Letters to the Editor -- October 09, 2008

Published on Thu, Oct 9, 2008
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I stand by the veracity of the questions raised by my  September 11 letter about Sarah Palin.
To support my letter, I cite this clearinghouse of news sources: http://thinkprogress.org/palin-digest  factually far superior to the one source offered by another writer’s September 18 letter criticizing my original missive. 
Readers can judge for themselves.
Besides recent network news interview catastrophes, here’s another telling example: At a recent GOP rally, a female voter asked for Palin’s response to her perceived lack of foreign policy experience, begging her to “please respond to that criticism and give us specific skills that you think you have, to bring to the White House, to rebut that or mitigate that concern.”
Palin replied, “I think, because I am a Washington outsider, that opponents are going to be looking for a whole lot of things that they can criticize, and they can kind of beat the candidate here who chose me as his partner to kinda tear down the ticket. But as for foreign policy, you know, I think I am prepared, and I know that on January 20, if we are so blessed as to be sworn into office as your president and vice president, certainly we’ll be ready. I’ll be ready. I have that confidence. I have that readiness, and if you want specifics with specific policy or countries, go ahead. You can ask, you can play ‘stump the candidate’ if you want to. But we are ready to serve.”
For this candidate to deem such clueless bluster to be an acceptable response mocks voters’ intelligence. Voters have the right to question the qualifications of any candidate who, unscripted, evades questions, cannot provide specific answers, and/or who, unscripted, continually constructs inarticulate “sentences to nowhere.” (And most political experts agree that electoral debates – for any candidate – are hardly unscripted, being heavily coached and allowing index cards). Again, we’re talking a heartbeat away from the presidency...
Finally, in response to the September 18 letter that advised me to “direct my ire” toward a fellow community organizer, I would simply say, God bless the “community organizers” who founded this great, democratic country!
Jo Slivinski
Blaine

The Editor:
Return rail service to Blaine. The city should be focusing on reinstating rail service, not moving or tearing it down, restore it, and make it a regular stop on Amtrak’s schedule, why not? 
It would be such a boost to local tourism, both Canadians and Americans could pass back and forth, and think of the gas saved, plus the added fact that border crossing line ups would be reduced significantly, especially on the weekends.
Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) and Amtrak’s revenue would jump just from the added traffic; Amtrak would no doubt have to add extra cars, especially in the summer and on holidays. Maybe even BNSF and Amtrak could pay the costs of remodeling the building; no doubt it would qualify for state historic building status!
I do think the city should be fighting for this, once this building is moved, it will never again have that opportunity. It has been a train station for about 100 years, such a shame to move it, and talk of tearing it down is just massively insensitive to common sense history in general. Fight for a train stop for the public in downtown Blaine! The train already stops here for customs; it isn’t much of a step from there to making it a regular passenger stop. 
Use your imagination and think of the beautiful restored Victorian train station, with all it’s refinished old growth fir woodwork and historic charm, I can see it now, throngs of folks using the station to board, folks with feelings of anticipation, to see loved ones arrive from far off points. With gas prices the way they are, train travel makes sense, it’s safe, less fuel costs, and very scenic, sit back, watch the beautiful scenery go by.
Ok public, how do you all feel about contacting our state level politicians about this? Is it important enough? I think so. Save the Blaine Train Station in its original location and bring back passenger service to our city, It’s the citizens right to have this. We should not be bullied by state or federal bureaucrats that may never even ride the train or know the pleasures of rail travel.  
There are just too many positive points, in my opinion that far outweigh any negative points. It would employ more folks, including customs officers, local rail employees, plus the added benefit of having more bodies in town for obvious monetary benefits to the city coffers and merchants.
Bill Becht
Blaine

The Editor:
What part of “no” don’t you understand? Two wrongs do not make a right! “Democracy” means “the voice of the people,” not the pork-barrel whims of entrenched politicians. Clearly we need term limits on all politicians, not just the president. When congressmen and senators serve term after term in Washington, they stop hearing the voices of the people who sent them there, and instead just listen to each other and compete like a bunch of immature school-kids fighting for a place in the cafeteria line.
So how did a 150-page bill that Congress rejected get turned into a 400-page bill that the senate passed? That’s not voting “apples for apples” – that was turning the rotten apple into a rotten watermelon! “Bail-out” means absolving a wrong-doer of responsibility, of prolonging the consequences of mistakes... but those consequences will be experienced nevertheless by everyone. The greed and stupidity of some should not be paid for by “the little people” who actually believe in “doing the right thing” and “taking responsibility.” For years I have believed that the stock market is a form of legalized gambling. Now I know this is true. Please, please, please do not pass this travesty!
Jeanne Halsey
Blaine

The Editor:
As I was on my way from Blaine to my home in Birch Bay today, I started to remember that Whatcom County had slated a project for 2008 to widen Lincoln Road between Harborview Road and Shintaffer Road.  As those of us from the area know, this road is widely traveled by residents of the area and many large trucks hauling dirt and logs from the many construction sites in the Birch Bay/Semiahmoo area. 
This road is dangerously narrow for the amount of traffic that it handles on a daily basis and I personally have almost ended up in a ditch due to the construction traffic.  Many others have fared worse than me. 
Ever curious since 2008 is drawing to a close, I wondered what had become of the project and decided to call the county and find out.  I was eventually put in contact with design engineer Gary Goodall, who advised me that his budget had been slashed and that no work was slated for Lincoln Road until at least 2010 or 2011. 
Mr. Goodall was polite and professional and further advised me that work on this project could not proceed without a grant ($2.5 million) from the Washington State County Road Administration Board (CRAB).  He stated that Whatcom County would need to come up with another $1.4 million for the work to be completed.  
Mr. Goodall asked that I send a letter containing my concerns to county engineer Joe Rutan at 2011 Young Street, Suite #201, Bellingham, Washington 98225.  Mr. Goodall advised me that my concerns would be forwarded to the County Road Administration Board.  
Mr. Goodall explained that a point of contact at the CRAB located in Olympia, Washington would be Mr. Jeff Monsen. Phone: 360/753-5989 extension 231, fax: 360/ 586-0386, E-mail: Jeff@crab.wa.gov. If you feel as I do that this project does not need to be on the back burner any longer, please make your voice heard to the above representatives.  Not only do I have to drive it daily but I have a child who bicycles it as well.  I’m sure that many of the readers who are reading this right now share my situation.
Charles Lloyd
Birch Bay

The Editor:
Thank you for the excellent coverage you gave St. Martin’s Clothing Bank’s call for volunteers.  We have a very good response.  So far, eight people have already volunteered to help with this very vital, useful organization since the paper came out last week.  That’s a wonderful response. 
Thank you, also, for the coverage for the combined Interfaith Coalition and our local Peace Arch Ministerial Alliance Coat Drive.  Many more people are bringing in warm coats who hadn’t realized the coat drive and distribution were going on.  Again, this is another excellent response to Blaine’s needs. 
Your publication of this news and similar articles, truly benefits our community and the responses to both calls for help remind us once again, what good neighbors we have here in Blaine.
Ann Duvall Spooner
St. Martin’s Clothing Bank
Blaine 

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
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