Letters to the Editor -- July 31, 2003

Published on Thu, Jul 31, 2003
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Letters to the Editor


Jazz Festival a success
The Editor:
Last week my daughter attended the Blaine Jazz Festival sponsored by Pacific Arts Association and Semiahmoo Resort. I wish to thank the sponsors for bringing together a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn.
The staff consisted of professional musicians from throughout the United States and Canada. The students had nothing but great comments on the level of instruction and talk about attending next year. The closing concert was held at Birch Bay in connection with Discovery Days. For the audience it was a treat to hear the quality of performance from students.
It was very obvious to see the commitment of the staff to teach and organize this concert within three days. Bravo to all organizers.
Tom Jerns
Bellingham

Parade: Setting it straight
The Editor:

As the event coordinator for this year’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration, I would like to set the record straight about Mr.White’s allegation that the parade was not led by the color guard.
The parade this year was the same as years past. It was proudly led by the color guard, followed by the American Legion’s bus and then the fire district’s truck. I have been presented with a wonderful photograph of the guard leading the parade with their heads held high. That being said, how unfortunate that Mr. White has to look for a reason to find something negative about even a small town parade. Perhaps instead of trying to find faults he could praise the work of many volunteers who graciously gave their time and energy to this celebration.
I attended the city council meeting where Mr. White stood up and accused the council of negligence in the parade situation. Now that the facts have been presented in a clear fashion, I am hoping that Mr. White will be at the next city council meeting to apologize to them for his rash behavior and harsh words.
Pam Christianson
Blaine Chamber of Commerce
Blaine

Be proud of Luke
The Editor:

You know, I just don’t get it. Why is it that some people only want to be negative about just about everything?
Every week it seems that we get some kind of dribble from Dave White and let’s be honest, does anyone really care what he thinks? The only thing that he has done is cause you to be embarrassed when you tell someone that you’re from Blaine, and they say, “Oh, that’s where David White is from, isn’t it?”
Now we have someone who feels that Luke Ridnour shouldn’t be recognized for all that he has accomplished.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a big basketball fan, but I for one, couldn’t be more proud to tell people that Luke is from Blaine, or that I live in the same town as him.
He has followed his dream, and he accomplished everything that he could in high school, then college and will hopefully have a long career in the NBA. No one just handed him this, he worked his tail off, and if that doesn’t show how hard work and dedication can get you your dream, I don’t know what can.
Is Luke a hero? Well, maybe he is to some young boy, who loves basketball as much as he does, and will now start on seeing his dream come true.
Give Luke the credit he deserves, and get off his back.
Don’t listen to people like her, Luke, and just live out your dream, you’ve earned it.
Dave Grant
Blaine

Maybe it should move
The Editor:

In no way can I be considered an aviation expert, but I belonged to a small high school aviation club, when a four seat Stinson rented for four clams a half hour, plus aviation fuel at 32 cents a gallon. Eventually, I worked in two aircraft factories in a metallurgical department and in low level management.
If anyone ventures to ask what I did in World War II, I am prone to say that I fought like hell, but got drafted anyway. The locale was the China, Burma, India area, first with an odd group known as the “Flying Tigers” and rapidly, evolved into the Fourteenth Air Force.
Later, I learned to fly and was certified in New Mexico, but found, as a rural educator, that the expense exceeded the joy, without a tax break. Much later, when associated with the explorer program of the boy scouts, I introduced activities, including air explorers, into several Oregon communities. My experience has been broad, but not intensive. So, I’m not an expert on aviation.
Still, I reside in the middle of the most used landing pattern here. I have visited the municipal field and environs several times. I have seen the tree obstructions, observed the lack of aviation businesses and support firms near this facility; noted the structures that have appeared under the take-off and landing patterns; figured where the public schools, the shopping mall and other structures are placed, plus the extent of emergency facilities, fuel storage arrangements, and the new fire station location.
My thought, given that one of my odd, three messy careers was as a management consultant, and my sparse knowledge of aviation, that the municipal airport needs to be moved to another location. Up to three years ago, I do know that the F.C.C. has been generous toward the development of small community airdromes. This may have changed.
Surely, there are always pros and cons concerning the relocation of any landing strip. I am ignorant of the radio facilities, but I know that there is a paucity of landing lights and there is no control tower (I worked a bit in a military one).
Perhaps, given the paucity of activity, there is no need for a landing strip in Blaine. Perhaps, in our local high school a flying club would boost such activity in the future. Quien sabe?
Perhaps, the feds, that great milk-sow, with a million teats, will help. Something has to give. Recall Murphy’s Law. Comments will be appreciated.
Phil Walrod
Blaine

