Letters to the Editor: October 23 – 29, 2014

The Editor:

The need is great. The need is now. Are the communities of Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer up for a challenge? Blaine Food Bank (BFB) has an incredible opportunity. If BFB raises $25,000 by December 19, a local resident generously promised to match community donations up to this amount. Whether you are a business, a family or an individual, please help us reach this goal.

Have you ever gone to sleep hungry because you had no food? Are you a parent who goes without to provide more for your children? Are you a child who goes to school without a breakfast? If so, please tell your friends exactly how important it is to receive milk, eggs and bread from the BFB. Encourage community giving by sharing what being able to rely on the BFB means to you and your family.

Please believe me, Blaine Food Bank needs financial help. Our agency is suffering the same economic setback as the rest of our country. Our lines are longer and government support has been cut in half. Point of fact: BFB now serves close to 100 more families a week than this time last year.

We average 400 families (over 1,500 individuals) in a week and distribute over 75,000 pounds of food every month.

Times are tough. However, with help from our local businesses, churches and community, BFB will continue to provide help to those residents who are most vulnerable.

So the challenge is issued: will Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer businesses, local churches, and current residents step up? Will you help Blaine Food Bank reach our goal of $25,000 by December 20? Starting October 31, BFB will display a thermometer showing our donors how we are progressing (from a low simmer to a full boil) as we try to reach our $25,000 goal.

Jerry Bladies
Blaine

 

The Editor:

I recently had occasion to experience some time spent in recovery in the rehab center at Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt in Blaine (my husband has also been a patient). I was amazed at the quality of the treatment and care they provided. They were first class, and I can’t say enough about my time spent there.

I had wonderful and professional therapy, and I am now out of my wheelchair and walking. While I was there I experienced an atmosphere of love and tranquility; in other words a “back-home” feeling. God has allowed me to meet many wonderful people during this time. May God bless you all.

Sally Dodds
Blaine

 

The Editor:

While I understand the importance of downtown revitalization in Blaine, most of us do not think Blaine’s name is the price we must pay for that. The alternative ideas that have been offered by community members of Blaine are endless.

If you’ve missed those or are under the impression that there aren’t any, please review the city council meeting recordings that are available on the city of Blaine website. You will hear one thing; we are not without are options or overwhelming pride for what our city was, is and always will be – Blaine.

Let’s enhance our city by working together to make Blaine everything we want it to be instead of being a city divided by the “Harbor.”

Please vote no on changing Blaine’s name.

Rachel Hrutfiord
Blaine

 

The Editor:

To the people living within the Blaine school district, we are happy to announce the formation of a fundraising campaign to help make our citizens aware of the upcoming bond election.

If you desire to help us inform the citizenry of this exciting opportunity you may donate any tax-deductible amount to our campaign fund, yes4blainekids, and send to P.O. Box 1357, Blaine, WA, 98231. If you would like to assist the committee in some other way please send contact information to the same address.

The bond election will be February 10, 2015 and will not increase your tax rate at all in the years ahead. The previous bonds will have been paid off. We are asking for your assistance as we continue to help our school district meet the demands of an ever-changing society.

John and Carole Liebert
Committee treasurers yes4blainekids
Blaine

 

The Editor:

I read Mr. Bob Brooks’ letter in the October 9 edition of your newspaper with much pleasure. Bob is demonstrating an example of an old saying, “What goes around comes around.”

I am most pleased that Bob received excellent and compassionate care after serious surgery. He deserves that kind of assistance. I know Bob and have been a customer of his boat brokerage and boat maintenance services in Blaine Harbor for a few years. To this customer, Bob showed great patience and care, always ensuring I got the very best service from him and his quality staff.

So, as Bob continues on his path to recovery and good health I too say thank you to the staff at Good Samaritan Society-Stafholdt for helping such a good fellow.

Bob Hawkins
Cloverdale, B.C.

 

The Editor:

In reading the article in The Bellingham Herald October 17 about adding “Harbor” to Blaine, it struck me that we had this same debate in the election of 2000 and the folks against it at that time were using the same arguments they are today. There is nothing here for people to do, they say. We need to work on the town first, they say. The people in favor of a name change have no plan, they say. Well, what have those who were against Blaine Harbor in 2000 done to make the town better? What plan have they come up with? Ask yourself; is our downtown better than it was 14 years ago?

Are we going to vote to do nothing because we are afraid of change? When you see something is not working, sometimes you must have the courage to act rather than sit and do nothing. Sometimes you need to make a change, because, obviously whatever the people were thinking in rejecting “Harbor” in 2000, it’s not working.

One more point: for those who have discovered a new-found sense of economic awareness and are concerned about what the word harbor will cost, I would like to point out that when the city changed our official logo from an image of the Peace Arch to a fishing boat many did not even notice, let alone wonder, what it cost. City vehicles still sport both the old and the new logos. So relax, my bet is that the word harbor will cost less than the logo change.

Christy Smith
Blaine

 

The Editor:

Unfortunately, I do not live in the Blaine city limits, and will not have a vote about the proposed name change even though my address is Blaine and my zip code is 98230. What I am asking is for those of you who can vote, please think about this: Do you really want to live in a town with two names?

I am not versed in marketing, but it seems to me that having the option to add “Harbor” to Blaine seems very contradictory; do we or don’t we? The supporters of the name change say you don’t have to change your address and businesses don’t have to change their letterhead. So, my question is, why change it at all? It seems misguided to tell people we live in Blaine Harbor, but if you like you can call it Blaine. But wait, no, it’s Blaine Harbor. Do you see the confusion?

We can all agree our town is beautiful, but honestly how many of you will see a highway sign that says Blaine Harbor 261 miles and think, “Oh I have to go there.” Really people? That is your thinking? Sadly, when they get here it will be a quick drive through, as we have very little in terms of business and attraction to keep them here. The focus needs to be on building and inviting small businesses to be a part of something special.

Think about it, Lynden isn’t a very attractive name, but who goes there for the name? People go there because of their pretty downtown, and they don’t even have a million-dollar view like we do.

Please, please vote no for the name change. There are so many of us outside the city limits who cannot vote. Stop the confusion; just keep Blaine the same.

Jennifer Wheeler
Blaine

 

The Editor:

For many years, Whatcom County has enjoyed having a powerful industrial job base at Cherry Point. We have had excellent environmental quality and high-paying jobs.

We need those good jobs. We need one more industry at Cherry Point: the Gateway shipping terminal. It will anchor the area we designed for industry many years ago, and it will provide the tax monies for our schools and public services as well as helping to lift up people who are struggling to make ends meet.

Our children and our grandchildren deserve the same opportunities we have had to work here and raise families, but it can’t happen without good jobs, starting right at Cherry Point. We read all about the ever-growing wage gap.

One of the best ways we can close that gap is to keep and expand jobs at Cherry Point. Our poverty rates are higher than the state average. More than half of the county’s kids eat government-subsidized meals.

Our cost of living is about the same as expensive Seattle. It’s time to broaden the prosperity net, and let more people in. We can do that by standing up for Gateway and Cherry Point.

Carnell Mitchell Jr.
Bellingham

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