Letters to the Editor -- July 04, 2002

Published on Thu, Jul 4, 2002
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Letters to the Editor



Flags flap back

The Editor:
How dare you, Richard Clark? How dare you liken the American flags flying in our city to swastikas of 1930s Berlin? How dare you infer that Canadian flags are “not permitted” to be flown in our town?
The flags proudly flying in our city of Blaine are the culmination of much effort on the part of many people, purchased using voluntary contributions from over 70 local citizens. These citizens wished to show their support of the free society in which we live, and their solidarity in the resolution of our current strife.
Another citizen used his personal vacation time from work to install the standards and hang the flags. They are the flags of our country (yours too, Richard), the United States of America. Why would we fly any other flag? I seriously doubt that our Canadian friends and neighbors to the north expect us to fly their national symbol here in the U.S. anymore than we would expect them to fly our flag over their country. I’m certain that even you realize that the Canadian flags flying along the freeway are for commercial, not patriotic, purposes.
How nice it must be for you to sit back and criticize the efforts of others. I see no flags flying at your house from any country. Wouldn’t your days be better utilized looking for the positive and good things all around you in this wonderful city, instead of being a constant irritant?
You should be thankful that we are flying those flags, Richard. They remind us every day of how great our country is, and how very fortunate we are to live in this land with all of this freedom. Even the freedom to write dumb letters.
Robert L. Christianson
Blaine

The Editor:
I wonder if Mr. Clark really meant to compare the people of Blaine to the Nazis of 1930s Berlin? In his letter to the editor of June 27, Mr. Clark takes exception to the flying of American flags in our community unless they are accompanied by Canadian flags.
This, even though it was an American day of celebration and not a Canadian day of remembrance. This, in spite of the fact that it was the United States that lost over 3,000 of its citizens on 9/11. This, in spite of the fact that it is the United States that helps nations and peoples around the world when disaster, either natural or man-made, strikes. Whether it be an earthquake, famine, oppression, invasion and occupation or disease, we are there with a helping hand.
It is true that Canada is a good friend and has, as in the aftermath of 9/11, proven that friendship many times. But, Mr. Clark, we have also been a good friend many times as well. As a friend, we would have expected Canada to do what she did in allowing the use of their landing facilities during our emergency. We would have expected that they would want to help in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan. These things and others as well, we would expect from a friend.
Mr. Clark would do well to get his facts straight. The U.S./Canadian softwood lumber issue is a very complex one, however we are certainly not “screwing over” the Canadians as Mr. Clark so eloquently puts it. This trade dispute has been ongoing for a number of years now and is finally nearing resolution. The U.S. has found that the Canadian government is providing assistance to their lumber producers by charging lower stumpage fees (those fees that lumber producers must pay to log government lands). This uneven stumpage charge allows the Canadian softwood producers to sell their products into the United State at a lower price. This undercuts our domestic producers and cost jobs here in this country. Surely Mr. Clark does not object to our providing protection to our own industries when their viability is threatened from abroad.
I believe Mr. Clark owes an apology to the people of Blaine and even the rest of the nation. No community should have to endure being called Nazis for simply showing their love for their nation by flying its flag. Shame on you, Dick Clark.
James L. Gregory
Blaine

The Editor:
I read Mr. Clark’s letter and thought to myself he was right but for one thing. We are only human so why stress on negative things after 9/11. No one is exempt from terrorist attacks. They can happen anywhere, anytime!
So Mr. Clark - don’t sweat the small stuff. Life is too short to be petty. A flag is just a symbol and not the country it represents. I grew up in Blaine and know about Canada and our sister cities to the north. The pros and cons are unique to each area. I still believe that we are one people, one humanity and we need to act like it. So Mr. Clark if you feel the need to fly both flags this July do so or not but don’t start trouble where there is none to be found. 9/11/2001 was a tragedy beyond measure. Our brothers and sisters to the north stood by us when it was needed. Canada has been our friend to the north for a long time. I have family and friends in Canada and the U.S. and they know that there is no disrespect intended. As to the Nazi reference, you, sir, are being melodramatic! I live out of state now but I keep a close eye on my hometown from which I’m proud to hail. I have been told that I’m dumb to admit it but home is always where you heart wants to be whether you admit it or not. So as I stated before, fly both flags for a lot of the town folk are proud enough to say that’s OK by me. If they don’t, oh well, you did your part but please quit making mountains out of molehills.
Because Blaine is my hometown and I’m proud to say it if you don’t mind. We all come from somewhere. Thank you, Blaine and all the people that live there now and when I was a kid. For without you my hometown would not be home!
Polly Mason
Eufaula, Oklahoma

Dear Editor:
In regard to the letter from Richard E. Clark regarding “Flags missing”, I would like to inform you that your friends north of the border would like to see our flags flying alongside the Stars and Stripes along your streets and avenues.
As you are no doubt aware, many of our businesses fly the flags of both countries at their establishments as a symbol of the continuing friendship between our nations.
As a gesture of our friendship and with the generosity of our Member of Parliament, Val Meredith, we will present Canadian flags to your Blaine Chamber of Commerce president, Pam Christianson and your mayor Dieter Schugt.
The presentation will take place during the Canada Day-Independence Day celebration being held on July 1 at the border under the Peace Arch monument.
Gordon Shaffer, White Rock/South
Surrey Chamber of Commerce
White Rock

Corvettes on a mission
The Editor:

Early Thursday morning, June 20, Corvette drivers convened at the Peace Arch Park for a kickoff ceremony to begin the national “Stars and Stripes Tour Across America.”
About 56 Corvettes assembled, most from out of the area, to begin the patriotic cross-country tour to the “ground zero” WTC site in New York City, carrying flags that have flown above the Capitol and the Peace Arch, and are scheduled to arrive at New York on the Fourth of July. The ceremony included speakers, singers, a color guard and a lot of hard work and planning by many people “behind the scene.”
My many thanks to all the people who helped make it a total success, including the U.S./Canada Peace Anniversary Association, the American Legion Peace Arch Post 86, and the Boys and Girls Club of Blaine, the Peace Arch park personnel, the Blaine police department, North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services, Whatcom County sheriff’s department, senator Georgia Gardner, city councilor Bonnie Onyon, Pastor Phil Meher, Becky Gerlach and Jack Kintner.
The work was hard and the fun short-lived, but the event and Blaine are sure to be favorably remembered by many who were visiting here for the first time.
Martin Conyac
Blaine

Get mad!
The Editor:

It’s an outrage! It’s plain and simple stupidity and it’s endangering the lives of the public they’re sworn to protect.
It’s not about drinking or alcoholism. It’s about driving while twice over the limit; having alcohol under the seat; thinking that claiming responsibility will make it all go away.
What about the young girl killed on her way home from the prom. Smart enough to not drink and drive, but the other car’s driver wasn’t.
Where is our outrage? We are more concerned about an orphaned whale than our government officials’ reckless endangerment of our lives.
We’ve allowed one to get away with it and now another. When will we have enough?
Democrat or Republican, Independent or Libertarian. If you hold public office and are caught in an illegal activity, then it should go on your record, not swept under the carpet with your promise to behave and get counseling. The maximum penalty should be applied. It should interfere with your everyday life. Victims of DUI drivers live with it every day.
No more “In God We Trust.” Let’s add the new government slogan “Don’t Drink and Drive, You May Hit a Bump and Spill Your Drink.”
Mandy Gagnon
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