Letters to the editor, March 12- March 18

The Editor:

What kind of downtown does the community want?

Why aren’t more energies going towards restoring our passenger rail opportunities? Another retail study would be a redundant waste of money; remember the walkable communities (walkable.org) study that was done in order to prove we were better off with bike lanes rather than a planter box in the middle of Peace Portal Drive? That study was partially about downtown retail; details in it are designed to show what needs to happen to have a thriving walkable downtown.

An operating Amtrak stop in a restored historic depot would breathe incredible energies into the downtown and encourage all kinds of positive growth and a quality mix of retail opportunities, and I’m not talking about more postal outlets.

I think this Amtrak stop would likely be the heaviest used in the state, with 800,000 Canadians in its service area – just look at the success of the Bellingham Airport.

Investors would be interested in our downtown, tourist retail would displace postal centers and fill up empty buildings and it would reverse the current stagnation and mailing center fatigue.

I also feel the city should eminent domain all properties on the water side of Peace Portal for parklets, a public bathroom and future parking for the Amtrak stop, rather than letting developers build on it and ruin our biggest asset, the view corridor, but that is another subject.

Speaking of other subjects, do you also know a large floatplane service is interested in operating out of the Blaine Harbor? Is this being negotiated or just left hanging like the Amtrak situation appears to be?

These opportunities are vitally important and should be at the forefront of the city’s energies.

If the city can build almost a half a million dollar pirate ship playground, it should be able to give these other sustaining services their due. Please citizens, we must put pressure on the council to do the right thing; write letters, talk in person, whatever it takes to demand the city become a thriving little waterfront town people want to come to.

What kind of downtown do you want?

Bill Becht

Blaine

The Editor:

In regards to Larry Van Wanseele’s letter of our declining service from our local post office, Larry you are not alone. Our last two postmasters have left us with a lot to be desired.

Poor service has been declining for a long time and really has gotten deplorable. They have lost numerous parcels with about half never to be found. I had one parcel show up nine months later!

My carrier is wonderful, but Postmaster Daniel has very poor customer service skills. I have to admit they have improved a lot but our service has not. I can say Postmaster Daniel works physically hard and isn’t a slacker. But what are we to do about the low morale of the postal clerks and the crappy service? We need a major overhaul of the entire staff.

Anyone joining this bandwagon should call complaints to Seattle Consumer Affairs at 253/214-1800. Maybe if they get enough complaints, an overhaul will get done.

Kay Warner

Blaine

The Editor:

Thank you for your performances,  technical support, volunteering to help serve the food and take tickets, attendance, appetites and appreciation of the performers at our 6th Annual Pizza and Pizzazz (P&P) fundraiser last Saturday evening, March 7.

This talent show/dinner was the most successful P&P we have done to date, with more than 41 applicants who auditioned for the 27 performance spots and the multitude of people who came to listen and enjoy the outstanding, fresh-made pizza prepared by the Meaker clan and friends. Between the dinner and raffle we grossed over $2,000. All net proceeds went into the Blaine Fine Arts Association choir fund.

A very big thank you goes out to Scott and Nan Meaker, and their family for all of their hard work and time to make this event go so well. We would also like to thank the more than  16 local businesses (more than the five I am allowed to list in this letter) who donated more than $1,200 in door prizes. Your generous support of the Blaine students is what makes this community such an amazing place to live.

Andy Harmening

Choir director,

Blaine schools

The Editor:

In his February 26 letter to the editor, Bob Jones wrote, “…the Lummis should be willing to talk with the Gateway people and work together to find ways the project will benefit everyone…”

The Lummi Nation is a sovereign nation, and has a government-to-government relationship with the U.S., so it is following proper protocol by communicating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is understandable why Lummi Nation is not meeting with SSA.

Lummi Nation has evaluated the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal project and has informed the Army Corps of the Nation’s official opposition to the project, saying impacts on the Lummi Nation’s treaty rights associated with GPT can’t be mitigated.

Mr. Jones has no expertise to tell the Lummi people what they should be willing to do. Lummi Nation is taking needed efforts to protect its tribe’s treaty rights secured and guaranteed to them by the Treaty of Point Elliott. In this case, that involves protecting the health of local lands and waters, which by the way, to use Mr. Jone’s words from his letter, “will benefit everyone.”

This same letter written by Bob Jones was also published in the Ferndale Record and The Bellingham Herald recently. I’ve seen that name as a credit on photos used in advertising by SSA Marine on the Facebook pages for GPT, and the GPT marketing mechanisms the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports and Northwest Jobs Alliance. GPT photos are posted in albums on Mr. Jones’ photography business Facebook page.

Since Bob Jones is a common name, I contacted him through his photography business and asked if he was the Bob Jones who authored the recent letter I read in the Ferndale Record, and he confirmed to me that he was.

I’m not sure if Mr. Jones is paid by SSA Marine or its PR team for his GPT-related photographs, but if he’s paid, I wish he had disclosed that in his letter, so readers would have had that context.

When reading letters to the editor supporting GPT, it’s important to consider the source.

Sandy Robson

Blaine

The Editor:

I was born and raised in Whatcom County, and jobs have always been a problem here. We need the employment: years ago, the only good jobs to be had were far away, in the military or at Boeing. Today, with the Gateway terminal, we have an opportunity to secure the future for generations to come with solid, excellent jobs.

Although change can be difficult for some people, I trust the ability of those who are looking at the environmental issues surrounding Gateway to make fact-based decisions. I am confident we can have this shipping terminal here, where it belongs at Cherry Point with our other industrial neighbors, without harming our environment.

I wish the Lummis were able to take a common sense approach to this project, rather than being against change or new businesses, as good neighbors perhaps they can remain open to the possibilities that these changes will be good for all of us here, including their own tribal members.

Elinor King

Ferndale

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