Letters to the Editor
Last Sunday at about 8:15 a.m., a shaft of heavenly light flooded my soul with a vision. I saw a young mother standing on the boardwalk. She was clutching her daughter while her little boy hopefully searched her face. World War II was raging, an atomic bomb had destroyed Hiroshima, and she was looking far westward where the bomb had fallen, and not so far away, where an Icelandic community in Point Roberts was peacefully fishing. Thoughts of peace flooded her mind. She was searching for peace, hoping and praying her son would never be drafted, sent to the front lines and there killed. Indeed, hers was a vigil for peace.
What a fitting tribute toward international peace it is to realize that a lovely sculpture is destined for the very site of my vision. It will become the Peace Arch city’s testimony – a perpetual reminder that memorializes someone we love in a permanent, beautiful way. And who is that someone? It’s the person who is entitled to live without dying in his youth – someone like the vigilant lady’s little boy, or my much-loved former piano student who joined the army and was recently sent overseas to Iraq.
In furtherance of The Vigil as a dynamic vision toward inspiring our community to act upon “Promoting Peace” – its official theme since 1998 – I have sent a message to the city council, requesting the Pugwash sister city proposal be placed on the November ballot as an advisory vote. With the help of Blaine residents who favor the concept, I shall attempt to gather signatures, should the council object.
In the meantime, I shall place notices in every issue of The Northern Light, beginning next week, and terminating with the September 21 issue.
I hope to call a public meeting for that Thursday evening, hopefully to organize an association known as “Vigil for Peace,” and in commemoration of the International Day of Peace Vigil.
Go to www.idpvigil.com for details. If our PAC cannot be rented, I’m hoping a local church will open its hall for such a meeting.
This year’s Fourth of July celebration was proof of what a special place we live in! Thanks to all who participated and supported this great event.
I’d like to express my appreciation to the following wonderful people: Marcia Hawkins, Rachel Ely, Carolyn Anderson, Gail Kruk, Jim Jorgenson, Gary & Renate Tomsic, Terry Galvin, Larry McPhail, John Paradis and the Sterling Bank staff; car show: Cheryl Fischer and Sheri Sanchez; street fair: Bob Hines, Leroy Dougall, Gus Gorze, Nils Lundgren and American Legion Post 47, Doug Dahl, Tye McWilliams, Pizza Factory, Peace Arch State Park staff and those individuals who simply showed up and offered their help. The fabulous fireworks display was largely due to the efforts of Bob & Pam Christianson of Pacific Building Center. Thanks, gang!
Blaine Chamber of Commerce
In response to the person who recently moved to Blaine from Pittsburgh, PA, let me say welcome. I moved here from a large city a few years ago, and like you, I’ve found Blaine to be a lovely place. I love the location, I love the view, I love the small town setting, and I’m even partial to the name Blaine.
You mentioned that a few years ago the idea of changing the city’s name had come up. I contend now, as I did then, that changing to a glamorous new name won’t do us any good if we don’t have anything to offer once people arrive at their destination. We have a beautiful setting, perfect weather, and access to a major highway, all keys to a successful tourist stop.
But we also have several empty businesses, a licensing, tax, and permit structure that offers no incentive to start a business (unless of course, you’re building a multi-level condo complex), and a pier with a million-dollar view that is all but unusable thank to our friends, the seagulls.
(On a side note: Isn’t there anything that can be done to keep things a little more sanitary there?)
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t consider making our name a little more appealing to draw in more people, if that is the long-term plan.
I’m just saying that whether we call ourselves Peace Harbor, Sparkling Waters, or even Paradise-by-the-Sea, if we don’t do something else to attract people, we’ll always be nothing more that a fueling up stop on the way into Canada.
After returning from vacation and catching up on city council meetings, I see that Richard Clark made another presentation for the Pugwash sister city relationship.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve watched the council’s actions and the inactions with alternating amusement and horror. Only in the city of Blaine could even the hint of association with a peace event be controversial. I have to conclude that Pugwash would be totally acceptable to the majority of the council if it had an annual gun show.
I must respond to a letter in your June 29 issue that accuses the United Nations of “trying to ban civilian firearm ownership in our country and worldwide.” The writer has trotted out the same old tired theory that there is a worldwide conspiracy to somehow overturn the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Unfortunately for the cause of reasoned debate, every gun ownership group in the U.S. sent out calls to action’ to their adherents, asking them to write their elected representatives and newspapers, to create a drumbeat of UN-bashing. Contrary to the distorted arguments of rabid gun owners, the UN has taken what I consider to be appropriate steps to diminish worldwide illicit trafficking in guns. No one takes issue with legal gun ownership in this country, but there is overwhelming data showing that illegal gun sales and traffic are rampant.
