Letters to the Editor
Support the skate park
I think that everybody should support the skate park in Blaine.
Most of my friends like to skateboard, but there�s nowhere to skate. Sometimes they get in trouble because of skating on private property. When we go to the skate park, it�s a long way from Blaine to Bellingham. People get mad because they can�t go and don�t get their practice. Another reason: Some people don�t have enough money to travel very far. That�s why I think we should have a skate park in Blaine. Also, you can help by putting boxes in stores for more donations so we could raise more money in order to get a head start.
So maybe you can help raise money so we have a place to go. If you do help people in Blaine, we would really appreciate it a lot. Thank you for your cooperation.
Jim Jorgensen will be a responsible and visionary port commissioner and I urge my fellow citizens to vote for him in this fall�s election.
I appreciated Jim�s leadership while working alongside him as to help establish the Marine Education Foundation that was pivotal to creating Marine Park in Blaine. This waterside gem includes interpretive exhibits, an amphitheater, paved walkways and covered picnic areas, none of which would have happened without Jim�s vision and tenacity.
Jim embodies a powerful combination of environmentalism, pragmatism and common sense. Our waterfront will be in competent and caring hands if Jim is elected.
In the latest issue of The Northern Light, I was disappointed to see that our city officials had so much time on their hands as to pen lengthy letters (over 700 words total) to attack Lincoln Rutter. Although I do not agree with him chapter and verse, he plays an important role for all of us.
Our city officials are overly defensive. Why?
The mayor gave a lengthy defense to the contrary (three houses is about 10 percent of last year�s annual total), but Brad O�Neill has an intrinsic conflict � one house or 100. To be a member of a planning commission, one should build zero houses within its jurisdiction.
As to Lincoln Rutter�s non-attendance at the meeting (Mr. O�Neill), I�m sure both the mayor and Mr. O�Neill have been unable to attend a meeting in the past.
At an earlier public meeting, I recall separate statements that indicated that the city�s attitude for SEPA compliance was to skirt responsibility for compliance.
1. Low flow conditions result in acceptable numbers. If it rains too much, it�s not our fault;
2. Blaine will eventually send sewage to Birch Bay, anyway, because they have a nice facility; and
3. The sewage plant stinks. It�s because of what you people put into it. The waters of Semiahmoo Bay impact Puget Sound. Flushing the toilet and ignoring the problem is an unacceptable policy. The city council�s SEPA adjustment was an increase in pollutants allowed.
Ironically Mr. O'Neill�s letter was over your prescribed letter word count limit by approximately 15 percent.
Be reminded that city employees and officials may quit anytime, move and transfer their bank accounts. They are then unaffected by such an important long-term issue as the aesthetic quality of this area.
If you live here and intend to stay, or if you want to preserve the area for now and the future, you should welcome the truth. People like Lincoln Rutter should be applauded. If there were nothing wrong, our city officials would not be spending so much time being defensive.
Mr. Doug Fenton, chairman of the Blaine airport commission in his letter to the editor, published in the August 8 edition of The Northern Light, stated that businesses, when looking for a place to locate, will almost certainly not locate in a city without an airport. Maybe Mr. Fenton will be kind enough to tell us poor tax paying citizens of Blaine why Ferndale is getting so many new businesses when Ferndale does not have an airport? Why have so many businesses here in Blaine gone out of business or moved to another location when Blaine has an airport?
At the present time, the Blaine airport owes the Blaine street department $500,000 in back rent. The Blaine airport has been and is still using street property for part of their runway. Last year, we, the citizens of Blaine, voted in a $500,000 street levy. If the airport had paid their rent this levy would not have been needed. So, the fact is we voted for a $500,000 airport tax.
On May 30, 1993 the city of Blaine paid the Blaine airport $133,114 for the two acres of land the city shop is now on. That is $66,557 for each acre. The airport has also asked for and received thousands of dollars from the general fund plus a number of short term loans from the city. Now we are looking at putting up another $500,000 so the airport can cut down almost 500 beautiful trees, trees that are far more beautiful and more valuable to the city then the airport ever will be.
