Letters to the Editor -- July 11, 2002

Published on Thu, Jul 11, 2002
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Letters to the Editor



The other side of the law

The Editor:
Some people say I have the wrong attitude towards our police force. That may be true, but I do have my reasons. It’s as if our cops are bored. I think I get pulled over for the most inane things. I can be doing the speed limit and people will be passing me, but suddenly there will be a cop behind me with lights on.
One day travelling towards work on the West Badger Road, I was thinking how lovely the drive was. There was barely any traffic, it was a nice day, and there by the Sunrise Road gas station, sat an officer of the law. I cringed knowing that I was going to once again be late for work. Sure enough, before I had even passed him he sprung into action. This time it was because my license plate was dirty.
A few weeks later I passed the house of the state patrolman who lives on West Badger and he was sitting ready to pounce right in his own driveway. I guess you could call it working from home. This time I was driving with a cracked windshield.
Here’s the thing that really gets me though. Not only does a common working man have to work long hours at mediocre jobs for minimum wage, our tax dollars are paying them to give us tickets for not wearing our seat belts and again, late for work. Now I’ll probably lose this job which pays for all those fines.
One more thing before I sign this ticket: If “the mission statement for the Blaine police department is to work to protect life and property, solve neighborhood problems and enhance the quality of life in our city,” then maybe the Blaine chief of police should not waste his time writing a page in the newspaper that picks apart a man from another state. In my opinion, we should be glad people from out of town are here spending money. Even ones who speed.
Sarah Kroon
Blaine

Further flap over flags
The Editor:

I would like to respond to Richard E. Clark who lamented the lack of Canadian flags in our lovely city for the Independence Day celebrations.
Mr. Clark, this is not “your” city, it is “our” city and it is not a no man’s land, it is in the United States of America and while it is home to people from many parts of the world, including Canada, most of its citizens are American. This is not a half Canadian city, it is as all-American as New York. We have every right and many, many reasons to celebrate our country’s birth without shame or apology and I really, really resent your comparing our flying of Old Glory to the Swastikas in Berlin. I was born in Germany and my father was forced to serve under Hilter and you, Mr. Clark, sound like such a fool!
Canada’s “gracious permission for U.S. jetliners to land on Canadian soil in the wake of 9/11” was something that was done with love in the hearts of Canadians for a wounded brother. It is something Americans would do if positions were reversed without a second thought and it was a gift with no demands or expectations in return. The U.S. does many things for Canada, such as protecting her borders and if you don’t think that’s true, tell me where they are hiding their military might because I have been all over Canada (for the past two years my husband and I hauled explosives and ammunition for the Department of Defense) and I have yet to see where they don’t need the U.S. to help defend them. It’s give and take Mr. Clark, like it is in most families.
As for the brave Canadians who perished in Afghanistan, I could never express the sorrow most Americans feel at that tragic mistake, but it was a mistake! The kind of mistake that has claimed many American lives in the past, the kind of mistake made by every fighting force, including Canadians and the kind of mistake that every professional military person will tell you is a known part of the risk.
I wish you would have asked that White Rock merchant you asked about the conspicuous lack of the red maple leaf in Blaine about the conspicuous lack of the red maple leaf in Canada because I can tell you that Canada does not put its own flag up all over town, any town, for Canada Day and they sure as shootin’ don’t put up the American flag! Speaking as someone who has traveled to every state of the union and every province in Canada I have seen one heck of a lot more Canadian flags flying in the U.S. than I have seen American flags in Canada.
By the way, I am a Canadian citizen with all of my family living in Canada. I have applied for U.S. citizenship because I live here and I love this country and none of my Canadian family feels slighted in the least, so take a pill and calm down, Mr. Clark.
Regina Bailey
Blaine

The Editor:
I am personally outraged and offended by the remarks submitted by Richard Clark in his letter entitled “Flags Missing...” (June 27 issue). In it, he equated the flying of the Stars and Stripes in downtown Blaine with Nazism. Anyone who has ever served this great nation, in any fashion, should likewise be insulted. This is the United States, not Canada, Britain, a foreign embassy, or the U.N. Why should any U.S. citizen, entity, business, etc. be expected to fly any flag other than the Stars and Stripes?
Of course, a U.S. citizen has the right to display any flag he chooses. How many countries in the world are free enough to allow a foreign flag to be flown within their national borders? In light of this freedom, and in light of how dependent Whatcom County businesses are on foreign tourist dollars, I feel that those persons choosing to proudly fly the American flag alone should be commended, not criticized. It is no coincidence that most of the places in the U.S. where the Canadian flag is prominently displayed are businesses such as hotels, gas stations and shopping malls. These businesses are, of course, courting Canadian business. Their interest in flying the Maple Leaf is primarily, perhaps singularly, profit-related.
There’s nothing illegal about flying a foreign flag, which is a testament to the freedoms granted by the U.S. Mr. Clark’s statements are nothing short of a slap in the face to all those who fought and died to preserve our nations, and especially to those who fought against the Nazis. Mr. Clark has the right to say what he does, without fear of government reprisal, because of all those who have defended the American flag, its nation, and the ideals it represents.
I hold nothing against Canada or its citizens. It is a proud and beautiful nation, whose citizens are rightly proud of their heritage and freedoms. Just as I do not expect the Canadian flag to be flown in the U.S., I would not expect the American flag to be flown in Canada. In fact, this is the case. A traveler to Canada seldom, if ever, sees Old Glory flown. I am not insulted by the fact that they do not feel compelled to display a foreign nation’s emblem. I praise their sense of independence on this subject. The only place I can specifically recall the U.S. flag being flown in Canada is at the Campbell River gas station. Their interests are, of course, similar to those of businesses flying the Maple Leaf down here: mercenary.
In a border community such as ours, I salute those businesses, chambers of commerce and individuals proud enough not to succumb to such naked and transparent profit motives. I praise those who show a loyalty to something other than the dollar.
Sean Albright
Blaine

