Letters to the Editor: October 9 – 15, 2014

The Editor:

I would like to address some rumors and misconceptions about changing our town’s name to Blaine Harbor.

Why? We have always been a harbor town due to our history of fishing, the canneries and saw mills. Blaine Harbor was proposed to stimulate outside interest in local business in our downtown core. For those with a rudimentary understanding of marketing, the importance of an inviting name – one that creates a positive image – is a valuable asset.

Change? Name changes occur all the time; Blaine used to be called Concord, Peace Portal used to be Washington Avenue and people change their own personal names when they get married without giving it much thought.

Despite rumors, you will not need to change your mortgage, utilities, credit cards or address, because the zip code is not changed. And yes, you’re still married; your marriage license will still be valid.

A name won’t make any difference: About 150 people outside the area were shown a picture of two signs, one reading “Blaine” and the other “Blaine Harbor,” and asked, “Which town would you be more likely to pull off the road to explore?” Ninety-five percent said Blaine Harbor. Comments included “Harbor sounds more welcoming,” and “Harbor sounds like a destination, not just another town.”

School names? There seems to be a major concern that the school name will not match the name of our city. Perhaps we can contact the following high schools and get advice on how they handle this dilemma: Meridian, in Laurel; Mt. Baker, in Deming; and Nooksack Valley, in Everson.

Cost? The first thing the Blaine City Council and city manager considered before deciding to move forward was cost. Common sense says one does not need to replace all signs but just alter them with decals for metal signs and city vehicles (if they choose not to wait until a new vehicle is needed) and add the word Harbor to wooden signs, which will go nicely with the city logo of a fishing boat. Citizens have stepped forward to adopt a sign. All city printing is done in house, so there’s no extra cost there. Nobody is required to change business cards or anything else if they don’t want to.

Paul Schroeder


The Editor:

I just wanted to do a shout-out to say thanks to Wayne and all the staff at Good Samaritan Society – Stafholt for the tremendous care I received during the first two weeks of my recovery from a double knee replacement and heart attack.

Every staff member was tremendous in terms of both professionalism and attitude. Seeing the way they cared for everyone gives you a positive attitude that there are still a lot of good people on this strife-filled planet.

The therapy team is great and I will continue my outpatient care with Stafholt. Even the food was very good for hospital food. Blaine is very lucky to have a facility of this quality.

Bob Brooks


The Editor:

This is in response to the unhappy postal patron. What he says is true. I, myself, have had my mail delivered after 5 p.m. several times lately.

My best friend is a letter carrier, and she is ashamed of the way things are now. She believes the mail is almost sacred. However, I would ask the public to be more understanding for their carrier’s sake.

Most post offices have become severely understaffed and yet the amount of packages needing to be delivered has become overwhelming. Both U.P.S. and Fed Ex are using the post office to make their deliveries.

That carrier you see out at 6 p.m. probably has had no lunch or break. He has a family to go home to and is missing his children. His boss is telling him to hurry up but to still drive safely. He wishes so much that the post office would hire more help so he could give you better service.

Perhaps a smile or kind comment would be a welcome thing for him to hear, instead of, “Why are you so late?”

Gregg Blomeen


The Editor:

Royal Canadian Airforce fighter jets and refueling jets have now been deployed to the Middle East. Canadian Special Forces military advisors, plus Royal Canadian Mounted Police advisors are now on the ground in the war zones helping.

Plus medical aid, medicine, medical equipment and shelters have already been sent. Canada also cooperates with fellow members of commonwealth nations (Britain and Australia) in this effort. Internal security has also been increased, with new laws to observe and prevent internal threats.

Jay James
Birch Bay


The Editor:

I am a recent permanent resident to the Blaine area and I find the free ads given to political candidates under the guise of letters to the editor somewhat ludicrous. I would think The Northern Light would want more paid advertising.

If the political candidates and their supporters want more exposure to the community, let them pay for the ads. Why should we have to read these supposed editorials from their campaigns of fans/supporters?

Let the editorial pages be for real comments about issues in our community and stop cluttering up the space with political testimonials from the “friends” of the candidate. Use the space for real issues and/or comments about community issues.

Ted Metz


The Editor:

I write in response to the ad in last week’s The Northern Light titled, “Why vote for Blaine Harbor?” In the ad it suggests that the word Harbor pays tribute to our town’s history as a fishing community.

As a commercial fisherman for 35 plus years I would strongly suggest that we leave the name as is. We tie our boats in Blaine Harbor and we live in Blaine! To honor our fishing community, vote no on the name change.

Gary Dunster


The Editor:

Future funding for education and transportation is a tall order for any state legislator. Voting no is not a solution as we can see from our state Supreme Court holding the legislature in contempt for its inaction and inability to do its job.

It is my hope that we will make a fresh start by electing a new slate from Whatcom County. Three candidates offer so much experience and knowledge of the issues and we are fortunate to have them on the ballot.

Seth Fleetwood was born and raised in Bellingham. He is a lawyer, commercial fisherman, environmental advocate and candidate for state senator; has proven ability to govern while serving eight years on Whatcom County Council. He does not support a state income tax and will work with others to resolve education and highway funding problems.  Seth will protect a women’s right to choose.

Satpal Sidhu: A Whatcom citizen for 28 years, active in community affairs, small business owner, member of a Lynden farming family.

Sidhu has experience as a refinery engineer and Dean at Bellingham Technical College, and he recognizes the need to train replacements for 1,500 retiring baby boomers. In collaboration with the refineries he helped create a technician program. Approximately 1600 students have completed the course and 90 percent have gone on to good refinery jobs in Skagit and Whatcom counties.  We need his vision and experience.

Joy Monjure worked for more than 20 years in Bellingham Public Works; eight years on Everson City Council; two years as Nooksack chamber president and is owner of Field of Greens farm stand.  She knows infrastructure, agriculture, budgets and governance.

Please join me in voting for these three qualified Whatcom winners.

Alice Brown
Birch Bay


The Editor:

I met John Lesow several years ago when I was a new transplant to Point Roberts and he was in his seventh year as a county planning commissioner. Since that time I have worked with him on various community projects and have found him to be level-headed and fair minded, eloquent and perceptive and always passionate about the well-being of Whatcom County and its residents. I especially appreciate his ability to balance his love for this beautiful environment that we all call “home” and the rights and needs of residents and property owners.

It is with great confidence that I will vote for John and his colleagues Richard May and Chris Johnson for Charter Review Commission in the upcoming election. If you want fair minded, independent thinking, perceptive and hard-working representation for your family, you will cast your vote for John Lesow, Richard May and Chris Johnson.

Annelle Norman
Point Roberts


The Editor:

Water issues are on my mind. It is so wonderful that the county council and the county executive have resolved to do something about water policy, the Whatcom Water Action Plan.

I have a niggling worry: Who enforces the rules that are on the books? It seems to be a low priority. Enforcement of rules is unpleasant but it completes the process of government and the failure to enforce the law subverts the civic process.

Water is critical to every part of all of our lives. When we create laws to manage our water it is with the common good in mind. This may take raising taxes to fund compliance with the law. I’m good with that. Water is worth more than it costs. Let’s do it right.

Mary Mele

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