Letters to the Editor
memory of Leroy
This past year Blaine lost one of its most beloved citizens, Leroy Green. At this time of year, most of us remember Leroy as an unfailing Santa Claus to our children and our children�s children.
For more than 30 years, Leroy donned his Santa suit and driven by Mrs. Claus, a.k.a Claudia Green, he visited the children of Blaine at their homes a few days before Christmas bearing gifts and candy paid for with monies from Leroy�s own pocket. The joy and happiness he brought to each family will be sorely missed. So in memory of our beloved Leroy, the Harbor Cafe is collecting unwrapped toys, books, stuffed animals and money to donate to the children�s wing of St. Joseph Hospital. Please stop by and drop off your donation by Sunday, December 21.
Give some joy to an ailing child and in doing so, remember Leroy Green, who unselfishly gave so much to our community. Thank you.
Over the course of any given year the Blaine Family Service Center is the grateful beneficiary of support from a range of individuals, churches, organizations and businesses. Having learned our lessons well as children, we always try to say �thank you� on those occasions. It is probably important to begin trying to do this as publicly as possible, believing that recognition of good acts helps support a positive, hopeful view of the world. In any event, such recognition is now warranted and should be directed toward Bob Christianson and the Pacific Building Center. Let me explain.
Our service center is in the middle of a rather ambitious family literacy project entitled Morning Books, Bedtime Books. It is a collaborative effort that involves, among other things, the construction of bookshelves by high school carpentry students instructed by Jim Rasar. These bookshelves will be provided to primary school families participating in our project. The Pacific Building Center has graciously provided free of charge the lumber necessary for these bookshelves, an act of generosity that not only touches the hearts of service center staff but deserves public notice. It will probably surprise Bob to read this letter as he certainly did not seek public attention when making his generous contribution.
Some of this year�s partners and contributors, such as the �65 Sisterhood Helping Hands, Randy Bellville and BP, Pat Rooney and Blaine Harbor Dental, Cost Cutter and Classic Cleaners and the Whatcom Community Foundation have been brought to the community�s attention. Others, such as the Unitarian Free Church, Semiahmoo Ladies� Club, the United Church of Christ Congregational, the Kenneth L. Kellar Foundation, Walmart�s Employee Giving Program, and individuals such as Shirley White and Janet Hansen have not. I hope I have not omitted any other groups or individuals who have recently supported our center. All are typical of the quiet generosity and commitment that exists within our community.
Leaf Schumann Director,
Blaine Family Service Center
Thank you for your December 4 article about the Whatcom County Humane Society�s effort to educate cat owners about the problem of stray cats.
It upsets me that I would be fined if I fail to pick up my dog, but I have no recourse if someone�s cat defecates in my garden. Why do cat owners lack common courtesy and feel entitled to allow their pets to inconvenience their neighbors in this disgusting manner?
Cats stalk the birds at my birdfeeder and have killed at least two (one was not quite dead when I found it, and most of its skin was torn off). I have a birdfeeder because I love birds, not because I wish to entertain cats. Cat owners justify themselves to me by stating that, being above birds on the food chain, it is acceptable for cats to prey on birds. The flaws in this argument are that: 1) the cats get fed at home and do not actually eat the birds; and 2) domesticated cats are a human introduction and are not natural predators of Northwest birds. Nor are automobiles natural predators of cats. I am often saddened by the sight of dead cats on the roadside, and wonder if I grieve and care more for these unfortunate creatures than their owners do, or the cats would still be alive and safe at home. Statistics show that the life expectancy of indoor cats is almost twice that of outdoor cats. Do we not have an obligation to protect the innocent pets that depend upon us?
Cat owners tell me that they allow their cats to roam because it is �only natural.� If dog owners adhered to this logic, our pets would be running in packs, preying on our young, elderly and sick and cats. However, this is considered highly inappropriate in our society, so we have leash laws. Should not our society also frown upon exposing songbirds to unnecessary death and exposing cats to the dangers of cars, coyotes, birds of prey, parasites and other hazards?
Name withheld by request
to think about
Not mentioned in the earliest biblical writings, (but now the basis for the annual shopping bash), there is the tale of three Oriental gentlemen bringing gifts to the village of Bethlehem. It is a wonderful, beautiful story and I don�t disparage it; as a historian, I merely wonder at the results in a supposedly rational culture.
