Letters to the Editor -- October 07, 2004

Published on Thu, Oct 7, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
On behalf of the staff, parents, and especially our students, I would like to thank the community for the many donations the district has received. Many families find it a financial hardship to begin a new school term and the outpouring of generosity toward our students is heartwarming.
The variety of people who remember our boys and girls is a cross-section of the Blaine area. Many of the donors include our local churches, some of which held special supply-raising activities. A gentleman delivered six new backpacks to the district office and asked to remain anonymous. A number of families regularly donate funds at this time of year.
For the second year in a row, the Mt. Baker Ladies of Harley have donated to our district. This group makes it a special project to provide funds to purchase supplies for needy students. The American Legion Auxiliary also provided funds.
We are fortunate to have regular support from local businesses throughout the year. The employees at Sterling Bank provided funds for school supplies and Cost Cutter is regularly helping with our needs. Other companies and organizations offer assistance for particular projects and programs or remain available to help whenever the needs arise.
As we complete our first month of classes, we look forward to a successful year of learning and achievement. The Blaine school district staff and students appreciate all that is provided by our thoughtful community members.
With sincere gratitude,
Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington
Superintendent, Blaine school district
Blaine

The Editor & Blaine citizens:
We have lost a great asset to our community. Mayor Dieter Schugt truly cared about our town and made such a difference in the quality of leadership in present city government. We on council will miss his wisdom and leadership, and I will miss him as a friend and mentor.
Bonnie Onyon
Blaine city council
Blaine

The Editor:
A letter of thanks to “Kelly,” the owner of V Twin Cycle Repair Motorcycle Shop in Custer.
Kelly graciously granted us space in front of her shop during Custer Daze. We were surrounded by bikers who were very nice to us and we sold a lot of hunting and fishing gear.
Kelly circulates around making herself friendly and helpful. We didn’t feel like ‘strangers’ long in a great little community. By the way, the little store had the best hot dogs ever. Between my husband and myself, we totalled six.
Thanks again Kelly and all involved.
Al & Muriel Ellis
Blaine

The Editor:
I have both a personal and professional reason for writing this letter. As a citizen of Whatcom County, I am personally alarmed by the situation that surrounds the Whatcom County jail. No one who lives in our community should be willing to accept the risk that our overcrowded and outmoded jail presents.
As a judicial officer in the Whatcom County Superior Court, I find it appalling that so many offenders cannot serve a sentence that the court has handed down because our jail is hopelessly jammed. Our justice system depends on punishments being meted out when a person is convicted of a crime. Only about 30 percent of those sentenced actually are slated to serve time in the jail, rather than in alternative programs. When even that small percentage is turned away so often that they stop trying, then the punishment becomes meaningless. If our society accepts this state of affairs, the justice system has failed completely. We all, as citizens, must step up to the responsibility to prevent that failure and provide whatever is necessary to guarantee that our system of incarceration works. If we don’t, we have only ourselves to blame when we become the victims of crime.
Chuck Snyder
Bellingham

The Editor:
At least 800 criminals who should have gone to jail were turned away in September because there was no room for them. In August, a similar number were diverted from jail. Every month, our law enforcement officers can only issue citations for everything from drug possession to car prowl, because there is no room in the Whatcom County jail.
There are also hundreds of people in Whatcom County who have bench warrants for failure to appear in court. If they’re caught, do they go to jail? No, they receive citations, and laugh at the officer who issues the ticket because the officer can’t take that offender to our overcrowded county jail.
Our law enforcement officers, and our community, need all of our help on November 2. We cannot continue to release potentially dangerous people who have committed DUIs. We cannot continue to enable petty criminals who know there will be no consequences for their actions. I urge you to vote yes on Whatcom County Proposition 1 on the general election ballot. Let’s all take a step towards a safer community.
Ken Oplinger, co-chair, People for a Safer Community
Blaine

