Letters to the Editor - May 19 - 25, 2011

Published on Thu, May 19, 2011
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The Editor:
I suppose one should admire Mr. White’s willingness, sacrifice and obvious success, based on his reporting, for teaching in the schools in China.
However, the construction, wording and general tone of his recent letters to the editor raise concern as to what these students learned from his classes and how they regard the nature of discourse in the United States. I would hope that these students do not resort to the derogatory terms, which he seems to prefer, in order to express themselves.

Dennis Olason

The Editor:
Northern Meadows 4H Club of Blaine would like to extend a thank you to everybody who supported our fundraising garage sale on April 30 with donations and purchases. Thanks to our amazing community the sale was a great success.
Northern Meadows is a new 4H community club that meets in Blaine the majority of the time with occasional meetings in other county locations.
Members chose a variety of project areas to work on this year, including rabbits, poultry, photography, gardening, fitness, bicycling, creative arts, babysitting, family living, leadership and community service.
If you would like some information regarding the club, please contact our leader Shannon Gobbato at 927-2633, or Sabine Otero at 371-8778. Thank you again!

Sabine Otero
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I am writing in support of HB 2078, which would end tax breaks for big banks and redirect $115 million in funding to K-3 education. K-3 is a vital time in a child’s education when such things as learning disabilities can be noticed and given personalized attention. Kids who can read by the fourth grade are less likely to drop out of school later, which means better jobs and more income to increase the tax base of the state.
The legislature has already cut $5 billion from education in the last two years. Now they’re looking to cut another $5 billion. Why are we giving tax breaks to big businesses when we should be supporting our kids? Why are we looking to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable of our population instead of giving a hard look at what we’re giving special interests?
It’s wrong that teachers are getting laid off and pay decreases while big banks are getting tax breaks. It’s not fair and it should be stopped.
Our children’s futures are more important than tax breaks. The legislature should pass HB 2078 for the future of our children and the state of Washington.

Jodith Allen

The Editor:
The movement by local officials to build a pier to ship coal from Cherry Point is totally misguided. We should not use tax dollars to play one municipality off of another. For example, New Jersey recently granted a $102.4 million tax credit to Panasonic just to move its headquarters nine miles. In our case, the taxpayers of the state of Washington have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, in both the Seattle and Tacoma port authorities.
Both of these government agencies have had their municipal bonds downgraded because their level of shipping activity is less than projected. Now that SSA Marine has expressed a speculative interest in building a new pier, instead of using the very expensive public infrastructure that already exists in either Seattle or Tacoma, SSA hopes to convince the voters of Whatcom County to spend hundreds of millions of additional tax dollars to replicate that infrastructure in the middle of a local nature preserve. If it cost $4.7 million just to widen 1/7th of a mile of Lincoln Road, think of how much it will cost to widen Grandville Road from I-5 all the way to the Strait of Georgia?
Additionally, all of the railroad crossings through Bellingham must be either elevated or buried or local businesses will suffer. Behind this wasteful proposal is the idea that in 2014 the Panama Canal will have been made wider to allow larger, deeper-draft ships. I argue that it is far more cost-effective to let SSA Marine build their planned pier (at their own expense) at an existing port facility, since both Tacoma and Seattle will definitely be dredging their harbors to accommodate larger vessels.
If SSA located down south, all of the predicted tax revenues and all 216 of the predicted longshoreman’s jobs would be obtained without the taxpayer having to spend one dime on redundant infrastructure, other than the simple cost of dredging the channel, which will have to be done anyway, since SSA Marine is not the only company planning to ship to these two ports with deeper vessels.

Lincoln Rutter

The Editor:
The Blaine Gardener’s Market, like the town of Blaine with its new businesses that are set to open, is going to have an exciting and vibrant summer season. This year’s Market grand opening is on Saturday, May 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The opening events will include the Second Annual International Slug Races with sweet prizes from Totally Chocolate at noon at the H Street Plaza, and Tai Chi demonstrations including sword and fan at 10:30 a.m. on the G Street Plaza. In fact, every first Saturday of the month will have a special theme.
Once again, there will also be a Wednesday Gardener’s Market from 4 to 7 p.m., and the first Wednesday Market of each month will allow the sale of antiques and collectables (not garage or flea market items). Vendors of all ages with garden, farm, art and craft items; buskers (musicians); and certified food sellers are encouraged to participate at Saturday and Wednesday markets.
At this time, two large farms with hundreds of acres under production have chosen to anchor the market throughout the summer, so there will be plenty of local food available all summer on both market days. Vendor set-up time is approximately an hour before opening times, and this year there is a small booth fee required in order to cover advertising for the market.
It’s our town, and it’s our market; so come on downtown and support the local economy, and celebrate summer in Blaine with your neighbors. For more information, please contact Ron Snyder at 360/332-8082.

