Letters to the Editor - September 3 - 9, 2009

Published on Wed, Sep 2, 2009
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The Editor:
I was shocked but not surprised to see another Canadian complain about our customs officers at the border. These officers have a dangerous and thankless job and getting worse everyday.
They are not there to welcome and shake your hand, they are there to protect our borders, and if they as you put it, are repugnant and have to draw a weapon you can bet it is for a reason. Now you want to punish Blaine you love so much. Give your head a shake, boycott, what a joke. The reason Canadians come down here is money, money they save on gas, clothing, butter, milk, cheese, and even our postal service.
You also said to send our bully border guards back to where they come from, idiot unlike you, they are from here, maybe you should take your own advice.
You even want them to take a pledge to be courteous and treat you with respect, at the same time maybe Canadians can also take a pledge to obey our laws. Like 70 miles per hour on the freeway, 25 miles per hour on Peace Portal Drive, stop signs, U turns and above all “keep right except to pass,” it’s a state law, really.
So if you do decide to come down, and you will say hello to a customs officer and if he or she becomes repugnant, just turn around and head north.
Harry Wilson

The Editor:
First I want to thank The Northern Light photographer, Tara Nelson, for taking great pictures of the Elvis program at the Blaine Senior and Community Center on August 20.
The front page picture shows Dana Hanks, manager of the senior center with Elvis. Dana and her staff including Sheila Clemens did an excellent job promoting the program, which attracted more than 40 people to the show.
The second picture on page four includes Shirley Edmundson whom Elvis is kissing and her friend, Candy Hawkins. Shirley is a big Elvis fan and was thrilled to see the show. A big thanks to Stafholt staff, Marsha Hawkins and Laurie Hart for bringing their residents to the show.
Elvis was very happy to sing at the Blaine Senior Center and will make a return visit next year. He will also sing at the Stafholt home this fall. Thank you, thank you very much!
Michael “Elvis” Spinale

The Editor:
Here are six reasons for requesting our community’s support toward equipping Peace Arch State Park with a first-class playground facility:
1. Play is children’s work. It’s a vital part of human growth and development.
2. Open http://healthyamericans.org/ reports/obesity2009 and note our state’s growing crisis: childhood obesity. Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation tell us 29.5 percent of Washington’s children aged 10-17 are endangered. Exercise is a vital part of the solution.
3. Lawns, trees, shrubbery, flowerbeds and sculptures beautify our international park. It’s a peaceful setting that connects children’s exercise with the love of nature and art.
4. Ours is a park that brings families across the border. It’s a rare opportunity for children from two or more countries to play together. It adds international friendship to children’s exercise. And it’s an ideal setting for family picnicking.
5. Think what a well-supplied playground will do for the Peace Arch city’s image. An enhancement.
Nowadays, playground components are manufactured as integrated sets designed for safety and exercise. But they are also attractive – aesthetically pleasing to the eye. A top-quality playground facility will be a tourist attraction.
6. A functional playground will constructively harmonize with the USCPAA art displays. These belong together.
Understandably, I’m sponsoring another playground benefit concert. It’s a fundraiser scheduled for 3 p.m., October 4, at The Amadeus Project, 1209 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, with admission by donation.
It will be a concert unusual and fascinating. Seven piano teachers affiliated with the Bellingham Chapter of the Washington State Music Teachers Association will resurrect 20 of Joseph Schiffmacher’s piano compositions, long forgotten but fortunately archived in the Paris Conservatory of Music. Schiffmacher (1827-1888) was a prolific composer, a Strassbourg professor and an excellent pianist.
After Delacroix attended one of his all-Chopin recitals, the French painter said Schiffmacher’s style reminded him of Chopin’s own. No wonder. Schiffmacher had been a Chopin student.
This will be a rare event; it’s one not to be missed. Peace Arch State Park employees and volunteers will assist in preparations and greet the audience. Generous donations will be appreciated.
Richard Clark

The Editor:
After reading the story about Red Boy, the toy poodle, who was recently viciously attacked at Peace Arch Park, my heart went out to both Red Boy as well as his person, Ed. Not only is that a horrific incident in and of itself, but to think that the owner of the offending dog is unwilling to help with vet fees because he’s a Canadian makes no sense whatsoever.
Nationality should have nothing to do with personal responsibility. I can only hope that he thinks better of his decision and offers some assistance.
And most important of all, a speedy recovery to Red Boy!
Maureen Kelly
Birch Bay

The Editor:
Because of the belt-tightening now occurring at all levels of government, I’m very concerned about how such measures will impact public safety, particularly in Whatcom County.
The Whatcom County Sheriff’s office covers more than 2,000 square miles and even now is stretched too thin. Public safety should always be a primary consideration and I strongly encourage our county executive and our county council to make sure that sheriff Elfo and his department are treated as a top priority whenever budgetary discussions arise.
Diane Ford

The Editor:
I would like to send a special thank you to all of the folks who attended our first open house night at Loomis Hall Artist Lofts & Gallery, making it a huge success. We were so thrilled with the turnout and were equally excited to hear the feedback from those in attendance.
So many of you were amazed with what we have accomplished and are doing here in our community.
Some of the comments I heard were: “Wow, if I didn’t know I was in Blaine, I would think I was in a gallery in Seattle or Vancouver,” “Truly remarkable, very impressed with the show, the artwork is incredible and the building is amazing,” “Thank you for doing this for our community, we needed something like this.”
We started this project knowing we were pioneering something for our city and are thrilled to have an opportunity to share it with all of you. My intention is to make this something that everyone can enjoy, by bringing a piece of the big city to our small town.
I would like to extend an invitation to everyone in our community who didn’t get a chance to come to the open house to walk through and experience Loomis Hall.
I think you, too, will be impressed. We’re at 288 Martin Street in downtown Blaine. Our gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thank you again.
David Vargo

The Editor:
On behalf of the board of directors, the staff, and especially the students that will benefit, I would like to thank all of the community members that have donated school supplies this year. There have been a very significant number of donations.
Some of the local businesses have set out boxes for donations from employees and customers. Families have come to the district office with bags of supplies and others brought in items because they remembered what it was like when “their kids were in school.”
Every year there is a need for these items, and this year is particularly significant.
Again, thank you!
Ron Spanjer, superintendent

The Editor:
I hereby challenge Ms. Onyon to a series of debates on the issues confronting this city with questions coming from the citizens of Blaine in an open forum with a neutral mediator.
I would hope that you would agree to at least two or three debates.
What say you?
David White

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.

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