Letters to the Editor -- June 01, 2006

Published on Thu, Jun 1, 2006
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I recently attended a Blaine school board meeting, where one of the items on the agenda was the resignation of Craig Foster as head coach of the Blaine wrestling program. I also learned that the Blaine school administration has elected to cut Mr. Foster’s high school classes and have him teach in the primary school.
Over the years I have seen Craig Foster interact with his students and wrestlers. I have seen him build confidence and leadership abilities in these individuals. Mr. Foster has donated a lot of his time helping students that are in need. Mr. Foster has gained the respect of his students, former students and parents that he has been in contact with over the years.
One very important accomplishment that Mr. Foster has achieved as a teacher and mentor is keeping high school students from quitting school. I give a lot of credit to Mr. Foster in helping a couple of students who have had difficulty in school and who talked about quitting, stay in school and graduate.
We as a community need teachers like Craig Foster in our high schools as a teacher and a coach, who make a positive impression on our young men and women.
Rick Tewes

The Editor:
The administration and staff at Blaine high school would like to thank the community for its generosity and participation at recognition night on May 23. Our students are fortunate to live in a community that supports its youth and promotes education as a top priority. It certainly takes a village to raise a child and our children are fortunate to hail from Blaine.
Special thanks to Karen Mulholland and the entire high school honor society for the outstanding program and reception. Also, many thanks to the parents of our community for allowing us to share in the lives of our children. It is a great honor to work with our students and to see them grow into promising adults; it is the ultimate gratification for our entire staff.
Once again, thank you to all who donated their time, money and effort to our students.
Scott Ellis, vice-principal
Blaine high school

The Editor:
I have been out of town for the past week and returned to read a letter in The Northern Light from a disgruntled court patron.
This person’s representation of what occurred in his meeting with me is not accurate. If he has issues with the judge, he should express his own feelings in his own words, instead of embellishing private conversations.
Gary Tomsic, city manager

The Editor:
On behalf of all the members of the Blaine High School Borderite Marching Band, we would like to thank everyone who helped us raise money so that we can march in the Portland Rose Festival’s Starlight Parade, Saturday June 3.
To Greg Avery and the gang at Cost Cutters in Blaine, thank you for helping us sell our posters, To Mike at Hill’s Chevron on Peace Portal, thanks for letting us do our car wash, to Tami Kramme and Marilyn Martin, thank you both for helping with the coupon books and the Alana Lea poster sale. We made it, and this Saturday we hope to make the community proud in Portland.
Dorita Gray
BHS Borderite Marching Band
The Editor:
Airport – has anyone thought of turning the airport into a racetrack? A few Canadian municipal airports are being used as racetracks. Apparently, NASCAR officials have been looking for a site on the west coast, don’t know if they have found a site as yet. It could also be a great place for vintage racing and a racing school.
If turning the airport into a racetrack is a feasibility, just think of the traffic from Vancouver and the lower mainland, plus Alberta. Also traffic south of Blaine probably as far as Seattle. There maybe even a few Blaine residents that would enjoy watching a race or even starting a vintage race club. Envision the increase in business for restaurants, hotels, the Blaine mall, auto parts suppliers, etc.
Nicole McCaig

The Editor:
As we begin to plan for next year’s Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival to be held in March of 2007, we want to take time to thank everyone who participated in making this year’s festival a success. We appreciate all of our sponsors and supporters for their generous contributions as well as the attendees of the festival events, banquet and fund raising auction.
Those who attended the festival enjoyed many informative and entertaining activities as well as experienced an abundance of migrating birds close at hand. The funds that were raised will be used by the Washington Brant Foundation, a non-profit organization, to support the education, research, and habitat programs for Brant and other waterfowl, such as visits to schools, signage at birding spots and to building a haul out island in Padilla Bay for migrating Brant Geese. For more information visit: www.washingtonbrant.org.
We look forward to an even better festival next year! We could not do this without the generous support of this community!
Debbie Harger, Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival Committee

