Letters to the Editor -- March 06, 2003

Published on Thu, Mar 6, 2003
Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Dodging doggie remnants
The Editor:

I love dogs. I have had them all my life until several years ago when our lab of 14 years went to puppy heaven. We recently moved here and have enjoyed meeting new friends, two and four legged. What I don�t enjoy is walking on our beautiful beaches, parks and paths and having to dodge dog poop.
How is it that owners who seem to care enough about their pets to take them for walks think it is OK to let them go to the bathroom and not clean up afterwards? Our neighborhoods, parks and marinas should not have to provide bags for this (but a lot of them do); a pet owner should carry bags and pick up after their dog, as we always did. I have also had the pleasure of having a number of dogs, off leads, come running, barking and yes, some growling while owners make soothing comments like, �gee, he doesn�t usually run away like that.� I know to stand still, but how about the little kids who panic when confronted with the same situation? One evening we had our young grandson down at the beach for sunset. When it grew dark we headed to the parking lot. Suddenly there was the sound of jiggling collars, running and panting coming toward us. I scooped (no pun intended) him up and yelled at my husband to help, something was running toward us. Sure enough, out of the shadows comes two large-breed dogs, no leashes, running way ahead of owners, who were clueless.
My grandson wanted to know if I liked dogs. I said �I love dogs, but I don�t know these dogs and you should never assume all dogs are friendly.� Is there a leash law here?
Most owners are responsible and have great dogs that are a pleasure to greet, obviously this letter is not about you.
I read every week about all the environmental concerns we face � don�t leave piles of poop (at least the ones that don�t come home on the bottom of your shoes or in your car) that will wash into our storm drains and bays count as pollution.
C. Johnson

Campins: A great couple
The Editor:

The Campins were very much a couple. They always attended the school proms. Once, at a prom, I mentioned to another faculty member how beautifully they glided over the dance floor. He said that happens when couples have been dancing together for many years. Later, I learned that they loved waltzing together. As a teenager, this really impressed me.
Through the years, I have always run into them together. In many ways, their love and support for each other made them a special couple.
Mickey Durnan Voegtlin

Volunteers seeking support
The Editor:

The firefighters of fire district 3 are looking for support from the citizens of this district. We may be working, eating, sleeping or spending time with our family, but at a moment�s notice, we volunteer to drop whatever we are doing to go to the aid of anyone in need of emergency help.
Recently, our district signed an agreement with two other districts to form North Whatcom Fire & Rescue. �This would save us money,� we were told. �The volunteers would hardly notice a difference.� But, since that time, the district has steadily declined. Our staff has been fired. Our financial reserves are gone. Firefighter morale is at an all time low.
Since last May we have been voicing our concerns. None of our concerns have been addressed. In fact, we have been ignored and many of the areas that we are concerned about have continued on a downward spiral.
North Whatcom has continued to make it harder to be a volunteer firefighter. Many of the volunteers feel that there appears to be movement to replace volunteers with full time paid firefighters. You would not believe what is required to be a volunteer in North Whatcom Fire & Rescue. It is to the point where only paid people who pick up the requirements during their on-duty time can keep up. It is to the point where there is no way that anyone with a family can meet the time requirement for becoming a volunteer.
But Bob and Barb saw a future for the volunteers. They fought for policies which would support and benefit the volunteers. They were our biggest supporters. Now they are gone.
The conditions under which we now serve have become almost unbearable. Each one of us is reevaluating our commitment to fire district 3 and asking ourselves whether we want to continue to respond: giving the sacrifices that we give for the treatment we are receiving right now. We will continue to respond when you call 911. Although talked about, we do not see leaving our pagers on the table at the same time as a option. Our concern, however, is that the volunteers will just quietly quit as they get to the point where they can�t take it anymore.
Where does that leave district 3? If things don�t change around, eventually, one by one, the volunteers will get fed up and leave. Many are on the verge right now. New volunteers? Who would want to commit to the tremendous time requirement of volunteering just to get treated the way we have been.
Service to the public will continue to slowly decline to the point where full time volunteers will have to be hired and put on salary. The only problem is, district 3 is already broke. You can imagine the cost of 20 plus firefighters at $50,000 per year.
We need your help. We are asking the public to take a stand; to support your volunteers as they have done at a minute�s notice so many times for you. Please contact your commissioners and tell them how you feel. And tell them that we need out of North Whatcom Fire & Rescue. If they say that we can�t get out until the end of 2004, they are lying. Together, we can make things better. District 3 can�t afford North Whatcom.
Thanks for your support!
Scott Hamstra,
on behalf of District 3 volunteers