Sadly, the United States is a major source of weapons that find their way into the hands of foreign criminals, in addition to vast number of guns sold illegally by unscrupulous domestic dealers. In my opinion, legal gun owners are dupes of the extremely powerful gun lobby that blocks any attempt at reasonable gun control, swayed by simplistic arguments in support of the Second Amendment.
Instead of supporting rational gun laws, gun ownership groups have succeeded in thwarting renewal of the assault weapons ban, fighting approval of trigger locks on guns and watering down background checks on gun purchases.
I have a personal stake in this debate. Lax laws on gun purchases put a gun in my son’s hands. He killed himself with it.
(Publisher note: The writer is the former editor of The Northern Light.)
The Blaine high school class of 1986 would like to extend an open invitation to all BHS alumni, teachers and public to join us in celebrating our 20 year class reunion on July 15. It will be held at the Pastime Tavern and open to the public at 7:30 p.m. There is a $5 cover charge to enjoy the music of Blaine’s own wonderful Crystal Tricycles, music starting at 8:30. There is a dinner only for the classmates and significant others running from 5 – 7 p .m. and, if you have not been contacted, chances are we can’t find you. Contact Kim (Hassebrock) Miller at 332-6333 or me, Jill (Dalry) Bedow at 371-0852 if you would like to join us for dinner or you have any questions.
Hope you see you all there!
The Class of 1986!
Thanks to council members Hawkins, Wolfe and Ely for listening to citizens and infrastructure concerns to your own planning committee and voting against approval of Seagrass Cottages.
Shame shame on staff and the rest of council for even having an old comprehensive plan and never ever updating it, then approving such an outdated document.
Not only do you not have infrastructure to support all the planned construction – do you know the outcome of your actions on the water quality of Drayton Harbor?
Everything begins with maintaining the water quality of the harbor. How much surrounding development is too much? When will the harbor turn into a smelly algae ridden area with no recreation or shellfish harvesting?
Developers will always go where they can find the cheapest and easiest land to build. It’s their business. This is our lifestyle. It is time you looked at citizen’s concerns first and meeting with them and making deals before the actual meeting and vote instead of not even bothering to listen to all of the speakers’ concerns. “It’s time city council starts acting in good faith,” or “We’re going to find ourselves in hot water,” were council members statements. I say you are going to find yourself in polluted water if you don’t start caring about the harbor.
Then we will know the real reasons people come here and it’s not the homes around the harbor – it’s the harbor.
My name is Jesse Salomon and I am running for the State Senate in the 42nd Legislative District against Senator Dale Brandland. At 30, many wonder if I have enough experience. I will detail my 12 years experience in public service and the issues I am running on.
Before running I was a prosecuting attorney for the Lummi Nation. I also have six years’ experience working with a non-profit focused on transitioning homeless youth off the streets. As a student at Western Washington University I was elected vice president for legislative affairs, and later spent a session in Olympia as legislative liaison for the students of Western. There I fought tuition increases and was instrumental in securing $19 million for tuition grants for low and middle income students. I have interned in the United States Capitol with former U.S. House of Representatives leader Dick Gephardt. My full resume is posted at VoteJesse.com.
Whatcom County is truly special. However, the average family continues to struggle. Energy prices, medical costs, and housing prices are too high. Family wage jobs are difficult to find.
We must prevent sprawl by allowing enough housing within new, limited urban growth areas to satisfy demand while preserving open space and agricultural land. We must find a responsible way to make medical care more accessible and affordable. We must question why gas prices are higher in Whatcom County despite having refineries here. We must create a local clean and renewable energy industry focused on methane, bio-diesel, wind, solar, and tidal power. The state government can help by building infrastructure for transportation of material for methane gas and by creating a low interest loan fund for wise investments in well-planned clean energy projects. We must ensure a world-class education for our graduates to compete for good jobs in a globalized economy.
Here we go again – someone else who moves to Blaine – not even a month – and wants to change the name of our city. You people come and go, or don’t even live here and Blaine is still Blaine. The only advice I can offer someone new to town who wants to do that is – look at the atlas and pick out a town whose name you like before you move – then move there since the name seems to be the only thing important to where you live.
There are so many other issues here that the energy you put in to trying to change our name should be channeled in that direction if you really want to do something for the community and make Blaine your home.
Fourth generation resident
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.
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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.
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