Letters to the Editor
The ballots for the Whatcom County primary election have been mailed. There seems to be some question why Gary Lysne, the candidate with so many campaign signs, is not on the ballot.
Though the media has often publicized it, there is some confusion in each election as to who appears on the primary ballot. When there are less than three candidates for a race, there is no primary election for that race to determine who will appear on the general election ballot
Mr. Lysne is running for the Whatcom County Council At Large position which only has two candidates; therefore he will only appear on the ballot in the General Election.
Since the public was not given an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process for the placement of the military gun at the west side (3rd Street) of the city of Blaine building, I am taking advantage of this opportunity to provide directions to those who want to comment.
Provide comments to: Gary Tomsic, city manager, city of Blaine, 344 H Street, Blaine, 360/332-3301, email@example.com, and/or Guy Hughes, 399 H Street, Apt 2D, Blaine, 360/332-8353, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Answering one of two questions will determine whether Blaine needs an airport or not. First, does Blaine wish to remain an insignificant village on the Canada/U.S. border? Secondly, does Blaine wish to become a city with significant work opportunities for its residents?
If the former – get rid of the airport. If the latter, an airport is not only desirable, but essential.
It is unfortunate in such a debate, one always gets people who have vested interests other than Blaine itself. For example, there is a realtor (Dennis Hill) whose sole motive is apparent – to fill his pockets with gold by turning Blaine into a bedroom community for the expanding city of Bellingham.
“Growing Old in Blaine: Toward a New Paradigm” was the title of a 10-page essay that I submitted to the Blaine City Council August 22. So, via Internet, I pulled up the city’s agenda with its “communication” window to see if my essay had been received. Nothing. I thought perhaps it had been submitted too late for distribution. I took another look September 13. Nothing.
So I phoned city hall Tuesday morning. Cheryl assured me the council had received it all right, no problem. The council’s modus operandi is designed for maximal efficiency: It is not the council’s practice to acknowledge reception of “information,” and that’s what my essay was thought to be. Information. How do I know, then, that my essay wasn’t misplaced or lost before it could be given to the council? Really, that’s an irrelevant question. Nothing gets lost in city hall.
Why didn’t the council give me an ounce of feedback? After all, I worked diligently to present what I thought was a worthwhile essay. Well, if you want feedback you’ve got to ask for it. I’m welcome to send a letter to the city council requesting feedback.
I don’t think I’ll bother.
What I’m going to do, instead, is to ask for your feedback – you, the faithful readers of The Northern Light. Send your request and email to:email@example.com and I will send you my essay with one condition. You must provide me with your feedback. What does this entail? Reaction, agreement, disagreement, valid points, invalid points, suggestions, ideas, and commentary.
Following the vigilante killing of two Bellingham area sex offenders, there is some talk about ending community notification when sex offenders move into a neighborhood after being released from prison.
As a prosecutor for the Lummi Nation, I have helped to put away a level three child molester and have seen the devastating effects of these kinds of sex offenders’ actions on their victims. What is worse? This damage often gets passed on to younger generations, as some victims turn around and victimize others. While it is important to support victims in healing and not stigmatize them, the community must be protected from any person who does offend.
Child molesters thrive on silence. They scare their child victims into silence by threatening their child victims with horrible things if they tell anyone about their victimization. The worst thing we can do is help offenders maintain silence by ending community notification laws.
Regarding sex offenders, our first concern must be to keep the community safe and to break the multi-generational cycle of sexual abuse. Community notification is a helpful tool in stopping this scourge.
Here we go again. Mr. Sitkin had better go back to law school and take the bar exam again for he is so far out in left field, that both he and the city are going to get sued.
The people of Blaine have the right to determine the fate of the airport, not the council, and the sooner he gets a grasp on that fact the better off he will be. The people are the ones who, through their tax dollars, are the ones who pay to keep that airport alive and now they have the same right to kill it and put it out of its misery. The people have the right to be heard on this issue and they have made that clear with the initiative.
When I sat on the council 12 years ago, I made the same initiative to get rid of the airport and at that time, the vote of the people decided they wanted to keep the airport. Over the last decade they finally have come to their senses and finally see what a waste it is to keep that white elephant afloat with tax dollars.
The council does not have the right to order a new committee to study the airport and better ways to try and keep it going as Ms. Onyon suggests, but to act on the people’s initiative for they have met the requirements for putting it on the ballot.
People of Blaine, now you can see the complete lack of intelligence that is running and has been running this city for the last decade, with no one on the council to keep them in check.
I strongly urge our community to vote for Laurie Caskey-Schreiber in the upcoming primary election on September 20.