Now, to celebrate the birth of the �Prince of Peace,� parents, and doting relatives, buy children violent video games, toy weapons, �action figures,� and Lord knows what all, to extol and praise physical conflict. The whole significance of this wonderful event has been skewed by subsequent mythology. Why should the story of a great spiritual leader and philosopher be buried under the stratas of yule logs, heavy snow, shopping sprees, mistletoe, wreaths, lighted trees, and not the image of a saint, a short, swarthy Greek Bishop in Asia Minor, four centuries after Christ, St. Nicholas?
Who is responsible for this misplaced December buying gluttony? The merchandisers and their flack artists of the media, and the gullible consumers. Maybe 50 years ago, I went to a Christmas mass with some friends in a provincial Mexican town. Even then, the natives were not fond of �Gachupinos,� Spanish immigrants, but native priests were becoming scarce. This particular priest had a European accent and was quite conservative. His main thrust seemed to be that the parishioners should not buy Christmas trees, �a pagan custom.� He was right, but I checked the tree lot across the plaza later. There were few trees left that evening. Now, we are involved in several dubious conflicts in Asia and the Middle East, mostly involving the sources of oil, so that our teenagers can tool their SUVs down the main drag of town on Saturday nights. People are suffering and dying on these Saturday nights, while diplomacy fails. What a time to celebrate! Business as usual. Noel, Noel.
We suppport the spa
We are Birch Point neighbors supportive of Ellen Shea�s retreat/spa. There are many reasons why, but here�s a few.
The rezone applies only to the 10-acre site. The county stated neighbors may attach conditions to the rezone. Ms. Shea is more than willing to meet with concerned neighbors and discuss any conditions they would like to see attached to the rezone. However, Ms. Shea has not been contacted by any concerned neighbors or invited to any meetings. Ms. Shea is a local developer with a proven success record. She created and implemented the Chrysalis Inn in Fairhaven.
We believe the retreat/spa will enhance the property and have less impact on traffic than a dense residential development. If we envision the Blaine and Birch Bay area as a destination spot, we need to create desirable destination sites. An elegant retreat nestled amongst the cedars on the bluffs of Birch Point is a desirable destination site.
Scott & Cathy Seemann
We are confused. We have been reading so much about the cost and difficulties involved in trying to keep the Blaine airport, when the children of this town have to scrape and beg in order to have some place to hang out and play, bless their hearts.
We think the amount of money it would cost (and that already spent) to destroy the wetlands and the trees weeded for that eco-system would be so much better used to build a recreation center, complete with a swimming pool, racquetball court, and games room. Just think, then Blaine could have its own swim team or diving team, and the middle school could add basic swim lessons to their physical eduction curriculum. The adults in this town would surely benefit from a facility such as this as well; water aerobics, senior activities, to name a few. This facility would also create jobs. So let�s stop destroying our beautiful surroundings and get some community health on the list instead.
Would it not be best to stop catering to a very small elite group and do something that would benefit the �whole� community. This will also help to keep some revenue here in Blaine, instead of it always going to Bellingham. Food for thought.
Joanne & Phil Murphy
Thank you for your story on �Neighbors for Birch Point� in the December 4 edition of The Northern Light.
Ellen Shea was quoted as saying that �[local residents and property owners] won�t talk to her.� Our primary focus is against the rezone itself, not the spa. The huge community response we�re receiving to our petition confirms that, as will be demonstrated when we present the petition to the planning commission on December 11. It doesn�t make sense for us to spend what little time we�ve had to organize talking to Shea since her project cannot go forward without the rezone. Shea needs to hear that a significant segment of the community is saying no to that rezone.
In response to Mike Kent�s allegation that �the petitioners have not provided a venue to hear the truth about Shea�s plans and then decide,� throughout our campaign, we have described Shea�s project in the same terms as Shea did in her original letter and at the November 12 Birch Bay Steering Committee meeting. We�ve also made copies of Shea�s original letter to the county available at all times.
We have urged everyone to read the actual RC zoning code to decide whether they want to open this neighborhood to the clear and present constellation of possibilities that exist in rezoning this land resort sommercial. Among other things, the codes specifies possible conditioned uses including �hotels/motels/time-share condos with more than 16 sleeping units.� Furthermore, even though the permitted use building height limitation is 35 feet, under a conditional use permit, building height may reach 75 feet.
We have spent a fair amount of money and effort getting copies of the county zoning code to whomever in the community will read it. That is also part of providing a �venue of truth.�
Neighbors for Birch Point
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.
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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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