Letters to the Editor -- April 05, 2007

Published on Thu, Apr 5, 2007
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
To me this city has a distinct set of attributes. There is the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, made of stately old homes, and newer clustered houses, apartments, and town homes.
All are linked to Blaine’s maritime history. Semiahmoo sits like a jewel in its geographical setting, astride two world class golf courses and the spit. Many people live and recreate there and it remains a beautiful part of our world. Then there is east Blaine, it has a rural feel, and people who like living that way. It is also where Blaine’s 20-year growth plan is concentrated.

Our city is at a crossroads and our city hall apparatus is overwhelmed. City hall is like any individual with too many irons in the fire. Much is happening and nothing is getting done well. The downtown revitalization project is stalled. The boardwalk project is stalled. The airport is a fiasco.

Now two large developments are proposed for east Blaine. Bureaucratic momentum is in play as city staff responds. Both developments are dense, flat land proposals, for a wet ridgeline location. Neighbor to neighbor problems are almost inevitable. City to county problems with our neighbors below H Street are as inevitable as Lynden’s massive sinkhole. I think I see a boom market for lawyers in the city’s future.

Look, I don’t know how to convince you people from Semiahmoo to care about the few of us who live out here in east Blaine. I don’t know how to argue with you downtown people who want and need more housing for yourself, the kids and the grandkids here in the city. I just know that big unit development is a mistake, that 1200 housing units here in east Blaine will change things irretrievably. I know that Orange County, California no longer has any orange groves and that people in and near all of Blaine will miss the birds and wildlife.
We can tell our city to stop, pause, and get done the projects at hand. Do them well.

Let’s truly debate these two projects, with all their problems for this city now, before bureaucratic momentum makes it a moot point.
David Charbonneau
Blaine

The Editor:
Hey, Mike! Try to keep your emotions in check! Ignoring experts and your fellow council, angering the Port of Bellingham, starving the community fund and writing nasty letters to the public sounds more like a dictator teetering on the edge than a caring community leader!
Calm down …

Blaine has lots of brokerages besides A&A that were there long before you discovered Blaine and they have operated their businesses very successfully without needing to incorporate a personal costly hobby into them.

Maybe that’s why they can pay a little better wage than your friend who whines that he needs an airport to continue to save the community by providing jobs. Actually, the community has done plenty for him.

A near private low-cost airport, a big low-interest loan, and bargain real estate compared to where he moved here from. And the airport manager? His priority lies not in helping a community of life long friends as Dennis would, but continuing to pursue his personal dream of building his own plane while he pushes Blaine’s working class to subsidize the airport that benefits him directly.

As to Dennis living outside the city limits, nearly all the pilots that showed up at the community meeting to speak for keeping Blaine airport were from out of town!

Even Don Nelson who has benefited more than anyone from the airport has lived in Bellingham for over 10 years. Supporting him for decades was one thing, now all your buddies are jumping on the band wagon. Blaine’s going broke catering to some of those it has made nicer. Don’t be mad at Dennis for keeping an eye on things. He is not a financial threat to the community. He’s been there forever. He could have robbed Blaine long ago.
Caryn Johnson
Blaine

The Editor:
Once again last week there were a couple of letters that I found to be quite disturbing in regards to a local gentleman who has lived in the Blaine area most of his life.

In fact, it would be safe to say that he is known and respected for his work in Blaine for the last 15 years. A successful businessman who employed many local college students he now works in Blaine for Windermere Real Estate.

Like myself, he lives just outside the city limits but he does send his son to school in Blaine and he has been involved at city hall regarding various issues such as city signage, gambling taxes, and other political issues besides the airport.

At times Dennis has been known to come across too strongly with his opinions but he is absolutely right about his stance on the Blaine airport.

I have followed this airport debate for the last couple of years and I too find it quite frustrating that after all of the studies that point to clear economic benefits for Blaine by closing the airport, some council members choose to ignore the consultant’s findings and think they know more than the professional consultant.