I would like to thank and praise Kathy Norman for having the foresight and drive to keep pushing to make the farmer�s market at Birch Bay Garden Center (5087 Lincoln Road) a reality. After three weeks, the market is up and going strong. The market is open every Friday from 3 � 7 p.m. I think I can speak for all of us vendors that we are enjoying being there.
Thanks also to the other employees Kim Berger and Nichole Sheehan for their help. Last, but not least, thanks to the people from Semiahmoo, Birch Bay Village and the surrounding area for supporting the market. On Friday, August 22, we had our best day ever.
If you haven�t been to the Farmer�s Market, come and shop. Help us make this a permanent fixture in Birch Bay. Thanks again to Kathy Norman for this great idea. Let�s make it work.
No personal business
Finally a candidate for public office emerges that doesn�t represent his own business interest (real estate, gambling, construction, etc.)
Ron Wilson, running for Port of Bellingham commissioner, offers us a candidate who will work for all of us. Ron Wilson believes that your port authority tax dollars should be spent on shoreline recreational areas and pubic use facilities.
Further, he would employ the profits made from port authority business to be used for economic development activities throughout the county or for reducing your property taxes.
Ron Wilson is very active in our community, volunteering and supporting his church, scouting, food bank, police department and habitat for humanity programs, as well as serving as a city council member. His honesty is unquestioned and demonstrated daily in these activities.
Please support Ron Wilson with your vote in the forthcoming primary election for Port of Bellingham district 3 commissioner.
Merle L. Beller
Dieter Schugt is a crafty politician; a master of deception and word manipulation. In his response to Mr. Rutter, he states that �most of Mr. Rutter�s statements are greatly exaggerated or simply inaccurate.�
If Mr. Schugt is going to accuse others of exaggerations and inaccuracies, he should refrain from the practice himself. He states, �SEPA was not eliminated at all.�
This is false. SEPA already does not cover small construction jobs. The council�s actions eliminated SEPA reviews of significantly larger construction projects. Who in Blaine would consider a 10-unit development or 10,000 square feet of commercial space?
We, the public, did attend the public meetings. At one of the planning commission meetings, I requested that those who supported SEPA standards give their position.
There was no one to support the lowering of the standards. The public chose to maintain the SEPA standards. Staff, council and the planning commission chose to ignore the public�s wishes.
I will say one thing for the planning commission, they did stand up against staff and council. They initially rejected the extent of the SEPA weakening. Unfortunately, staff and council rejected their recommendations. The ordinance was sent back to them so that they could fall in line, thus giving a unanimous position.
I believe this community-based government is working against the community and will destroy this amazing place called Blaine.
Please, citizens of Blaine, act now to save the unique environment that makes Blaine the jewel that it is.
Dr. E.M. Schellinck
I have known Ginny Benton for some time and I would like to comment on her exceptional performance at the port. She has steadfastly represented the interests of Blaine and thus earned our respect and votes. I know we are all aware that the new and beautiful Blaine marina is here because of her efforts. Twenty-five years of promises went unfulfilled until her election as our representative. She also personally championed the renovation of the Blaine pier. Now we can all enjoy the entire pier.
She has also seen that our city received economic development funds and leveraging funding at a time when we need that help and assistance. Yet at the same time, she has seen that our port taxes have not increased and promises not to do so in the future. She can now tell us where our tax dollars are spent. That was not the case before she was elected. Our tax dollars now only go to limited and restricted uses, and for only the broadest public interest. No tax dollar subsidies to our special interest groups.
In her next term, she has promised to pursue aggressive clean-up of all the contaminants on our port property. She is obviously the best candidate to represent our interests at the port. She has proven that she can get positive things done for us. Her opponents are making promises to do things she has already done.
I ask you all to vote for Ginny Benton in the primary election on September 16. She has earned our respect and vote.
Richard E. Brendley
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.
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