Letters to the Editor -- October 02, 2008

Published on Thu, Oct 2, 2008
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
As a long time citizen of Wasilla, Alaska, I absolutely object to the rhetoric of Jo Slivinski in the September 11 issue of The Northern Light. Obviously governor Palin has created enough buzz that liberal leaning people are on the defensive.
The quote regarding governor Palin’s stance on Iraq was totally taken out of context – governor Palin’s response was directed at where she places Iraq on her platform.
As mayor in Wasilla, governor Palin sought to ban books which included subject matters not suitable for children. And this practice is not uncommon within public libraries around the country. That’s not an abuse of power – it’s a well-founded decision to remove offensive material from immediate access to children.
Governor Palin’s views on climate change aren’t unfounded. No actual truth has ever been produced proving human impact has caused global warming. Only speculative research and theory. Science, itself, supports that there have been multiple warming and cooling cycles on a global scale – pre-dating human existence.
Bridge to nowhere? Governor Palin was interested in hearing the idea but rebuffed it as a waste of time and enterprise. The state of Alaska doesn’t need it, doesn’t want it, and will not allow it.
Wasilla is the fastest growing economy in Alaska, more than doubling in size since I graduated from Wasilla high school in 1990, requiring increased spending in the city’s budget. Infrastructure costs money. And taxpayers will pay that $22 million debt in less than 10 years. You know precious little about the affairs of Wasilla, Alaska.
The pointed blahs referencing “keep up the good work” and “inspiring convention” to the Independence Party; I believe speaks well to governor Palin’s ability to shake bipartisan hands. Barack Obama wants to take our right to bear arms away; but still she shook his hand.
(Publisher’s note: Obama has been quoted as saying individuals have the right to bear arms.)
And finally, we can teach our children the difference between right and wrong but we can’t control our children infinitely. Whether governor Palin’s daughter became pregnant at the age of 17 holds no value over her ability as a leader.
Liberals hastily supported Clinton during his impeachment trial for perjury, obstruction and abuse of power while in the White House.
Jeff Smith

The Editor:
Congratulations to the letter writer in the September 11 who managed to list all the vicious smears, lies, distortions, half-truths, and spin about governor Palin. She must have found all the wacko, hate-filled, dishonest, radical-left websites to reference for her information – truly a dedicated feat. 
Just a word of caution – a very, very small group of people live in this alternative parallel universe. Most of us are proud that America produces such hard-working, intelligent, accomplished women as governor Palin. 
Most of us want to keep our traditions, our faith, and care about good character. We don’t categorize everyone we don’t like with “isms and phobias” or immediately resort to ad hominem attacks for lack of factual argument.
By the way, visceral hatred for an individual is not a political philosophy – it is just ugly, raw hate.
P.D.S. (Palin Derangement Syndrome) can be cured, but to do so you’ll have to follow these instructions. 1) remove the tin foil hat, 2) put down the glass of Kool Aid, 3) step away from your computer and try thinking for yourself. 
B.A. Bryson

The Editor:
School begins again for our youngsters.
My 10-year-old informed me after her first three days at school that her teacher was a Democrat. Both my children have been “taught” that President Bush is responsible for global warming, general species destruction, specific polar bear genocide, rape of Mesopotamian culture, and hurricanes that ravage American cities. 
The result of such opinion, by people in authority, to eight – 12-year-olds, is a degradation of the office, and the respectful authority of a working democracy. 
Dissent is great. Opinions and arguments about politics are dear to my heart, and the lynchpin of that working democracy. But this indoctrination of our youngsters is beyond the pale. I got a better education than my kids are getting today. Furthermore, I believe anyone over the age of 35 can say the same thing. (And I do not believe I knew the political party affiliation of any of my teachers until at least 9th grade.)
Many of the educational “way of doing things,” begun in the ‘60s and ‘70s, have not worked. One of the hallmarks of a mature human being is the ability and courage to admit one’s mistakes. Only then can appropriate corrective action be taken.
A failure to do this results in a massive case of arrested development, not to mention that mocking attitude so prevalent in our modern juvenile popular culture. You have a proud tradition as public educators here in the U.S. You are transmitters of our civilization and culture.
If you as a teacher cringe at this last sentence, you are probably in the wrong job. The teaching establishment’s excesses and distortions are rivaled only by the members of the press in our most recent history. A democratic society can not afford the degradation of two of its more important pillars.
Just recently funding measures for much needed school improvements was rejected by the voters. The economy was blamed. Do that if you want. Better yet, our education system should take a good hard look in the mirror. The subtle and not so subtle indoctrination of our youngsters must stop in public education, or the ranks of private school and home school will surely continue their increase.
David Charbonneau

