Letters to the Editor -- August 30, 2001

Published on Thu, Aug 30, 2001
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Letters to the Editor


Just say No!
The Editor:

A few people still seem to have trouble with the word no. There is no valid reason to change our form of government. There are many good reasons to vote no on Proposition 2 and keep the council/manager form that is working well for Blaine.
The council/manager form of government is responsive to the citizen – in a more reasoned deliberate way – and not so subject to a personal knee jerk reaction that can happen on a whim with a mayoral form.
To those who say nothing on what’s happening here, please open your eyes and look around. Better yet, go to council meetings – not just one – and watch the process work. When one becomes involved and is a part of a solution instead of a problem, positive things happen.
A few positives – the agreement with the Lummi Tribe, the careful working toward a long range sewer solution and the new more positive sign ordinance. In addition, the business license fees, impact fees, parking fees and hook up fees are scheduled to come under review. Things are being done in an usually quiet constructive way – with a few exciting, noisy exceptions. But hurray for a system that works.
Get to know your council and city manager. We have qualified and thoughtful people in charge. We are moving ahead. We don’t need a disruptive change. I can’t think of anything much more damaging to our city than having this issue come up every two years. Think. People who are considering a business venture in Blaine are better served by a well established competent staff and system already in place. We have that now. The foundation is so good. People are working together and are going in the same direction. Let’s keep our form of government. Vote no on Proposition 2.
Alma Wagner, ex-council member mayor
Blaine

The Editor:
I think that the city-manager form of government should be continued, because the manager, the planning commission, the city employees, and the city council are making a noble effort to bring improvements to Blaine. And also, the mayor-council form of government would cost as much or more than what we have now, because the mayor would have to hire an administrator to do what our city manager does.
Blaine is a beautiful little town – wide streets, sidewalks, lawns and trees, nice homes, but not exclusive either. And there is a pleasant small town feeling here. I moved to Blaine in June of 2000, but my acquaintance with the town began in 1944, when my parents retired here.
In the past, Blaine had much more Canadian trade, and the border town image to go with it. Loss of that trade has been hard on the local economy. However, in the long run, the disadvantages could be out-weighed by the advantages of revitalized, home-based businesses and an improved town image.
I think that much of the frustration that Blaine people feel over lack of progress is due to the size of the job and to waiting for priorities to be established. Improving Blaine is a big challenge: the sewer, downtown beautification, new business needs, mobile homes, tourism, children’s recreational needs, the boardwalk, re-zoning some businesses, clean up of vacant properties, the visitor’s center, etc. It is a long list, and rather intimidating; but people are not afraid of a challenge. The city council, city manager, and planning commission have just this summer encouraged and received public input on these many issues. Priorities are being established right now. When there is a clear go-ahead for certain projects, people will come forward, and put their shoulders to the wheels. Things are moving in the right direction. Let’s give the council-manager form of government a chance to show what it can do, with our help and cooperation. People working together have built America; and working together, we can re-build and revitalize Blaine.
On September 18 I plan to vote no on Proposition 2 and I hope you will too.
Warren Terry
Blaine

The Editor:
“We do not want the old style of mayor-council form of government in Blaine.” This is the consensus of many with whom I have spoken over the past several months.
If the concern is that someone is unhappy with a council member or the mayor-chairman of the council, then you have the privilege of using the voting process to replace that member. An elected mayor, on the other hand, is in place for four years, regardless of his job performance.
However, a city manager may have his contract terminated for poor performance. A mayor without education, experience and management skills can be in place for the full four years, without any way of being replaced if they perform poorly. We need trained, professional people leading ours and other small communities.
Today, the requirements of state, federal and outside agencies demanded of small towns is unbelievable. In a time of grant writing, reporting and compliance, a lay person would not be prepared for such duties, thus being a detriment to the people and town of Blaine. Other small towns in Whatcom County who have gone back to the mayor type of government have not had the results they enjoyed in the past. There has been a slow down when “booming times” preceded the change over.
We must appeal to talented, qualified candidates who are ready and able to represent us on difficult council matters when called upon. If a paid staff is not performing to our best interests, then I urge you to attend council meetings and “get involved.” We cannot live in the past and continue to think the “good old days” were the best. As in all aspects of life, we must learn from the past and use the tools of today and the future. Times continue to change, and we must change and go forward. We need a professional in a job which requires a professional. I urge you to consider Blaine’s future and to do your civic duty by voting on this important issue.
Again, we do not want to go back to an elected mayor form of government.
Jerry Wolten
Blaine

Just say Yes!
The Editor:

