Letters to the Editor
While writing the history of the Peace Arch, my attention was drawn to Pugwash, Nova Scotia, a village famous for accomplishments in promoting world peace. Under the direction of Dr. Joseph Rotblat, peace conferences, symposia and workshops were established in 1957. These became an immense success. Rotblat and the Pugwash conferences were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
“Promoting Peace” became Blaine’s official city theme, adopted by unanimous vote of the city council in 1998. I saw a connection between our theme and Pugwash’s achievements toward the same end.
Struck with the thought that Pugwash would be Blaine’s ideal sister city, I sent emails to Pugwash peace centers in the United States. Dr. Jeffrey Boutwell, headquartered in Washington, D.C., replied. He, and his colleague, Giovanni Brenciaglia, are likewise interested in the concept of Blaine and Pugwash becoming sisters.
I asked Jerry Gay to present the concept to our city council, April 25, and there it was well received. Gary Tomsic, our city manager, had prepared handouts for the council members, and our mayor, John Liebert, said he would research the matter. I’m very pleased to know the city council is interested in the concept. I suggest three points:
1. Go to your computer internet browser and type in www.pugwashvillage.com. Study the information you receive, and ask yourself, “Would Pugwash not be an ideal sister city for Blaine?”
2. The sister city concept will become most credible if a large number of Blaine residents support it. I’m asking our clergy, city council and chamber to promote the concept. The Peace Arch symbolizes peace; Pugwash can add substance.
3. I’m placing Pugwash newsletters in our public library. Ask to see them. I’m certain you will be impressed with the role Pugwash plays in promoting world peace.
Jerry tells me he has a team in place for his ideas, that his team members are in Washington state, Washington, D.C. and Pugwash, and that he’s ready to play ball. Let’s give him our support and adopt Pugwash as our sister city.
The best Mother’s Day gift I received was news that the military rejected my nephew due to a genetic hearing loss. With legislative attempts that would include women in a draft, it’s a relief to know my niece should also be rejected. Many military experts predict a draft.
Parents and young people who oppose militarism can prepare. Examples: Request an “opt out” form from your high school disallowing the military access to your child’s records (Leave No Child Behind Act provides military access). Advocate for no military recruiters in school, or at least equal time for peace education groups.
Assure medical files are clear and updated if there are medical issues as this is the first line of defense if there is a draft.
If you consider yourself a conscientious objector, prepare a file with documents. My 13-year-old chose to attend a conscientious objector training through the Mennonites and has a file with them, which he may update with personal reflections on matters of faith and war. Does your faith community have such a system? If not, ask for one.
Be proactive in peacemaking. Contact the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center for resources.
I would like to say how delighted we were to attend the performance of the Milonga Group at the Blaine community theater on April 23.
For only $7 a person, we were treated to two hours of wonderful music, a cha-cha lesson by a couple who also danced for our enjoyment. Blaine is fortunate to have such a talented group.
I am writing this letter to publicly thank Bob Gray for the gift of music that he’s given to the Blaine community. I attended the Whatcom County Jazz Festival on Friday evening and listened to our high school band perform along with several other area jazz bands.
What made our band exceptional was the excitement and joy in their presentation. The kids were having fun with each other and with their music.
I have worked at Blaine high school with Bob for these past 15 years and my two children have both been his students. I am continually reminded of how fortunate we are to have Bob as our band director.
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:
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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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