The Editor:
Regarding the proposed $700 billion bank bailout:
Perhaps I’m confused. Maybe I do not properly understand the issue. I admit that the following rant is an oversimplification, but I believe it carries the germ of a truth that is not being told in the public media.
The story I am hearing sounds like this...
Some of the biggest U.S. banks successfully influence a number of powerful and shamelessly dishonest politicians to de-regulate their industry.
These same banks use their new, relatively unregulated, working environment to lower both the interest rates and the qualifications required for loans to purchase real property. Interest rates rise “to combat the possibility of runaway inflation.”
Hundreds of thousands of families can no longer make the required payments on their home loans. The banks “have no choice but to foreclose on many of these home loans” and subsequently assume title to the properties involved. For the lack of all the monthly payments, on the now foreclosed loans the banks experience cash flow problems. Now the good part!
Every man, woman, and child in the country donates $2,300 to solve the cash flow problems of the banks, enabling them to maintain ownership of much of the foreclosed property in perpetuity while continuing to pay obscene salaries and bonuses to the fat cats and their accomplices who, with malice of forethought, dreamed up and executed the whole scam.
Jim Hewett
Birch Bay

The Editor:
Spendthrift convenience. It takes a 70s senior as I to remember when the term spendthrift was current in our culture. It’s about money wasted on frivolous comforts, and bottled water at $6 a gallon is a good fit for that label when it comes to the effects bottled water has on our budgets, natural resources and environment.
Seems America’s appetite for bottled water requires more than 1.5 million barrels of oil for the plastic from which they’re made annually which is enough oil to fuel some 100,000 cars for a year! This, together with the water going for about $6 a gallon based on $0.95 for a 20-ounce bottle of Dasani, gets one into taking a look at alternatives.
The current energy crunch illustrates the importance of conserving all our natural resources, yet for each gallon of water that is bottled, an additional two gallons of water are used in processing. Readers are probably in the company of all those now slightly uncomfortable remembering water bottles purchased and casually tossed out in thoughtless convenience.
It’s time to take a stand and pledge to break our bottled water habit for good! The good of our budgets, natural resources and environment.
From now through October 30, take the pledge to Break the Bottled Water habit, and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Get in the habit of using containers with which you’re comfortable and filling them from your personal filter!
And, with the personal container habit in place, we’ll have money for wanted items, less plastic in the recycle and community landfills, all the while contributing to our environment by conserving natural resources! Reference: New American Dream, Issue No. 55, September 2, ‘8l.
Bob Hendricks, master recycler,

