Letters to the Editor: December 1 - December 7, 2011

Published on Wed, Nov 30, 2011
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The Editor:

I recently moved to White Rock from Jamaica with my 16-year-old daughter. Last weekend we had the pleasure of exploring Blaine, thanks to our first package pick-up at Hagen’s of Blaine (my daughter is a big fan of Victoria’s Secret). Since we were there, and hungry, we decided to eat at that Thai place right on the waterfront (which was excellent, by the way). After that we wandered into the antique shop next to Hagens, where we learned about the possible demolition of the old Blaine train station. Of course we had to go and see the building in question, and we both thought how sad it would be to lose such a valuable piece of Blaine’s history, and how short-sighted would be its destruction.
From a purely selfish perspective, I would love to take the train to Seattle and Portland, but at the moment our options are limited to departures from Vancouver or Bellingham. Service from White Rock or Blaine would be so perfect, not just for my daughter and me but for all of us in the lower mainland who hate driving into Vancouver and paying exorbitant fees for parking. And since White Rock doesn’t have much in the way of space for long-term parking, I’m pretty sure the Amtrak Cascades service will not be stopping here any time soon. The Blaine station would be the perfect place for that train to stop: convenient, educational, and another great accomplishment for a mayor who’s done so much for Blaine already.
Please try to save the Blaine station.

Corinne Smith

White Rock

The Editor:

As we move from the season of gratitude toward the season of giving, Blaine Food Bank would like to offer thanks to those individuals, families and corporations whose generous donations funded our Thanksgiving distribution. With this bounty, Blaine Food Bank gave turkeys to more than 400 families for Thanksgiving. Incredibly, those same donors will now provide for the Christmas holiday as Blaine Food Bank anticipates distributing an equal number of Christmas dinners. As an added bonus, one of our donors has also sponsored the Blaine Food Bank’s weekly purchase of milk for 2012. The Blaine Food Bank volunteers offer their deepest gratitude for the financial investment that will provide sustenance now and in the future for our clients.
Supplemental sustenance for those in need is the Blaine Food Bank’s primary mission, yet food is not the only thing our clients need. Gifts to the food bank are not only food or dollars. Donations come in a variety of ways and are received daily, weekly and annually. The food bank’s share of Haggen’s annual food drive contributed more than 5,000 pounds of food to our inventory and more than $10,000 to our annual budget. Walgreens donated 165 vouchers for flu shots valued at $4,125. Several local churches as well as several families donate toilet paper, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste on a regular basis. The Blaine Food Bank volunteers give profound thanks to those donors who enable our clients to have the simplest household items that most families take for granted. We are truly blessed to have such community support!

Robin Kendall
Blaine Food Bank Manager

The Editor:

With the support of a caring and thoughtful community, the 2011 CAP Thanksgiving Basket project provided turkeys and fixings for Thanksgiving dinner to 236 families that included 690 adults and 553 children. We are especially grateful to the many individuals and businesses that provided generous financial support to ensure the success of this annual tradition.
Our sincere thanks go to the Northwest Dairy Association for their Darigold butter; to Edaleen Dairy for their milk; and to Bedlington Potato Warehouse for their potatoes. We also thank the six Blaine businesses that displayed posters and “turkey jars” to collect donations from the public. We deeply appreciate your heartfelt generosity.
For all of the cooks in the community who provided 272 pies, be assured that your efforts were recognized and enjoyed.
St. Anne’s Catholic Church was the winner of the Church Pie Competition, bringing 67 pies.
For his support in ordering the groceries, lending us shopping carts and helping us with all aspects of the program, we thank Dean Priestman, manager of Cost Cutter. Thanks also to Phillips Edison and Company for use of the new distribution site. The facility was exactly what we needed to manage a program of this magnitude.
We are truly grateful for the extraordinary support of the Fire Fighters of North Whatcom Fire and Rescue for hanging the banner, transporting turkeys, hauling groceries and literally putting the muscle into the program. To Chief Hollander, Lt. Mike Nelson, and all the firefighters, we extend our sincere thanks.
To all the volunteer team members who worked tirelessly to clean the facility, organize and set up the baskets, manage the distribution, and ensure the success of the program, we are greatly indebted.
And last, our thanks to Jessie Burton at Family Services who fielded the hundreds of calls from families requesting a reservation for a Thanksgiving Basket. Thank you for your unwavering dedication.
Due to committed and hard-working volunteers and the generosity of this community, 1,243 children and adults enjoyed a Thanksgiving Dinner.
Thank you one and all.

Jerry Williams, Director
Community Assistance Program

The Editor:

Try stopping the coal terminal and you will find that the entire system is based on fraud.
Talk to a local government, school, or chamber of commerce official (kind, compassionate and wonderful people). Most have already seen SSA Marine’s presentation, but have not heard from our 170 local doctors who oppose this terminal for health issues or even from their own concerned citizens. They won’t even discuss this until a permit is submitted. Why?
I’d guess it’s because they are afraid of being sued by a large corporation with deep pockets. In the meantime, SSA Marine has been working “with” the Department of Ecology. Ecology is there to protect us, right? Wrong! Ecology has the right to and probably will dismiss concerns about train diesel particulates, the health of our local waters, the number of trains, amount of coal, and/or diesel particulate from massive cargo ships. Most importantly, Ecology can dismiss concerns about our health and not allow for a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (real assessment on health impacts).
Can we count on the Environmental Protection Agency? Our local doctors state, “The effects of air pollution are not hypothetical, but real and measurable. Many of the reviewed studies show significant health effects of exposure to everyday airborne pollutant levels that are below national U.S. Environment Protection Agency guidelines. The data show a linear effect with no specific ‘safe threshold.’”
I wonder, will SSA Marine submit their permit during the holidays, hoping we are all too busy to prepare for our one chance for public input, the scoping process? The Washington state constitution says, “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” Republican, Democrat or independent – it doesn’t matter. Let’s decide whether or not we want a toxic coal terminal as our neighbor. It is our duty to hold our government to this standard and not this fraudulent process that allows us to be hoodwinked, manipulated and bullied by large corporations in cahoots with our own government.

Suzanne Ravet
Birch Bay

The Editor:

I write to support an Amtrak stop in Blaine and the restoration of our train station to make that happen. In my view this makes a lot of economic sense for the driving public. With the escalation in fuel prices and the increase in traffic and border crossing wait times, commuters would have the option of taking the train.
Not only has Amtrak increased in popularity, it is also a stress-free enjoyable way to travel. I would like to see people come to Blaine, not just through it.

Carol Monteith

The Editor:

I am writing to thank everyone who helped to make the Giving Tree Fundraising Dance a success. First and foremost, I would like to thank The Replayzments for rocking the night away with us. This is their first year playing for us and I certainly hope it won’t be the last – they did a fantastic job. Also I want to thank MaryLee and her staff at the Pastime Bar. You guys continue to be awesome year after year; we couldn’t do it without you.
Last but not least, all those folks who donated desserts for our dessert raffle and those who purchased the tickets. My husband was one of the lucky recipients of those desserts and I really enjoyed it. With everyone’s help we will be able to buy more Christmas gifts for the children of the Blaine community, and I thank you all for that.

Laurie Hart



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