Letters to the Editor -- October 09, 2003

Published on Thu, Oct 9, 2003
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Letters to the Editor

Thanks for support
The Editor:

A very special thanks to all of the people who came and gave to Leroy Green�s remembrance. The cards, donations, and kind words were much appreciated. It is truly a blessing to live in such a tight-knit community. The Green family
Blaine

Bring back the bus
The Editor and Blaine school district:

September has been the most stressful month for our family because of the decision to cancel the turn-out bus. I was shocked when I heard the news. Our daughter stays four out of five days to participate in extra-curricular activities that the school offers and encourages. I work in Bellingham down by WWU, and I am often held up getting home in time to pick her up. I am constantly trying to cope with this continuous race against time. Why not cancel the extra curricular activities altogether, or, as an easier solution, offer them just to kids who live within walking distance from the school. Is that realistic?
I contacted the WTA and they could not offer me a secure solution. They could not guarantee that they would arrive at any time close to the specified time to pick up our daughter because they were bussing passengers down to the outlet center to connect them to the bus in Bellingham. This was their priority.
The taxi in Ferndale charges $20 just to drive up to Blaine before they even add on the fare. I would willingly pay a fee for the late bus to bring my daughter home. What is the answer?
Please reinstate the late bus for the kids who live in Blaine outskirts.
Marilyn Tinney
Blaine

Over $5,000 raised
The Editor:

The Blaine Dollars for Scholars golf tournament at Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club on September 27 raised over $5,000 for Blaine high school scholarships.
We would like to thank our major contributors: Darryl & Shelly Sharp, Calvin Payne & Patty Boris, the Semiahmoo Golf & Country Club, Chuck Donaghy, Bill Tetsch and Tom & Stephanie Wanne. Of course, we couldn�t have done it without all those golfers either!
Our next tournament will be in May 2004. Contact Bill Wright, 371-3199, or Todd Berge, 332-1213, for golf or sponsor information. Thanks again to a very generous community!
Larissa Dhanani
Blaine Dollars for Scholars director
Blaine

It's gone
The Editor:

Thank you city council, thank you to the many citizens in Blaine, and most of all, thank you Bill Elfo, for being influential in the removal of the Blaine bookstore.
Many of us in Blaine have prayed and waited for over 30 years for it to be removed and now we can anticipate a positive replacement of that building, which will bring another improvement to our community. As we continue to build our town together, we can make it a better place for our children and the children of the following generations.
Ruby Dahl
Blaine

Response to letter
The Editor:

In response to Jim Hunter�s letter about former fire chief Dave England, I must say that Jim Hunter does not have a clue what he�s talking about. Mr. Hunter was a volunteer who only saw things from the outside. He volunteered weekends only and lived in Canada.
As a career lieutenant with former fire district 13, now North Whatcom Fire & Rescue, I have seen many changes to the fire protection in our area. These changes started with Mr. England seeing the larger picture and working towards these needs to provide the best fire protection to the citizens of both the city of Blaine and fire district 13. Nobody took anything away from the volunteer firefighters. Yes, the volunteer firefighters did not raise money through programs and a lot of the money was donated to the aid car fund for rescue equipment. That equipment is still serving the citizens and it does not belong to the volunteer firefighters, it belongs to the citizens.
As to the pension fund, Mr. Hunter does not know the laws of the county government. The pension fund he speaks of was a fund that was not legal. Those monies were taken out of that fund and given back to the volunteer firefighters in the form of uniforms, duty jackets and other items. The volunteer firefighters still have a pension fund that is run by the state into which the fire district pays. Last time I checked the volunteers still have an association, nobody took that away either.
It was a great loss to the fire service to lose chief Dave England. Mr. Hunter should do his homework prior to making statements about the fire district that he knows nothing about.
Ray Davidson
NWFRS lieutenant
Bellingham

Rates going up
The Editor:

Here I go again, trying to enlighten the people of this town.
Recently, the city of Blaine raised their electrical rates to the people with unjust cause and here is why it is unjust.
For many years, the electrical department has been the only department in the black in this city. It has year after year always made a healthy profit. Many of the other city departments have borrowed huge sums of money from the electrical department for other city projects.
The city could very well have eaten this rate increase and still made a profit in the electrical department, but instead they decided as usual to stick it to the already overburdened rate payers.
So when are you, the overburdened, going to get your heads out of the sand and fight the constant screwing you are always subject to, from a brain-dead council and a city manager that makes more than $100,000 a year, from a town that is hurting so bad economically.
Dave White
Blaine

Protect the spit
The Editor:

Please help me here. I seem to be missing something.
Trillium says it changed the Sea Grass Cottage project to address the environmental concerns of the community. The project now urbanizes 20 plus acres, up from 14 acres. Is that not a 40 percent increase in the land removed from natural bird habitat? I am under the understanding that the loss of natural habitat is the greatest threat to our wildlife.
Will the increase from 64 units to 72 (36 duplex units) not increase the amount of roadways, parking and traffic? How does increasing the area of development, the number of units and the number of cars address the concerns of the environmental impact of autos? I would assume the new proposal�s impact would be more negative.
I really have trouble with this last one. How does increasing the number of units by 40 percent decrease the load on the presently over burdened sewage plant? Certainly if there are going to be more homes there are going to be more families. With more families you would expect more flushes would you not?
It is with great wonderment that I read about all the effort going into creating public access and trails. There is no need for trails. People wander daily throughout these grassy 20 acres. I can�t count the number of visitors that have marveled at the natural beauty and wildlife. This area presently is 100 percent accessible to the public. Urbanization would destroy the natural beauty of the spit. Instead of walking in a pristine natural setting with unmatched natural vistas you would be walking in a subdivision.
Hopefully the city shares the concerns of its citizens. Trillium and the city have many sites they can develop with less dire impact on the environment and natural beauty of the area. We must preserve the unique treasure of Semiahmoo spit.
Dr. Ed Schellinck
Blaine

Protect the spit
The Editor:

After withdrawing its earlier application, Trillium Corporation has submitted a new application to build on Semiahmoo spit. The original application was for a 64-unit condominium project on 14 acres. The new application is for 72 units (36 duplex units) on 20.5 acres.
This is particularly disappointing. During three meetings with David Syre, CEO of Trillium, we understood that he didn�t completely agree with the first application and that a new one would be submitted for more expensive properties, covering a smaller area on the spit. He also indicated that he would not take less than $30 million, if any philanthropic organization wished to purchase this land.
I understand Trillium Corporation has been very generous with donations and support of this area and that the company submitted a master plan in 1984, which included building on the spit. However, so much has changed since then, as far as environmental laws and shoreline protection is concerned. This necessitates a new environmental impact statement and a very careful review of this application, in my opinion.
The application includes a request to move the public road, so the units can be built on both sides. Moving a road will probably create the most serious environmental impact and does this mean that any builder can request a road be moved, if he wishes to build homes?
This kind of development on the spit would threaten bird and fishlife; harm the environment and Blaine would lose the one treasure it really has for residents and visitors to this area. North American Indian human remains and artifacts may be disturbed and would anyone really want to live on this part of the spit?
This is an issue not only for Blaine but also for Bellingham, Whatcom County and Washington state. I hope that everyone who does not want to see this kind of development on the spit, will write to the city of Blaine by October 31.
I also hope the Blaine city council will have the wisdom to protect an important part of the past and ensure its future for everyone.
�For centuries, people have treasured this tranquil paradise...� an extract from Trillium�s promotional material. This corporation has many other areas of acreage available for building � let�s please leave the spit alone.
Trevor Hoskins
Blaine

(Editor�s Note: A public hearing for Trillium Corporation�s proposed Seagrass Cottage project has yet to be scheduled; however, the public is requested to present their opinion, in written format, to the city of Blaine planning department at 344 H Street).

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