Letters to the Editor -- August 16, 2001

Published on Thu, Aug 16, 2001
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Letters to the Editor


Dog laws need teeth
The Editor:
Birch Bay is a wonderful place to live and to visit as evidenced by the many vacationers and the increasing population. Unfortunately, along with the positive amenities of living here is one very disturbing negative. The number of dogs running loose in our neighborhood is causing a lot of distress to my family and my neighbors. Some of these same neighbors are themselves dog owners and take responsibility for their pets. They understand and abide by the leash rules and keep their animals under good care and control. However, a number of dog owners are either totally ignorant of the leash law or are deliberately letting their animals run loose in defiance of the law. These irresponsible owners have no regard for the safety and freedom of others.
My wife and I and other neighbors have complained to the animal control office on several occasions. The animal control people have been quick to respond and to confront the offending owners. However, it must be very frustrating for them to have to return again and again to the same owners in response to complaints. Not unlike a lot of other government agencies, animal control is probably under-funded and under-staffed, but the officers are doing the best they can. Dog owners know that unless their animal actually attacks and maims a person, there is little the authorities can do. My wife and I hesitate to use repellents such as pepper spray but we do carry it now and will use it on the next dog that challenges our right to walk in our own neighborhood.
The final straw that prompted us to take the time to write this letter was an event that just occurred this morning involving a dog that is well known in this neighborhood to be very aggressive and threatening. This large dog lunged at a woman who was attempting to walk on the road by the dog’s residence on her way to the beach. The dog prevented her from passing the house, so she returned home unable to continue on her morning walk.
She and her husband came over later in the morning and told me that the same dog had attacked them when they were walking together along the roadway and that the owner came out of his house, cuffed the dog on its head and never so much as apologized to the couple or even acknowledged their presence. The man who was walking with his wife is legally blind and walks with a white cane. He clearly is incapable of defending either himself or his wife. It is indeed unfortunate that someone must be injured or maimed before action can be taken against irresponsible dog owners.
It is just a matter of time before we read another headline of a dog attack. Only this time, it may be in your neighborhood and involve your own child or loved one. A lawsuit after the fact is little consolation for the victim having to live with the physical and psychological consequences of a dog attack. Our animal control officers need laws to protect the public and make dog owners directly accountable for the control of their animals before the animal attacks and not after the fact.
Denis Monk
Blaine

Porn zone costs?
The Editor:
I am a relative newcomer to this area, living here a little over a year. Among other things, two situations interest me.
One, I have traveled in many places (been licensed to drive in four states) and I have seen communities in the process of becoming ghost towns. Main reason: a lack of decent paying jobs for young people. I doubt if there is any place where an entire high school graduating class is headed for college.
Two, the ‘porn zone’. It’s often said, the three basic assets for a business are: location-location-location.
Questions: If the bookstore is forced to relocate, would we citizens have to help (financially) with relocation costs?
If the relocation results in lost income (and concomitant reduced taxes) would other taxes be raised to make up for it?
I think you should give careful consideration to ‘hidden’ effects of government fiats.
Larry Hammer
Blaine

Firemen need new digs
The Editor:
We humans are strange creatures. The minute someone suggests something new we insist it can’t be done, we can’t afford it.
The city of Blaine has such an issue on the ballot in September to build fire department facilities. I know we can’t afford everything people might think we need for the operation of the city, and consequently we have to establish priorities.
To me, next to water and power, a competent fire department facility and operation is very important. We expect volunteer firemen to do a good job when they get called to our place of business or home. The least we can do is furnish them with an adequate place to work, to learn their skill and to keep their equipment up to date and certainly a metal building like they are located in now can’t be called adequate. As to the best place to locate a new fire hall, there is a problem because of the truck route. That will have to be decided by the people who are going to use it.
I am asking everyone, please support our firemen in September. Vote “yes” on Bond issue number 1.
Trav Skallman
Blaine

