Letters to the Editor June 18 - 24, 2009

Published on Wed, Jun 17, 2009
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The Editor:
On April 18, the Blaine fieldhouse and concession committee had a live and silent auction at the Pastime Tavern in Blaine. I would like to thank Kelli Clausen who put it all together. A special thanks also goes to Kristin Clausen, Denise Bird and many others who helped make the night happen.
The night brought in $2300 with over 20 merchants donating prizes and gifts. The night was busy with a number of community people that turned out to support the cause and dance the night away.
The Crystal Tricycles provided great music. Thank you to all, who helped make this night possible. The Blaine fieldhouse concession building is up. It is located at the Blaine high school varsity/JV field.
Christy Imperio
Blaine

The Editor:
I was at the Blaine city council meeting On June 8 where the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO) was being discussed. I have lived in Blaine for a year, and have an offer in on a house here. I was there because people like John George and councilman Jason Overstreet have been putting the word out about what’s taking place – that this proposed ordinance will make hundreds of properties non-conforming, meaning that banks won’t finance buyers for property that in essence no longer belongs to the owner. This town is a beautiful place to live and has great natural beauty.
Development should be responsible, and the city and county have roles in regulating that development. Any taking of private property, however, should be a painful process.
If we are unwilling to give just and fair compensation for taking someone’s property, we not only have no right to take it, but an obligation not to. I’m glad John George was able to challenge the council in May and I am still in disbelief at the attitude of reckless indifference of councilmember Charlie Hawkins. To support this draconian circumvention of eminent domain is one thing – acting bored, disinterested, and callous to the plight of constituents and neighbors who stand to lose any value built up over generations in their land and homes is beyond inhuman. While Mr. Hawkins was sighing and looking at the clock pointedly, Jason Overstreet was attempting to explain why our founding fathers considered property rights and the limits, checks and balances on government important. I know most of the men I served with overseas understand what they were fighting and dying for and what has made this a great and wonderful country. If one encounters an injustice, the only reprehensible response is that of doing or saying nothing, and lacking the courage to do what is right.
Thank you to Mr. George and Mr. Overstreet for getting the word out about this travesty, and contact itsyourland@comcast.net for a copy of the CAO to read it for yourself
Rusty Welch
Blaine

The Editor:
Why is Terry Galvin supporting implementation of the Growth Management Act? Conformance to this act is only required in three Washington urban counties and is not required to be implemented in Whatcom County at all.
This act burdens small communities like Blaine with undesired bureaucracy and costs associated with compliance of this act. Implementing this act will needlessly adversely impact landowners by forcing them to comply with regulations and restrictions on land use which are not required by the GMA for conformance in Whatcom County at all.
Don’t we already have enough of a tax revenue shortfall without needlessly spending more tax dollars to force conformance to a law that should not affect Blaine at all.
Charles Robbins
Blaine

The Editor:
Charles Hawkins voted to pass the Critical Areas Ordinance. By passing this, his waterfront house value would increase, apparently by stopping any more from being built.
Mr. Hawkins should not only recuse himself from this issue, he should resign for being involved in this matter.
Mark Douglas
Blaine

The Editor:
The Critical Areas Ordinance meeting held in Blaine city council chambers on June 9 was well attended with an orderly audience. Numerous speakers outlined their concern for the proposed wetland ordinance. Most were opposed to the 38-page document which few council members have read or understand.
Two speakers outlined the need for clean water for wildlife. This is the goal of everyone but neither speaker was aware of unique conditions in our area that make us different from most of the county. Blaine sits on an impervious layer of clay hundreds of feet deep. When dry it is almost as hard as concrete. When it rains, water always stands, winter and summer. Local gardeners are well aware of this problem. Five miles south of town, the subsurface is pure sand.
Most of the area outlined as wetlands are not true wetlands. Rain will not soak into the soil, it either evaporates or runs into ditches. To get a true picture of the subsurface, drive to Peace Arch State Park and look at the “Grand Canyon of Blaine.” Thick clay here caused countless problems for highway construction and doubled the original cost.
If our city council plans to take our property, they better have enough money in city coffers to buy it or defend their action in court.
Dick Vander Yacht
Blaine

