Letters to the Editor
Janet Ann Reid is about to turn 90 this December. She loves the Birch Bay Village life having settled here in 1991 with her husband. Unfortunately, Don passed away a few years ago after 60 years of marriage. Their two children live in Canada.
She has some wonderful reflections of her life so far. Having been born in Scotland, her widowed mother took her and her brother in tow to Canada. Her young life was spent in Peace River, Alberta where she graduated from school with a grade 12 education.
She quickly started out on her 25-year career as a teacher (at age 17) in the same one room school taking on a class of 43 kids while immersing them in grades one through 12! No wonder she learned to tap dance so well and accurately swing golf clubs. Anyway, you can bet your sweet bippy that the kids didn’t get away with much. As anyone who misses a trick at the bridge club can tell you! Dang, she is still sharp as a tack.
She still drives and thrives thus enjoying life to the fullest. No, she hasn’t picked up a speeding ticket while driving her car in the village but rumor has it that she has been stopped on her golf cart on the way to the clubhouse! She has never been late for tee-off time.
So Janet, all your friends wish you many happy birthday wishes and years ahead. Stay happy and keep on dancing.
I live out on the new section of road on Birch Point Road, past the new Horizons Development. If you have driven out there recently, you could not help but notice the new section, which was put in to accommodate the development. It’s an accident waiting to happen! As soon as we have our first snowfall or patchy ice, there will be a massive pileup or fender-benders, and I hope no one is seriously injured!
As you drive out to Birch Point from Birch Bay, you come up a blind hill, with no idea where the road is going to take you if you are not a local – and to make matters worse, there is a hairpin turn at the top!
Heading into Birch Bay from my house, you go down the hill on a steep incline which, in my experience of living there for 15 years, will be an icy mess for days after a snowfall!
I do not know ‘who paid who’ to put this road in for the Horizons Development, but there are a lot of us who will be writing letters and looking for accountability when the pile-ups begin!
This letter is written in part in response to last week’s letter to the editor about the Blaine Depot. Bill, you are right when you said you didn’t know all of the details about what is going on with the former Great Northern train depot. I would hope this letter helps to educate you and others who may have wishful thinking and not the facts about the status of the historically significant Blaine depot.
We would all love to have Amtrak stop in Blaine. I have pictures of my young daughter getting on the train here in Blaine on her way to her grandmother’s house. How cool was that! Unfortunately, Amtrak probably will not in the foreseeable future ever again stop in Blaine.
Some years ago decisions were made to decrease the rail travel time between major cities on Amtrak’s west coast run.
In order to accomplish this timetable, railroad officials needed to eliminate numerous stops along the route. It gets a little more complicated, but in the end the Blaine depot was one of those whistle stops that was eliminated. Too bad!
I, too, am a history buff of sorts having been part of the restoration and the return of the venerable historic Plover ferry to its former route on Drayton Harbor waters.
Like many, I, too, would like to have the Blaine depot stay right where it is and have it turned into a venue much like was done with the depot in White Rock, B.C.
Again, unfortunately that is not going to happen either. In a letter written to the city of Blaine and copied to Drayton Harbor Maritime, Carol Sanders, regional manager of the Staubach Company, the firm that handles much of BNSF real estate property including the Blaine depot stated several conditions for the Blaine Depot. Including that the structure needed to be moved off BNSF Railroad property and that it was available for one dollar, etc.
If the depot is not moved off BNSF property it cannot be used or its ownership changed. BNSF currently is doing a feasibility study of adding another rail line where the depot is currently located. I have been told by BNSF that there are plans to put in a new line.
In closing I would hope this letter clears up some of the misinformation that is out there about the depot.
Furthermore, all of the community will need to get together and realize that moving the Blaine Depot to the proposed Plover Park at the harbor and its adaptive re-use as a ferry landing, community museum, etc. is the only viable option left available to save this historically significant transportation structure and former gateway to our fair city.
