Letters to the Editor -- September 02, 2004

Published on Thu, Sep 2, 2004
Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Editor & the people of Blaine:
Do you all know what community theater is? It’s the giving of talents for free for the exchange of happiness, these people unselfishly give their valuable time through their artistic talents in staging, carpentry, advertising and acting.
I represent Northwest Singles Club, a group of people who dearly love theater so we go to all the wide range of community theater in Whatcom County.
The Blaine Community Theater should be hugely complimented for their plays. We saw “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and it was excellent and very professionally done. Some of our group have seen the melodrama now playing weekends twice. We thank you, Blaine Community Theater for your contribution in the wonderful small town of Blaine.
They now have Joy, the puppet lady in residence who performs and contributes all her earnings. I heard one little lad say to her, “Will you do it again?” His eyes were just sparkling. We as adults enjoyed the puppets as much as the kids. So be sure to watch for the plays in The Northern Light.
J. MacKinnon
Birch Bay

The Editor:
Your lead article in the August 19 issue about the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce has done a disservice to our community, our chamber and your newspaper. In your rush to print, you failed to observe the rules of good journalism. I have heard, albeit second hand, that Patti Nichols spoke with Jack Kintner off the record and that Karl King believes he was misquoted. Your reporter also failed to balance his article by speaking with Nick Jerns. Apparently, Nick’s resignation is the event that made the article newsworthy. Yet your reporter failed to interview him for his views and a response to the comments given by Mr. King and Mr. Ball. Mike Harward, as the new president, also should have been contacted. Was Mr. Kintner unable to find anyone at the meeting to interview besides the two members with negative points of view? Until he had a more complete version of the story, he should have waited and run it in the next week’s edition, as a balanced reporting of recent events. Instead, it was put together in the rush to publish and suffers from that haste.
Regarding the comments of Mr. King, I would concur that it would have been better had the board opened discussions of the projects in question to the general membership. This would have allowed those who objected to the plans to put forward their points of view. His statement that “a lot of people” were against the casino’s participation can then be quantified. So far, no one I have spoken to found the donation of 500 salmon dinners objectionable.
As for Mr. Ball’s belief that the Student Ambassador Committee and guest speakers on subjects such as the environment are not about business, I think he is wrong. At first, I didn’t see the relevance of the SAC to the chamber. However, watching the program grow, I could see that it was providing opportunities for young people to work as interns in local businesses. They were also given opportunities to try their hands at entrepreneurial endeavors. This is a wonderful way to introduce the next generation to their community and show them how to be part of its future.
Mr. Ball also dismissed the visiting lecturers, particularly the environmentalists, as irrelevant. Perhaps he missed Mike Kent’s column in the chamber newsletter. It refers specifically to the huge potential our region has in the area of eco-tourism. If there are hundreds of millions of dollars to be made from activities related to environmental awareness, then we are not just talking business, we are talking big business.
This raises the issue of a visitor center. To accommodate all the people coming to our community for such attractions, recreation and relocation, we need to have a hub of information for all businesses and activities. This is what a chamber of commerce is supposed to supply. Creating a fixed home for this center was one of Nick’s priorities. He is a native son and an astute businessman. He and Mike have interested numerous companies and corporations in the future of Birch Bay. These companies are ready to contribute much needed capital and materials into our community, due to Nick and Mike’s efforts. Hopefully, the chamber can continue to work towards their vision of Birch Bay’s future that inspired this corporate support.
Holly Wertman
Blaine

The Editor:
After our great annual steam meet at the Blaine Marina a year ago and its many pleasant and happy memories, it was nice to return in 2004 as participants in Plover Days. Eight steamboats launched on Saturday morning and just made it to the dock when heavy rain began to fall. Well, we needed rain very urgently, but the downpour certainly came on the wrong day. Thank you Richard Sturgill and Mike Bowman, for having offered us shelter in covered boathouses. You really saved us.
We invited ourselves to Plover’s 60th birthday celebration and enjoyed the coffee and cake which was offered. An interesting exhibition was lovingly put together in the marina building with historic pictures from the Blaine waterfront and Plover’s early days, complemented by numerous newspaper clips reporting about the little ferry. It was a pity that because of the weather not more people had come to see it.
On Sunday, the weather had improved and the rain had stopped. By mid-morning one larger boat with a canopy was under steam and we all jumped on board. Despite a fresh breeze, we soon departed for Drayton Harbor and Dakota Creek. As the high water was less than seven feet, caution was advised and we didn’t steam very far upriver. In the afternoon, the remaining boats had raised steam as well, moved around the harbor and blew their whistles, especially when the Plover with a full load of passengers passed by. Some boats also gave rides to the public. The rainy Saturday was quickly forgotten.
We hope to be invited to come back in 2005.
Wolfgang Schlager
Northwest Steam Society
Bellingham

