior Center tax falls off, so our taxes will not increase.
Over the years, I have had many opportunities to see our fire fighters support this community. They have responded too many times to recall to football, baseball and soccer injuries for all the kids we have watched grow up. They have organized bike rodeos and helmet give-a-ways to keep our kids safe. They have spent countless hours at the school teaching fire safety. They have fought neighborhood fires in the middle of the night. They have taken care of us as middle age has started to take its toll on our physical abilities - all with a calming presence that only a “friend” can give.
It is time for us to make a little dent in what we owe them for their dedication - a facility that meets their needs. Please vote “yes” for the fire station.
Jane Woods
Blaine

The Editor:
I want to thank the personnel of Whatcom County Fire District #13 who responded to my recent aid call. Three years ago and again recently I required their help and they responded promptly, efficiently, professionally and courteously. We are very fortunate to have such caring, dedicated men and women in our community.
Now we need to give these firefighters and emergency medical technicians a permanent fire station in Blaine. Blaine’s fire station is now housed in temporary quarters, as the old city hall fire station is outdated and deemed not safe in some types of disasters.
I urge you to vote for the bond issue for a new Blaine fire station on September 18.
Greg Goff
Blaine

The battle rages on...
The Editor:
In rebuttal to Mr. Schugt’s letter of July 26. Here we go again of another Johnny come lately to the Blaine area figuring he knows what’s best for Blaine after most of us have lived here far longer than he has.
The reason why most people don’t come to council meeting is because they are tired of coming just to be talked down to or not being able to vent their frustrations with having their problems stifled by having them referred to the city manager, who take little or not action to help them out.
In one fell swoop of opening your mouth you have insulted the entire city of people who have lived here for generations and have raised their families here.
You and your band of cohorts consistently ignore the citizens and their requests and those that you occasionally listen to, you leave this city open to multiple lawsuits because you violate your own ordinances.
You have multiple violations of conflict of interest that is no longer funny. Before you condemn the long time citizens of Blaine you first better look in a mirror and ask yourself what you have done for the people of Blaine?
Better yet, let me answer it for you. Nothing!
Andy Anderson
Blaine

The Editor:
I have to respond to Mr. Ely and Mr. Meyers because their letters were so laughable, on the other hand Mr. Choulochas doesn’t deserve any rebuttal because he is never even half right.
Fact: After you take away from the neighborhood meetings the staff that were there and their support staff and the council members all that was left at the meeting I went to were about 18 normal citizens of Blaine. After the wish list was completed and the city manager was giving his spin on those items there was no reason to stay. Next after the city advertised in the paper that they would not allow any criticism of their actions on current issues that affect the majority of people in Blaine, no wonder there was very little turnout.
Now you have Mr. Schugt who comes out with a letter that suggests the people who signed the petition to change Blaine’s form of government can’t understand the issues facing Blaine because none of them attend any of the meetings. Well Mr. Schugt seeing as how you have only been here for a few years and you were not here when Blaine was a more cost effective city about 15 years ago which most people can remember, you have no right to say that these people are too naive to understand the issues, most of us are a hell of a lot better informed than you are. Next most people won’t go to council meetings because they don’t want to be talked down to by the council or have their complaints stifled while they are talking and have them passed on to the city staff which they may or may not get a response from before the next millennium.
Now that the election season is upcoming watch and see how many more people show up to get answers to issues that are affecting their wallets that this council has rubber stamped without any regard of the peoples ability to pay.
As for Mr. Ely’s comment about the number of meetings I have attended I have been at a lot more meetings not only city, but county and state long before you became a blip on the radar. I even attended a meeting in Washington, DC at my own expense. How many of you can say that?
And last but not least lets see what kind of spin all of you can put on in the election debates when I bring out some of the facts I have compiled.
Dave White
Blaine

Ed. note: Mr. White’s letter has been minimally edited for clarity. The signup for the neighborhood meeting White attended lists 35 members of the public who attended the meeting, along with six council members and eight staff members.

Thanks
The Editor:
We want to thank you for all the publicity you’ve given us over the years. We’ve gained more recognition and support from the community and are especially appreciative of your help in this!
With our annual Open House coming up, it’s crucial for people to know about our series and become more involved. Thanks so much for being a part of this growth.
Whatcom County Literacy Council
Bellingham

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:
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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