Letters to the Editor -- March 10, 2005

Published on Thu, Mar 10, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your paper. It is an attractive publication, with great pictures and it’s well laid out. You get a lot of local news, and you give space to local interest stories about individuals, a wide scope from school children to the elderly. We really look forward to your weekly issue, and we send issues to my son, who is serving in the Army.
You are great!
Bonnie Ventura
Blaine

The Editor:
Here is a great example of our youth caring for the community. Victoria King, a very talented senior at Blaine high school, held a concert at the PAC on Saturday, February 26. As part of her senior project she was able to collect over 200 pounds of food and $263, which she donated to the Blaine Food Bank.
It is only through our community’s generous donations that we are able to serve over 750 households.
Thank you Victoria for sharing your talent and kindness with your community.
Sheila K. Connors, president
Blaine Food Bank
Blaine

The Editor:

This is in response to Eileen Ornelez’s letter in the February 17 edition of The Northern Light stating that a letter of mine about the elimination of Medic 3 was inaccurate.
It might help to first address a couple of side issues she raised. First of all, my original letter, sent to several papers, was limited to 200 words by one of these papers. In 200 words, a writer must have a very narrow focus in order to make a point and so I was not able to provide much additional information.
Secondly, after working a number of years in this county’s emergency medical system (EMS), I think I have a basic understanding of what is going on contrary to Ms. Ornelez’s statements after her one-sided conversation with Mr. Kremen.
Ms. Ornelez is correct that the city of Bellingham (COB) is playing a role in the elimination of Medic 3. This is not their first choice in the matter and it should be stated that it is painfully clear to most of those who work full-time in the county EMS that the COB is, and has for years, subsidized Whatcom Medic One in a number of ways to the benefit of rural county residents. The COB has been very generous to you.
If there is an unwillingness to fully fund Whatcom Medic One due to lack of understanding of what makes the system run, etc. it is historically and clearly so on the shoulders of Whatcom County officials, not the COB. In addition, as a resident of Ferndale, my elected officials who have jurisdiction in this matter are the Whatcom County executive and council, not COB officials. That is why I mentioned them in my letter and not the COB.
It is only in the last few months that Whatcom County officials have undertaken efforts to truly understand and cost out what it takes to run an EMS system here. Only now are they starting to realize for themselves something that COB officials have known all along because of their historically much higher involvement level – Whatcom Medic One is an excellent system and is cost effective.
In addition, since I last wrote, and as we get closer to the planned date of Medic 3 elimination, county officials have started a dialogue with the COB and Whatcom Medic One to keep Medic 3 open, at least until July. Small comfort. At the time of this
writing, there is still nothing written and signed, so the only official word I can go on is that Medic 3 is still slated for elimination come the first of April.
Please contact Pete Kremen and county council and ask them to save Medic 3 – permanently.
Regarding a comment made by Ms. Ornelez asserting that I am a medic: If by medic, she means paramedic; this I am not. I am a firefighter/EMT, a much lower and different level of emergency medical certification. All of the frontline Whatcom Medic One ambulances, including Medic 3, are staffed by two paramedics.
In other words, if Whatcom Medic One was partially or completely dissolved today, I would not lose my job.
I don’t want to over-speculate at what Ms. Ornelez is commenting on here, but if she believes or has been told that this issue directly affects my livelihood and that this is why I’m concerned about this issue, this is incorrect. As I stated before, I know the value Medic 3 has to the northwestern county and I do not want to lose its service.
Jon Denham
Ferndale

The Editor:
Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm had a fantastic month of February. Thanks to all of you for help with harvesting, processing and selling on the docks in Blaine.
You have donated 86 hours in the last month which has enabled us to harvest almost 300 bushels of oysters yielding 875 dozen oysters with a commercial value of almost $5,000.
We have also recently donated some oysters to staff at the Blaine wastewater treatment plant, Redden Net, Catnap Canvas, Pacific Marine Exchange, Blaine Marina, and Semiahmoo Marina – all partners in the community oyster farm project.
A big thanks to chief Bernard Charles of the Semiahmoo First Nation, who crossed the border last weekend to purchase oysters at our dock sale, which was once again very successful. I trust they had a good feed.
We have not seen Ron Leach for some time but he made a very timely appearance, along with Chris Woodward to help with dock sales last Saturday. Great seeing you, Ron. Thank you both very much for the help. We sold out as usual to a growing number of local Drayton-oyster lovers.
Since we started harvest last June, and in spite of 87 days when the harbor was closed due to rainfall, we have now harvested almost 1,000 bushels, yielding just under 3,000 dozen oysters, which has generated almost $15,000 for the Puget Sound Restoration Fund. Our prediction of a $30,000 crop may be realized by the end of June when our harvest should be complete. We have three and a half months to go.
Next week is our last decent tide series for a while, and I would like to keep plugging along since the weather forecast looks pretty good. There will not be much activity at all from the 16 through the end of the month as the tides are really not low enough for harvesting.
Let me know if you are able to help out. Any new pickers and grinners out there – give me a call for details, 384-9135, 384-5519 home/weekends or evenings geoffmenzies@comcast.net.
Geoff Menzies
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