Letters to the Editor -- January 24, 2008

Published on Thu, Jan 24, 2008
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
In the past I have never questioned the significance of a school building in regards to how a student performed. Although I have seen some of the newer and nicer schools in our area and find myself admiring their different approaches to construction, I have never attributed their craftsmanship and architecture to how well one of their kids behaved or performed.
I have also never really thought much about how a school can affect the pride of its student body, until now.
When I first heard about the upcoming school levy and bond issue and saw the new design plans and modifications, the first thing I thought of was how nice it would be to be able to look at my peers in the county and say, “I am from Blaine” and see the admiration in their faces. With our pale, putty colored buildings and lack of school colors, the only positive image most people envisioned in the past when they heard the name, “Blaine” was the Peace Arch, or Luke Ridnour and the glory days when Blaine was an elite basketball power house. I am fond of those days, too.
But what about now? What about students today? What pride comes from “average” sports teams, under-funded classrooms, cancelled programs or a lack of necessary resources and services? Today, classrooms are full and class choices are few. Counselor offices are overflowing with the demands of students’ academic as well as emotional needs.
Students are eating lunch in courtyards, classrooms, and freezing locker halls. The library is so overcrowded that it’s become a social event rather than a quiet place to study. More importantly, I often hear some students speak with serious apathy about their education, their classes, their family life, and the ensuing personal choices they make because they think they have no other options. Many have no pride in education or in themselves. And there’s little help available. We shouldn’t wait around for another sports team to save us – we must find pride within the halls of our school, our community, and our homes. Voting yes to the school levy/bond issue in March is the first necessary step. Please help students help themselves; Blaine high school is worth it. Thank you.
Brandon Bleecker, BHS senior
Blaine

The Editor:
Blaine high school senior Cassie Acidera has been nominated and accepted as a student ambassador with the organization “People to People” to travel to Europe this summer representing Blaine and Whatcom County with a group of students from Whatcom and Skagit counties. Cassie is working on various fundraising efforts to help fund this amazing trip for 21 days traveling to France, Italy, Monaco and Malta. She has sent out numerous letters requesting corporate sponsorship to many of our local companies, but unfortunately is not seeing much response. If you would like to make a contribution, or have ideas to assist us in making this dream of Cassie’s a reality, please contact her at cassie_ariel@hotmail.com or 360/510-0794. You can send the money directly to the organization with her id number that she can provide to you. I am very proud of Cassie and her achievements in the Blaine School District and our community, and I feel she would represent us well, and is deserving of this amazing opportunity! Thank you.
Lois Acidera  
Blaine

The Editor:
U.S.A. does not have an official language. We have all kinds of other official stuff such as birds, flowers, animals, etc. Everyone believes English is our language. Ninety-eight percent of the people speak English according to the last census. Fourteen percent speak another language. There are 300 languages spoken in the U.S.A. English is the predominant language in international trade. English is the language of our fore fathers.
President Theodore Roosevelt stated in 1907 during the time of large European immigration that “the English language is the language of this country.” President Franklin Roosevelt decreed by executive order in early 1940 that English will be used in all federally funded places and programs.
Thirty states have adopted and ratified English as the official language for state, county, and city government business and transactions. Washington and Oregon are lagging behind.
This is the worst case of procrastination in 231 years of this republic and the easiest to enact. It doesn’t preclude state citizens to speak only English – nor prevent residents from speaking their heritage language – native American language included.
Adopting/ratifying English as the official language wills save the state governments an estimated more than $20 million in bilingual printing costs. Tax money that could be better used for elderly/veteran health care, elementary education, transportation, and now weather related damages.
I have written governors of Washington and Oregon to please make English the official language for state governments. Then use our tax dollars for other means. I ask citizens to write or call state senators and representatives to make English our official language for state governments.
Earl Erickson
Blaine

Correction

In our last issue of The Northern Light, we erroneously identified Blaine resident Brad O’Neill as an architect.
O’Neill, who owns the design firm O’Neill Group, studied architecture at Montana State University but did not finish the requirements for a degree before being drafted into the military during the Vietnam war.
O’Neill, however, went on to design the city of Blaine’s Semiahmoo Lighthouse replica planned for Marine Drive as well as the site plan for the Semiahmoo Cottages and the city’s “turn-of-the-Century” theme. He is also the recipient of six nationally-judged Mame gold medal awards for homes designed and built in the Seattle area. In addition, the O’Neill group was one of only two named in the State of Washington among the “Top 50 Luxury Leaders” in the United States by Professional Builder magazine.
We regret this error.

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