Richard C. Sturgill
As voters, we seldom are given the opportunity of witnessing direct results of one of our votes. In March of 2008 we will have one of those opportunities – an opportunity made sweeter in that it deals with the education of our children.
The Blaine school district will be putting before us both a maintenance and operations levy as well as a bond issue for modernizing and enlarging our high school.
If you have seen any of the literature you know that our current high school was built to house 450 students while we have a population of about 700 high school students currently. This discrepancy causes classroom overcrowding, student and teacher frustration and ultimately, learning suffers.
Maintenance and operations levies are simply a fact of life unless and until the state begins full funding of our schools. As we all know – one levy expires and another one takes its place. They do not “stack up” with the millage getting larger and larger. We must pass this levy if we are to continue paying the bills.
The bond issue is a little different creature. Passage of this issue will add additional taxes to our individual “plates” so we need to understand the importance of passage of this piece of legislation. Please take the time to read the flyers on this subject and stop by the school district office and view the plans for what is being proposed. We must provide the classroom facilities necessary for our children to be successful in their educational walk so, again, given our state’s current involvement in the educational process, we must provide these facilities for ourselves.
I urge all Blaine school district voters to, first of all, vote and second, vote yes on these levy and bond issues. As a matter of information the new ‘simple majority’ rule will apply to the maintenance and operations levy but not to the bond issue. For that we will still need the super majority as we have in the past. So, for the bond issue it is critical for all to vote so that we achieve the needed total numbers.
Many thanks to all of the brave Blaine community members who came out to celebrate the lighting of the holiday tree, and to welcome Santa at the WinterFest Arts and Crafts show in spite of the dramatic weather conditions.
The WinterFest show will continue for the next two weekends and provides a wonderful opportunity for the community to gather for music, good cheer, and to find that unique holiday gift made by local artists from the Blaine area.
A variety of community charitable organizations are represented at the WinterFest show, so be sure to bring along a food donation for the Blaine Food Bank. The Boys and Girls Club, the U.S./Canada Peace Anniversary Association, and our town’s own oyster farm will be represented this coming weekend.
Many thanks again to Ken Imus, the city of Blaine, The Northern Light, and the Blaine Chamber of Commerce for their ongoing support of the arts in Blaine.
The American Legion Peace Arch Post 86 annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Blaine Senior Center was done this year by Chris McBride, Rob McIsaac and 16 volunteers who did a marvelous job of cooking and organizing this past Thursday, November 22.
We were extremely fortunate in having donations again this year, so a huge thank you to the Major at Salvation Army in Bellingham who gave us most of the turkeys, manager Greg at Cost Cutter in Blaine who donated the vegetables and manager Jim at Haggen in Ferndale who donated the soda and water. It wouldn’t have been the great success it was without them. Our volunteers made and served 109 in-house dinners, 51 take-out dinners and our Chaplain Gordon Anthony delivered four dinners to a few of our friends who couldn’t make it in to the center.
Lastly, a huge thanks to all the wonderful people who gave up their own Thanksgiving time making this one the best we’ve ever had: Eileen, Nedra, Leo, Dick, Randall, Jim, Bob, Bette, Izzy, Barb, Dan, Lou, Freddy, Donna, Beth, Char and of course our intrepid culinary impresarios Chris and Rob who do most of the larger special food events at the Legion.
John Gregerson, commander
American Legion Post 86
We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the members of this community. Never have we experienced such love and support than in the past few months. Our son, Milo was born 11 weeks premature and is now home – healthy and growing. During the weeks at Swedish hospital in Seattle and then at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, our family was well taken care of by this community. Thanks to our parents for their hours of childcare, to the many churches that offered prayers, to the staff at Blaine school district and Home Connections, to my students and their families, to our family and friends.
The countless meals and other gifts brought us many moments of happiness during a trying and difficult time. We are proud to call this community of Blaine our home.
Mike and Amanda Dahl
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