Letters to the Editor
I was disappointed to read council member John Liebert�s question on �why the plans were so big for a pistol range, considering border patrol seldom have to actually use their weapons,� in last week�s article �New border headquarters to be constructed.�
His question reads as if he is suggesting that Border Patrol agents need not be well trained because it is �not likely� that they will be involved in a shooting. Council member Liebert should be reminded that, as with Blaine police officers, Border Patrol agents face a significant risk when they encounter or apprehend dangerous criminals. We are indeed lucky that there has not been any officer or agent involved in shootings in recent memory.
The fact is that being well trained and proficient with firearms or any other tool necessary to perform the job is essential, and the duty of every law enforcement officer. It is the responsibility of their management to provide the venue and opportunity to gain that training and proficiency for the safety of the public they are sworn to protect.
to the caucus
It�s party time. It�s time to show our strength and solidarity. It�s time for us to select a wise, honest and caring President, one who represents the people, to lead our great nation. We have that opportunity by participating in the Democratic precinct caucuses, Saturday, February 7, 10 a.m. sharp, at the Blaine Senior Center.
We are the Custer 1 and 2 and Semiahmoo Democratic Precinct committee officers, elected by you in 2001. We are inviting all people who consider themselves to be a Democrat (we don�t register by party in Washington state) to come to the caucus to select a presidential candidate and to discuss issues that effect our party platform.
There are only a few requirements: You are a registered voter (if you�re not registered you may do so at the caucus) and will be 18 by the November election. You will be asked to sign in and submit your choice for president. If you are undecided, there will also be a place for you to be counted.
If you think President Bush is not taking our nation in the direction you want, and believe we need new leadership, then come to the caucus. All of the Custer, Blaine and Semiahmoo precincts will meet in the Blaine Senior Center on H Street. If you show up after 10:30 a.m. you will not be able to make your choice for President, but will be able to participate in the discussion concerning our Democratic platform.
If you have questions, feel free to phone us at the numbers listed below: RB Porter, PCO Custer 1, 332-6799; Barrie Hull, PCO Custer 2, 332-5563; or Don Graham, PCO Semiahmoo, 371-7764.
me in the cause
My name is Nicole Miller, and I live and grew up in Whatcom County. I am training to participate in the Rock �n Roll Marathon in San Diego on June 6 in honor of Kelsey Melvin, a five-year-old who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was 11-months-old. Although she is three years post-chemotherapy, Kelsey is not considered cured yet. Leukemia is the leading disease killer of children between the ages of one and 14.
As a member of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society�s Team in Training program, I also committed to raising $3,700 for the society�s Washington chapter. Please support this cause by sending a tax-deductible check payable to �The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society� to the following address: Nicole Miller, 8223 Skeena Way, Blaine, WA 98230.
If you have a special person who has been affected by leukemia, please send their name as well, so I can honor them in my walk.
I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to a ceremony in Ferndale to bestow upon Richard Clark, a longtime resident of Blaine, a lifetime achievement award for his book on the history of the Peace Arch.
Here is a man whom after he had a stroke, finished a 437-page book on the cornerstone of this city. He was truly given the respect that he deserved for his years to hard work and research.
It is truly amazing that this man who has given so much to this town and taught so many of our kids piano over the years, has to go outside of the town to get the recognition he deserves.
With all of the money this city throws away on stupid things, the least they could do is find the money to get his book published and placed in the Blaine library for future generations who will be able to read about the symbol that is the main gateway into this country.
Way to go council, the less you do, the dumber you look around the county.
pass this up
In a misguided attempt to save Birch Bay from rampant development, the community is perilously close to losing a possible jewel. I�m referring to the retreat-getaway proposed by Ellen Shea on Birch Point.
This project, using a vacant, existing home as a base and adding a few small, well thoughtout buildings on eight acres of high bank waterfront, offers jobs and economic gain to the county without a major impact to the surrounding neighborhood or the environment. Ellen�s retreat-getaway will be a peaceful place for conferences, meetings and people looking for a quiet place to rejuvenate. It will generate much less traffic than even the eight houses that could be built on this site without the sewer. The property is totally secluded from neighboring homes by a 10-foot high cedar tree hedge. It fits into the plan for long-term growth of the area and brings something to Birch Bay that they can be proud of.
