Letters to the Editor -- February 12, 2004

Published on Thu, Feb 12, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

Thank you voters
The Editor:

On behalf of the Blaine school district, school board and especially our students and their parents, we thank the Blaine community for supporting the current and continuation of the maintenance and operations levy.
This continuation will enable the district to maintain exemplary programs for our girls and boys. We thank the many volunteers who helped to ensure that the voters were informed about the levy and how the funds would be used to meet our numerous needs.
There are numerous strengths in the Blaine school district and continuing community support for education is one of our greatest assets. The boys and girls of Blaine appreciate what you have done to ensure their education. The staff joins with parents and the community to assist these youngsters to achieve success. Our campus has been called the heart of the Blaine community and is now able to continue to fill that role.
Mary Lynne Derrington, Ed. D.
Superintendent
Blaine

More than teaching
The Editor:

�My teacher is so cool! She was up all night grading papers, and she still found the time to plan a really fun lesson for today!� Has your child ever come home from school and said this to you? Or have you ever contacted your child�s teacher and told him or her how much you appreciate all the time and effort he or she spends on your child? My guess is that you probably have not. And you probably don�t encourage your children to go out of their way to show appreciation either.
Teachers do so much more than lecture and grade papers. They are mentors, role models, friends, counselors, listeners, organizers, experts, coaches, persuaders, psychologists and motivators. They spend hours planning assignments and activities that will fit the needs of 30 very diverse students. They solve conflicts among their students and work cooperatively with parents and other staff. The goal of a teacher is to help your child reach his or her potential and become a positive, contributing member of society. Teachers do so much more than teach.
So the next time you pass one in a school hallway, or stand behind one at the grocery store, be sure to say thanks.
Student,
Name withheld by request
Blaine

Helping kids do their best
The Editor:

The paramount duty of the Washington state legislature is making sure students from preschool to college receive a good education. As a former educator, I feel very strongly about improving our schools and helping our students succeed. Several bills being considered now invest in education and affect students, schools and families everywhere in the state.
I am extremely pleased that the House of Representatives passed, with bipartisan support, a bill that will ask Washington voters to decide in November if they want to pass school levies with a simple majority. Current state law requires school levies to receive a supermajority, 60 percent of the votes, to pass. This bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.
I also support reforms to the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL) test that will allow students to retake sections or have alternative assessments, and reduce the areas the WASL tests to reading, writing, math, and science. By 2008, our children must pass this test and demonstrate that they meet our state's academic standards in reading, math and writing. Students should be given every chance to succeed. Other key bills include higher education funding and reasonable changes to the Learning Assistance Program.
I always keep in mind that many of my most important constituents don't vote yet. My work as a representative matters to children, as much as to adults. It was recently Education Week, so let's keep our eyes on how we can help our kids do their best.
Kelli Linville
Representative
42nd Legislative District

Bigger government
The Editor:

�...we are all going to be in it together...� said U.S. Border Patrol�s Joe Giuliano while discussing the construction of new headquarters in Blaine. I hope so this time. This was not true May 9, 1970 when Blaine came under attack by some 500 anarchists from across the border, joined by a contingent of �Blame America Firsters� from the Western Washington campus.
Rocks were thrown. Some windows broke and several American flags burned. The Blaine Journal would show a picture of an ugly mob and the local barber along with some 100 or so of the town�s citizens defending the American flag and the town. The mayor reportedly brandished a pistol. Washington state patrol and U.S. border guards pulled back and left the town defenseless. Blaine police did the best they could.
Later, Kelly Schneider, Regional Representative, National Border Patrol Council said the officers were given orders to absolutely refrain from forcefully repelling the invasion. He apologized and said it would never happen again. Let us hope so.
Government�s first responsibility is to protect the individual�s right to life, liberty, and property. In this case government did not. It was ugly.�It could have been worse. The anarchists did not torch the town and no one was shot.
That was then. Today, the patrol�s presence is rapidly growing, including a new and bigger facility. Of course, the town�s approval is solicited with the promise of local jobs. That is good for those few who get those jobs. The new headquarters, however, will produce no consumer goods nor desired consumer services.
Government succor does not build new wealth. It takes from one through taxation to give to another. Hope, new ideas, hard work, and the freedom to succeed are the answers. To raise everyone�s living standard, we need the freedom to build wealth. That means a government that respects and protects the individual�s right to life, liberty, and property. Which it did not that May.
The border patrol and the town of Blaine are good neighbors. Even as the patrol�s presence and influence continues to grow, it can stay that way. It all depends on attitude and on mutual respect.
May 1970, we were not all in it together. That was before 9/11. Today, hopefully we are. But, new ideas and freedom to succeed create jobs and build prosperity, not bigger government.
Michael E. Odell
Blaine

Council can change plans
The Editor:

Regarding the ensuing battle over the proposed Birch Point rezone/amendment/spa, I would like to address the scare tactic/misinformation/partial truth being used that, if this [spa] weren�t here, there would be 32 houses instead (i.e., four houses per acre on 10 acres, two of which are tidelands, so can�t be developed= 8 x 4=32). I very seldom hear the other half of the truth: The potential 32 houses might be possible, but only if and when sewer comes, and, only when/if some developer buying that land would subdivide it as such � and that is pure speculation.
If that were such a huge possibility, why hasn�t some developer snapped up that land during the six or so years it�s been for sale? Right now, only seven additional houses are possible there, in addition to the large, existing house.
More importantly, anyone who attended the January 8 planning commission public hearing or read the official transcripts will see the truth: If this land is rezoned resort commercial, no matter whether the spa succeeds or fails, when and if the sewer comes in, there can potentially be 22 houses per acre, or a total of 176 houses. Or, read the transcripts for the discussion between Sylvia Goodwin and the commissioners about concomitant agreements limiting that use, but the bottom line is that, whatever concomitant agreements might be in effect, they can always be changed by county council.
We, as the majority of the neighborhood who have signed a petition against this rezone/spa, with whom the county planning commission sided in their 7-1 vote against this, we, who unwillingly stand to have this commercialism imposed upon us by some outside developer, acting in the name of profit, ask:
Why aren�t people who openly support the spa like vice-chair of the Birch Bay steering committee Kathy Berg, in her recent role as official tour guide/spa promoter (which I question as inappropriate, and for which several residents have called for her removal/resignation) for Ellen Shea�s open house, telling people that part of the truth?
Rezone it and then watch the developer feeding frenzy.
Jo Slivinski
Neighbors for Birch Point
Bellingham

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