Make the public aware
The Editor, City of Blaine staff, R. Nelson, and T. Galvin:

On various occasions, the city of Blaine has been requested to put the planning commission meeting agenda on the city of Blaine website.
When the public is not made aware that the planning commission will be discussing and making decisions on important issues, such as Drayton Hillside Phase II development that includes four separate multi-dwelling building lots, plus 20 single dwelling building lots, and also decisions on changes to the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) regulations, things need to change.
It is all very well that notification on SEPA hearings were published in the Bellingham Herald; however, not all Blaine residents/taxpayers want to buy the Bellingham Herald on a daily basis to find out about hearings pertaining to the city of Blaine. I feel that notifying the Blaine public via our free, well read and appreciated local paper, The Northern Light, would be of great advantage and benefit.
So, I am hereby formally requesting the city staff to make sure that the agenda for both the Blaine city council and the Blaine planning commission meetings be posted on the city of Blaine website well in advance of the meetings.
No more surprises, please.
Nicole McCaig
Blaine


Like's a good guy
The Editor:

From the tone and content of her letter to the editor last week regarding Luke Ridnour, it appears that Susan St. James has attended the David White school of journalism. Shame on you, Susan, for writing such a hurtful, hateful letter without first confirming the facts.
Simply meeting Luke once or twice is not the same as knowing him. Although I am not a close personal friend, as a school bus driver for Blaine I did get to share in the excitement of his high school basketball career. I had the pleasure of transporting the Blaine team around the state on numerous occasions. Regardless of the attention and notoriety that was showered on Luke, each time he got off the bus he always stopped to say “Thanks for driving us.”
My husband and I traveled to Eugene to watch him play. We waited with his family and friends after the game to say hello and congratulate him on the win. Luke gave me a big hug and, in true Luke form, humbly thanked us for coming to watch his game. I can only hope that my grandson grows up with such an attitude and great manners.
Luke’s all consuming passion for the game of basketball has made him a dedicated, hardworking leader of his peers – admirable qualities that are not always learned in a classroom. So many young people dream of playing professional sports. Luke is one of an elite few whom have been chosen to live that dream. Be it professional athlete, school teacher or rocket scientist, I would love for every person to have a passion they are willing to work so hard for.
I will travel to watch Luke play when possible. Maybe I’ll take our grandson and tell him what I know of Luke. If he chooses Luke as an example to follow I will be pleased.
Susan, I think I have your number too.
Marcia Beckett
Blaine

Luke letter response
The Editor:

Here is some page fill in response to the tirade leveled at “homeboy” Luke Ridnour by Ms. St. James.
Option 1. Sign a three year, nearly $4 million contract and complete your final year of college with summer classes.
Option 2. Play college ball senior year and possibly suffer a career ending injury.
Luke didn’t enter the NBA directly from high school. Three years of college should show to most people that he is capable of graduating.
By the way, how many years did it take you to make your first $4 million?
Ed McLaughlin
Blaine

Fuel to the fire
The Editor:

Unreal! Six letters in the July 24 issue of The Northern Light devoted to “El Loco Blanco.”
This person takes great delight in seeing his name in print and it’s obvious he doesn’t care in what context it appears (but frankly I can’t recall him ever receiving anything other than negative press).
Since no rational individual could possibly believe anything he has to say without first checking the truth of the matter, I would urge everyone to refrain from responding to his ravings. If you must reply, instead refer to the letter content. Please stop feeding his ego, he enjoys it.
LeAnna McGuire
Blaine

Watch out for sprawl
The Editor:

We have a bunch of real politicians on the city council and planning commission. They tell you what you want to hear and then do the exact opposite.
They state that the environment and the people’s quality of life are their major concern. Their action to gut the SEPA regulations to enable developers to ignore basic environmental protection clearly demonstrates their true agenda.
The major concern of the council, city staff and planning commission is maximum bucks for the developers. Citizens of Blaine please wake up before it’s too late. As the stewards of Blaine, the council, city staff and planning commission should protect the environment and quality of life, they should strive to enhance the unique qualities of Blaine. They are ignoring that stewardship.
If you, the people of Blaine, do not act now your gem of a community will be degraded to just another urban sprawl.
Ed Schellinck
Blaine

White speaks up
The Editor:

Regarding the flack that has emanated out of the Fourth of July parade in Blaine, I think the criticism of Mr. White’s remarks in his letter to the editor on July 17 were way out of proportion.
Whether you agree with Mr. White’s politics or not, he has the courage to speak up on controversial topics that are thought provoking, articulate and often amusing. Many of us look forward to reading his comments and don’t have to be offended by his obvious passion.
If he screws up with the facts once in a while, can’t we give him a break? I know I can.
Matthew Egan
Blaine

