Letters to the Editor -- September 01, 2005

Published on Thu, Sep 1, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
A recent article stated that city of Blaine and Birch Bay Water and Sewer District officials were requesting voluntary water conservation to help cope with surging demand during a period of hot weather. The article noted that storage levels were falling because total water usage exceeded the capacity of the city’s system, which supplies water to both city and district customers. A letter to the editor followed expressing concern that the city and district might not have enough water to provide for future growth, and suggested that further building should be halted.
The city and district are working together to ensure that water supplies are adequate to meet current and future needs. At this time, we use about 3.2 million gallons per day during peak periods. This represents about 65 percent of the groundwater rights the state has issued for this area. To meet future demands, the district has applied for an additional groundwater right for 720,000 gallons per day and has signed a contract with PUD #1 of Whatcom County for delivery of up to three million gallons per day. The city will be working with hydrogeologists to develop additional groundwater rights. Blaine is also looking at using reclaimed water from the new Lighthouse Point wastewater treatment facility (currently under design) to offset current use of potable water for irrigation. Reclamation is an option that the district will consider to meet irrigation and/or industrial needs in the future.
The water supply system is designed to meet demand during normal periods by pumping water from city wells and drawing on city and district storage tanks when necessary for peak demands like fire-fighting or higher summer use. It is less expensive for ratepayers to meet these peaks with a combination of pumping and storage than by pumping alone. As demand grows, new water sources are brought on line. For example, the city is enhancing production capacity by constructing a new well (No. 4.2) this summer and bringing a previously drilled well (No. 9) into service next year. Both utilities continue to improve the distribution system. Last year the district completed a major upgrade of the Harborview/Drayton Harbor water line.
It is important for the public to understand that public water purveyors are regulated by the state and are not allowed to meet increased demand solely by acquiring new water rights and adding facilities. Public water purveyors are required to implement vigorous water conservation programs. We do this through various educational efforts during the year. These conservation measures also include providing timely information to encourage the public to conserve during periods of peak demand. When demand exceeds pumping capacity for an extended period, storage levels can fall to unacceptable levels. At such times, we issue reminders asking our customers to use water wisely or even to curtail usage significantly if there is a significant problem. Such conservation efforts are a normal part of public water utility operations.
Stephen Banham, director of public works, city of Blaine
Roger Brown, general manager, Birch Bay Water and Sewer District
Blaine

The Editor:
I am proud to announce that the Sounds of the Harbor at the Blaine Marine Park Saturday, August 13 raised over 500 pounds of food and $500 in donations for the Blaine Food Bank. From start to end, the festival was a blast, having never a dull moment. The event featured performances by Thursday Night, 3⁄4 Mafia, Distant Second’s Chris Cochran, 10 O’ Clock Scholar, Yellow Shiggin and the show-stealing Half Blind. In addition to music, vendors were present and prizes were drawn during each break.
Without the help of countless volunteers, bands, vendors, wonderful sponsors and of course mayor John Liebert (to whom I give extra thanks for believing in and dedicating so much of his time to this idea) the festival would never have taken place. But most importantly, without the generous support of the community who attended and donated the first annual Sounds of the Harbor would not have been the success it was.
Matt Berry
Blaine

The Editor:
The official recognition and presentation of the award to Terre Lynn Midgarten-Shapiro as Regional Teacher of the Year will be made at the September 26 school board meeting in Blaine. ESD superintendent Dr. Jerry Jenkins will be present to the honors. Staff, parents, community and present and former students are invited to attend and recognize Terre. It is an honor to have the regional Teacher of the Year and further enhances the great reputation that all Blaine staff have in our community.
Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington, superintendent, Blaine school district
Blaine

The Editor:
Who is responsible for the many lies about fluoride? It is responsible people bowing to the whims of their managers or someone eager to please. These very people have done no research into the adverse reactions that is caused to the human body when fluoride is ingested, even in a small way. It is a product that becomes accumulated in the system of one’s body.
It is a known poison and is banned in many European counties. You should make every effort to converse with those that are in the know. People who are connected to the internet can find pages of info that is factual.
Children can’t be observed all the time that they are brushing their teeth. Most toothpaste is flavorful, so children like the taste and we are not able to monitor how much they swallow.
Just one part in a million is enough to start the breakdown of our system.
We are duped into thinking that this poison is so good for our teeth, but it is just the contrary. One cannot ascertain the quality of our water just by observance. It is like a custom paint job on a car – you can’t know its condition under the hood. Please take time to do a little research into this matter. After all, only you can take care of your body.
Please call this number ASAP, 866/278-2634.
J.P. (Tom) Thompson
Lynden

