Letters to the Editor -- January 29, 2004

Published on Thu, Jan 29, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

We haven't forgotten Chris
The Editor:

I am writing this letter as a reminder of the March 2003 hit and run that killed Chris Walsh on Blaine Road.
The telephone pole at Yorky�s gas station where our memorial for Chris is, is looking pretty bare. We haven�t forgotten, we are just waiting for the weather to improve so we can put up more. Every time we put up posters, they either get rain soaked or are blown down by the wind.
Also, I feel as a community, we need to be looking harder for the vehicle that was involved in this crime. Ten months have gone by, and not a single thing has come up. Someone out there knows something and I encourage everyone to be aware and to call the sheriff�s department with any possible leads. Just the slightest detail that may be a match to the car that drove away in March 2003.
This is just a reminder. We haven�t forgotten about the memorial for Chris Walsh.
Brynn Snyder and friends

Save your herring
The Editor:

I would like to help you people save your herring if you are willing to listen to simple native methods of spawning habitat control. I have an AAS degree in tribal environmental natural resource management to combine with a lifetime of living in Alaska and Washington�s environmental utilization regions. I have subsistence and commercially fished my entire life of 43 years. If you would like some help, let me know by calling 360/392-8553.
Lewis Armey Jr.

Vote no with me
The Editor:

It is a displeasure to be a naysayer to what looks, at least on the surface, to be good for our communities. But in clear conscience, I must ask fire district 13 voters to vote with me to keep contracting with the city of Blaine by voting no on annexation.
It is a better relationship, at least for now. Ferndale has contracted with fire district 7 for years and it has worked reasonably well for both parties. A no vote on annexing the city of Blaine to fire district 13 will keep the contract for Blaine�s fire protection. To my friends in Blaine, I must say, even if fire district 13 received a poor audit from the Washington State auditor�s office, it is probably in your best interest to vote for annexation. (Most of the poor bookkeeping was in your favor and you do need the service of two fire stations.)
But we in fire district 13 had a jump in fire taxes paid to the district of 22 percent last year and they will remain high this year. We have been promised they won�t go higher now because they can�t go over $1.50 for $1,000. We are at $1.44.
If you would like to have more information, check Bay Center Market for brochures from �$ Citizens for Common Cents $� or go to www.biz.birchbay.net and follow the links to BayBiz and Citizens for Common Cents. You can look at the audit and tax information for yourself. You can even spout off at BayBiz.
Patrick Alesse
Birch Bay

There's been an injustice
The Editor:

I�m writing this in response to a letter that was in the January 8 - 14 issue of The Northern Light, �What Happened?� by Malcolm Berry.
I can�t believe that a wonderful person such as Randy Kirk has been fired from the Boys & Girls Club. This man has devoted himself to the club and the children since 1994. Just what are Lynn Templeton and those board members took this vote trying to hide? And why aren�t all the local members there?

Seems to me that Mr. Kirk has become the fall guy for their mismanagement of things. Let me see! He�s not allowed to say anything about what they did to him. In fact he was told to keep his mouth shut. They fire him just before Christmas. Merry Christmas - we don�t care that the children love and trust you. And that you have been there for every game, event, etc. There was no warning or public meeting. Then they hire some slick fund raiser that most likely doesn�t have a clue about the kids that come to the club (their problems, interests, or anything else that might be going on with them).
Yes, Mr. Berry is right! There has been a huge injustice done and not only to Randy Kirk, but the children. After all it is the Boys & Girls Club, not the �Lynn Templeton Let�s Look Good and Make Money Club!�
What good is money if there is nobody there that understands them? The kids love and trust Randy.
I ask you, the people of Blaine and Birch Bay, what is wrong with this picture? Where is the concern for the children? Where is the fairness for a man that devoted his time and life to those children?
Maybe the people that did this should be let go or at least an investigation into what it is that they are trying to hide. That sounds much more reasonable to me than what went on behind our backs.
Eileen Ornelaz

I suggest you read this...
The Editor:

I am responding to a letter from Don Thompson of Victoria, B.C. printed in The Northern Light issue of January 22-28.
Mr. Thompson is accusing me of spreading untruths and that I had not done the research before printing my letter about the raw sewage discharge off Vancouver Island. I want to correct Mr. Thompson and suggest that he read the publications on the following websites and get himself an education: http://www.sierralegal.org/m_archive/ pr03_07_11.html; http://www.bucksuzuki.org/publications/Hidden_Killer.pdf; http://www.sierralegal.org/m_archive/1998-9/bk99_02_04.htm; and, http://www.sierralegal.org/m_archive/1998-9/pr99_02_04. htm.
May I remind Mr. Thompson that raw sewage is a: �foul mixture of human excrement, grease, household chemicals, feminine hygiene products, and many substances containing toxic chemicals.� The fact is that Vancouver Island is discharging in excess of 30,000 gallons each day of this mixture into the common waters we share. It appears that Mr. Thompson is suffering from reading too many rose colored B.C. government publications. Don�t kill the messenger, Mr. Thompson.
Kay Schuhmacher

Restore the turnout bus
The Editor:

I have always believed that the best deterrent to youth drug abuse and juvenile delinquency is by making positive activities and lifestyle choices available and encouraging children to follow them.
The discipline that children learn from sports teaches them self control. Athletic activities create a respect for your body. Self control and respect for your body are great deterrents to self destructive behaviors and are building blocks required on your way to becoming a healthy productive adult.
Did the Blaine school district consider any of this when they canceled the after school sports turnout bus for 2003/2004?
As a single working parent, I cannot retrieve my son until after 7 p.m. because of my work schedule. This means my son is stuck in Blaine with idle time on his hands for many hours each week. This is exactly the situation I wanted to avoid by encouraging him into sports to begin with.
He arrives home four hours later than he would if he rode the regular bus. This puts him in a bind regarding his chores, homework and other responsibilities. He enjoys after school sports very much, but is very unmotivated to continue because of this schedule.
I blame the shortsighted number crunchers in the Blaine school district for this. They claim they cannot afford the bus service, but I don�t think they can afford to turn their back on our kids. I would like to see a turnout bus returned for the 2004/2005 school year.
I have sent a copy of this letter to the superintendent of Blaine schools, the Blaine high school principal, congressman Rick Larsen, Blaine mayor, Blaine city council, Blaine Chamber of Commerce and others.
I would suggest anyone interested in this matter direct their concerns to one or more of the above contacts.
Kenny Ecklund
Birch Bay

Volunteers needed
The Editor:

The ECONW Blaine Center (a Head Start/ECEAP Preschool), located at the Northwest Community Church on G Street is looking for volunteer help from community members. The preschool is in session on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Community volunteers enrich and benefit the lives of ECONW preschoolers through their skills and interests. Would you like to teach our children to cook a favorite recipe? Do you enjoy reading or telling stories to young children? Perhaps you play a musical instrument and would like to share your talent. These are some of the volunteer opportunities available at our center.
We are also looking for a possible donation of a playground playhouse - a structure that children could play in. Perhaps your children have grown up and you still have one in your backyard? Or maybe there is an old boat you will never use still in your garage?
If any of these volunteer opportunities interest you, please contact Bobbi Woodral, center supervisor, or Sharron Newman, classroom teacher, at 332-2200.
Blaine ECONW Team

Thanks for support
The Editor:

Thanks for the many prayers and messages for our beloved Lisa Shenk. From Dennis and Gail Shriner, (dad and mom); Danielle and Shelby Daily, (daughter and son); Virginia Gibbons (grandmother); and Gary Gibbons, (uncle).
Shenk family

Help the travelers
The Editor:

