Letters to the Editor -- July 15, 2004

Published on Thu, Jul 15, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

(Pub Note: Due to a copying error, the following letter was published last week with a sentence in incorrect order. It is reprinted below as intended by the author. We apologize for the error.)
The Editor:
What is the mystery of the gun?
It is a device designed to propel a projectile in a certain direction with some degree of accuracy, nothing more.
A gun has no will or conscience. It is a thing - not an entity.
Guns do not grab you by the shoulder and command you to kill.
They are like any other device, when used wrongly, dangerous. The same may be said of the axe, the automobile and other commonly used implements.
In Blaine, we have a commodity - some guns that can be sold to enhance the K-9 program. As long as this is done within the law what matters that it be guns, a surplus patrol car or a street sweeper?
The city has the ability to turn a commodity into cash. Sounds like fiscal responsibility to me.
George Tranberg

The Editor:
We wish to congratulate and thank the Blaine Chamber of Commerce, residents, and volunteers for the great fireworks show on Independence Day. We’ve had many comments from those who took in the show from the Canadian side.
Watch the skies over Semiahmoo Bay on the evening of August 11 as the world famous Canadian Forces Snowbirds perform in support of The Child Foundation. Thanks for the great show.
Robert MacKeracher, president,
White Rock and South Surrey
Chamber of Commerce.
White Rock, B.C.

The Editor:
What a wonderful, beautiful day you gave us, Blaine, on the Fourth of July!
Thank you from all of your citizens! Thank you to all who worked so hard in making this a memorable and festive day! To those who turned out for breakfast, parade, street fair, salmon bake and fireworks, it truly was an all-American Fourth of July and everyone, young and old who came to celebrate this day of freedom, truly enjoyed themselves, no doubt about it!
Our quiet, quaint Blaine was, for one special day, the center of attraction for Whatcom County and I felt so proud to be a citizen of this sweet little town which I have come to love so dearly. The parade, with all the shiny fire engines, the businesses represented, the beautiful horses, the antique cars with all the politicians and elegant ladies, the ball players and cheerleaders, the campfire girls and sea scouts, you all brought such amity to our precious city and for one exciting and colorful hour made us all realize what a strong heartbeat this city possess and how blessed we all are, to be part of it.
Unfortunately, not everyone respects and observes this day in which it was meant to be celebrated! Anyone walking our beautiful Semiahmoo Spit the morning of July 5 was met with a disastrous assortment of beer bottles, cans and fireworks debris; a fire had burned a large part of the spit and another fire was still going on in Semiahmoo Park. It honestly looked like a war zone all around!
Why is it some of us cannot have respect for the land and the wildlife? Why is it, some people cannot have fun without being destructive? Why is it, some of you out there, cannot clean up after yourselves?
These were the sad signs of a July Fourth celebration on the Semiahmoo Spit and I strongly recommend to our city council and the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation District to forbid all fireworks from the spit in the future, no other state park allows fireworks so why here? Our precious spit is a wildlife refuge! Let’s keep it so!
No development! No fireworks in the future! Let’s preserve the spit for our future generations!
We need to preserve, observe and respect our national and natural treasures!
Karina Pratt
(Ed Note: The park referred to is a county park.)

The Editor:
The letter from Leslie Greenwell (of Henderson, Nevada) – “sting operation by Blaine Police … acquiring revenue for city officials” in the July 8 - 14 edition of The Northern Light was interesting in that it raises the issue of how truly bizarre that intersection at H Street and SR 543 is. The real problem is that no one – not drivers in their cars, not drivers in their trucks – actually pays any attention to the several signs that indicate traffic protocols. Yes, it probably is the most unusual corner in the entire nation, but we also seem to have a nation filled with non-readers (and this applies to non-Americans also using these streets). Does Ms. Greenwell honestly think that more signs are going to make any difference to how often people (both visitors and locals) violate the rules and the lights?
You know how when a traffic revision takes place, local authorities put up those glow-in-the-dark light-green signs that say “traffic (or signal) revision ahead?” We would need permanent billboard-sized signs every few feet just to try to capture the attention of all the blasé drivers who don’t really care what they’re doing. Is this the local constabulary “stinging” traffic? No. For that matter, the truck crossing road is actually State Route 543 – not the jurisdiction of the city of Blaine (and I’m positive none of our city planners would have come up with such a peculiar way of sorting and moving traffic).
As for people speeding down H Street hill, yes, I can attest to that. I live at the top of the hill, right where the speed limit changes from 25 m.p.h. to 35 m.p.h. and I regularly observe people zooming along at 50 m.p.h. and more (both ways). I lost a beloved dog on H Street; I cringe to think that some child is going to be the next victim. “Numerous blind driveways?” Yes, it’s called a residential neighborhood. Speeding is for highways and long deserted stretches of the road, not for residential areas.
I would like to see more speed traps up at the top of the hill than down catching oblivious drivers at the corner of H Street and SR 543, but that’s not likely to happen because - how could I fail to remember! We live outside the Blaine city limits.
Maybe Blaine is charming, maybe Blaine is not forward-thinking, but I don’t think we try to sting people. Maybe those who were “stung” will now think twice before they try to make a right turn in front of an 18-wheeler when their light has changed, or they slide over to that right lane/shoulder to make a “free right.”
Jeanne Halsey

