Letters to the editor: October 10 - 16, 2013

Published on Wed, Oct 9, 2013
Read More Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
To the many, many folks who came to our aid at the accident Thursday, October 3 – the firefighters, state troopers, sheriff’s officers, the comfort care lady who got water for me and wrapped me in a warm blanket – every one of you was so caring and comforting.
Thank you Kelly Bonham for your fast thinking; you were amazing. Thanks to everyone for the flowers, food and goodies, to the parents and kids for stopping by and for the many cards, calls and phone messages. I was overwhelmed by the support. 
My kids on the bus were amazing that morning. They were more concerned about me than anything, and they did a remarkable job – I love you kids.
Once again, thank you to everyone, with much love.
Jerre Bouma

The Editor: 
The purpose of this letter is to inform the community of Blaine that we are in need of a practice facility for Blaine youth sports. As we all have pride for our Blaine Borderite teams, we must understand that for these teams to compete here in Whatcom County we need to begin at a young age. 
In order to do this, we as a community must rally together to come up with a practice facility for Blaine youth sports. This need not start out as a fancy facility, just a large pole barn where sports can be practiced year round. We all know that the high school has facilities but what about the young children that look up to those high school stars. The responsibilities learned by student athletes are remarkable. Children want to hear their names called at Blaine games for making a great play. 
Sports are the foundation for many great leaders. We as a community must give our children the chance to development into those great leaders. This all starts at a young age. It’s time for Blaine to show support to these student athletes. Let’s stand up as a community to raise awareness for this great need.
Matthew Bense

The Editor:
My husband and I were out for dinner at the Black Forest Restaurant on Saturday, October 5, 2013. Upon leaving the restaurant on our cycles, we heard what we thought was a cat in distress near a parked car. As we approached the car, we heard the cat crying. It appeared to be stuck in the rear undercarriage of the car. I decided to get under the vehicle to see if I could see the cat, a feat I have never undertaken!
Low and behold, cuddled up inside the vehicle was a small little ginger kitten, frightened and exhausted. With a bike flashlight, I tried to coax the frightened kitten down from the vehicle. After about half an hour and no success, my husband decided to call Blaine Police for assistance. Two officers appeared and proceeded to try to coax the kitten out. As the cat moved from the back end of the vehicle to the front, the police officers wouldn’t give up. A third officer appeared with a can of tuna in the hopes of luring the kitten out with food. Between all the officers involved and a great deal of patience and perseverance, the kitten was removed from the vehicle without injury.
A life is a life, whether it be human or animal. This animal needed help. These police officers were true professionals treating this incident with professionalism and compassion. We were truly impressed with the Blaine Police. It was a happy ending.
Rob and Sarah Kavanagh

The Editor:
A disquieting silence has settled over the Blaine neighborhood centering on Clark, Boblett and Cherry streets between 3rd and 4th streets. The chorus of chirping birds filling the air at dusk is gone. The melancholy swoon of doves, the dissonant squawk of herons and the chattering of squirrels bouncing between branches are no longer to be heard. There are no more eagles that peer toward Drayton Harbor from the highest limbs of the grand lodge pole pine that once stood along the alley behind the United Church of Christ. 
A disheveled heap of twisted branches draped across a large trunk lying across the alley remain as evidence of the 100-year-old lodge pole pine that once stood in the alley and provided a wildlife habitat for so many birds, mammals and insects.
Why did this tree and two smaller ones nearby have to be felled? If the safety of humans and their property was a concern, could not these issues have been addressed by less drastic means?
Perhaps an arborist could have been consulted to learn what if any real dangers existed near the tree. Maybe the removal of a few limbs would have made this lodge pole a little less risky. And cracks in the pavement below the tree? How much of a danger could they have posed along this alley? Is our tolerance of aging things so limited that we cannot make allowances for an aging life in our midst? 
The demise of the pine is not an isolated incident. In July, an enormous willow between Martin and Clark streets was cut to make way for new construction. The desirability of living in Blaine must surely go beyond reasonable housing prices – there is an ecological and aesthetic charm in this lovely town. Are we to lose it?
We need to keep magnificent trees not only for the sake of the creatures that rest, eat and sleep in these trees, but for our own future as well. The cost of cutting this home and resting place for so much wildlife seems far too high. How many years will it take to replace these three trees and for the wildlife to return?
Gail Evans 

The Editor:
During the time the Inn at Semiahmoo was closed and Blaine was suffering from the lack of both jobs and financial support, our mayor Harry Robinson kept his cool. He was rewarded when the inn sold and has now reopened.
Harry does his research well and is quietly balanced in all his decisions. After serving on the Blaine Planning Commission for ten years, he brought stability to the Blaine council when he was elected six years ago. He has also demonstrated the leadership we need in our town since he became mayor in January 2012.
We need continuity in Blaine. So this is the time to vote for Harry Robinson.
Trevor Hoskins