Mr. Myers was correct when he mentioned that Dennis is articulate, he was also correct when he said that Mr. Hill’s reasons for airport closure was that there was an airport 20 minutes away and that the Blaine airport was a rich man’s toy. Mr. Myers forgot to mention anything about Hill’s letters supporting the above-mentioned consultant’s findings. Unfortunately, the letters from Bob Aiken and Mike Myers are typical of a very strong vocal minority and both of these men, unlike Mr. Hill, are not well known or highly respected by most of the citizens of Blaine.

Mr. Hill isn’t our mayor and he doesn’t live in the city limits. However, he works here, has lived in the city longer than Myers or Aiken and has done a great job in helping getting the airport closed.
Michael Farrell
Blaine

The Editor:
I was coming back from a business meeting in Seattle last Thursday evening and I told my assistant that I couldn’t wait to see The Northern Light because I was sure a couple of people would take issue with my last month’s letter that challenged our mayor’s credibility. I must admit that I was surprised to see a letter from the mayor himself. I’m glad I got his attention and now it is easy for everyone else to see what I have been talking about for the last year.
Mike says that it is his responsibility to act in the best interests of the people who live here. I would agree, and to not stand by council’s decision to close the airport is to say that his opinion is stronger than the council’s let alone the citizens of Blaine.

Most everybody knows who I am and to make it appear like I am an outsider to this area is a poor attempt at discrediting the fact that I have owned a business in Blaine, lived in Semiahmoo and have been actively involved in this community for over 20 years.

Every one is entitled to their own opinion but when you are the mayor and you represent the citizens of Blaine, your opinion is not as important as the opinion of the citizens that you are representing. You mention that the airport has been voted on three times to retain its airport but you fail to mention that we have spent $40,000 on a consultant to study the airport under the false assumption that we would get $16 million in FAA funding and even with the funding the results were statistically much more feasible to support selling the airport property and converting it to retail and industrial uses.

I will once again refer to Harry Truman in your regards to my gratuitous personal attacks. “I never gave anyone hell, I just told them the truth and they thought it was hell!” Our mayor should thank city council because he wouldn’t want to see the results of a fourth airport vote.
Dennis Hill
Blaine

The Editor:
Thanks to all for the wonderful retirement sendoff. You are the greatest! Love, Elsie
Elsie Babcock
Blaine

The Editor:
It is true that we, the citizens of Blaine, voted three times to keep the airport open. We voted on keeping a small, non-intrusive, hobby airport open. We did not vote for an expanded airport that would bring in noise-polluting twin engine planes and small jets and would encompass most of the area between Yew and Odell and from H Street to Sweet Road. We did not vote to have Skallman Park designated a non-park so it could be added to the airport property, fill in our last remaining large wetland and lose over 50 percent of available industrial land if the expansion occurs. We also did not vote for the airport so that it could destroy a third generation homestead costing the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in litigation.
The head of the airport committee stated that if the expansion did not occur, then the airport should be closed. I for one will be sad to see our small hobby airport closed. But if there is a choice of expansion or closure, I will choose closure.
Patrick Madsen
Blaine

The Editor:
The Wings Over Water Festival committee would like to thank all who helped to make the 5th annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival a great success!

Hundreds of people attended the festival and enjoyed the activities downtown and Blaine Harbor, such as kid’s activities provided by Sterling Bank, Tennant Lake and Birds on the Bay exhibits, the Migratory Maze by Blaine middle school, fantastic speakers, wildlife trips to Lake Terrell and in Drayton Harbor on the Plover, and bird viewing stations provided by North Cascades Audubon Society.

It is wonderful to have so much support from the local business community, and the Blaine and Birch Bay chambers of commerce. The City of Blaine, Washington Brant Foundation, British Petroleum, Trillium, and the Port of Bellingham are among our major sponsors; please take time to see the complete list of sponsors and supporters in our thank you ad in this issue of The Northern Light.

We not only have a beautiful location to hold this festival but also a supportive community that makes it happen! We look forward to an even better festival next year!
Debbie Harger, Wings Over
Water Festival Committee
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