Letters to the Editor -- October 04, 2001

Published on Thu, Oct 4, 2001
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Letters to the Editor


Hot over heads
The Editor:
In the past two editions I read both of Martin Conyac’s letters to the editor. The first one being a legitimate, well thought out plan of how to deal with airline terrorism and the second a reprimand for the thoughtless headline to his first letter.
My response is: How dare you! The first headline of “Bang, bang-bang” was bad enough, but then your blatant bias and condescension in the second headline “It’s still a hare-brained idea” confirms your ultra liberal political leanings and totally violates journalistic ethics by not being objective. If you think that his idea is hare-brained then write an editorial rebuttal. Don’t be so rude as to put your editorial comments as a headline. Readers look at the headlines of articles and letters to get an idea of what the story or letter is about – not to get your one-sided opinion of what’s in the letter.
One of the worst things that happened to this town was when the Blaine Banner went out of business. This is what happens when one newspaper is the only act in town. It gets full of itself and instead of reporting news it starts creating news.
Terry Pilant
Blaine

The Editor:
Having read both of Mr. Conyac’s letters to the editor we felt compelled to write. We are incensed at the way you trivialized his thoughts and suppressed his right to free speech.
“The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor.” This is a direct quote from your letter policy. Your job as editor is not to tell your readers how to interpret a letter, but merely report the news.
Mr. Conyac went out on a limb and expresses an opinion that is probably not popular with a lot of people. Regardless if you agree with him or not, his letters should not have been belittled and biased on both occasions they appeared in your paper. We felt it was terribly unprofessional as well as being in clear violation of your policy. You may reserve the right to disagree with the letter writer but if you wish to impose your opinions on the readers of your paper – write your own letter.
We feel that you owe him an apology for your callous treatment of his opinions, especially the caption you put on his second letter.
Thank you for welcoming our letter and allowing us to express our opinions in the unbiased (?) forum your letters section provides.
Kimberly Olsen & Stephanie
Christianson
Blaine

The Editor:
I’m surprised to see my local newspaper take such a cavalier attitude to the precepts of their own editorial page. I found myself drawn to “It’s still a hare-brained idea...” and was disappointed to see the editor taking pot-shots at its own reader and contributor.
Please take a look at your “letters policy.” I quote, “Writers should avoid personal invective.” By expressing your views in the title of Martin Conyac’s letter in the September 27 – October 3, 2001 The Northern Light you violated your own policy. That title had nothing to do with his letter but was a direct statement of your opinion and was meant to belittle Martin. You didn’t even have the courage to write your own letter and sign your name to it.
I believe The Northern Light tries to provide a vehicle to this small community that informs and educates our citizens. I have read many letters on the letters to the editor page that expressed a wide variety of views, but this is the first time I have noticed such a blatant disrespect for the very freedom our constitution guarantees in the first amendment and this newspaper purports to support. You owe Mr. Conyac and your readers an apology for your patent disregard of the ‘rules’ you set up for the letters page.
Lorraine Conyac
Blaine

Ed note: The purpose of the headings in the letters section is to draw readers’ attention, which Bang, Bang-Bang, certainly appears to have done. It is appropriate usage on the opinion page and is certainly not a violation of our policy. We do not use limited space for editorial columns, preferring to give the pulpit to the community.
The issue here is not about the first or the second amendment, it’s about public safety and common sense. In this age of air rage and jittery nerves, does it make sense to allow people other than law enforcement personnel to carry guns aboard pressurized aircraft? The crisis faced by our nation requires thoughtful and responsible consideration. We’ll let our readers decide whether Mr. Conyac’s suggestion fulfills that criteria.

Keep dollars in town
The Editor:
Your article, “Border woes impact local business” in last week’s The Northern Light highlighted for us a real opportunity available to all citizens in northern Whatcom County. As each of us searches his or her heart for an appropriate way to make a contribution in the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks, we would like to suggest an easy and effective alternative.
We urge all citizens of Blaine and surrounding communities to support our local businesses. Even before September 11 the national and regional economic slump, and the weakness in the Canadian dollar conspired to hurt area businesses and service providers. The tragedy of September 11 and the ensuring difficulties at the border have placed a number of our merchants in very precarious situations. As good neighbors, it is time for each of us to extend a helping hand by “shopping locally” whenever the occasion presents itself.
While few of us can do anything to directly alleviate the grief and loss suffered by the victims of the terrorist attacks, all of us can help to minimize the impact upon our community of this tragedy. Many of us have elected to fly a flag as a symbolic show of support for our country. We hope that all citizens can channel that same positive spirit into a commitment to support our local businesses.
Daphne and Bryan Johnson
Blaine

