Letters to the Editor -- April 21, 2005

Published on Thu, Apr 21, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
This letter is in response to the letter in the April 14 edition of The Northern Light written by Len Beckett. While I do believe the senior grad night to be a proactive and necessary cause I believe that Mr. Beckett has been misinformed. He states that “traditionally the school district has provided the busses for the graduation event.”
This is untrue - for the class of 2002 we were not allowed the buses. We were very aggressive in our fundraising and were able to raise not only the money for the night’s events but also the transportation for the entire night to keep our teens safe. 
I think it is misleading for Mr. Beckett to try to blame the new school superintendent for this policy that was not “traditionally” available to the class of 2002.
Perhaps if Mr. Beckett had put the phone number or address of where to send donations in his letter instead of trying to get his way by a having a bunch of parents call and whine to the district office he may have already solved his transportation problem.
I agree with the superintendent in that the liability is too great. How sad if something serious were to happen and our school district were sued. What about the future graduates and their education – are you really willing to take a chance for one night when it could mean denying the best in education for the rest of Blaine’s school population. 
Sheila Connors
Blaine

The Editor:
This letter is in response to Doug Fenton’s defense of the necessity and benefit of continuing Blaine’s airport. What airport fees are charged to the pilots of the “many transient airplanes” that use the airport? Has a study been conducted to determine the amounts of money these small plane pilots and passengers actually spend to support the local economy? Do these expenditures generate enough sales taxes to be of real value to Blaine? Will the anticipated increased airport traffic be sufficient to be self-supporting? What vital links will the airport provide to Blaine’s transportation network? How will it benefit the majority of Blaine residents and provide them with affordable transportation options? What consideration has been given to mitigate the negative influence of a larger, busier, noisier airport planted in an already congested area that is experiencing rapid housing growth?
Also, what is wrong with continuing to think like a small border fishing village? Being a small fishing village is something that is unique and valuable in our world. The current accelerating trend is to turn our village into a place filled with living units crowded into areas with quaint sounding names. These places are not unique and can be and are found in every part of the country. How does this activity enhance the quality of life experienced by the current residents of this village? And, in the end, do the new residents actually realize the promises held out by the high-sounding phrases of the marketing and promotional brochures?
Joyce and Del Tattershall
Blaine

The Editor:
Parents have the right to expect school officials to do everything in their power to keep their school drug-free. In the latest drug scandal at Blaine high school it appears that the principal not only failed to satisfy this most important responsibility, but he actually took steps to aid and abet youthful criminals who were involved in smuggling drugs. From what I heard he not only sought to protect these teenage offenders, but in a most sneaky manner he betrayed law enforcement officers who expected his help and assistance. This betrayal makes this offense exceptionally despicable.
Hopefully the dedication of other faculty members to expose drug offenders cannot be questioned. I was surprised to read an article which indicated that some members of the faculty did not appear to be outraged by this cloud that now hangs over the school, and they, instead of censuring the offenders, voiced sympathy and almost appeared to condone the loathsome acts that had taken place.
When I attended Blaine high school in 1945 we were fortunate in that our role model and leader was our principal, Reginald Campin. He was a man of impeccable character. His integrity could never be questioned. Hopefully, such a role model will again emerge at Blaine high school.
Robert Bayless
Sun City, AZ

The Editor:
Mr. Doug Fenton, the airport commission chair is right. The truth is that the airports net profit was $4,393 during the period from 2001 to 2004. This seems like a small profit considering that when you do the math, Nelson Buildings Inc. has 13 hangars on airport property that fetch rents of up to more than $1,800 per month each.
The last time the council voted to close the airport in May of 1981, leaseholder Don Nelson commenced legal action against the city. In 1990, the city terminated the lease to Fred May of Aero International who sued and was awarded $179,492.
As far as the Carruthers property, the trees in question could have been topped but why not take the land to insure room for the 3,500 foot runway that our airport commission has long envisioned? Isn’t there supposed to be a Board of Imminent Domain Commission of at least three people to study the benefits to the taxpayers?
Mr. Fenton says that many transient planes use our airport, but the airport plan suggests that there is limited transient aircraft parking available and long term airport tenants seem to be parked in spaces that could be designated for transients. Although helicopter operations frequently occur, there is no designated helicopter parking area. Then Mr. Fenton goes on to say that these same transients frequent businesses in our community. The plan states that although the airport is located adjacent to a shopping center, there is currently no convenient access or aircraft parking to facilitate the use of the shopping center by transient pilots.
The airport was a grass turf surface until 1969. The little strip added to our economic well being. Now the airport benefits the economic well being of a few. Mr. Fenton’s arrogant comment of “let’s stop thinking like a small border fishing village” is an insult. Why did you come here if you want a big airport? Taxpayers, have you used your local Blaine airport lately?
Caryn Johnson
Blaine

