Letters to the Editor: May 24-30

The Editor:

The Blaine Food Bank and our volunteers would like to give a big thank you to both Blaine and Custer post office employees during the USPS’ annual “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign on Saturday, May 12. Equally important, we would like to thank the generous people in the Blaine, Birch Bay and Custer areas who took the time to select, bag and donate food for this cause.

Between both post offices, we received close to 4,000 pounds of food.

Hunger in our communities is real and it is unacceptable. We never know when a life situation will leave us struggling to put food on the table.

Thanks to generous support from schools, churches, businesses and individuals, the Blaine Food Bank is able to provide nutritious food to 400 families each week who cope with hunger.

Hunger in our communities needs to stop here, and it needs to stop now. Working together, it can be done.

Jerry Bladies
Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:

How sad it is to read the scathing 63-page report on the Blaine Police Department’s many inefficiencies, mismanagement and neglect. But what is surprising is that nobody at city hall noticed anything amiss during Dave Wilbrecht’s five years as city manager, or even before. Why did it take the hiring of interim police chief Knapp to point out all these glaring faults and omissions?

It makes one wonder what other city departments – and county departments too – could benefit from the microscopic review and assessment by the equivalent of a LEMAP team.  For instance, our city’s own emergency operations plan was last updated in 2002, and no additional planning has occurred since (see page 25 of report).

Such assessments could potentially prevent further proof of the “Peter Principle.” And ultimately it is the responsibility of the city manager and council to ensure that all the city departments function properly, not just the police department. That is part of a manager and council’s job description. And if you keep relying on outside consultants for help, you might as well consider outsourcing the whole job before too long.

Ted & Elisabeth Angell

The Editor:

I agree with Susan Werner’s letter in the May 17 edition where she extols the value of “compassion, honesty, especially honesty, love, tolerance, appreciation for difference of opinion (sic).” Can she somehow get that across to the President?

Jack Kintner

The Editor:

How hopeful to hear of the decision down in King County Superior Court which decided in favor of Steven Long, a man who lost all of his possessions for what was essentially a parking ticket.

Debtor prisons are outlawed which seems so akin to this. He was homeless and parked illegally and thus could be forced to move his vehicle or have it impounded. The cops were following what they believed to be the law, requiring the court to clarify to law.

A homeowner who does not mow the grass may be liable for the bill if the government hires someone to do it – he does not have his home taken away. If he cannot pay the costs of towing, impoundment, storage, fines, there are other alternatives, examples being community service as well as a provided place where he can legally park his vehicle.

We cannot continue to ask poor people to be convenient by disappearing into thin air. More so, we should be compassionate neighbors. These people have often lost their jobs, homes, friends, reputations and self-respect. Is the only solution to take what’s left and turn them out into the street? What if a few people offered a cup of coffee, maybe even some help keeping things together and clean, advice with some attempt to get to know these unwilling intruders before deciding they must be trash to be thrown away as soon as possible?

These people do not deserve superior consideration and may have brought much down on themselves, but they clearly are unfortunate and in need of help. As we are learning, it does not take so much to lose your home and find yourself in a similar spot. Reminds me of a remark in favor of courtesy on the job, “Be careful who you step on to rise up because they will be waiting for you on your way down.”

Sharon Robinson

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