Letters to the Editor -- December 14, 2006

Published on Thu, Dec 14, 2006
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
The airport issue has really been quite the controversy the last few years and I personally have embarrassed myself, my friends, and family with some of my foul mouthed rants at various public meetings.
A friend of mine often says to never let the wind of anger blow out the light of reason and on a few occasions such as the October 9 council meeting I offended several people that were pro airport and many people that were supporters of closing the airport.


It was wrong of me to behave this way and I will no longer let my mouth get in the way of my brain. Just because I feel that the airport should be closed is not a good excuse for losing my temper and blowing up in public.


I have thought about the last couple of years and getting into a political battle has been an education that really challenges a person. I have gained many friends in the last few years and there are a few people out there that have taken me off their Christmas card lists. I am not sure what will happen with the airport and I am a big enough boy to know that life isn’t fair.


The airport issue has hung around for 40 years and as John Liebert says, “As long as we have an airport, the controversy isn’t going away.”
Dennis Hill
Blaine

The Editor:
Is it just me or did the citizens of Blaine just get totally screwed by the city council’s decision to accept federal grant money that is not available? All I have heard for the last year is that it would be crazy to turn down $16 million to move and expand our airport. Now that the director of airports for Washington state has admitted that Blaine will not receive this money, it leaves one to wonder what is going on down at city hall. The director of airports also has told the city that the proposed work on Boblett Street for expansion of the airport would not be funded by the FAA and the city would have to find other sources to fund this project.


One would think that this information that suddenly became public knowledge would have been known long ago before the city spent valuable time and money on a project that sounded so promising to Blaine. Airport supporters have pushed this $16 - $20 million federal grant money like it is a sure deal when the truth is one call to the FAA a year ago would have dismissed any thoughts of large amounts of grant money for a small airport like ours.


Our city council has accepted a very risky proposal that could cost taxpayers thousands of dollars. I encourage anyone who feels the same way as me to call the council members that supported this irresponsible decision.


It is not too late for the council to change their vote and if they don’t move to close the airport, perhaps the council will agree to help out the airport with their own money when after a few years the Blaine airport needs another loan.
Mike Farrell
Blaine

The Editor:
Many times as I read the letters to the editor I think about responding but usually decide to just let my thoughts go away. This evening I find I cannot just let my thoughts go on the wayside.


This is a response to Angelo Gibson regarding the recent snow and its effect on each of us. First off, the snowplows were out many times during the storm and in the days following. I can’t count the number of times plows went past our home and how many I saw during the week. I say thank you to the city, the drivers and all the city workers who kept the city of Blaine open and running. Second, thank you to the Blaine school district board and superintendent Ron Spanjer. 


Yes, closing school affects many and in many different ways but the #1 goal is to allow our children to have a safe environment to learn. Putting our students and bus drivers at risk of a serious accident is not an option. As well, expecting our teachers and support staff to drive through drifting snow, icy streets from all areas of the county is not an option.


My question to you is “How would you feel if one of our school buses skidded on the ice/snow and ended up in an accident and one student had been injured or even killed or if one of our beloved teachers and support staff were injured or killed trying to reach school?” Thank you Blaine school superintendent Spanjer and the local Blaine school board for keeping the safety of our students, teachers and support staff uppermost in your mind.


One more question, “When did the school district become your babysitter?” Third, you state “Blaine came to a complete halt.” Hmmm, the gas stations were open, the grocery store was open, the library was open, the list goes on and on … how does this shut down Blaine?

And lastly, neither the city of Blaine, the Blaine school district or anyone else in Blaine is responsible for you having a car accident. You as the driver are the sole person responsible for how you drive or don’t drive your car. I hope in your decision to drive on icy streets that you did not hurt anyone else.
Alice Workentin
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to apologize for a comment I made in last week’s paper about using salt on snow-covered roads. I recently found out that it is illegal to use salt on Blaine roads, but what I do know is that there was a picture of a plow and a few lines below it on page four that seem either inaccurate or just bald faced lies.


Here’s how it read “It takes about eight hours to plow Blaine’s streets, Schrader said, but during the storm both units were in use continually as the snow drifted and then later as slush built up.” If it only takes eight hours to plow the streets then why weren’t the streets clean?


I do believe the plows were used once in the morning but to say they were continually out there is blatantly false. If the roads were plowed continually why was there no school for a week? That’s all I’m saying until a new fairy tale is printed.
Angelo S. Gibson
Blaine


The Editor:
This is a joyous time of the year. Many of us, especially the children, will enjoy nature’s wintery display. Unfortunately, there are Grinches amongst us who would destroy nature’s wonders to make an easy dollar. Right now Blaine city council and Trillium are in the process of eliminating the few provisions that preserve some of the natural environment that gives Semiahmoo spit its unique qualities.


They intend to increase the urban density and eliminate the little open space preserved by the present spit master plan. Please talk to your council members and let them know that you would like to preserve some of the natural environment that makes the spit unique.


Our children do not need more urban sprawl. A spit that maintains some of its natural wonders would be a great gift to pass onto our children .
Ed Schellinck
Blaine

The Editor:
For whom the bell’s ring! Today, entering Blaine’s post office, a grandmother, mother and granddaughter were ringing the Salvation Army’s bucket bell.


Gratitude swept over me as I reached in my wallet for a dollar, slipping it into the slot. Greeting them, I noted my appreciation for their efforts from very personal experience, as they represented bell ringers from earlier times, those being when I was born in the Salvation Army’s Booth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, during depths of the1930s economic depression.


My mother was welcomed to hospital for two weeks prior to my arrival; Salvation Army doctors delivered me and Salvation Army nurses cared for us until we returned to her aunt’s home two weeks after my birth, having no home of our own. It is through the empathy, compassion and heart of the millions of us who put our small change and bills into Salvation Army buckets, the medical, food, housing and clothing needs of mothers and newborns are met today, as were mine so long ago.


So, for those of you having doubts or questions as to who benefits from money slipped in the red buckets, I’m living proof of what happens to your contributions.


My earnest hope in sharing this is to express for those mothers and children in Salvation Army hospitals today, our thank you from them and my heart and in deepest gratitude, for your sharing and support!
Bob Hendricks
Blaine

The Editor:
As I sat in the Blaine city council meeting, I once again am shocked at a portion of our council’s lack of sensible reasoning where the airport is concerned. Council member Hawkins was quick to point out that moving forward quickly to secure FAA grants would be a “short-term” fix to this generation old problem.


I have also heard from Doug Fenton, “Who cares about what happens 20 years from now (regarding MAKERS build out figures)?” I am worried about not only the next 20 years, but also the next 50 years from now. My hope is that my children and grandchildren have a prosperous and thriving community to grow old in as I plan to.


I have read the airport master plan and have many reservations regarding it as well as the information brought forth by our airport commission. The reality is that the information coming from the FAA is very different from what the master plan and the airport commission have continually led us to believe.


So the MAKERS study wasn’t exactly what you wanted to see but you need money to close the airport, sell or lease the property, dictate what you want, when you want it and how you want it to look.
I was under the impression that there was already a $4 million offer on the table for that land. Although I agree this is a low starting point, the property isn’t even for sale yet! Council has voted to again draw out the airport issue with yet another study, this time through the Port of Bellingham.


Now the general fund must continue sustaining the airport until 2008 when the commission can go back to the FAA for grants. This week city staff will look into cutting budget money from other sources such as the senior center and Boys & Girls Club to maintain a minimum balance for the general fund!
I wonder what it will take for council to see that closing the airport is in the best interest of the city of Blaine. I bet it still wouldn’t be enough.
Rachel Hrutfiord
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