The Editor:
I am writing in support of the Northwest Parks and Recreation District 2 (NWPRD2) levy that will be on November’s ballot.
This levy will be voted on by all voters in the Blaine school district (except Point Roberts) and should be noted for its importance to all citizens of northwest Whatcom County and especially those in Blaine and Birch Bay.
Studies have shown that without question the health and quality of life of a community are in direct proportion to the quality of its parks. NWPRD2 provides dozens of services from programs to playgrounds that directly benefit thousands who live in this area. And as time goes on, these numbers will only grow.
Unfortunately, if this levy fails to meet the 60 percent majority needed, the NWPRD2 will cease to exist and bring to an end all of the valuable services it provides. It truly is a “do or die” situation.
At a levy rate of $.10 per thousand, or $20 per year for four years on a home assessed at $200,000, it will cost less than a cup of coffee, or $1.66 per month for the average taxpayer. This is an absurd return on investment that brings a greater economic value to each of us and to our community, as well as provides health, safety, environmental and social benefits. It is a rare opportunity to get so much in return for so little paid. I therefore encourage all voters to look for this important levy on your ballot and vote “Yes” for the NWPRD2 levy. It’s simply too important not to help get this passed. And please, encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.
Pat Jerns
Birch Bay

The Editor:
If you are still wondering which candidate to support in our local election, I suggest you read last week’s letters from Nancy Hobberlin and the Frankos in support of Harry Robinson. I couldn’t agree more and they’ve said it well.
As a former city council member/mayor, I’ve experienced the scene from both sides of the desk. It is reassuring to see the competent, quietly strong, well-prepared, thoughtful leadership of Harry Robinson. He listens intently to all and is receptive to other points of view.
Another soft spoken, well-reasoned, levelheaded member of the council is Charlie Hawkins.
We are fortunate indeed to have both men on the council. We are in a good place now so let’s not mess it up. I urge your support for Harry Robinson and Charlie Hawkins.
Alma Wagner

The Editor:
We have known and worked with Charley Hawkins for almost as long as we have lived in Blaine. Throughout that time we have been impressed by his thoughtfulness, insight and quiet commitment to making Blaine a better place to live – for all of us. His concern for equity cannot be questioned – and he has shown particular concern for the disadvantaged amongst us, a group that is often overlooked.
He has also been a firm supporter in preserving the natural assets that make Blaine such a unique place to live, not only in the Pacific Northwest but in our entire country. We must continue to use our heritage wisely. 
The outcome of this election will affect Blaine for years to come. Please join us in voting to re-elect Charley to Blaine City Council.
Wally and Paul Greenough

The Editor:
The price of natural gas is going down. Perhaps, for the sake of transparency, before they raise their rates, an independent audit of Cascade Natural Gas is in order.
Pete Hoban
Birch Bay

The Editor: 
Normally, we at Circle of Trees take a neutral stance when it comes to politics. We find that we keep more friends that way.
But closing down the government as a last ditch effort to stymie something that the highest court in the land has approved goes beyond audacity.
Our government, as a necessary function of our democracy, is not something you hold hostage or take away like a child might do with their basketball, just because you do not like the way the game is going for you at this moment.
We suggest, as many others have, that the following should happen, and now:
1. As long as the government remains closed, no federal politicians get paid until it’s back to business for them, and there is no back pay for time lost.
2. Immediately, all federal politicians only get social security when they retire, and no bloated pensions as if they were “the King’s men and women.”
3. Immediately, all federal employees only get the health plans they can afford to buy, just like the rest of the people who elected them. No special plans ever again.
Perhaps if they have to live the same lives with the same limitations as the people who elected them, it will help them to understand that their efforts to win for the sake of winning at all costs, gives the rest of us a real pain in the …
Ron Snyder, Circle of Trees Homestead

The Editor:
Having lived and worked in Blaine for several years, I would like to express my support of Port of Bellingham commissioner Mike McAuley and hope you will join me in supporting his re-election. Being a community rich in fishing history and waterfront assets, there is no other candidate who understands this more or is better suited to serve you than Mike McAuley.
Mike recognizes commercial fishing represents a multi-billion dollar industry from California to Alaska. He realizes we can’t let our valuable waterfront ports disappear like they have in Everett in favor of more private development and condominiums that leave taxpayers with little return on their investment. We can’t let our marine industries – the lifeblood of Whatcom County’s economic engine – be bled dry by condominiums and yacht marinas.
Mike is wholeheartedly supported by the Commercial Fisherman’s Association of Whatcom County, labor unions, firefighters and environmental groups like Conservation Voters. 
But I am also voting for Mike because I think he is one of the most genuine politicians I’ve ever met. He is a public servant to a tee. You can pick up the phone and call Mike and he will talk. You can show up at port meetings and he will listen. You can ask him to get coffee and he will meet you. 
I appreciate those things because I think governments and democracy work best when people know what’s going on. Please join me in helping re-elect Mike this November. There is no other port commissioner who will work harder for the people of Blaine and Whatcom County than Mike McAuley. Let’s steer the development of Whatcom County’s greatest assets – our waterfronts – into vibrant new horizons.
Tara Nelson

