Letters to the Editor -- June 19, 2008

Published on Thu, Jun 19, 2008
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I would like to publicly thank Stafholt Good Samaritan nursing home for providing their bus for shuttling participants of the ’65 Sisterhood’s Garden Tour in Semiahmoo on June 7. The shuttle bus picked people up at the Birch Bay Garden Center, dropped them off inside the gate where the gardens were all within walking distance, then picked them up when finished. 
A very special thanks to Marsha and Charlie Hawkins who volunteered their time to drive the bus. They are very kind and community-minded people, as evidenced by the following scenario I observed: Charlie dropped off Mel Hollinger, a long-time community member and businessman, who was probably our oldest participant at the spry age of 92.
Later, I was puzzled when Charlie returned with the bus but with no passengers. He explained that he had returned to check on Mr. Hollinger and see if he needed a ride to the next garden.
It’s heart warming to live in a small community where people know each other and are willing to extend a caring hand.
Brooke Finley, ’65 Sisterhood
Blaine

The Editor:
Each year at this time I like to take a minute to thank all the great people who are employed by the Blaine school district for the care and concern they’ve shown for all of our children throughout the year. We are so lucky in Blaine to have such caring staff members. I cannot imagine how the bus drivers deal with poor road conditions, a huge vehicle and all those chattering kids at the same time. Our bus drivers do so day after day with little attention and few accolades. Thanks for all the hours you spend tending to our children.
I also want to recognize the lunch servers, the teaching assistants, the secretaries and all the other folks who work in our schools. Sometimes the few minutes you spend with a child are the highlight of their day.
To the custodians and maintenance folks, you are extraordinary. Our schools are a source of pride and your hard work is evident every day of the year. Lastly, thanks to the teachers who work so hard to try to meet everyone’s expectations while trying to teach at the same time. Our schools are the heart of our community and all of you are the reason that is true.
One other thing that also gives me pause this time of year is the thought that many of our local children rely greatly on the free breakfast and lunch program through the school. With school out I often wonder how many of these children are going hungry. I’m sure a check to the Blaine Food Bank, P.O. Box 472, Blaine, WA 98231, would help a lot of kids get the nutrition they need through the summer so they can return in the fall ready to learn from all the great people in our schools. Thanks to all.
Jane Woods
Blaine

The Editor:
On May 27, the Blaine Community Theater was honored to be presented a “Blaine Builder Award” at the Blaine city counsel meeting.
We wish to express our thanks to all the audience members who have stuck with us over the years, and to the business community who have helped to support us and advertised with us.  We also thank the mayor and counsel for their recognition and for the confidence they express in us.
We will continue to serve the City by the Bay, including sponsoring entertainment on the boardwalk this summer.
On behalf of Blaine Community Theater,
Sandy Brewer
Blaine

The Editor:
The families of the two 8th grade girls who were missing for five days would like to thank the Birch Bay community.
Scores of people here carried our burden trying to locate the girls.  Students, law enforcement officers, people in local business and many citizens unknown to us helped in their safe return. A very sincere and heartfelt thank you to the citizens of Birch Bay and Blaine. 
Eric Ellingson
Birch Bay

The Editor:
After receiving an invitation to the Centennial Celebration of the International Boundary Commission, two close friends and I attended both the ceremony at the arch and the picnic luncheon in the Peace Arch Park on June 7. Despite the possibility of rain, we gathered with 90 others including members of the Boundary Commission (IBC), dignitaries from the Department of Interior who had traveled from as far as Washington, D.C. and a representative from Governor Gregoire’s office, the Canadian Consul General from Vancouver, Canada and a Canadian counterpart in Vancouver, along with a Semiahmoo Tribal representative and a chamber of commerce representative from the White Rock-South Surrey Chamber. The ceremony commemorated the 100th birthday of the creation of the International Boundary Commission.
The ceremony and luncheon was a marvelous gathering of those interested in the work of the commission and their responsibility for creating and administering the 5,525 miles of border marking the territorial limits of each of our two nations. It was a rather colorful special event with two Royal Canadian Mounted Police as honor guard.
Much of the comments were about the significance of the territorial lines dividing our two countries, while not dividing our people and our cultures. It was more about who we are than where the lines were drawn.
Obviously, the Peace Arch Monument was the great example of shared culture between peoples of both the U.S. and Canada. It also seems that the commission selected this site for their commemoration as they consider the monument and surrounding park “the crown jewel” of border monuments.
I was surprised and disappointed at the absence of any city of Blaine or county official from this ceremony. Much like some of our neighbors, the park and its monument has been around so long as to become almost forgotten at times. It was too bad that some of our elected and appointed members of the community were not there to share the pride we all have as “The Peace Arch City.”
Alma Wagner
Blaine

