Letters to the editor: September 28-October 4

The Editor: 

This is the third year my daughter has participated in a sport program through the Boys and Girls Club. I am so thankful the Boys and Girls Club through Ferndale offers these programs and works with the various schools to secure practice time.

This fall, the Blaine community had enough kids sign up to create four volleyball teams at different grade levels. As in previous years, the process to secure practice time was challenging. Due to limited gym availability at the school, all four teams had to figure out how to share two hours of gym time once a week. All requests for more gym time were denied.

I understand sports run through the schools have priority and so they should. However, I find it hard to believe that all three gyms are occupied Monday through Friday after school and evenings and all day on the weekends. I am well aware I am not privy to all the reasons behind the decisions made for what teams are practicing when, but it is so unfortunate that the decision makers give these groups of kids such low priority and are unwilling to consider options and solutions.

I believe, as a community, we should think about our priorities and the opportunities we want for the kids growing up here. As a community we should be doing everything to encourage participation and remove the barriers. Don’t we want all our kids to be active and benefit from everything they can get out of participating in team sports?

Gail Rea

The Editor: 

The Community Assistance Program will be providing Thanksgiving Dinner baskets this year on Wednesday, November 22, from 11:30 am to 2:30 p.m. at Unit 280, near Cost Cutter, in the Blaine International Shopping Center.

Reservations required: Families residing in Birch Bay, Blaine, Custer, and Point Roberts who wish to participate must make a reservation through the Blaine school district’s Family Service Center by November 8. Call 360/332-0740 for a reservation. There are no baskets for walk-ins.

Those that we serve: Thanksgiving baskets are prepared for the following: families with children who are in need, families referred by pastors of local churches, the elderly on meager or limited incomes, the disabled, the unemployed and under-employed or others experiencing poverty.

The list of recipients will be vetted by and provided to us by the Family Service Center.

Funding: We depend on the kindness of our donors to fund this program. We need your help. The Community Assistance Program is an all-volunteer operation. We receive no government funding and we pay no salaries. It is only through donations from people like you that this program can function.

If you have the means to help your neighbor in need, please mail a check to the CAP Thanksgiving Basket Fund, P.O. Box 1067, Blaine, WA 98231.

The Community Assistance Program (CAP) is an IRS approved 501 (c) 3 charitable program and registered with the Washington Secretary of State. All donations are fully tax deductible.

Rhyan Lopez, director

The Editor: 

The need is great. The need is now. Are the communities of Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer up for a challenge? Blaine Food Bank (BFB) has an incredible opportunity. If BFB raises $25,000 by December 22, a local resident has generously promised to match community donations up to this amount. Whether you are a business, family or an individual, please help us reach this goal.

Have you ever gone to sleep hungry – not by choice – but because you had no food? Are you a parent who goes without to provide more for your children? Are you a child who goes to school without breakfast? If so, please tell your friends exactly how important it is to receive milk, eggs and bread from the BFB. Encourage community giving by sharing what the BFB means to you and your family.

Please believe me, Blaine Food Bank needs financial help. Our agency is suffering the same economic setback as the rest of our country. Our lines are longer and government support has been cut in half. Point of fact: BFB now serves close to 100 or more families a week than this time last year.

We average 400 families (over 1,500 individuals) in a week and distribute over 80,000 pounds of food every month.

Times are tough, yes; however, with help from our local businesses, churches and community, BFB will continue to provide help to those residents who are most vulnerable.

So the challenge is issued: will Birch Bay, Blaine and Custer businesses, local churches, and current residents step up? Will you help the food bank reach our goal of $25,000 by December 22? Starting October 13, BFB will display a thermometer showing our donors how we are progressing (from a low simmer to a full boil) as we try to reach our $25,000 goal.

Our mailing address is PO Box 472. Thank you.

Jerry Bladies, manager

Dear Editor:

I am so grateful to those Americans who have the courage to kneel down during the national anthem in order to stand-up against racial injustice and police brutality. Thank God they are taking a stand to protest these abominations. Trump is only focusing on the NFL players “taking a knee” when he should be focusing on why they are kneeling. It isn’t that just our flag needs to be respected and protected. It is the fact that human beings of every race in America needs to be respected and protected. The police are supposed to protect us, not murder young unarmed black people who are shot in the back in cold blood. Why aren’t the rest of the police officers themselves standing up in unity to protest these killings?

