Letters to the Editor
After reading The Bellingham Herald the past two weeks I wanted to comment on some of the great things that are inadvertently happening in Washington, D.C. since our new president took office. President Obama is selecting the top Democrats in D.C. to be in his cabinet and by doing so the U.S. Treasury is receiving thousands of dollars of forgotten, overdue taxes the selected ones owed! Keep up the good work.
Down in the House, Republicans really have it easy now. When the President has a new bill for the House, our Republican representatives don’t have to read it or debate whether it is any good because the head of GOP will give them thumbs up or down as they pass through the front door!
It is a wonderful sight to see our 155 Republican representatives so loyal to the GOP that nothing could change their thinking. On the lighter side it does give them more time to raise funds for their next election.
In today’s paper I had to laugh after reading that only special lobbyists can work in the White House!
Jere R. Hawn
On behalf of all the parent and student volunteers from the Blaine high school Close Up Foundation team, we would like to thank Woods Coffee, Haggen, T.C. Trading Co., Summit Engineering, The C-Shop, Paso Del Norte, Kafe 104.3, and TC Transport for their generosity in sponsoring the Blaine high school Close-Up Foundation fundraiser which was held on January 17.
A special thank you to Sterling Dietz, Jessica Gassman, the crew of the magic show, the Dietz & Gassman families for an amazing show! Also, thanks to Dave Fakkema for the guidance on this project.
Project organizer/parent volunteer
The primary purpose of our state’s Growth Management Act (GMA) is to slow or control the rate of increase in taxes required to fund the public infrastructure needs of a given population growth rate. The amount of urban sprawl allowed within a county determines the cost of extending water mains, stringing power lines, installing sewage pump stations, and of building roads across comparatively greater distances.
The fact that our local property taxes have increased so rapidly is evidence that neither Whatcom County nor the city of Blaine have done a very good job of enforcing our GMA laws on our behalf.
Because of this situation Western Washington’s growth management hearings board ruled Whatcom County has until June of 2009 to “review” and appropriately size all their urban growth areas (UGAs). To illustrate the problem consider that Blaine’s UGA is large enough to accommodate a population growth of 22,719 additional people.
The “net developable acres” is 1,468 percent of those needed to accommodate the actual “historical population growth allocation” for another 20-year period, and we have just experienced the biggest real estate “boom” ever recorded.
One reason Blaine’s is so large is because there are hundreds if not thousands of acres of “designated forestland” zoning included in that UGA. If you are concerned about “down-zoning” of your property, and rightfully so, then you should ask your city and county governments to explain why tax exempt property should be allowed to be developed before parcels that pay a full share of property taxes.
Please ask Blaine’s council why they recently docketed a comprehensive plan amendment request to transfer land from within Blaine’s “city limits” into the UGA at exactly the location where it is comprised of designated forestland, in advance of the county’s decision to remove “forestland” from their UGAs.
If you as a citizen of the state of Washington want to have the right to see your GMA laws enforced so that your taxes will not be negatively impacted by more urban sprawl, then please contact Kate Koch, County PDS, KKoch@co.whatcom.wa.us Thank you very much.
On behalf of the Blaine school district’s transition program which serves students vocationally between the ages of 18 and 21, I would like to thank Al Holub and his staff at Big Al’s Diner for allowing one of our students to volunteer these past four months.
Big Al’s Diner is one of three local businesses that have allowed our program to train special needs students alongside their paid employees. This training helps these young adults gain much needed hands-on skills and work experience that will assist them to become employed in their own community someday.
It must have felt like a “risky” decision for Al to open up his livelihood to a job coach and student he didn’t know. He generously allowed us access to his facility to learn how to dish wash and bus dirty dishes to the kitchen. In the process, our student has been able to converse with very receptive customers, work alongside the waitresses, cooks and dishwashers, and experience a job he might never otherwise had an opportunity to.
Thanks again to Big Al’s Diner, for opening your business to the special needs adults in our community. We hope that many more Blaine businesses will follow Al’s lead and be encouraged to contact us about how they can be involved with our transition program.
Program training consultant
I have been a “Friend of the Plover” ever since the late 1980s, when I heard about and saw this beautiful little boat that looked like “Little Toot” the tugboat. It had been sitting in storage over at the Bay Horizon Park and former Air Force station for many years after being retired from service by the APA Cannery when it closed up. In those days, The Plover had been a vital link between Blaine and the spit for transporting cannery workers.
The “Friends” with Richard Sturgill at the helm, had the vision to see a future with that ferry link restored once again, this time instead of ferrying cannery workers she would carry visitors and town folk across the bay.
After years of meetings, letter writing, planning, building, scraping, painting and restoring, that dream became a reality.
Now that little ferry boat is the crown jewel of our town in the summer time.
Not only does it provide a safe way for local people to get out and enjoy the spit either on foot or by bicycle, it is also a means for guests from the Semiahmoo Resort to visit our fair city. It is a wonderful historical tourist attraction as well! One that we should hang on to! Please! City council, don’t go backwards; Find a way to save the Plover.
Letter To The Editor:
On January 31, the 12th Annual Arts & Jazz auction took place at the middle school cafeteria. The annual event is sponsored by the Blaine Fine Arts Association. The auction is supported by businesses and individuals who give so generously, an audience that is always gracious, giving and supportive and the entertainment from the Blaine high school jazz band and chamber choir, that makes us all proud to be a Borderite.
I’m very pleased to inform you that this evening the Blaine Fine Arts Association grossed $9,500. In tough economic times, our community once again came to the call for the kids in our fine arts programs. We have excellent programs, art, band, choir and drama that are all lead by great people who care about what they do, and it shows. Auction item #27 was the opportunity for individuals to make a tax deductible cash donation, which raised $450.
We were so very fortunate and thankful for Gary Tosmic, the city manager for being our auctioneer and Mike Kent who assisted him to make this evening possible.
To all the businesses who donated, our heartfelt thanks, to the amazing group of parents, teachers, students and community members who all make this happen, Thank You! Yet again you all have made this event a success!
Please mark your calendars, The Blaine Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Pacific Arts Association is coming to the Blaine Performing Arts Center February 21 at 7:30 p.m. Admission by donation and for more information please view www.blainejazzfestival.org.
One last note: I’m pleased to announce that the Takanawadai High School Wind Ensemble will be performing March 18, 2009 at the Blaine PAC at 7 p.m.
On behalf of the Blaine Fine Arts Association, Thank you!
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.
send your letter to:
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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.
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