Letters to the Editor
I had the occasion to travel around the county last weekend to see the growth in Birch Bay, view the proposed expansion on the Semiahmoo Spit, and the damage to Drayton Harbor Road, among other things.
It was a beautiful day and many folks were out, including a couple walking their dogs unleashed on the “closed to through traffic” portion of the Drayton Harbor Road. As we passed slowly, I mentioned what a nice walking path the road had become, and continued on to view the damage. On the way out as we were looking at the crumbling road edge, doing about 10 mph, I noticed the woman we had encountered moments before crossing the center line of the road towards us. She leaned toward me and spat, “Yes, it is a nice walking path, and if you could read, you wouldn’t be driving here!”
Now, folks, correct me if I’m wrong, but if I were visiting someone up the end of the passable road, would I still be accosted? Do yours and mine tax dollars pay to pave that road? Have these people tried for years to eliminate through traffic on that road to keep the Semiahmoo residents from using the public roadway? If the city of Blaine repairs that road with my tax dollars, will they still restrict me from driving on it due to the whims and fancies of the residents there?
I suggest to the woman on the road that she leash her animals inside the city limits of Blaine, pay more attention to the rights of others and public right-of-way paid for by taxpayers, and spend less time and energy attacking her fellow citizens. I’ve a mind to tell all my friends to take a drive down to see the damage to the road called Drayton Harbor.
In September, 2004, I wrote to Blaine’s community planner to express my opposition to the proposed zoning change from residential low-density to highway commercial in the 100 block of 11th Street, where North Star Investments was planning to construct a new brokerage building in what had been a peaceful, residential neighborhood.
This parcel was a wooded area at the end of a dead-end street, with a number of huge Douglas firs, alders, and other plant life that supported a wildlife population including deer, raccoons, possums, squirrels, the occasional bald eagle, a wide variety of songbirds, undoubtedly a huge rodent population, and countless other usually unseen creatures who play an important role in our environment. My protest, and those of my neighbors, amounted to nothing.
This evening on coming home, I looked out my window and was appalled to see that all the trees except for three (just one lone Douglas fir) have been torn down. Presumably these three have been left for landscaping purposes, or maybe the bulldozer that is still sitting there just hasn’t gotten to them yet. I am sickened and terribly saddened when I think of the hundreds of nesting birds and all the animals that have been killed or displaced by this destruction, all in the name of progress and profits for the city of Blaine and North Star Investments.
Several years ago, when a nearby farm and fields were destroyed due to the truck crossing expansion, the homes in this neighborhood became overrun with rats. The trees that were taken down, which had done their job to cleanse the air of exhaust fumes from the border as well as buffer the noises, were replaced with a concrete noise barrier which does little to suppress the noise from the border and certainly does nothing to improve the air quality. In my letter to the community planner, I stressed the importance of keeping the trees on 11th Street, not only for the wildlife, but for the health and comfort of the local residents. Apparently these reasons mean nothing, if there is a profit to be made.
Many cities in this state (nearby Ferndale, for one) pride themselves on becoming the recipient of the National Arbor Days “Tree City USA” designation, which recognizes cities that show a responsible and long term commitment to caring for and planting trees in their cities, and who appreciate that trees add beauty, clean the air, help save energy, protect and promote wildlife, and add real estate value.
When will the city of Blaine start protecting these valuable assets, instead of tearing them down? I have lived here for 18 years and seen our economy go from booming to next to nothing, so I can understand that the city leaders are hoping to instill some growth in the economy, but at what lengths, and at what loss in the long run? Why destroy our residential neighborhoods and woodlands when there is so much empty field space available on the east side of town? Do they expect that space to eventually be used by the airport that has been a thorn in the side of this town for at least the 18 years I’ve been reading about it? If the city is so desperate for investors, why not use that wasted space for an industrial park and stop decimating our woodlands and residential neighborhoods? Too many trees and too many animals have been destroyed for the airport alone, and now they’re ripping up residential areas in hopes of making the money they’ve yet to make from the airport!