The Editor:
Thou shalt not steal. Exodus (20:15). On Tuesday, May 23, at the middle school district track meet held at Blaine high school, my son’s iPod was stolen out of my grandson’s sweatshirt pocket. Kristian (my grandson) was out on the field running races and jumping over sandpits and throwing javelins, like any seventh grader should be doing at a district track meet – and his sweatshirt, lying on a bench in the bleachers, was fair game to some unscrupulous pickpocket, who investigated his clothes and extracted the iPod. Of course, it could have been another student, it could have been an adult, but the thief evidently believes that stealing another person’s property is okay.
The tough part for the thief is that my son had “Exodus 20:15” professionally engraved directly on the iPod for ease of identification in the event of theft. Therefore – having already contacted the three schools (Blaine, Lynden and Nooksack) at the meet, having filed a report with the police (the iPod is valued at over $300), and notifying pawn shops to be on the look-out for an iPod engraved with “Thou shalt not steal” – this means that the chances of the thief benefiting from the sale of this particular iPod suddenly becomes quite difficult. If the thief decides to simply keep the stolen iPod for him/herself, every time he/she looks at it and sees those timeless words from the Bible reminding him/her that God punishes theft, will make his/her use of the stolen property much less enjoyable.
If a parent happens to notice that their child now owns an iPod when, just a few days ago, they did not – and if they examine the iPod to discover Exodus 20:15 engraved on it – then we will appreciate the immediate return of the stolen property; you can contact us at 332-5080. Perhaps this lesson will be sufficient to deter future pick pocketing – although I doubt it – but the prompt and safe return of Kristian Freeman’s uncle Alex Halsey’s iPod will be an advantage to all.
Jeanne Halsey

The Editor:
Ron Freeman, Scott Dodd, Bruce Hansen and I recently met with Makers Consulting at city hall and were asked various questions regarding the Blaine airport property. We all were in agreement that some other type of business should be brought in to take the place of the Blaine airport. We also made it very clear that the Blaine airport is in a terrible location and any expansion or movement of the airport is not practical. The next meeting with the consultants is June 5 at city hall and I encourage others who have strong feelings against the airport to attend. Hopefully the consulting firm will give us some great ideas on future use of the airport property.
In the next five years the Blaine area will see tremendous growth with several housing developments. Ken Hertz has plans for 450 acres on H Street that will bring in up to 1,000 homes and Fred Bovenkamp will be putting in 600 new homes out at Semiahmoo. This could be good news for downtown Blaine since the city has decided to loosen up their rules regarding building height in the central business district. Most of the buildings downtown are empty and I recently asked Mary Amsberry who owns a floral shop if it would be nice to have a neighboring business on her side of the street and she said, “It would be nice to have any business on my side of the street!”
The only way downtown is going to be revitalized is if we can replace some of the old buildings with nice six to 10 story buildings that take advantage of our spectacular water views. I think this can be done by encouraging taller buildings on the east side of Peace Portal Drive and at the same time doing all we can to preserve the vacant lots on the west side of Peace Portal Drive.
Between our vacant airport property and our spectacular water view Blaine is fortunate to be in a position of unlimited potential. Not many towns get a chance to do a complete makeover.
Dennis Hill

