Letters to the Editor -- September 08, 2005

Published on Thu, Sep 8, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Imagine your surprise at returning home from work one day and having your fenced, raised garden beds and several established plants torn down and hauled away.
Your personal property has been vandalized, destroyed and stolen. In other words, a crime has been committed. Your neighbor decided to build a house next to yours and needed to remove all of these items to access the property with large equipment. Was there a survey done to prove property lines? No. Did he tell you of his intent? No. Were you given any options for removing and salvaging your own personal property? No. You go to the police and they say this is a crime.
With a foundation already in, a building permit and survey is finally obtained. Apparently the original surveying was off about three feet. The land itself may be the neighbors’ – if you don’t recognize a law in Washington state called adverse possession. In order to remove a “Stop work order” neighbor promises to erect a new fence at the end of construction similar to the one you had there for 13 years. Promises to reimburse you for the personal property damage. Only he doesn’t.
Instead he puts up a partial fence, over six feet tall (another ordinance violation at this point, but who’s counting?), however; it is nothing like the fence you had. No offer of reimbursement. You call the police again. They say it’s a civil matter.
You call the mayor. He too “understands” it’s a civil matter. My question is this – how does a crime become a civil matter? How is it possible that someone can come and destroy personal property on land you have occupied for over 13 years with no repercussions? It is a big no-no if I don’t “call before I dig.”
If my neighbor is parking his car in the middle of my driveway I first have to post a no parking sign before I can have his car towed away from my land. But if someone decides they want to remove my fence and tear out my plants and destroy my backyard, it’s a civil matter?
Sniff, sniff something smells in Blaine.
Stacy Berndtson
Blaine

The Editor:
A wise man once told me that if they were handing out gold bricks, someone would say no. This comes to mind when I read news accounts of discussions regarding the expansion of Blaine airport. I understand the agendas of a few interested parties, but can an expanded airport be considered anything but a windfall for most citizens of Blaine?
If there were some pent up demand for commercial real estate, wouldn’t there be more interest in the vacant buildings and lots currently surrounding the airport? An expanded airport, on the other hand, would certainly interest the likes of the Border Patrol, Fedex, UPS and many others looking to serve this rapidly growing area. This would fuel demand for the existing vacant properties, and create the infrastructure to support continued growth.
Why would the city not try to take full advantage of this opportunity? If the FAA offer 13 million to create an economic engine for Blaine, I would suggest that taxpayers say “yes, thank you!”
Jeff Morris-Reade
Birch Bay

The Editor:
The Blaine volunteer firefighters would like to thank the community and all the other visitors to Blaine that stopped by the Blaine Cost Cutter to donate to the American Red Cross. With your help, we were able to raise $4,700 that will go to help the many Red Cross efforts in the New Orleans area. We were very touched by the generosity of our community and also by the stories we were told by people that had relatives in New Orleans. We would also like to give a special thank you to the Blaine Cost Cutter and Little Caesar’s for their hospitality during our fundraiser.
Thank you, Blaine volunteer firefighters.
Todd Berge, Cherry Point Refinery
Blaine

The Editor:
Point Roberts, an isolated part of Whatcom County, does not have access to daily, regularly scheduled, public transportation. This community, with a stable population of 1,300 souls, pays as much and possibly more (due to peculiar circumstances), sales tax into the state’s coffer as any other small rural community.
To the extent of my knowledge, all other rural communities in Whatcom County have access to regularly scheduled public transportation on a daily basis. Point Roberts happens to be on the other side of two international borders: that is the whole reason why it does not have access to daily, regularly scheduled, public transportation. The children and the elders of Point Roberts deserve more.
The WTA provided, a few years back, the Safety Net “Dial-A-Ride” service to Point Roberts. This service provides a twice monthly contact between Point Roberts and Bellingham, on a reservation basis. Two years ago, the WTA was convinced by members of the community that this service was insufficient to the public transportation needs of Point Roberts, and they provided the Point with a community van; coordinated and run by an entirely volunteer staff.
The Point Roberts community van, locally known as the Blue Heron Express, has, over the past couple of years, provided public transportation on a daily, regularly scheduled basis. The van runs to a local gym twice, and sometimes three times a week; it runs to Bellingham once a week, every week, on the same day. Now that school has begun it is ready to begin bringing home children from after school activities. Children who, in any other county community, would have access to regularly scheduled daily public transit.
On September 15, at 8 a.m. the WTA is holding a meeting as to why they should continue to provide this community van to Point Roberts. If the community of Point Roberts does not voice enough need on this date it is likely the van will be taken away, and all the public transportation that is left will be the Safety Net’s twice a month, reservations only, run to Bellingham.
I ask you: Who benefits from all the tax money Point Roberts pays into the state’s coffer for public transportation?
Think about it.
Cheryl Fitzgerald, volunteer Blue Heron Express
Point Roberts