The Editor:
Working on two major issues before county council has given me the opportunity over the past three years to interact with every council member and to attend numerous – often seemingly endless – council meetings and hearings. Talking to Carl Weimer and Ken Mann and watching them work on the council has won my respect for them and has spurred me to write this letter supporting their re-election to the county council.
While Carl and Ken have very different personalities, they share a number of characteristics that make them especially desirable council members. They are both open and fair minded, accessible, courteous and smart.  They come to meetings well prepared and listen to everyone’s point of view. When the council gets bogged down, it is usually Ken or Carl that suggests a resolution that enables the council to move forward. Both balance competing considerations and use common sense to make decisions in the best interest of our community.
Equally important is what they are not. They are not ideologues. They do not come with rigid, pre-set ideas. They represent the diverse, mainstream voices of Whatcom County, not the voice of a shrill minority. We have seen in Washington D.C. what happens when a rigid, ideologically driven minority takes over the government.
We do not need that in Whatcom County. We need to keep Carl Weimer and Ken Mann on the county council.
Rand Jack

The Editor:
The county council we elect in November will review volumes of technical documents on North America’s largest proposed coal export facility. Thirty miles of coal trains daily through Whatcom County will deliver coal to over 450 ships, most of them Cape size, that will berth within the most productive herring spawning grounds in Puget Sound.
Now, who do you think is more qualified to make these momentous decisions? Carl Weimer serves on Shellfish Protection Committees for Birch Bay, Drayton Harbor and Portage Bay. Carl is executive director of the National Pipeline Safety Trust and is a member of national and state committees that address safety of our pipelines. Carl also serves on the Northwest Clean Air Agency.
His opponent’s qualifications? Michelle Luke wants to implement “plain language” and was a hairdresser.
Carl is eminently qualified to review North America’s largest coal port proposed at Cherry Point. Don’t trust this decision to a hairdresser. Choose Carl Weimer for his real experience.
David Stalheim

The Editor:
Do you want a waterfront that will make us proud and be the financial gold mine it could be to Whatcom County – a waterfront that will provide us with revenue to support law enforcement, good streets, parks and trails? Then vote for Ken Bell and Dan Robbins for Port of Bellingham commissioners. They are good guys and are exactly who they say they are.
If you listen to their opponents, you would think that they agree with everything Dan and Ken have to say. Not so. McAuley and Kowalczyk are supported by groups such as the Blue Green Waterfront Coalition and Futurewise. Nice names, but don’t let that fool you. They would like to see a “Community Benefits Agreement.” This community agreement would do things such as require low income housing on the waterfront. Some would like to mandate wages paid by waterfront employers. They have even mentioned an ice skating rink. How about a skateboard park?
Support a waterfront that will be a treasure we will be proud of for generations, not a burden on the taxpayers of Whatcom County. The Port of Bellingham is responsible for economic development.
Vote for Dan Robbins and Ken Bell for the port.
Lynn Carpenter

The Editor:
This letter is in support of Dan Robbins for port commissioner. He has the qualifications it takes to do this job. He understands the finances of the port and has the expertise to deal with all the budget issues that can come along. He has the ability to work well with the city and county councils. 
He realizes how important the future development of the old GP waterfront site is for our entire county’s economy. He has the ability to offer good insight that will help produce a great plan that will create many family wage jobs and would be sensitive to the Bellingham community concerns as well. 
He has the business experience to understand what is important to future tenants at the port and the ability to communicate that with his fellow commissioners. Dan is a lifelong resident of Whatcom County and is genuinely interested in the success of the port operations. He understands the role of the port in the county’s economic growth. He has the know-how and is a can do person. He is an excellent choice to be our port commissioner.
Ron Dickerson

The Editor:
Blaine is fortunate to have a capable, dynamic mayor in Harry Robinson. He has led us successfully through a very difficult year. It is confusing to some residents that Mayor Robinson is running for city council. This letter is for the purpose of clarifying this question.
The mayor of Blaine is elected by the city council from among their members. Council elected Mr. Robinson in 2010 as mayor after the previous mayor resigned. He had been a council member for two years at that time. Now he hopes to be re-elected to the council and many of us are hopeful that he will also be re-elected mayor by the 2013 city council.
In any event, we want to express our gratitude for the dedication and leadership in leading the city through the financial crisis, the selection of a new city manager, the ongoing coal train debate and whatever else comes before the city council. Thank you Harry Robinson.
Carolyn Crouch

The Editor:
I am writing in support of the Northwest Parks and Recreation District 2 (NWPRD2) tax levy that will be on the November 5 ballot. I am sure there are many folks in the Blaine/Birch Bay area who are not aware of the many programs and activities that are available through the NWPRD2 to anyone who wants to participate. It is important that the levy passes so that the NWPRD2 can continue to operate and provide these services to both the Blaine and Birch Bay communities.
Anyone not familiar with the Parks & Rec District 2 should check out their website (nwparkandrec.org) and see what they currently do and what the plans are for the future.
My husband and I live in Ferndale and we drive to the Birch Bay Activity Center three mornings a week to participate in the Zumba classes. These classes are very well attended (30+ per class) and we have a whole lot of fun!
If I lived in Blaine and could vote, I would vote to pass the levy. Since I don’t, I can only encourage Blaine and Birch Bay area residents to vote Yes on November 5.
Yvonne Carson

Letters Policy

The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please email letters to letters@thenorthernlight.com