Letters to the Editor -- April 19, 2001

Published on Thu, Apr 19, 2001
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Letters to the Editor

Floating legacy plies Drayton Harbor
The Editor:
Recently the Blaine community lost a friend, mentor and father. George Meador crossed the bar April 4, 2001 at the early age of 51 years.
George, a tall quiet man, left his mark by those he helped, the things he did, his dedication to excellence. George had many interests; I would like to focus on one of those.
George was a Friend of the Plover and member of the Plover Beach Gang, a dedicated group of talented volunteers who came forward in time of need, stepped up to the plate, signed on for the duration using the special skills, knowledge and time to painstakingly repair and refurbish an old weary former cannery launch.
The next time you have occasion to have passage on the Plover ferry, you can see an example of George’s dedication to excellence. Go below, take a seat on one of the two passenger benches. Check their look, the gentle curves, feel the warmth of the smooth crafted wood. George the carpenter built these. Sit down, close your eyes for a moment, take in the experience. Let your mind drift back to the 1940s when Plover first began plying the waters of Drayton Harbor. You won’t be alone; George will be your companion. He’s there in his fine work. Good sailing, George.
Richard Sturgill
Blaine

Stand up for schools
The Editor:
We would like to urge the residents of the Blaine school district to vote yes for schools on May 15. Members of the school district, members of the school board and residents of our community have worked long and hard to put together what we consider to be an educationally sound and fiscally responsible building plan for our community.
Our schools are crowded and will become more so with just the children who are already in our community, to say nothing of our projected growth. While we pride ourselves in taking care of what we already have, there are maintenance issues for fire suppression, efficient energy usage and safety that we cannot squeeze out of our operating budget.
Blaine and Point Roberts have always shown amazing support for their schools. That is one of the reasons we chose to make this our home and why we donate our time and energies to the school district. If you have any questions about the bond, please feel free to contact us. We believe in this bond and what it will do for the future of our schools. Please join us in voting yes May 15.
Jane & Woody Woods
Blaine

The Editor:
I am a student at Blaine high school and I would like to encourage voters to consider approving the bond coming up for school improvement in Blaine. Investing in this bond would be investing in our future. It would improve learning for the leaders of the future.
One way it would do this would be by improving the library and putting in a new computer lab. This would provide students with better equipment and resources for researching, learning and providing high quality work. It would also improve learning by allowing seven new classrooms to be built. This would allow smaller class sizes and accommodate new growth.
Approving this bond would improve the learning at Blaine schools. It would only cost taxpayers about two dollars more a month! It would definitely be a worthwhile investment. I urge the voters to consider this.
Jacqueline Thomas
Blaine

Food bank earns thanks
The Editor:
I’m writing in response to the letter written a few weeks ago about the Blaine food bank.
The people who work at the food bank are all volunteers. Most of the volunteers are retired people. They get up early daily to gather in food for this bank. They drive to different locations to get food for this food bank here. This food, at times, can be very heavy. These people sort through the food and keep the food that can be handed out. At times people that work there are called to come pick up food or be there for a delivery outside normal hours.
These people work very hard to ensure that people of the community have some food to help them out.
So, if next time you go to the Blaine food bank and there’s one or two items that you feel aren’t up to your standards, then throw them away. You should be thanking these people who work hard for free to make sure our community has a food bank. If I were you, I would be thanking God for people like these for helping during your time of need.
This community that we live in is a very good one and we are very lucky to have a food bank and people who care about us.
Thank you to the Blaine food bank and all that you do for this community.
Donna Gibson
Blaine

