Letters to the Editor - August 26 - September 1, 2010

Published on Thu, Aug 26, 2010
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The Editor:
When the city of Blaine decided to build the water reclamation facility at Marine Park, I was concerned about how a sewer plant could possibly mesh with the natural beauty of our scenic saltwater park.
What a great surprise then to see the Blaine Water Reclamation facility dedicated on August 6. Built in the style of a fish cannery, the facility integrates seamlessly with its surroundings and its flowers and native vegetation enhances the park’s beauty. I hope we will see construction begin on Lighthouse Park at the west end of the buildings.
This would house a replica of Blaine’s unique lighthouse that once stood at the end of Semiahmoo spit.
Also, if you walk the Marine Park trail you’ll notice two new shelters. A huge thanks to the city of Blaine for applying and receiving a grant to build them. Positive things are happening in our community. Take a look around and join in.
Jim Jorgensen

The Editor:
With the last of the dusty baseball bags being put away for the winter the 2010 Blaine Youth Baseball season is officially over. With over 250 kids ranging in age from four to 12 we saw everything from kids running backwards around the bases in tee-ball to boys playing their hearts out in state tournament play in the minors and majors. The girls’ fastpitch teams were hard to beat and the rookies made big improvements in their skills.
The list of people who volunteer their time and energy to coach and help out is almost too long to name so to all of them, “Thanks a bunch!” You guys are the reason that the season even happens.
Many thanks to Jim Kenoyer and the Blaine school district for the use of the fields and gyms. We are very grateful, because without the fields there would be no season.
The biggest thank you I have to give out, however, is to the businesses that support us. Some have given every year for over 10 years without fail. Because of these people we are able to provide equipment for all to use and sponsorships for those who can’t afford it.
No child was denied the privilege to play because of their generosity. We were also able to purchase complete first aid kits for each coach to use throughout the season.
We have taken out an ad in this edition of the paper and we hope that you will take the time to look it over and remember to support these businesses as they do us. Thanks again to everyone and hope to see everyone out again at the fields next season.
James Bolick, BYB president

The Editor:
When I opened my The Seattle Times this morning I was interested to read that a 26-year-old Muslim woman who works as a hostess at a Disneyland restaurant alleged that the theme park ordered her to work where she could not be seen by customers or to go home. The reason? She was wearing a hijab in observance of Ramadan. I wonder if the background music to the order was “It’s a Small World After All.”
Ramadan is the Islamic month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. Fasting might be a practice that Americans of all religions and backgrounds would embrace considering that according to Trust for America’s Health’s website obesity rates in the U.S. have doubled from 15 percent in 1980 to 30 percent in 2010 – and that’s just the adults. But I digress I was talking about the hijab.
Imagine that the owner of your favorite restaurant was an atheist. You, a Roman Catholic walk in with a nun in habit and a priest with a collar.
The restaurant owner asks you to leave because your guests aren’t in the proper costume for his beliefs.
It’s Saturday and you walk bareheaded through a Jewish Orthodox neighborhood, or God forbid you’re wearing the wrong colored or type of yarmulke or kippah and you are sent packing.
I won’t even go into the proposed building of a mosque close to Ground Zero. Will we ever heal? Why are we so angry? Will we ever learn to embrace differences so that we can see our similarities?
The purpose of Ramadan’s fasting is to teach Muslims about patience, humility and spirituality. Prayer is increased during this ninth month of the Islamic calendar, asking for forgiveness and guidance in refraining from evil. Is anyone offended by this? Christian ladies, have you ever been asked to remove your Easter hat?
I know, I know, this is America and those immigrants had darned well better learn how to adopt to our country’s ways. I am all for that. I am an immigrant. I learned English, became a citizen, probably know a lot more about this country than many who were born here and surely appreciate it more because I have had worldly experiences to compare it to.
Speaking of which, your Native American headdress is waiting for you. Adapt to that Disneyland. The Muslim lady has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Good for her!
Antje Wortman

The Editor:
I want to thank everyone who participated, volunteered and donated on Saturday August 21 at the Ride for the Warrior Princess in Birch Bay.
We had a great turnout of 65 riders and about 20 volunteers. Many people were kind enough to just stop by and donate.
This event raised almost $2,400 and donations are still coming in through the website I set up www.LittleWarriorPrincess.com.
I organized this bike ride for my high school senior project and to raise money to help pay for medical costs of a local three year old that has Acute Lymphoblast Leukemia. Once again, thank you to everyone. We live in a great community!
Olivia Sellinger

The Editor:
I would like to thank port commissioner Jim Jorgensen for his continuing leadership in keeping the Port of Bellingham’s (POB) public fishing pier open to the public. Port staff recently removed and replaced more than 20 damaged deck planks on the fishing pier, allowing continued use by the public.

One of Blaine’s more important traditions is going by car to the end of the dock at Marine Drive.
There are many families who have lived here for generations who’s daily routine includes driving down to the end of the dock to the port’s public fishing pier, at the end of Marine Drive.
Many elderly folks also visit the port’s fishing pier, some of whom are infirm and are not eligible for the ADA blue handicapped placard and who are not able to walk there and need to use their cars to access the pier where they can sit and enjoy the view of the boats and water from their vehicles.
Others like the late Jerry Wolton drove his vehicle there every working day to eat his lunch in his car to take in a view of Semiahmoo and enjoy a nap during his lunch hour. Still others come for the sunset and so on.
During the winter months and times when the weather is inclement which takes up part of the year, the only practical way to access the end of the dock is by using one’s car.
Personal vehicles provide the only practical shelter from the elements that could include rain, snow, wind and cold temperatures.
 The port in the past leased part of this dock to Washington crab for over 50 years. Perhaps millions of dollars of fish product was taken across this dock and thousands of dollars in lease revenue was paid to the port.
Heavy truck traffic during those years has taken its toll on the pier’s planking and bridging.
It makes good public policy for the POB to continue doing the necessary repairs to ensure the fishing pier continues to stay open to the public for many years to come.
Richard Sturgill

The Editor:
Blaine can be proud of the effort by Blaine high school senior Olivia Sellinger to raise funds for Jessica Walters last Saturday.
I was one of the many bikers who rode the Ride for the Warrior Princess and it was both well attended and well organized.
Riders I knew from around the county joined up and rode and all enjoyed the chance to meet Jessica and her family as well.
The course for the 25-mile ride was well marked and challenging and the finish festivities were in keeping with a low key, yet highly motivated event like this.
Thanks to Olivia and her help and those who donated. While I’d like to see Jessica not need it, this would be a nice annual ride.
Sandy Brewer



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