Letters to the editor, January 21- January 27

The Editor:

I was driving down a Blaine street on a dim and early, rainy morning when I spotted an oncoming cyclist, a younger person, coming toward me near the curb. It wasn’t that this youngster was not wearing a helmet that dismayed me – that’s a discussion for another time. He was riding against the flow of traffic. I see this constantly, and as a cyclist, I urge all parents, riders, educators and cyclists to put a stop to it.

Washington (and most other states) considers a bicycle a vehicle and subject to all the rules of the road. This means riders go with the flow of traffic, not against it. Bicyclists on the road are not walkers. They should give walkers the right of way and ride on the correct (right) side of the road.

We need to teach our children this and lead by example. Teach them proper signaling, to stop at stop signs and to respect cars and walkers. If they learn the rules before they get behind the wheel, they are better prepared. By the way, that includes a front light or reflector and a rear reflector on the bicycle – that is another legal requirement.

As a cyclist, I may not like it if I violate traffic laws or mechanical requirements and a police officer cites me, but I will accept it – I have the responsibility to obey the law. Let’s teach our kids the same way.

Sandy Phillips

Custer

 

The Editor:

We would like to bring to the attention of your readers that the Blaine school district maintenance and operations levy is up for renewal in a special election on February 9. The levy (which would cover a four-year period) supports a wide variety of programs and services in the school district, including routine maintenance and transportation needs, staff training, Advanced Placement programs and numerous athletic, music and other extracurricular activities.

In Blaine, continuous support of the levy is important to the continued high level functioning of the school district, as local taxes pay for only 25 percent of day-to-day operational expenses. The cost of the levy, $1.85 per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2016, rising to $2.06 in 2020, is the lowest in Whatcom County.

Please help support excellence in our school district and vote “Yes” for the levy in February. For more information, please see blainesd.org.

Mike and Anne Abrams

Custer

 

The Editor:

In August of 2015 I was sexually assaulted at my place of work in Blaine. This is my experience with the Blaine Police Department (PD) for the last six months.

I cannot help but feel the complete lack of professionalism and verging neglect that I feel emanating from the Blaine PD concerning my welfare as a Washington citizen and former person employed within its community.

According to the city of Blaine’s website: “Community safety begins with the aggressive pursuit of criminal activity, and with the equally aggressive protection of individual rights to peace, privacy, and freedom…”

When I was sexually assaulted, I was encouraged to contact the police to file a report which took a tremendous amount of courage in addition to the fact that I was physically still in shock. I made the first call to file the report but was told that an officer would contact me at a later time to file the report.

Eventually I was called by the attending officer, and right away he informed me that he was “going on vacation in 45 minutes,” implying that I needed to be quick with the reason I needed him to contact me.

If I didn’t feel trepidation before, during and after the first contact with Blaine PD, I certainly felt it now – I was barely processing the fact that I had been sexually assaulted, now I needed to make sure I wasn’t going to take up this officer’s time with my story.

I thanked him for taking the time to call me, and explained what happened in detail. It has been a true gauntlet ever since. This is alarming since sexual assault is such a violent and predatory matter that affects the public health of a community.

Needless to say, I am thoroughly disenchanted with the Blaine PD’s work ethic, professionalism and their attitude concerning victims of violent crimes. I feel everything – including feeling safe in my own skin – has changed and it shakes me deeply that I can’t trust the police to do their job and help me with professionalism and courtesy.

Catherine Kielty 

Bellingham

 

The Editor:

A new year has arrived with new challenges and opportunities. Here in Washington, a caucus state, we the people have the right and privilege of selecting the presidential candidate of our choice at the grass-roots level.

Anyone who considers themselves a Democrat and is a registered voter in the precinct in which they live may participate in the Democratic caucus. Those who turn 18 years old before November 8, 2016, are also eligible to participate.

You also will vote for delegates who champion your candidate at the legislative district caucus. At each level – legislative district, Congressional district and state – delegates advocate for the chosen candidate, and vote on who will represent that candidate at the next level.

Mark your calendar now and save the date of March 26, 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sign up for more information at whatcomdemocrats.com or call 360/647-7661.

Ruth Higgins

Blaine

 

The Editor:

In talking to people in Blaine I have observed an interest in preserving the “Blaine story,” one you can’t find in history books. A Blaine historical society would be an excellent opportunity to accomplish this goal.

I am looking for people who love Blaine and would gather with me to paint a picture of what an historical society should do. You may not want to be an active member, but would like to help paint the picture. If so, please contact me at jimzellwa@aol.com or 360-739-1028.

I am now working on making a digital archive of the old Blaine newspapers. I am collecting stories of early Blaine and I am interested in doing oral stories from Blaine’s past. I also want to take digital pictures of historical items such as pictures and the cash register from the Goff store. That is my quest. I am only one person – you may have other dreams and ideas.

Help me paint the Blaine story so the people after us will know and love Blaine.

Jim Zell

Blaine

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