The Editor:
I am writing to commend the city of Blaine for placing on September’s ballot the proposal for the bond measure to build a new fire station in Blaine.
A new fire station for the city is desperately needed to provide adequate housing for the equipment that they have invested in, adequate training facilities to ensure that the firefighters can provide the best possible service and a facility that the community can use as a public gathering place.
A new station will provide better administrative facilities to improve accessibility for the public in conducting regular business with the fire department, such as plan reviews, permit applications, fire code information and other routine business.
A new station will be strategically located to provide the most efficient emergency response to all areas of the city. The current location provided a potentially unsafe situation for responding emergency vehicles due to the high volume of traffic on the truck route.
Finally, many towns consider the fire station an important facility that indicates how well the community takes care of its citizens. The citizens of Blaine have the opportunity to provide for themselves, a facility that would be the town’s “centerpiece” and a facility that they would be proud to call their fire station.
Please take the opportunity to find out the facts and support your firefighters with a yes vote on September 18.
Jim Rutherford
Blaine

City ain’t broke
The Editor:
Given as he was to laying aside grammar when trying to make a point to us kids, my father often said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I learned from that expression - often the hard way - and came to value it a great deal. Today, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” clearly applies to government in the city of Blaine.
I started attending city council meetings in the spring of 1998. At that time, they were the best show in town. One council member often appeared to be dozing and when he did open his eyes to make comments they were, more often than not, totally off the topic at hand. Another council member was rude, argumentative, and often downright disrespectful to fellow council members and members of the audience. The city manager, who appeared to be under siege, was defensive and often evasive to the point of being secretive. Eventually, those council members were voted out of the office and the city
manager left for greener pasture.
Today, with new council people on board, with the hiring of a very capable, conscientious city manager, with a talented, hard-working staff, the city of Blaine is running smoothly, moving forward, efficiently solving both short and long-range problems and planning for the future. Take a walk around downtown and make note of the new businesses and architectural improvements, look at the changes on Martin Street, listen to the tourists who express wonder at the beauty of Marine Park.
Better yet, attend a city council meeting and note the civility and respect on the part of the council members and city staff when dealing with each other and the public. No current council member is attempting to be divisive, whether that divisiveness is based on “Johnny-come-latelies” vs. “been-here-forevers,” income levels, the location of one’s home, or a gross exaggeration of project costs, utility fees or a number of folks attending public forums. In short, there is now a true sense of community both within and outside of city hall - something that has been sorely needed in Blaine.
So, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Do your part to insure that civility and a sense of progress are kept alive in Blaine. Register to vote and vote NO on Proposition 2.
Ken Trupp
Blaine

Which is to say...
The Editor:
I had to write and tell you about this strange dream I had last night after reading the letters to the editor section of our paper.
I dreamt I was in one of my old favorite TV shows, only it had changed. Instead of Mayberry, I was in Blaineberry, and instead of wise old sheriff Andy being there they had made Otis the sheriff, Otis Andy. He had his sidekick Barney, only Barney was different, still skinny, but he had a moustache and was really mean, they called him Barney Black.
Well, ole Barney had a plan to save Blaineberry’s economy. He was going to spend his own money and go to Washington D.C. (‘cause no one else had done that) and he was going to tell those big boys his plan. So old Barney Black goes to Washington and he meets the President.
Barney Black tells the President that to save Blaineberry’s economy we have to start a war with Canada, that way Blaineberry can open up all those old bars and x-rated movie houses that used to be so prevalent (which generations of Otis’ helped build) to serve our troops that would have to be stationed here.
Well, the President gave ole Barney Black a pat on the head and a really really big sticker for the back of his car and sent him back home. When Barney Black got back to Blaineberry, well, Otis Andy was so proud of him that he let him ride on the fire truck.
Wow, I was sure glad I woke up from that dream. It sure made me wish though that the people of Blaineberry could too.
Paul Dudley
Blaine

 

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:
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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