Letters to the Editor -- March 20, 2003

Published on Thu, Mar 20, 2003
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Letters to the Editor

Iraq needs to be liberated
The Editor:

Responding to Barry Miller�s letter to the editor (March 6 issue), I would suggest that Mr. Miller go to Iraq and try to get by.

Many have gone over and been received well. The only problem � they have been graciously accepted, but to be human shields.
I was asked the other day by a teenager what I thought about the protesters of the war. My answer to this young man (who wasn�t protesting but curious at his early age) or to any protesters including some friends who were listening � supposedly informed people, who seem to be against the war, is as follows. Let�s look at World War I, generally we did not occupy after the war and even abandoned Germany and guess what? World War II with a similar dictator. Was it Chamberlain who came back with a written treaty of peace � similar to accepting only the Iraq reports laid out recently. Look at Germany and Japan, even Panama today, after 50 plus years of occupation and aid, having freedom and free trade along with success after success.
Did you hear what the son said recently? I ask people, including this young man. Son? They ask? Yes, Saddam�s son! Saying it would be worse than the trade towers � a bit of rhetoric perhaps but when he said this act would look like a picnic compared to what would happen in a war � this alone showed that they do have weapons of mass destruction.
More important, they attacked Kuwait, no one else. The fact the war at that time was won by the allies 12 years ago, has not been mentioned enough, especially when some lady wanted to initiate equal inspections of the U.S. arsenal. At that time, we gave Saddam the benefit of a doubt as we totally complied with the U.N. resolution. Again we did not take or occupy Baghdad. At that time, he was to lay down his arms but did not do so, even thwarting inspections, after the war was won by the allies.
George Astler
Blaine

Concerned about the spit
Mr. Nelson & The Editor:

As property owners and part time residents of Blaine at Beachwalker Villas we wish to add our serious concerns regarding the proposed development of 62 condominiums on the Semiahmoo spit by Gepetto LLC and Trillium Corporation.
We feel there are many unexplored factors that need to be examined and studied before any permits for more growth and density should be granted. These have been eloquently outlined by Lincoln Rutter of the Partnership for Responsible Development in The Northern Light and in his letter dated March 4. At the very least there should be a new environmental impact report, a resolution of Blaine�s 19-year-old sewer problem, and adherence to Washington state�s current shoreline development standards.
The unique beauty and peacefulness of the Semiahmoo spit, including the hotel and marina, the county park and museum, the easy access walking trails and tidal flats, the abundance of bird watching areas and safe shoreline, and the magnificent 360 degree view, is the biggest drawing card that the city of Blaine has! The spit should be protected as is. It should be promoted as a natural refuge from the pressures of life, an oasis of space and quietness, of unlimited views and clean, clear air; a therapeutic haven to unwind, relax, and restore ourselves.
Do not squander your wealth as a city for a few development fees! As residents of the once idyllic and beautiful Orange County, California for 60 years, we have seen what overdevelopment can do. Please use caution and prudence in determining the future of the Semiahmoo spit so that future beach walkers, lovers of nature, and visitors to Blaine may also share this unique place.
W. Kelly & Gladys W. Hagerty
Orange, CA

Leadership is needed
The Editor:

On Monday, March 10 the residents of Blaine, and in particular, Semiahmoo, turned out in numbers that overflowed the council meeting chambers.
1. We are in shock at what happened with 550 acres of clear cut on beautiful Birch Point that occurred in the past few months. Everyone is apologetic and sick at heart when they look at the devastation.
2. Shocked that the city of Blaine would even consider expanding development on the Semiahmoo spit when the sewage treatment plant is, at best, straining to handle present hook ups. At the meeting we were treated to bureaucratic obfuscation when we asked if the treatment plant is presently adequate. Our continuing and resounding question is: if human bones were not found at the current site some years ago, wouldn�t there be an expanded and updated facility in place now? The need for that improved facility has only grown.
3. Shocked that there is a very real possibility that casino operations will evolve at the Inn at Semiahmoo. Does anyone doubt that this is the goal of the new management from the Skagit Indian group? Take a look at what happens in the vicinity of casinos: The cities of Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville, Illinois are faced with this same prospect at this time. Theirs are a family oriented neighborhood, just like ours with stable property values. They cite a 1999 study by the University of Illinois that found that by the fifth to seventh year after introduction of a casino in a county, the following increases in crime were observed: aggravated assault, 50 to 90 percent; robbery, 71 to 119 percent; larceny, nine to 41 percent. Auto theft and burglary also showed significant increases.
Long term, if the city of Blaine wishes to attract small companies with high paying salaries, a nearby casino is a real negative � recurrent absenteeism, tardiness and wasting of company time and resources occur. This is according to Gamblers Anonymous.
In Gulfport, Mississippi, following the opening of a casino there, dramatic increases in robberies, assaults, property destruction, larcenies and vehicular accidents occurred. We know that the city of Blaine can block casino operations if it wishes. However, we also know that there is talk of putting the land where the Resort Semiahmoo sits into an Indian trust.
4. The final reason, I think, that there was such a high turnout, was because we believe that leadership will find the best answers to these serious developments. This means taking the high road with regard to controlling our own destiny. There are choices within the laws and regulations for development that the city, state and federal governments have set. A decision for the well being of the people living here must be the highest priority.
Leadership is needed. Let us know how we can help take the tough initiatives needed to set Blaine on the right course.
Kip Lachner
Blaine

Solve the Middle East, stop the war
The Editor:

History repeats itself? This letter is being written by a Vietnam veteran and lifelong American. Many people, especially those in favor of war against Iraq say that this is history repeating itself and try to equate what�s happening today with what happened in Europe in the 1930s.
That�s one reading of this situation, but definitely not mine. This is not history repeating itself. The only overt action that Hussein continues to take outside Iraq is against the state of Israel in that he is funding and supporting suicide bombers in the Israeli Palestinian conflict.
Our number one priority should be to solve that problem and thus remove the justification for most of the Muslim world to hate us for being on what they perceive as the wrong side. Imagine what a billion dollars a day could do to solve the many problems of the Middle East. Anyone who denies that this is the major factor that dominates any dialogue about current world events is ignoring reality. None of this Iraq action is in any way contributing to solving what has been and still is an intolerable situation that we continually tolerate.
Iraq, I don�t think so. The Israeli Arab conflict on the other hand, is a situation that people of good will throughout the world should be working night and day to resolve so that the people of Israel and the people of Palestine can begin to live with hope for the future and peace in their lives.
Using our might to resolve this problem would not only help these troubled peoples who deserve our help but, if resolved fairly, would eliminate much of the pretext used by Islamic fundamentalists to whip up support in the Arab world against what they call The Great Satan.
The dialogue has somehow been shifted to Iraq while ignoring the real problem. I don�t understand why people have let this happen. This is the real reason there is no support for us in the U.N. We are ignoring the one critical situation that, when resolved, can bring peace and stability to the area. Instead we continue to add fuel to the idea that we are somehow anti-Arab and anti-Muslim which, as Americans, we are definitely not.
Andrew Fisher
Blaine

Save the spit's beauty
The Editor:

I was walking down by the inn the other day and heard a gentleman talking on his cell phone. I heard him say, �We�re down at this beautiful resort called Semiahmoo, all along the water.� I thought � enjoy it while you can, buddy. It will soon be all mucked up when the condominium development starts.
Now, I would like to tell this to one of our city council members. However, at the last city meeting, we were told that we were not to talk with them individually about this matter. Gee, I wonder who they represent?
Kay Brentnall
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