Letters to the Editor -- September 27, 2007

Published on Thu, Sep 27, 2007
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Our mountains, wilderness and waterways make Whatcom County an ideal location for appreciating nature and outdoor recreation. While thousands enjoy these amenities without harm, associated risks and dangers cause the Whatcom County Sheriff’s office to launch over 60 search, rescue and recovery missions every year.
While sheriff’s deputies coordinate and manage search and rescue activities, little would be accomplished without the expertise and work of the dedicated volunteers at Whatcom County Search and Rescue and RACES (communication support). These volunteers spend countless hours training and preparing for missions. Thousands of dollars in personal funds are expended to acquire equipment ranging from radios to climbing gear to specialized vehicles. When the call for help goes out, volunteers put their lives on hold, leave their jobs and often remain in the field for days at a time.
Search and rescue work in Whatcom County is frequently supported by Department of Homeland Security Air and Marine assets at Bellingham Airport and Bellingham Bay. Air assets at Naval Air Station Whidbey have performed a critical role in local rescue operations for decades. The Whatcom County based Support Officers Organization provides support to families of victims and the Red Cross and Salvation Army have fed volunteers on extended missions.
We are fortunate to have these volunteer and governmental assets in Whatcom County and owe them a debt of gratitude. We also have an obligation to embark on outdoor adventures in a prepared and responsible manner.
Bill Elfo,
Whatcom County Sheriff

The Editor:
I recently moved from Anchorage, Alaska and after visiting other places in the Pacific Northwest, I landed in Blaine. I’m a personable individual and having grown up in Anchorage, I was surprised to find the extent of rudeness displayed towards me while living in Blaine, in contrast to some extraordinarily nice people there as well.
I visited a (restaurant) where the customer service was not rude but just dry. I walked into the visitors’ bureau on the main street where a woman was assisting someone. I browsed around and stood patiently to the side and the woman never once looked up and said, “I’ll be with you in a minute” or anything to acknowledge that I was standing there. I went into a bar on Peace Portal Drive and received the worst treatment of all.
I was new and I’m an African American but I was appalled by the lack of customer service in a couple of places. It really bothered me and I wondered if the people where just having a bad day or did they not like black people. As I discussed this with a librarian, we came up with maybe they are unaware of their behavior. 
At any rate, I know for a fact that while I called friends and family in Seattle and Anchorage to tell them how beautiful the little city is, I also mentioned the places where the customer service attitude was poor.
The final straw came when I tried to walk around town, using the beautiful crosswalks and on more than one occasion, was cut off or had to wait while cars drove through without acknowledgment. 
It seems as though you want pedestrians to walk in your beautiful city. Why the inconsideration? Other places will ticket a driver for starting to drive through when the pedestrian is still crossing the street. I believe anyone can have a bad day but poor customer service and impatience in traffic can give your city a bad name, especially when you’re gearing up for the upcoming Olympics. If it is an issue of not liking cultural diversity, get over it:
This is 2007 (21st century) the Olympics are international and I don’t think there’s any place left in the U.S. that doesn’t have some type of diversity, nor should there be. 
On the other hand, there were still a few people that were over the top with courtesy and civility. I have moved on, however.
Doretha Cowan
Bellingham

The Editor:
Religion plays a vital role in our world. Even if you are atheist, that is still a belief that involves a higher power, you just don’t believe one exists.
We all at one point look toward religion for comfort, answers, peace, and connection to something great. From what I have observed it’s been bringing more separation. We have people being killed over their beliefs. I can’t get more blunt that that.
Religion should represent peace to the whole world not just your own personal circle of “comrades.” You may be wondering why I said comrades in quotations. I look at today’s religious society and I see the book “Animal Farm” by George Orwell. I’m tired of running past missionaries and feeling pushed down below them because I refuse to live my life for someone I had never met and someone who is testing me.
I look upon religions and see an army ready to kill and claim everything for their own. Lately I have been thinking it may be a little naïve to spend your whole life living for a higher power who has no personal relationship with you. I live for myself and my loved ones because they go out of their way to help me with my constant struggle and they make sure I know it.
I think you’re not living your life with passion when you’re breathing to impress. Why do we need to impress anyone? I live my life for the people who love me because I love them.
If that’s not good enough for God, maybe he’s not good enough for me. What I am saying is don’t be blinded by your religion, don’t forget your surroundings.
The world is suffering because of our blindness.
Out of our blindness we have distorted and accentuated humanity’s lust for power. It’s like what your mom would say when you were little, “if you can’t play with your toys nice, you can’t play at all.”
Greg Gallo
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to inform the Blaine business community that All-Star Publishing located in Peoria, Illinois is not affiliated with the seasonal sports calendars published for Blaine high school. None of the funds collected by this company benefit Blaine high school.
Connie Pilon, athletic secretary
Blaine

The Editor:
It is that time of year again. We see the yard signs, have talks with our neighbors about the candidates, and most importantly we exercise our right and duty to vote for who we feel will represent our values, and philosophies.
I want to encourage you to make your voting decision based on what you know about the candidates, not what you’ve been told or heard from others. My vote is being enthusiastically cast for Jason Overstreet for Ward 3.
I know what he stands for, I know what he’s done, and I know you get what you see, which is competent, thorough, and moral decision-making.
If you want to ask the questions for yourself, so you can make an educated vote, call Jason at home 332-9952, or cell 303-2145. Know before you vote.
Shelly Button
Blaine


Send us your border stories!

With long line-ups, testy drivers, NEXUS cards being confiscated or not renewed, road construction, it seems the problems of crossing the border is one of the main topics of conversation for residents and visitors in these parts.
We’re interested in learning about your experiences with the border, good, bad or indifferent.
As well, let us know what solutions you might offer to improve the situation. What do you think about the plans to shut lanes down during construction of the new Peace Arch port? Should there be a statute of limitations on prior misdeeds preventing NEXUS membership? Should there be an appeals board for NEXUS? Have you had difficulty in renewing your NEXUS card? Should there be a border ombudsman?
Please send us your stories and suggestions to: publisher@thenorthernlight.com. Requests for confidentiality will be strictly observed.

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