Letters to the Editor -- October 06, 2005

Published on Thu, Oct 6, 2005
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
The artillery piece relocated next to the police department should be seen as a significant symbol of their homeland security preparedness. I also note that it is pointed towards an attorney’s office.
Is that also symbolic?
Don Starr

The Editor:
Pike Post #8474 VFW could not attend the September 11 ceremony due to another commitment – a district meeting was held in Sedro-Woolley on September 11 and all officers were urged to attend.
A regular meeting has an attendance average of 12 to 15. The majority are over 75 and 80 years old. Seven officers went to the district meeting. Our first commitment is to the veterans, also the disabled vets in hospitals from all wars. Care is needed for the vets now coming home dismembered, wounded and traumatized who will need hospital care, for this conflict which is going on now and also our commitment to community service.
Orville (Joe) Gordon, commander,
VFW Pikes Post #9474

The Editor:
The Point Roberts community use van is in danger. The van program, run by volunteers, has grown tremendously in the two and a half years of its lifetime. The first of its kind in Whatcom County, this program succeeded, leading to the implementation of community use vans in other rural neighborhoods. However, we have not been able to meet a standard initially based on a fixed bus route.
The WTA will pull this valuable service from our community because we have not met a standard that was set two and a half years ago. It takes time to generate awareness of a public service, as it does for any type of service. We are close to reaching the goal they set, and yet, they want to pull it!
The kids of Point Roberts, involved in after-school activities, will no longer be able to participate in those activities: they will have no way to get home. Also, our elders – those unable to drive long distances – many with no local, or regional family members to help, won’t be able to get to weekly, sometimes bi-weekly medical appointments.
I urge everyone in Point Roberts, everyone who lives in a rural community of Whatcom County, anyone with a friend, relative, or patient, who lives in Point Roberts, or a rural community, to write, call, and email the WTA. Let them know how valuable this service is to Point Roberts, and to other rural communities of Whatcom County.
Cheryl Fitzgerald, Point Roberts
Community Van
Point Roberts

The Editor:
Gadzooks! I’ve got it! I figured it out! There is a reason why the city council or whoever runs Blaine placed that newly polished artillery piece next to our rather smallish police station and city hall. It’s for their protection! Not for mine while I use the ATM, or for people eating at the Blackberry House, browsing the antique store, or God forbid doing their laundry. And it is not pointed north so it can’t be for the pesky invading black Canadian squirrels with whom local nature lovers are now sharing their peanuts.
Who is it for? It is for us, the citizenry. We might wake up and attack them en masse if they tell us one more stupid thing like “We don’t have the right to petition to vote on something because of some little legal quirk.”
We have Drayton Harbor at hand. How about a Boston style Tea Party?
Margaret Kardell

[P.S. Please bring back that nice sculpted log bench. Visitors liked to be photographed there.]

The Editor:
I speak only for myself, not for the Blaine City Council as a whole. The problem of putting a “Close the Airport” initiative on the ballot is a knotty one. As I understand it, Washington state law and Blaine municipal code would have to be revised for the results of a close the airport initiative to be legally binding. Washington state law proscribes how “code cities,” like Blaine, are legally established. For code cities, essential facilities like airports comeunder the legal jurisdiction of the city council alone. Hence, whatever the outcome of a close the airport initiative might be, it could not be legally binding.
An “advisory” initiative on the closure of the airport would send a message to city council; but it would not bind council over to closing the airport, even if that was the majority’s will. Under the present circumstances, the council might not act immediately upon such a mandate without the process of examining the options being concluded first. The city of Blaine municipal airport master plan has been submitted to the FAA. When it comes back to us, we will have half the answer to our question: it will describe how the financial picture may pencil out if the airport is improved.
Council is forming a citizen’s committee to study the liability that would be incurred in closing the airport and the potential for developing the property along other lines. Its findings will be the second half of the answer.
I must ask my constituents: “Are you prepared to make a decision when all the facts have not been obtained?” Or, closer to home: “Would you develop your own income property without doing market research?”
As an individual, I am resolved to act in a responsible fashion:
1) I would take the results of an advisory initiative “under advisement;” but if it is in favor of closing the airport, I would delay until the alternate land use committee had provided council with facts indicating that prudence lay in closure. If the recommendations of the committee indicated that the best use of the land was as an airport, I would recommend these findings back to the public for reconsideration.
2) If an initiative is placed on the ballot that poses itself as legally binding, and the results demand closure, I would move to have its validity settled in court.
Ken Ely

