Letters to the Editor - October 1 - 7, 2009

Published on Wed, Sep 30, 2009
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The Editor:
As a resident of Point Roberts, I have crossed the border between Canada and the U.S. on occasions too numerous to count. After 38 years in Point Roberts, this is the first time I find myself wanting to write a letter commenting on my experience at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Blaine.
Recently I met with supervisory CBP officer Robert Bayne to discuss my NEXUS application. He was punctual and fully prepared with all the details of my application. He was patient and thorough when explaining the CBP policies and very knowledgeable with respect to my questions.
Because there are extenuating circumstances with regard to my application, officer Bayne took extra time out of his day to make sure he fully addressed my concerns. He was respectful, kind, and willing to continue to try to help me understand my situation. It is amazingly helpful to feel heard and cared about and I was most impressed by Mr. Bayne’s professionalism and human kindness.
Too seldom do we take the time to pass along the good news. It’s easier to complain. But today, I am compelled to comment on the outstanding professionalism displayed by this officer. My appointment with him was a very positive experience and I am grateful for his help.
Margot Griffiths
Point Roberts, WA

The Editor
I just read with great pleasure the story written by Alexandra Grubb recounting her adventures in Paraguay last summer. Alexandra’s family, her school, and her community can be proud to have produced such a fine young woman. Her compassion, courage, and openness to new and (literally) foreign experiences show through clearly in her words, and should serve as an inspiration to her peers. I lived in Latin America (Mexico and Argentina) throughout my junior and senior high school years, and fell in love with the people and cultures of that part of the world, as Alexandra apparently has as well.
She has done much to reinforce my hopes for the youth of this great country (which I admit falter a little from time to time), and I foresee a great future for her, and wish her all the best.
Peter Woolery

The Editor:
Bravo to The Northern Light for the story of Alexandra Grubb, “A Summer in Paraguay,” and bravo to her for her well-written account and selfless service abroad. Having worked seven years in eastern Europe after the fall of Communism, I believe in the power of international service experiences for change in American young people.
While there, we hosted many teens that came to work with children or on projects requiring hard labor and marginal living conditions.
Without fail, the volunteers’ lives were changed to include more appreciation for home, America, and our affluent lifestyle. Most insisted they received more than they gave. Many went on to do good things for others as a life work. The benefits are worth far more than the money we spend on formal education.
Especially, it was good to see positive news of the majority of teens who work hard, want to do good things for others, and do their best most of the time.
How about another – maybe something about the Football Booster Club crab feed, written by the football players?
Sharon Statema
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I am writing to voice my outrage over the writing of a grant that would require the expenditure of $50,000 for artwork in a sewage treatment plant.
Who in the world would demand such a crazy requirement for a grant? All the taxpayers hear is tough times, belts must be tightened, budget deficits are inevitable, services will have to be cut.
Then, on page 2, the city of Blaine is asking for submittals of art to be displayed in their new sewage treatment plant to the tune of $50,000. I wonder how far $50,000 would go to help low income retirees heat their homes? I also have to ask myself what kind of artwork would be suitable for a sewage treatment plant? Am I the only one who doesn’t get it?
Tim Freeman

The Editor:
Dear Mr. Goff, I would like to take a moment of your time to respond to the letter you wrote in the September 17 issue of The Northern Light. I smiled to myself as I read your perfect description of what I too am still experiencing. Yes, I have heard the Arabic radio station! The only difference between our experiences is that it can be heard on my residential phone.
It has been an issue for me since I subscribed for my phone service in June of 2000. If location matters, I live in Birch Bay. It is hard to discern the words, not because it’s a different language, but because it is so faint. It’s almost on your peripheral hearing. I have contacted the phone company to remedy the problem, but they couldn’t come up with either a cause or solution.
Rather than an alien sound, I like to think this strange interference is comparable to the Whos in Whoville from the fantastic Dr. Suess story, “Horton Hears a Who.”
If you have not had the pleasure of reading the story, it is the story of an elephant (Horton) who claims to hear tiny voices from a tiny speck of dust. At the end of the story, poor Horton is validated when it is discovered that there are indeed voices coming from the tiny speck of dust, and they are tiny people called Whos who live in the tiny town of Whoville.
Sarah Vanrooyen

The Editor:
The attitude of the Birch Bay community has been identified by extensive public review and democratic decision-making process since January 2001. These values are those things that will make Birch Bay the most livable, sustainable and harmonious with the natural environment.
These are the characteristics that attracted the majority of people to Birch Bay to vacation and in recent years to live in the first place. Whatcom County government has increased its focus on upland development but it has not expanded its effort to protect the marine waters.
The shoreline management act of the 1970s gives the local government as well as many state agencies the responsibility to protect Birch Bay (a bay of state wide significance). For over 30 years Whatcom County government has lacked the resolve to take a role in managing the bay. The shellfish protection district recently set up is to narrow in scope considering only clams, oyster and mussels.
I believe that keeping and adding Carl Weimer, Dan McShane, Ken Mann, and Laurie Caskey-Schreiber will help develop the resolve of Whatcom County to take a leadership role in Whatcom County marine waters.
Gerald Larson
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I haven’t written a letter to the editor since my college days and never thought I’d need to until last Thursday’s article about the Borderites “thrashing” Ferndale.
I am all for school and community pride and wouldn’t dream of taking anything away from the admittedly impressive Blaine win over Ferndale last week. What I do take issue with, however, is the tone of the article, particularly the mention of pre-game “yammering” about Ferndale’s accomplishments.
Here’s the thing you Borderites might not understand about Ferndale: It’s a matter of pride. They are so serious about that in Ferndale that they put it on the side of the gymnasium.
And those are not just words in Ferndale, it’s a commitment, it’s a lifestyle. It’s what fills the visitors side of stadiums hundreds of miles away when the home team fans barely make a showing, it’s what keeps the whole town awake past midnight to welcome home their team from the state championship - win or lose, and it’s what makes the mighty Jake Locker a hometown hero heralded more than any other since the likes of Luke Ridnour. And if they brag a little, it’s because they’ve earned it. There were a lot of very lean pre-millennium years full of losing seasons for the Ferndale football program but their community never wavered in their support and pride in their team. They’ve since become a force to be reckoned with, and they earned every one of those 42 wins.
So congratulations on the win, but I’d hardly call a seven-point victory a “thrashing.” And I’d appreciate a little more respect for a team that just lost its first home game in five years. The Golden Eagles may be down, but they will never be out. It’s a matter of pride.
Tiffany Ann March

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