Letters to the Editor
I recently attended a city council meeting and at that particular meeting the council agreed to have the Port of Bellingham come up with some alternatives uses for the Blaine airport property.
I was glad to see the port decide to stay out of the airport issue. I find it hard to believe that four council members are still supporting expansion of the airport even though they have been told by the FAA that they will not receive anything close to the $16 million that they were counting on to fund the project.
It also disturbs me that these same four council members also don’t care that the recent feasibility study showed huge economic benefits to the city of Blaine if the airport was closed and the property was used for industrial and retail purposes.
It appears someone or something is having an influence on these council members that is keeping them from looking at the facts objectively and voting with the city’s best interests instead of their own.
The moratorium that is on the airport should be used to find out the highest bidder with the best plans for the airport property. To continue to stall and scramble to find alternative funding is not what the voters of Blaine had in mind when they were given the results of the Maker’s study.
The citizens of Blaine need to take a close look at the motives of some of their council members and look for fair objective people to replace them when their seats come up for re-election.
As a relatively new resident to Blaine it is becoming easier to see that this really is a small town and apparently if you get the right four people on the city council you can appease the public by paying for a $50,000 study and if you disagree with the results, you can act as if you know more than the consultant and vote whichever way you wish, even if the study is overwhelmingly in favor of closing the airport.
It is not right that a few people that are pro airport are representing a city that is definitely opposed to the expansion of the airport now that the FAA has admitted that $16 million of federal grant money will not be available.
Hopefully, one of our city council members will do the right thing and step up and agree to change their vote. If this doesn’t happen at least give the citizens a chance to have a final say on an issue that has been studied to death.
The last few council meetings have been a complete waste of time. It is embarrassing to see the council put a six-month moratorium on the airport and one week later change the moratorium because the mayor decided he didn’t like the moratorium.
Our mayor’s next bold move was to undermine the work of city council by telling the Port that he wanted the airport to stay.
He announced this after council had agreed to let the Port of Bellingham do a study on airport alternatives.
After hearing Mayor Meyer’s statement, the Port agreed to stay out of the airport controversy.
Because of the dissention at city hall it appears that the only fair way to handle the airport dispute is to have a vote to either close the airport or expand the airport. Our new mayor has been unable to stay impartial on the airport issue and a public vote is fair one way or the other whatever the results may be.
Because of similar frustration with city politics, our governor insisted that Seattle vote on the viaduct controversy that their city council is unable to agree upon.
The airport issue needs to be resolved and now that we have had a voter approved study on the airport and both sides have had plenty of time to review the study lets put this thing on the next ballot and move on to other things at city hall.
The fact that there is very little money available from the federal government for the Blaine airport is an embarrassment for Blaine. This money was the cornerstone of the council’s airport decision. I do not believe that anyone hid the truth on this money issue but it is clear that this extraordinary detail was missed by the proponents and the opponents – and by the city staff.
This airport issue should be put to the voters. The council was in a hurry to approve the airport and get the federal money in the next year – there was no time for a vote by the people. The council has the authority to decide this issue but large controversial issues like this one should go to the voters. This is the only way the airport issue will be put to rest.
A few days before Christmas the fifth annual Christmas Dinner Box project gave out 190 boxes of food to families here in Blaine. Over 900 adults and children in our town were blessed to receive food for the Christmas holiday because of the hard work of 45 volunteers (including 15 children) and the generosity of three local financial contributors.
There are too many people to list here who gave up valuable hours and days to contact the families, purchase and haul the food, load the boxes and distribute them to the families. Sonja Nikel did an outstanding job of coordinating the purchase of food and loading the boxes.
Local businesses also donated food, including Totally Chocolate and Nature’s Path. In addition, Cost Cutter of Blaine, Costco in Bellingham and Edaleen Dairy in Lynden gave generous discounts and assistance.
The boxes each contained a large ham, numerous vegetables, gravy and sauces, dinner bread, pumpkin pie, milk and chocolates.
I want to publicly thank the generous donors and hardworking volunteers who blessed homes of over 150 families this Christmas in Blaine with these generous gifts of food.
