Letters to the Editor -- March 02, 2006

Published on Thu, Mar 2, 2006
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
As a result of recent events, lives have been taken from our school family. They were beautiful young women who were kind, smart and wonderful.
These women were known and loved by many and sadly now are gone. In these sad filled times it brings all those who loved them together to help watch others lift their spirits with happy memories and love that we all shared with them and to allow us to remember all the awesome events that we shared, from sports to just hanging out throughout our school years.
All of us have come to know Kailey and Brittney, although we don’t understand why God decided to take these amazing women home, we know that they are with him and now don’t have to live in this cruel world. And because we know what kind of people they were, we also know they are in heaven, smiling down on us with beautiful wings of white.
Kailey and Brittney will always be remembered on this dreadful day just after the accident February 28, 2006. We all are in remorse, grieving with family and friends in remembrance of Kailey and Brittney, our friends, others’ daughters and sisters. God, all we ask is that you watch them for us, hold them under your arms and let them know – we love them and will always think about them. RIP.
Erin Lippie, Blaine high school student
Blaine

The Editor:
This year’s Arts and Jazz “Centennial School Celebration” benefit auction, produced by the Blaine Fine Arts Association, was a huge success. We topped $10,000 thanks to a community which perennially gives of their time, talent, and financial resources.
We had amazing help from parents of past and present students, grandparents, teachers, and interested community members in everything from baking scrumptious treats, donating and collecting auction items, to finding pictures to document our 100-year Blaine school history. Gary Tomsic once again led a lively auction and was assisted by Birch Bay realtor Mike Kent.
The Jazz Band and the Chamber Choir spiced up the evening with awesome music and the art students dazzled us with their visual talents, displaying existing pieces and sketching portraits throughout the evening. It was a great evening, fun for all who attended, and will provide funds to send the Jazz Band to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho; and will also provide funds for scholarships, awards, specialized equipment and trips for students participating in art, band, choir, and drama.
All of this was accomplished through a generous community who continues to give for the benefit of our students. Thank you!
Kristi Galbraith
President, Blaine Fine Arts Association
Blaine

The Editor & people of Blaine:
I am working and living in China now for a while. I thought that if I am here and the people of Blaine have any questions about China, my job, the living conditions, customs, shopping and prices etc. then please email me at dwhite11@hotmail.com and I will answer all your questions.
David White
Blaine & China

The Editor:
My name is Chase Walker. I am a fourth grader at Michael T. Simmons elementary school in Tumwater, Washington. Our class is studying Washington state this year.
I would like to have your help in collecting information. I would appreciate you sending any maps, brochures, pamphlets, pictures, postcards, etc. that would help me learn about Blaine. Please send to: Michael T. Simmons school, 1205 2nd Avenue, Tumwater, WA 98512.
Thank you for your time and help.
Chase Walker
Tumwater, WA

