Letters to the Editor: June 14 - June 20, 2012

Published on Wed, Jun 13, 2012
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The Editor:

Whatcom County Council recently selected CH2M Hill to do the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) at Cherry Point proposed by Pacific International Terminals, (a subsidiary of SSA Marine). The project will require upgrades to the Custer spur by BNSF railroad.
While I know CH2M Hill is a reputable firm, there were numerous other reputable firms that were also in the bidding.
I’m completely baffled as to why the council would select CH2M Hill when it is a known fact that a high ranking employee, John Lovenburg, who worked as VP and director at CH2M Hill until September 2011,  is now a VP Environmental at BNSF after joining BNSF in October 2011.
I read the Communication Protocol Agreement (CPA), which spells out
necessary communication requirements and protocols between Pacific International Terminals and BNSF (applicants), and with CH2M Hill (3rd party) doing the EIS.
The CPA is supposed to “ensure that there is no conflict of interest regarding the formulation of the EIS, as well as by averting any potential appearance of improper influence.”
What good is having an agreement trying to ensure there is no conflict of interest when there is already the appearance of improper influence because of the ties between both BNSF and CH2M Hill with John Lovenburg?
SSA Marine and BNSF have been using their big money and influence to stuff this proposed GPT down our throats, and I am not going to let them do it without a fight;  neither should our local government.
SSA Marine, BNSF and Peabody Coal stand to make tons of money while transporting tons (48 million) of coal annually to China while damaging our health, our environment, and our future property values with all of the toxic coal dust from huge storage piles and from 18 daily coal trains.
The damage done won’t be able to be repaired or mitigated as history has shown us when dealing with toxic products. We need to learn from history and from what we already know about coal that this proposed GPT is a bad idea for Whatcom County.

Sandy Robson

The Editor:

The longer days of summer entice everyone outside to enjoy the many beautiful and diverse city of Blaine parks. Here are some of the new things that have happened in your parks this spring, and some of what is planned for the summer.
At Montfort Park, trails have been extended from Dodd Avenue past Wilson Avenue Estates connecting to the future Drayton Reach recreation facilities, with playground equipment and benches to be added in the future.
This new trail can be reached from Dodd Street going east or from the end of Wilson Avenue.
Peace Portal Community Trail construction has begun. This 10-foot wide trail will be on the east side of Peace Portal Drive, from Cherry Street to Bayview Avenue. All construction is scheduled to be completed by July 4th.
A must visit for the whole family will be Brickyard Park on Clyde Street. The newly installed playground climbing structure is beyond words and is tall enough to be seen from Peace Portal Drive! The new park is a welcome addition to the play equipment already at Kilmer and Salishan parks.
Marine Park has undergone a shoreline restoration, which involved more native shrub planting and placing some large logs that were removed from Lincoln Park on the beach to help prevent further erosion. The bird viewing platform on the east end had safety railing installed, landscaping completed and picnic tables will be arriving soon. This is one of the premier bird viewing sites in Blaine.
The work was partially completed thanks to an Eagle Scout project. Our thanks and appreciation to the Scouts for this project and their many park contributions!
The parking lot at the Dakota Creek Kayak Launch has been completed. Visit this great site to launch your canoe or kayak. The Blaine Park and Cemetery Board meet the third Thursday of every month at 9:30 a.m. in the Blaine City Council chambers. All public comments are invited and welcomed.

Joan Clark
Blaine Parks and Cemetery Board

The Editor:

The 90th annual Hands Across the Border Celebration hosted several thousand scouts and youth groups on June 10 at Peace Arch Park.
This event honors the long standing peace between Americans and Canadians, and we thank organizer John Liebert and his many volunteers including local high school students, Peace Arch State Park staff and local police and fire officials for making it a great family fun day.
A special feature this year was a living history exhibit of the 150th anniversary of the original survey of the international border.
This exhibit and mini-museum was presented by the North American Land Surveyors, U.S. Corps of Topographical Engineers and the Royal Engineers Living History Group from Canada – we appreciate their participation.

Carroll Solomon

The Editor:

I write to express my growing concern about tax dollars and state resources being misused on Western Washington University’s campus. On May 25 the WWU Professional and Technical Writing Program held an “Environmental Impact Statement Workshop” for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal Project. I had hoped to learn about the process, as the flier advertised.
What I experienced was a panel encouraging citizens to slow down and confuse the environmental impact process.
This was clearly a biased panel aimed at opposing the project and burdening the scoping process. The so-called “experts” were merely opponents of the project who gave little more than their opinions of the proposed terminal.
As a retired professor of Bellingham Technical College, I know it to be wrong that our university professors are using state resources and taxpayer dollars to further their own political agendas. I do not feel it proper that public funds be used to further opposition to a development project.
If opposition groups would like to use state-run facilities, they ought to pay for those resources or provide the opportunity for both sides to present their position.
I urge the university to use dwindling state resources more responsibly in the future.

Bob Landon

The Editor:

To the class of 2012:
I like beginnings, not ends.
One must have ends to begin
Now, how will I mend.
That which should have been
done in the beginning, and
wasn’t done in the end.

Linda Alexander

The Editor:

I attended the 2012 graduation and was very impressed. The Blaine High School Chamber Choir directed by Andrew Harmening, did an excellent performance of the National Anthem. They must have practiced for months, thus showing the quality of education being taught at Blaine High School. 
If the rest of the town is like this performance, it must really impress visitors who come to the good ole USA for the first impression may encourage the visitors to give this country a worthy review.
 Christopher Poole singing “Do I Make You Proud” by Taylor Hicks is an example of individual development that this school district and the residents support, which makes it possible for this young man to go far. 
I feel the drive north was well worth the time (and fuel cost) to show there is a future for all of us and hope for this nation to lead the world tomorrow.

Dave Eldred



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