The Editor:
I am a parent who has been involved in innumerable fund raisers, helped in the classroom and chaperoned countless field trips, many of which required sleeping on gym floors around Washington state. I am just one of many parents who does all of these things because I enjoy being involved with students and want to promote positive experiences for our students to help them succeed as students and ultimately as adults.
Our community and Blaine school district have always been very supportive of any student event or program that benefits our kids. The staff, administration, parents and community members bend over backyard by donating time, effort and money to provide experiences the students will never forget. Certainly no other community or district supports their students with the quality of staff, facilities and programs more than Blaine.
In order to continue providing our kids with positive experiences, the parents of seniors have traditionally sponsored a well organized evening for the graduates. Due to a Washington state law that prohibits graduates from using school buses on graduation night, the parent group has moved forward, rented buses and planned a safe, fun and memorable grad night of the 2005 graduates.
To that end, as one of the organizers, I am asking you to please help support the senior class grad night event by purchasing cases of pop and by donating or consigning items and attending the “live cry” auction stating at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 30 at the previous Radio Shack location in the Cost Cutter parking lot. Ask any senior parent how you can help, or call me at 332-5148.
Thank you to the entire community for continuing to support our students.
Kristi Galbraith, parent of a
2005 senior
Blaine

The Editor:
On April 4, I received a letter mailed from Malaga, Spain. The letter said I had won a sizeable sharer of an El Gordo lottery winning ticket. It included instructions for having the money deposited in a U.S. bank and a form for forwarding the bank information to Madrid, Spain for a company with headquarters in Rome, Italy.
The fact that I do not purchase lottery tickets except for local charitable raffles and the secrecy the letter demanded instantly revealed it to be a scam.
I took photocopies of the original letter, bank information form and envelope to the Blaine postmaster for his action as this was a fraudulent use of the U.S. mail. I then proceeded to the Blaine city hall and police department. The city hall receptionist advised me that there was no one in attendance at the police station. I tendered the photocopies to the receptionist for passing on to the police, advising her that it was a scam which the police should be aware of should they receive any inquiries.
I then proceeded to the offices of The Northern Light, where a staff person took photocopies of the materials and we discussed that this scam might take in some of the elderly people in the area. It was my hope that The Northern Light would do a small article detailing the scam and warning the public. This did not happen.
In the April 14 – 20 edition of The Northern Light, in the police reports feature, I find an alarming and appalling fantasy under the date of April 8. That account indicates that I sought advice as to the validity of the documents and was advised by a police officer that this was a scam. I have never spoken with anyone from the Blaine police department regarding this scam!
This presents me with three disturbing possibilities: that the Blaine police department records are falsified to such an extent that they would be of no use in a court of law; that the person summarizing these reports is taking unwarranted literary license with the facts, or that The Northern Light is striving to match the accuracy and reliability of the National Enquirer.
I used to read the police reports thinking they accurately reflected events. I no longer possess that faith. Since I cannot believe that the police report would be falsified to that degree, I must ask what has changed in reportorial standards since I took Journalism 101?
Patrick Grover
Blaine

(Ed. note: Police reports from the city are published as received.)

The Editor:
Congratulations to the city and developers Ken Hertz and Doug Connelly for coming to an agreement on the development of east Blaine. I applaud your efforts in rectifying the issues surrounding the environmental impact of 1,003 homes in the area.
Now, I am sure the city has plans in place for the infrastructure of our town to carry the additional influx of 3,009 new residents (projecting each is a three person household), 1,003 new students (projecting each household has one school age child), and 2,006 automobiles (projecting two cars per household) most of which may leave to, and return from work at generally the same time on H Street. 2,006 more cars on H Street Road.
I hope the city has factored in the funding for emergency personnel for this very reason. These new residents will use approximately 1,504,500 more gallons of water every 30 days (estimated based on a 50 gallon water-heater full used every day). Let’s say half of that is for consumption, that leaves 752,250 more gallons of wastewater generated every month that has to flow into the sewer system (or somewhere).
Obviously, these are no more than estimates and calculations based on hypothetical numbers extrapolated by the projected number of lots planned for development. I could be way off, or right on the money, but I am sure you get the picture.
If these projects are indeed approved, it is going to get even more crowded in Blaine, both inside and out. Before you respond with your opinions, either positively or negatively, take a moment to reflect why you live here.
If one of the reasons is the small town charm, go ahead and cross that one off your list. Low crime? More people equals higher crime, it’s just a fact. Good schools? Think about the future climb in teacher/student ratios if no funding is secured for additional educators.
Think. Think. Think. Is growth (i.e. money…because that is what this full-court press is really all about) worth it?
J. Boyer
Blaine

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