Civility and specifics
The Editor:
Because I worked for the city of Blaine for 26 years, I’ve come to believe that certain ideas are necessary when dealing with the public and talking to people. One has to practice certain attitudes and behavior. One cannot allow an angry customer, for instance, to make you angry.
I recall a time in city hall years ago when a man came in really upset about what the city had been doing or wasn’t doing. I was aware of what he was talking about but I didn’t know what his grievance was, so I let him talk. He kept on telling and complaining while I just stood there and listened. After he calmed down a little bit I started to explain what had happened and why the city had done what they had done. Then I began to tell him some of the things we couldn’t do that he wanted done. After talking for quite a while he calmed down and finally left. My secretary laughed and said, “He went out of here feeling sorry for you.” Well, my point is, it takes two people to fight. If one of them refuses to get angry, they might make some progress.
What I am most concerned with is information. I am appalled at times, how little many of our citizens understand or know about their own government. They don’t know how it is organized, they don’t know who is in charge, they just don’t understand why things are done the way they are done. I am certainly going to recommend to the city manager and the council that some money be put into the budget specifically for customer and citizen information.
Our local paper, The Northern Light, does a pretty good job of reporting city procedures and actions, but there is more than that, it seems to me, that could be sent out once a month, or two, along with utility bills informing people of reasons for doing this, and what are the plans for such and such a project, and how much money can we anticipate having available for it.
I know dozens of people shrug their shoulders, and say, “Who cares?” but, to avoid a lot of complaining, name calling and actual ignorance of what a community has to do in order to survive, we need more information. I think we need more information to understand that project A is going to go ahead, to know why it is going ahead and where the money is coming from to pay for it.
I remember from my own experience that there were a lot of questions that came into city hall that would not have happened if information had been sent out ahead of time.
Trav Skallman
Blaine

Bad dog?
The Editor:
Jessie, whose mirror are you looking in? Cute pitbull is an oxymoron. I am a visitor here today. I’ve come across your article in the paper. Let me educate you as to why you have to keep your dog on a leash. You don’t trust your dog and neither does the rest of society (Except the rest of the pitbull and rottweiler owners).
I am an insurance broker from Seattle. If you own a pitbull or rottweiler I can not offer you insurance on your home. Why? You say the breed is unfairly targeted? Wrong, you are in denial. In all the case studies we have read only your breed of dog will maul your child, your pet or even you. And every time you hear the same rhyme from the owners of these monsters, “the dog was a family dog, loved my kids, never offered to bite, etc ...”
You need to get a clue before this is you. Get a lab or a big St. Bernard – you will never have to second guess and you too can let your dog off the leash in designated areas. No dog or breed of dog is worth the life of a child.
Carrie Staton
Seattle

Civic discontent
The Editor:
Now I know that the folks that are behind the decision to let the Amtrak bypass Blaine for points north will say that I am a foreigner – a resident of Birch Bay – and therefore do not have the right to a voice in town. That’s okay – I’ll voice my opinion and maybe someone who does have that right will wake up.
It just seems to me that the powers that be in Blaine are so busy talking out of both sides of their mouths – insisting that thousands of dollars be spent on development of industrial and tourism resources, then deciding to let a very valuable tourist asset go on up the tracks – that they are letting the town go to the dogs.
What is going on up there? Are the community leaders who you (not I) elect to do what is best for the community so enthralled with their power that the community really doesn’t matter?
Just answer one question – why should the Canadians get the “first crack” at tourist money that comes north or even that is coming south? If the answer is “We don’t have anything to offer,” then you have been wasting precious resources – the money paid to consultants – that could be used to develop the community to the point that it is a pleasant place to visit, and encourage businesses so that there are places for the tourists to spend that money.
I was not a supporter of Ross Perot, but I remember that “loud sucking sound” he talked about. If the community of Blaine
doesn’t wake up, and collectively put its foot down on the decision at hand, there will be, without doubt, a louder sucking sound of tourists, businesses and citizens leaving the area.
James Turner
Birch Bay

The Editor:
The giving away of the train station to Canada by this council should be the straw that broke the camels back for everyone here. Here we have a town as financially devastated as we are.
We now have a city manager who was hired at a five figure salary and is now up to a six figure salary. We have businesses dropping out like flies, and no growth, and no business, yet the guy who supposedly is looking out for your best interests is still getting huge salary increases.
There is a petition around to take back our town and run it cost effectively with an elected mayor and council.
Ferndale and Lynden have had a mayor-run government and they are growing and growing, cases in point – Homestead, Haggens and huge housing development projects.
Also you need to ask yourself one question: how many Americans do you know who are going to go to Canada, wait in line at a border for God knows how long to catch a train that is going south? Also, Canada has not contributed anything toward the proposal at all, for its development or implementation, and here the council just gives it away without asking you the people or consulting with Georgia Gardner or Doug Erickson, our state representatives.
When the petition gets to your door be sure to sign it, and take back the seats of government and put the control in your hands, not some high paid out-of-towner.
David White
Blaine
Ed. Note: The Northern Light was unable to confirm Mr. White’s statement regarding a raise for the Blaine city manager.

Letters Policy
The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank-you letters should be limited to 10 names. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
E-mail:editor@thenorthernlight.com

Letters Policy

The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

Please email letters to letters@thenorthernlight.com