Letters to the Editor
Japan trip was amazing
On behalf of the Blaine high school wind ensemble, we would like to thank everyone who had anything to do with helping the band go to Japan in February. The experience was amazing. We would like to share our 10-day journey with the community in a slide show on Thursday, June 5, 7 p.m., in the Blaine Performing Arts Center. Admission is free.
Many members of the wind ensemble will also bring their photos to share with each other and with the community.
We met so many wonderful people and had so many new experiences on this trip that words can�t express. Hopefully our pictures can help share how grateful we are for this opportunity you helped make possible. Congratulations to all who made the Blenders� Battle of the Bands contest such a wonderful success. We have some great talent blossoming in our community and this was an awesome way for them to share their talents. Thank you Blaine for supporting these efforts.
Bob & Dorita Gray
change won't help
It appears that the city of Blaine is still trying to attract more tourists. Some people believe that changing the name of the town will benefit the city somehow.
On February 4, 2001, I submitted a Letter to the Editor of The Northern Light regarding this same subject. I believe that letter was published.
If people seriously think changing the name of the city will somehow improve the city, pick a really impressive sounding name. Like New York or Chicago or London or Paris. Do you really want a metropolis? I don�t think the name makes or breaks a city. Look at Moscow, Russia and Moscow, Idaho. Big difference, same name.
How about San Francisco? This is a nice sounding name. However, I doubt the name will improve the city of Blaine. Location and natural resources are the main factors in determining the fate of a city, not the name. Industry, housing, climate and political factors also are important.
Palm Desert, CA (formerly of Birch Bay)
for your support
Regarding the recent passing of Albert Wegner on May 3, I would like to extend, (on behalf of the Wegner family,) our gratitude and appreciation to Reverend Donald Walters for a truly memorable service, to the Women�s Fellowship of the United Church of Christ of Blaine for their hard work, to my niece Laurel Fortune for her lovely voice leading us in song and to each of the casketbearers who were longtime friends of Albert�s; Brad Breivik, John Kramme, John Friberg, Harlan Harvey, Ted Unger and Jack Miller and to the honorary casketbearers; Doug Higginson, Henry Peters, Dolph Hill, Ron Kilmer, Jim Jernigan and Tom Fenton.
I want to thank my nephew Dale Wegner and Dana for their many hours spent helping me with all the arrangements and to Reverend Walters for delivering so well the history I prepared of Albert�s life.
The family extends our gratitude to our sister and aunt, Judy Wegner for the four years of dedication and service in caring for Albert in so many ways and the countless days she was with Albert.
My appreciation and thanks go to all the friends and relatives for your support and kindness, to my Aunt Adeline from Lumby, B.C., and the many cousins who stayed in my home and were there for us and especially to my son Dwayne Wegner who was able to leave early his Special Forces military duty in Iraq to be with the family.
Returning from Fort Lewis, Washington on Sunday was Joyce and Gordon Anthony of Peace Arch Post #86, the American Legion and Unit #86 of the auxiliary who participated in the opening ceremonies of the 31st consecutive year of the 2003 Special Olympics summer games held there. In addition to presenting our national colors, they also assisted in preparing courses for the games; handing out awards and furnishing food and drinks to the athletes. There were only 30 statewide members of the American Legion who volunteered their Friday, Saturday and Sunday to this endeavor which was chaired by Mr. Richard (Dick) Smith, a national officer of the American Legion.
It is a rewarding experience to work with the disabled children and adults of the Special Olympics.
plaques represent honor, peace
There are rumors afoot that some in Blaine think the memorial plaques at city hall and the Veteran�s Park on Peace Portal Drive are no longer relevant in this, the �city of peace.�
Balderdash! If it were not for the sacrifices of those honored few, there would be no peace. Requiescat in pace, noble warriors, we owe you that.
George G. Tranberg
I read with interest your May 29 article (Upper Skagit Tribe buys into resort). The potential for gambling at Semiahmoo remains very real and gambling profits must be considered the primary goal of the Upper Skagit � regardless of what the tribe �says.� There is just too much money at stake for the tribe not to pursue gambling. It�s just business � big business. Our community is on a very slippery slope with little time left to take preventive actions.
An article by Jim Doyle, Sunday, June 1, �California ka-ching! No big winner yet in the multibillion-dollar battle over Indian gaming,� www.sfgate.com spells out how other communities are being ruined by tribes that first said �no, no�, and then said �yes, yes� to gambling.
Our community needs to understand how easy it will be for the tribe to ignore city, county, and state laws. The key is to understand �trust status� and �sovereignty.�
Once the tribe owns the land, they can apply to the Department of the Interior for �trust� status and claim �sovereignty.� As a �sovereign nation� the anti-gambling ordinances won�t apply because the tribe is outside the reach of state laws.
Do the math � the tribe will generate plenty of cash to fight a three - seven year legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court. Even if they eventually lose in court, they would still have netted millions of dollars from interim casino operations.
Gambling would also drive up city expenses for public safety and utility infrastructure, and the city could lose a third of its tax revenues as the tribe will not pay taxes on �trust� land revenues. Council and staff time will be diverted from other pressing issues such as a treatment plant. The county also loses as Semiahmoo property values could suffer a 20 percent decrease. Overall, more expenses, less revenues: maybe Blaine�s new name will be Bankrupt.
There are still some things that can be done and aggressively worked. The alternative is to wake up with a casino, a 30 percent gap in the city budget and 20 plus percent drop in property values. In my humble opinion.
Director, United Property Owners
Many would agree that Whatcom County is indeed an outstanding place to live. This fall, county voters will be faced with an opportunity to ensure both continuation and improvement of our county through the retention of Bill Elfo as sheriff of Whatcom County.
As a former resident of Blaine, I became acquainted with Bill Elfo during his tenure as chief of police. Now, thanks to sheriff Elfo�s decentralization efforts, I have noticed more deputies patrolling our community.
In my opinion, another issue needing attention is the overcrowded conditions at Whatcom County Jail. Sheriff Elfo will find new and creative ways to deal with this important issue.
I believe that Sheriff Elfo�s extensive law enforcement experience as well as his expertise is needed by all of us in Whatcom County for the continuation of public safety now and in years to come.
Ronald M. Rogers
Perhaps the hostile crowd of some 400 people protesting the presence of Ann Coulter speaking at the Mt. Baker Theatre in Bellingham should read Voltaire�s Essay on Tolerance in which he advocates, �Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege...too.�
Ann Coulter is known for her razor wit directed against the political correctness of the left. She is an American writer and entertaining speaker in the tradition of Mark Twain. I am sorry to see the apparent growing advocacy of suppression, harassment, and intolerance of the self styled left in Whatcom County toward those who disagree with them or, worse yet, poke fun at them.
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rebecca Schwarz Kopf as editor of The Northern Light effective immediately.
Rebecca replaces Meg Olson who took family leave in January and has decided to continue on a part-time basis as editor of the All Point Bulletin, a sister publication serving Point Roberts and Tsawwassen, B.C.
Rebecca has been acting as editor pro tem since January and has shown considerable skill and creativity in her short time with us. A graduate of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Rebecca�s most recent experience prior to joining us was as editor and design director of Studley Printing and Publishing in northern New York state.
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.
send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org