The Editor:
The first airport vote and approval was brought about because of a citizen signed petition. Lou, “The worm man” Young and my husband were the signature gatherers for the first vote. The airport then had no qualms about going over the heads of the council and forcing a vote because of a citizen signed petition. I find it sad that the airport committee has turned the very thing that saved it in the first place into a mockery by saying the petition is not valid. How much is it costing the city to block this? Will airport funds pay for this challenge to the citizen petition?
For me it’s ironic that the city allows for a vote on infrastructure that needed to be done with or without our vote; yet seems to balk at allowing us to vote on changes that will affect the very soul and essence of the city. Case in point would be voting on the street improvement tax vs. no vote for the building of the boardwalk. I for one would hate to see the airport, as it is now, go. I would hate even more to see our way of life changed drastically without the benefit of a citizen driven petition and eventual vote.
There is a third option that no one seems to be talking about. We can vote or the city can choose to leave the airport as it is. At the very least, bring it up to A-1 standards.
Both sides have their agendas for sure. To me, it all seems to be based on greed.
The citizens of Blaine petitioned for and should be allowed to vote.
Liz Madsen

The Editor:
There have been several letters recently stating that the expansion of the Blaine airport is necessary for future growth of the city of Blaine. I would like to point out that several years ago the people that run the airport in Lynden wanted to expand their airport by extending their runway so larger planes could land which is what they want to do in Blaine.
The good people in Lynden came out of the woodwork in opposition to expanding their airport for the same reasons people in Blaine are opposing expanding the airport here. They claimed the airport was too close to the schools and they didn’t want the added noise pollution from larger aircraft. Thus the Lynden airport was not expanded and anyone who has been to Lynden in the last couple of years can easily see that has not kept Lynden from growing. What has helped Lynden grow is the addition of light industrial and manufacturing land west of downtown Lynden.
Noel Verduin

The Editor:
This thank you is too long in coming. Last April my wife, son, dog and I were returning to Sidney B.C, from Oregon when we had a flat tire in Blaine. We were beside the elementary school when it happened. Without a cell phone we were at a loss as to what to do. I could not get the wheel nuts to budge and therefore needed some professional help to remove them and get the spare on. I started walking to town. A woman in a van passed me and then turned around and came back. She said I looked like a needed some help. She went out of her way to take me to a service station. Then she returned to where the car was parked and told my wife where I was.
I called the auto club and a fellow came to change the tire. In the meantime I started to walk back to the car. I asked a woman, near the downtown, how I could get back to the school. She said, “Just wait here and I will take you back.” Also, three different vehicles stopped and asked my wife if they could help, while I was in town. One was a town of Blaine vehicle.
What a wonderful town you have, with so many people willing to stop whatever they were doing and come to our aid.
The service station found us a used tire that got us to the ferry and home to Sidney. They only charged us $20!
Thank you Blaine.
Gwen, Dale & Ron Philpott
Sidney, B.C.

The Editor:
The first week in October has been classified as National 4-H Week. In our community, when people think of 4-H, many think of cows. However, 4-H offers an opportunity for youth ages five-19, to explore areas from guinea pigs to llamas, from aerospace to government, from sewing to woodworking.
4-H clubs teach their members about leadership and community service. The youth that participate in 4-H today will be leaders in our communities in the future. 4-H’ers not only have the opportunity to participate in their local club and community but also represent 4-H at a state and national level.
4-H leaders donate many hours of time and knowledge to challenge youth and help them achieve their potential. Many individuals and businesses generously provide finances to support 4-H project animals and provide many donations for 4-H functions throughout the year. We would like to thank all the businesses and individuals who have made 4-H great in our community.
E. Spinelli, 4-H member