The members of North Whatcom Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3867 fully support and endorse the proposed bond issue in favor of providing the city of Blaine a new fire station.
We feel that the safety issues surrounding the old station located at city hall, and the temporary station on Yew Avenue are significant enough to ask the voters in Blaine to provide their firefighters with a new facility for the following reasons:
1) The facility at city hall is inadequate because of the potential for damage to the fire apparatus and the exposure to firefighters should the building suffer catastrophic damage in the event of a natural disaster.
2) The firefighters that respond in the city deserve a facility that provides for a safe and efficient response to any location within the city limits. The Yew Avenue location restricts that ability because of the frequent back-ups on the truck route and the high potential for an accident at the intersection of Boblett and the truck route. 3) The training and living facilities at both locations are inadequate. The Blaine firefighters deserve and need adequate training facilities and living quarters. A new station can provide them with a place where they can gather to train, perform other fire-related duties, relax and even socialize. This helps ensure that the station is adequately manned to provide a quick response when called upon to do so.
We encourage the voters of Blaine to support this very important proposal. In doing so, your fire department will continue to grow and provide the city of Blaine with the best service possible.
Henry Hollander & members of Local 3867
Blaine

Just say Thanks!
The Editor:

We just wanted to say a big thank you to all the people at Birch Bay that made our year a fun time. We have lost our space to a barber (just what is needed on the beach front of Birch Bay). We sold beach toys, kites, windsocks, used books and rented bikes and clam shovels. Most of the kites we sold were to people who had not flown a kite since they were a kid. The used books were a hit, thank you everyone who brought me books to sell and trade. The kite fly day was really fun. Thank you to all the locals who came and flew even though it was cold and rainy. If anyone knows of a space that might be available next year please let us know.
Otherwise we won’t be back and that makes us really sad. Birch Bay needs retail, not a barber. Thank you again everyone.
Ed and Tammy Vevag
Birch Bay

Thanks a bunch!
The Editor:

It is pretty sad to think your vehicle isn’t safe in your own town! While my family and I were out enjoying the beautiful Sunday afternoon in the islands, some cowards hit my truck while it was parked at the boat launch, and left no information about themselves, instead chose to leave a note filled with vulgarity.
If anyone saw the cowards who hit my truck on Sunday afternoon, August 26, please call the Blaine police department.
Rachel Wydur
Blaine

Speed it up!
The Editor:

As a “many years ago” past resident of Blaine, my brother and I enjoy receiving your paper. Even more so, we enjoy the posting of it to the internet. Unfortunately, that posting is not done on a timely basis. Would like to see you work on that improvement so we could see it on Friday.
What do I like to read on the internet? Schedule of coming events, obituaries, Jan Hrutfiord articles (classmate), and city council news.
You’re doing a good job. Keep up the good work.
Bernie Durnan
Blaine

(Ed. Note: We’re working on it. Thanks.)

Move it!
The Editor:

I support the current proposal to relocate pornographic businesses to another site.
People are obliged to drive past the Blaine Book Store either in driving from the border or around town. What does this say about our city? I do not believe it reflects the wholesome, small-town feeling of Blaine.
The Blaine Book Store detracts from the quaint, family feeling of downtown Blaine and counters all the hard work that went into the Victorian-theme beautification program. This is detrimental to the surrounding businesses and negative for the business climate in general. Relocating pornographic businesses to a less prominent site is a win-win solution for Blaine.
Thank you for your consideration.
Karen Carlson
Blaine

Dump it!
The Editor:

Your city is a beautiful, friendly place to visit and I enjoyed my recent vacation here from start to finish. Except for the adult book store, which greets one’s eye first on after going through the Peace Arch from the Canadian border.
Blaine gives the visitor a wonderful view of what a U.S. city should be, except for this eyesore. I especially liked the Victorian theme and the lovely flowers.
Margaret A. Carlson
L.A. County, California

Setting it straight!
The Editor:

As suggested by the Kerr letter of last week, anyone checking the mentioned family diary at our library will be very disappointed in not finding the “90 pages of reasons not to change the Blaine name.”
With due respect to the family, the entire document may be that long and is indeed an interesting record of the family travels from the mid west to around our area. However, Blaine is only mentioned once on page 81, comparing a Victoria, Canada church to the local Methodist one.
Then on page 85 there is just one paragraph detailing the commercial activity of Blaine on June 10, 1914, as well as expressing the hope the town “never will get any more big booms.” Also, “thank God we have no saloons and I hope we never will” with reference to coming statewide prohibition. The writer then goes on with travels to San Francisco.
All this merely to set the record straight and to say that at this stage the name issue is simply not active. Which does not mean that, at some point, a progressive spirit may not again emerge, so the city awakens to the clear potential benefits of capitalizing on the Blaine Harbor destination name.
Edmond Root
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:
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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