Letters to The Editor: June 6-12, 2024


The Editor:

The Blaine school district is in the process of cutting an additional $2.5 million in funds after last year’s devastating budget cuts. This leaves our community’s kids lacking needed support.

Teachers, paras, interventions, libraries and classes have been eliminated to stretch the woefully inadequate funds the state provided for public education.

The state’s paramount duty is to provide education to our children, and the state is falling short.

School districts around our state are in much the same situation or worse. Five school districts in our state are unable to balance their budgets and there are 14 additional districts facing the same fate. 2018’s McCleary ruling has left our community’s hands tied, limiting our voters’ ability to raise levy funds to make up the funding shortfall.

The state is paying $1,000 less per student than they did before the lawsuit designed to remedy funding inequities! School funding is an incredibly complex issue but the May 27 article in the Seattle Times by Janelle Retka does a wonderful job of summarizing the issues and explaining the devastating effects.

I encourage all people in Blaine to read the article and use their voices to advocate for our kid’s futures. We need more funding from the state. We need a fix to existing laws that limit Blaine’s ability to provide funds itself. Please join us as we work with our legislators to secure adequate funding to save our schools. There is a petition circulating on Change.org – “Fund Schools Now!”

Blaine has always supported our schools. Please join us as we work together to secure their future.

Vanessa Rushing



The Editor:

When will the Blaine dead of this community wake up?! After street parking becomes sold off as “garages” for these buildings resulting in reduction of public use parking spaces? After 70-foot tall condominiums are built that encroach downtown and remove vistas? Too late then. Irreversible. Damage done.

On June 10, Blaine City Council votes on the city hall brainstorm to reduce parking requirements for buildings constructed downtown, and to allow the city to sell street parking to these developers. Why? Because the city wants to allow these condos to be built with almost no onsite parking. Reducing parking requirements makes sense only if people don’t need cars. In Blaine cars are a necessity. Also, can the city even sell off parking located on a state thoroughfare?

Blaine, please wake up before the council approves this. That will be hard though because the sedative the city is using is to ignore the public. Parking alternatives were offered in writing by the community to the city and planning commission with neither entity publicly considering them. Why not? Council has anesthetized residents too by closing off public comment. Hmm, doesn’t state statute require such situations to have, “continuous two-way public input?” BTW, council’s use of Roberts Rules of Order also doesn’t allow for that.

All these buildings and parking would be located right in the middle of our business zone. How will this stimulate business? Where will business patrons park? (Bellingham.) Why? Because residents of these buildings will want to park in front of their homes, thus taking away parking from businesses. When I park my car on the street, it is in front of my house. Would Mike Harmon and Alex Wenger park their transportation to work by Edaleen’s and then walk from there to city hall? (No.)

Since Blaine residents have again been cast aside by the city, I urge residents to show up in numbers as a wall of denied people on June 10. Let the council know this matters. If not, besides losing parking, we will lose Blaine.

Ray Leone



The Editor:

Many thanks to the organizers and participants in the Scottish Gathering held for the first time in Blaine on June 1 at Marine Park.

Deserving special recognition is the founder and executive director Heather Richendrfer, who pulled together countless elements and personalities to create an event that will become a treasured memory for the attendees. Congratulations to all the musicians, dancers and athletes who donated their time and talents to celebrate the glories of Scottish culture.

Please come back next year!

MacLeod Cushing



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