Letters to The Editor: September 1-7, 2022


The Editor:

After reading your article about revising downtown zoning, I heard that little girl from Poltergeist warning, “They’re back…” 

With new members of city council including a developer and an interim city manager, the developers once again are pouncing to close in downtown with tall buildings. Did that new construction at the corner of 3rd and H streets encourage them too? Many of us are hoping the roof of that behemoth is actually wings, and that it’ll fly away to White Rock, B.C. to join the other high rises there. 

It was just a recent four years ago, that this community resoundingly said, “No!” to tall buildings along Peace Portal Drive. What was not understood about that? If developers can’t build with the current zoning, then sell the land that has gone way up in value in the past year. A nice profit can be made in just doing that.

Blaine would benefit, and could be an even better place to live in being developed more. In going with developed instead of developer, perhaps city officials might consider working with gas and grocery businesses to give Blaine residents a discount. More business will surely come to them with that. Filling vacant storefronts by maybe helping elsewhere established small businesses in coming here to expand. (Any other Edaleen’s out there?) Open the rail station. Buy up the open spaces along the water. With any building along Peace Portal Drive, insist on keeping some water views, and do control heights. Taller and bigger aren’t better. Better is better.

We in Blaine live an island kind of quality of life. Located in the middle of so much we are more as an eye is in the surrounding storm. A town that is safe, quiet, not crowded and still with scenic open water views. A potpourri, yet a place where many residents know each other, and without those who are demanding. Before any decision to go with quantity is made, consider the cost in doing such to our quality of life.

Ray Leone


The Editor:

He stopped by the Jansen Art Center the other day. He didn’t tell me his name, but said he lived alone in a trailer park, was retired and on a fixed income. He recently had a stroke. His faith and a kind neighbor pulled him through. He has a son he is so proud of – a Marine.

He visits the Jansen often to admire the art. His favorite exhibit is the high school show in the spring. The work of the young artists is amazing. He always buys something to support them. He would love to make purchases from the other exhibits, but just can’t afford it.

I cannot get him out of my mind. This is what the Jansen is all about – a place for everyone to appreciate, enjoy and love.

Diana Warner, Jansen Art Center volunteer


The Editor:

It has been two months since the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, but we cannot allow the importance of this decision to be buried under the onslaught of news we receive every day. Our laws here in Washington state still protect the right to an abortion, but we cannot take these rights for granted. We had to fight for these rights, piece by piece. An anti-choice Republican majority in Olympia could repeal these laws just the same way pro-choice legislators, largely Democrats, enacted them! Bills to protect and expand access will only have a chance to pass if Washington voters return a pro-choice majority this November. As we saw during the Kansas primary, high voter turnout works.

Our current state representative Sharon Shewmake is an avid supporter of women’s rights and reproductive justice. In the state House, she has voted “yes” on bills to expand access to abortion and reproductive health care. 

Sharon is an economist, and she understands that abortion is critical if we want women to be equal participants in our society. Additionally, she advocates for policies that actually support pregnant people and their kids such as universal healthcare, access to pre-school and childcare for everyone, well-funded K-12 that supports kids with school feeding programs like Breakfast After the Bell, and support for labor unions that give working people a voice and a fair wage.

Sharon is running for the state Senate seat currently held by a Republican appointee who has refused to publicly support abortion rights. We in Whatcom have a chance to decide who to send to Olympia to represent us, and I think Sharon Shewmake is the best person for the job. A vote for Sharon is a vote to protect our reproductive rights.

Elizabeth Hartsoch


The Editor:

I am impressed that state representative Sharon Shewmake consistently supports investing in early education with the goal of breaking cycles of poverty. This is exactly how we should be thinking as a community. Investing in early education programs will give our children better opportunities to succeed in the future, just as investing in higher education will give individuals the opportunity to further their learning and contribute more to our community. Being both a teacher and an economist, Shewmake recognizes and understands this, which is why she consistently votes for education funding, investing in our future. 

It’s reassuring to know that I have an elected official who will always fight for her constituents to have equitable opportunity through education.

Lisa Van Doren



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