Letters to the Editor -- October 14, 2004

Published on Thu, Oct 14, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Doug Ericksen, the incumbent 42nd District Representative (position 1), sponsored the original house bill to “study” a multi-lane, for-profit “commerce corridor” through the foothills region of Whatcom County.
Voters in the 42nd – and throughout Whatcom County – should ask the representative a few questions.
How could you support a scheme that will destroy a treasured way of life for many of your constituents? How could you support spending $500,000 of scarce taxpayer funds to “study” an idea that, on its face, is not in the best interests of the people you represent?
Many in this area are just now learning about the commerce corridor. The first local department of transportation public forum about it won’t be held until November 10 – conveniently after the election.
Robin Bailey opposes the corridor and, if elected on November 2, will fight to block it. She pledges to listen to the people of the district and bring to the legislature a clear understanding of their interests – a refreshing change.
If you want to know more about her views on other issues, see http://robinbailey.org or call 714-1505.
Jo Collinge
Bellingham

The Editor:
Who cares who runs for Lieutenant Governor in Washington? I do, because the incumbent Lieutenant Governor has been too busy with trade junkets to Asia and the privatization of public education to notice the expanding prison population in our state. In contrast, Bern Haggerty has a platform emphasizing peace, electoral reform and civil rights. Best of all, Haggerty demands full funding for public education from cradle to grave. I also respect his decision to limit contribution to him to $100 per person. Check out his Green Party candidacy at www.VoteHaggerty.us and join me in casting a ballot in the general election for Haggerty for Lieutenant Governor.
Bruce Radtke
Blaine

The Editor:
Recently I was looking to purchase one of those small electric scooters which are basically a skateboard with a handlebar and a seat attached. They are quiet and use very little energy.
After investigating these scooters, I started to hear about many communities banning them from use – you cannot ride them in the street or on the sidewalk. It is a real shame America cannot wake up to the reality of the energy crisis and pollution problems that exist.
Our country is designed for the automobile and that is it. Build bigger highways and build more cars. Bottom line. Support the oil and auto industry. Alternative methods of transportation should be a top priority.
There are a lot of pros and cons of these small scooters, which are debatable, but the fact is we either find some alternative to the situation that faces us or we will be smothered by our own pollution and energy shortage. It is a shame that our leaders will not look at this situation and plan our future to be more pedestrian friendly.
Eric Grant
Blaine

The Editor:
I just want to congratulate Blaine on the charming downtown – the gorgeous hanging baskets and the colorful plantings under the trees are lovely, even in the autumn. The new signs at the edges of town, cleverly designed and beautifully maintained impress everyone who sees them.
I received a letter from a couple (who spent two weeks here last summer) raving about the jazz festival and said Blaine ties with Port Townsend for their favorite place in this area.
I have always wished there was a bakery in Blaine and this new one “takes the cake” with its variety and quality – it holds its own with any of the wonderful bakeries in France and England.
I am proud to say I live in beautiful Blaine.
Glenda Barnhart
Blaine

The Editor:
In the past few months it has saddened me to see how little Washington state has done in order to put people in prison. The jails are full and so hundreds of people who should be in jail, drug sellers, people with DUIs, and other law breakers are skating with just a citation because the jails are too full to put them in there. In this upcoming election Proposition 1 will be coming out and if we vote yes on this, then the state of Washington can build more jail space so the good citizens of Washington state can rest at night knowing that they don’t have to worry about their loved ones being sold drugs, or killed by a drunk driver and can know with reassurance that people who commit crimes will be prosecuted. I think Proposition 1 is a great idea and I plan on voting yes come election time.
Rachel Reynolds
Blaine

(Ed Note: Whatcom County Proposition 1 is asking voters of Whatcom County to approve construction of a new county jail.)

The Editor:
This letter is in strong support of the candidacy of John Hobberlin for the 42nd position of state representative.
John’s experience in education and his creative ideas in medical tort reform would serve the voters of Whatcom County well.
John has a passion and history of public service that should be put to work in Olympia. John Hobberlin deserves our support and vote.
Bob Brunkow
Blaine

The Editor:
We have all experienced disappointment from getting something that is less than the best. We have also experienced the disappointment from spending extra to get all the bells and whistles only to find out they were impractical and didn’t really add anything except bragging rights. (Well, I don’t want to brag, but I do want the best in quality of life.) I am disappointed that we have tried to skimp on one of government’s primary functions, the criminal justice system. We live in a country that we can be proud of. As a citizen of this country, I try to spend my money wisely.
Our county jail is overloaded and lawless people in our community are out on the streets. They don’t care about anybody’s life but their own. I am willing to spend a little more to keep lawless people in jail. I want these lawless people off my streets and out of my neighborhood. We need more jail space. I believe that those who are planning the new jail work center and the new permanent jail facility have shown they will spend my money wisely. I am in favor of Whatcom County Proposition 1.
Has anybody considered the cost of not having enough jail space to house that portion of our population that show themselves unwilling to live within the bounds of courtesy and civility? These poor excuses for humanity cost our society in general and us as individuals in particular hundreds and thousands of uncounted dollars. Because we don’t see what it costs our neighbors for the missing and damaged property from vandalism, thefts and burglaries we don’t get too excited. When they experience losses and insurance rates go up, we don’t see it, so we don’t get too excited. Because we don’t see how much a retail store has to mark up items because of theft, we don’t get too excited. Because we don’t see how much it costs in time, effort and paperwork from investigating these crimes, we don’t get too excited.
But ask us to pay out 1/10 of one percent in sales tax for additional jail space to help begin to get these and other more serious crimes under control, we really begin to object. Come on now. Support the People for a Safer Community and vote yes for the jail. Vote yes on Whatcom County Proposition 1.
Chris Jacox
Blaine

