Letters to the Editor -- January 15, 2004

Published on Thu, Jan 15, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

Sincerely appreciate help
The Editor:

On behalf of the Blaine Chamber of Commerce�s Community Giving Tree Project and Stafholt Good Samaritan Center, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to the many individuals, families, businesses and churches who participated in this year�s project. Your generosity enabled us to bring Christmas to 147 families, representing 462 children in the Blaine, Birch Bay and Custer areas.
This year, the number applying for assistance through the giving tree was greater than ever. The community, in turn, responded to this need wholeheartedly, donating gifts of toys, clothing, time and money. Without this support, the project would cease to exist.
While we would like to mention each and every person who contributed, the list is simply too long to publish. We should, however, all be proud to be part of a community whose members give so generously. The true spirit of Christmas is certainly still alive and well in Blaine.
Kari Johnson-Dick, Debbie Graff, & Laurie Hart,
Giving Tree coordinators
Blaine

School levy: vote yes
The Editor:

As we thaw out from a winter blast, it is time to consider voter support for school districts maintenance and operation levies on February 3.
Specifically, the citizens of Blaine once again have an opportunity to maintain a perfect record of support for their school district. I feel a few reminders are necessary at this time. The 2004 school levy proposal is not a new tax. It replaces the existing levy which will allow the district to maintain the quality education enjoyed over the past four years. Next, voters should note that the state funding covers only 52 percent of Blaine�s dollar budget. Grants cover 17 percent and federal dollars another 10 percent. The 21 percent balance must come from local levy support. Thus, the Blaine M&O levy is used for basic education!
The success of this levy will maintain taxes at the same level as the previous four years which are the lowest per thousand in Whatcom County!
Your vote ensures students of Blaine school district will continue to receive the best educational opportunities available.
Vote yes February 3.
Gordon Dolman
Blaine

Support annexation
Dear Editor and Voters:

Annexation of Blaine to fire district 13 is on your ballot. The city of Blaine council unanimously supports and asks for your yes vote.
Both Blaine and fire district 13 voters need to vote on this marriage. Up until now we have been engaged, and it is time to make a commitment.
Neither the city or district residents will see any change in taxes. What you will see is a continued long-term commitment that will ensure the fire district the ability to plan long-term capital improvement.
A particular concern is where we are headed on emergency medical services (EMS) in the county. A merged district will be in a better position to deal with this key issue to the benefit of us all.
Please vote yes.
Dieter Schugt
City of Blaine mayor

Thanks for support
The Editor:

We need to show our support for our kids and the February 3 levy. Please vote and please vote to support our schools. We are lucky at Blaine in that we pay a very low tax rate for schools. In addition, this is not a new tax, just a continuation of levy funds. Remember to vote.
Steve Harrison
Blaine

Sign confusion
The Editor:

I really wonder how efficient the road signs on the freeway are. For example, the sign that changes the speed limit from 70 to 60 miles per hour when you first enter Bellingham via I-5 north and southbound. Or how about the signs that say, �Keep right except to pass.�
I really wonder if people see these signs, and if they do, do they care about what they have to say? There is a reason that those signs are there. It is to protect ourselves and every other person that is driving on the road.
On my way home recently I saw several people that just decided that they wanted to stay in the left lane and go 65 miles per hour in a 70 mph zone, without passing anyone. They just wanted to be in that lane. I can�t help but wonder if they realize that they are in fact a hazard to themselves and other drivers, not to mention breaking the law.
The whole reason for those signs is for drivers to obey them in order to maintain a safer environment for everyone that uses the roads. So, if you are one of those people that do not pay attention to the signs, maybe next time you are driving down the freeway in the left lane and not passing anyone, you will think to pay attention to the sign that states a law - �keep right except to pass.�
Also, if you are one of the too many people who enjoy chatting away on your cell phone while occupying space on the roads, either pull off to the side, or better yet, just hang up and drive!
Kelli Nymeyer
Blaine

No primary, but caucus
The Editor:

Because the legislature canceled the state�s presidential preference primary, many Washington voters don�t realize that they can participate in the selection process for the Democratic party nominee, beginning with precinct caucuses held throughout the state Saturday, February 7.
In preparation for this important event, Whatcom Democrats and Western Washington University (WWU) Democrats are hosting an informational forum with representatives of the nine candidates seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. The forum will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, January 17 at Bellingham high school, 2020 Cornwall Avenue. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and presentations begin at 1 p.m. sharp. Representatives will make brief presentations on topics selected from the following list: human and civil rights, education, health care, the environment, government, economic justice and labor, crime and foreign affairs. There will be a question period following the presentations and time for individual discussion at candidate information tables after the program concludes.
We urge Whatcom County voters to participate in this information forum and in the precinct caucuses that follow.
For additional information on the forum and the caucuses, please see www.WhatcomDemocrats.com.
Janet Lutz-Smith Vice Chair,
Whatcom Democrats
Lummi Island

2003 a good year
The Editor:
The North Whatcom Professional Firefighters - International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) Local 3867 is comprised of 15 career firefighters from North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services, three career firefighters from Whatcom County fire district 8 and one career firefighter from Whatcom County fire district 4.
In 2003, our local volunteered for and contributed funds to various groups in the county. We are very proud of the support we have been able to provide.
These groups received financial support over the past year: Blaine high school band to Japan - funds provided partial sponsorship for one student to participate in the Funabashi Music Festival near Tokyo, Japan; Royal Family Kids Camp - we sponsored one child for one week at a summer camp for victims of child abuse; Whatcom County indoor soccer league - we sponsored a youth soccer team which provided shirts for each player; Blaine high school athletic department calendar - purchased advertising space to support athletics events; and Community Assistance Program (CAP) Thanksgiving food basket project - contributed monies to purchase food items for the baskets which helped provide meals to local families at Thanksgiving.
Our union members purchased and dedicated a memorial plaque and tree to the Walsh family who lost their son and grandson Christopher Ronald Walsh in a tragic accident in March. The presentation took place during the opening ceremony of the new fire station in Blaine. The Walsh family owned and farmed the property on Odell Road where the fire station is now located.
We participate in the Whatcom County Adopt-A-Road program by maintaining Birch Bay-Lynden Road between Harborview and Blaine roads by volunteering to pick up roadside garbage several times a year.
An annual baseball tournament is organized and sponsored by our local. The entry fees from the teams who participate support the Whatcom County Firefighters Fund (WFF). This fund provides assistance to families of firefighters in Whatcom County in the event of death or serious injury while they are doing their job.
We provide monetary support for families living within the boundaries of Blaine and Whatcom County fire district 13 who have been displaced from their home as a result of fire.
We�ve also supported the Leukemia and Lymphoma Foundation by participating in, sponsoring participants and collecting pledges for the firefighter�s challenge at the Columbia Tower Climb in Seattle and collecting donations in excess of $2,800 in less than five hours for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Firefighters Fill the Boot Drive.
In 2004, we will continue supporting the events outlined above and add some new endeavors. We will be sponsoring a community blood drive, and providing a high school scholarship for students who plan on pursuing a career in fire, medical or emergency services fields. We will also be providing community classes such as CPR and first aid as well as professional development classes to assist other local fire departments advanced instruction.
We look forward to serving our community in the new year!
Local 3867
Birch Bay

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