Letters to the Editor -- November 13, 2008

Published on Thu, Nov 13, 2008
Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Dodging public library consolidation. Why can’t an impartial analysis of full public library consolidation be jointly performed by Bellingham city and Whatcom County finance staffs? Administrative staff duplication and other repetitive operating costs are untenable as we all struggle to do more with fewer personal and public resources. We should expect our public agencies to employ every reasonable opportunity to economize and stretch public monies before reducing services or increasing taxes.
The long-overdue analysis has repeatedly surfaced as a ‘good’ idea, only to be met with resistance from the libraries’ managements and oversight boards, who fear elimination of redundant positions, expenses and power bases.
One of the official rationalizations for resisting analysis has been “we work very closely in many functional areas…” This statement sidesteps learning the true financial and operational merits and drawbacks of full integration.
For now library officials only ‘know as fact’ that they don’t want to analyze the possibility and likely learn uncomfortable, unsustainable truths.
Counties around the country successfully operate consolidated library systems. Why can’t Whatcom County benefit from a similar, fully-integrated library system?
Ironic, isn’t it, when highly-educated people entrusted with so much assembled knowledge refuse to objectively question their own biases to better serve the public?
Fred Voltz
Bellingham

The Editor:
I am writing to thank our local community for the excellent response that they gave us Saturday, November 1, at our 6th annual dinner and auction at Semiahmoo Resort.
We had an excellent turnout from the community and together we raised some needed capital for our ongoing program of helping those needing a hand up.
Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County is affiliated with the national organization of Habitat for Humanity International. Each dollar donated to Habitat is kept within the community and is recirculated over and over as our local Habitat for Humanity owners live, work and raise their families in Whatcom County.
This past Saturday, fearing a weak turnout due to the recent market upheavals, we were relieved to see a large turn out for this event and likewise we found the community very generous with their bids for the silent and live auction items. We want to thank each one for their response!
Our fundraising event was enhanced by community people like Donna Kellar of Blaine who was our largest financial supporter pledging support for the coming year for Habitat’s projects. Thanks again Donna!
Habitat for Humanity is planning on returning to Blaine to build its third house in the border city. If any of you are interested in our grass roots organization, you can contact community minded people like Al and Ruby Dahl who live in Blaine and have been strong supporters of Habitat’s projects in the Blaine area.
If you should desire additional information from our office, you can contact me at Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County at 360/715-9170.
Terry Mattson, associate director,
Habitat for Humanity Whatcom County
Bellingham

The Editor:
Northwest Park & Recreation District 2 invites residents of the Blaine and Birch Bay area to a community meeting on Monday, November 17 at 7 p.m. at the Birch Bay Bible Community Church, 7039 Jackson Road (south basement entrance). Input from the community is needed to continue work on the master plan for our district.
Instructors wanted: The district will wrap up its recreational program by the end of November, and then be making plans for new classes and activities to start in January, 2009.
Those in the community who have specialized skills are invited to consider sharing their knowledge by teaching a class or activity. Instructor application forms are available through the NWPRD2 office at 380 H Street, Tuesday – Friday from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Forms are also available at www.nwparkandrec.org or by calling 360/656-6416 or emailing info@nwprd2.com.
Linda Roorda,
NWPRD2 office manager
Blaine

The Editor:
Our first day of distribution for the Birch Bay Mobile Pantry was a little challenging because of all the wind and rain, but we had a covered porch, which helped us stay dry.
A few families braved the weather and they were very happy to have the extra food and blankets. Times are difficult right now and we felt so good to be able to give some comfort to those that need it most. A big thank you to everyone who helped us with this project, especially Stuart Bowler, a neighbor who helped us at both locations. We do live in a great community!
We are looking forward to getting the word out for our next distribution, December 1. Pick up is on the first Monday of each month. We need hygiene products as well as non-perishable food. The drop off locations are: Beach Basket Yarns, Beachside RV Park, Bank of the Pacific, Birch Bay Liquor Store and La Cantina. If you would like to volunteer or donate, call Lynne at 371-3070.
Lynne Chapman & Sue Maconaghie, Birch Bay Mobile Pantry
Birch Bay