Throughout her first term, as a county council member and currently as the council’s chair, Ms. Caskey-Schreiber has consistently demonstrated truly outstanding leadership and vision with a passionate commitment to preserving for the present and future generations all of what we treasure most in Whatcom County.
A few highlights of Caskey-Schreiber’s formidable experience, courageous stands on issues, many achievements and tireless advocacy for our community illustrate why we should wholeheartedly support her re-election:
• Managing growth and preserving our environment. Council chair Caskey-Schreiber’s hands-on experience on the county council’s planning and natural resources sub-committees gives her the insight, vision, and problem-solving expertise to judiciously handle the many growth issues now facing our county.
In addition, Ms. Caskey-Schreiber has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to preserving our exquisite shorelines, threatened marine ecosystems, and critical areas and wetlands. We can rely on this legislator to continue to make – not anti-development decisions – just smart-growth decisions that benefit our community and not special-interests working solely for their own self-enrichment.
• Safe drinking water. Council chair Caskey-Schreiber has the political courage to take tough stands on such contentious issues as water-quality in Bellingham’s primary drinking water source, Lake Whatcom. By advocating the slowing and reduction of new development around the lake, she has helped protect it from what could have resulted in irreversible effects on the quality and safety of our water.
• Preserving our farmlands. Early in her term, Ms. Caskey-Schreiber was instrumental in implementing the purchase of development rights program. To date, the program has saved more than 500 acres of prime agricultural land – some of the richest in the nation – once slated for development. The program has had the steady participation of area farmers who want to see their family farms remain farmland. With the help of her lobbying in Washington D.C., so far the county has received $1,400,000 in federal matching funds, ensuring that it remains the leading agricultural county in Western Washington.
Please vote for Laurie Caskey-Schreiber. She truly represents the people.
Jo Slivinski, Neighbors for Birch Point, Birch Bay Steering Committee (Birch Point representative)
The Blaine Extreme Sports Club, with the help of Justina Gumbly, hosted its first ever concert on Friday, September 9. Two bands performed for the 150 kids in attendance. Yellow Shaggin’ played for over an hour and ARCADIA closed the concert with rockin’ sounds. The kids brought over 100 pounds of canned goods that went to the Blaine Food Bank.
Fundraising will continue for the skatepark as there are many continued needs for completing and maintaining it. The city has adopted the skatepark in its parks system but has limited resources to spend on it. Blaine Extreme Sports Club has partnered with the city for the continued success of the park. Anyone interested in helping can contact Dori at 371-5038 or Jon at 332-9835.
Jon Landis & Dori Binder
I am tired of the misinformation being disseminated by those who wish to close Blaine’s airport.
On Thursday, September 8 at 4:30 p.m., in front of the Blaine post office, seated at a table sporting a sign that implied I was somehow paying for the Blaine airport was a woman gathering signatures on a petition to abolish the airport.
When I asked her to explain just how I was paying for the airport, she replied that if I was a taxpayer in Blaine I was supporting it and went on to say that the money I pay benefits only five men with planes at the airport. The airport is a huge drain on the city and that my tax money was needed for streets and sewer plant repairs, not an expanded airport that will force the closure of Pipeline Road so Lear jets can land that are of no benefit to the citizens of Blaine.
This is false and emotionally loaded information being used to get the signatures needed for the petition. It’s time the public be given the facts.
The operating of Blaine airport is self-supporting generating its own income primarily through the sale of fuel to aircraft and lease revenues from businesses who operate there. The airport contributes money each year to the general fund to cover its share of the city’s overhead costs. The only money put into the airport fund out of the city’s general fund has been in the form of loans for capitol projects such as the purchase of land. The state and federal funds given to any airport come solely from a tax on the sale of fuel to aircraft and a tax paid on airline tickets sold, not from income or sales taxes paid by non-flying citizens.
The airport fund is a totally separate fund and as such absolutely no money in it can be used for anything that is not airport related which means not a penny could be spent for streets or sewer projects.
The issue is not the number of planes based in Bellingham of which there are 27 not five, but the opportunity a viable airport offers for the economic development of our community as well as the availability of air transport in times of emergency.
While closing Pipeline Road is in the airport master plan she neglected to mention the plan also connects Boblett Street which is more central to traffic flow and that the runway extension is designed to accommodate twin engine planes, not Lear jets.
As for the surveys that are being quoted they have been worded to be manipulatively misleading for the purpose of eliciting an anti-airport response and should not be accepted as valid.
The cost to the citizens of Blaine is not in the expansion of the airport, which is to be done with federal and state airport grant moneys. But the cost that will be incurred when the state department of transportation, as well of those holding lease contracts with the city, seek litigation to recover their losses.
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.
send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org