The Editor:
For several years now, I have been conducting a campaign (with Colleen’s help) which I christened, “Save the songbirds.” My motivation for doing so was an article in Audubon magazine which noted that next to habitat destruction, free roaming cats were the second major cause of bird extinctions worldwide.
Recent surveys indicate that there are about 80 million household pet cats – another 80 to 90 million are feral; 30 percent of their diets are birds. Songbirds are also being decimated because, unfortunately, nature has a diabolical side. Case in point: starlings, an introduced species to our country, ravages the nests of even endangered species. Billions of birds (yes, billions) worldwide have been killed crashing into spacious windows of skyscrapers or other buildings, even homes.
A cautionary remark to be put in perspective. The Avian flu is not yet pandemic, but should it become so, European research has shown that cats can catch the disease, pass it on to other cats and other mammals as well. (Science Magazine, 3 Sept. 2004).
Let me, at this juncture, review briefly the findings of telephone interviews with local Blaine residents: 1) About 45 percent own cats; a majority would favor restrictions; 2) Of the non-cat owners, 80 percent favor lawful restrictions.
And here are some reasons why: 1) Foraging neighborhood cats lying in wait beneath feeding trays and birdhouses are not welcome; 2) Irresponsible cat owners with a bevy of kittens, not spayed or neutered and many, in turn, becoming feral; 3) flower beds are disrupted with accompanying dung heaps.
But back to the issue: birds need our help. Indeed, I need your support. The solution is simple. All pet cats be kept indoors or under strict control – no wandering! (This proposal has the support of the Whatcom Humane Society.) Doing so has these obvious benefits: 1) beloved cats are protected from accidents, roaming coyotes, stray dogs, local birds of prey; 2) no licensing would be required; 3) indoor cats need only the distemper inoculation; 4) indoor cats live longer – ‘tis true; 5) your neighbors may be oh so grateful – for reasons already noted.
Let me now get a bit sentimental. One quiet Sunday morning, I wandered down a sheltered lane. I then heard a songbird melody that stirred my soul, intricate tones so beautiful that I believe even Mozart may have been envious.
In closing, there’s a haunting song on the soundtrack of the movie “Cold Mountain,” “When the last songbird has fallen.” Yes, I thought to myself, it is not yet but it could be if the scientific prognosticators are correct. Let’s then be responsible: stave off the coming apocalypse as long as possible.
Loyalists, especially, contact your local city council representative. My last hurrah: Save the songbirds.
Ken Knutsen
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to thank the planning commission for allowing public comments on Thursday, February 23, following the presentation from Trillium Corporation on development of the spit at Semiahmoo. My thanks to people that did speak and presented some very sound arguments and concerns as to why the planning commission should not approve the application as presented at this time.
My reasons not to approve the application for Seagrass Cottages:
a) After 25 years, a master plan should be considered obsolete, especially in view of new knowledge about environmental issues such as the preservation and protection of precious resources of water, ocean life, bird life, etc.
b) The Semiahmoo spit is a tourist attraction and therefore an asset to the whole of the population of Blaine. It is a sanctuary for birds and a force that draws bird watchers to Blaine. It is also an unusual healing sanctuary for those that come to the Inn at Semiahmoo and to Blaine to walk down the spit and find peace of mind.
If there was a survey of the reasons why people have made Blaine and Semiahmoo their home in the last 20 years, one reason would be the beauty, peace and serenity of the spit at Semiahmoo.
c) The 54 acres that comprises the spit at Semiahmoo is a very pristine and sensitive area and to allow such high density, even higher density than other developments at Semiahmoo is unthinkable.
d) Then there are the reasons that affect the whole community and they are the lack of infrastructure: wastewater treatment capacity, roads, fire protection, police protection, transportation, etc. For these reasons alone, permits for development on the spit at Semiahmoo should be denied and a moratorium should be implemented on building permits in Blaine and Whatcom County until such time as the infrastructure are in place.
The city of Blaine should consider implementing the eminent domain law and obtain the land on the Spit at Semiahmoo for the betterment of the whole of the community. The spit at Semiahmoo is an asset that the city of Blaine needs to preserve.
Nicole McCaig
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to thank you for the recent article on Jim Jorgensen and his “Salmonars.” As a graduate of Blaine high school (Class of ‘87) I have wonderful memories of being instructed by Mr. Jorgensen not only on the esoterics of geology, meteorology and astronomy, but also on the fine art of salmon fishing in his salmon enhancement class. The instruction included plenty of science about the genus oncorhynchus, and also included practical skills like building our own custom fishing rods from kits. (I suspect that there are hundreds of former students of Mr. Jorgensen out there who still have their rods handy.) Jim also taught us practical science in the form of stream surveys and raising salmon fry in an egg box he had constructed himself. It was usually challenging and it was usually fun – although the year I took the salmon enhancement class was also the year of a tremendous flood which partially wrecked the egg box.
You might also be interested to know that Jim is an expert on birds, and has an extensive collection of slides that he used to teach us to identify some 60 different species by sight alone. Now, when I go for walks along the Boise River during my lunch hour, my first thought on seeing a common merganser or a wood duck is, “Hey, that would make a good picture to send to Mr. Jorgensen.” Alas, I have never been able to get close enough to get a good picture with my camera phone.
Ray H. (Buddy) Wilkett Jr.
Nampa, Idaho

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