The Editor:
On this day, normal and routine is always the same. Nothing changes except when it comes to casting characters and scenery for a play or movie.
It all started around 8:35 a.m. on my way to a bus stop located 125 yards away from my home on Peace Portal Drive. The sun hadn’t shown its face, and it was cloudy, a little damp in the air, the 8:30 southbound train passing through, traffic so light I can cross the street and feel the thunder of the traincars move. I usually call WTA to arrange my ride to take me to the outlet mall to make my daily/weekly connection to get into Bellingham with one of their specialized services. But today I decided to catch the regular bus route into Bellis Fair. Here I am, waiting for the bus to take me on the journey into Bellingham, when I saw Blaine police were on hand making their routine stop – just about a third of a mile south from where I was standing. You know – it’s a bus stop near the intersections of Peace Portal Drive and Bell Road, just off the road near the tracks. That’s right. Blaine has that new train tracking system. As I was waiting, this officer drove past me, heading north, and then came back heading south again and parked her vehicle in the www.carrot.tv parking lot, watching and waiting as if I was a criminal in my own country. Did I do something wrong? I was only waiting for my bus to arrive, late by but a few seconds, according to my watch in my pocket.
I got on the bus and like always, put my headphones on my ears and some jazz station blurring in the background to buffer all the excitement of all the riders on there. Suddenly we got to Birch Bay in the blink of an eye, actually the bus rides along Harborview Road then left on Birch Bay-Lynden Road. As we got to the waterslides stop, three border patrol cars surrounded the bus. The officer announced they had to make a “passenger check” – just to see if they had any illegal persons riding public transportation. I noticed they eyed me in particular. I am a little different looking – skinny, black hair with a mustache and goatee and I got some color on my skin because it has been warmer than usual. I had never felt so disturbed by this, because there was a dozen of us on that bus – several fair-looking ones as well as one East Indian individual and an Asian woman. The ID’ing stopped when I presented my Washington state ID and passport. I was targeted on this surprise visit. What is wrong with these patrol officers and their superiors. Don’t they know how to identify someone’s racial make-up rather than their appearance. I am an American, Filipino born. Do I look like a Mexican, or a darker-skinned migrant worker in the Nooksack Valley?
I had never felt so humiliated and appallingly upset.
Something has to change. This has happened too many times with me. Two weeks ago, a very similar incident happened with a single border patrol telling me that, “The Greyhound stop is at the Texaco station.” I excused myself and told the officer that the Greyhound bus hasn’t been used in about a year or so. Why was he telling me that, as I was standing in front of a marked WTA bus stop in front of Blaine city hall. Then again several fair complexion passengers waiting along the side there with me and he asked everyone for their ID or the name of their town or state they were born in. I can’t believe it. Why should my day here in the United States be like this. I was only doing myself a favor by catching the busy to that city of subdued excitement, Bellingham, so I can get away from Blaine for the day.
Vincent Tiemersma
Blaine

The Editor:
I urge the people of Whatcom County to recognize the Better Community Solution (BCS) political action committee for the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” that it is. Their recent paid advertisements represent the most hypocritical public relations ploy I have witnessed. Since when has the Building Industry Association (BIA) been interested in controlling “urban sprawl” and “protecting agriculture?” When did the Republican Party decide “to protect our water and environment?” How long has the chamber of commerce been trying to “manage growth?” BCS’ other top contributors, IMCO General Construction Inc. and the Associated General Contractors of Washington, are very powerful special interests specifically seeking to prevent a “moratorium on development around Lake Whatcom” and fighting “the continually escalating pressure on development” in terms of impact fees. BCS’ ruthless personal attacks on Laurie Caskey-Schreiber, Seth Fleetwood and Barbara Ryan is a disturbing case of wealthy private business interests seeking to silence those that have done the most good protecting the common public interest against commercial exploitation. Does BCS really expect us to believe that those most concerned about controlling growth to preserve our environment are the ones responsible for causing urban sprawl? Whatcom County: please do not be fooled; BCS is neither “broad-based” nor “a community public interest group.”
Lincoln L. Rutter
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to support the presence of military recruitment programs in our public schools. Military service has always been considered an honorable career choice, not to mention essential to the survival of our country. Young adults should be able to receive information about and participate in programs involving many types of career choices.
I do not consider military access to student records a very serious issue. Colleges and employers all see student records. Financial and credit reports are pretty freely available, as are medical and criminal records. The most important group of people who do not have access to many records concerning students would be parents, which is fairly ironic, since parents are normally the most concerned with the student’s welfare.
Lucy Chambers
Blaine

The Editor:
The subject of Mr. Gay’s “opinion” photograph does two things, in my own opinion, very telling and hurtful to the community. First, it underlines and emphasizes an anti-business attitude that has existed here at least for the eight years that I have been in the area. No one erected derogatory or critical messages when that same “merchant” purchased and re-opened another restaurant in the area. Why is it that new businesses can’t seem to “make it” in Blaine? Again, in my own opinion, it is because many local business owners fall into mediocrity that drives customers away, then, witness the sign on Peace Portal, get downright nasty when someone wants to offer any alternative.
And second, the message, though couched in the vernacular of “IM,” is still improper for public consumption. If the “merchant” had been courageous enough to “spell it out,’ I would hope that some ordinance of propriety would have been violated and cited.
I cannot, with any words I might write or even say, affect any change in the situation as it exists. I can, however; and I urge parents and families, as well as those who rejoice in any new business presence in Blaine to do so – speak with my patronage of those businesses, especially over those who feel it proper to get nasty over a little competition.
James Turner
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