Letters to the Editor -- May 25, 2006

Published on Thu, May 25, 2006
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I went to the Blaine traffic court for the first time with my son, who had gotten his first ticket. Our local kangaroo court, yes, kangaroo court, is presided over by judge Michael Bobbink. I have been to courts from the Midwest to southern California and never saw a judge who acted with the pompousness or arrogance of this small man.
I have heard others tell me horror stories of being thrown out of his court because of his ridiculous rulings but put them aside as fantasy. This is not the case; this man is an insult to anything resembling law. Just to clarify a few things for you readers. Everyone was guilty, no matter what.
It didn’t matter if you brought witnesses to say you were in the right, he refused to hear them. It didn’t matter if you were a grandmother who backed down the on-ramp to the border because the police and swat teams with guns drawn were converging on the border.
“You’re guilty, I don’t care, pay your fine,” or a mother with her two children explaining her case with her children as witnesses. “You’re guilty, pay your fine and get out of my court.” She made a frustrated reply. “Are you Americans so greedy, you’ll do anything to take people’s money?” I felt ashamed to be a part of all this, she was right, what a travesty of so-called justice. My son was, of course, guilty, and we will take it now to a real court in Bellingham. I immediately filed a complaint with the city manager and was told that others have complained and, “Yes, he’s very arrogant,” but he has no boss to answer to and is on a six-year contract. I think it’s time this contract ended and we send judge Bobbink packing.
Paul Dudley
Blaine

The Editor:
I appreciate Jack Kintner's thoughtful piece on Ron Snyder, his Clancy boats and the Blaine middle school’s new relationship with both.
Our outdoor adventure program – affectionately called Rocks and Water – adds a new dimension to its program through this exciting partnership with Ron and the Drayton Harbor Maritime Association.
I will remind folks that, in addition to sailing, our program offers overnight llama hikes, kayaking and summer theater. Middle school students and their parents can obtain information about registration in any of these programs by calling me directly at 332-0614.
Leaf Schumann, program coordinator, Safe Shores Program
Blaine

The Editor:
Three cheers for the Sweet Road Artisans Alliance! SpringFest 2006 was great fun and I was pleased to find many creative products at affordable prices. The venues were attractive and the hosts were welcoming and some even served beverages and snacks.
Kudos to the events sponsors: Nature’s Path, Pizza Factory, Curves, Great Northern Café, Seaside Bakery & Café, Bow Wow & Woofs, Bellingham Harley Davidson, Pacific Building Center, Beth the Barber, Marilyn’s Yarns, Hank & Bolt, and Fourth Corner Quilts.
Thank you.
Leanna McGuire
Blaine

The Editor:
Headline: “District office, builder squabble over fees.”
Squabble? Are you kidding? If I were Mr. Bovenkamp, I would be suing. Gross overcharges can’t be flowered up by calling them mitigating fees. If fire coverage is so vital to the new community, why isn’t the Semiahmoo firehouse opened? I live in Semiahmoo and have had two tax increases since 1999.
I’ve also had my local firehouse closed. Don’t try to tell me that services will deteriorate – they already have. God forbid anyone up here should have a heart attack.
By the time the volunteers get to the Birch Bay station or a truck comes from the other side of Blaine, you’re dead. I think the money you are asking for is grossly overcharging Mr. Bovenkamp and could be charged on a “lot sold” basis, not up front, to support a station right up the road.
Now, for my next case of gross overcharging – Mr. Galvin sees not a builder wanting to improve Blaine, but as a sucker to be fleeced.
The rise in fees is outrageous. Most people can comprehend a 10 percent increase, but to outright grossly overcharge the builders is shameful.
The whole city council should wake up and realize that Blaine is the joke of Whatcom County. You can’t even get easements right, before you sink in vast amounts of money into a boardwalk and then vote to have a bridge built. Why would anyone search out a parking place to walk on a bridge over railroad tracks? OK, say they do that – then what? Shop? No. Dine? No. Well, maybe on the boardwalk, no. Pretty pointless, don’t you think?
Before you do any more on the boardwalk or bridge, put that money into the greatly needed sewer plant.
The powers to be seem to be doing their best to make builders fail instead of working with them to breathe some life into an almost dead town.What are you people thinking? Get over yourselves and serve the community.
Kathy Norman
Blaine

The Editor:
We understand the city of Blaine would appreciate more citizens attending its various meetings.
However, it does not help when details of some meetings are published in The Northern Light the day after the meeting. For example, in the issue dated May 18, the city’s notice of a planning commission work session held on May 17 appeared.
A few weeks ago I showed up at city hall for a meeting listed in the city’s activities for that evening, only to find the hall locked up and there was nothing indicating the meeting had been cancelled.
Unfortunately, an email to the city went unanswered and an inquiry to the mayor of the status of another project was answered by, “I am not allowed to comment on that.” (What? Not even on the status?) In addition, the city’s website is sadly out of date.
All of this probably indicates the city staff are overworked or understaffed but the lack of participation, by many citizens, is hardly surprising, given the above.
Come on Blaine, we need to do better than this.
Trevor Hoskins
Blaine

The Editor:
BP Cherry Point Refinery has agreed to be the primary sponsor for The Vigil, a life-sized bronze sculpture of a wife, mother, and son, keeping vigil while their loved one is out to sea. The Vigil will be the centerpiece of the H Street Plaza portion of Blaine’s new boardwalk.
The complete sculpture is on schedule for dedication on October 14, 2006.
With BP’s generous $25,000 donation, the Pacific Arts Association Vigil committee has raised over $140,000 of its goal of $175,000.
The support of the community has been overwhelming. Blaine citizens and businesses have contributed most of the money. Unexpected support has also come from Icelanders worldwide.
The Pacific Arts Association Vigil committee, the city of Blaine, and Blaine’s citizens thank BP for their generous support.
For those wishing to be a part of this exciting project, you may get more information or purchase bricks or plaques on-line at www.pacificartsassoc.org.
From there, click on Vigil. Or go to Northern Meadows Specialty Gifts and Wine at 684A Peace Portal Drive cross from the new H Street Plaza.
Bruce Wolf, Vigil Committee Chair
Blaine

The Editor:
The work planned for the street leading to the Blaine truck crossing is going to seriously impede commerce at this busy border crossing. With no room on the street for a truck lane, the truck crossing will essentially be closed to cars. I know many people are worried about this problem. Here is a suggestion to solve the problem:We could convert the last rest area on Interstate 5 to a truck staging area for the border. If that rest area were changed to provide for lines for waiting trucks, I think it may hold 50 to 75 trucks – and the freeway access could handle any overflow (just like it does now at the Blaine exit).
The trucks could line up there, get a number, have their license plate number recorded, and could even be prescreened if that were desirable. As the truck crossing can handle more trucks, a person (or via a remote function) could release a few trucks at a time. This way, our streets would remain clear of long truck lines and the Blaine truck crossing would remain open to cars during the construction period.
Tom Long
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