The Editor:
It’s encouraging to read that our city council voted unanimously to fund “a statistically significant” telephone survey to gauge what interest there is in having the city acquire the spit, for conservation and public access and to find out how willing the public is to pay for it.
However, we believe something as important as this issue needs to be surveyed in more than a “statistically significant” manner. We would like to see every Blaine resident express an opinion. Additionally, visitors, tourists and other users of the spit should be heard. There are other ways of funding the purchase, apart from simply raising taxes.
The city of Blaine has the right to use power of eminent domain to acquire the spit so that a fair price for all parties may be set. Suggesting a price of $25 million at a time when the city is talking about the need to spend $42 million, over the next 25 years on its general sewer plan, is hardly likely to obtain a balanced response.
We have already asked the city to form a committee to discuss the future of the whole of the spit. We believe the community has the right to understand exactly who owns what parts of the spit; what is its best use for Blaine’s future and how funds could be obtained for its purchase.
We do not believe a hurried survey, which does not contain all the relevant information, is going to benefit our community. So we plan to give as many people as possible the opportunity to sign a petition, which asks the city to give appropriate time to this project when all this information is available. A few weeks before a presidential election is not the time, in our view, to be forcing a decision on this matter. The community needs to be able to properly air its questions and concerns.
Our petition will contain the facts, as we understand them. We will be asking you to sign it if you believe this issue needs to be more widely and properly discussed, when we know all the information on the spit’s total future, including the realistic value of the land.
If anyone would like to assist us with the survey we ask that you contact us as soon as possible. Let’s not sit back and then wonder how did we let this happen.
Trevor Hoskins & Ron Miller
Blaine

The Editor:
With Christmas just a short time away and since it’s almost time to vote, I want to relate my worse ever Christmas story. It was a year ago last Christmas when my young nephews had Christmas stolen from them. It was a horrible and sad Christmas for our family.
We returned home after attending the Christmas Eve worship service at our church to find my sister’s house had been burglarized and every present under the tree along with many other items were stolen. Several of the people who had done this truly awful thing already had multiple warrants, but because the jail was too full they were free to steal our Christmas.
The Whatcom County jail was originally designed for 110 inmates. For some time it has been housing 264 inmates on average. Between 100 and 120 sentenced offenders a day are diverted to one of the jail alternatives. Many inmates are being released early including some in jail for burglary; freeing them to continue crimes against their own community. I hope you never have to explain to young children why someone stole their Christmas. I do not want to pay more tax, but I also am very alarmed that these offenders are repeating and progressing to more serious crimes.
My next door neighbor has been broken into nine times over the past three years because the criminals know the jail is overfull. Please vote yes on Proposition 1 for Andy, Ryley and all the other county residents who have been victimized because of “booking restrictions.”
Ron Farrer
Blaine

The Editor:
I visited Washington, D.C. recently for the first time since before September 11, 2001. I explored the national mall’s monuments to liberty, equality, justice, the rule of law; the memorials to those who died in the many, bitter wars this nation has fought.
During this time of terror, these majestic monuments and sober memorials are surrounded with chain link fences and police tape. The avenues once allowing public access are closed off with concrete barricades, while bored policemen stand around.
These “defenses” aren’t likely to stop attacks like those of 9/11. While cheapening our inspiring icons of democracy, these additions to the national mall are pure propaganda. Each section of fencing, each concrete barricade among the marble monuments is a reminder to fear terrorism – while not deterring terrorist attacks.
The 9/11 attacks were not against our freedom and democracy, as George Bush falsely asserts. If they were, the planes would have crashed into the Statue of Liberty and the U.S. Capitol. The targets were not our effigies to liberty and democracy, but our palaces of corporate capitalism and military might.
Police tape around the Lincoln Memorial doesn’t make us safer from terrorism. But it certainly reminds the thousands of Americans visiting Washington, D.C., every day that we’re a nation at war.
This defacing of our national heritage is propaganda in one of its subtlest, strongest forms. Please join me in restoring to the White House a commitment to true American values by voting for John Kerry and John Edwards November 2.
Hudson Dodd
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