Letters to the editor, June 23 – June 29

The Editor:

The Blaine school district board of directors deserves an A+ for their unanimous, forward-thinking decision to push back grandstand construction. The bottom line for the school district certainly needs to be the remodel of a secure facility for our students (three entrances versus 46). Prioritizing that over the dream concrete structure grandstand that “would be the best in the county” should not have been challenged. I’m sorry the football players and supporters feel cheated but the board’s decision benefits the whole student body and faculty. I think that’s what the voters want.

Wendy White

Birch Bay

The Editor:

Before anyone in Canada can purchase  or own a gun, they must apply to the government for a firearms license. If approved, a photo I.D. card is issued. Once issued, that person must produce the card to purchase a gun[s] and or ammunition, whether purchased from a dealer or privately. It is illegal to do otherwise. A person must have the ID card available at all times, when guns are in his/her possession at a home or business, traveling to a gun club or hunting anywhere in Canada.

In addition, the laws for storage for guns at home or business or anywhere are very stringent. They must be all-steel lockers with locks that only the owner with the I.D. card can open. Handgun “permits to carry” are not issued to the general public. Deaths by guns in Canada, including accidents and suicide are among the lowest per 100,000 population in the world… 25th.

Jay James

Birch Bay

The Editor:

I was saddened again to see how the Blaine school district board operates. It seems they don’t understand or care about the students or their parents when it comes to spending money or financial planning.

It began last year when they continued to ignore and fail to respect or address the busing concerns and lack of a school located in Birch Bay. The sole person who protested was Doralee Booth, who I am sure has no children attending Blaine schools but is probably the strongest supporter for the Birch Bay community.

As I mentioned in my November 2015 letter to The Northern Light, I sent emails to every board member and did not receive one single reply. It probably was that I have no children attending their schools so they just blew me off. Customer service and relations does not seem to be a priority with them.

They have yet to make a real effort to locate and buy land for a school to be located in Birch Bay and probably won’t address this issue for the next 10 years given the construction fiasco just published last week.

Now the brilliant board is faced with a problem and they propose to solve it by removing a new athletic grandstand. As a retired CPA, I would describe their actions now and then as lacking accountability, failure to exercise due diligence and simply ignoring Birch Bay and Blaine athletes and their supporters.

I don’t understand why they did not complete and have ready backup plans with several different options, such as including the grandstand and cutting elsewhere or including the grandstand and delaying other parts of the construction or seeking advice, which they should have done at the beginning of the process and certainly should have gotten advice now before making their recent announcement.

Where are the protests from the parents and students? If I were them I would insist on accountability and due diligence and if the board ignores them then recall all of them.

I am a strong supporter of Birch Bay and hate to see all of this happening.

Mickey Masdeo

Birch Bay

The Editor:

Dear Blaine middle and high school students, school has been out for about a week, the excitement of freedom has started to fade, and you are beginning to face in question, “What am I going to do for the next couple of months?” To help you answer that question, the Drayton Harbor Music Festival offers a one-week experience dedicated to the fact that music is a very cool art form, and that the people who play it are fun and interesting.

Our students attend classes (vocal and instrumental) at their particular level of achievement. Our faculty members are top-flight professional jazz performers and teachers who come to us from all over the country. Several of them have been with us for ten or more years, and they all find real satisfaction in watching students on Saturday perform new techniques or pieces that they had considered impossible on Monday morning.

Sound interesting? Check us out at draytonharbormusic.org. Go to the “Music Camp” page and you will probably recognize some people you know having a great time – and you can join them! We have financial aid for those who need it. So head for the website and we will look forward to seeing (and hearing) you in July!

Bryan Johnson

Drayton Harbor 

Music Festival

The Editor:

I volunteer with the Tenmile Creek Clean Water project whose focus is to lower fecal bacteria pollution in Tenmile Creek.

It’s upsetting that much of the Lummi Nation’s shellfish beds are conditionally closed because of fecal bacteria loading from the Nooksack River. Most county residents are unaware of this issue, even though government agencies are working to correct the problem. County staff and other agencies take multitudinous samples all over the Nooksack watershed, keep track of results, find fecal bacteria hot spots, post information on their websites, and try to get the pollution stopped. Word is not getting out to the public.

Our local dairy farmers work hard to manage their farm’s manure correctly, so it doesn’t pollute our streams. They insist that they are being blamed for the problem.

Whatcom County has almost 30,000 septic systems. The last time I checked, only 6,514 were in compliance with the septic system inspection rules. The county health department just contacted almost 1,500 homeowners in the north county who have never submitted the required inspections of their septic systems. I applaud this effort.

I sit in a lot of meetings and I’ve heard the frustrations; I’ve listened to people blame others and this won’t fix the problem. We all need to take responsibility. Please make sure your septic system is working properly. Contact Whatcom County Health Department with questions.

Naomi Murphy

Ferndale

The Editor:

I’ve heard the recent talk of putting an Amtrak station in Blaine. I think it’s a great idea (not to mention that Blaine had a railroad station for most of the 20th century). The area is an undiscovered gem that is easy to walk around, and I think a station would help Blaine’s economy by creating jobs and by bringing in tourism, both from Canadian day trippers wanting a jaunt to America and American day trippers coming up from the south wanting to see the town and the Peace Arch Park.

Phil Dougherty

Sammamish

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