Letters to the Editor -- January 09, 2003

Published on Thu, Jan 9, 2003
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Letters to the Editor


Chiefs hail community
The Editor:
Just a short note to thank the Blaine community, the past and present city council/city manager and staff for all of the support and kindness you have shown me over the past six-plus years. I am very proud of the men and women of the Blaine police department, their daily accomplishments and the service they provide our town.
As I move into my appointment as interim sheriff of Whatcom County, I am confident that the Blaine police department is in good hands with interim police chief Mike Haslip at the helm. Mike is a 27-plus year veteran of the force and is a true leader.
I know of no finer community than Blaine and look forward to living here for many years. It would be very difficult for me to accept this interim appointment if it were not for the opportunity to continue to serve you as your sheriff. Please do not hesitate to contact me anytime I can be of assistance.
Bill Elfo, chief of police
Blaine

The Editor:
As I enter into my first week of retirement, I want to thank all of the wonderful people who participated in Stafholt’s open house this past Sunday. It is nice to be told that you’ll be missed and I truly enjoyed the afternoon. Even though I am not excited about being “old enough to retire,” I am excited about the future and the possibilities it will hold. I am confident that Stafholt will flourish under the leadership of Kari Johnson-Dick. With the support of this community, Stafholt will continue to provide quality care for those who may need short or long term care for many years to come. I have been fortunate to have had a career that brought so much satisfaction. Thank you.
Ann L. Walter
Blaine

Cop chaser irked
The Editor:
On December 18, 2002, you printed something about an individual making an illegal U-turn, but failed to mention why. So let me set this straight.
I made the U-turn to flag an officer down to let him know that a person passed me and almost hit me. Well, I did succeed in doing this but he didn’t care why. It turns out this person hit me on the left rear bumper and bent it.
For my troubles, I was written a ticket. I reported the incident to the Blaine police and got a half-hearted response to the matter. My question to this is it must be a crime to report an incident since you get a ticket for trying to report it. Do the police in this town have any common sense? It seems not. Blaine police did not give me four previous warnings.
Thank you.
Tim Leghorn

Blaine
(Ed Note: The report referenced to was not published on December 18, 2002, but on January 3, 2003. According to Blaine police, Mr. Leghorn received four warnings over the past two years that he could not commit a violation to report one. On his fifth such violation, he was cited.)

Airport views aired
The Editor:

I wish to respond to the commissioner’s letter on the airport. I do not wish to get into a what I said or what he says issue. I will respond one time and hopefully I am not the only one who thinks it is time to see changes at that city owned property.
1. I never said it was a drain on city finances. Your airport has been there for 50 years. I believe you have 12 fixed wing based airplanes. It’s not a drain, it’s just not the best use of the property. You claim if expanded, it could bring Blaine passenger service and freight, etc. The people who have lived here all our lives have heard this before.
2. You ask why I urged the city to ask for different uses of the property. You state there are for sale signs on all sides of the airport without takers. True. The restrictions you force on people for height and setbacks prohibit any development around. For example, last year you told Burger King that their parking lot lights were in your flight path. City crews had to take them down, cut them off three to six feet, and reset them. Now the trees. How can development happen? Please, let’s just see what could be out there other than an airport running through it.
3. The airport represents the best opportunities for our future, you state. It has been there a long time and every consultant we have had come in to tell us what we need to do as a city points to this property as the key. We need to listen and maybe ask for something different.
4. The prosperous cities you mention – Friday Harbor, Eastsound – are on islands. Naturally freight and tourism around these airports are big. It is the only way to get there other than ferry or boats. They do not have the best truck border crossing and I-5 next to them.
5. You think you have a better idea for the airport. Maybe you’re right. Let’s have a choice and we will see.
Again this can go back and forth and we do not need this. Blaine’s future requires jobs and an influx of new ideas and growth. If the airport is that area for development, so be it, but I hope it is just not me who thinks maybe we need to look at something else.
Bill Dodd
Blaine

