Letters to the Editor - April 8 - 14, 2010

Published on Wed, Apr 7, 2010
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The Editor:
My wife, Carole, and I would like to add our thanks to Congressman Rick Larsen for supporting and voting for health care reform. This is a need in the United States that has been sidestepped for too long a period of time. Regardless of what faith you may profess or what political ideology you may follow this is a case of human decency and support of your fellow person. Health care premiums and costs have risen to the point that they are a substantial financial burden for most Americans. Simple dental work or surgery can now quickly wipeout an individual’s savings or retirement fund. Something had to be done and while this bill will not solve all problems, it is a start in the right direction. I am sure that Representative Larsen will continue to work to improve the U.S. system. Again, thanks Rick!
Vernon Tabb

For the last several months, the TV has been telling us that 2010 is census year and that it is a criminal act not to supply the requested information to the Census Bureau and that the form will be coming in the mail sometime in March. During the first week of March, an envelope from the Census Bureau arrived in my mailbox. I sat down at the kitchen table, pen in hand and opened the envelope, prepared to fill in a form. Instead, I am greeted with a form letter saying to expect the 2010 Census form in the mail soon(!). The actual form arrived in the mail on or about March 15. The enclosed instructions  requested that the form be completed and mailed back immediately (or ASAP). There are about 10 questions; one in particular took my notice, it asked how many people were living at my residence on March 31, 2010 (two weeks in the future). Having a crystal ball nearby, I boldly answered “two,” completed the rest of the questions and popped the form back into the mail the following day. Today, April 1, I got another Census form in the mail. After dialing umpteen numbers and being on hold, subjected to meaningless recordings for an eternity, I am assured by some government employee somewhere in the telephonic ether, that the second form is not an April Fool’s joke and to just throw it away.
What waste! No wonder this country is up to here in red ink.
I’ll tell you one thing for sure: When the in-person census takers come knocking at my door, telling me that the Census Bureau did not receive the census form that I mailed to them in the middle of March, I shall have census form #2 with notations at the ready. Nobody tells me to toss a valuable government form that could result in my getting jailed for non-compliance. I, as a patriotic taxpayer, must not be jailed because I am required to be available, checkbook in hand, to do my part to pay down the debt incurred by the fiscally irresponsible clowns at the U.S. Census Bureau.
Andrew Brocklehurst
Birch Bay

The Editor:
To win over or win with? And about Helen Worley’s observations as to antisocial behavior regarding health reform, I’ll suggest it’s not about health reform at all! Rather, as Democratic House Whip James Clyburn noted, “This is the civil rights act of the 21st Century.” It seems we’ve done this before and about the same issue, equality: every citizen’s inclusion in the democratic process, being equally included in benefits and on whom taxes are spent in equal measure.
Those hearts and minds that chose to win over, Mr. Obama’s win with health reform programs, haven’t understood win with. May all have health care is the same as may all be fed. Whom would those opposed to health care for all choose to be left sick and destitute? And by implication tell them, “It is not enough that I should win, it’s that you should also lose!”
To win with is democracy and as stated in our Declaration of Independence, we’re a nation whose business is the common good; winning with, winning together, benefiting equally!
Bob Hendricks

The Editor:
As a longtime business owner, employer, property rights advocate and citizen who loves living in the 42nd district, I enthusiastically endorse Mr. Jason Overstreet for the district 1 position. He has consistently championed fiscal common sense and has shown tremendous leadership and courage on the tough issues.
He and his family share the same commitment and passion for our community that representative Erickson has shown for many years and he will be the ideal choice to represent us in Olympia as we face unprecedented challenges that lay ahead.
With runaway taxation, back room dealing and eroded individual rights being increasingly threatened at the national and state levels, Jason is just the person to say NO and to stand up for the individuals, families and small business that make up the economic fabric of the 42nd district and to protect the quality of life here that we all cherish so much. Jason Overstreet’s experience, proven track record and endorsements by key business, community and legislative leaders confirms that this November the clear choice for 42nd district position 1 is Jason Overstreet.
Mike Kent

