Letters to the Editor -- August 14, 2003

Published on Thu, Aug 14, 2003
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Letters to the Editor


Steamin' up Blaine
The Editor:

What a great annual steam meet we had in Blaine last weekend. It was the 30th anniversary of our society and Blaine was the ideal location to celebrate. Many of our members told me it was the best meet ever.
A record number of 34 steamboats were in attendance and their skippers found the waters of Drayton Harbor very good for steaming around. Highlights were the Dakota Creek cruise and steaming across Semiahmoo Bay and the international border to White Rock, B.C.
Besides the boats the stationary steam display, the steam car and tractor engine, the 1899 steam powered fire engine and last but not least the somewhat noisy steam calliope (steam organ), masterly played by the local maestro Don Stagg, were real crowd pleasers. A steam driven ice cream maker made steam cream for the kids. Whatcom and Skagit counties are home to more than a dozen steamboats and the Blaine meet was the one in our backyard so to say.
For the success of our steam meet I would like to thank: the city of Blaine for welcoming us; the Port of Bellingham, and especially harbor master Pam Taft and her friendly staff for providing moorage for the steamboats and space for the displays, the mayor and city director of White Rock, B.C. to provide moorage at the public dock, the Drayton Harbor Maritime Association and director Richard Sturgill for all his assistance and hard work; the Blaine community and senior center and especially Judith VanBrocklin and her staff and all the volunteers who provided and served an excellent dinner for 125 persons at our banquet on Saturday night; the Blaine fire department for the assistance given and hospitality shown to the antique fire engine and its owners; the Harbor Cafe for feeding all the hungry steamboaters; Art Lawrenson from the Cafe & Motel International for his sponsorship; Ken Kellar who opened the Northwoods Motel for us; and all the members of our Steam Society who contributed to the success of the steam meet.
Our 2004 annual Steam Meet will be in Wheeler, Oregon, but during Plover Days we certainly will bring some steamboats to Blaine once again. Thank you Blaine for the three wonderful days we have had.
Wolfgang Schlager President,
Northwest Steam Society
Bellingham

Coverage appreciated
The Editor:

The virtues of a community newspaper such as yours were once again made evident with your recent mention of our center�s imminent move to temporary quarters down the street. I am deeply appreciative of your coverage of the Blaine Family Service Center�s status as it relates to new construction on the school district campus.
We will, no doubt, be a little hard to find during the construction of the new administration building, which is long overdue and an important component of the current bond project. Nonetheless we�ll be around, just a half-block to the east of our current location on the corner of H Street and Mitchell Avenue.
Thanks for taking the time to mention our move and to include such rich details. We remain your fans.
Leaf Schumann Director,
Blaine Family Service Center
Blaine

Thanks to city of Blaine
The Editor:

This letter is long overdue. We have wanted to express our thanks to the city of Blaine for making the experience of opening a small retail business in downtown Blaine not only an affordable but fairly simple procedure. From the application for a business license (which was quick, easy and inexpensive), to the selection of the color of our building and signage, the city has made itself available to answer all of our questions, no matter how trivial.
Our thanks also to Blaine fire department who inspected and advised us on safety issues, the Blaine chamber who has organized so many events locally to boost business in the downtown area they are too numerous to mention, the city council members and the city manager who have taken the time to come into our shop and introduce themselves (and yes, shop too), the Blaine Bouquet girls who have been and continue to be our mentors and motivator, and last but surely not least the Blaine community. Without community support we would not have just celebrated our second anniversary.
Yes, downtown Blaine has had a dismal past, but that is exactly what it is, the past. Let�s look forward to what the future holds. Our city can reach its goals if we all work together in a positive way.
Chris Olason & Gretchen Budnick
Blaine

In response to article
The Editor:

