Letters to the Editor -- December 23, 2004

Published on Thu, Dec 23, 2004
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
The two public meetings on the redevelopment of the Peace Arch Port of Entry held by
the General Services Administration (GSA) in November, while somewhat reassuring left me with some concerns about the encroachment of the facility on the Peace Arch State Park property. The general project timelines given also caused some real discomfort. At this point, we are all aware anything can happen or could be possible if considered acceptable in the name of Homeland Security.
Also, this project as a whole has an enormous impact on our community over a period of time. Construction of both the new U.S. and Canadian customs facilities is tentatively scheduled to begin as soon as 2006. This means there will be construction zones both in Canada and the U.S. The impacts include:
1) The sacrifice of an entire residential neighborhood. This impacts families who are forced to move and find new affordable housing. Many of them are lifelong residents of Blaine. Their homes are also a loss as part of our local tax base. Access to Blaine from I-5 needs to be considered.
2) Environmental issues include the loss of some portion of the Peace Arch International Park, whether or not the land currently appears to be part of the park because of its landscaping. It is up to the GSA or the department of highways. The last we heard from the GSA in early 2001 was that they were planning their expansion to the west. If they still shifted their plans to the west they would not have to touch any parkland rather than minimize the impact of their current plan with a few “choice words.”
3) Border crossing concerns from a three year construction period involving both the U.S. and the Canadian facilities simultaneously will cause serious back-ups and delays. I can already hear the U.S. and Canadian radio stations border crossing reports telling commuters and tourists to go to Huntington or Sumas to use other crossings due to construction and backups. Think about our lovely new highway reader boards that will be directing tourists and commuters elsewhere along I-5 due to traffic congestion. Both sides of the border businesses will be negatively impacted.
A copy of the redevelopment plans, “frequently asked questions and answers” along with public comments sheets are available for public viewing in the Blaine public library reference section. They can also be viewed and downloaded from our website at www.peacearchpark.org
/gsa.htm. We urge members of the community and businesses, in Canada and the U.S. to take the time to familiarize themselves with the plans and submit their written comment to the GSA as a part of the public scoping process through December 31.
Christina Alexander, Exec-utive Director
United States/Canada Peace Anniversary Association
Blaine

The Editor:

The Blaine Boys and Girls Club has long been a part of our community. We provide a place where kids can go to enjoy activities ranging from pool to computer games, from basketball to arts and crafts. Kids come and meet new friends or come to “hang out” with old ones, or both. If parents work, the club offers a safe place for kids to stay while they wait for their parents to return. The club also has its own sports league. Our football program in the fall and our basketball program in the winter are popular options for kids who are not yet old enough to play in school sports. We are a non-profit organization which strives to keep membership fees low in order to be available to all economic levels in our community. To do this, we depend on generous donations from businesses and community members so we can continue to offer great programs without exacting immense costs from our members.
At present, we are in need of arts and crafts supplies. We would greatly appreciate donations of any craft items. Here are the items which we need most: thick tipped markers, crayons, white school glue, fabric glue, glitter, pencils, construction paper, scissors, tape, beads, feathers, pipe cleaners, and foam shapes.
These contributions will allow staff members to provide creative and fun projects for the kids to enjoy. Please give whatever possible to benefit the kids here. Donations can be dropped off at the club. Our address is 635 8th Street. We are in the same building as the senior center which is across the street from the middle school gym. We are open during the holidays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Our regular hours are 7 – 9 a.m. and 2:30 – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. We resume our normal hours on January 3. Any questions can be answered at 332-3008. Thank you for continued support.
Sarai Dodge, Blaine Boys and Girls Club
Blaine

The Editor:
Whatcom County residents living outside Bellingham are ordinarily served by two Whatcom Medic One advanced life support (ALS) ambulances staffed by paramedics – Medic 3 stationed at Enterprise and Grandview roads and Medic 4 at Smith and Hannegan roads. County residents may see other “ambulances” but if the ambulance doesn’t say Whatcom Medic One on it, it’s a basic life support ambulance staffed by Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and/or First Responders (FR), typically volunteers. In Whatcom County’s tiered 911 response system, Whatcom Medic One paramedics respond to the more serious medical emergencies as they have considerably greater schooling, knowledge, experience and equipment at their disposal than EMT’s/FR’s.
This is why I’m concerned that in April, Whatcom County officials are allowing Medic 3 to be cut, without mechanism to replace it, leaving only one ALS ambulance stationed in rural Whatcom County. Medical calls are increasing by seven to eight percent per year in our aging, growing population and the current emergency medical system is overloaded – already needing another Whatcom Medic One ALS ambulance. Losing Medic 3 will greatly increase ALS response times and impact lives especially in the areas of Ferndale, Birch Bay, Blaine and Lynden – Medic 3’s response area. I would urge readers to educate themselves concerning this issue and then email Pete Kremen – pkremen@co.whatcom.wa.us and ask him to save Medic 3. The life you save may be your own.
John Denham
Ferndale

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