Letters to the Editor - September 17 - 23, 2009

Published on Wed, Sep 16, 2009
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The Editor:
The city of Blaine and Birch Bay Water & Sewer District would like to remind their customers that the Water Wisely Watering schedule is officially over as of September 15.
Your conservation efforts helped us to reliably serve you during the challenging summer months while keeping enough water in storage to provide for firefighting and other contingencies. Thanks for helping us conserve!
Emily Resch
Water conservation specialist
Birch Bay Water and Sewer District

The Editor:
Recently, Blaine middle school (BMS) proudly announced that they intended to continue their policy of intentionally mixing students of different learning abilities in the classroom. This has several drawbacks that have largely been ignored by BMS and the district administration. When students of differing learning abilities are mixed, some students find themselves routinely teaching other students, the bar is set at the middle, leaving challenged learners behind, and advanced learners stagnant.
The leaders lead and the followers follow, and the students in the middle don’t get a chance to shine, because they generally will not attempt to raise the bar because they have done well enough and are not normally encouraged to go the extra mile.
The challenged student then accepts that they will not contribute to the class and essentially resigns and disengages, because they do not feel emotionally safe to take risks in the class when in the presence of students who learn at a faster pace. Is this fair public education for all children across the spectrum of learning ability?
The solution is differentiated teaching, where students are grouped with others who learn at their pace. A model is in place already – Response to Intervention (RTI).
This is where a student’s learning level is identified, a specific plan for each student is implemented, and the student’s progress is assessed at intervals. This is currently used for challenged students; however, why not for all students at all levels, so they all can reach their full potential? It reads well in the newspaper when educators say, “a percentage of students at our school passed a test.”
However, when examined more closely, you find that the test results do not equal a meaningful education for your student. As a taxpayer, you should take a look at what is invested in our schools for your children’s education. What are you getting for your money? If you are displeased with the current classroom structure at BMS you are encouraged to join other concerned parents and send an email to: teachmykidtoo@hotmail.com.
Leonard and Trina V’Dovec

The Editor:
As someone planning to move to Blaine, I am flabbergasted that the city is planning to move the historic train station. The city of Blaine has a rich history going back 150 years, and the railroad station is a significant part of that history. I am amazed that Blaine does not promote its historic roots to bring more visitors in to spend money at the businesses in town. In neighboring White Rock, the train station is used as a museum, art gallery and community program location.
The train station belongs next to the train tracks, not as a jumping off point for a tourist boat. The train station is also closer to a number of the city’s businesses, with great parking.
Many Canadian tourists will remember passing through Blaine due to the station, particularly if it is restored. Bill Becht is right in saying the BNSF has other options; the city should dictate to outside businesses, and not the other way around. Councilors and citizens need to claim back the city from misguided outside developers and large businesses, who purport to be helping the city, but are only exploiting it for their own gain.
Elaine Rogers
Surrey, B.C.

The Editor:
The 4th of July parade this year was missing a participant. I missed him. Maybe you missed him too.
The elegant, exotic Afghan Hound, Abu, wasn’t there.
For three years, he strutted and pranced and posed for pictures as if he was the star of the parade. He loved the attention! He enjoyed pleasing everyone with his regal presence, but yet comical demeanor, especially the children.
Maybe because he was a retired show dog, a champion in Canada and the U.S., that he was re-living his past glories or maybe because he was a “show off” dog now and knew it!
Abu was a beautiful example of a breed seldom seen. He was also a wonderful companion and I loved him dearly.
I was his keeper of the hounds and carried the sign “We support or troops in Afghan-istan.” (This play on words seemed to reflect the pride in my Afghan Hound as well as being a U.S. Navy WAVE veteran.) But Abu also enjoyed the Blaine dog park, walking the downtown streets and crossing the Peace Arch border - an international celebrity he was!
Blaine was a wonderfully animal friendly town for him and I wish to thank all those who admired and acknowledged Abu, especially Heather and staff at Bow Wow and Woofs, Linda and Joanne at Bed N Bones, and of course all those who contribute so many hours in planning and coordinating the parade and doing it so well.
In remembrance of Abu, there is a beautifully engraved paver installed by the Vigil statue. Thank you Christy and engravers. His AKC registered name was Polo’s All About U. We called him Abu. He lived up to that name in a grand and glorious manner.
I miss him. Maybe you miss him too.
But, I expect God needed him to lead a parade – over the Rainbow Bridge and he’s waiting there along with all of your beloved pets – each one is special there.
Diane Bensmiller

The Editor:
It is currently 9:13 p.m. and I am sitting at my chair as I do most nights, surfing the internet, playing games, etc. My routine involves listening to music. But as of late I have been picking up an alien sound. No, not of the UFO sorts. But I think of an Arabic radio station.
When I plug in my speakers into my laptop I hear this fuzzy, quick worded sound. Now getting to my point of all this. Is anyone else hearing the sounds on their entertainment system? Or just me? And is there anyway to listen to my music without the simply put, annoying sound out of the background?
Craig Goff

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