Letters to the Editor: August 16 - August 22, 2012

Published on Wed, Aug 15, 2012
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The Editor:

The Blaine Neighborhood Association (BNA) makes our town a better place to live. Did you know there are many chapters of the BNA? Sadly, the Salishan chapter is the only one with consistent participation. We have adopted Telescope Beach at Marine Park by clearing the view and maintaining beach access for all residents and visitors.
The annual block party has always been a fun networking event that draws new faces each year. Our involvement at planning commission and city council meetings has ensured neighborhood concerns are represented. The block party is Sunday, August 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Salishan Park, featuring door prizes, a potluck and games for all ages. Here’s a special invitation for non-Salishan residents interested in activating their BNA chapter: come meet our leading members for tips and ideas. Consider following the Salishan chapter’s lead and get involved!
I volunteer just a handful of hours during the year. In return, I’ve received opportunities, comforts and securities that far exceed my contributions. Thank you BNA-Salishan Chapter, for providing an avenue for me to be a productive member of both my neighborhood and town. Call 360/927-3647 for more info about the block party.

Laura Friend

The Editor:

It surprises me that residents of Neptune Beach and Sandy Point aren’t mobilizing to stop this proposal for the polluting coal terminal and 18 coal trains per day. Unlike the current industrial sites, people living on the west beach of Neptune Beach and Sandy Point will be looking right at the coal terminal, and all of us will be sitting directly upwind of the coal dust emissions.
I have friends with boats in the Point Roberts Marina who regularly have to wash down and power wash their boats to clean off the coal dust from the Westshore Terminal, which is almost five miles away. The Westshore Terminal emits 700 tons of coal dust per year, and the Cherry Point proposal is twice that size. Can you imagine how much worse a terminal at Cherry Point will be? This proposal is twice the size – 40 million tons of coal coming all the way from Wyoming every year.
The impact is clearly devastating for our environment, our property values, and yes, to our health.

Marcia Bakkom

The Editor:

To city officials regarding the deal made with developers in 2009: I fully support standing by one’s word when deals are made!
In this day and age of tight purse strings and cutbacks, it only makes sense to be sensitive to the business community, and one has to be very patient with the climate of the moment. Going back on the deal you made sends a very poor message to all of us in the business community. In fact it is very negative to the entire community as a whole.
In fact, due to the slow climb back of the economy, perhaps some kind of deal could be made to extend the deal that was made another three to five years.
We all benefit from the well designed, built and run businesses that are created through proper planning, management and hard work. These kind of moves made by the city will pay off in a big way in the not-too-distant future.
Ken Imus has the eye for detail and the means to make things happen. The city and its citizens are very fortunate to have someone like Ken come here and invest.
I am all for making downtown a more usable and vibrant shopping area. The malls take folks away – let’s allow quality developers to help bring back the downtown that past generations remember, used and enjoyed.
Hopefully we will get our old train depot remodeled and passenger service once again restored. (visit www.blainestation.com). This huge development along with Ken and other quality developers can and will transform downtown Blaine into a great destination and quality downtown for all to use and enjoy, while still keeping Blaine a quiet, enjoyable, waterfront community.
These things take time, and hopefully with patience and common sense, in five to 10 years time the downtown will be an even nicer place to shop and visit, more dynamic and usable than it has been. Imagine having more shopping opportunities and being able to catch Amtrak to points north and south right here in downtown like our forefathers did.
Please help Ken, other developers and other small businesses including mine help the city, the citizens and all the visitors in our community.
Thank you.

Bill Becht
Horseshoe Coins & Antiques

The Editor:

“Good Jobs Now” best describes those presently occupied by our families, friends and neighbors working as teachers, firefighters, police officers, healthcare providers, contractors, commercial fishermen, farmers, small business owners and their employees all providing for and improving our local communities. Another important source of “good jobs now,” BP Cherry Point Refinery, employs approximately 850 people full-time, supplies most of the aviation fuel for airports in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver and provides 20 percent of the gasoline sold in Washington state.  The proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT) could risk the safety of facility operations at the BP Refinery.
GPT’s five, half-mile long, 60-80 feet high, open coal storage piles would be located within one mile of the BP Cherry Point structures.  It is estimated that every year over three million pounds of coal dust would escape into the air from these open coal storage piles. Cherry Point’s prevailing south and southwest winds would blow the coal dust, escaping from GPT’s open coal piles, directly onto the BP Refinery structures.  Since accumulated coal dust on railroad tracts is known to have caused train derailments, it seems likely that accumulated coal dust would have probable adverse impact upon the safety of facility operations at BP Refinery.  Increased safety hazards at BP Cherry Point, due to accumulating coal dust on mechanical and/or electronic sensors, gauges, switches, valves, connectors, etc. at the refinery’s towering structures, must be carefully analyzed and included as part of the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to the proposed GPT.
When Whatcom County Council members study the EIS and vote on building permits for the GPT, they must consider whether it’s worth risking the safe operation of our valuable business neighbor, BP Refinery, for the sake of the proposed GPT which would never provide more than 213 permanent jobs (by 2026) and would never provide our community with a commodity it needs.
As we explore and create responsible ways of growing our local economy, let’s take time to appreciate and to protect our local families, friends and neighbors who actually are working in “good jobs now.”

Michael Crum
Birch Bay

The Editor:

Considering the effects that acid rain, derailments and lingering industrial pollution have had on the Northeast U.S. over the decades, a coal terminal/export operation in Whatcom County seems unwise.
Moving coal through this county costs us. Traffic flow, pollution and public health are impacted daily.
I live in north Ferndale. I turn my engine off when traffic flow is blocked by one of these half-mile behemoths. Most people leave their vehicles running while waiting, and a coal train (80 to 100-plus cars) takes a while to pass. If completed, the new terminal operation will add 18-plus runs daily.
The terminal proposal offers less than 250 permanent jobs. Studies conducted by Public Financial Management, the nation’s top public financial advisory firm, confirmed that this meager number of jobs would not offset revenues lost due to increased traffic and pollution here.
Personally, I’m afraid that a coal terminal/export operation in Whatcom County would compromise our tradition of economic growth based on innovation and ingenuity.
Clean technology is the only direction toward an economically secure future we should be pursuing.

Michael J. Thibault

The Editor:

Blaine Primary School has a wonderful service known as the “Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard.” It is a resource that provides families in need with basic items such as clothing, toiletries and school supplies.
Our Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard will be open to families the week of August 27-31. The hours will be 1 to 3 p.m. on August 27 to 28 and 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on August 29-31.
For more information, please contact the Blaine Primary office at 360/332-1300.

Sheila Dalry



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