Letters to the editor, December 10- December 16

The Editor:

Thanksgiving weekend, blue sky and gorgeous day – a great time to take time out and go with the grandkids to the new Marine Park Playground (aka the pirate ship park) in Blaine.

The kids were having a super fun time at the new park. What a great addition to our community! However, there is one flaw and a great concern for parents, community members and the city of Blaine to note – cars traveling too fast along Marine Drive.

No signage exists to tell motorists there are “Children Playing” or to “Reduce Speed – Playground Ahead” or signs to lower speed from 25 mph (most people seem to be driving 30–35) to 15 or 20 mph. The playground is hidden from view as you approach from the east, making it even more dangerous.

In addition to this, there is only one marked crosswalk and that has no flashing lights or other markings. There is no fencing for safety and protection or to guide kids to the crosswalks. The water fountain and bathrooms are closed (portable toilets are in place) and while we were there kids were crossing outside of the crosswalk to go to the harbormaster’s office to use the drinking fountain. This is a recipe for disaster.

While we were there an adult walking along Marine Drive near the park ran out of sidewalk where the parking is at the new park, had to walk on the edge of the roadway and was subsequently struck by a vehicle. Luckily he was not severely injured, however, it could have been our child, somebody’s grandchild, somebody’s little brother or sister and it may not have been an OK result.

Please ask the city to put in signage, speed bumps and other safety measures to protect the kids for whom this playground was built.

It is a wonderful place and I would like it to stay that way for the sake of all kids and families.

Leslee Smith

Blaine

The Editor:

In light of the large number of imminent layoffs in our community, and the perennial concern about the lack of well-paying jobs, perhaps it would be appropriate for our chamber of commerce to arrange having a lunch presentation by Fred Machana.

He is the director of the federally funded local program, The National Center for Construction Education and Research, where anyone 17 or older can enter the local program to receive nationally recognized trade certification and training as residential electricians, carpenters and plumbers for free, with or without a GED or a criminal record.

I believe many people would be excited to know about such a program in our local community, but it requires making the effort to let people know about it. I have done what I can to spread the word with the pertinent program and contact info.

Perhaps along with others, the chamber also would see spreading the word about the free availability of this nationally recognized program in our backyard as part of its core mission to promote a healthy business environment for families looking to stay and work in our community.

Bert Taylor

Birch Bay

The Editor:

The question that comes to mind when I hear about the demands to stop the environmental review of the Gateway Terminal right now is, what is everyone so afraid of?

Why stop a legal process that is almost complete? Are opponents worried the final EIS will confirm Gateway’s assertion that this project can be completed and operated without harm to the environment? I suggest letting the Lummi objection be noted and taken into account during this process, but then, please make the decision based on fact, not on what is currently politically correct.

The government created the environmental impact review that everyone else has to follow. Why would or should it be allowed to exempt itself from following its own policies, rules and regulations by stopping the process before a final report is completed?

As a lifelong recreational fisherman, crabber and shrimper, I fail to see how the construction of the facility at Cherry Point will affect my being able to continue doing what I love to do best. It seems to me that the total surface area of Puget Sound water needed to operate the facility, compared to all the waters that would still be available for use, would be minuscule.

If ever Washington state and Whatcom County needed high-paying, long-term jobs, this is the time. This is the project. This is the place. Finish up the review so we can put people back to work again.

David Wing

Lummi Island

The Editor:

In the last year, since we moved into Salish Breeze, we have found numerous empty packs of Winston cigarettes discarded on the east side of Point Whitehorn Road between Grandview Road and Birch Bay Drive. Today, December 6, 2015, I collected 14 empty packs. This happens over and over again. Please stop this practice immediately. It ruins the pristine beauty of this area, and I’m tired of picking up your mess, the deposit of which
is illegal.

Fred Turner

Blaine

The Editor:

Now that the proposed jail project failed to pass, we need to consider how we move forward. I did not vote for the jail proposal because it seemed too big, and in some areas, too expensive. But more importantly, it lacked sufficient funding for mental health and substance abuse treatment services, in the jail and outside of it.

I would support a proposal for a new jail – and I do believe we need one – if it included adequate funding for these important services. The goal would be to divert a number of people from jail in the first place and lessen the total cost of caring for these non-violent people.

I call on the county council to take charge of the process now for planning a new jail. I believe it is time for new leadership on this issue.

Jerry Spatz

Bellingham

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