Letters to the Editor -- September 18, 2003

Published on Thu, Sep 18, 2003
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Letters to the Editor

Bring back tennis
The Editor:
I recently read in The Northern Light that the Blaine high school tennis program was cut this year. I would just like to say what a shame this is. For years Blaine has had a competitive and successful tennis program. I had the privilege of competing with the Blaine tennis team during my high school years at Blaine, and recognize the great value it provides for students.
Tennis is a lifetime sport that brings exercise and competition to many who can no longer play football past age 25. My thanks to Stan Bianchi, Bob Gray, and John Freal for their commitment and time for teaching the game of tennis to students for several years. I hope the team can regain funding one year and return to competition. Although the opportunity exists to play for Lynden, who really wants to do that? Blaine should have their own program once again.
Matt Hargreaves
Provo, Utah

Airport, tree vote needed
The Editor, the city and citizens of Blaine:

After reading last week�s The Northern Light, I have some questions and concerns regarding the Blaine airport.
Is the acquiring of 5.43 acres, cutting 485 80-year-old trees and destroying wetlands strictly for the use and expansion of the airport? Who will be in charge of the acreage after the city acquires it?
According to reports, this tree/airport issue is going to cost roughly $500,000, likely more. Even without the decades-old airport controversy, an expenditure this large in the past was usually voted on by the voters. What makes this different? The airport itself was saved by a vote.
What other alternatives have been seriously studied? Why is there such reluctance to moving the airport? It is closed in by a major shopping center, schools and the busiest truck border west of Detroit.
The state is soon to be spending millions of dollars to alleviate the back ups that occur at the truck route. Why not create an industry in the area that will take advantage of these trucks? I was told that prime acreage along a busy truck route can go for over $250,000 an acre. The airport is 42 acres. With the sale of the property, we could relocate the airport, build it from the ground up properly and at the same time develop safe jobs for the citizens of Blaine. An expansion would just add more noise and congestion to an already dangerous location in the city.
Whether I am pro airport or not isn�t the issue. My concern is that the voters are being left out of any decision making on this very important Blaine issue. This controversy will go on and people will be blamed for whatever direction is taken. At least with a vote, the citizens will take the responsibility as to what direction the city takes on this issue.
Citizen apathy is also a causing factor. If the city is not informed of various opinions from the public then they have to make decisions without our input. Residents need to inform the city government of their opinions: pro, con or indifferent. Call, e-mail whatever. This is a $500,000 plus project that we will end up paying a major portion of folks. We should have a vote.
Patrick Madsen
Blaine

Thanksgiving program
The Editor:

I am writing to let the Blaine and Birch Bay communities know that the Community Assistance Program will be helping take over the Thanksgiving program that Ed and I started five years ago. Brent Brentnal feels this is a valuable program that must not die just because we have moved from the area. I am asking everyone to help in any way that you can to keep this program alive. I had so many people help in various ways and hope that we can count on your support again this year. I am not totally out of the loop as Brent and I have been exchanging e-mails to get him up to speed.
Please watch The Northern Light for more details on what is needed and how you can help keep this program going. I feel that Brent and the Community Assistance Program will expand upon my goals to make this a year round resource and take it beyond just Thanksgiving meals. No you will not have me cornering you at the store, post office, city hall and asking what are you doing the day before Thanksgiving in hopes to get you to volunteer your time for the cause, instead you all may have to take the first step and offer up your assistance.
All is well in Minnesota, we love it here but miss our friends and customers in Blaine.
Annie Magner
Grand Rapids, MN

Response to fire opinion
The Editor:

As a former city of Blaine firefighter and victim of former fire chief Dave England�s cutthroat management tactics, I don�t feel Mr. England has any right giving his opinion on what the Blaine area needs in regards to firefighting equipment.
He took most of the equipment out of Blaine city limits as soon as district 13 took over fire protection on July 1,1999. He had the mechanic (former NWFRS employee Ryan Oord) drive into the Blaine station at 344 H Street and take all the rescue equipment paid for and owned by the volunteer firefighter�s association (Blaine Firefighter�s Association) and he promptly assigned the equipment to the Birch Bay station. He closed the Semiahmoo fire station (although strictly forbidden in the interlocal agreement) August 1, 1999. He banned all the volunteer firefighter associations and canceled all volunteer firefighter pension plans.
I am glad he is no longer the fire chief as he caused a lot of misery for both the career and volunteer firefighters of District 13. The last good fire chief Blaine had was Gary Franz. At least when Gary Franz promised something, he stuck to his word.
Jim Hunter
Former Blaine firefighter
Blaine

Pleased with picture
The Editor:

Thank you for the beautiful job you did with our multi-generational picture in the September 4 issue of The Northern Light. Our whole family is very pleased.
Bonita Merrill
Blaine

Thanks for support
The Editor:

Igloo Beach Boutique/Seasons Fashions, Inc. would like to congratulate the winner of the draw, held on September 7. The winner was Sandy of Custer and she received an Old Maui bag filled with gifts from Igloo Beach Boutique and from local merchants.
Igloo Beach Boutique would like to thank the following Birch Bay merchants for their contributions: Dirty Dog Wash & Gifts,; Edric�s; La Petite Beauty Shop; Little Caesar�s Pizza; Miniature World Family Fun Center; Seaside Wellness Studio; Stephani�s by the Bay.
Nathan Grover
Birch Bay

Respect different beliefs
The Editor:

I am writing in reference to Diane Murr�s letter, published in the September 11 edition of The Northern Light. In her comments about the ten commandments in state buildings, the writer made her view quite clear, and we must accept her right to feel that way.
Those of us who are Christians in America are in the majority. Of course, as Christians and as Americans we have an obligation to respect the rights and the views of the minority. We might begin by remembering there are millions of people in the U.S. who do not profess to be Christians. Some of us are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Shintoists, Muslims, nativists, humanists, agnostics, atheists and others. Some of whom just may not care about religion.
As Christians, we might be more tolerant if we look at the ten commandments as non-Christian Americans might see them. According to my King James version the first four have to do only with the way Jews and Christians are told to worship their God. The remaining commandments lay down moral principles against murder, adultery, cheating, lying, coveting and dishonoring parents. These moral principles do not belong to Christians alone. They were all advocated by various religions long before Jesus or Moses. In fact, the principles may not even be religious. They simply state a universal code of ethics which has been true since the dawn of civilization.
We Muslims and we Christians have something other religions do not generally share: the mandate by our mosques and our churches to proselytize � to convert the infidels or the heathens.
In America, a few of us preach from the street corners or go around knocking on doors. Many of us support missionaries to preach our doctrines and some of us Christians want monuments or religious practices in state buildings, courts and schools paid for and owned by the public. In America, those monuments and those practices are against the law. The Constitution protects the religious freedom of every citizen from infringement not only from the state, but also from other religions.
That monument in Alabama was wrong legally. The state supreme court decision was unanimous. The monument was also wrong morally. It violated the golden rule by being offensive to non-Christian Americans. Robert King
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