Letters to the Editor -- June 12, 2008

Published on Thu, Jun 12, 2008
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Limited to one letter per month I will cover several issues. I recently noticed on my gas bill that I was charged a six percent Blaine utility tax. I contacted Meredith Riley, Blaine’s finance director, who told me that I am not subject to this tax since I do not live in Blaine. I was able to quickly get a large refund credit to my account from Cascade Gas. So, if you live in unincorporated county, check your utility and trash bills.
The fact remains that Birch Point is not part of the Birch Bay UGA and therefore Sliviniski and Rutter would be better served not to interfere with our incorporation process and allow us to decide for ourselves. Hopefully, Birch Bay residents will not fall prey to Sliviniski’s glowing praise of Mr. Rutter who provided no data only his estimates, and his letter reflected no intelligent research or objectivity.
His statements regarding the possibility of significantly higher taxes due to incorrect assessed valuation data underscore his lack of knowledge in this area. Cities are limited by law as to how much they can levy in taxes. Taxes would go down if assessed values are overstated since he implies elsewhere in his letter that market values are declining.
Ms. Slivinski distorted my role with the Birch Bay Steering Committee. For three years I served on the governance subcommittee chaired by Mike Kent and the feasibility subcommittee chaired by Kathy Berg. In both instances our role was to recommend options to the steering committee. The latter subcommittee recommended that an independent consultant conduct a study to determine the feasibility of incorporation. Need I say more?
I would surmise that rather than the “embarrassed silence” Mr. Aiken alluded to, it was more likely “stunned silence” that someone would infer that in becoming a city, Birch Bay would be like the current Blaine government. I find it a shame someone would denigrate Birch Bay residents in such a manner. Since it is financially feasible to incorporate; it is up to us to make sure the city government is well run and managed.
Mickey Masdeo
Birch Bay

The Editor:
On behalf of the ’65 Sisterhood Helping Hands I would like to heartily thank the six garden owners in Semiahmoo who graciously opened their gardens for viewing during their first Garden Tour sponsored by our group on June 7. The owners included Sue & Paul Atchison, Bonnie & Larry Larson, Jennifer & Geoff Packwood, Tatiana & Andre Nuyten, Crystal & George Mills and Wayne & Sue Carroll.
Several of the participants mentioned how much they appreciated being able to talk with the owners and ask questions about each garden. Feedback we received from participants was very positive and many people asked us to do it again next year.
The ’65 Sisterhood is a small organization of seven women who graduated in 1965 from Blaine high school. Each year proceeds from our fund raisers get donated back to Blaine area organizations, such as the Family Service Center, Stafholt Good Samaritan and the Blaine Food Bank. Thanks to all who came to support this year’s fund raiser!
Jan Boykin, president
Blaine

The Editor:
The sellout of the voters regarding the Blaine airport is now fait accomplished. The airport has been sold privately without any input from and without the approval of the voters in this city. All avenues open to preserving our airport which had been voted on to keep open, were squandered by these elected officials who thumbed their nose at the will of the voters who elected them and gave them responsibility to protect the mandates of the public will.
John Liebert, Scott Dodd, and Jason Overstreet not only ignored the mandate of the voters on closing the airport, but they also jokingly thumbed their respective noses at the sacred process of enlisting and recruiting new city council members with their ridicule of properly due qualifications in selecting candidates for a city council seat.
These three men have not only turned their backs on, but have flaunted the process of fiduciary responsibility for the management of our town resources (the airport). Instead, they have forwarded and promoted their own agendas, against the will of the voters, by waving their personal political agendas in the face of the voters and prevailing against the public will.
These men do not have a basic understanding of public stewardship and the responsibilities of holding public office and should not be reelected to hold any Whatcom County public office in the future. Thank you for your time.
Charles Robbins
Blaine
The Editor:
Showing the caskets of our soldiers killed overseas would be perfectly appropriate if it invited the respect and gratitude of the nation. Too often, however, such occasions are used by special interest groups for propaganda purposes – examples that come to mind in the Iraq-Afghanistan war are the allegedly religious family from the Midwest that disrupted military funerals around the country, the anti-war demonstrators who rant weekly against the wounded vets at Walter Reed Hospital, the professional demonstrators who attend any anti-war or anti-trade or anti-something parade representing groups from communists to vegetarians, and television commentators using photojournalism for their own purposes.
Occasionally there are television programs that do show caskets arriving in the U.S. or military funerals, but the context is appropriate – highlighting the individuals who died for their fellow soldiers and for their country and giving us specific information to learn about and appreciate the service of the fallen.
Lucy Chambers
Blaine

The Editor:
Mother Baby Center of Whatcom County is a non-profit agency that serves 50 percent of low-income parents in Whacom County. Last year the center provided 4,200 home visits to help over 850 families. That’s more than a third of the infants that were born in Whatcom County.
An indirect measurement of this is the fact that Whatcom County enjoys one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the nation. This is in spite of the fact that Whatcom County has about half the OBGYN physicians typically needed for our population. 
Unfortunately, due to funding cuts, Mother Baby Center will be forced to close their doors unless they can raise $60,000 in the next 30 days. Senator Dale Brandland met on Friday with the Mother Baby Center and other agencies including; InterFaith, St. Lukes Foundation, Whatcom Community Foundation, the public health department, and Planned Parenthood and agreed to do all they can to help the agency. 
Mother Baby Center board members Jeff Keown of Blaine and Elizabeth Page of Bellingham have set up a task force of community members to raise the necessary funds, keep the center open, and reassess their business model. We all realize that with gasoline approaching $5 a gallon and food prices rising that it is a tough time for most in Whatcom County and it is now more than ever the time to support our local food banks and other non-profits. 
Lately the food banks have also had a shortage of baby food and as a member of the task force to help save the Mother Baby Center I would ask anyone in the Blaine Birch-Bay area to send a check of $20 or more to Mother Baby Center, 815 Coho Way, Suite 101, Bellingham, WA 98225. 
Your contribution will provide the financial help they must have to cover the loss in funding and most importantly allow them to help moms and babies in need.
Dennis Hill
Blaine

The Editor:
Thank you patrons. With the 2007-08 school year coming to a close, on behalf of the board of directors and the entire staff of the Blaine school district, I want to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to the Blaine, Birch Bay and Point Roberts communities for your continued support for the quality education of all students.
It has indeed been a highly successful year and our parents and patrons have played a very significant role in making it so. In 2007-08, Blaine high school has once again been recognized by Newsweek as being one of the top 1,300 high schools in the United States. We have a significantly high proportion of students enrolled in advanced placement courses, which is a statement of the commitment of the board of directors, our building administrators and the teaching staff to hold academic expectations high and provide meaningful, relevant opportunities for learning.
Our programs in the arts, including band, choir and the visual arts, continue to serve a very high percentage of our student population and compete very favorably on a local and regional level. We also continue to have up to 50 percent of our students at the high school and middle school levels competing in an after school athletic or activity program. In addition, our primary and elementary school programs are consistently supporting the learning needs of students on both a remedial and enrichment level.
This is both an exciting and rewarding place to work and learn each day. We could not begin to approach the level of success that we are experiencing with students without your support.
The staff of the Blaine school district hopes that all have a most enjoyable summer and are already looking forward to getting the 2008-09 school year underway. Thank you for being a school community that is making such a positive difference for kids!
Ron Spanjer, superintendent
Blaine

Editor’s note: Not all letters received were printed in this issue due to space constraints. They will appear next week.

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