Letters to the Editor
“In the year of our Lord 1432, there arose a grievous quarrel among the brethren over the number of teeth in the mouth of a horse,” wrote Francis Bacon. “For 13 days the disputation raged without ceasing.
“At the beginning of the 14th day, a youthful friar of goodly bearing asked his learned superiors for permission to add a word, and straightaway, to the wonderment of the disputants, whose deep wisdom he sore vexed, he beseeched them to unbend in a manner coarse and unheard-of, and to look in the open mouth of a horse. At this, their dignity being grievously hurt, they waxed exceedingly wroth; and joining a mighty uproar, they flew upon him and smote him hip and thigh, and cast him out forthwith.”
The city of Blaine is unusual geographically, demographically and governmentally. It’s a bit like Humpty Dumpty. The king’s horses and men, like Bacon’s learned superiors, quarrel among themselves while attempting off-the-wall approaches toward community resuscitation and city renewal. And while “development” and “tourism” are key prescriptions, two perceptive phrases struck me in David Gallian’s remarks relayed in The Northern Light of July 26. One was “an act of desperation,” and the other was “an experimental move.” Experimentation is the last refuge of a city in desperation. Our city council and staff are operating at that level. It’s a gamble. We shouldn’t bank on it. Preferable alternatives are possible.
Bacon and eggs aside, most of our town’s productive young friars have given up or moved. Most of our old Turks are gone, too. Our orthodox superiors listen neither to friars nor Turks.
Every Blaine citizen should read Jane Jacobs’ classic study called “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” It describes the Humpty Dumpty cities of America, why and how they fall off the wall, and the futile approaches of the king’s horses and men whose experimentation is driven by desperation.
This enlightening book is the best kept secret in town, and I doubt you’ll find it in our local library. I purchased my copy through Amazon for $12.61.
This is in response to a letter from a Blaine driver who expressed her frustrations with the signal at the intersection of SR 543 and H Street. She wants a designated left turn arrow for drivers turning left onto SR 543 from westbound H Street. She’ll get her wish. As part of the current construction project on SR 543, we will build left turn lanes with designated left turn arrows on all four legs of the intersection. We expect to have all four left turn lanes at the intersection finished by spring 2008.
We’re one year into construction and have one year left to go. The future northbound lanes of SR 543 are nearly complete. We plan to temporarily shift all drivers onto those lanes later this month. Trucks and northbound and southbound drivers will use those lanes while we finish the future southbound lanes and D Street interchange. We’re aiming to open the designated northbound truck lane and D Street this fall, the ramps to and from D Street in spring 2008, and the future southbound lanes in spring 2008. The project is on schedule and budget.
If you have questions or concerns about this project, please don’t hesitate to contact Chris Damitio by phone at 360/788-7400 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Dustin Terpening by phone at 360/757-5997 or e-mail email@example.com. If you would like to have project updates sent directly to your e-mail inbox for this project and other significant highway projects in Whatcom County, sign up at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ northwest/emailupdates.
Thank you for your continued patience as we widen and improve the truck crossing.
Washington State Department
I would like to correct Tara Nelson in her article citing fee deferral.
The Seascape has had 100 percent occupancy permits since June of 2006. We are required to pay $57 per month for sewer fees on unoccupied units (no water running). This is totally unfair, especially since we have installed meters on our units to determine water use.
The city manager can do all the favors he wants for other developers, but they should treat any such as a piece of cheese in front of a trap!
Developers need to ask the city: 1. Do you have the same planning administrator and city manager that issued the unlawful stop work order on The Seascape and interfered with the Seaport project by shutting off water? 2. Am I being asked to submit plans and application materials by the same crew that told Douglas to sue them if he wanted to get The Seascape project going in the fall of 2005? 3. If you issue me a permit without fees, are you certain you won’t have another imagined reason to stop the job midstream?
Joel Douglas, Seascape developer
Has the railroad a grudge against Blaine? For over a month they have parked an ugly graffiti-ridden row of train cars right in the view of the harbor-wharf area. Why couldn’t they pull those cars out of the downtown location to a more secluded place? Doesn’t make any sense!
My husband and I are in our 60s and have spent most of our lives going back and forth to Birch Bay in the summers. Our children spent every summer for 15 years on the beach there and now would like their children to do the same. We wish that there was “Hassle Free Border Crossing.”
My husband and I have passports and our children and grandchildren have the required ID. We do not take any foodstuffs across with us and always have receipts etc. The problem is the treatment we are getting by the people at the border. We answered all the questions about where we were going, how often we go down, who looks after our house at home when we are gone etc.
We know they have a job to do but the part we didn’t appreciate was the comment “Don’t you have beaches at home to go to?” The tone of voice said that you do not want visitors to Washington state anymore. We’ve now had similar treatment three times this month. We understand they have an important job to do and that they look closely at reactions they get etc. … this is different.
I was at a gathering last weekend where a lady from Abbotsford said she used to enjoy going down to Washington state but said she stopped as she couldn’t stand the rude treatment she got at the border. When I got home today my daughter said she’d just talked to a friend who used to go down to Birch Bay who said they pulled their trailer home as she got tired of the power tripping people at the border.
We love Birch Bay and hope we can continue to go and to have our grandchildren grow up loving it too. A couple of weeks ago we went to La Conner for the day and today we had a wonderful lunch in Old Fairhaven. I sure hope there is something that can be done about this as it’s definitely hurting tourism.
Alec and Linda Temple
Maple Ridge, B.C.
I’d like to thank Jon Pfaff and all of the musicians who organized and presented the first annual One Oar Music Of The Sea Festival.
About a year ago, Jon Pfaff started talking about putting together a music festival of the sea that would eventually rival the Folklife Festival in Seattle. Blaine is a seaside town with a long and varied maritime history. As a sailor and an artist, it was wonderful for me to hear musicians from Portland to Vancouver sing songs of love, dashing deeds at sea, and general good humor at the Peace Arch Park right here in my maritime community. I’m sure the years ahead for this festival will be many and it is an event that is guaranteed to grow in size and stature.
Blaine has made significant progress in its effort to include the arts and artists in the daily life of its citizens, and the One Oar Music Festival Of The Sea is another positive effort in support of the arts in Blaine.
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.
send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org