The Editor:
My name is Vicki Genova. I am here in Blaine with my four children staying with my aunt and uncle, Sue and Jeff Cushman, because of Hurricane Katrina. So many unbelievable things have happened to my family in the past month. We evacuated from our home in Metairie, LA expecting to return in a couple of days and here we are 30 days later in Blaine. My home took in two feet of water, we lost two vehicles and my husband’s office was relocated to Houston.
These events would have been unbearable if it weren’t for people like those we’ve met in Blaine. My aunt and uncle opened their home to us with no time limit attached. Their friends treat us as if they have known us all their lives. We refer to June Auld as Aunt June now. Laurie Hart and Belle Rucker donated supplies and the use of a vehicle. They invited us over and made us feel so at home.
The generosity we have come to know on a daily basis from Dr. Kazymyra has been incredible. So many wonderful kind gestures from so many people. Thank you Donna H. and Kathy S. From the people who work with my aunt, to my uncle’s friends at the Wheelhouse, to the lady at the bank, to the many people who gave donations to my aunt, I can’t say thank you enough.
We headed home on October 1. We are a little scared at what we are going home to but we can handle what lies ahead. We take with us the strength and spirit of our new friends in Blaine.
I have only mentioned a few names but there are many more and they know who they are. Once again, I would like to say thank you to all the wonderful people that have touched our lives and showed us love at such a hard time. NOLA rocks!
Vicki, Mike, Cecilia, Anthony,
Nikki and Veronica Genova

The Editor:
I would like to encourage Blaine residents in Ward 3 to vote for Bob Brunkow for city council. He has strong business and finance experience which is important for budget issues.
While on the council, he has proven to be a good listener and consensus builder. With his strong leadership ability, Blaine will continue to make progress in the future.
Susan Anderson

The Editor:
As president of the newly formed chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) based at the Blaine airport. I have been authorized to speak on behalf of its 25 members regarding the airport and its issues.
What is EAA? It is a national organization with over 170,000 members dedicated to the discovery and fulfillment of individual potential through opportunities and challenges inspired by the dream of flight. Its mission focuses on education, on the rich heritage of man’s quest for flight and on research and innovations accomplished by individuals in aviation.
One program offered by EAA is the “Young Eagles Program” which gives free flights to interested young people between the ages of seven and 17. These flights are made possible through the generosity of EAA member volunteers. This year at Blaine’s “Citizen Appreciation Day” our chapter flew 70 plus young eagles and since then, an additional 30 plus. Since the time of its conception in 1992, 40,000 pilots and ground volunteers around the world have flown more than 1,172,374 young eagles. Our hope is the experience these young people have gained from these flights will spark curiosity to learn more about aviation.
Chapter 1417, “Blaine’s Eagles,” is asking the city council to approve the airport expansion plan, to let this airport grow as the city grows. Our airport has provided not only recreation but a stop off point for those heading off in all directions. We offer fuel, pilots lounge, a place for those to shop right next to the airport. People fly in from the islands, even Point Roberts, to do their shopping. Last evening, during our EAA meeting a plane arrived from Alaska and was cleared by customs agents at our airport. International airport? Yes, we are!
Small airports much like ours and those throughout the world have been the starting point for most pilots entering into an aviation career for almost a hundred years. This airport has and should continue to be a vital link for those who seek aviation careers, own businesses or just want a place to fly from or to. Please vote yes on the master airport expansion plan.
Clarence M. Ranck

The Editor:
A few weeks ago, you quoted Sharon Roy as saying that, “we are going to have to think outside of the box,” to address the traffic issues in Birch Bay. The problem that I see, is that thinking outside the box should result in change. However, with most decisions now being made by committees, it is difficult to enable change until the problem becomes untenable and is much more costly to correct.
Four years ago, as a member of the Birch Bay steering committee, I wrote a letter. The primary focus of which was to propose extending Anderson Road across to Kickerville Road and from there extending Anderson to Birch Bay-Lynden Road, someplace west of California Creek. The objective was to provide an alternative to move traffic to the Birch Point area rather than on Birch Bay-Lynden Road and Birch Bay Drive.
Over the course of the summer, I have watched the line-ups of traffic build at the Birch Bay-Lynden and Blaine roads intersection to the point where it is not possible to come out of Anchor Manor and turn to the left. The new developments at Birch Bay-Lynden and Harborview roads will only amplify the problem.
There is still time to address this issue. My proposal was not made a part of the Birch Bay comprehensive plan; as a result, it is not even being considered as an option to accommodate the anticipated traffic flows. I submit this to you for your consideration and discussion with Ms. Roy. I hope it rises to the level of “thinking outside the box” sufficiently so as to cause the county council and the county engineering department to tell us what they plan to do to mitigate the future traffic issues, if my proposal to extend Anderson Road is not viable.
Stephen Nelson

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.

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