Letters to the EditorThe Editor:
In last month’s edition of the All Point Bulletin regarding the Blaine school budget, the headline reads, “School district cuts all after-school buses.”
If the headline were true then I would expect the district to have eliminated all non-essential busing in the district including all sports and non-sport activity buses and van uses. Unfortunately, only the Point Roberts after school activities or turn-out bus has faced the “no frills” transportation budget cut leaving parents and kids to make the tough decision whether to join any after school programs.
Although the reporter stated no one showed up at the July board meeting to contest the decision, he failed to report in either this paper or The Northern Light that a group of a dozen or so dedicated and concerned parents and kids did show up at the board meeting last May 24 to once again ask for the board’s continued support of the turn-out bus as well as the April board meeting which was held at the Point Roberts primary school. The district is well aware and informed about the desire to keep the turn-out bus for Point Roberts.
Last May I was sent a report from the district transportation department that showed the turn-out bus cost per rider/per day from last September 8 through May 12. The report outlined each day used with: mileage, cost of miles, cost of driver, number of riders, number of sports, number of other, and finally cost per rider. No data was kept as to which sport or other activity was being used.
Also missing were footnotes as to how the district calculates the cost per mile at $93 for 62 miles and the cost per driver at $43.96 for two hours. Last year I addressed the board with specific transportation saving ideas to consider for this year’s budget; such as two central pick-up and drop off points for the regular bus thus eliminating driving the entire route. Using the figures above if we eliminated a half hour each way, and if 16 driving miles were reduced (times 180 days) that’s an approximate savings of over $8,000.
To reduce costs, I asked the board to consider the turnout bus for the fall and spring programs as ridership increased during those seasons. I also asked to look at a cost analysis for all non-essential bus and van use costs in the district and compare those costs with ours, as well as the additional transportation cost due to the double bus run initiated with the change in the primary and elementary schools later start time. To date I have not received any information.
What the board and district employees fail to understand is that we are without a boys and girls club, or a community center offering programs for school age kids throughout the year. We depend on the district for extra-curricular school sponsored sports and activities to keep our kids involved and connected to the Blaine community and school and some of us just can’t do it without their help. Although the district benefits from the additional funding our “remote and necessary” status provides from the state budget, I only wish they would financially support our remoteness when our kids need it most.
The Plover ferry will be celebrating her 60th birthday this coming weekend, August 21 and 22 at the Blaine Harbor marina.
Plover Days will officially begin Saturday at 10 a.m., gate 2 dock, where the Plover lands. Wood on water presenters will display their vintage wooden boats.
The expedition will include a contingent of cool steam launches from the Northwest Steam Society which the public is invited to attend.
If you have a cool wooden boat you would like to display, moorage is free to presenters for the weekend on a first come first serve basis.
Saturday at 1 p.m. the prestigious George Raft Race will begin at the Harbor Boat launch ramp. Rafters will compete along the course for first place. The finish line is below gate 2, gangway ramp. The winner will take away the prestigious perpetual George Raft Trophy.
Everyone is invited and welcome to join in the fun and to build a homemade raft (stuff found on the beach, home, or garage, etc.) and race to the finish. Water squirters are encouraged, life jackets are mandatory and fun is likely contagious.
Come on, clean up the yard a bit, build your raft, and take a chance on winning the cool George Raft trophy. If you need help, we have bits and pieces of raft material to loan.
At 2 p.m. Drayton Harbor Maritime will be hosting Plover’s 60th birthday party at the port’s boathouse, gate 2. Cake and refreshments will be served. The public is invited.
The annual Plover Swim will be held at high noon Sunday, August 22 at the end of the dock, Marine Drive. Registration is $10 and orientation is at 11:30 a.m. All proceeds go to the Plover program. Swimmers are encouraged to wear wet suits, fins, flotation devices, etc. Swimmers will jump off the dock and venture across the chilly waters of Drayton Channel to the beach at Tongue Point, Semiahmoo. For more details, call Richard at 332-5742.
Richard Sturgill, Founding Member, Drayton Harbor Maritime
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.
send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230 or fax 360/332-2777.
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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