The Nazi Party and the Klu Klux Klan should be outlawed. Why are they still being allowed to exist? I have heard they are protected under freedom of speech. I’ve never heard such nonsense. Forgive me for using the following horrific example, but I am only trying to make a point; if people marched in public in our streets to advocate sexually molesting children, would you say that is okay and should be allowed under freedom of speech? How is it okay to march and be against entire races? How long do you think white people in America would have tolerated the Klu Klux Klan if it had been made up entirely of black people speaking out against the existence of whites (not to mention taking it so far as to lynch them just for being white). You know for a fact that it would have been shut down and outlawed immediately. How hypocritical can we as a nation be? Our federal, state, county and city governments should all be ashamed to allow these hate-filled racist groups to even exist anywhere in this country. It is the opposite of what America stands for.

We should all be color-blind when it comes to different races. President Trump showed his true colors when, instead of condemning them, he stated that there were some “very fine people” on both sides, including those in white supremacy groups. Shocking. He should be impeached. No human being should be allowed to make such a statement as our American President, and still be allowed to be our President. I am an American, but he sure doesn’t represent me.

There is only one race of people on this planet and that is the human race. Let us live in peace together and celebrate our beautiful cultural differences and diversities as we exist side by side on this earth. We are all enriched by this rich diversity. Let us try to see the good in everyone and be kind to everyone. Love and appreciation unites us, and united we stay strong as “one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Cindy Kisska
Birch Bay

The Editor:

At 8:10 a.m. or so this morning Friday, September 29 at the corner of Route 543 and H Street, I observed a young man wearing black slacks, a red shirt and a full backpack. He crossed the intersection eastbound. Not once did he look up from his texting to observe moving autos. At what point does a pedestrian not have any responsibility for their own safety and place the burden totally on the driver? I hope he reads this and gets a more serious grip on life. Being young does not automatically grant one invulnerability against the possible inattention and poor driving habits of others.

Richard Mollette

The Editor:

One of the greatest treasures in our community is Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2, and we want to encourage everyone to support them by voting for the levy on November 7.

Besides offering recreational programs for all ages and parks for families to enjoy, it provides places like the Bay Horizon Park activity center that anyone can rent for family and community events.

Our Water’s Edge Church family is blessed to worship in the gym each Sunday morning. We also partner with the wonderful park and rec staff in doing community events such as our annual Easter Egg Hunt and service projects such as giving away Thanksgiving dinners and collecting winter coats for families in need.

Your support on November 7 will go a long way to continuing to help families in our community that are truly benefitted by the great people and programs of the Blaine-Birch Bay Parks and Recreation District 2. Thank you for your vote.

Pastor Jim Carberry and the Water’s Edge Church family

The Editor: 

I am writing to express my support for Port of Bellingham candidate Barry Wenger.

I first met Barry while working in Blaine as a reporter. Barry worked for the department of ecology and I talked with him frequently about issues surrounding Blaine Harbor. I can tell you that Barry was knowledgeable about environmental issues but also had a real-world understanding for business, particularly maritime industry, being a former longshoreman himself. And his salty sense of humor always made him a joy to talk to.

In my opinion, Barry is the best of both worlds and brings the table a rare understanding of environmental and labor interests. But mostly I know that Barry will work hard to keep our waterfront ours and not gobbled up by private development forever.

Our current working waterfront not only supports the men and women who make a living in industries there, but it has a multiplier effect for the entire county. This means for every marine trade job, there are two other jobs created in other supporting industries.

We shouldn’t have to choose between having family-wage jobs and maintaining the beautiful environment we currently have. We can have both and I believe Barry is the best person to help us build on that. I know he believes fundamentally that the Port must listen to the citizens it represents and act on behalf of the entire community, not just special moneyed interests.

I hope you will join me in voting to elect Barry Wenger and, while I’m at it, Michael Shepard, for Port of Bellingham.

Tara Almond

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