The Editor:
It is most unfortunate that Blaine has a city manager who wants urbanization at any cost. If the citizens of Blaine do not stop him he will destroy the only feature that makes Blaine unique, Semiahmoo spit. Tomsic is a crafty politician. He states that he wants the matter dealt with in an “objective way.” Tomsic states that, “there’s a lot of property on the spit that Trillium does not control.” In fact Trillium controls most of the spit. The park and sewer are only a small portion of the spit. The “270 acres” is not part of the spit. It is the water adjacent to the spit. Maybe Tomsic can walk on water but I am sure most of us know we can not.
Tomsic intends to use “Blaine’s conditional use permit regulations” based on the environmental science of the early ’80s to justify an environmentally destructive project. Tomsic has refused to update the environmental regulations that would provide protection of our shoreline, shellfish, etc. He states that to make the updates would be too expensive and take too much time. Washington state provides the materials and finances to help cities update their shoreline plans. Because the new environmental regulations would decrease urbanization Tomsic refuses to implement them. Why? Urbanization at any cost and the environment be damned. Tomsic has the final say on the environmental impact of the urbanization of the spit. He has already stated that the project would go forward unless someone purchases the land.
Citizens of Blaine beware. I suspect Tomsic will use his survey to accomplish his push for development. Please call the city and our council members. If you do not, we will lose the one natural wonder that makes Blaine unique. If you are concerned about finances, preserving the spit will reap far greater returns in tourist and environmental related industries.
The opening paragraph on the city of Blaine web site states, “the Blaine city council and city staff work together to provide visionary thinking and bold and decisive leadership to identify and prioritize the needs to secure the resources to address the opportunities and challenges facing the community.” Would not the preservation of Blaine’s number one resource Semiahmoo spit “secure the resources” as they propose?
Dr. Ed Schellinck
Blaine

The Editor:
I have had the pleasure of calling Chuck Snyder a friend for many years. I know from personal experience what an honest, ethical and fair man he is. He is committed to our community; he cares deeply for our youth and uses new ideas to solve old problems. Chuck Snyder takes the time to be involved and shows the leadership we need in a Superior Court Judge. Being a new mom has made me more aware of the need to have someone on the bench who will make our community safer and hold offenders accountable for their crimes. I also feel it is very important to use intervention to keep at risk youth from falling through the cracks and becoming repeat offenders. Chuck Snyder’s work on teen court and the juvenile drug court has proven that innovative ideas can net results. Chuck Snyder has over 14 years experience on the bench and a proven track record that makes him the clear choice for Superior Court Judge. He has my vote on November 2.
Jill Brown
Bellingham

The Editor:
I congratulate Senator Kerry for putting so much substance in his debate and setting the record straight! It came across loud and clear that the present presidency has no concern on world opinion and that Senator Kerry would make a far better president.
Aida Kraus
Blaine

The Editor:
As the celebration of another Veteran’s Day arrives, I must stop and remember how very special this group of men and women are. It is through their selflessness we can celebrate freedom.
It is not our freedom of which I speak, as that was won over 200 years ago by other volunteers. It is the hard fought freedom of our friends and allies of all the nations throughout the world. It the freedoms of the modern world of which this soldier speaks. It is so easy to forget these sacrifices we make so far away from home, as we have always completed our task without a concern to our personal safety or the loss. We have spent our lives as volunteers of first, our nation, then our service, and finally our families. This Veteran’s Day is especially important to me. This year I have a sister in Afghanistan and a nephew in Iraq. They too, like the other men and women before them are volunteers.
I tell you, this veteran will never forget his service to his country and his fellow veterans. All I ask of each of you is the same. On Veteran’s Day remember the veterans all around you. Seek them out and thank them for their compassionate and selfless contribution to freedom.
David Baily
Blaine

The Editor:
In past elections, I have had no idea who to vote for when a position for judge opened up. I usually solicited advice from others who had personal experience with the candidates. This year, I find myself in the position to have had contact with both candidates for Superior Court Judge.
In my view, Chuck Snyder is worthy of your consideration. He is fair, compassionate, calm and very knowledgeable on matters of law. It appears to me that commissioner Snyder is also greatly respected by those who have worked with him or appeared before him in court.
I can attest to the quality of his work, and difficult nature of some of the cases that have come before him. I have never failed to be impressed by his balanced views on a case, his evident attempts to give everyone a fair hearing, and his carefully reasoned judgments.
I hope when you give due consideration to this issue, you will join me in voting for Chuck Snyder for judge on election day in November.
Janna Marie Kilburn
Bellingham

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