I would be willing to bet that the majority of people who live in Blaine stay here because it is a peaceful, pretty, and pleasant town, a safe place to raise a family, close enough to the big cities that, should the urge arise, we can get there with minimal effort, but know that our pastoral home is close at hand. But somehow we’ve selected city leaders whose visions of grandeur are stomping all over our reasons for living here, and who are quite willing to destroy our beautiful and healthy environment in hopes of making a profit for a few people who don’t even live in this area.
When I look out my window, with an aching heart, at the devastation to the north of me, I can only hope that they choke on their dollars.
There are two local issues that have been very controversial and have been covered quite extensively by the local media: the Sea grass condominium project and the Blaine airport issue.
David Syre of Trillium purchased the property on the Semiahmoo spit in the 80s, about 25 short years ago. His purchase of this run down former Alaska Packer’s property was another example of his unique ability to acquire property that had virtually no access and turn it into one of the most beautiful seaside communities in the Northwest.
It seems that most of the Semiahmoo residents are very happy that their million dollar homes have been built, and they feel that any more construction on the spit would be detrimental to the environment. However, this is completely untrue.
When these people built their homes in and around the golf course, their million dollar homes replaced the habitats of many deer and other wild animals, and if they think 70 to 80 condominiums are going to destroy the spit and turn it into Waikiki, they are fooling themselves. This project was approved by the city of Blaine less than 25 years ago, and, yes, things have changed in this time, but we aren’t talking about 2,000 condominiums on 2,500 square foot lots.
The other controversial subject that I keep reading about is the city-owned Blaine airport. As a lifetime area resident, I have been annoyed with this issue for years. As we all know this valuable city property is used by a few and subsidized by the city of Blaine. I thank mayor Liebert for bringing the airport issue up for discussion.
In closing, I would just like to remind the locals that its past time, (no pun intended) that we stop telling Trillium what to do with their property, and its way past time that we start telling the city of Blaine what to do with this valuable commercial property, that serves as a country club for a few local aviation enthusiasts. As we say in the real estate world, it’s location, location, not aviation, aviation!
This letter concerns Mickey Masdeo’s comments regarding my letter published June 16, 2005, about Birch Bay incorporation.
First of all, I’m not a “Blaine neighbor.” I have lived at the south end of Birch Bay for 35 years.
I can appreciate how much time members of various committees have devoted in the past and how much time will be spent in the future on this issue.
The main purpose of my letter is to make sure that the property owners are aware of some facts that I have learned from my years of full-time residency as well as recent taxpayer’s information that I obtained just this month from the assessor’s office. It is very definite and up to date. Perhaps more so than Mr. Masdeo’s vague information.
Hopefully, the new taxpayers who do not live permanently at Birch Bay will get all the information and they will be able to vote on any issue brought up and will see the benefits to “unincorporation” of Birch Bay.
My three sons, Ryan, Patrick and Brendan, attended school in Blaine. Ryan graduated from Blaine high school in 1998 as class vice-president and his passion was and still is acting. We all live in Reno now and Ryan is an active member of the Nevada Repertory Company with bigger things ahead.
As a proud papa I just wanted to share his latest review with his friends still in Blaine. He was compared to a young Al Pacino. Go to www.rgj.com and enter Chekhov Triple in the search bar.
Raul Roy Palomo
I would like to thank the following people and organizations that gave financial support to help Lauren Hyman compete at the National History Days contest in Washington, D.C. The Blaine high school ASB, the Blaine Education Association, Russell Carleton of the SEIU, and Jim Sambs of Blaine Bay Refuse are to be commended for their assistance. In addition, the support of Dan Newell and Scott Ellis at the high school, as well as Janet Mumma and Melanie Helt of the middle school, is appreciated. Lauren’s hard work and perseverance led to her success. However, this spirit of cooperation helped make her trip even more special.
Jack Nighbert, History Day Coordinator
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.
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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.
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