Letters to the Editor
Just a reminder, the CAP Thanksgiving Dinner Basket Program, providing complete ready-to-cook Thanksgiving dinners to low-income families, will be held again this year on Wednesday, November 21, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. The basket pick up point will be the same as last year, unit 330 near Cost Cutter in the Blaine International Shopping Center.
Those families residing in the Birch Bay, Blaine, Custer, and Point Roberts area who desire to be recipients and have not yet made arrangements to do so need to call Larissa or Andree at Family Services, 332-0740, immediately to get on the list to receive a basket. Baskets are sized and assigned for each individual family on the list; there are no baskets for walk-ins.
Community Assistance Program
I was stunned when I read some of the city council’s plans for the airport property. How can you seriously think a big box store would be good for the community? They may save their customers a little money, but at what price? This move would ruin the character of Blaine, not to mention the downtown business district.
What Blaine needs are manufacturing businesses that produce living wage jobs for the residents of town. Look at what Nature’s Path Foods and Totally Chocolate have done for Blaine.
Lastly, I’m not sure if it was Mark Twain that said, “If you don’t know history, you are bound to repeat it.”
You only have to look at the number of empty gas stations to see that Blaine should not set its future on the Canadian dollar and this is what it would be doing if a large box store is allowed to move into Blaine.
Boyce Wilf, OD
Let’s hear it for our city representatives nodding their heads at the idea of a Wal Mart moving onto the current airport property. What an addition that would be to the local economy! But I have an even better idea – let’s give them downtown.
It’s common knowledge that when a Wal Mart comes to town, small businesses are driven out. Who can compete? So let’s just push out the small businesses downtown, they’re struggling to survive anyway, and hand it over to Uncle Sam, Walton that is. They could advertise it as a Wal Mart with a view, looking out over our beautiful harbor.
Then they can rent out a corner to the city for their new city hall, say next to the farm and garden department. And we could settle once and for all on a name for our town – Walmartville, U.S.A.
Support your local small businesses, people, before they disappear.
On Saturday, November 3, a fund raising dance was held at the Pastime Bar to benefit the Blaine Community Giving Tree. The Crystal Tricycle once again very generously donated their time and talents and helped to make the fundraiser a great success. We at Good Samaritan Stafholt Center, who coordinate the Giving Tree, wish to thank Marylee and her crew at the Pastime, Steve, Lenny, Wynn, and John (the guys in the band), and everyone who attended this event. Words can’t express how grateful we are for these people.
The community of Blaine sponsored over 1500 gifts for Christmas last year. Each year that number continues to grow and the funds raised at the dance are much needed. Anyone wishing to sponsor a child or make a donation may contact Marsha Hawkins at Good Samaritan Stafholt at 332-8733. Once again, much thanks.
We were deeply disappointed to read in November 8 Bellingham Herald that the Whatcom County Council rejected councilmember Weimer’s property tax proposal to pay for water-related projects, one of which would have represented an increase of funds for the Drayton Harbor Shellfish Recovery Plan.
This recovery plan was initially adopted by the council in 2000, but remains unfunded. We have volunteered with the Drayton Harbor community oyster farm for the past two years in various capacities: processing oysters aboard a rolling barge in near-freezing sleet; re-sizing oysters in mesh bags on the oyster beds; selling harvested oysters at the Blaine Dock and Bellingham Farmer’s Market; conducting a survey of people living in the Drayton Harbor watershed. We don’t do this because we are oyster lovers, or because harvesting oysters locally is overwhelmingly important. We do it because having Drayton Harbor safe enough to harvest oysters is overwhelmingly important.
Currently, a rainfall of 0.75 inches in 24 hours closes the bay for the following six days, due to fecal coliform washed into the bay by upstream dairy and hobby farms, as well as clapped-out septic systems. This means we cannot harvest/process oysters promised to buyers (local as well as international). Last season‘s rainfall resulted in 15 harvest closures, effectively shutting the bay down for 74 days. Obviously, no commercial grower could exist in such circumstances. The Drayton Harbor community oyster farm is a non-profit organization which partners with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund to render Drayton Harbor safe enough to harvest oysters.
We sincerely hope the Whatcom County council will re-visit councilmember Weimer’s proposal which would provide resources to recover water quality necessary to restore shellfish harvesting in Drayton Harbor.
