Letters to the Editor -- August 02, 2001

Published on Thu, Aug 2, 2001
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Letters to the Editor

White missed it
The Editor:
The purpose of the city of Blaine neighborhood meetings was clearly stated in The Northern Light Coming Up section; and I quote, “The city council, city manager and staff want to listen to your issues and concerns of your vision for the future of Blaine.”
The meeting description as given left no doubt as to what would take place. No deception was involved. Dave White left the meeting he attended after the ground rules for the meeting had been explained so he has no idea what went on at the meeting and any comments he made about the meeting should be ignored. I was pleased to learn that one of my concerns, permanent representation for Blaine on the WTA board was already in the works. (This won’t cost Dave White money.) My suggestion that the city of Blaine recruit successful high profile businesses was accepted as a viable option and the example I cited was received with enthusiasm. One high profile business on Peace Portal would create the kind of traffic necessary to bring the downtown area back to life and fill those empty stores. (This won’t cost Dave White money either). I found the meeting I attended very positive and many of the ideas put forth not “pie in the sky” or expensive to implement.
LeAnna McGuire

The Editor:
I wonder how many of your readers understand that Mr. White’s criticism of the community meeting at the senior center comes from one who did not stay for the meeting? He left quite early on. I am uncertain whether Mr. White departed at the completion of the “wish list” or whether he left during the discussion of the first item on the “wish list” but I do know that he got up and shuffled off before any real estimation of what was about to happen could be made. I actually assumed that he left because he objected to the fifth article of conduct that Mr. Tomsic asked the group to abide by during the meeting: No personal attacks. I don’t think Mr. White understood the purpose for holding the meetings.
Council did not speak because it was a time for council to listen to the people. Many people in the audience made statements and suggestions, or gave their perspectives on the topics on the “wish list.” If anyone had really desired to direct a question to a specific councilperson, and had asked Mr. Tomsic, as moderator, to be allowed to do so, the request would have been granted. I, myself, would have been happy to answer any questions that anyone might have had for me, but I don’t think the audience associated individual council members with particular issues.
As to the meeting being “orchestrated” by the people who wanted to change the name of the town last year, I am certain it was not. Edmund and Phyllis Root were the “orchestrators” of the name-change movement and they were not at the meeting – although I wish they had been for I believe they have the best interests of Blaine at heart (whether you agree with them or not) and might have contributed mightily to our discussion.
And yes, it was a feel-good meeting. Blaine is beginning to feel good about itself and is beginning to act like it does. I think Mr. White’s usefulness to Blaine has passed, if he ever had any. Perhaps some other town has need of a doomsayer and a naysayer. Perhaps the leaders of some other struggling community have been reading his letters and will call him forth to prophesy ruin and destruction over all of their efforts, without knowing what it is that they are actually doing. I wonder how many of your readers understand just how many advertised informative meetings David White does not attend? I know how many I attend, and I don’t see him at them. Or if he comes, he doesn’t stay long.
Ken Ely
Blaine City Council

The Editor:
To quote Mr. White’s comments in the July 26 issue “without telling the whole truth” really sums up his own letter, not the comments or responses made by either city staff or residents attending the recent community meetings. Mr. White has a habit of taking half-facts and turning them into what he calls the truth, or least his version of it.
Had Mr. White spent more than a total of 15 or so minutes at all three (instead of only one) of the meetings, he would have understood what the city officials were really after. They wanted to know what concerns or issues the citizens have.
Largely because of his and his cohorts’ behavior at public forums, the city people said they would not allow personal attacks. Yes, criticism is one thing, but attacks such as the ones Mr. White favors, like “brain dead, deadwood, and thick heads” have no place in a serious meeting where issues and answers are being sought.
It appears that in all of his time on the city council, he failed to understand that there are channels to voice “criticism of their actions ... (and) picking on their recent decisions.” He seems to prefer the newspapers as a forum to promote his campaign for the change in city government and his own political ambitions. Never one to offer suggestions in a civil manner or address issues rather than personalities, he prefers to lash out with only half the facts or less.
Mr. White stated that “the discussions and goals of the meeting was orchestrated by the same group that wanted to change the name of this town last year.” He went on to say that they are “the same group that cares more about homes for critters than jobs and homes for people.”
As a member of the group that suggested the name change, I have talked with everyone I know who was involved. We did not nor did we attempt to set the goals or discussions of the meeting. Had Mr. White been to at least the first of these meetings, he would have seen and heard quite the contrary.
Frankly, I don’t know where he got the idea that these people care more about homes for critters than they do about jobs and people. Nothing could be further from the truth ... it is only White’s “half-facts” attempt to make issues out of non-issues in his quest for public attention or office.
Frankly, a great many of us are tired of his polemics and verbal bombasting in all too many letters to the editor. He should deal with real facts and solutions instead of harping on the same old subjects and persons he has chosen to vilify.
John J. Choulochas

The Editor:
Having been present at all three of the recently held community meetings, I wish to report that they were well conducted, received and attended, and most informative and productive.
City manager Gary Tomsic facilitated all three meetings and conducted all three in a professional, relaxed and collective manner. The ground rules were established in the beginning and were agreed upon by all present. City council was present primarily to listen to citizen comments and issues and did respond positively when addressed directly. Everyone had a chance to speak and everyone that desired to speak, did!
All meetings lasted approximately two hours and none adjourned until all participants had had their chance to offer an input.
Many issues were brought forth and thoughtfully presented by citizens. City staff and council now have a comprehensive list of citizen concerns and will integrate these interests with issues already addressed. The plan is to hold additional meetings next year to give citizens an opportunity to measure the city’s progress.
We now have a thought provoking action list for Blaine’s future. Although council and staff like to hear good things, too, we are always available to receive comments and legitimate criticism.
Mike Myers

