Letters to the Editor: July 26 to August 1

The Editor:

In the past several months, the police department has undergone a number of changes, including a new command structure staffed with a recently promoted lieutenant, three sergeants and a records supervisor. Structural alterations have also been made to the station, along with a number of security and technical upgrades.

In addition, at our request, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, under its Loaned Executive Management Assistance Program, reviewed the department’s operating procedures for conformity with contemporary “best practices.” Progress is now underway to bring them into compliance.

Another important change takes place this October when police dispatch services will be transferred from border patrol to What-Comm 911, the public safety answering point for 911 emergency services in Whatcom County. This move will benefit the citizens of Blaine by providing a quicker police response to 911 calls. Finally, I want to thank former city manager Dave Wilbrecht for initiating these changes; the city council for supporting them, and the outstanding men and women of the Blaine police department – particularly, records supervisor Amy Ebenal and lieutenant Ryan King – for making change possible.

Michael Knapp
Interim police chief
Blaine Police Department

The Editor: 

I want to personally thank all who were involved in bringing a Visitors Center and Starbucks to downtown Blaine. Having lived in this area for several years, it’s nice to see something new and so appropriately designed for this long-time vacant corner.

This center provides a landmark place for our out of town visitors to take a break, get information on the local area and spend some time in Blaine. For us locals, this corner will be a convenient place to meet friends and family before heading out to eat and shop nearby. The reputation of Starbucks stores is certainly one of consistency in their hours of operation, menu, customer service and cleanliness. These attractive, new additions to our city will serve to energize our local economy.

Roxanna Hubert
Blaine

The Editor:

I am writing regarding the recent article “Birch Bay residents worry new apartments will block views.” My husband and I live on Morgan Drive and although our house is far enough along the street that our view would not be impacted by this development, a few things jumped out at me as I read the article:

The property owner states that his plans stay within the limit of what county zoning allows. Sometimes, just because you can do something does not mean you should do it.

Secondly, Steve Nelson suggests some repositioning and altering the concept of the apartments to a flat roof design, preserving the views while allowing the project to continue. I always love a good win-win solution.

Lastly, I understand there is a community plan in place that states “multi-family housing should not obstruct or significantly limit views of the bay from existing development.”

Assuming I read that accurately and that plan is indeed in place, how is it that my neighbors are having to fight to preserve their views?

Kathy Christie
Birch Bay

The Editor:

Our democracy, I believe, was constructed based on the principle of equality of representation, opportunity and the social and political rights of all citizens.

Be aware! With huge PAC monies coming from outside of the state, we are seeing a disparity in campaign signage and expensive fliers. This is not about the qualifications, and indeed, quality of candidates with fewer economic recourses, but outside funding.

Economic privilege is at the root of so much anger and frustration, part of the reason for this current administration’s success. The empowered resist anything they deem cumbersome and/or restricting of their economic development, be it in environmental protection or court decisions, etc.

Because of extraordinary funding and the resulting advertising and control of certain media, the majority of us are seeing our participation in decision making disappear while the quality of our lives and future erode.

Decision making starts locally and we do have options in our own county and state. We can vote out well-advertised incumbents and vote for candidates with our values and a passion for our local concerns, water, justice, personal health decisions, local growth and job preservation – not corporate agenda.

Ballots will arrive soon. Voting is free, returning your ballot is free, and your power over the representation we get is in your hands. Vote!

Donna Starr
Blaine

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