The Editor: Growing up in Blaine in the ‘70s as a teen holds a lot of fond memories. Cruising the bay on a hot summer day then going for a swim at Giles Pond, then finishing up with some good eats from Chuck’s Drive-in. And who can’t remember those moon jeans we had to have from Goff’s Store? Thanks Chuck’s Drive-in and Goff’s for the memories. We’ll miss you. Kerry Mace Blaine
The Editor: A big thank you to the south Birch Bay businesses who had a Holiday Open House December 5 and collected food for our Birch Bay Food Pantry. The thoughtfulness of the south Birch Bay businesses is appreciated by all the volunteers and the families in need of extra help. Also a big thank you to Christ the King Church for all of their donations of food along with the many people who donate to the collection boxes. Lynne Chapman Birch Bay
The Editor: What better time to begin planning for next year’s Blaine Gardeners Market than during a December snow storm? The market committee met last week and this is the schedule for next year’s market. The first Market Day will be May 22 and the last Market Day will be October 9. The Market will gather every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the H Street Plaza, except on August 7. The Saturday of Drayton Harbor Days, the vendors will meet from 9 a.m. to noon only. In addition, the Saturday of the Jazz Festival, the vendors will be distributed throughout the sidewalks and closed streets. The market remains a free market, and our motto is “Make it, produce it, grow it, keep it local.” Buskers and food vendors are welcome. Many thanks to The Northern Light newspaper, the city of Blaine, the Blaine Chamber of Commerce, and The Circle of Trees Studio for their ongoing support of the Blaine Gardeners Market. Watch the Coming Up section of The Northern Light for the next market meeting. Ron Snyder, The Circle of Trees Studio Blaine
The Editor: The Blaine high school chamber choir is going to New York at the end of April! They need your help to get them there. They are willing to work small jobs to earn money to perform at places like the Statue of Liberty, The World Trade Center (ground zero), many beautiful cathedrals and more. They can put up Christmas lights, help decorate the Christmas tree, help with wrapping gifts, help clean and decorate for the big Christmas party. They can also help with taking Christmas lights down after New Year’s. Any small job is not too small for them. Call Carol to make arrangements and find out about cost at 319-3548 or 371-7962. Carol Ellingson Blaine
The Editor: Now that results of Proposition 1 have been certified, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the many citizens who voted in November’s election. While the county as a whole voted to pass the library levy lid lift with 51.4 percent majority, voters in the Blaine/Birch Bay area gave their nod at a rate of 55 percent. Speaking for the Blaine staff, we are deeply grateful for the outpouring of support we received over the last months, a time when many are facing economic trials. There were numerous statements made like, “I don’t ever vote for tax increases, but I’m voting for the library.” A couple of older folks on fixed incomes shared that if necessary, they’d go without a meal or two, just to make sure their library could maintain current levels of service. This sentiment humbles me to the core. It also makes me determined to return to these people and all the people who use the Blaine Library the absolutely best service possible in these coming years. A special thank you is extended to Clare Nurre and the other Friends of the Blaine Library, Richard May, David Gallion, Lillian Moir and Marcie Toby. Their extra efforts will help the library continue to flourish as a vibrant center of the community. Debby Farmer, Blaine Library branch manager Blaine
The Editor: You have really got us wrong. I’ve been the division manager for this company since March of this year, and I came to work here because I truly believed in the primary mission of the company…to promote reuse and recycling to protect a fragile environment. A business I could feel good about. Nothing I’ve seen in my tenure here has caused me to doubt in the integrity of the business or its purpose. Americans throw away seven to eight million pounds of clothing a year. It all ends up in landfills. Less than 20 percent of the usable shoes and clothing is donated or re-purposed somehow. All of the various charities and for profit recycling companies do their best to intercept some small portion of this waste stream and I fully support all of their efforts. In the end, every pound we can reuse instead of re-manufacture is a good one, no matter who gets the credit. No one on my team has ever pretended to be a charity, although we offer every site owner the option of directing some portion of their proceeds to the charitable cause of their choosing. That is a unique option that most non-profits cannot offer. You know as well as I do that charitable organizations operate as any business would. They must pay their administrative and operating overhead long before any resources go to fund the programs themselves, and often only pennies on the dollar truly benefit those they intend to serve. They enjoy the benefit of tax laws, government funding and positive public perception. Don’t get me wrong, most do good work and should be supported. All we did was to opt for the most honest business model possible…a commercial recycling company that actively donates to charity. You pay, either directly or through tax dollars, for every other kind of recycling that you do. Even if all we did was offer this no-cost recycling option it would be a worthy endeavor. The fact that we also support charitable contribution is unusual for a company our size. You talk about Janice Bostic and Mattias Wallander and things that happened in Denmark completely unrelated to who we are and what we do every day. The U’SAgain I know is just a small business here in Washington providing employment for a very small group of well-intentioned folks trying to make ends meet by providing a service to the community. Of all the ways that people support themselves in this world, ethical and otherwise, it’s hard to imagine that we must defend ourselves for running a recycling business. I would love to speak to the mayors of Blaine, Ferndale and Sedro-Woolley directly. More importantly, I would be grateful to have a discussion with the people of these communities who now question their partnership with our company. There is nothing about what we do that requires any kind of deception or false advertising. There is nothing about who we are that should require an apology. I wish that you had been willing to dig a little deeper than the simple repackaging of a KIRO newscast that was both deliberately inflammatory and unforgivably biased. Give us a fair shake. Eric Shanin, Division manager, U’SAgain Auburn
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