The Editor:
I have lived in Blaine for over 14 years. When I first arrived, it was a busy little town with Canadians lining up to buy gasoline, milk, cigarettes and other grocery items. On weekends, I would walk through town and see Vista Pizza, usually packed with people buying their one-pound steak.
I would continue my walk south through Blaine and always thought it was interesting how I could go from bar to bar and see the same faces weekend after weekend.
It appears that the good old shopping and partying days are over for downtown Blaine. I do miss the singing and the fun times that I once had downtown, but it is nice to see some of the developers coming into our city and breathing some life into this dead little town. I think that Blaine is on the verge of having a beautiful downtown with million dollar view properties.
When I look across the border at White Rock, I can only hope that we can take advantage of our breathtaking views of Semiahmoo and White Rock. Thankfully there have been a couple of developers that have started projects that could really put this town on the map. Imagine walking through town and seeing beautiful buildings on Peace Portal Drive with cute little shops and breathtaking views from the upper levels. It is not very often that a town gets to reinvent itself.
Also, I would like to thank a couple of local people who have got the common sense to finally close the airport. I hear airport official’s brag about their safety record. First of all, you need to have more than five flights a week to start getting too concerned about crashing into a public school. If the FAA has $16 million to throw into something that doesn’t work maybe they should try putting the money into the larger bankrupt airlines that carry thousands of people across the country every week.
Jeff Kennedy
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to Bonnie Onyon, Blaine city council member. We are very fortunate to have her on council.
In the past three years, I have spent many hours attending city of Blaine council meetings and have always been impressed by council member Onyon, her professionalism, her dedication, her fairness and her astute awareness of all different issues brought to city council.
What the Blaine City Council needs are more members with Bonnie Onyon’s qualities.
Nicole McCaig
Blaine

The Editor:
The Blaine primary school office and kindergarten staff would like to thank our PTO parents for their hospitality and hard work during our “slow start to kindergarten” last week.
Thank you for providing refreshments and assisting parents with questions. Your help is greatly appreciated.
We couldn’t ask for a more involved and positive group of PTO representatives.
Blaine Primary Staff
Blaine

The Editor:
My name is Jake Ross. I am 18-years-old and I am in jail for the first time. I made some bad decisions while intoxicated. I wasn’t the cause of all the damage, but I was still involved. A lot of these charges that I am being faced with, I don’t feel that I deserve. Yes, I do deserve some of them, but the only one who knows exactly what I am guilty of is me.
When I was a teen, I was in and out of juvenile hall a little bit, but now I’m adult and I don’t get little kid consequences anymore. The consequences increased once you turn 18. I have not been sentenced yet, but I will be on October 24.
I may be facing hard time for material things, things that can be replaced, yes, things that were worked hard for, but they can be replaced. The time in my life that I’m locked up for cannot be replaced.
I am more than willing to work and pay off the damage that I have caused. It is not until since I have been locked up that I’ve realized how good I had it before I committed my crimes. I had, and still do have, family and friends that love and care about me.
I live in Blaine, close to family and friends. I hope that the victims of the damage that I have caused look past those material objects and look at me, the person, under the mask. I ask that I not be judged for my actions to fit with other people, but for the person that I truly am.
I’m a loving, fun, brother, son and friend. My older brother fed me, clothed me and offered me a place to stay the night. He always told me before I left his house, to be good and stay out of trouble. I should have listened.
Everyone who ends up reading this now knows me for who I am. I have a life and what I need to do is live it.
I thank everyone who reads this and I hope that it has had an effect on some of you.
Jake Ross
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