The Editor:
Now that I’ve caught your attention, I wish to inform my community that our traditional Peace Arch City theme appears to be eclipsing the Turn of the Century city theme, probably because the century took another turn. But one good turn deserves another, and let me tell you why.
Initially, I opposed the turn of the century theme because I saw 1900 as a year of extreme greed and waste in our city, not to mention environmental damage that went beyond it. It was a time when the city sewer problem was solved, in part, by piping sewage into Cain Creek. But now I’m hoping our chamber of commerce will retain and reinforce that theme because year 2000 represents a crucial change due to the New York towers tragedy and the Afghanistan affair. Year 2100, I predict, will produce a crop of doctoral dissertations dedicated to an analysis of year 2000 and all that it implied.
I hope, too, that our city council will protect and promote the Peace Arch city theme. Its dynamic slogan, A Symbol and a Challenge, suggested by Nellie Browne Duff in 1961, is an archway aphorism, that given the turn of the century tragedy, ought to be activated. Blaine has largely ignored the challenge, thereby giving the symbol no substance. Let us muster the courage to change.
Both themes are hand-in-glove mates that fit beautifully together. As a symbol and a challenge, the Peace Arch city theme aptly addresses the turn of the century theme one never to be forgotten and timelessly open to the remedial action suggested by the Peace Arch city theme. Of all the city themes in the United States, the Peace Arch theme has healing properties (provided, of course, such properties are activated).
James, the brother of Jesus, said, “If you love your neighbor as yourself, you do well.” Canada is our neighbor. As loveable and loving Americans, that’s all we need to do. One good turn deserves another. That is the way for us to practice patriotism. Patriotism of any other kind becomes nothing more than the last refuge of a scoundrel.
I’m prepared to address my critics, but doubt they are ready to understand. Maybe later. In the meantime let us try to love our neighbor Canada almost as much as we love our United States.
Richard E. Clark
Blaine

Toto, I don't think so...
The Editor:

Did someone click their little red slippers and send us back to Kansas, or did I fall asleep and wake up 25 years later and miss the great development explosion here in Blaine? If I didn’t, then would someone please tell me why we need seven people in the planning department.
There is not enough development in this town to keep one person busy and we have seven. Four of those are paid and three are trying to find an itch to scratch.
Here is the breakdown: 1. Paid community and economic development director, 2. Assistant planner, 3. Building inspector, 4. Office specialist, 5. Three interns.
Is this town so fat and healthy we can afford to have that many people living off of the remaining people in this town with no family wage jobs of businesses to support that kind of indulgence?
For years before the saying was, “if we do the front street up nice, they will come”. They never did. Now it is, ”If we build a boardwalk, they will come”. Well, they won’t! Not until this city lowers its start up costs to practically nothing in order to get developers to even look at Blaine.
We have a mall with as many empty stores as full ones and as an example, the Dairy Queen that has been vacant for the last three years and is for sale for far below market value, had two groups look at it for possible restaurants and when they found out what it would cost them, they went elsewhere.
Is it any wonder towns around us are developing at great rates and we aren’t?
I wonder if the city will do what the state did and get money from the tobacco settlement fund, just to pay salaries?
Dave White
Blaine

One smart guy
Dear Editor,

As a frequent visitor to both Blaine and Point Roberts, I must take issue with Ruby Gibson White’s recent letter. She lambasted local INS official Ron Hays for his observation that lengthy border lineups are here to stay unless Point Roberts is given “back to Canada.”
Hays is right on the money. Created because the border was drawn before the land was surveyed, Point Roberts is a logistical nightmare. Residents are cut off from the rest of the U.S. and end up using our territory as a corridor.
Canadian taxpayers such as myself are frustrated that we must pay to maintain customs and immigration enforcement at U.S. enclaves like Point Roberts, Minnesota’s Northwest Angle and Hyder, Alaska. When our own Medicare and education systems are facing cutbacks, we should not have to bear the costs of facilitating transit between pieces of a foreign country’s territory.
The common sense solution to the backlog at the Point Roberts border is to cede the territory to the only nation that can properly meet its needs. In one fell swoop, that would solve Point Roberts’ problems. Eliminate the line, and you eliminate the lines.
Christopher McDonald
Spruce Grove, Alberta

Thanks and 'bye
The Editor:

After six years of business in downtown Blaine, Bayside Treasures will be closing on July 13. We have enjoyed the past six years but it is time to focus more on shows and our families. We would like to thank all of our loyal customers for supporting us over the years. We would also like to thank the Dunsters for being great landlords and friends.
Our crafts will still be available through shows, or you may contact us at 360/332-2233 or 360/371-3848. Special orders can be placed through those numbers, or you can call for information on upcoming shows.
Thanks again for six great years. We will miss having the store, but we are looking forward to new opportunities.
Jill Nymeyer
Blaine

The Editor:
I am writing to say a big “Thank You” to all those unnamed worker-bees who worked so hard at presenting our town with a most memorable 4th of July celebration. Their efforts did wonders by uplifting our spirits. The parade was not only a collage of some of the many, different interests of the people living within Blaine, but was also actually a fun time for both the crowds and the participants. Even our senator gave her time and effort in walking the sidelines to work the crowd, and the kids, instead of just driving by, like is done in most every parade. These same worker-bees got all the preparations in place before the events, for the staff from Sardi’s to bring and display their birds, and helped out where needed in setting up activities throughout various parts of town in an effort to present us with an opportunity for having a truly fine time.
And the fireworks, they were superb, the best in quite a few years. I look forward to next year’s show. Thanks for all your hard work.
Jay Pukaluk
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