Letters to the Editor -- April 03, 2003

Published on Thu, Apr 3, 2003
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Letters to the Editor

Blender center open
The Editor:

I have a few things regarding the Blender high school youth center that I want to discuss.
First, I want to let the town know that although we have been closed for a while, once again we are ready to open for normal operating hours. The problem has been that the heater was broken throughout this last winter. The cost to fix this problem was originally beyond our means.
However, we were fortunate and blessed to have come in contact with Jerry Amundson of Amundson Heating. Jerry visited us and gave us many suggestions on how best to fix our problem in an economical way. We decided to use a couple of gas furnaces that Jerry got us at wholesale price.
He then got us about $400 worth of ducting at no charge. That would have been generous enough, but Mr. Amundson then proceeded to donate a great deal of his time to help us install the ducting and gas lines. When I thanked him for his help, he said, �Hey, no problem, Blaine needs a place like this and I am glad I can help.�
I tell the community about this because there are many heating/air conditioning companies in Whatcom County. But it is locally owned Amundson Heating that cared enough to help out our youth to get us up and running again. This is the kind of Blaine business person I want to support and I hope the rest of our community feels the same way. Thank you, Jerry Amundson. I would also like to point out that the cost of fixing the heater was greatly relieved by a generous donation from St. Anne Catholic Church and Gensco Wholesale of Bellingham.
Secondly, I believe in being up front and honest with the community about things that occur at the Blender. On the evening of Friday, March 21 we held the first semifinal in our Last Band Standing series. This is a contest that started with nine high school bands from Blaine, Ferndale, and Bellingham to determine the best high school band in Whatcom County. An incident occurred that got one youth arrested for possession of alcohol. I would like to thank and congratulate the Blaine police department on handling this situation. The officer handled the situation in a manner that did not embarrass anyone or affect the clean fun that the rest of the students were having. In no way does the Blender endorse or even stand idly by in allowing drugs or alcohol in the activities of the center. We will continue to make every effort to make sure that the Blender is a clean and safe place for our youth to be, and will continue to focus on providing positive options for our youth. Thank you to the Blaine police department for your professional assistance in working with the Blender.
On a positive note regarding this event, we had a great turnout for this event and the crowd had a great time supporting Mt. Baker�s One Less Problem, Blaine�s Lifetime Warranty, and semifinal winner Mysterious Chocolate from Squalicum. Our next semifinal event will be on Friday, April 25, and will include Blaine�s Arcadian Legacy, Ferndale�s Bad News Bears, and Squalicum�s This Side Down. For information on this event, please use the contact information below.
Thirdly, it saddens me to know that just as our contest had started on Friday evening our community lost Chris Walsh due to the negligent driving and cowardly flight of an unknown driver. Although I have never personally met Chris, some of his friends that come to the Blender spoke very highly of him and feel very saddened by the loss of their friend. Our condolences go out to the family of Chris Walsh.
Finally, I would like to say thank you to the community members who have joined our Blender team through financial support and donated personal service time. Our continuing influence depends on the support of the Blaine, Birch Bay and Semiahmoo communities. If you would like to become a part of our team with financial support or donating your time and service, please feel free to contact me at 332-8461, or you can reach me via email at klsmartin@msn.com. I look forward to hearing from you. Ken Martin,
director,
The Blender Blaine

Thanks to the Goff's
The Editor:

There is a warm and friendly feeling in the Goff�s store that�s not found just anywhere. And whether just looking around or purchasing goods, you knew you were treated fair.
Murray and Greg Goff have pleasing personalities, and carry themselves with style. With their casual manner, great sense of humor and their very friendly smiles.
The Goff family take time to talk to you, they are friendly and polite. You are made to feel so welcome, you can happily stay the night.
There are no grouches working at Goff�s Store, you can�t help but feel at ease. You never feel rushed or pressured, and it�s Goff�s great pleasure to please.
Kathryn Goff is a super lady with a great personality, charm and grace. She is delightful, warm and friendly, and always in good taste.
There are so many nice things to say about Jo Goff, she really is a treasure. She is well liked by everyone. Just to chat with her is a pleasure. Goff�s Department Store must have a touch of magic that brings customers back once more, or perhaps it�s that feeling of coming home again when you step through that open door.
After 50 years I wish the Goff family much happiness and success ahead, and of course wealth. But above all of the ingredients, I extend to them much love and continuing good health.
Burl Radtke
New Westminster, BC

No clamoring needed
The Editor:

Mahmud Muhammad�s anti-war letter last week expressed concern about backlash against Muslims by �people of ignorance.� If he means people who fail to see the honest, peace-loving, law-abiding, American-loving nature of Muslims, then, yes I am among the millions.
Following 9/11 and all the prior terrorist violence committed by Muslims, I had hoped to see Muslims clamoring to make clear that the actions of these criminals did not speak for the majority. No clamoring.
Mr. Muhammad�s anti-American drivel only serves to further alienate his fellow Muslims. His time would be better spent studying the values and principles that have made the United States the most prosperous and most desirable place on earth.
Ted Roell
Blaine

War morally justified
To the Editor:

