Letters to the Editor -- September 04, 2003

Published on Thu, Sep 4, 2003
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Letters to the Editor

Carousel rumors
The Editor:

Rumor has it that a community improvement project for Blaine is in discussion; namely a carousel of 38 wooden ponies installed in a special building with an organ, facade of cliffs, castles and dragons, gift shops and much more. It is intended to be non-profit and self supporting, bringing in 25 percent of net profits to the city, thereby providing finances for necessary projects such as parks and other projects under discussion. Best of all, the carousel would provide a recreational area for children and teens keeping them off the streets, a safe supervised place to be. Many volunteers will make this project a real community positive asset and I am sure we will all be looking forward to project materialization. Our thanks to Andy Anderson for all preliminary work and time involved.
May all concerned citizens rally behind Blaine. Contact city council by phone, letter, personal discussion. Let�s put Blaine on the map positively. Blaine has a lot to offer. Let�s be ready before the 2010 Olympics.
Muriel Ellis & friends

Wonderful experience
The Editor:

My name is Amy Bearden and I am writing to you in regards to the Blaine Jazz Festival. I had a wonderful experience with my involvement as head counselor to the overnight jazz festival campers. I recognize that a lot of local people and businesses donated their time, effort, money and products and everyone�s generosity made this summer�s festival a wonderful experience for all involved. Being the head counselor, I dealt mainly with the Birch Bay Youth Hostel, where the overnight campers lodged and with Blaine high school. I want to personally thank Wayne Maschger and Charlie Flanery of the Birch Bay Youth Hostel. They were extremely helpful with the campers and very graciously accommodated all our needs with the jazz festival. Even more importantly, they run a very efficient hostel that was a relaxed and fun atmosphere for the campers. Their help was invaluable in making this summer�s jazz festival a success. I would also like to thank Blaine high school in being so accommodating to the jazz festival. We had no problems whatsoever accessing the classrooms and the Performing Arts Center and that made my job worry free.
Please give everyone involved with this year�s festival full recognition of my gratitude. I sincerely hope that local businesses continue their support in years to come for the Blaine Jazz Festival. I know my overnight campers really enjoyed their experience.
Amy Bearden
Camas, WA

The Mayor & Editor:
I was sorry to read the letters in The Northern Light, August 21- 27 edition, from you and Brad O�Neill, in which you both referred to comments made by Lincoln Rutter regarding the city�s decision on SEPA thresholds. I feel privileged to have met the three of you during the last year. I like and respect all of you. I also know all of you have the best interests of the community at heart. However, I also feel that this kind of correspondence reflects your frustrations and tends to address individuals rather than the issue.
As you know, I attended some of the relevant planning commission meetings and I was also present at the last city council meeting when the SEPA thresholds were increased. Unfortunately, at that meeting, a couple of councilmen verbally abused Lincoln and others who were questioning the city�s decision. I have been advised that a review of the tape of this meeting shows there was little justification for this unfortunate behavior. When I objected to the councilmen�s remarks you told me (quite correctly) if I interrupted the meeting again, I would be ejected. Having recently felt our police chief�s muscles, I thought discretion was the better part of valor and left the meeting!
I hope you and the city council will review the policy, which allows the public to participate in your meetings. While we have been told these meetings are not a place for debate, both sides need to be given the opportunity to clearly express their comments, in my view. Sometimes this may require the opportunity for rebuttal, which, apparently, is presently not permitted � at least by the public.
I believe our Constitution was founded on open discussion. Permitting this, might better help resolve many issues and prevent this kind of misunderstanding. Rather than turning him off, I hope the city will embrace Lincoln Rutter, listen to his objective comments and perhaps benefit from his knowledge. I believe we are very fortunate to have a wealth of experience in this area. If we discourage or react rudely to people coming forward with their views, Blaine will be the loser in my opinion.
Trevor Hoskins

We're backing him
The Editor:

We have lived in Blaine for many years and have observed how Jim Jorgensen has been involved in our community. As a teacher, he has made a positive impact in the lives of his students. As a business person, he is a man of integrity and is hard-working. He is not only a person with vision and ideas but one of action. He knows how to involve others in a team effort and get the job done.
We believe he will be a great asset to our community as a port commissioner. We encourage you to find out as much as you can about his contributions to this community and then � vote for Jim.
Ruby Dahl

Support the park
The Editor:

What a pleasant letter was in last week�s The Northern Light regarding the proposed skate park. I was impressed at such a considerate appeal for our help. I don�t believe I know Juan Avena, though I�ve probably seen him around. Skate boarders are pretty easy to notice on or off of their boards.
It seems that perhaps many of us tend to shy away from these young people who move so quickly and skillfully among us. Their boards are noisy, their style a bit unusual, but hey! I guess it makes for freedom of movement, wouldn�t you suppose?
I really hadn�t given much thought to supporting the desired park, even though I knew that officer Jon Landis has been working towards it. Probably a vast majority of Blaine residents have real respect for officer Landis. He certainly has my confidence as a thoughtful concerned and kind servant.
Why am I interested in these kids and their needs? Well, because � I have a son. A tender gentle son who wanted only to laugh, to draw plans for beautiful homes, to explore beaches and forests, to raise butterflies, to build meticulously crafted furniture, to love life, to be loved. His response to the lack of understanding and encouragement from a dysfunctional family in his early teen years, was to turn to alcohol and drugs to cover his loneliness and pain. After years of struggle against these entrapments and searching for joy, the struggle became too much and we lost him. Boredom, frustration, loneliness and �nothing to do� are a dangerous combination. Let�s not ignore the hopes of these young people for an opportunity to have fun, practice their skill and keep busy. Let�s pay attention! The skate park would be in a residential area and I expect it would be monitored for safety and appropriate behavior. Let�s give officer Landis some confidence and consideration. Where are those boxes for donations?
Nita Shipley
Birch Bay

Elfo for Sheriff
The Editor:

This is the first time I�ve written a letter of public endorsement for a political candidate. I do so now only because of the outstanding qualities in character and experience I have come to appreciate in this candidate. We are fortunate to have someone so uniquely suited for a pivotal role in our community. I�m speaking of Bill Elfo.
The county council chose Bill from a large field of qualified candidates to complete the term of office vacated by Dale Brandland when he resigned as sheriff last year. I was among those who encouraged Bill to apply for this position, and now I am relieved to see that he is also standing for election from the general public this term.
Most letters of endorsement are too long, so I�ll just highlight some basic but important characteristics I�ve personally observed in this man: Bill is a family man with deep faith that shapes his life decisions; he�s a team builder who listens carefully to all concerned before acting; he has the courage to stand up in adversity for what he believes is right; he has the intelligence, training and experience to make wise choices for the community; and he is a man of good character with genuine compassion for others.
Charles Gibson

Spend elsewhere
The Editor:

Concerning the airport and the amount of money it is costing and what they are planning to do seems absurd. I work adjacent to the airport and could count on one hand the flights in and out of the airport on a weekly basis and that�s in the summer, the winter is dead. It seems to me that the amount of money the airport says it brings in or could bring in is not quite adding up. Someone with an objective point of view needs to do a study on all the so-called activity at the airport, so the money spent and the changes can really be justified.
Blaine needs more than an airport to get much needed business back here. There is no way an airport will help; lots of small towns around here are doing just fine without one.
Even after spending all the money on legal fees, paying for the property and then cutting down those beautiful trees, nothing will have changed except Blaine will have spent lots of money, will have less trees and no new planes will have landed, as predicted. The airport is too close to the school and shopping center as is, so let�s get the personal interest in the airport out of the way and spend Blaine�s money on something else that is better for everyone.
Leslie Elliott

Does anybody read?
The Editor:

From July 20 through August 31 I held educational walking tours during three Saturday and four Sunday afternoons � a total of seven two-hour sessions � at the Peace Arch and its parklands. Here are the results; I�m certain some readers are curious.
Although there were 67 attendees, about one-third of them just happened to be at the Peace Arch when I appeared. They remained to listen.
Here�s the breakdown: Blaine, 17; Canada, 14; India, 7; Bellingham 5; China, 4; Ferndale, 4; Custer, 4; Birch Bay, 3; Texas, 3; California, 3; Seattle, 2; Colorado, 1.
Of the Peace Arch city crowd, two came twice, reducing the total to 15. Three of them were children, reducing the total number of adults to a dozen. All but four were elderly, like me.
Absences: No one appeared who belonged to the Blaine city council or staff, the International Peace Arch Association, the United States Canada Peace Arch Association, or the Blaine school board.
Conclusion: Few people read The Northern Light, where the announced tours were faithfully heralded each week in the �Coming Up � calendar. Horizon Bank is appreciated for sponsoring production of posters and flyers.
I had planned to continue educating people at the Blaine public library during the four Sundays of September. But the sign-up sheet, posted in the library, remained blank for a week, so I canceled the project.
Richard E. Clark

Welcome the truth
The Editor:

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

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.

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