The Editor:
Responding to Charles Robbins letter. I commend the efforts of all the council members past and present for working through the airport issues. With that said I think it is very poor taste to refer to members as “sellouts.” I think Scott Dodd was a private citizen at the time of the vote. You make it sound like three of the seven council members can act and do as they please and I think that shows very little respect for the efforts of the other four. I think we have a good mix of leadership in our council and we should feel lucky to have such impassioned individuals to represent us.
Christopher D. Wenzl
Blaine

The Editor:
I have a strong feeling that my father and grandparents are turning over in their graves right now.
Jerry W. Dierks
Blaine

Editor’s Note: The author is referring to the decision to sell the airport that his grandfather started.

The Editor:
 Some fear letters to the editor “interfere with our incorporation process” as stated, oddly enough in an editorial, by a member of the Birch Bay feasibility subcommittee. Who are those guys? Were they elected by the majority? Do they represent the interests of people living within the contemplated “City of Birch Bay?” Are all citizens living in Birch Bay’s urban growth area obligated to follow that mysterious governing body’s leadership?
I urge readers to think about the significance of an incorporation vote because it will have profound impacts economically and environmentally region-wide, not just in Birch Bay.
Could letters to the editor in newspapers be considered interference, under our American democratic principles, in a matter significant enough to become the subject of a public vote? Fact is, the Birch Bay Steering Committee during the dozen meetings that I personally attended was dominated by real estate developers and real estate brokers.
That committee effectively served as a tool to promote urban sprawl. However, an unwitting comment in the above letter makes my point by observing: “Taxes would go down if assessed values are overstated.”
The argument I make is: in spending $3 million of taxpayer’s funds to create another totally redundant city government (in addition to county government, Blaine’s existing government) Birch Bay will have established a huge additional fixed cost financial burden for taxpayers that, when residential property tax devaluation takes place, cannot possibly be covered by corporate sales tax revenues the way a normal city would, because the Berk Report (commissioned by Whatcom County costing $100K of taxpayer’s funds) openly admits that such commercial sales tax receipts are virtually nonexistent in Birch Bay.
While some proponents of incorporation hurl insults at advocates of conservative financial principles and ridicule those favoring fiscal responsibility by governments, the economic realities of Birch Bay will remain. If property taxes “would go down” how else can Birch Bay taxpayers pay their $3M obligation?
The Berk Report projects $150M in new urban sprawl as the solution while the U.S. banking industry is in the worst financial condition since the Great Depression because of the devaluation of housing prices.
Lincoln Rutter
Blaine

The Editor:
I am very frustrated with a few select drivers in the Birch Bay area. As many know, there is a 20 mph zone on Birch Bay Drive which is the main road along the ocean in Birch Bay.
The zone continues up to what we affectionately call “Dead Man’s Curve” – the new piece of road that the developers constructed up past Shintaffer heading towards Birch Bay Village.
Even though I too find 20 m.p.h. to be slow in certain areas of Birch Bay, I do follow the 20 m.p.h. zone and feel that everyone should be following the law as well. Unfortunately, there are those who must think they are above the law and do not follow the posted signs or even road markings.
On many occasions, including Friday, June 13 at about 8:20 a.m., I have been and was passed in the 20 mph zone just past the new curve.
The road markings in that area are a double solid yellow line indicating a no passing zone, but for some reason that driver chose to ignore the markings and speed limit and zoomed past me and sped down the road then turning left onto Shintaffer.
I immediately took down the license plate of the speeding car and phoned it into the Whatcom County Sheriff’s traffic info line.
I do this with any car that has passed me and then hope that the authorities will let them know that someone has reported their illegal act.
I would encourage more residents to report offenders as well as to try and curb the drivers that think the rules of the road do not apply to them.
The number for the Whatcom County Sheriff’s traffic line is 398-2764, you will need to leave a message including the car’s license plate number that has performed the illegal act.
I am hoping that if more people start reporting these dangerous drivers then we can make them realize that the laws do apply to them as well as us. Perhaps one day they will get the message.
Valerie J. Girard
Birch Bay

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