Letters to the Editor: July 14 - July 20, 2011

Published on Thu, Jul 14, 2011
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The Editor:

On August 6 and 7, our town will celebrate the annual Drayton Harbor Days waterfront festival, which will include a display of steamboats at the visitor’s dock, the two tall ships, the Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftain, pirate costume contest, vendors, food, music, all kinds of “stuff” and from my perspective most importantly, the Prestigious George Raft Race.
The intention of this letter is to remind folks to think about participating in this fun, zany waterborne homemade raft contest that takes place at the Blaine Harbor Marina on the Saturday of the festival.
One doesn’t have to be a millionaire to be able to win this event, just clever enough to cobble bits and pieces of floatable junk found around the home or from the beach to make a raft and to have the determination to paddle faster than the competition to come first across the finish line at the gangway ramp where the venerable Plover ties up at the Harbor to win the perpetual Prestigious George Raft Trophy.
The team or individual who wins the race gets to take the trophy home or to your shop to display, show off and have the bragging rights that go along with it. Winners get to keep the trophy until the following year, and who knows if you win the race again you can keep it for another year, like they do with the America’s Cup Trophy.
If you are interested, please call either Bob Knapp, the originator of the race at 360/332-3111 or call me at 360/332-5742 and we will give you more of the particulars about the race. Hope to see you there.

Richard Sturgill

The Editor:

The amazing dedication and hard work of our Friends of the Blaine Library is something that can never be celebrated enough. The latest Fourth of July book sale was an example of how these people donate their time and energy into unpacking, sorting, selling and repacking thousands of items, with the result this time of over $1,200 being raised for the library.
A special salute goes to our wondrous book sale lady, Clare Nurre, who after many years of chairing the event, will be passing the book sale baton to another fortunate friend (who is yet to come forward).
A huge thank you to library staff, Shanda Ross, Cindy Leffel and Kirstin Parks, and their families, who donated their tremendous efforts in creating the float and representing the library in the parade. A final thanks go to all those parade spectators who cheered us on with shouts, “We love the library!”
(Have you signed up for summer reading yet?)

Debby Farmer

The Editor:

As time goes by I feel the need to try and fire up some support to save our history, and a rich one we have. With each trip to the dump, load of scrap overseas and burial in the cemetery, we have lost.
A valiant effort was made to save the train station by a select few who, after their hard work, were kicked in the teeth. I do believe there are other options out there for us. Let us not give up. I plead for your support in all and any way. We owe it to ourselves and our children and grandkids as well as the Birch Bay/Blaine community.
I know many would like to donate to this cause but first we need to get on our feet. Grandma’s wedding dress or grandpa’s uniform are just waiting to be displayed. Where and how should this happen I do not know: logging, mills, fishing, canneries, even the glory days of the 1960s and 70s that many are not proud of are still a part of who we are.
Let’s show who we are instead of having others tell us who we should be and where we are going to go. The art, birding and gardening festivals are fine and dandy but let us focus on the past, for without it we cannot learn or look forward. Our forefathers want to be displayed and remembered for who they were.
History is not only about the 1880s. Yesterday is history as well. My hope is that some of the old families will come out of their nutshell and voice their opinion instead of sitting back and letting others take over. Blaine is our name. Drayton is our harbor.

Leo Baldwin   

The Editor:

Since Blaine Food Bank (BFB) opened in 1972, the agency has largely survived on the generous cash donations and the considerable product donations from local benefactors.  More recently, the food bank’s available resources grew with our partnerships with Food Lifeline and Northwest Harvest. BFB also qualified for two government grants:  EFAP (Emergency Food Assistance Program; WA State) and EFSP (Emergency Food and Shelter Program; Federal).  Fortunately, Washington State legislators approved our state budget and the EFAP funds were released on July 1, 2011. Frustratingly, EFSP awaits congressional approval for monies originally set to be disbursed on October 1, 2010. This means Blaine Food Bank must do something that, historically, has never been done before. We must ask our local corporations and businesses, along with our good neighbors to open their hearts, their pantries, and their checkbooks to help us continue providing for those in need.
Although funding sources have decreased, the need has increased.  Statistics showing this increasing need are clear. From January through June, 2010, the Blaine Food Bank served 6,045 families (20,437 individuals). During the same time period this year, Blaine Food Bank served 6,654 families (22,526 individuals). These figures demonstrate a 10 percent increase in food bank use in our area. What is the bottom line? Blaine Food Bank served 609 more families in 2011.
With this increased need, it is necessary for Blaine Food Bank to ask for donations to maintain our current level of service.
Blaine Food Bank continues to be an all-volunteer agency relying on the goodwill of the Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer communities. We hope your goodwill will take the form of monetary donations and/or product contributions. Your gift can be small or your gift can be big, but, please, help us at the Blaine Food Bank meet the increasing needs of our local friends and families.  
Blaine Food Bank is located at 500 C St in Blaine. Our phone number is 360/332-6350.

Thank you,
Robin Kendall

The Editor:

Although the city of Blaine is making improvements to the Fourth of July street fair, there is something they need to address.
There are a number of handicapped individuals who had to walk long distances to get to the fair, and once they finally got there, they had little energy left to enjoy it or see all of the exhibits. There needs to be a designated area behind city hall and the library for handicapped individuals to be able to drive to and park close enough to the activities, or tape around the entire library area to restrict it for handicapped people only.
The fair needs to make itself user-friendly to all to increase the fun to all.
This could be done by minor traffic realignments to allow handicapped individuals access to the library area.
Please look into this for next year.

Dave White

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