Letters to the Editor -- May 15, 2003

Published on Thu, May 15, 2003
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Letters to the Editor


La Blaine, San Blaine
The Editor:

Should the city of Blaine change its name? It has been proposed that Blaine change its name to enhance its tourist appeal and give it a name that would suggest a destination. Well, I have been giving this a lot of thought and have a few modest proposals.
I can think of a few cities that have been successful in attracting tourist dollars, so why not follow their lead? LaConner, Washington, a charming place whose economy depends on tourism is well-known for its waterfront and shopping. Why not change Blaine to La Blaine? San Francisco, another waterfront tourist destination, how about San Blaine? Las Vegas, although not on the water, is clearly a tourist Mecca � Las Blaine?
And finally, my personal favorite, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico � a lovely seaport renowned the world over � Puerto Blaino? Now that one could attract an international crowd. I�m quite certain that if any of these proposed names were adopted, in no time at all Peace Portal Drive would be lined with trendy bistros serving pricey �sparkling waters.� Pass the Pellegrino please.
Anne Abrams
Custer

Display supports troops
The Editor:

This letter is in response to Virginia Reeves� letter in the April 24 edition of The Northern Light titled �Right to opinion, but respect neighbors,� in which she objected to my display of flags and signs on Peace Portal Drive in support of U.S. troops. A picture of the display was published in the April 10 edition of The Northern Light under the headline �Patriotic prayers for the public.�
Virginia Reeves, of Edmonds, has a right to her opinion, even displaying in her condo unit window an anti-war poster reading �No Iraq War.� Ms. Reeves, my question is that you object to patriotic prayers in support of our troops while they are in harm�s way. Reeves wrote, �I wonder if Mr. Manfra�s display would be appreciated by our troops if it were outside their doorstep for several weeks?� Does she really imagine that our troops would prefer to see her decries of anti-war sentiment which she displayed in her condo in April and May, over my display of prayers and support for their well-being? How in anyone�s name could you write that you wonder if our young men and women fighting for the Iraq people would appreciate the display of support and prayers for them?
It is my opinion, if I am not mistaken, that you have never read past the first or second amendment of the Bill of Rights. If you haven�t yet, please make it a point to read the ninth amendment now, which says the enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
This old and proud veteran, half century passed by the one and only God known to all humanity, allowed me to still have a surge in patriotism along with the majority of Americans. The dust from the attacks of September 11 had barely settled when the �politically correct� crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. All I would like to say to the patriotic and proud citizens of Blaine is open your hearts and speak out what is on your mind.
Ms. Reeves wrote, �I am reminded how noble it has become for this former veteran to support our troops with many flags waving as he stomps on the rights of the citizens here at home looking for a peaceful holiday that is not to be obtained.� This Korean veteran, in stomping around, received a lot of support from the people of Blaine for my display. It seems to have upset her on her vacation here in Blaine.
And for the record, I have yet to have one word with Ms. Reeves and neither have I confronted her. I will state that her husband and I confronted each other and I will let it go at that. I could continue this response further, but enough for now, I hope. In closing this response, it could have all been avoided if she hadn�t taken it upon herself to use my surname in her letter.
May God bless America and its endeavor for freedom of speech, equality and justice for all mankind.
John A. Manfra
Blaine

Name change ridiculous
The Editor:

Ridiculous, the real name for people trying to change Blaine�s name.
Changing the name of Blaine for better economic times is like changing it to Jobmecca � more jobs or at least better paying ones. How about Hooterville to improve the size of � our owls?
What is the underlying problem? Mismanagement. Instead of enticing businesses to Blaine, we are spending money on a boardwalk. What about the always beautiful Marine Park and Peace Arch Park? Blaine can�t even keep businesses here, they�re leaving daily. How can they consider a boardwalk and like the famous movie quote �build it and they will come?�
The citizens of Blaine should be protesting in the streets, not collecting signatures to change our name. If the mayor and council could just run the dirty bookstore out of town, things would get better. Have things gotten better for you? How many businesses have closed up in town since the bookstore left? How many for sale signs have gone up since then? How many letters to the editor has the mayor written to reassure us that things are ok? Have you thought, �how can we afford another rate increase?� or �can I afford to buy a house in Blaine?�
The mayor and council should be making Blaine more family-friendly and business-friendly. No more political jargon. Blaine government leaders, what are you going to do to bring affordable housing and family wage jobs to Blaine - the place I call home? How much more business can you turn away before we say enough?
I don�t care about a boardwalk. I�d rather walk in Marine Park, Peace Arch Park, even the boardwalk down at the marina. I want to buy a house, raise my children in a safe place without my electricity rates going up.
We need to make Blaine an affordable place to live, and let the personality of its citizens and its history draw tourists here. Changing the name will make Blaine lose all of its history. We can�t let that happen. Mandy Gagnon
Blaine

Boundary Bay, WA
The Editor:

Boundary Bay, WA. Sounds like a nice place to visit, perhaps dine by the bay overlooking Canada or stand on the new docks and watch fishing boats entering the quaint harbor. You can actually fly right into the Boundary Bay airport and be right in the heart of the town. It�s a lovely, often sunny, area known for its excellent water bird watching and small town ambiance. Two border crossings are nearby to take you into beautiful British Columbia.
The name Boundary Bay conjures up a place that�s just a handshake across the border from Canada. Indeed, the geographic body of water named Boundary Bay straddles both countries. Boundary Bay Provincial Park in Canada promotes the idea of actually being able to swim into the U.S. and return to Canada as you play in the warm waters. Let�s face it, Blaine is named after a presidential candidate, a loser who blew into town on a whistle stop train. The populace was so taken by this politician, they changed the name of their town to honor his visit.
Boundary Bay is a name that shows our close and friendly relationship with British Columbia and it would be a shared name between the two countries. As a businessman, I�d love to see the name Boundary Bay on my letterhead instead of Blaine. And it would be nice not to spell my city�s name every time a caller wants to mail me something.
I know a lot of long-time residents in Blaine want to hold onto history. History for our little town will end soon enough if real and positive changes aren�t made. The only businesses left in town will be customs brokers and operations that exist to board up closed storefronts. By choosing to call ourselves Boundary Bay we hold onto our local historical ties and have a name that says who we are, where we are and retains our bond with the local maritime environment.
Victor Baca
Blaine

Speed limits in place for a reason
The Editor:

Regarding Jason Dixon�s letter to the editor May 8-14 � isn�t that just the mentality of so many today - speed?
I drive 70 mph on the freeway and everyone passes me with total disrespect for the law. What makes them so special that they can drive over the speed limit, leaving law-abiding citizens in the dust? What a selfish society we have become. Jason is talking about increasing the speed through Blaine residential neighborhoods from 25 mph to 35 or perhaps even 45 mph!
If I�m not mistaken, the downtown speed limits in Lynden and Ferndale are also 25 mph � for a reason! And why won�t he accept the residential argument? Haven�t we all seen children and animals dart out in the street chasing a ball in residential neighborhoods? Perhaps that is due to irresponsible parents and owners, but why should upping the speed limit also contribute to their endangerment? How about learning some patience and respect for the law and people�something very sadly lacking in today�s society.
Now regarding Kara Hollenbeck�s letter of the same date suggesting a new name for Blaine of Sparkling Waters � that is laughable.
Sharon Neem
Blaine

Post to honor Elfo
The Editor:

It is our great honor and pleasure to invite you to American Legion Peace Arch Post 86 police officer of the year ceremony. This year we are honoring an extremely well deserving recipient. We are honoring Bill Elfo, presently Whatcom County Sheriff who also served the Blaine community with distinction for six years as the Blaine police chief.
This ceremony will take place on Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at Peace Arch Post 86.
We look forward with anticipation of your attendance. If you could, please RSVP by calling us at 371-7311 and letting us know of your attendance.
Richard L. Burrus,
Post Commander
Blaine

Bill Elfo, a quality sheriff, citizen
The Editor:

The Bellingham Herald has reported in recent articles regarding sheriff Bill Elfo�s concerns for law enforcement in Whatcom County. He is confidently taking on the tough issues by providing creative solutions without an increase in taxes.
It has been my experience, as a Blaine citizen, that sheriff Elfo is a quality officer who is truly concerned for the safety and welfare of everyone he serves. He was an asset to our city and since his appointment, has made major contributions to the security of Whatcom County.
His professional training is remarkable. He has attained a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Juris Doctor degree � all with high honors in his field of criminal justice. His experience in law enforcement as an officer in Pompano Beach, a metropolitan district, has shown his expertise in organizing a city department as well as serving as a city prosecutor.

Sheriff Elfo, by experience and training, is without peer in my estimation. He demonstrates concern for students and parents by maintaining open communication and contact with the schools. He is a husband, father, and community member who regularly participates in the Whatcom community.
I support him in his efforts to solve the concerns of our county and feel that the citizens need to retain and support this quality administrator. Gordon L. Dolman,
Ed. D.
Blaine

Limits safe for kids
The Editor:

I can�t disagree more with Ms. Hollenback and Jason Dixon�s letters to the editor.
I am 11-years-old and I ride my bike and skates all through this town. Do you think I want cars speeding past me everywhere I go?
I like living in a small town with low speed limits, it makes me feel safe. And Sparkling Waters is a water bottle brand! Maybe you should think before you go around trying to change things that shouldn�t be changed. I have lived here since I was two and even though I am not very old, I know that Blaine is our rightful name. You are insulting the people of Blaine and you are insulting Blaine�s ancestors. My ancestors. I don�t think my classmates, my whole school for that matter, would appreciate almost getting run over every time they cross a street.
Haven�t you noticed how badly some people drive here? Increasing the speed limits would only make it worse. I speak for my friends, family, and community.
Tory Royer
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