If you have visited The Chrysalis Inn and Spa in Fairhaven, you already know that Ellen creates quality, beautiful places. My in-laws live across the street from this inn and have found very little traffic impact. People tend to go to these places, park and stay. They don�t drive up and down in front of your home the way the neighbor�s 16-year-old on a mini bike might do.
With proper zoning considerations and restrictions, the neighborhood can prevent this property from being used in any other way. With diligence, they can protect their future community and still approve this project. I ask the council to hold a public hearing before making a decision on the rezone of the area. Don�t let the opportunity slip by because of irrational fear. Once gone, it won�t come back.
Taimi Dunn Gorman
Support border personnel
I am writing in response to a letter from one Karl King of Birch Bay in last week�s edition of The Northern Light.
In his letter he complained about the treatment of some Canadian friend at the border. Karl of course is acting in the third person and believing every word of his friend. Well, Karl, how many days have you spent on the border taking the abuse the border people have to put up with daily? How many days have you been in any kind of law enforcement? Well, I am retired now and even though I did not work the border I did work law enforcement and I can tell you, having to deal with people in that environment is a true experience in patience.
Stupidity is the rule, not the exception, people try to hide all kinds of things in a bag other than what they say is in it. Perhaps we should build a complete lab at the border and then we can chemically analyze all the contents of all the bags, boxes, and cartons that come through, how about that? Or maybe we could just say if it is in an open container they can throw it away. As for the one who has lived here for 20 years and lost her green card, if she doesn�t want to be a citizen of the United States, why is she still here? And why is it the fault of the border people? Again, should they assume because you know her, that she should have unlimited free access to cross the border as she pleases? My family has been in this country since 1635, add it up, I am a ninth generation American and I do not object to the procedures at the border so why is she? And why are you?
For once in your life take your head out of the sand and realize we are targets, all of us, and not just from Arab terrorists. The people at our borders are trying their best to protect you, the least you could do is shut up about your friends petty problems. I really don�t care if someone is inconvenienced at the border and neither should you. It has been proven over and over that people I do not want running around on our streets have been and are being stopped at the border. You may be willing to stake your life on the words of your friends, I am not. Why don�t you go up to the border and stand a watch at one of the gates? You would get a real education and possibly the privilege of being shot at or run down to boot. Then write your letter.
The greatest favor Blaine citizens could render for themselves in year 2004 would be to organize and invest their energy toward solutions and goals more appropriate to the nature and condition of their community. �Small cities budget cautiously,� a Bellingham Herald report published December 11, triggered my concern. At $4.9 million, Blaine topped proposed budgets of Ferndale ($4.3 million), and Lynden ($4.5 million). Blaine is least populated. But given the greatest median age, its population is oldest. Its budget burdens Blaine residents, with double jeopardy for senior citizens of limited means whose ageing is their crime.
Ever since a late 1970s crisis of courage induced Blaine to adopt a council-manager government, the record since the early 1980s has not been robust. Expenses have burgeoned, some city managers were fired, and unguarded ancestral bones exacerbate a multifaceted problem. Meanwhile, outworn values refuse to die. Tourism is more than an outworn value. It�s a dogma.
Needed is a caring community. It should organize, create proactive associations within its wards, and promote community welfare while holding city government accountable. An enthusiastic mayor, council and city manager should advocate dynamic organization of this kind. Will they?
Since the 1980s Blaine has become more socially stratified, ethnic variation has increased, and the age span has widened. Wealthy residents inhabit a gated subdivision. Those whose ethnicity differs from �the rest of us� often fail to integrate. Citizens too old or ill to participate in local life, quietly retreat. Inhabiting a perceived bedroom community, others avoid participation in city affairs. Values clash as Blaine becomes increasingly heterogeneous.
The consequences? Alienation spells loss of community cohesion. Apathy promotes indifference. It�s the perfect milieu for city leaders who prefer the masses to �behave� while they run the city.
Moreover, I doubt the stork will bring us a baby called vibrant community organization. Local oligarchy will carry on as usual. With the masses asleep, Blaine will likely keep topping the list of small city budgets.
Richard E. Clark
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.
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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.
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