Letters to the Editor -- March 31, 2005

Published on Thu, Mar 31, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
You read about it. You see it on TV. You may know someone who it happened to. What is it? Someone has stolen their identity.
You think to yourself, oh, that will never happen to me. I’m too careful. I shred everything I get with my name on it. I never give out my social security number, or my credit card number. I don’t have a computer.
That’s what I thought. Guess what? It happened to me. I got my mail and there was a bill for almost $400. It said if I didn’t pay by such and such a date, it would be put in the hands of a collection agency.
I called this company. I spent two hours on the phone. I kept getting switched from one department to another. Finally I got a hold of the person in charge of fraud. I told her it must be a mistake, as I never bought anything from that company.
She looked up the account number on the bill. They had my name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number and my mother’s maiden name. I was shocked.
I spent the next hour calling Equifax, Experian and Acxion U.S. Consumer Hotline to report that my identity had been stolen. What a nightmare. Now I’m worried about other bills that may start coming in.
Helen McCammack
Blaine

The Editor:
I am writing as a former teacher, a tutor, parent and grandparent with the wish that we could stop playing the political blame games when it comes to our failures in educating our children. It would also be productive to give up on the idea that throwing more money at problems solves them.
All children can learn the mechanical skills of reading, writing, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style, as well as basic arithmetic skills. If we have not taught these skills in elementary school, then we should be examining our programs, methodology, teacher training and similar issues with the idea that change might bring success.
The same basic skills should be reinforced and extended every year to assure proficiency. However, all children will not have the same interest and aptitude in further academic development. Forty years ago students had a choice in graduation diplomas, including university entrance, general certificate, a business degree, a vocational arts degree, and so on. This is an idea whose time needs to come again.
Lucy Chambers
Blaine

The Editor:
In response to Leaf Schumann’s recent statements made in the March 24 - 30 edition of The Northern Light, I wish to express my utmost gratitude to him for reproving my previous opinion that our educational system appears less interested in serving the community than it is in serving its own political, professional, and personal purposes.
I am strongly appalled that someone with his position, (and particularly because he identified himself as a school counselor), would digress in their own views far enough to disrespect our President; especially in a media which will be read by our teenagers and children. While certainly it is true that our President is a mister and not a missus, his position as President, by all measure, deserves respect above all else.
Hence, even several years after President Clinton’s terms expired as President of the United States, today we still reference him as “former President Clinton.” It does not matter if you like him or not – the man, (or perhaps future woman), who holds that title both deserves and commands such respect. What kind of respect and responsibility can anyone who is appointed a position of authority over children hope to accomplish if they, themselves, are irresponsible with their own actions and words?
Mr. Schumann, being a counselor who is responsible for directing children’s relational lives while at school, has obviously not taken to heart the example he has been tasked to set. As a school administrator, I would think his understanding of how children look to him to set examples in their own lives impacts them.
By all means have your opinion. Take full advantage of your first amendment right to say whatever it is that is on your mind.
But be advised that your first amendment right to free speech does not in any way vindicate you of your moral responsibility to act in a manner which is diligently prudent with respect to your station in life.
Our educators have an ethical responsibility to conduct themselves with a higher restraint. How else will our children be taught but by example? 
J.S. Parry
Blaine

The Editor:
Semiahmoo spit is one of Whatcom County’s natural treasures and is a unique terrestrial, biological community situated in a designated World Wide Important Bird Area providing critical habitat to thousands of migrating marine birds.
This letter is to inform the public about the recent public hearings concerning the proposed condominium development by the Trillium Corporation on the spit. Due to a quote in The Northern Light by the legal team for Trillium, an extension for submission of written statements will be allowed. The quote indicated that the public forum may invite questions by the proposal team if they wanted to verify an individual’s qualifications in making specific statements. It was felt that was inappropriate and may have intimidated many from public comment. No questions were asked and the public forum brought many well-informed citizens’ comments. If you have any concerns about this proposal, please consider taking the time to submit your written comments to the city of Blaine planning commission by Thursday, March 31. The staff report can be accessed at: http://www.ci. blaine.wa.us/PAGE. CFM?PAGEID=584. You can submit your statements to: Russell Nelson, community planner, rnelson@cityofblaine.com, and forward to Brad O’Neill, chair.
Holly Donovan
Bellingham

(Ed. note: According to planning commission chair Brad O’Neill, the decision to extend the written comment period was independent of and made prior to the quote reported in this newspaper.)

The Editor:
I am greatly concerned about proposed developments on the spit at Semiahmoo.
Sixteen years ago, my husband and I came to spend a few days at the Semiahmoo Resort. During our stay, we took long walks along the spit and felt rejuvenated. We experienced a great feeling of peace and spirituality brought on by the beauty of the ocean, the mountains, the wild life, especially the majestic eagles (it was the first time that I saw eagles at such close proximity).
I feel that many of the people who have made Semiahmoo and Blaine their community, that their first experience was their stay at the resort and enjoyment of the spit. It would be disastrous to now destroy or damage the essence that brought us here, the serenity of the spit.
There are other considerations, it is my opinion that this proposed development would have a substantial negative economic impact on the Semiahmoo Resort and therefore also the city of Blaine.
Why would someone want to stay at the resort and fight their way through construction noise and equipment for the next five years then, after the five-year period, why would they come to stay at a hotel at the end of a high density development.
The Semiahmoo Resort, through The Skagit management and their marketing skills, has increased the volume of tourism and business for the community and the city of Blaine. I am of the opinion that there is nothing else in the city of Blaine that draws tourism as does the resort.
I could also talk about the lack of infrastructure (roads, water treatment capacity), the protection of our shoreline and wildlife but, I know that the people of Blaine and Semiahmoo are already aware of these additional important issues.
The Syre family and Trillium have an opportunity to leave behind a great legacy by withdrawing their application for development on the spit and making it a park for future generations to enjoy.
Nicole McCaig
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