The Editor:
Each week I turn to the letters to the editor section in The Northern Light for information, a chuckle and to see what is on the minds of our community. It is with great anticipation that I await the next negative and misdirected installment from Mr. White or the congenial messages from some of the more enlightened contributors. This last week had several gems that prompted my pen/keyboard into action.
Thanks to Don Starr for witty and satirical response to the republican viewpoint of the new federal health care plan – concise and to the point. I personally prefer the idea of spending tax dollars at home rather than in Vietnam, oops, I mean Afghanistan.
Likewise, Bill Becht made perfect sense in his assessment of the train depot – do we really want to allow railcar storage in the downtown? Declare the depot an historical site and treat it as such.
Also Richard Warsofsky starts to make a point about the new Boblett Street section, hereafter known affectionately as the Nelson Expressway. It would appear that in haste to construct a street for the anticipated industrial development, left turns off of the new road section have all been eliminated.
No truck eastbound can get to the northern half, no truck traveling west can get to the southern half, certainly access back to the freeway is hampered.
From an admittedly untrained perspective, one would have to believe using the center of the street as a turning lane may have facilitated access a bit more efficiently, possible there is more yet to be disclosed about the eventual traffic pattern in the vicinity. Time will tell.
Last, kudos go The Northern Light for providing this entertaining public forum.
Len Beckett

The Editor:
A little geology, lots of birds. We live in an intriguing area of the Northwest – unique geology and exceptional birds and bird habitat. The Wings Over Water narrated fieldtrip to Semiahmoo Spit is a great opportunity to learn about the local geology and see a variety of birds.
Most of the landforms on the Spit were carved by glaciers about 10,000 years ago. But landforms are constantly changing due to weathering and erosion. You will see several such examples.
And, of course, the birds! You will be able to see and identify several species, including bald eagles and a variety of water birds. Bring your binoculars and dress for the weather; a bird guide will be provided.
These entertaining field trips are led by retired geology and ornithology teacher Jim Jorgensen. Catch the bus from downtown, Peace Portal Drive and H Street area, Blaine at 10 a.m. (returns 12:30 p.m.) and 1 p.m. (returns 3:30 p.m.)  Hope to see you on April 17.
Jim Jorgensen

To the Editor:
Congratulations to the last batch of letter writers! Seldom does one see such a clever but thoughtful selection. I do so enjoy reading the thoughts of the community when stated in the manner as these five authors did. Of course I do happen to agree wholeheartedly with the opinions put forth.
The health plan adopted is better than what we have now. I’m an RN and have been praying for a new approach to “healthcare for all” since I graduated from college! I don’t understand people who say they don’t want the government in their healthcare decisions, guess they would rather have the boards of insurance companies who regularly use the “hatchet.” We need to make changes as we grow with it, but at least now we have something to make changes to.
 We’ve only been in Blaine for 2 plus years and from what we’ve seen Bill Becht hit the nail on the head regarding the train station issue. Nobody is looking forward to the cost of moving it! Of course BNSF wants to tear down the building. Has anyone checked it out? Put out a call for people to help redo the building (I know my husband will be there) and watch the “tone” change. It belongs where it is and wouldn’t we all love the end result that Lacey WA has with an Amtrak stop? That wouldn’t upset some at the possibility of Blaine becoming a real “town” again, would it? No airport, but an operating train station. Oh well.
We’re all anxiously awaiting the Gardener’s Market opening! What fun and a time for community sharing. Blaine is a great place to be these days but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it even better with a little effort!
Carole Tabb

The Editor:
It appears the city officials were correctly against the wasteful, unnecessary and destructive roundabout nine months ago. Then the temptation of having a $100,000 sewer paid for by the state DOT caused them and our council majority to sell out Blaine’s future.
The decision was difficult and I understand the dilemma. Knowing the destructive commercial impact should cause the council to reconsider their decision. The downtown businesses will bring every effort forward to offset in some way the cost of the storm system, if this is the deciding issue.
Joel Douglas

