Letters to the Editor -- May 03, 2001

Published on Thu, May 3, 2001
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Letters to the Editor

Buckled up on the bus?
The Editor:
This morning I heard a tragic report of four school children dying after a bus accident in New Brunswick, Canada. The bus had been turning a corner when the driver lost control and the bus rolled over several times. I could just imagine the tossing around of the young bodies inside that bus.
I don’t know the details as to whether or not seat belts were worn, or even if seat belts were installed on that bus, but this incident brings up a serious question. I have attended several Blaine primary and elementary school field trips and ridden on the bus with my daughter for these events. Never have I seen a seat belt provided for the children on these school buses.
Evidently there is no state or federal law requiring that seat belts be worn on school buses. I’m sure Blaine school district is no exception. I am wondering, if seat belts are required by law in our personal vehicles, why withhold seat belts from our public school buses? Seat belts save lives. Even if the state or federal governments do not require school bus seat belts, is there any reason why individual school districts cannot have them installed in their own buses?
My daughter does not ride the bus everyday – I drive her to school. But when she attends a field trip, I would feel much better knowing she’s “buckled up” on the school bus!
If anyone in position to know anything on this subject can offer information, I’d be glad to hear it!
Merald Dailey
Blaine

Le plus ça change...
The Editor:
I see that Mr. Schugt and Mr. Ely are imitating Hobberlin and Mortillaro to a tee. If you take the city manager’s salary and benefits together they come to over six figures. But like their predecessors they only focus on the money, when the focus is on the complete package, which is too much for this financially strapped town to absorb.
As far as the train goes, the focus is not on the train. It would not matter whether it was the Mickey Mouse train, the last train from Clarksville or midnight train to Georgia, the focus is Mr. Schugt and his band of renown, along with the city manager, holding their secret meetings behind closed doors. They decided for the rest of the town to give away the train stop to White Rock without the people having any say. This is the same practice continually used by Hobberlin and Mortillaro. They continually abuse the power of the office they hold and act as if they know what is best for the town when they don’t have a clue.
They have thrown away hundreds of thousands of dollars on consultants and acted with total disregard of what’s good for this city, giving away the train station, apparently without any contact with Senator Georgia Gardner or anyone else. It shows their lack of knowledge of what the town needs. It’s because of acts like this Blaine gets no financial help from anyone.
I ask again, how many Americans are going to go north to cross a border that who knows how long it would take to catch a train that is going south?
Dave White
Blaine
Ed. note: According to the city of Blaine finance department, the city manager’s salary is $80,000 per year. He also receives $3,200 a year in deferred compensation. The manager’s benefit package is a valued at $21,996.

Bond boosters and boos
The Editor:
We strongly support the Blaine school board proposal on May 15. We have a seven-year-old great grandson attending first grade in Blaine school district. The projections show large size classrooms and portables in his future if this proposal is not approved.
The school district has been very prudent in its projections and plans and deserves district-wide support. Your vote counts, so exercise your rights.
Dieter & Barbara Schugt
Birch Bay

The Editor:
School security – is it an issue? Do you remember the good old days? The days when going to school was like going to the store, you would walk right in and go about your business. That is not so today. Over the past years our schools have made changes to the way they do business. Is this good? I believe so and I encourage you to believe the schools need to upgrade even more for the safety of our children and our friends who work there.
I know we all think and hope that we will never have a situation at our schools like the Columbine incident, but the truth is it could happen at any school across the state. I am not trying to scare you. I am simply trying to make a point that the better security systems we have in place now, the better it is for all our children.
Some of the proposed security items are better lighting around the campus, ID card access to buildings after hours, a better phone system, upgrades on door handles in accordance to the Americans with Disabilities Act, doors that will lock from the inside so the teachers do not have to stand outside to lock the doors if a unwanted person was trying to get in.
There is a time to act on our children’s safety and that time is now. Vote yes on May 15 on our school bond.
Todd Berge
Blaine

The Editor:
As residents of the Blaine school district we have a great opportunity to continue our excellent education programs and buildings at all grade levels by voting yes May 15.
The need for new classrooms is critical to keep class size at a workable number and certainly updating our safety and security systems as well as fire protection are obvious necessities.
As a retired teacher from Blaine school district and past school board member, I know how difficult it is to ask the taxpayers for more – since I pay these taxes, too. But when you look at the future for our young people we need to offer them every opportunity we can. The old cliche was never more true: “This is an investment in our future.”
The improvements we are being asked to vote on will maintain our high level in all areas of the campus. When my children went through the Blaine schools we passed all of our school money issues. Let’s keep that record intact by voting yes on May 15.
Jim Jorgensen
Blaine

The Editor:
I am for better education and improving basic facilities. However, I cannot support the $19 million Blaine school district bond issue in these uncertain financial times. We have Georgia Pacific closing the pulp plant laying off 430 employees, Intalco possibly closing and laying off 970 employees, electric power cost increasing alerts from 30 to 250 percent, escalating natural gas prices, gasoline has increased 50 percent in the last 15 months and still rising and medical insurance for many has or is increasing by $240 a month.
Until we know the full impact on the community of the above factors and how many other community jobs are in jeopardy of our energy problems I cannot support this bond issue.
Protect your family’s financial security, vote no to the school bond issue.
Roberta Tetlock
Blaine

The Editor:
The Blaine school district $19.7 bond levy article and full back page advertisement that appeared in the last issue of The Northern Light is an excellent clear promotional document. It must represent a culmination of many years of planning and hard work by a lot of people.
The question I have is why is such a well-planned bond issue being filed under the state statute for emergency funding levy on May 15? State law requires that regular levies like this one be put to the November election calendar, which traditionally has much larger voter turnout.
I am not surprised by superintendent Dolman and the school board’s action as these are the same people who refused to mail xerox copies of a few pages of the school’s policies to the American Civil Liberties Union. This resulted in the Washington state courts fining the “Blaine school district $58,575 in legal fees, court costs and penalties for failing to provide documents requested under the Washington Public Disclosure Act.”
How do you grade the judgement of the superintendent and school board? If the Blaine school district bond issue is not withdrawn all voters should turn out and vote no on May 15.
John F. Ackerman
Blaine
Ed note: The secretary of state’s office and county auditor Shirley Forsloff affirmed that state law provides for school boards to, by submitting a resolution to the county auditor no less than 45 days before any one of the five legislatively established election dates, submit a bond levy for voter approval.

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