Bring them back alive
The Editor:

In response to Julia Brady�s �Stand behind our Troops� letter: the best thing for our troops is to bring them back alive and now � not in body bags, later.
Ms. Brady and many other intelligent but misinformed citizens have been fooled by a relentless stream of war propaganda � lies � generated in Washington and promoted blindly by the mass media. The biggest lie is that our troops have been sent abroad �to fight for our freedom� in response to the September 11, 2001 attack on the world trade towers.
The truth is, that the war now being promoted was planned well before the September 11 attack, and is not a defense of our freedom but an offensive war for military world domination. I implore Ms. Brady and your other readers: before sending our young people off to fight and die �for our freedom,� please read Jay Bookman�s article �The President�s real goal in Iraq� in the 9/29/02 Atlanta Journal-Constitution. I end my letter with excerpts:
The official story on Iraq has never made sense. This is not really about Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, or terrorism, or Saddam. This war would be the culmination of a plan ten years or more in the making, carried out by those who believe the United States must seize the opportunity for global domination becoming the �American imperialists� that our enemies always claimed we were. A report issued in September, 2000, by the Project of the New American Century, a group of conservative interventionists outraged by the thought that the United States might be forfeiting its chance at a global empire reads like a blueprint for current Bush defense policy.
The 2000 report directly acknowledges its debt to a still earlier document, drafted in 1992 by the defense department. That document drew so much criticism that it was hastily withdrawn and repudiated by the first President Bush.
Among the contributors to the 2000 report are six who have since assumed key defense and foreign policy positions in the Bush administration � Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Eliot Cohen, I. Lewis Libby, Dov Zakheim, Stephen Cambone.
Barry Miller

State spending during budget crisis
The Editor:

The state Democrats want to create a new job for the state to pay a salary for. They want to add a job for state Poet Laureate, and not cut back! The house has passed, a bill to pay for higher education for illegal immigrants and other migrant workers. Everywhere I look is more spending. I thought we were in a budget crisis? They would take away your smoking rights rather than outlaw smoking. They would suggest, instead of $2 for a beer it be raised to $24. And, we thought we had rights.
And worse yet � if they are not thinking of ways to spend our money they are trying to figure out how to force someone else to spend it. HB1222 is a wonderful feel good bill requiring wheel chair ramps and other very expensive requirements in voting areas. These places already are wheel chair friendly by law!
And if this is not bad enough, they are busily taking away our rights to the initiative process, just one little bite at a time. (1660, 1802, 8214 by your Seattle senator wants to take the initiative away completely) they are busy taking away your wallets in large chunks at a time by taking away your constitutional right of super majorities for school bonding.
Hang on to your hats and wallets, the democrats are in Olympia! And you put them there!
Grace Hofer

What happened to that white building?
The Editor:

I just received a reminder that my subscription is about to run out and we don�t want that, now do we?
Another subject, my retirement home is in the beautiful town of Blaine and I am now living in California (where it is actually raining a bit!) I haven�t had a chance to go up and visit your rain, and I was wondering what the heck happened to that white building on Peace Portal, the adult book shop. Did it ever relocate or is the owner still stalling? Just wondering what progress the city has in getting rid of that place, once and for all?
Thanks again for the super newspaper you put out, it keeps me in tune with what�s going on in my town in the near future!
Steve Carlson

Odors emanate from sewage plant
The Editor:

The prevailing westerly breezes and warmer weather will soon be upon us, bringing with them the repulsive odors of the Blaine sewage treatment plant. For those of you who drove, biked, ran or walked along the Semiahmoo spit last year, you will know what I am talking about.
Having lived on the Semiahmoo spit for 15 years, traveling past the Blaine sewage treatment plant at least twice daily, I can tell you that the oft�occurring offensive odors emanating from the sewage treatment plant began in earnest approximately five years ago. Before that time, these odors were detectable only on occasion � usually on a very warm summer day. As the years have progressed, so has the frequency and degree of stench from the Blaine sewage treatment plant � until last summer when the rate of occurrence for offensive odors was approximately nine out of every 10 times we passed by the plant.
This malodorous breeze could be a telltale sign of either over capacity of the plant or improper operational maintenance of the systems in use and should be reported. An organization by the name of Northwest Air Pollution Authority relies upon local residents and area observers to report conditions that may point out a problem. There are operational fixes that may be taken, and if not complied with, could result in serious consequences and fines. When you smell the plant, don�t grin and bear it � take the time to report the situation! Please make your reports to The Northwest Air Pollution Authority at 800/622-4627, extension �0.� After hours calls are also accepted � make sure you leave the date and time of the occurrence.
Today, the citizens of our area are being asked to review and comment on future expansion involving new development on the Semiahmoo spit. A growing contingency of residents question the logic of this expansion and whether the Blaine sewage treatment plant can stand more stress from the resulting additional development without substantial cost and upgrade.
The application was submitted on February 13, to the city of Blaine for preliminary binding site plan approval for a 62�unit residential condominium development on the Semiahmoo spit. Anyone wishing to comment on this proposal must file written comments with the Community Development Department at the address noted below by 4 p.m., Monday, March 17: Russell Nelson, community planner, city of Blaine 344 H Street, Blaine, WA 98230, phone: 332-8311, fax: 332-8330, e-mail: rnelson@ci.blaine.wa.us.
It is our duty to carefully act as stewards and guardians of our own environment. If we do not take a proactive part in preserving and acting as watchdogs in our community, we will only have ourselves to blame. I urge you to contribute your time in making your feelings known.
Diane Dufton

Many thanks
The Editor:

The family of Reg Campin would like to thank his many friends, students and relatives for all of the cards, flowers and bountiful donations of food and refreshments at his memorial service. And especially thank you for the many donations to the Blaine Marine Park Education Fund.
Your wonderful support, kindness and love has been a true testimony to Reg and the many lives he touched. Thank you.
Vivian Campin, Bill and Nancy Campin, Kaye and Rush Caley

He had many children
The Editor:

I would personally like to thank all of the students, teachers, and people of Blaine for being a part of my father�s life, and for making it as memorable and fulfilling as it was for him. Thank all of you for your presence and cards at his memorial service.
There were two children in Blaine who had the honor and privilege of growing up in Reg Campin�s home. We, however, were not his only children. Over the years in Blaine, my father knew, worked with, helped, disciplined, but mostly loved about 2,000 additional kids. Some times you may have felt he was hard on you. It was never from anger on his part, but from his undying love and devotion to each of you, and his desire to see you grow and prosper.
Thank you again for being a part of his life.
Bill Campin

Community assistance
The Editor:

Our son Connor was injured in an AAU basketball tournament in Everett on March 1 and we would just like to thank all of our friends and coaches for their help and offers of assistance. I know Connor is especially thankful for all of his buddies � you have all been terrific! We are blessed in having so many wonderful people in our lives and are very proud to be a part of this community. Thank you all.
Debbie, Jim, Connor and Jordan Oldham

Community helped
The Editor:

Our daughter, a 2002 graduate of Blaine high school made the Dean�s List for the fall semester 2002 at Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina where she is majoring in psychology. Lindsay was the recipient of several local scholarships from Blaine businesses.
We would like to thank the Semiahmoo Ladies Club and Dr. Chen for their continued support of our daughter. Also, to all of the many wonderful teachers at the Blaine school system, we thank you for the start and continued diligence you showed Lindsay in her education. You guys really are the best! Her success is your success as well! Thank you.
Phil and Patti Stanford

Showcase of talent opens March 27
The Editor:

The Blaine high drama students will be performing a showcase on March 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. It will be in the Performing Arts Center. The showcase is the product of several months of hard work by the students. It will consist of monologues (dramatic pieces done by an individual) and scenes (two person to large group). Of special note is the fact that many of the showcases will be assisted by high school students directing and that the showcase is being facilitated by a Blaine high school alumnus. The showcase is open to the public, free of charge and promises to be filled with interesting and diverse material. Many of the students are extremely talented, very mature actors and for the seniors this will be their last chance to perform on stage for the Blaine school district. Some of the talented seniors include Celeste Fraser, Caity McDonald and Laura Pears. The students rehearse from 3 � 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at the PAC. Please feel free to stop by, or call 756-0041 for more information.
Erin Walcon,
high school drama facilitator

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.

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