The Editor:
How unique is this!
How many other cities can boast of having a working, viable farm in their midst! I’m referring to the Drayton Harbor Community Oyster Farm. We quickly responded to a notice in The Northern Light for an oyster farm tour. What an informative and pleasant time we had. Thank you so much Geoff Menzies. The work being done by Geoff and his crew to keep operating in spite of restrictions (the farm was closed May 27 due to an agriculture manure spill) is truly amazing. But they need our help to limit these restrictions and closures.
Oysters and all bi-valves need extremely clean water as they siphon up to 300 times their weight every hour. They can easily pick up any toxins in the water. Nature has done her part as Drayton Harbor has the perfect shellfish growing conditions with the tidelands and eelgrasses.
We – each and everyone in the Drayton Harbor watershed – must take responsibility for keeping the water as pollution free as possible.
What can we do? When was the last time you had your septic system checked or pumped? Do you always carry mutt mitts and pick up after your dog? What kind of fertilizer do you use? Are your farm animals drinking from streams?
What is flowing into your storm water run-off and how is it filtered before it hits the harbor? Are you a conscientious boat owner?
Let’s all be watchdogs to ensure our local governments are setting the highest environmental standards possible to protect our harbor. How much of an increase in population can the Drayton Harbor watershed sustain before permanently deteriorating the water quality for shellfish harvesting? All who live in the Drayton Harbor watershed must do our part to assist the community oyster farm. If you can’t attend any of the tours, then be at the oyster farm open house at the Blaine Marina, June 10 and let’s all get involved. How unique is this?
Joan Clark

The Editor:
My wife and I recently ‘landed’ here. It wasn’t intentional. We sold everything we had and loaded the car for one of the San Juan islands where we were assured of great jobs and ocean view lodging. That didn’t exactly turn out as promoted, so rather than succumb to questionable recruiting tactics, we headed north.We stopped at every hotel along the way, looking for work and possible lodging.
The very last place, before we hit the border, was Blaine. We reached our dead end, running out of money and not much hope on the horizon. It was then that the little miracles starting happening. Joe, the owner of the Crazy Daisy, was the first person to actually ask how we were doing.
My wife broke down in tears and I just about did too. You don’t know how many people just pass you by, or don’t even seem to care, until you’re in this type of situation. In America, land of the free, the first person to open his heart to help was actually from Lebanon.
Then there was Barb at the International Motel, who in her straightforward, road wise manner got us checked in and at least secure for a few days.
From there it was Elsie at the library (what a wonderful soul!) guiding us to options we could look into. Rick the owner of the Pizza Factory, even though he barely knew us, actually offered to give us his bed out of his guest room! Although we ended up not needing the actually physical offers, it was the hope and caring that was the miracle.
We now hope to follow in the same lines of kind people that reside here in Blaine – from Rose at Property Watch to the great mailman who speaks Spanish to anyone wanting to try. We may not be out of the woods yet, but we know we have skills, abilities and maybe even spirit that can contribute, and become part of this wonderful, small town dream.
Thank you Blaine.
Dennis Smith

The Editor:
I read the letter from Paul Dudley in the May 25 – 31 edition of The Northern Light. First, I want to point out that he is not in a twilight zone movie – this is real! Can you believe it? This is why people should vote. I don’t remember voting though for that judge, hmmm.
So I went to the website under www.mrsc.org/contracts/b63-judge.aspx. Boy, did I find out a few things. It’s all there in writing. I encourage everyone to visit it. Wow, what an eye opener! (And I thought Blaine had other real problems.)
Consideration: the city pays him $1,998.19 a month. (Your son probably earns more, right?) That only includes three sessions per month for necessary jury trials and all time expended for judicial education and probable cause weekend time. I think there is more time spent on probably cause, don’t you? Consideration shall be adjusted annually pursuant to cost of living index applicable to city non-represented employees. I wonder if they factor in gas prices? Or your gas prices?
In addition, the city agrees to provide a three-week paid vacation to the judge and paid time off for judicial education (everyone is guilty school) and “conferences” not to exceed two weeks. (God knows he needs a vacation one week more than education, he is a smart man indeed!) Furthermore, the city agrees to pay proportionate share (equal shares to be paid by each municipal court served by the judge) of the membership for the judge’s membership in the district and the municipal court judges’ association rather than the judge himself.
In short: the city shall defend, indemnify and hold the judge blameless from any claims arising out of good faith performance of his duties and functions as the Blaine municipal court judge. As of January 1, 1998, for a four-year term? So good luck yelling in deaf ears – I just moved away.
Loretta Eriksen
Birch Bay

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.

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