Letters to the Editor -- May 17, 2001

Published on Thu, May 17, 2001
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Letters to the Editor


The Editor:
Time and time again, we have seen the community rally around our school district and more importantly the youth of this town. I want to take this opportunity to express our thanks for introducing our town to The Blender Youth Center in the April 26 issue of The Northern Light.
The response from our interview has been an encouragement that there will be greater support from the community in the future. I believe that the success of this vision will be largely due to people who, with excitement and involvement, take ownership of this special opportunity and see the importance of investing in our future now. Thanks to all of you out there who have already given your time, financial support and garage sale donations. You are the ones who encourage us and cheer us on! We need more like you.
For all of you readers who would like to get more involved, we’re waiting for you. Just let us know and we’ll try to put your talents to work. As for our upcoming blowout garage sale, wait till you see all the treasures we have. On Saturday, May 19 from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. we will be raising money with the goal to open The Blender as soon as possible. A long list of items will be offered, including such large items as household appliances, a variety of furniture, sports equipment for the active types, craft supplies, kitchen accessories, home decor, clothes and more. Rain or shine, we’ll be there with smiles, willing to give tours of the building and answer any questions you might have. See you there! Corner of Peace Portal Drive and G Street – the old Red Apple building.
Ken Martin, director
Blaine

The Editor:
To police officers Brand, Erickson, Glover, Sartain and White: I wish to extend my appreciation for the kindness, understanding and conversation given in my recent trying and troubling days. You fine people lessen my pain and embarrassment and I thank you.
John Surowiecki
Blaine

The Editor:
The Blaine city manager and city council seem to be bent on shoving the regional wastewater treatment facility down our throats. At a cost of $33 million, it is far and above the cost of other options.
One option is to utilize greater Vancouver’s wastewater treatment plant at about $9 million. They don’t want to use this option or any other option which might be less expensive or make more sense. Their reasoning? They might not be able to get federal funds using the less expensive options. They somehow view federal funds as “free money.”
Well, I for one am getting sick and tired of cities and corporations sucking the life out of taxpayers around the country by applying for grants from the federal government. Let’s call this money what it really is. Welfare! Let’s call the lobbying for what it really is. Begging! I have, and I am sure you have, relatives in other parts of the country. Why should they have to pay for the mistakes our city officials have made? Why should they have to pay so we can flush our toilets? It is socialism, pure and simple. You steal from one group and give it to another “deserving” group.
We need to come up with a plan so we can afford to pay for the new facility ourselves and not burden others. A more libertarian approach would be to do what private businesses do. They take out loans from banks or seek private capital to pay for their projects.
Let’s hope they wake up. We don’t want the city of Blaine to accept welfare from the federal government.
Terry Pilant
Blaine

Dear Editor:
Drayton Harbor Maritime hosted the premier showing of “Sockeye and the Age of Sail” in the Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, May 11.
This video, documenting the Alaska Packers Association and the Star Fleet which served it, was enthusiastically received by an audience of 170 people from the community, many of whom had personal memories of the cannery, the ‘star boats,” and the organization behind it all. DHM would like to thank the Blaine school district for the use of the PAC and the members of the community who made the event a celebration of Blaine’s history.
Kenneth E. Ely, DHM chair
Blaine

The Editor:
On April 21 a large demonstration was held at Peace Arch State Park that had the potential to overwhelm local law enforcement resources. With just a few weeks to prepare for the event, requests for assistance were made to area law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency management and other public agencies. The response was phenomenal and resulted in a responsible and well-reasoned approach that not only kept our community safe, but ensured free speech rights were protected.
A number of law enforcement agencies assigned personnel and loaned equipment. These included the Washington State Patrol, sheriff’s offices from Whatcom, Skagit and Grant counties as well as police departments from Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, Everson, Sumas, Bainbridge Island, Mount Vernon and Spokane.
Further assistance was provided by federal agencies including the Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Border Patrol, the Federal Protective Service and the FBI. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also went above and beyond in providing various forms of support for the operation.
Fire protection, emergency medical services and organizational management were provided by fire protection districts 13, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 as well as the city of Bellingham and Lynden fire departments. The Whatcom Division of Emergency Management provided logistical assistance and the framework necessary for managing an operation of this size.
The Blaine school district made the use of its facilities, kitchens and staff available in support of the operation. Other public agencies providing support included the Whatcom Transportation Authority, Washington State Department of Transportation and St Joseph’s Hospital.
Residents and local businesses assisted and made offers to assist in ways too numerous to describe. Their support was very much appreciated. A special thank you is owed to Resort Semiahmoo for its assistance in housing out-of-area officers and filling other needs. The help and cooperation of union representatives involved in the sponsorship of the demonstration was also very much appreciated.
Although the demonstration resulted in just a few problems, the organizational framework to support such a large-scale mobilization of emergency service resources was put to the test and was successful. I believe I can speak for all participants by stating that as a result of this event, our emergency service network and partners are better prepared to handle any incident requiring a large-scale mobilization of personnel.
On behalf of the residents and city of Blaine, I would like to extend our thanks to all that participated. It is reassuring to know we can count on our neighbors and friends in time of need. We stand ready to return the favor at any time.
Bill Elfo, Chief of Police
Blaine

The Editor:
We would like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the many friends for their kind words and love after the loss of our dear wife and mother, Ruth Skallman.
A special thanks goes to Bill Dodd, Elaine Gilbert, Unitarian Church choir, United Church of Christ choir, Charles Stanford, Gary Fayette, John Choulochas, Brendan Walter, Blaine Senior Center, and Blaine police department.
Trav Skallman, Wilda, Shelly & family
Nathan Skallman & family
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to invite everyone to Blaine high school’s annual Recognition Night. On Tuesday, May 22, our teachers will take this opportunity to recognize those students who have excelled in their classrooms. This is also the time when local scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors.
This night is about rewarding hard work and dedication and the public is invited to share this very special evening with the staff, students, and parents of Blaine high school.
Sponsored by the honor society, this event will be held in the performing arts center. Entertainment by the choir and band departments will accompany the refreshments being served. The ceremonies begin at 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you there.
Haily Baumberger,
Blaine

The Editor:
Blaine city have reason to be proud of their high school honor choir. The outstanding choir under the direction of Mr. Andrew Harmening was one of four choirs chosen throughout the United States, as guests of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Dr. Will Kesling. The mass choirs performed at a level equal to any choral group throughout the world.
The professionalism of the choirs to perform under such a distinguished choral director and the symphony, can only be described as breathtaking. The choirs were the Blaine high school, River View high school, both from Washington state, the Shiloh Valley College choir from California and the Westfield high school choir from Georgia.
The prestigious presentation was in honor of Mother’s Day and is an annual event of the symphony. The standing ovations and the choir’s brilliant presentations, rung throughout the Chan Center for the performing arts located on the campus of the University of British Columbia.
Doug Hargreaves
Abbotsford, B.C.

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