Objectivity, like love, is always in the eye of the beholder. So let me address some jazzy remarks attributed to Sandy Wolf (The Northern Light, July 10, page 9).
SW: �It all started small scale when Richard Clark began raising funds several years ago for a piano in the library.�
Comment: Elisabeth Angell, classical music fan and rummage sale organizer, raised the funds. I�ve no talent for money; I could only assist her.
SW: �A piano was shortly after donated and soon small concerts were being held�about 20 or 30 people in attendance.�
Comment: Chuck and Aleen Stone donated it. The first Friends of the Library concert, held March 18, 1990, was presented by the late Sonya Hanke, New South Wales Conservatorium of Music, Australia. The library was packed for Chopin and Liszt. But I soon fell from the Friends� favor. Too much classical music, you know. So I went with the PAC, and 1999 became our crowning year. While I was director of the arts with the Pacific Arts Foundation, pianist Jane Coop, the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra and other performing and visual artists attracted crowds.
SW: �The performances started to grow and the board grew and things steadily came to be what they are today.�
Comment: The Pacific Arts Foundation was crushed and destroyed July 24, 2000, leaving shock, tears and defections. The Pacific Arts Association winged out of the rubble, thanks to Shirley Reeder, former foundation treasurer.
SW: �It all kind of just fit together.�
Comment: Kind, just and fit: that�s revelatory grammar. What happened was neither kind nor just. And when I tried to join the Pacific Arts Association board last winter, I kind of just didn�t fit.
As for me, this summer, make mine Marrowstone! Thrill to those invigorating Western Washington University campus concerts August 3, 10, and 17 at 3 p.m.
I welcome Sandy and the Pacific Arts Association to my Peace Arch historical talks. The greeter won�t chase anyone out of the park. We practice classical friendship, you know.
Richard E. Clark
Blaine

School sports important
The Editor:

A Ms. Kathy Elsbree begins a letter to you with the statement: �First of all, you go to school to get the job you want.� Partially wrong. It perpetuates the lack of thought concerning the relationship between education and training. There is more than a somewhat semantic difference.
Not only laymen, but many pedgagues and administrators in this field, have not dwelled upon this difference. Classically, education deals with the whole human. Juvenile (A.D. 60-130, �Satires� v. 8), possibly said it best: �Orandum est ut sit sana in copore sano.� (Your prayer must be that you may have a sound mind in a sound body.)
An educated person should have some background in many areas: mathematics, science, languages, sociology, anthropology, and many of the other -ologies. The social graces, manners, the ability to speak well, the basic knowledge of the seven lively arts, an outline of history and politics, etc., are usually required. Sports such as �riding to the hounds,� polo and swordsmanship (fencing), are no longer necessary, although the National Croquet Association claims that most of its members are university graduates and that over half are millionaires. Snobbish? Training, on the other hand, is basically the pursuit of subjects that will help one earn an honest living (excepting the Wall Street types). Period. Sure, there is overlap. My early years were spent in the field of medical administration and training-education. Most physicians, for example, in this country, receive marvelous medical training, but only a minority receive a liberal education.
My best friend for 62 years, and spouse for 40, Dr. Dory, now deceased, was superb in her specialty, but quite vague on politics, geography and history, and, as with most wives, seldom listened to me. Is there a happy medium? Do we have a choice?
Our local school has a fine reputation, but when it comes to �copore sano,� are they on the right track? Does every student get a vigorous workout daily? What happened to �phys. ed.�? Where are the calisthenics, the indian clubs, the staves and exercise hoops, the gymnastics and tumbling? Gowns can hide a lot, but why are there so many plump kids in line at graduation? Where is the emphasis on lifelong recreational activities versus team sports?
A bit of reevaluation could be used.
Phil Walrod
Blaine

Thanks for support
The Editor:

Thank you to the Blaine community for supporting the Blaine Boys and Girls Club. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the many people that were involved in making this year�s Dance on the Dock a huge success.
John Sheehan owner of Sundance Beef, who donated and cooked the excellent beef for this occasion; T C Trading for the fresh summer salads; Chuckanut Cheesecake and Sweet Streets for the desserts; Stafholt nursing center for baking our potatoes; Ann Mitchell and Laurie Hart for preparing and serving the food; Crystal Tricycle who have always been there for this event � May you sing for us forever.
This year we were aided with the help of several Boys and Girls Club employees, from outside our club. Thank you specifically to Robin Schmidt, for putting together the auction brochure, Teresa Werner, her husband Christian, and Jan Vickery for the auction set up, check in/out of bidders. You guys were awesome; your computer processing took our auction to the next level. To our auctioneer Terry Galvin, for your experience and ability to entice the bidders.
But mostly to our board members who show up year after year volunteering your time to set up, break down and assist in all areas of this dance, Nancy, Lawrence (Fuzz), Jeff, Mike, Stephanie, Heather - your continued support in the physical labor is one of the most important keys. And as always Randy and Dave and employees of the Blaine club. Your last minute running around to gather all the elements of what make this a success is always appreciated.
Thank you, again for a job well done.
Belle Rucker Chair,
Dance on the Dock
Blaine

Watch the water
The Editor:

This summer�s continuing heatwave has provided various incentives to beat the heat, including jumping off the end of the dock at Blaine Harbor as featured in the July 31 edition of The Northern Light newspaper. Swimming in Drayton Harbor poses some risks and certain precautions should be followed to make this type of recreation as fun and as safe as possible.
During the last run of the day for the Plover ferry, captain Ryan Meyer and crew member Ann Kirsch, with the help of several passengers, pulled aboard two cold teenage swimmers near the barges south of the Semiahmoo Marina. The Plover picked up another who had made it to the Semiahmoo Marina fuel dock.
Earlier the trio had jumped off the dock on the Blaine harbor side. Their goal was to swim across the channel to Semiahmoo. Fortunately, the teens were wearing life jackets. However, they were not using wet suits. They had been in the water for almost an hour and were experiencing symptoms of pre-hypothermia. These swimmers got into harms way because they did not follow a few simple precautions prior to their adventure.
First of all, care must always be given when in or around the water. It isn�t Kansas, Toto. I don�t recommend anyone attempting to swim across the channel unless it is a supervised activity. Swimming across the channel unsupervised runs the risk of being run over by the boaters who are always transiting the area.
If you want to swim in Drayton Harbor, get to know the tides and currents. Check to see when the current is slack or slow. You can find this information published in numerous publications, on the web, one can purchase a tide chart, or read a printout of daily currents and tides at the Blaine harbor master�s office.
Always swim with a buddy, and tell someone else about your plans. Wear a United States Coast Guard approved flotation device preferably with a whistle, and, if you can, additionally wear a wet suit. Swim near and parallel to shore away from boaters.
Parents � know what your kids are doing down at the harbor. Explain to them about the potential risks. Drayton Harbor offers great recreational opportunities both in and on the water. We don�t want anybody getting into difficulty or worse, by not being aware of the potential hazards associated with water recreation.
Richard Sturgill, President
Drayton Harbor Maritime
Blaine

Join the band
The Editor:

North Cascades Concert Band is looking for musicians.�Have you ever�considered�being in a concert band?�It is a very rewarding experience and lots of fun. Do you still have your trumpet or flute or trombone or clarinet from high school or college band�and wish there was some place to play now?�The North Cascades Concert Band would like to hear from you.
The North Cascades Concert band is a non-profit organization.�Its members are volunteers.�The band members�are from�a wide geographical area.�These individuals come together to share their love of�concert band music with their communities.
If you are interested in finding our more about the concert band or playing in it,�come to the Burlington Edison high school band room with your instrument and a piece of music for a short audition on September 4�from 7 to 9 p.m.�This will be a chance to meet the director Lylburn Layer and find out more about the band.�If you are interested in coming to this audition please call Lee Walkup,�band president, at 676-9905 or Lylburn Layer,� band director�at 425/747-8044 to schedule your time.
The band� starts�rehearsals for�the fall�concert season Thursday September 11.�These rehearsals are held every Thursday night at Burlington Edison high school from 7:30 to 9:30.�p.m.�
Fall concert series dates are�Friday November�7 through Sunday, November�9.�
Marjorie Reichhardt
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