The Editor:
Tough economic times always seem to hurt the people who are most in need. The Blaine Food Bank has had a 14 percent increase in the number of families we serve each month. We are glad that these families are coming to us for help.  We would much rather have those who are working put gas in their tank to get to work and utilize our services than lose their job.  
With this increase in clients we are finding that our granted funds are going quickly towards the purchase of additional food. We have many personal donors who give to us every month and for that we are thankful. We are dependent on them in order to keep our doors open. We would like to ask the local business community for their support in the way of funding or a canned food drive.  
If you are in need of the food bank’s services we are located at 500 C Street and our hours of operation are Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesday evenings from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.  We are available to take food donations during that time as well.  Should you like to make a monetary donation our address is P.O. Box 472, Blaine, WA  98231.   We are blessed to live in such a wonderful community that truly wants to help.
Sheila Connors,
President, Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:
I recently recognized a topic of concern. Let me preface by saying, I read letters to the editor lamenting growth or bashing civic planning and view them with righteous indignation. Folks complaining they’ve been here since… and they think… Well, they can complain – it’s their right. They can leave too.
There has been unmitigated growth in this community. As a member of a 1880s Blaine family, I know what was once. Growth is sometimes painful to witness, but the economy grows, stagnates or dies. Blaine has experienced recent growth, but more is coming. 
My issue is a side effect of growth, perhaps a warning sign. In the burgeoning commercial area (east of the airport, south of H Street, presently centered on Boblett) tractor trailers congregate. They park for sleep, wait to load or unload – I don’t know, but they’re there.
As humans do, they accumulate trash. They ought to do something with it however.
I urge everyone to take a slow drive through there, note the discarded tires – the general accumulation of garbage. I needed to write this after riding my bike past a large deposit of human feces behind Cost Cutter.
The issue is an outgrowth of development and really poor manners. Now, Viva Pharmaceutical is poised to start construction, a pending development is proposed at the intersection of Odell and H Street and what about that airport? 
Attention is needed to address Blaine’s commercial area. Steady hands and assertive policies can safeguard the dignity of this community and the efficiency of the commercial area.
If control isn’t asserted and responsibility taken, the area holds the potential to become a disreputable and unwelcomed segment of the community. The city has options, they can limit or prohibit parking, encourage development of a truck stop with facilities to meet present and future need.
Help should be sought from the businesses associated with the traffic. As a last resort, if funded properly, the police can certainly address the issue.
We need to recognize that with proper management increased port traffic will ultimately increase revenue – growth will as well. Many thanks.
Garth Baldwin

The Editor:
Call for volunteers: St. Martin’s Clothing Bank in Blaine needs more volunteers.   The clothing bank has only been open Friday mornings to serve clients, but as the economy has gone downhill, the community needs have risen. 
We would like to open our doors on Tuesday to serve those clients from the food bank who come that day. 
To do that, we must recruit more volunteers who are willing to come in for three hours one or more days a month.   If you like people and like to help people, please call Ann Spooner, Coordinator, at 425/681-3736 or July Ayers, 371-3146.  St. Martin’s Clothing Bank, 500 C St., next to the Blaine Food Bank. 
Ann Duvall Spooner

The Editor:
This is an appeal to Blaine residents to engage members of the Blaine city council to reconsider their economic discrimination of condominium owners, who currently pay the single-family sewer and water rate.
It’s acceptable that we should all pay for the new sewer infrastructure. This proposal aims for balanced payments, so that everyone pays a fair share.
According to the council, condominiums are de facto single family homes. However, like apartments, condominiums share walls, some ceilings and some floors with their neighbors.
We share sewer and water infrastructure. By all accounts, condominiums are high-density, multi-family housing. Builders who start out building apartments can convert the units to condominiums. Existing apartments can be converted to condominiums by virtue of paperwork, and vice versa.
Those of us committed to owning real estate in ways that increase the efficiency of city resources, including fire, police and in the case of Blaine, electricity, buy high-density, multi-family condominiums. We are invested in the Blaine community in some ways that apartment dwellers (who pay lower rates) are not.
Apparently, there is no basis in the Blaine city code for this style of economic discrimination. Practically, consultants and advisers to the council recommend that condominiums and apartments belong in the same category.
The council’s position is this: if Ferndale and Lynden can discriminate by style of real estate ownership – and categorize condominiums as single-family homes for economic purposes only, then it’s okay for Blaine to follow suit.
Making the economic burden for the new sewer infrastructure equal for apartments and condominiums means that all of us who live in high-density, multi-family housing can pay our fair share.
If condominiums make up such a large percentage of Blaine’s ‘single family home’ financial base, maybe the whole fee structure needs a rebalancing.
I am happy to volunteer my time to work with their consultants to help model a more fair series of sewer and water payments, so that Blaine’s new facility is paid for most equitably by all who use it.
Elle Tracy

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, fax 360/332-2777 or

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