Letters to the Editor -- May 16, 2002

Published on Thu, May 16, 2002
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Letters to the Editor



Please help...

The Editor:
As the school year comes to a close and summer begins, parties and celebrations involving young people become more prevalent. While many of these activities are safe and hosted responsibly, the Blaine Police Department is concerned about the use of alcohol at some of these festivities and the potential deadly combination of teenagers, alcohol and cars.
Although it is illegal in Washington for anyone under the age of 21 to buy alcoholic beverages, alcohol is the one intoxicating substance most often used by children ages 12-17. Alcohol-related car crashes are the number one killer of teens, and alcohol is a factor in the other three leading causes of youth deaths: homicides, suicides and drowning.
Blaine is not immune to this problem. Last weekend alone, the Blaine Police Department contacted a total of 17 youths at parties ranging in age from 15 to 20 who were found to be in possession of or impaired by alcoholic beverages.
It is particularly disturbing that in one case, a 15-year old girl was left home without parental supervision to host a party where a large number of adults and children openly consumed alcoholic beverages. Many of these partygoers drove cars to the party or rode there with their teenage friends. There was little concern for how or if they would ever get home.
In another case, a Lynden man with a blood alcohol over three times the legal limit, hosted a party at Semiahmoo Park for a group of Lynden teenagers and supplied them with cases of beer. Again, most of the youth had driven to the party or had ridden there with teenage friends. No consideration was given as to how they were to get home without killing themselves or some innocent person.
When the public safety is threatened, the Blaine Police Department maintains a zero tolerance for underage drinking. Referrals for all underage drinkers are made to the prosecutor’s office. If the offender is under 18 years of age, parents are notified. If the drinkers are elementary, middle, or high school students, school officials are notified and the offender may be disqualified for some extracurricular activities. The department makes a top priority out of identifying and prosecuting adults who supply alcohol to teenagers.
Reactions of parents notified that their children have been drinking is mixed. Some are shocked and will take steps to prevent recurrences. Others are relieved to find that the children are “just drinking alcohol and not doing hard drugs.” Still others believe that teenage drinking is a rite of passage and that the police should have better things to do than bother kids.
The Blaine Police Department asks for the support of parents and the community in combating teenage drinking. Parents need to carefully control and monitor the activities they allow their children to attend. Teenagers should not be allowed to attend parties unless the parent is confident that the event will be responsibly hosted. Teenage parties in one’s home should not be permitted unless there is responsible adult supervision and a zero tolerance for the use of alcohol. Anyone observing teenage drinking should report it to law enforcement.
Please help. We don’t want to wake up anyone in the middle of the night to notify him or her of a tragedy involving a loved one.
Bill Elfo, Chief of Police
Blaine

Thank you
The Editor:
Whatcom County School Retirees wish to express our appreciation to you and your writer, Meg Olson, for the article published in your April 4 issue regarding our fundraiser day trip to TRIUMF, UBC & Cyclatron.
Meg took the initiative to research the cyclatron on the web and write such an excellent article that it was necessary for us to charter Bellair’s largest bus and arrange for a pick-up location in Blaine as a result. We are so grateful that she recognized the possibilities for a memorable tour and thus, helped us enrich our possible number of scholarships for college bound high school seniors.
Although I live in Bellingham and don’t often see The Northern Light it appears to me that the Blaine area is fortunate to have your newspaper and its employees for good news coverage.
Emma Conlee, chair
Bellingham

The Editor:
We would like to convey our thanks to all of you who have been so kind during these past few weeks. Every card and telephone call, the lovely flowers, the wonderful food and your attendance at the memorial service for Nance Parkes is very much appreciated. Also a very special thanks to Dee Beckett, Julie Vierick, Rose Black and Cafe International for their efforts in helping to prepare and serve all of the food. Thank you again one and all on behalf of the Parkes, Collier, Johnson and White families.
Barbara Johnson
Blaine

You're Invited!
The Editor:
I would like to invite everyone to Blaine high school’s annual Recognition Night.
On Tuesday, May 21, 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.
Becky Riddle
Honor Society Scribe
Blaine high school

Huh?
The Editor:
Although I live outside the United States (France), I am still a patriot of my country (and Blaine). While here I still follow the state of affairs through the internet. I am appalled at the fact that our legislative branch is preventing our judicial branch from performing its duties in an effort to make our President look bad.
Are they hoping that they can hold out until the next election? Do they consider the trickle down effect this will place on taxpayers? Could it be them receiving money from the corporations that are hoping for minimal settlement by those that they wronged?
I remember there being three distinctive branches of our government. The time has obviously come for us to get the politics out of the judicial branch. Or maybe, just get rid of senators Daschle and Leahy who don’t seem to respect the spirit of our democracy. Why don’t the people cross the aisle and show the politicians that we won’t stand for it? We should all unite as one and let them know that we want our government back! Hey, David White, you tell them what I mean!
Christopher Gilliam
France

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