Council got it
The Editor:
Whatcom County Council member Marlene Dawson had the courage to propose the adoption of a policy aimed at reserving a large portion of our conservation future funds for the purchase of development rights from our farmers. The policy was accepted by the council majority and later vetoed by the executive.
We as a county are at the cross roads. If we want to maintain our rural character, we must make a firm commitment and join similar preservation efforts now being made by residents from Skagit. The policy proposed ignores no one. Flexibility for great park opportunities can come through real estate contracts and bank loans.
With a firm policy in place for the purchase of farming development rights, we ensure that the rural flavor for our community continues. Without secure appropriations from the conservation future funds, the money will continue to be used for parks. Parks are nice but they can’t be farmed or harvested for timber. Parks provide no tax base for our local economy. The majority of the council is right on this one.
Linda Fassett

Wonderful wood
The Editor:
Congratulations to Richard Sturgill and the Plover organization on this past weekend’s Plover Days celebration at Blaine Harbor. In particular, the Wood on Water wooden boat show, with such a variety of classics in excellent condition, was a wonderful idea.
Some lucky people were even able to take short tours on board steam-powered launches. With wood burning engines they were not only quiet, but environmentally friendly! A family, on vacation from Olympia, was also there to show an immaculately maintained wooden sailboat before going on to cruise the San Juan islands.
This first Wood on Water boat show for Blaine Harbor will no doubt become a yearly event, attracting ‘boaties’ and tourists in general to our splendid harbor. As an educational activity it will draw greater attention to Blaine Harbor and lead to increased marine related business, as it has done for years in Port Townsend.
Edmond Root

A fine place...
The Editor:
Four years ago we bought a house in a school district that we shouldn’t have. Well, we made it through one more year in that district and half way through the year, my wife and I looked at each other and we said, “we have to get out of here.” There were many reasons why, but the main one was we just knew it wasn’t a healthy environment in which to raise our kids. So, we put our brand new house up on the market and started to look for where we were going to go.
I did some checking around for some of the better-rated school districts and we went and visited them. I was somewhat familiar with the Birch Bay area; the school checked out very good, the number of kids per teacher, graduation percentage, sports and so on.
Well, three summers ago we made the move with our house still unsold – we just wanted out.
We have been in the Blaine area for three full years now and love every bit of it. We have accomplished in three years what we couldn’t get done in nine years in the previous school district. The kids are well accepted, we know we have some very good friends who have opened up their lives with us and for that I want to say what a great area and great people we are with now.
This summer our daughter wanted to compete in the junior Olympics for track, so we enrolled her. She had her first meet in the Seattle area and did very well. Two weeks later she had another meet for the west coast and won it. Well, as those of you with kids know, this cost money.
Becky worked very hard and she qualified for the national junior Olympics. Great again, but just one problem – it takes money to get to Sacramento California. So I did what any normal parent would do – I panicked. She earned it, she deserved it, how do I do it? So I called another parent that has dealt with these kind of things before and calmly he says, go to the community. After three to four days of procrastinating. I go knock on the first door, get half way into my begging and all of a sudden this person comes out and says, “I know, I heard about that. That’s great and I’d like to make a donation.”
During the next five days I had people calling us, stopping by the house and donating money for the trip. My wife and I were overwhelmed with the community support and for that we just wanted to say thanks to everybody for helping us help our daughter achieve her goal. Thanks once again, to all who have helped and made this a great place to live.
Riddle family

Theater thanks
The Editor:
The summer drama theater would like to thank the following Blaine businesses for their support and donations: Burger King, Cost Cutter, Figaro’s Pizza, International Cafe, Pizza Factory, Texaco Starmart, and a huge thank you to Tom and Paula Brown, Candis Haws, Genee and Bruce Kai for their cash donations! The performance of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was a huge success thanks to all the family and friends that attended.
Joni & Wynn Tingley

4H news
The Editor:
The Everson Lion’s Club was this month’s recipient of the Discovery Club’s monthly community service donation. The Lion’s Club lost their concession-stand trailer in June to a fire caused by arson.
The Discovery Club is continuing to collect new and like-new stuffed animals to be distributed to the local fire departments and EMT units in Whatcom County. If you would like to make a donation, there is a drop off box at the Blaine Library. Call Wyatt at 647-3341 with any questions.
The Blaine Kiwanis invited Discovery Club member Stephanie Hiner and leader Shirley Hiner to their July 24 meeting to talk about 4-H and the Discovery Club. Thanks so much for the invitation and opportunity!
We extend a big thank you to the Little Red Caboose for donating their time and providing supplies to our club to teach the Creative Arts Class on July 25. Everyone had a great time and learned a lot. Thank You!!
On July 28, the Discovery Club’s first annual club BBQ was held at the Birch Bay State Park. This was a great opportunity for the families to get together, relax and have fun. We appreciate having access to the Birch Bay Park’s facilities as a meeting place.
Stephanie Hiner


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.

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