I would like to respond to Mahmoud Muhammad�s letter regarding opposition to military action in Iraq. I am a former resident of Blaine and am now in my first year of college at New York University. As a New York City resident, I have seen firsthand the demonstrations for and against war in Iraq in my city. After extensive observation, research, and writing a thesis paper on this tragic issue, I am convinced that we enter this war with moral, as well as legal. justification.
Muhammad�s letter stated �this war [on Iraq] will leave thousands of innocent people dead, injured, and homeless unnecessarily.� However, we�ve seen that 12 years of inaction towards Saddam Hussein�s regime has already resulted in the death, injury, displacement, or exile of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians.
Shall the United States, or the whole world for that matter, sit idly by and continue to allow Saddam�s regime to shed the blood of innocent Iraqi civilians and threaten the lives of their neighbors, in the name of peace? Shall the United States do nothing while we see the legitimacy of the United Nations crumble before our very eyes for their hesitance to enforce their own resolution?
As a member of the Protestant faith, I wholeheartedly agree with my Muslim brothers and sisters that we have a duty first to our Creator, to speak out against injustice, oppression, hypocrisy, and tyranny. That is why I, and millions of Americans from different backgrounds and beliefs, stand behind our country and proclaim with a unified voice that we will not turn a blind eye to the oppression of our brethren in Iraq, nor will we tolerate any regime that threatens the safety of American citizens or its own people.
My heart is grieving that diplomacy has failed, and we are now engaged in this war. However, I am convinced that there is a peace that can only be found at the end of war, and I pray for a swift resolution so that we can work together to usher in a new era of peace and liberty for all.
J. Micah Vitaliz
New York University
New York, NY

Public Works 'fantastic'
The Editor:

My family and I want to thank everyone who came to my rescue March 11 during which time our house was being flooded due to a broken water main.
Everyone at Blaine city hall was so very helpful, as was Farmers Insurance Group of Ferndale. But the Blaine public works men were absolutely fantastic. They came, shut the water main off and were so great in the way they took control of the situation, right down to the clean-up and even kept me in good humor throughout the whole ordeal. Thank you everyone.
I also need to thank the men at Service Master in Bellingham for their work. They did a very good job in drying the rooms out and followed up with sanitizing all areas of concern. It�s a great feeling to know there is such competent and fast response to one in need. Thank you.
JoAnne and Phil Murphy
Blaine

Congrats Goffs
The Editor:

My wife and I have been coming to Birch Bay for the last 40 years. We are now retired and during the summers specifically we enjoy the beauty of Birch Bay and Blaine and spend a lot of time outdoors and on the water. We have been customers to many businesses during these last four decades and many of these businesses have since closed or changed hands. But there is one business, that we recently read about in your paper, that we wish to comment on. It�s Goffs.
We want to congratulate them for being in business for 50 years. May they enjoy 50 more wonderful years of business. Although my wife and I only stop in there maybe a few times a year, we always know they will be there. Whether we need cleaning or new socks or underwear, or a ball of yarn so my wife can knit, the Goffs are there for business.
We very much appreciate having their business in town. We like to support small family businesses and do not enjoy spending our money in large corporate chains. Plus, Goff's is so close to where we spend our time in the states.
If only all businesses were like the Goffs, what a wonderful world this would be. Congratulations to the Goff family for being in business for 50 years. If you�re ever having a bad day, know there are many customers, past and present, who appreciate you sticking with your store. Best of luck and see you this summer.
Also, we find your newspaper very interesting. The articles are informative for us folks on the other side of the border.
George and Dianne Dewitt
Squalicum, B.C.

Saddened, fearful
The Editor:

I am a Canadian citizen living on the border with the U.S. I was extremely saddened this evening when I had the misfortune of viewing a Vancouver news broadcast with a story of a Canadian woman and her children who were shopping in your community this week. When she returned to her vehicle she found a note from one of your citizens telling her that she (Canadians) were no longer welcome in your country due to the Canadian government�s position on the war in Iraq.
Of course, had this been the only story I have heard of this nature I would simply write it off as another nut with nothing better to do with his/her time than to scare women and children, but unfortunately it is not.
I have never been treated with anything but respect when I cross the border as I treat American visitors with respect when they come to my community, but I must admit that I am fearful of crossing the border south and probably won�t be doing so for a while.
I have no ill will toward my American neighbors and my thoughts and prayers are with all of the troops (including Canadian ones in the Persian Gulf). I do though find it very ironic that the two things that the United States of America says it stands for, democracy and freedom, are two things that aren�t being exhibited. Democracy went right out the window when the United Nations didn�t agree with the Bush administrations views, and freedom, well, I guess freedom of speech and opinion is only when it agrees with yours. Maybe there should be footnotes to your constitution. Stephanie Jeffery
Surrey, British Columbia

A special teacher
The Editor:

Our community is suffering from the tragic loss of Christopher Walsh.
I would like his family to know that my prayers are with them and to all of those affected by this senseless tragedy. Also, I would like to share with the community a very heartwarming fact that people should be aware of. The kindness of one special school teacher.
Jennifer Tachiyama is a math and science teacher at Blaine middle school. On March 21 she was made aware of the tragedy that had occurred. Jennifer�s concern for these students, some of whom were her students, or just friends of Chris Walsh�s, including my daughter Brynn, was immediately apparent. Jennifer was a light in the darkness for these children at such a horrible time.
She came to my house to be with these children. That afternoon she gave them comfort and she gave them hugs. She listened to them and cried with them. She helped them to focus on projects to help them cope. She bought them food, and rented a movie for them to watch. She helped them put up the posters the kids made in honor of Chris. She helped me take them to the vigil, and then some of them home.
During the week that followed, she took some students to the viewing and the funeral, all the while grieving herself and being a teacher. Jennifer has such a special rapport with these kids. They can be themselves around her, as they feel comfortable with her. They trust her and they love her, as she loves them. She is more than a teacher to them, she is also their friend. The Blaine school district has many wonderful teachers and Jennifer Tachiyama is one of them. Thank you Jennifer for everything. I would also like to mention Yorky�s and the people who work there for their kindness in letting us put up and maintain the memorial for Christopher Walsh. Thank you.
Gretchen Snyder
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