Ron Snyder

The Editor:
Last week, our city council honored Brent Brentnall with a proclamation in his name at the request of the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association. Here are a few of the reasons why:
For the past decade Brent directed our Community Assistance Program, which gives emergency assistance to local people in need. Last year, 166 people were helped with over $14,000 in this way.
He also organized a group of volunteers to collect and distribute clothing every week through the St. Martin’s Clothing Bank. So far this year, 950 have received clothing.
In addition, he made arrangements for the operation of Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard to provide furniture, appliances and household goods for dozens of families who cannot otherwise afford these items.
In a similar way, he obtained a location for the Birch Bay Food Pantry for people in Birch Bay who have difficulty getting to the Blaine Food Bank. There have been 150 families that have been helped this year.
And since 1998, Brent has coordinated the Thanksgiving Dinner Basket drive. This year 213 baskets went out to feed over 1,000 local people.
Brent Brentnall is a humble man of extraordinary talent and vision who has quietly made a practical difference in our community. We are pleased that the city council has honored him at this time for his many years of service. He is an inspiration and blessing for all of us who live in this town.
On behalf of the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association.

Charles Gibson

The Editor:
I have been reading your paper for many years and read the letters to the editor with some interest to see what my neighbors are concerned with, etc. I have been tempted to respond before now but have never done so, but the latest diatribe from David White has left me no choice.
While Mr. White’s previous vitriol has left me somewhat amused, the latest letter is just too much. If he can only spout garbage from the latest “talking points” put out by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc., during the previous month, then I will begin making a point of responding.
Yes, this country’s educational standards have been absolutely gutted. This is in a large part to the “Every Child Left Behind” policy of George W. Bush.
But I want to know where your figures come from. As of right now 85 percent of U.S. citizens have a high school diploma – that’s up 25 percent from 1940.
While I agree with you that we are on a much slower pace than the rest of the world (the U.S. rates behind many third-world countries at this point) it is because of the massive cuts in education implemented by the previous Republican administrations. George W. Bush ran up the national debt more during his term in office than all previous administrations combined! Please, read that again and let it sink in. Many of those cuts were made in education.
“When I taught in China...” China, David, is a communist country. They have no rights or choice in what they do. Do you recall Tiananmen Square? Do you recall the slaying of Buddhists? If that’s how you want your children to be educated, then by all means renounce your citizenship and move there. If not, then get politically active and do something about it rather than spout off in the local paper (something you could not do in China). You are definitely a right-wing tool and it shows. There’s an Internet out there that will give you many points of view, unbiased, unfiltered, and full of the information to make an informed decision and come to your own conclusions. I just hope you’re not too far gone that you can still do that.

Randy Maddon

The Editor:
The Blaine Food Bank and all our volunteers would like to shout a big “Thank You” in response to the efforts of Blaine and Custer post office employees during the USPS annual “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign on Saturday, May 14. Equally important, we would like to thank the generous people in the Blaine, Birch Bay and Custer areas who took the time to select, bag and donate food for this cause.
It is important to remember the highway sign recently placed off I-5 south: one out of six people in Washington struggle with hunger. No one knows when they will be hungry, when they will have a financial struggle or when they might have an emergency. Hunger is equal opportunity. Being generous to the food bank is also an equal opportunity. So please accept our gratitude.

Robin Kendall
Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:

There are not enough words to express my gratitude to all the people and businesses for their generous support of The Little Valerie Fundraiser held May 6. I feel blessed to be part of such a caring and wonderful community.
The fundraiser was a huge success, beyond what I thought was possible. The pizza was terrific (thanks to Scott Meaker and family), the carnival games were a hit and the silent auction stole the show. I would like to thank all the local business that donated so generously with silent auction items, which totaled over $3,000.
 I would also like to thank all the people who helped organize and staff the event. Finally, I’d like to thank all those that came to this event on a Friday night with very short notice. It was such great fun and we raised just over $10,500 to help support the Minjarez family.
Little Valerie’s parents, Gilbert and Valerie were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from our community.
The fundraiser was put together in such a short time and would not have been possible without the dedicated commitment from a team of dear friends and very special moms who gave it their all. Thank you all.

Tanya Henrikson

The Editor:

The members and officers of the American Legion Post 86 want to thank Van Wingerden Garden Center for their gracious donation of flowers and plants for our hanging baskets.  This has enhanced the appearance of the entrance to the post’s hall and will be admired by our members and their guests throughout the summer.

Carl Creasey, commander
Birch Bay

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