The Editor:
This letter is to personally thank all of the local customers who have patronized my business. My staff and I have always appreciated you. We’ve seen people we haven’t seen in years in the past few weeks helping to support the local economy.
For those of you who haven’t supported downtown Blaine, I urge you to give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I can’t tell you how many times a local person walks into my bar for the first time and is surprised at how clean and comfortable it is! I believe a lot of people have an image of what a tavern is. I invite everyone over 21 to come in and check us out.
There aren’t very many downtown businesses left. Come down and check us out. Support your local business person.
As for all of you whom have patronized the Pastime in the past, thank you. Hopefully we’ll be around for many years to come, thanks to you!
Mary Lee Hill
Blaine

A shot across our bow?
The Editor:
No sane person wants war but I know that swaying back and forth with your hands over your head singing “give peace a chance,” won’t work. I don’t want to rain on your parade, but these people want you dead. The September 11 attack, which cost more American lives than any other day in U.S. history (Pearl Harbor – 2,200, D-Day – 2,500, all the days of the American Revolution – 4,435, War of 1812 – 2,260, Spanish American War – 2,446, or Gulf War – 293) was just a shot across our bow. Think chemical, biological, or nuclear.
The terrorists and their sponsor regimes don’t impress me though. The only reason the Taliban are still in power is because the much persecuted Afghan citizens are either too busy fleeing for the border, looking for their next meal, or trying to avoid getting shot in the head by some guy with a three foot long beard. The terrorists asked to be trained for level flying only, argued over training fees, bragged about their mission the night before at a bar, and a car load of some were recently caught driving 90 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone. The only assets they have is that their cruelty has no bounds and they dream of dying for their cause.
The marines and special forces are the very best and will fulfill their dreams. We’ve seen animals like these before. They are either at your throat or at your boots and it’s better to keep them at your boots.
On the other hand, the United States (leader in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan) is benevolent enough to fight this war without trying to kill the true Muslims, who believe that even when waging war, must follow the teachings of the prophet Muhammad which prohibits the destruction of property and killing of non-combatants such as women, children and the elderly. Younger and better men than myself will take the fight directly to the enemy, but we at home can keep the faith by living our lives without fear, being patient, and not letting our resolve wane. We can’t if we want to win this war of wills.
Dave Berry
Blaine

Thanks...
The Editor:
Many thanks to the parents and students who donated and helped with the Blaine Fine Arts Association (BFAA) annual Chili Feed and Concert. My special thanks goes out to those parent and students that helped with tickets, kitchen and clean up, without them this would not have been such a huge success.
BFAA holds fundraisers during the school year to help choir, band, art and drama students. These funds are used for competitions and concerts, scholarships and supplies. We help provide funds for opportunities the students may not normally experience. Thank you to the community for their support of the chili feed. We served 100 more than last year and your donations are greatly appreciated. See you at Arts and Jazz Annual Auction on February 2, 2002.
Sheila Connors
BFAA Committee Chairman

The Editor:
I wish to thank my friends and family for making the celebration of my 100th birthday such a happy occasion. Also, my thanks to all for your good wishes and for the lovely gifts, flowers and cards. Thank you to the members of the Free Church Unitarian choir for singing two of my favorite hymns and to my young friend, Janice Lindal, for the sweet solo. I would also like to acknowledge my nieces, Norma Jean Bakarich and Theo Hull, for the organizing of my special day. I’m sincerely appreciative. I love you all.
Laura Finnson
Blaine

Wild kingdom?
The Editor:
Many of you have heard the news these past few months of wild animals wandering into people’s yards, farm yards, and along the highways. Coyotes have killed local pets, deer eat the garden food, and bear are seen wandering across property as if they own it.
I have a painting in my room of a log cabin that I built in 1939 for my wife and me to live in when we got married. The painting doesn’t show the garbage smeared on the screen door by a bear who decided to dig out our garbage pit one night. What I’m saying is that wild animals and people are not very compatible. Cities and counties have established laws in order to segregate manufacturing from residential areas and other buildings. Why can’t we establish zones for animals? Well, you say, we do. We have animal protection areas. The problem with it is that they don’t contain the animals, and they don’t keep the people out of there.
I believe that there are hundreds of canyons and valleys in these western states that could be closed off with very little fencing. It would keep human beings out and keep the animals from straying off. No, you say, we’d never get a chance to see them. Well my question is, how many do you see now?
The other thing is, all we would have to do is scatter some food along the fence at various times and there would be animals to watch. Any number of things could be done. True, someone would have to be responsible for supervising these areas.
I feel that we have to keep people and wild animals away from each other, because the next thing we know is that children will be killed and adults also.
Trav Skallman
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