Condos condemned
The Editor:
The Semiahmoo Spit is now threatened with condominium development. The sandspit was recently designated as an important bird area (IBA) by the National Audubon Society because of its strategic importance as a “wintering” area for so many different species. Sea birds, shore birds and waterfowl gather here from all across Canada and the Arctic between September and June each year. The adjacent Boundary Bay was previously designated as a “World Biosphere Preserve” because 1.2 million birds winter there as well.
According to the Audubon Society, the Semiahmoo Spit is known to be the Critical Areas Habitat (CAH) for three legally protected endangered species: the Peregrine Falcon, the Marbled Murrelet, and the Bald Eagle, and is therefore subject to statutory protection. However, we know from our experience with the recent clear-cutting of the forest above a known groundwater recharge zone that our governmental agencies do not always properly enforce the rules regarding environmental protection. This is why your individual participation in this process is so important at this time.
The Blaine planning commission is scheduled to review any developer’s application for building permits within the Blaine city limits, and they could receive the application in question any day now, thus activating a brief 14-day public comment period. It is vitally important that citizens concerned about preventing negative environmental impacts to this fragile ecosystem register their concerns with the planning department.
The stormwater runoff and water quality degradation from everyday activities such as fertilizing lawns, driving automobiles, use of home and garden chemicals will inevitably lead to contamination of the nearby water from heavy metals, nitrates, pesticides, petroleum leakage, and other synthetic organic chemicals. A valid conclusion of the planning commission would be that no amount of mitigation could successfully prevent unacceptable environmental damage to this critical wildlife. habitat.
Therefore, the planning commission could recommend that any other of the developer’s 2500 acres that are presently owned would make a better location for condominiums than the conservancy shoreline that the Semiahmoo Spit represents. Perhaps instead of the contemplated tree farm?
The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) calls for a thorough review, complete with appropriate public comment opportunity, of the likely environmental impacts of such development. Additionally, the state’s Shoreline Act was recently strengthened to help prevent just this kind of potential degradation of the vanishing shoreline environment. However, for the system to work properly these planning commissioners need to hear directly from those of us that want to see the environment protected. Otherwise, the Semiahmoo Spit will likely come to resemble Sandy Point. Please help to politicize this important issue immediately.
Lincoln Rutter, Partnership for Responsible Development
Blaine

Derelict boats
The Editor:
We spent some time at the Blaine marina and saw the boats that Warren Hanson owns. I told the marina operators in the end he would dump them on the taxpayer. Don’t forget the net sheds full of garbage that the taxpayer will get stuck for, too.
Well, the marina is putting it on the boat owners. If they ever find him he should go to jail. But I’ll bet nothing will ever happen to him because a way to pass it off on someone else was found.
Ron Poole
Blaine

Need more warning
The Editor:
I am writing this letter to ask other Blaine residents as to their opinion about the new stop signs at the intersection of Blaine Road and Peace Portal Drive.
My husband and I have run that stop sign leaving Peace Portal Drive entering Blaine Road several times now. Is there a possibility that a yellow or red caution light could be installed 100 feet before the stop? Has anyone else complained or been ticketed yet? We both agree that the all-way stop was needed as we have lived here 10 years and have encountered traffic snarls there, just that it could be more efficient to have a reminder at that particular stop.
Thanks for your time.
Bonnie Kelley
Blaine

Holiday giving
The Editor:

Over the holidays the people and businesses of Blaine were very giving and caring people. I want to thank you all for helping make this a good Christmas for us. You gave toys for the little girls and a wonderful goody box was given by Totally Chocolate.
Again I thank you and without you it would have been a pretty miserable Christmas. Thanks again.
Carleen Reynolds
Blaine

The Editor:
This has been another wonderful Christmas season for Blaine. The Community Giving Tree Project was a huge success, thanks to all of the fantastic people who gave their time and energy. It is always wonderful to watch the entire town of Blaine working together to make Christmas special for so many families who would, otherwise, be unable to give and receive gifts. We also were very fortunate to receive a number of monetary gifts, which helped considerably to make this fantastic program run smoothly.
This year, we had 107 families who were sponsored by individuals, families and businesses throughout the community, providing 368 children with clothes and toys for Christmas. Approximately 40 additional families and 100 additional children were invited to the giving tree shopping day where the surplus toys and clothes were distributed.
In anticipation of 2003’s Giving Tree Project, we are currently accepting Christmas cards, which are used for the gift tags. If you have cards you would like to donate, please bring them to Stafholt Good Samaritan Center.
Again, thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers for your donations of time, money, and gifts. Your generosity is heartfelt and greatly appreciated.
Debbie Graff, Laurie Hart, Wendy Del Bosque, and Ann
Walter
Giving Tree Coordinators
Blaine

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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