Letters to the Editor -- November 13, 2003

Published on Thu, Nov 13, 2003
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Letters to the Editor developer

Sadness on Veteran's Day
The Editor:

A sense of sadness prevails.
On November 11, at 11 a.m., I and three or four others stood in front of the Blaine veterans memorial.
Taps was not heard. Rifles were silent and only the breeze honored the flag. We saluted and left.
It is not my place to fault. I served but two years in the United States Army in the waning years of the Korean War. My only taste of combat was some time later in an obscure political affair in the Dakota Plains where the opposition attempted to reduce our force by gunfire.
True veterans have endured infinitely much more and are deserving of all honor. So it with a humble heart I ask: Is the 11th hour no longer sacred? George Tranberg
Blaine

Thanks for the years
The Editor:

I am so proud of my son�s success and feel this town would like to hear the good news about a home town boy. My son was born and raised in Blaine. He went though the Blaine school, kindergarten through graduation. After serving in the National Guard, he continues his education in communication with a great deal of academic success at Concordia University in Portland, Oregon. He was recently invited to join the honorary society. Only one other student of academic achievement will be invited.
I wanted to share this information with the town that helped raise him. Thank you for the years of positive impact my son experienced growing up in our little town.
Linda Aff
Blaine

Spread the word
The Editor:

My husband and I chose Birch Bay as our home three years ago. What appealed to us was how clean the bay looked and its abundant marine life.
Less than a year ago, we read an article in the Bellingham Herald that Victoria, B.C.�s capital regional district is the number one polluter of the body of water that we all share, more than 12 million gallons of raw sewage are discharged annually through underwater outfalls into the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Victoria is the only city along the west coast of North America that dumps its raw sewage and everything that goes with it directly in the ocean. It does this without regard to the health and welfare of its neighbors across the Strait of Georgia.
Extensive areas along the outfalls have now been closed to shellfish harvesting.
Victoria however seems determined to flaunt the environmental laws of its own province and has no intention to stop this deplorable practice. I have inquired what actions Washington state can take to stop this.
I have put the questions to the department of ecology, department of natural resources and department of fish and wildlife and I was told that unless Victoria�s regional government takes action to stop this appalling practice, there will be no solution.
People in Victoria know what action to take � build a treatment facility for its waste and stop polluting the ocean that we all share.
We have many visitors from Europe and since we live nearby we often take them to Victoria. We think the city looks beautiful and it seems many other people agree with that opinion, because the city shows the prosperity from the tourism industry. We also enjoy shopping in Vancouver often.
We came to the conclusion that the best way to have our neighbors across the border take action will be by an economic boycott. We intend to spread the word about what Victoria is doing to the environment that we commonly share.
Kay Schuhmacher
Birch Bay

Developer shall bear costs
The Editor:

Blaine�s municipal code states that developers will bear all costs of infrastructure investments required by their projects so as not to inflict undue financial burden on the taxpayers of this city.
For some reason the city did not observe its bylaws in the case of Semiahmoo Resort; apparently, the city never collected sewer treatment plant �capital improvement� accruals as specifically mentioned in the Semiahmoo Resort master development plan of 1984. To quote that master plan: �Sewer capital improvement charges, paid by the property, will be applied toward sewage treatment plant expansion. If the fund or additional grants are inadequate to finance the expansion, Semiahmoo (The Company) will participate in an LID to fund the balance.�
And, �Improvements to and expansion of the sewage treatment plant needed to handle additional flows can be made by the city in the future financed by capital improvement charges paid when connections are made to the system, if these charges are increased to assure adequate funds. If not, other sources of revenue or grants and proportionate participation by the developer will be required.�
Oversight by previous administrations does not absolve the current city council nor staff of its responsibility to obtain from the developer its rightful portion of the cost of the sewer investments now contemplated. Without substantial contribution from the developers, one would need to question the financial wisdom or ability of Blaine to raise $22 million through revenue bonds, as postulated. Because, after including underwriting, legal and accounting fees, and 25 year financing at six percent interest, without grants, individual households in Blaine will likely have to pay $77 (per month/$925 annually) in additional sewer bills.
The readership should ask themselves why the working men and women of Blaine should pay to subsidize the private enterprise of a few wealthy developers as will soon be proposed? I believe to the contrary, that a city should not try to legitimize a process of transferring private expenses into public assessments through the means of a committee like our CWAC. Similarly, it is also wrong to use government grants and loans as private subsidies. The Blaine council and staff must uphold the municipal code (and its ordinances and comprehensive plans) to the fullest extent of the law, by collecting what is properly due from the developers and builders. No general sewer plan could be considered legitimate until this issue of financial responsibility has been equitably addressed.
Lincoln L. Rutter
Blaine

Blessed with art
The Editor:

Over the past three years I have had the pleasure of working with the United States Canada Peace Anniversary Association (USCPAA), exhibiting several of my works in the Peace Arch Park International Sculpture Exhibition, both in Peace Arch Park and in the city of Blaine. Having been a professional artist and sculptor for the past nine years, I�ve participated in numerous exhibitions across the country.
Based on my past experience participating in exhibitions, I recognize the amount of time, talent and effort it takes to professionally organize such events. You are blessed to have such a group in your community. The United States Peace Anniversary Association, headed by Christina Alexander, has had the energy, enthusiasm and vision to develop this exhibition and to foster its growth over the past eight years. In addition to the USCPAA members, volunteers and other participating artists, Wayne Eden and his staff at the Peace Arch State Park and Leroy Dougall and his crew at Blaine public works for their support and assistance.
This week, as this year�s exhibition closed, I removed my sculpture, �The Don (Knight of Peace)� from downtown Blaine. I was reminded once again that the Peace Arch International Park provides an exceptional and unique venue for artists worldwide. The opportunity for international exposure in a place dedicated to peace and harmony is so much more than other small towns have to offer. The desire to have international exposure is what brought my artwork and me to your community and it is what will bring me back in future years.
It�s been an honor to exhibit my works in your community and I sincerely hope that many others will have that opportunity as, hopefully, the Peace Arch Park International Sculpture Exhibition and Art by the Bay continue to expand and flourish.
Pam Hom
Mount Vernon

Go check it out
The Editor:

I would like to address the issue of small business in Blaine. We have a great Chinese restaurant here in Blaine that is always empty when I go in there. They have terrific food and the owners have been there for a little over six months.
I would hate to see another small business go under in Blaine for lack of customers. If we can get the word out that the new owners are great and so is the food, maybe we can avoid another small business from going under. Please go and try the Ocean Bay Restaurant here in Blaine. You won�t be sorry.
Colleen Duenas
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