College dream job
The Editor:

First of all, you go to school to get the job you want. Luke worked his butt off to get that job and I find it rather rude the way Susan St. James badmouthed him the way she did.
And as far as the full page? Hello - read it again, lady, it was an advertisement from the Sonics. And flunking out or the money talking. Well, let’s see - which is stupider, a college wanting a flunky or the Sonics. Or better yet, I’m offered the job I’ve worked for and I stay in school? Duh!
Why would anybody badmouth someone else’s good fortune, especially a young person’s like Luke? Number Zero? Come on.
If people hadn’t been busy looking at the big red fire trucks and fretting about their position, they wouldn’t have missed St. James leading the badmouth parade.
Kathy Elsbree
Blaine

A hometown hero
The Editor:

In disagreement to a letter last week that I read in the paper, I believe Luke Ridnour is certainly a hometown hero.
Mr. Ridnour had brought hope to local children who hope to accomplish their career goals despite the fact they live in small communities. Mr. Ridnour, intelligently, did not enter the draft after high school avoiding the path of most athlete failures. Indeed, Mr. Ridnour did drop out of college a year early, however, what an accomplishment earning a scholarship to the four year University of Oregon in the first place. At this point, one of the best point guards in college did not need to stay another year; he was ready for the next step to the NBA.
How could Mr. Ridnour be recognized as an idiot? How dare people insult his schooling and put him down. Mr. Ridnour hustled and played his hardest in every game and always kept the desire to play his best. If he keeps these keys in life and uses them in the NBA he will very well be a success.
Shame on those who mock this man who has come so far and worked so hard to accomplish a life long dream.
Nate Dodgson
Birch Bay

Response to letter
The Editor:

I feel deeply saddened by your publishing of Harvey Wilson’s letter on July 17. There are probably more Canadians in Blaine and Birch Bay than Americans.
I also made my living on the waters in Canada. Canadians are not arrogant or thieves. Americans have been coming to Canada on vacation, to fish and hunt since the invention of the automobile.
Hundreds of American campers and buses line the spit in Campbell River, Port Alberni and every other recreational site in the province of B.C.
From the 50s to the 90s, they brought their portable canners. Some have been stopped at the border with as many as 250 cases (24 tins per case) packed away in their units.
We have since changed our laws to prevent this. We didn’t call them thieves, our economy was enriched by their presence.
Canadians buy their shellfish licenses and take part in your catch reloads program. We are checked by your fisheries officers the same as Americans.
If Mr. Wilson sells bait, he has no idea where it is going to be used. Different sections of U.S. waters are open at different times.
I think your paper and Harvey Wilson owe an apology to all Canadians. Be thankful we are in your area supporting your businesses and restaurants.
Captain R. Akenhead
Blaine

Elfo a good sheriff
The Editor:

By all means, Bill Elfo should be retained as our county sheriff and for several good reasons:
1. He knows how to communicate effectively. This is very important at any level, be it one-on-one or a meeting of the council. He has always found time to share his thinking with me, and this, in turn enabled me to feel stronger connection with his department and, in fact, the Blaine community.
2. He is a survivor who knows how to weather a storm. When city employees were dropping out during the reign of city manager Tony Mortillaro, Bill was able to hang touch until we were finally free of Mortillaro.
3. Bill has a sense of morals and ethics, yet he’s able to understand people who do not share his personal position. This spells fairness.
4. He has had to work under unusual circumstances. Not every community is located on an international border. Not every community is geographically and socially divided as Semiahmoo and downtown Blaine. He has had to go beyond the call of duty to meet these circumstances. I realize it hasn’t been easy, but he has fulfilled his unusual obligations well.
5. Where will you find anyone who can match Bill’s education? Here is a man who just kept on learning until he mastered law training. Our whole nation is in need of sound leadership, which means informed, educated leadership. He reaches beyond the usual requirements.
These are five reasons why we should retain Bill Elfo. Certainly, I could add more. Consider, for example, his orientation. He has lived in the county as a servant of public safety and enforcer of the law. He has performed well at the county level, even though his position is temporary. Let’s make it permanent!
Richard E. Clark
Blaine

Drive a huge success
The Editor:

Our first Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) fund drive was a huge success thanks to all the citizens that contributed. Firefighters from Local 3867 were able to collect over $2,000 in five and a half hours.
Each year the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) presents a check to Jerry Lewis during the Labor Day telethon. This year the Northwest Whatcom Professional Firefighters will have contributed to that check from the IAFF.
Thanks again to all who collected, but most of all to those who contributed.
Ray Davidson, President
Northwest Whatcom
Professional Firefighters
Local 3867
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