Letters to the Editor
I have never felt so compelled to respond to a letter to the editor until the July 20 issue and the letter by Andrea Fisher.
So many people from all over the world have brought their accumulated wealth to Whatcom County to buy a piece of the beautiful northwest.
They have bought most all available land parcels – big and small – at greatly inflated prices. They have cut the trees, built on the shore and hills. They have put up “private” signs on beaches, closed public roads and walking paths. They have opened expensive boutiques and waterfront cafes. They have brought with them the way of life they moved from and in doing so have out-priced the families who have lived here their whole life.
Money has a way of changing a place; i.e. Santa Fe, New Mexico. “Be damned, the poor folk!” with your quaint little houses, beautiful mountains, quiet crooked streets, sweet air. We want it. Move over!
Need you be reminded – it’s the common, everyday go to work, go to school, grow up, grow old, kind of people who have lived in Blaine for over 100 years. (Washington became a state in November 1889 and Blaine was named for Secretary of State James Blaine in May 1890.)
These people have made a living farming and fishing and in timber and trade. They are proud of their history and proud of where they live and have such great stories to tell if you take the time to listen.
You from Pittsburgh have not earned the right to that history.
You are, in a way, still a guest.
You do not have the right to say, “It would be fun to change our town’s name,” just because you think Blaine doesn’t fit your pretty fantasy.
Name your home Peace Harbor if you must, but take your time, walk softly, enjoy this beautiful place, and share. Just don’t try to change what was here before you came “just for fun.”
August 1 found eight of us, arranged around a table at Blackberry House, our subject being peace! I listened quietly, if distracted, most of the time and when my turn to comment on why I was there and what I hoped for came, a hush fell over our group. For, as I noted that as what previous speakers had offered was about ‘promoting peace,’ both Blaine’s City Council’s proclamation and the group’s focus would, for me, lack honesty.
For to promote peace, it’s implicit one be peaceful, as from where to speak and act with integrity. and, are those in our peace group actually walking that narrow lane. Practicing comes prior to promoting, in whatever venue addressed.
And, it follows, relative to Blaine’s proclamation to promote peace, are we as a city really peaceful? Recent commentary from city council’s chamber’s noted peace as politically inappropriate, here in Blaine.
Rather than ‘The Peace Arch City,’ I’ll suggest that Blaine’s city logo read: “The City Practicing Peace Beside the Peace Arch,” as a statement of meaningful intentions and practical substance, if Blaine’s to claim the monument to peace, that the principles and ideals which Sam Hill’s monument celebrate are alive and well in Blaine’s government and social fabric.
Bob Hendricks, Blaine Manor
Would you please correct the article regarding the Harbor Café building that will be demolished soon.
I corrected the last write up regarding the café months ago, now I see the same information again. The original building was not built in the late ’40s and was not meant to be portable.
In 1956 I leased property from the port on fill that had just settled after being dredged from the harbor expansion. The area was to be used for Ray’s Boat Lift and Storage.
In 1957, we built a small building – approximately 18 x 30 some odd feet. It sat on a concrete slab, no skids. My in-laws, Martha and Cecil Stephens, their daughter, my wife Lorna Lee, were going to operate a small lunch room for the fishermen and workers and Berg’s Shipyards and other operations going on at the waterfront in those days. It would be named the L & M Café, not a pool and beer hall.
Business was good. In 1959 we moved over to the present location for more room and again, it sat on a concrete slab. It was enlarged slightly and in 1960 a beer license was obtained by Martha and Cecil for the café, not a beer hall.
Cecil passed away in August of 1961 so sometime after, Martha sold it to, I believe, the Sveinsons, then Art Lawrenson and partners operated it for a time. I was in Alaska during those years so did not know many of the owners, but have never heard about a beer and pool hall in this building that we constructed a few years earlier.
My small warehouse that Steve Olason, Pete Stephenson and I built still stands after 50 years so that will probably go soon as the warranty is about up on the aluminum alloy sheeting.
Ray Bice, previous owner
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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