Letters to the Editor -- March 28, 2002

Published on Thu, Mar 28, 2002
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Letters to the Editor


No to pipleines that don't benefit us
The Editor:

I was beside myself when I read the Bellingham Herald on March 19, “Georgia Strait crossing gets initial approval.” I would like to know where FERC, one of our government agencies, has the right to approve a pipeline that will not serve Washington state or any other part of the U.S., FERC stated that there is a need for the pipeline that would start in Canada and end up in Canada. From the information I have found, not one bit of natural gas in this proposed pipeline would be used in the U.S. let alone Washington state.
Williams Pipeline Company has already had a commitment to B.C. Hydro to supply 100 percent of the natural gas for the next 30 years. How will we benefit? FERC also stated that it would reduce the need for Vancouver Island to look to the U.S. for its electricity. Last year when the west coast was having its power shortages and blackouts, Intalco and Georgia Pacific had to lay off employees or shut down. Jobs were lost.
Intalco sold their power back to BPA so it could be sold at a high price to California and other states and, as we all know, the energy crisis was a farce. Where did FERC get the idea that Canada buys its power down here?
What most people do not understand is that FERC is giving Williams Pipeline Company permission to start taking land from Whatcom County citizens by right of emi- nent domain. This means they can take your
land and put a pipeline on it even if you say no. You will not be able to build or plant within 50 – 100 feet on either side of the pipeline and yet you will still be responsible for the taxes and no natural gas.
Remember Williams Pipeline Company is the same company that had a pipeline blow up at Sumas a couple years ago and the same company that has a pipeline in the Nooksack River that is currently exposed
to the elements (trees, logs, rocks, etc.). They say it poses no immediate danger and they may have it fixed in a couple of years. I have lived in this county for 40 years and I know that when the river floods, roads,
bridges, homes and, yes, even pipelines are in danger of damage.
Kelly Bell
Custer

Give us Luke!
The Editor:

I am shocked and saddened that The Northern Light, jewel of the Northwest weeklies, contained no mention of this year’s basketball triumphs of Luke Ridnour, a product of the Blaine high school athletic
program.
Ridnour, as most of your readers must know, was and is the star point guard of the great Oregon Ducks – which made it all the way to the Select Eight of the NCAA basketball tournament. This is a truly great player, recognized by all the experts as one of the three best point guards in the nation – and definitely on his way to future greatness.
I, for one, hope that next year, when Ridnour will once again be leading the Mighty Ducks to victory, The Northern Light will provide coverage more appropriate to the deeds of Blaine’s most distinguished athletic alumnus.
Richard Stookey
San Francisco

Model citizens
The Editor:

I recently attended the state basketball tournament in Yakima and was very impressed with the Blaine student body and faculty. They exhibited the highest degree of sportsmanship and respect for others. Coach Dan Rucker is an example of how all coaches should coach. He is always
respectful of other teams, the referees, and his own players. He offers positive reinforcement and encouragement to his players and treats his players how he would want to be treated … with respect. The players
on his team always give him 100 percent effort. They never argued calls with the refs and had great sportsmanship towards other teams throughout the tournament.
The Blaine girls tournament was equally as impressive. They were playing the best teams in state and it was very physical game. Several of the other teams there outsized our girls considerably, but they were determined. Even though our team faced some tough injuries, these girls never gave up and made it into the trophy round and finished in fourth place.
I would also like to commend Bob Gray, the band instructor, and his pep band. If they had an award at state for the best band, this one would get it. These kids in their zany attire played their hearts out. They were also very respectful of the other bands and events taking place. I saw other bands rudely play while the cheer squad was trying to do their allotted half-time show. Blaine’s band always played the appropriate
song at the appropriate time. They cheered for the other bands and even sang along to some of the tunes. They were great fans and constantly encouraged the boys and girls teams.
The Blaine cheer squad and advisor Jen Wheeler also deserve recognition. They entertained and encouraged the fans and players throughout this four-day event. They performed some great halftime shows that were well practiced and tastefully done.
Principal Dan Newell was there as a great fan and even led a few fun cheers. I know the fans and student body appreciate all he has done for our sports here in Blaine.
I was proud to be a Blaine fan and think these young adults and all faculty involved should be proud of our town’s showing at state! They represented us well.
Marilyn LaCasse
Birch Bay

You're welcome
The Editor:

On behalf of the Whatcom Transportation Authority (WTA) I would like to thank this community for its majority vote to approve the 0.3 percent sales tax increase on the March 12 ballot.
This action effectively replaces the funding WTA lost when motor vehicle excise taxes were eliminated two years ago. The employees of WTA have always taken pride in their dedication to provide safe, reliable
and friendly public transportation service. It is gratifying to know the community has now shown its support by providing stable funding to help assure the continuation of this valuable service.
With its funding now restored, it is important that WTA quickly get back to the business of addressing public transportation needs. But this does not necessarily mean “business as usual.”
In many ways the financial uncertainty WTA has experienced over the past two years has been beneficial to the agency. It prompted us to re-evaluate numerous business practices and staffing levels to more effectively hold down the cost of service. The community certainly has the right to expect good value for its investment in public transportation, and WTA must continue to look for every opportunity to be prudent
stewards of taxpayer dollars.
The public transportation needs of this community will continue to grow and evolve. WTA must work harder to promote better partnerships with other jurisdictions and agencies in order to identify effective solutions to these transportation issues. Typical transit services may be required in some areas, while more innovative solutions may be more appropriate in others.
In the weeks prior to the ballot there was an increased level of dialogue about WTA services and facilities. I believe this was healthy and helped the public make an informed decision. WTA is your public transportation system. It is committed to always be responsive to your input and deserving of the support you have shown.
Richard G. Walsh, general manager
Bellingham

Get with the program
The Editor:

A few months ago, the Blaine Chamber of Commerce introduced a program called “Shop Blaine First”designed to entice the local residents to shop in Blaine. I thought it was a great idea!
Many of my friends and family got involved by shopping at the different businesses in Blaine instead of taking their custom to Bellingham or Ferndale.
Our prices here are slightly higher than shopping the large outlets but in order to stay in business the local shops need our help. Therefore, I was stunned to discover that city council sends the police vehicles into Bellingham for service!
I did a little research and discovered that although the labor rates were the same as Blaine offered, the parts were less expensive in Bellingham.
Did they take into consideration the time involved driving the vehicles
to Bellingham and the driver’s time off the job? How can we ask the local residents to shop in Blaine, when city council doesn’t?
Is this the only instance of our tax dollars going to help Bellingham
instead of staying in Blaine or are there more that we have not been informed of that are happening?
After learning this, it’s really hard for me to shop for shampoo at Rite-Aid or paint thinner at Pacific Building Center when I can drive to Bellingham and perhaps get them at less cost. Why should the local citizens “Shop Blaine First” when the city council doesn’t? Our local businesses are suffering immensely but obviously the city of Blaine isn’t going to help them! The city council will not have to worry about fixing their police cars soon, as we will not have any businesses left to patrol!
I am disgusted by this and disappointed, once again, at the way this
town is being run into bankruptcy!
Linda Lawrence
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:
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