The Editor:
My wife and I have worked as volunteers on the Community Assistance Program’s Thanksgiving dinner baskets for three years now. It is a way of giving back to the community for me. There is other well-deserving charity work in our nation that needs our support, but the Thanksgiving Basket Program helps needy families right here in the area where I live. And that’s important to me.
This year we will again be doing the Thanksgiving Dinner Basket Program. It will be held on Wednesday, November 26 from 1 – 5:30 p.m. The basket pick up point will be the same as last year, unit 330 near Cost Cutter in the Blaine International Shopping Center.
The funding for this community outreach effort is provided by contributions from individuals in the community. More than ever, we need your support this year. The cost of the food for the baskets has gone up, and there are more families who are being marginalized by the events of the last few weeks.
Those desiring to contribute to this charitable work right here in our own part of Whatcom County may do so by mailing a check to the CAP Thanksgiving Dinner Fund, P.O. Box 1067, Blaine, WA 98231.
Donations may also be made at Cost Cutter, Bank of America, Sterling Bank, and other supporting businesses in Blaine. Look for the turkey signs at these businesses.
CAP is an approved 501 (c) 3 charity program, under the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association and any donation is fully tax deductible. The average retail cost for a Thanksgiving basket was about $80 in 2007.
Bryan Johnson
Blaine

The Editor:
Too much sibling rivalry for Children of a Common Mother.
Letters of late regarding Canada and opinions arriving from Nebraska, of all places, it seems have stirred patriotic fervor, from within our midst here in Blaine.
I too am feeling stirred, suggesting an implicit update to the sentiments on the Peace Arch.
Well, talk’s been the English, who prefer to be British, as our earlier stock, when in fact Santa Fe, New Mexico was the capitol of New Spain in 1611 (still without major airline service) and some nine years prior to those Pilgrim folks; not to overlook St. Augustine, Florida, earliest of American cities.
Then there’s Bering Strait; Hudson Bay; Montreal, Quebec; Sebastopol, California and New York, formerly New Amsterdam representing English, Russian, Scandinavian, French and Dutch contributions to our heritage!
A vote in continental congress whether we’d speak English as we do, or German, was decided by one vote, noting an early Teutonic presence. All these just for starters!
Romantic history’s quick and easy and that’s what’s wished for on the Architrave of the Arch. When in reality as we look around, our common mother is Europe, Africa, Asia and Native America remembering Chief Sealth and Pocahontas.
So, with all due respect for the intent of those words meant to celebrate U.S. and Canada as two nations with common goals and values, I’ll suggest we now look at them as about uniting all nations, in our very small world, joined with the other sentiment on the arch, Brethren Living Together In Peace!
Bob Hendricks
Blaine

The Editor:
 As a member of the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Annual Meeting Committee member, I write this letter to serve as a thank you to the members of the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce for the terrific Annual Meeting held Oct. 21, 2008 in the Club Room of the Sandcastle Resort in Birch Bay.  We were so proud to bring the meeting back to Birch Bay!  Our theme  “Celebrate Birch Bay - Warm Water, Warm People” did just that! Our local businesses really gave their all - figuratively and literally with fantastic food donated by our Birch Bay restaurants, and prizes and wine donated by our member businesses.  We encourage the public to benefit our contributing members by patronizing their businesses.  I would love to list them all here but space does not allow. Please go to BirchBayChamber.com, and read both October and November’s Newsletters for a complete list of contributing members. 
 I would like to give a special thank you to the other members of the annual meeting committee: Tammy Pearce, Janell Kortlever, Ruth Higgins, Mary Muncy and Luanne Williams. We worked hard, had fun and put on a great party!
The Birch Bay Chamber board of directors is excited for the prospects of the new term and the benefits the chamber can bring to the community. 
We invite you to attend our general meetings, held the third Tuesday of each month, date and time announced in advance at BirchBayChamber.com or call 360-371-5004 for more information. Join Us!
 Lisa Guthrie,
President
Birch Bay Chamber of
Commerce

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