A friend went to Peace Arch customs to inquire about replacing a lost green card she had for 20 years. The guy at the counter was rude. He said they no longer provided that service, and that she would have to drive to Burien (missing a day�s work).
Representative Rick Larsen�s office told her she could apply for the card online and that people at the border weren�t always up-to-date on current laws. Although easier to do, it cost $20 more, and she was told it would take one year for her card to be replaced.
Her option was wait a year to visit her family and friends in Canada or apply for a Canadian passport, which she did. She got it in about a month. Nebraska informed her to get it stamped at the border.
An agent arrogantly told her she would have to go to a consulate. She said she didn�t understand. The guy yelled at her, �What don�t you understand � that if you leave the country, you won�t be able to get back in?!� �No,� she said, �I don�t understand why I�m being told something different than Nebraska told me.� He went to get help.
Then an older, calmer supervisor finally appeared and told one of the guys to stamp her passport. At least one person knows their job is to help travelers.
This is a global world; people travel. There is no reason they can�t be treated in a professional, respectful manner. However, far too many border personnel �act as though stupidity is a virtue� (Flight of the Phoenix).
A Canadian couple came down with a puppy and had to surrender a small bag of dog food. Why? The guard didn�t know if the dog food contained any beef! Has there ever been a case of a dog getting BSE? Is there a real danger of a person getting CJD from eating dog food? Does zero tolerance include stupidity?
Is the obtuseness, the tendency to create problems coming from the top down or is it the result of no control at the bottom? It�s frustrating that there is no consistency. One border guard may be totally different in attitude and behavior than the guard in the very next lane.
It is time for the offending border employees to stop acting like the Gestapo. We can all do without the SS attitude. We, who live and work here, are not terrorists.
Karl King
Birch Bay

Great response
The Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for publishing my letter in December regarding the collection of toys by the Harbor Cafe in memory of Leroy Green. The patrons and staff of the Harbor Cafe really stepped up to the plate for this one! The response was overwhelming - it took two vehicles to deliver all the toys to the children�s unit of St. Joseph Hospital.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Steve and Stacy Berndtson, who lost their precious daughter Cori on November 14, just one day short of her fourth birthday and still thought of other children and came and donated a toy in her memory. Thank you both and God bless.
It is important to note that when asked to help others, the citizens of Blaine will definitely be there. Thanks to all who donated and I know that Leroy Green is smiling down on all of us.
Linda Lawrence

Support the levy
The Editor:

After receiving two college acceptance letters this past weekend, I am reminded that I owe my success as a student and as an athlete to my 12 years experience in the Blaine school district.
For the past 12 years, the Blaine school district has given me many opportunities to succeed. Both in the classroom and in athletics, the education I have received has been the best. With the finest faculty, facilities and community involvement, our school is a county leader in both academics and athletics. As a successful product of the Blaine school district, I am encouraging you to vote for the levy on Tuesday.
Your current contributions have already made a huge difference in my education. With newer textbooks, smaller class size and state-of-the-art technology, the levy has opened many academic doors for me. A bigger budget for advanced placement courses has expanded the academic resources available for honor level students. In terms of athletics, the extra money for training facilities, locker rooms and the weight room has contributed to the success of our state caliber teams.
With the city of Blaine having the lowest current tax rates in the county, even with the levy, your tax rates will remain the lowest. The 2004 levy only requests a continuance of the four year levy approved by voters in 2000, not a raise in the current rates. So remember next Tuesday, a vote for the levy is a vote to improve education in our community and to provide more opportunities for future generations.
Kristina Francis

The Editor:
February 3, the day of the school levy vote, will determine the state of education in the Blaine school district in the coming years. The vote to continue the four year levy that was approved in 2000 will not raise taxes; it will, however, signify our community�s continued commitment to maintaining the level of academic excellence that has set our district apart from other districts in Whatcom County.
The maintenance and operations levy supports our teachers and staff, as well as helping to fund the sports, music and drama programs that have placed Blaine among the best schools in Washington.
As a senior at Blaine high school, I feel fortunate to have had the support of such a great community. Blaine has provided me with near boundless opportunities to succeed and round myself as a person; your sponsorship has given me, among other things, the chance to compete in several top-level sports programs, participate on a state championship math team and attain an education that is on par with that of any school in the nation through our advanced placement program.
It is impossible to take the educational conditions at Blaine for granted after seeing the astounding differences between our district and others in our area. Lack of funding and community support has forced cutbacks that have placed both academic and extracurricular limits upon many schools.
Next Tuesday, I hope that our community will continue its dedication to education. Your vote will give my brother Patrick, along with every other young student in our district, the same empowering opportunities that you have given me. Thank you for 12 great years and for supporting the future of education in our schools.
Brendan Mulholland

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.

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