Letters to the Editor - July 15 - 21, 2010

Published on Thu, Jul 15, 2010
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The Editor:
Did you love the show at our fabulous July Fourth? Say thanks to Pacific Building Center, Blaine Insurance, Birch Bay Square, Semiahmoo Resort and the Port of Bellingham for helping to pay the bills, as well as the great city of Blaine.
To our committee members, city staff and volunteers, including Debbie, Cheryl and Leroy – you are awesome! And of course, we especially appreciate everyone who made a donation, large or small. See you next year.
Carroll Solomon
Blaine Chamber of Commerce

The Editor:
I would like to mention that the caption below my photo in last week’s edition of The Northern Light newspaper needs some amending.
Indeed I am the founding director of Drayton Harbor Maritime, the folks who brought the venerable Plover Ferry back to life.
However, during the Fourth of July parade, I was riding my trusty bike as a commissioner with the Northwest Park and Recreation District 2 and was part of the district’s parade entry.
I am very proud of the accomplishments the district has undertaken since the last district levy. District funds have helped the following community projects and programs:
1. Partnered with the city of Blaine assisting in funding the bike/ pedestrian trail along side the east side of Peace Portal Drive, with the goal of a non-motorized trail between Birch Bay and Blaine.
2. Provided funding towards new shelters at Marine Park and two new exercise machines for the senior center. The district is in the process of renovating the gym at Bay Horizon Park so it can be used for a variety of athletic programs including indoor winter basketball.
Further, the district is in the process of getting the necessary permits to construct play structures both at Birch Bay State and at Bay Horizon parks.
3. Installed portable toilets at the much-used Salishan neighborhood Park, funded Blaine youth baseball, DHM’s Community Sailing School, preschool mini-sport camps and the All Comers track meet.
There are more programs and activities that the Northwest Park and Recreation District 2 has funded and is involved in but space does not permit all of them to be printed here.
For more information, please call us at 360/656-6416 or visit the district web page at www.nwparkandrec.org.
Richard Sturgill, commissioner #1
Northwest Park and Recreation District 2

The Editor:
Please, please come to America and leave all your money. Of course, we want your business. We love Canadians!
However, just to be clear about a few things, you do understand about terrorism, about sleeper cells, about people who want to cause harm to America and any and all of its citizenry, correct?
Also, certainly you appreciate that the Blaine border crossing is only one of 167 between America and Canada and that the standards applied to visitors at our local crossings apply to everyone coming into America (even trusted travelers), correct? Finally, that the function of customs and border protection is to protect the safety and health of a whole nation, right?
Or would you rather shop here knowing that you might be attacked, bombed and killed along with some of America’s citizens? Relaxing the border inspections even for NEXUS holders might result in just that kind of devastating event.
Or maybe you believe that the NEXUS inspections you experience when coming into America were simply installed to impede your progress on your shopping route. I didn’t think so.
And trust us. We know how much Canadians love this part of America. Our post offices, golf courses and clubs, marinas and mall shops: we all do, really. But let’s not confuse each other with the facts.
Even the NEXUS lane poses an entry route to people who shouldn’t be allowed to enter the United States.
Frankly, I feel safer because of the rigorous inspections performed at the NEXUS lanes.
I proudly count myself among those of us who trust Homeland Security with our very lives.
Elle Tracy
P.S. As a tradeoff, when I’m in the queue ahead of you at the Costco, tap me on the shoulder and I’ll happily step aside so you can hurry through your shopping tasks.

The Editor:
I too am a NEXUS cardholder and make frequent trips across the border. Although I am a Canadian living in the U.S.A., I have had quite the opposite experience from the complainer in last week’s letter to the editor. In fact, I am proud of the work both U.S. and Canadian customs officers do for our countries. I welcome the 20 questions asked of me, I definitely do not consider myself entitled because I am a cardholder and I certainly see it as a choice to cross the border.
Having said this, there are cardholders that have abused privileges and smuggled illegal contraband despite background checks. So in response to the letter, it’s a small price to pay to feel safe, and we all have choices whether to cross the border or not.
I find it highly unlikely that Canadians will discontinue to cross because of agents questioning due to the fact that U.S. shopping bargains are far superior than Canadian buys. I salute all customs officers for their intuitive questioning, customer service and dedication to our country. It is unfortunate that letters of complaints are written by perceived ignorant and entitled individuals.
T. Jones

The Editor:
I would like to let you all know that the organization headed by Mike Skehan (758-7333) called All Aboard Washington, a railroad organization based here in Washington State, and other organizations are behind saving the historic Blaine train depot.
There has been preliminary talk recently about getting some political clout behind preserving the building in place and making an Amtrak stop here in Blaine.
A local support group is being formed and asking for members to support saving and remodeling the historic Blaine station in place and making it a future high speed rail Amtrak stop to support the needs of northern Whatcom County and southern British Columbia.
All those that would like to belong to this group and support this most logical cause please contact me at my shop, Horsehoe Antiques, Peace Portal Drive or call me at 332-1870. I would appreciate your feedback and support.
A future place and time to meet then can be coordinated.
Bill Becht

The Editor:
First, I would like to say that no one is forcing Mr. Name Withheld to come to the U.S. and it is not a right, but a privilege for people to travel from one country to another.
The NEXUS card is not a free pass to enter the U.S. or Canada. Just because you have the card, it does not prevent the officers from asking questions.
Let’s face it, your wait times are going to be longer coming into the U.S. then returning to Canada because more Canadians want to come to the U.S. than the other way around.
I would like to know if at anytime you have gone inside and talked to a supervisor? If you do not like what the officer is doing on the line then your option is talking to the supervisor. If you have not gone inside, I do not see where you have a complaint.
Howard Woods

The Editor:
My name is Olivia Sellinger and I am a senior at Blaine high school. For my senior project, I have made a website to help raise money for my neighbors who have a three-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2009.
The website I created is www.Littlewarriorprincess.com and so far I have raised about $1,300 for them. This obviously won’t be enough money to pay for their astronomical medical bills from Children’s Hospital, so I am organizing a bike race in Birch Bay on August 21 to hopefully raise more money for them.
If you need any more information, feel free to email me at livers92@hotmail.com. Please consider this as it would make such a huge difference in the money that we could raise! Thank you so much!
Olivia Sellinger

The Editor:
My daughters, Caitlin and Shelby, and I would like to send out a heart-felt thank you to everyone who attended the Raise the Roof benefit dinner and auction.
The benefit was held at the Lakeway Inn on Saturday, July 10 and was the primary fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. Everyone that attended and purchased auction items contributed to the construction project for our new home.
A special thanks goes to John and Tina Moon. All of you are helping to make our dream of owning a home a reality.
Theresa Schenck

The Editor:
The Pacific Arts Association lost our good friend and treasurer of many years last week. Joe Melland kept us going with his good humor as well as his accounting skills. He was a joy to work with. We know he would often rather have been on the golf course than at our board meetings – yet he stuck with us. We will miss his work, his smile, and most certainly, his friendship.
It seems appropriate that Joe’s memorial service should fall in the middle of Blaine Jazz Festival 2010. Joe and Roxanne’s son, Justin, is on our faculty this year, and in honor and loving memory of Joe, we have dedicated this week to him. The 70 young musicians, the faculty and our audiences will be reminded each day of Joe’s contribution to their music and our organization.
Thank you, Joe.
Larry and Suzanne Conrad

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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