The Editor:
Obama’s health care, a blessing or boondoggle? Can one know? Like most elected officials in D.C. as well as the many public pundits, I didn’t read the entire bill. I tried. It would be easer to perform a self-appendectomy with a wooden spoon.
I do know from our federal government’s own lips they will henceforth be more involved. Is that good or bad? Past experience has given us the answer. During the last four decades as government became more involved the more expensive and entangled the medical process became.
During the 1950s and early 1960s my wife and our four children were all covered under our private health insurance policy. It was affordable. We could go to any hospital or doctor we wished. In fact the doctor came to the house if needed. As government became more involved all those things eventually vanished.
Past experience has shown if our federal government was a business it would best be described as a producer of defective products, unprofitable business investments and morally bankrupt.
Yet, in spite of run away debt and increased incompetence, government is rapidly seizing more and more of our economy’s means of production and distribution. Some say it is socialism. Is it? Vice President Biden calls it, “Redistribution of the wealth.” Marx called it, “Each according to his ability and each according to his need.”
Call it what you wish. I don’t need to read the entire healthcare bill to understand the concept. Past experience says the outcome does not look good.
Michael Odell

The Editor:
I was the Blue Devil mascot from 1945 to 1948 and also lettered in two varsity sports, track and cross country, at Duke University. I was a midshipman there, sent by the Navy during World War II. Duke’s win over West Virginia and Butler to cop the NCAA basketball championship filled me with great pride and brought back so many memories of the past.
Coach Kryzsewski’s philosophy, expressed in a recent interview on the Charlie Rose show, matched the expectations of coaches more than half century ago at that institution. In those days, Wallace Wade led his football teams to national championships. He also coached track and baseball during his winning career.
Coach K’s recent TV interview emphasized something that came through loud and clear to me. He said that a top athlete must not yield to pressures from outside but only from within. I remembered a cross-country race at Annapolis when my coach followed us along on the six-mile run shouting encouragement from a golf cart he procured. It had the opposite effect on me as I dragged in on the tail end of the race.
On another occasion, the same coach gave me hell when I complained after an ankle injury suffered during a hurdles race in Columbia, South Carolina. We were headed for a week at Daytona Beach and the Florida Relays in Jacksonville. “If you’re going to be a cry baby, go back to campus,” he told me. “We don’t need you.” His words somehow freed me from outside pressure. I ignored my ankle injury, put on the inner pressure and tied for first place with an Olympic champion in the pole vault and placed second in the low hurdles.
Now, at 85, it takes this same philosophy to overcome many of the ailments of old age, to challenge myself as I face the future. Seek constantly for strength within and do your best. Free yourself from the clamor without. Thanks, Coach K for the reminder and praise the Lord for those glorious days at Duke. They still inspire me.
Lowell Jackson
Birch Bay

The Editor:
In last week’s issue of The Northern Light, regardless of how great Helen Worley tried to make Canada’s healthcare system sound and justify the U.S. move towards socialized healthcare, she entirely missed the point of my letter. This still isn’t Canada, we still have different border and immigration issues, we still have different national political philosophies and we still have a Constitution that nowhere states that the government can mandate what it is trying to foist onto the people.  And it’s still my taxes, not Canadians, that will pay for it.  Again, respectfully, this isn’t a Canadian issue.  Re-read my previous letter; I stand by it, firmly.
Martin Conyac

The Editor:
Martin Conyac For President!
That’s how I feel about Helen Worley’s recent rant in The Northern Light.
Worley’s attempt at glossing over, what is so apparent to most right thinking American’s, that what Obama and his Ilk have just done, is nothing more than their good works, is her denial of what’s happening, is something less than socialism. Can you say: “cool-aid drinker.”
America’s founding fathers did not design this great nation to function on emotion, we are a nation of laws. They would roll over in their graves if they knew what hands were on the wheel of the ship state! Can you say: “corrupt.”
Her referral to the election of November 2008 is interesting. She said: “The opposition chose not to work cooperatively and even voted against provisions they themselves had presented.” Wow, she actually stumbled into some truth on that subject. Her use of the word “opposition” instead of the word “Republican” is that only partisan Democrats voted to pass this outrageous piece of legislation. Her reference to “the opposition” fails to reveal it’s true makeup, that there was in fact bipartisan support. Along with the Republicans, many Democrats voted to block this piece of dung, from becoming law.
I also want to refer to an election: November 2, 2010. Shame on you if you don’t register to vote and then actually vote to flush the toilet that exists in Washington DC, into the cesspool of history. In doing so, you would make those who at great cost to themselves (our founding fathers) proud of you. Can you say: “throw the bums out.”
Bill Marlowe

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