Charles Gibson, pastor, Northwood Alliance Church for the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association
Women! Let this be your warning! There is a man in Whatcom County that uses women for money (a.k.a. con artist/scam artist). Maybe you have already met him. He is nice, funny and charming, and has a great job. All the qualities to catch our interest. He may have entertained you on our boat. He may have taken you for a ride in our airplane. He may have asked to stay at your home or borrow your car. Then he probably asked to “borrow” money until payday – his main objective. If you are lucky – you will get it back. To get you into his “trap,” he first asks to borrow a small amount.
He will pay you back to gain your trust and then he will ask to borrow a larger amount. If you don’t have a savings account or extra money in the bank, he will ask you to take a cash advance on your credit card, and we all know how high the interest rate is on a cash advance.
The trick is to get our money back before he disappears. Once you catch on – he will never answer his phone and the voice mailbox is usually full so you won’t be able to leave a message. Now you are making monthly payments and paying high interest on this money. This is where he is quite clever; unless you have him sign a promissory note (make sure you have it notarized), you have no proof on a cash advance that he is the one who received the money.
If you want to take your case to small claims court or even call the police, you have to have proof that you gave him the money. This ordeal happened to two women I know of in Whatcom County during 2006, and I’m sure there are more. These women both got their money back, but it took up to six months – a lot of interest on the credit card.
I have done a lot of investigating and I now have stories of other women in Washington state and in other parts of the U.S. that have been deceived by this man. Two of them happened to have worked for the same company I did, one from Detroit and one from Pittsburgh.
Why do I warn you, you might ask. I have been scammed for a very large sum of money by this man. I had promissory notes for a large majority of the money and verbal agreements on smaller amounts. I have spent a lot of money on an attorney to go through the judicial system only to get his wages garnished because he has no real property to put liens against.
Even though there is fraud, deception and manipulation involved, unfortunately there are no criminal charges against him (because the money was voluntarily given to him) and so he continues with his dubious moral and ethical behavior against others, primarily divorced women.
As a public service I don’t want you to fall into the same trap I did. Unfortunately there are men that will exploit, both financially and emotionally, vulnerable women. In the end when you figure out what has happened, these men do not care what kind of financial situation they have left you with; or what kind of emotional rollercoaster they have left you on. They do think that you will be too embarrassed to speak up and tell anyone. I have spoken up and will continue to do so.
At a local forum presented by Moka Joe a local distributor of fair traded, organically grown coffee, discussed the effects of fair traded organics on small farmers and their families. However, there was a question that really wasn’t addressed. “Why do organics cost so much?”
Well, here’s the ‘skinny.’ Organic isn’t expensive; conventional is unrealistically cheap.
Prices for food are low because of government involvement; subsidies, grants, paying farmers not to produce and buying surplus. We pay twice for our food; to the IRS and at the supermarket. In short, cheap food ain’t cheap.
Organic agriculture doesn’t receive government support. Many organic farms are too small to participate in government programs. Their diverse crops don’t qualify for support aimed at growers of corn and such.
Inherent aspects of organic farming are simply costly: Chemical fertilizers are great on a huge farm; just add it to the irrigation system.
With organics, labor, pest management and supplies are usually more expensive than conventional. Finally, middlemen and grocery stores happily take advantage of the laws of supply and demand and charge as much as they can.
So there you go. Organic food is more expensive because it costs more to produce. We need to educate ourselves about the food we eat and take action on issues that impact farmers.
We are “The Locavores,” we prefer local and organic.
Local organics means lower transportation costs, shorter storage time, and more interaction between farmers and consumers. Recently, the owner of Fred Meyer and one of the largest grocery retailers in the U.S. asked where they could find more direct suppliers for their 2,500 stores in 30 states. They were introduced to small local organic farms. Might they be willing to procure from big distributors as well as local farmers?
Whole Foods, recently has begun to sponsor monthly farmer’s markets in their parking lots of some of their retail locations. It is now imperative that farmers and co-operatives work hand-in-hand to be prepared to explain their commitment to organics in bit size portions that the curious consumers can chew on.
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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