Letters to the editor: April 6-12

The Editor:

On Saturday, April 15 the Girl Scout troop 42579 will be picking up trash around Blaine. We call this project Beautifying Blaine. If you would like to help clean up Blaine meet us in front of the Blaine High School at 1:45 p.m. Girl Scouts will meet you there and will give you a garbage bag, gloves and a location in Blaine. We will finish the clean-up around 2:45 p.m. If you can, please come help us Beautify Blaine.

Juniper Shea
Blaine

The Editor:

On Thursday, April 6, the Seattle Times reported thousands of defects found on rail lines hauling crude oil. Nearly 24,000 safety defects were found on routes in 44 states. No wonder our county council has decided to slow down the process of allowing more crude oil traffic in the county.

County residents are seeing more “Protect Cherry Point Jobs” signs produced by Whatcom Business Alliance (preservecherrypoint.com). It appears Gateway is pushing the oil trains again. Consider the jobs gained by these trains of crude. The idea is to sell the crude to China where it will be processed, then possibly sold back to the U.S. as petroleum. This will not be jobs gained, but really good refinery jobs lost and the taxes and community participation refineries offer.

Consider coal trains: temporary jobs constructing a robotized complex that will require thousands of gallons of precious water a day to control dust, which will drain into the Salish Sea, and increase foreign tanker traffic in pristine waterways. Foreign workers will man the ships, carry unknown organisms in their ballast water and risk numerous accidents by rail and sea. The only long term jobs created will be in after the fact spill clean-up and land and water restoration, if possible. Do not fall for the rhetoric!

Donna Starr
Blaine

The Editor:

After reading about Blaine High School’s expanding college credit (CIC), I was both shocked and excited for those who are looking to earn college credit while still enjoying the high school experience. Although I’m sure the school district is thrilled, we must address an issue concerning Running Start students.

For those of us who are familiar with BHS and their relationship with Running Start students, know that they don’t necessarily promote the program to their students, but they also don’t prevent them from entering. In my personal experience, I found it very difficult to stay connected with the high school despite my best efforts. It became regular for students in the program to miss award ceremonies, extracurricular functions or even show up for classes when the schedule had been changed without notice. Which led to often feeling as if we were left to fend for ourselves.

The school should really focus on trying to support each student’s decision, no matter what that might be, rather than trying to sway their interest by treating them differently. Instead of supporting a new program why not support the programs that already exist and are thriving. The district should make an effort to stay in contact with Running Start students and uphold that relationship, so students can still be involved if they choose to do so. With Blaine’s expansion it feels like they are creating even further distance from Running Start students, which might be detrimental in the long run.

Hannah Kean
Blaine

The Editor:

In regard to the problem of cars (majority are Canadians) going through the stop sign at Peace Portal Drive and H Street. Yes, it’s against the law but I ask, what should take precedence, a car sliding at 5 mph through the stop sign or cars continually speeding up H Street from Ludwig to the top of the hill?

Occasionally there will be radar in Lincoln Park but if not it’s open to speed up the hill as fast as you want, often at 40-plus miles per hour with deer crossing, hidden driveways and school buses with kids exiting. I’ve experienced a car driving in the middle “turn only” lane, using it as a passing lane. If I had been turning left a second earlier I would have been T-boned.

Also, many times a day trucks with trailers drive up and down Odell and H Street past the corner “trucks prohibited” sign. Where are the patrol cars? Sitting down at the corner! Speeding on H Street has been an ongoing problem voiced by many of us. With more traffic than ever please put your priorities where they are best served.

Eileen Corrigan
Blaine

The Editor:

The city’s staff and members of the advisory committee are doing a good job providing information about forming a Transportation Benefit District. I would like to add my support for its approval.

More than 20 years ago the citizens of Blaine approved a bond issue to address critical street improvement priorities. Ten years later they agreed rather than lowering the mill levy when the bond was retired, we would keep it the same and use the money to make more street improvements.

The results were incredible. Not only was safety and efficiency accomplished, but the whole appearance of the affected neighborhoods blossomed. Because streets improved, homeowners improved their property. What a wonderful thing to witness. I love showing our town to family and friends visiting for the first time.

Transportation projects are very expensive. Over the past few years the city’s budget could not support much more than maintenance. However, the needs are still there. In fact, there may be more than ever. Several of these unfunded projects are very
expensive.

The creation of a Transportation Benefit District helps solve this problem in a  more equitable manner. Switching to sales tax reaches everyone that uses our streets and spends in the city. This provides a dedicated funding source for 10 years.

This is a good deal for us. Creating the TBD is the smart thing to do. Vote for approval.

Gary Tomsic
Blaine

The Editor:

I would like to encourage citizens who have old photos, objects that could be photographed, or newspaper articles and other historical documents, to contact Jim Zell, who is in the process of archiving historical items pertaining to our community. Jim is also interviewing and recording conversations with long-time Blaine residents about their stories of Blaine. Please call Jim if you or someone you know has a story to share.

We are happy Jim is undertaking this personal project to assemble an historic record of Blaine, which hopefully will become part of the City’s archives. It is my hope that someday someone will establish a small museum to house a collection of photographs, stories, and objects from Blaine’s past. Mr. Zell’s efforts are a good start. If you have something to share, please contact Jim at 360/332-3402 or jimzellwa@aol.com.

Bonnie Onyon
Blaine City Councilmember 

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