The Editor:
I ask the folks of Blaine to make your views known regarding the proposed Seagrass Cottages, residential development on the spit in west Blaine. Important decisions will be made by the city council in September.
We must be vigilant to ensure all alternative solutions are explored.
The presentations to date by the landowner, Trillium, address few of the broader, truly important issues. It is up to us to ask our city council for answers to more pertinent questions. Questions such as:
Does a 20-year-old master plan decision to sacrifice this unique shoreline still represent the values of the citizenry? If not, how should we proceed to change that decision?
Does the development proposal including proposed roadways, parking and utility corridors meet all city development criteria?
Trillium Corporation says this is their “signature design” offering to west Blaine. Does our vision for the spit include more than architectural design themes? Would we prefer to preserve unique open space? In this limited area, might we prefer higher density design alternatives that could require a much smaller building ‘footprint’?
If Blaine’s economic future rests in tourism, should we protect one of our most unique natural and cultural resource areas? Are we bargaining away our vision of Blaine as a visitor destination location if we over develop or poorly design facilities on the spit corridor?
Does Trillium’s proposal to construct pedestrian trails and bird watching shelters make sense when the visual context for this outdoor activity includes parking lots and private residences? In and of themselves, these pedestrian improvements are worthy. However, the experience of using these proposed facilities could be adversely affected by the impacts of circulatory traffic and parking, interrupted airflow across the spit and the loss of a sense of openness.
I recommend reading the August 15 article in the Vancouver Province newspaper. The article is titled, “Semiahmoo: Jewel of the Northwest,” which included, “...What struck me most about the place was the tranquility – not only at the resort but everywhere in the surrounding park-like seaside setting. The most noise you are apt to hear is the squabbling of seagulls...”
However you feel about the proposal, please make your opinions known!
Ken Raithel
Blaine

The Editor:
I voted for Doug Ericksen for state representative last time, but I won’t make that mistake again. Not after he sponsored a $500,000 study to determine whether it is a good idea to put a huge concrete ‘commerce corridor’ through Whatcom County. Anyone who is representing the county that I know and love would be horrified by such a proposal, not fund a study to determine its feasibility.
Luckily, we have an excellent alternative in Robin Bailey, a woman with varied life experiences, who was born and raised in Washington, and is concerned enough to run for office for the first time. Like most of us, she is appalled at the very idea of a superhighway through the rural foothills. Unlike most of us, she is willing to back up her concerns and work in Olympia to shape the future.
We need a representative who can work with others on the issues that matter in Whatcom County, putting aside party politics in favor of crafting solutions. Again, Doug Ericksen has a reputation for just the opposite. He certainly didn’t talk to people who live in the proposed path of a concrete corridor before forging ahead with a half million dollar study.
Rumor has it that Doug is now backpedaling and assuring voters such a fiasco won’t happen. I don’t think we can trust that assurance. If we want to make sure the Cascade Foothills Corridor does not become a reality, we need to remove the guy who proposed the project and elect Robin Bailey state representative in the 42nd district.
Barbara Hudson
Bellingham

The Editor:
I have heard about us getting quite a bit of attention lately in various national/ international publications. I saw the Point Roberts article in National Geographic. I heard on the radio about Whatcom County or Bellingham making another top 10 list in some magazine, although I can’t remember which or for what. And just this morning I was reading the August 23, 2004 edition of Time magazine and saw Blaine, mentioned in the article This Buds for the U.S. It’s not as positive as the previous articles but mentioned nonetheless.
Chris Shires
Bellingham

The Editor:
Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
Somebody concluded that everybody would not vote because almost anybody could - but nobody did! Somebody blamed anybody when nobody did what everybody should have done. Nobody should have to tell anybody that when somebody votes, everybody wins.
That’s a given, so vote!
Tom Darley
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to thank Crazy Dazy Gas Station and Blaine Bay Refuge Inc. for sponsoring me when I was invited to take my exhibit “Sacagawea’s Contributions to Exploration, Encounter and Exchange” to the OCTA [Oregon and California Trail Association] in Vancouver, Washington, August 10, 11, and 12.
I really appreciate that sponsorship, because without it I couldn’t have gone. I went and had fun and learned a lot. Thank you.
Joyce Khoury
Blaine

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