The Editor:
The first bi-monthly Blaine Gardener’s Market was a great success, and the next one on Saturday, June 27 will be even better. There could be (the mix of items is different each week) fresh locally grown veggies, plants, eggs, honey, shrimp, flowers, trees, music, art, crafts, and maybe even a surprise visit by “Story Boy,” Blaine’s favorite very friendly alpaca.
Join the hundreds of your friendly neighbors who were at the last Blaine Gardener’s Market, and support our “Keep It Local” market. In addition, bring a table, and you can sell anything from your garden or products that you produce. (Please, no yard sale items, imports or wholesale goods.) And it’s free!
If you play music, entertain, or sell food items commercially, you are welcome to join the fun at the Blaine Gardener’s Market, which gathers the 2nd and 4th Saturday through September from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the H Street Plaza.Call Ron at 332-8082 or at the Visitor’s Center at 332-6484 if you have any questions.
Ron Snyder
Blaine

Dear Editor:
Disabled American Veterans Bellingham Chapter 19 commends the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center Seattle Continuing Care Outreach Clinic staff for conducting, and the Interfaith Community Health Center for hosting, the clinic from March 1997 through June 2009 on the first or second Saturday of each month.
Many Whatcom County, and nearby veterans were served by the VA at Bellingham Interfaith facilities.
John F. Forgette, adjutant
Bellingham

Dear Editor:
Why is it that we are the only city in this county still clinging to a socialist city manager, and a pinhead planning director, who single handedly has discouraged any development in this city for eight years?
Do you realize in the last eight years we the taxpayers have paid these two pinheads at least $2 million in salary and benefits? Do you realize how much that money could be spent in better ways to promote this city, and to reduce costs to the taxpayers?
When the state sees a budget shortfall it makes cuts, when the county sees shortfalls it makes cuts and have employees take time off without pay, and when our own school board sees shortfalls it makes cuts, but not in this administration they don’t make cuts they just take more out of your pockets to keep giving themselves pay raises.
You the taxpayers may have made a mistake by putting dumb and dumber in the White House and their socialist agenda, but now it is time to make a change around here and get rid of tweedle dumb and tweedle dee who have not made any improvements in Blaine for 10 years and put a council in place that will hold this city accountable to the people, for the people and not the socialist agenda that is in there now, that is continuing to work to take away more and more of your property and your rights.
David White
Blaine

The Editor:
The recent critical area ordinance meeting at city hall was very well attended and quite a few Blaine residents were quite passionate about their property and how increasing buffers and setbacks could severely impact their property’s value.
It should be acknowledged that while many wetlands are economically or ecologically valuable, others are not. Rather, they are simply a breeding ground for pests. A rational wetlands policy would distinguish between the two.
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a rational wetlands policy. That being said, the Growth Management Act requires each city to update their critical area ordinance and thankfully city council has handed the ordinance back to our planning commission and rather than increasing setbacks and further taking away property value, we can only hope that the planning commission sends a strong message to the state that enough is enough.
This should not come across as pro environment versus development. God knows no one would like our area to become like Los Angeles but in reality there will be growth in Blaine and to take away property values over protecting non-vital-wetlands is not what our forefathers had in mind when they wrote our constitution.
It should be noted that at the turn of the 20th century courts supported the federal government’s role in converting wetlands and this is the reason that the United States has lost more than half of all its wetlands.
The government at that time viewed wetlands as an obstacle to progress and a nuisance. Swamps bred mosquitoes, which spread malaria and other diseases. So draining them was a high priority.
I encourage others to speak out for their property rights and don’t let extremists with their “best available science” propaganda take away our property. Government should stay out of regulating non-vital wetlands, either that or buy your property at market value.
Dennis Hill
Blaine

The Editor:
Please join me at the PAC on June 21 at 7:30 p.m. by attending a great performance by Victoria and Dan Sabo, world-class performers and composers. The concert will benefit our most treasured resource – our children!
The entire proceeds from the concert will go towards replacing deteriorating play equipment at Peace Arch State Park. Many thanks to Richard Clark for sponsoring this event. Please join me at the concert and please give generously.
Bonnie Onyon, mayor
Blaine

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