Letters to the editor, September 24- September 30

The Editor:

This past Labor Day holiday weekend the 71-year-old historic former Alaska Packers Association Cannery Plover passenger ferry completed its 20th year in its new role of transporting tourists and town folk back and forth across the channel between Semiahmoo and Blaine marina.

On behalf of Drayton Harbor Maritime and its board of directors, I would like to thank the following people and organizations for helping keep this genuinely historic maritime icon well maintained and operating.

Thank you Mike Dodd and family for all the diesel your former business Blaine Marina had donated to the Plover. Thanks also to the Semiahmoo Marina for stepping up to the plate by providing a discount on the diesel we now need to purchase. Thank you Semiahmoo Yacht Club members, whose most recent donation will go to repair and remove the rot-damaged wood that we recently discovered while dry-docked at Walsh Marine. Thanks to the city of Blaine’s BTAC committee for continuing to help subsidize the ferry’s operation and maintenance by providing a portion of the city’s lodging tax money. Thanks also to the Walsh shipyard for all you do supporting Drayton Harbor Maritime and the Plover and to all of those who have supported the Plover by riding on it and the volunteers who have contributed their time supporting the ferry program.

The venerable Plover will continue to live on with the continued support of the community bringing joy to kids who get to steer the ferry and be issued an Honorary Captain’s Certificate and to all those who may board her.

Captain Richard C. Sturgill

Director, Drayton Harbor Maritime

The Editor:

A recent letter by Bill Becht caught my attention as it addressed the long-standing issues about Blaine’s economy and the under-utilization of its downtown. As a border town, Blaine faces unique challenges to developing successful and stable businesses. I think Mr. Becht identifies the dilemma and offers constructive ideas. “Grab and go” mail pick-up stores shouldn’t be the main feature of any Main Street.

Another great idea that has been boosted for years is locating an Amtrak stop in the old train station. Another great idea is ending the passage of coal trains through Blaine. Any business locating near the tracks contends with the racket. I realize it’s the sound of commerce and generally can be understood as such, but the sounds of passing coal trains are dissonant notes of the roar of the looting of our natural resources. The export of coal must stop, as well as the export of any other natural resource – natural gas and crude oil too.

Don’t we need it? America first! Anyone who supports GPT supports the pillaging of national wealth. Those who think that coal-based jobs are more important than the health of our land, air and water do not understand the foundation of long-term economies or the quality of life. As it is often noted, those who clamor loudest for GPT wouldn’t have to contend with the harm it would cause – the harm suffered by Blaine, Birch Bay, Custer and every community all the way back to the Powder River basin. Stop the coal trains and Blaine’s prospects will brighten.

Mike Sennett

Bellingham

The Editor:

On behalf of USCG Auxiliary 130-01-09 Blaine and Blaine Chamber of Commerce, we would like to sincerely express our appreciation and gratitude to several members of our boating community for their quick response to a recent boating emergency.

On August 30, a USCG call for assistance for a possible person in the water prompted MV Plover Captain Dale Johnson, MV Plover crewmember Saskia Dolk and Port of Bellingham staff member Greg Hoffman to immediately begin a search. In addition, Harry Girgulis, skipper of the vessel “Mrs. Sippy” joined in the search in areas the USCG was not able to access. These individuals offered their efforts, vessels and fuel – at some expense – simply because they care about keeping our harbor safe. Thank you friends!

Gary Farrow, USCG Auxiliary member

Carroll Solomon, Blaine Chamber of Commerce director

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