The Editor:
On Saturday, July 3 the North Whatcom Professional Firefighters (NWPFF) IAFF Local 3867 held a car wash and hot dog sale together with the Birch Bay Firefighters Association. With your generous donations and support this event raised over $1,100!
Following this event the NWPFF IAFF Local 3867 collected donations when they marched on Sunday, July 4 in the Old Fashioned Fourth of July parade in Blaine. The firefighters had a tremendous response from the people attending the parade and raised over $500.
NWPFF IAFF Local 3867 will be donating their portion of the funds from the car wash and all of the funds from the parade to the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) “Fill the Boot Fund.”
We hope to add to this amount on Saturday, July 17 when we will be at the corner of Harborview and Birch Bay-Lynden roads to “Fill the Boots for MDA.”
We hope to exceed last year’s amount of $2,441 collected in less than five hours! Thanks you for your kindness and support of our organization and for helping us support the Muscular Dystrophy Association!
We hope to see you on Saturday July 17!
Leslee Smith, PIO-IAFF Local
North Whatcom Professional
Firefighters Association

The Editor:
As we approach our one year ‘birthday’ since opening a West Marine Express in Blaine, I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone in the community for their warmth and support.
Boaters are a terrific group of people and it’s been a real pleasure spending time with each of you here in the store and at the marinas. Your feedback on products has prompted a recent changeover of inventory and many of you noticed boxes and pallets going out and great new stuff coming in! We really appreciate your input and patience as we work towards a balanced product line.
West Marine has a tradition of holding events to inform and educate boaters and this past year we have enjoyed meeting many of you at cruising seminars, chart plotting classes, ladies night and the very informative Flare Shoot Off event as well as sponsoring the new Blaine Sea Scouts, racing and cruising nights with local yacht clubs. Our company encourages community involvement and so we have supported many non-boating efforts such as Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club, Blaine football, Blaine Extreme Sports Club Skateboarding, Stafholt Center, Dollars for Scholars, the Close-Up Foundation for high school students Washington, D.C. trip and this weekends ALS Golf Tournament. Participating with my children in the Old Fashioned Fourth of July parade was our most recent effort and will be an annual highlight to our summer! What a turnout!
On a personal note, my husband and I began boating 23 years ago right here in Blaine. We were charter members of Semiahmoo Yacht Club and gained a lot of experience from boating in the San Juans before leaving for what turned out to be a six year cruise around Mexico, French Polynesia and Hawaii. It’s great to be back and part of this boating community.
Please join us for some birthday cake as we mark our one year opening on Sunday, July 18 at West Marine Express!
Debbie Morley, store manager

The Editor:
Growing up my mom always told me “never judge a book by it’s cover” and I want to thank her for putting that value in me. I find it very sad that the gentleman who wrote the letter to this paper about the Bandidos never found that value in life.
My first experience with the local Bandidos was 13 years ago at the age of 21 working at Sealinks in Birch Bay. At first when they walked in I felt a little uneasy but once I waited on them I found out what wonderful people they are.
Not only were they very polite, friendly and laid back but they were also the best customers I have ever waited on. Through the years I found out about all the wonderful things the Bandidos do that most people don’t know about; for example, Toys for Tots, etc.
Now that I am 34 I feel very blessed that I didn’t judge the book by its cover but instead chose to open it and read the story inside because that story contains many characters who are very warm and caring and whom I am proud to call my friends.
Mandi Hollick

The Editor:
There is an old adage saying that you will never get to your destination if the first step is in the wrong direction. It is clear that our reasons for the Iraq War were bogus.
The press is strangely silent to this distortion of fact. The rest of the world sees the brutal images from this war. Over 800 Americans and 10,000 Iraqis have died and many more physically and emotionally injured. We get the sanitized version that can’t even include American coffins returning home.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” Albert Einstein said “If everyone practiced an eye for an eye, the whole world would be blind.”
We might eventually spread our heritage of freedom and democracy if we lead by example. If we had used the $119 billion cost of the first two years in Iraq to help provide needed services to struggling countries, we would be admired. Instead there is growing hatred towards us and an increased risk to our civilians and soldiers.
I suggest that we keep our flags at half mast. However, let’s keep them there for the victims of this war.
Harvey Schwartz

The Editor:
Thanks for a great paper. I drive up from Bellingham to pick it up.
We are sorry the Harbor Cafe is closed and hope it reopens soon. The June 10 - 16 issue of The Northern Light stated that the cafe opened in the early ‘40s and we would like to correct that statement.
In 1956, Cecil and Martha Stephens built a small building, on property one over from the present location and on a concrete slab. A corps of engineers drawing dated March 26, 1957 shows the location.
That was the start of the L & M Cafe, later known as the Harbor Cafe. The name L & M was for Martha Stephens and Lorna Lee Stephens Bice. They catered to the fishermen and workers on the waterfront. There was no beer or pool in the beginning - just good home cooking, lunch and lots of coffee.
In 1959 the building was moved to the present location. A photo of June 1961 shows the building and new house, etc.
Undine Stephens Sink, Blaine
and Ray Brice, Bellingham

The Editor:
Blaine elementary school set up a box for your box tops at the Blaine Cost Cutter.
What are box tops you may ask?
If you look at your Betty Crocker cake mixes or your General Mills cereals (just a sample, there are many more products with box tops, like yogurt, hamburger helper, Gold Medal flour, just take a look before you toss a box...) you can find little stamp size coupons. They read “Box Tops for education - 10 cents.”
For each box top turned in, the school will receive 10 cents donation for much needed school supplies. What an easy way to earn money for our great elementary school. Especially since so many financial cuts have occurred this past year.
So please, before you toss a box, cut out the box top, stick it in your purse and remember to drop it in the big green box, located in the cereal aisle in our Blaine Cost Cutter.
Thank you to Blaine Cost Cutter for allowing us to set up a collection box and thank you to the Blaine community for dropping off your box tops - every single one helps!
Sabine Otero

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