Letters to the editor: April 13-19

The Editor:

After moving to Blaine several years ago, my wife and I began cleaning the never-ending garbage off the beaches and trails along Semiahmoo spit several days a week. Apparently some people have used Drayton Harbor and/or the feeder creek systems that empty into it as a garbage dump over the years.

In addition to the never-ending plastic bottles, bags, oyster nets, etc. that wash up daily, we have pulled old tires, TVs, even a large dead dog wrapped in a tarp from the Drayton Harbor side of the spit. The Semiahmoo Bay side, while less polluted, has its share of plastic, aluminum cans and bottles that, based upon their markings, wash up from Canada, Washington and even Asia.

A large amount of construction trash also blows off the job sites along the spit, along with junk food bags, bottles, cans, used diapers, etc. tossed from moving cars or dumped in the parking lot of Semiahmoo Park and onto its beaches and trails.

Worst of all in my opinion, and the hardest for us to clean up, is the pet waste that is bagged and tossed or often neatly placed for others (such as myself) to pick up, by local residents walking along both the paved and unpaved trail systems out along the spit.

I would like to advise all readers that after some intense lobbying by both individuals and the Semiahmoo Resort Association, the Whatcom County Parks Department has finally installed a trash and recycling station near the restrooms in Semiahmoo Park right next the cannery building. The city also installed a garbage can at the covered picnic area and public parking lot next to the Semiahmoo Shores development. There is also a pet waste station next to this picnic area.

I would respectfully request that for the sake of our current and future wildlife and human populations, not to mention the health of our waterways, we clean up after ourselves and our pets using these waste disposal systems.

Like the famous basketball coach John Wooden apparently once said, “The true test of a person’s character is what they do when no one is watching.”

Blair Smith
Blaine

The Editor:

Let me try this again. A while back, probably a couple of years ago, I wrote to the editor/owner/whomever read the mail and made the decisions, with a plea on this subject. The letter was published, and if my suggestion was granted, I can’t remember its short duration. Now that I understand that we have a new editor, I will try again…

The Northern Light is a great community newspaper. I always read it front to back. It then serves good auxiliary duty in starting my wood stove. The Northern Light’s letters to the editor section reads somewhat differently than most papers, and there lies my dissatisfaction.

Any other publication I read titles such letters to give the audience at least some clue as to what the letter concerns. If nothing else I consider that courteous, allowing me to not waste my precious time scanning the letter for a clue as to what it’s about.

I did not do well with the Evelyn Wood speed-reading program, and I must confess I usually skip the letter’s content and just look to see who the author is. If it’s Donna or Bill, I usually read, as I know them personally, but the rest go unheeded unless, unlike this letter, they use good journalistic style (I studied that at WWU) and start the letter with a proper who-what-when-why-where paragraph.

So, (no sentence should start with “so”) if it would not be too much of a break with tradition, and not all that much work, I would really appreciate it if you could see your way to giving letters to the editor at least a subject title.

Dennis Withner
Blaine

The Editor:

We strongly object to the proposed Horizon high flow Bypass project. We believe that the project is inconsistent with the Birch Bay Comprehensive storm water plan as it stands.

As implemented, the Horizon High Flow bypass will degrade Birch Bay for the tens of thousands of people who flock to it annually or reside there.

We are not opposed to the Horizon development in principle, but to the stormwater management plan proposed for this large swath of land.

The Birch Bay comprehensive stormwater plan, commissioned by Whatcom County and executed by CH2MHILL can be directly accessed at the Birch Bay Watershed and Aquatic Resources Management (BBWARM) District website under the planning tab: bbwarm.whatcomcounty.org/home.

The proposed Horizon stormwater project can be accessed on the Whatcom county planning development’s website under the above references.

A bio-swale was the most notable feature of the award-winning Cottonwood main drainage project completed in 2014. There are no such swales or rain gardens in the Horizon drainage plan. The Cottonwood project appears to have helped alleviate seasonal algal blooms.

Birch Bay is on the cusp of a renaissance with the implementation of the Birch Bay Drive and Pedestrian Facility (the berm).

The berm may make some homeowners, especially along Birch Bay Drive, concerned that there may be some loss of intrinsic or perceived value of their properties. Other Bay users see it as a necessary safety improvement, separating pedestrian and auto traffic on an increasingly congested roadway. However, I think we can all, as users of one of our most precious resources in our splendid county, unite in getting behind the preservation of Birch Bay in accordance with a sensible stormwater plan.

I urge you to reject the Horizon High Flow Bypass Project.

If you share our concerns, please respond in writing or in person by April 24 at Whatcom County Planning and Development Services, 5280 Northwest Drive, Bellingham, WA,. 98226.

Ciaran Roe and Glynis Whiting-Roe
Birch Bay

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