Bob and Marcie Toby
Birch Bay should not be a city. Whatcom County government is now spending heavily to try to convince the citizens who live around Birch Bay that those few thousand people should now begin to pay – all by themselves – for the huge unfunded public infrastructure liabilities that were created over the past several years by county-authorized (and unfortunately even encouraged) urban sprawl. Hundreds of residences were built with no growth management impact fees assessed to the developers because even though the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) was drafted specifically by our state legislators to allow for developers to pay for things like roads, schools, storm water runoff control, parks and recreation sites, etc., Whatcom County government has never adopted those fees.
The county left those costs to the taxpayers and your property taxes were increased to accommodate them. It is unwise to think that “local control over how their tax money is spent” is the issue.
Please do not be confused: the issue is about who will pay for a huge pre-existing unfunded liability. It is like when after a night of eating and drinking at a restaurant the larger group suddenly fades away just before the waiter brings the very large bill to the table. Only those that remain will have to pay for the good time had by others.
In Birch Bay’s case, the developers, bankers, realtors and builders have had a grand and profitable time. Now, Whatcom County has recently paid thousands of dollars to a consultant to try to convince the folks around Birch Bay that their relatively tiny portion of the county’s total property tax revenue is adequate to cover that massive backlog of expenditures for roads, schools and public services.
In reality there is virtually no corporate tax base in Birch Bay, mostly only modest vacation or retirement residences. Please do not be fooled, vote against incorporation, tell the county to fix the financial problems that it created by charging those that profit from growth to pay for growth’s public infrastructure costs.
In other words, tell Pete Kremen, the county executive, to enforce our GMA laws. Don’t let the county out of its rightful obligations that will be unfairly transferred to you.
For those of you who didn’t know of the history of the so-called eagle snag, it has been a landmark for years as a navigational tool for ships sailing Puget Sound for a lot of years.
Way before radar, GPS and Loran, there was a snag for sailing and steam ships to use for a mark to gain entrance to our once busy harbor. It was even put in Captain Farwell’s Hansen Handbook of Navigation. Once a way point, it is now just a pile of rotten wood.
For some it was just a rotten old tree, for some an eagle snag. For others it is just another piece of history moved out of the way for the sake of progress. It has been said that our history is our future. For this I am sad.
Blaine football. I want to thank Coach Jay Dodd whom I did not take the time to thank personally. You are an asset to our school and the community. Coach Scott Dodd thank you for the time you took in the rain to speak to me and the good word you had.
I want to thank all the coaches for their dedication to our young men. These boys have shown a lot of progress. I am sorry that it ended sooner than we all wanted but we have something to build upon. To the class of seniors who laid the groundwork I say thank you.
Your leadership and hard work was appreciated. After watching many of you grow up I want you to know that we are all proud of the progress that was made by you, and that Blaine football can again be proud.
To accomplish what you did is a testament to your will and character. And to the rest of the football team let’s not rest. You have something to prove.
Let’s not allow what this senior class did be in vain. I know a lot of you and see some good things ahead. You have some good leaders in the class of 2008-2009 so let’s move ahead.
And to the critics of this program I say nothing because many critics have never walked in these men’s shoes. Thank you again.
On behalf of the 2008 Senior Class Parent Committee we would like to extend a huge thank you to the following donators for helping the 2008 senior class have a drug-free, alcohol free grad night. Tiger Construction, TC Trans, Inc., Douglas & Karin Pruss, A&A Contract Customs Brokers, USA, and Yamato Engine Specialists. If you would like to donate to this event you can mail your tax-deductible donation to: BBC Class of 2008 - 1182 Mitchell Avenue, Blaine 98230.
Also, if you would like to donate your old cell phones with or without accessories at one of these locations: Cost Cutter, Blaine high school, Blaine middle school, Blaine elementary, and Windermere Semiahmoo, all of the proceeds will go towards the 2008 senior class grad night.
Thank you so much for your generosity in making this event affordable for all the graduating seniors!
Melanie Haines, 2008 senior
class parent committee
The benefit concert for Kyle Quist was a success. We raised $1700 and some change. An enormous thanks goes out to all who showed up and supported Kyle and his family. Also, a big thanks to the performers who made this possible and to Dakota Creek Center and staff for donating their space, especially Becky and her mom! You’re awesome! I also would like to thank Subway and Little Caesar’s Pizza for providing food and Sports Unlimited for making our security shirts. Also to anyone who contributed in any sort of way thank you so very much! It just goes to show that this community can come together and show support in a family’s time of need. Thanks again!
Christina M. Berry
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:
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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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