Letters to the Editor -- January 12, 2006

Published on Thu, Jan 12, 2006
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I wish to respond to Dennis Hill’s letter concerning the airport in the December 15, 2005 issue of The Northern Light. It seems his primary goal is to shut down the airport and turn it into a truck stop. He’s operating under the assumption that the airport is already closed and is ready to be sold in the immediate future. He doesn’t seem to realize that the petition to study the feasibility to close the airport was just that – it convenes a study for the feasibility of closure and is not a petition to close it.
Our airport is important to the future and well being of our community. It is a magnet for business and will draw wage paying and product-producing businesses to our community, especially when we install the $14 million expansion. It serves as a transportation connection to the rest of the nation for our own citizens as well as friends and businesses elsewhere.
Aviation is safer than travel by cars and trucks. There has never been a fatality at our airport in its 50-year history. In that time there has been, I think, a grand sum total of two accidents with no attendant serious injury. Can automotive or truck operations claim a similar record?
A non-local developer who has been developing in Blaine has invited a truck stop corporation to enter into bidding for the airport property. It’s interesting that he’s making this entreaty and the airport property is not for sale, but he appears to want to keep up the pressure for closing the airport. Again – do the citizens of Blaine want a truck stop in their midst with its attendant pollution, corruption and noise?
There is a group of people within and outside our community that need and use our airport. The rest of us are both directly and indirectly supported by aviation. Our airport provides this support and it will do even more so when the expansion takes place.
This decision deserves all the study it can get because it’s far-reaching. If the airport were to be closed it will be gone forever. The citizens of Blaine may finally realize that they’ve lost a valuable asset but by then it will be much too late. I just don’t understand this small group of people who, evidently for their own selfish reasons, don’t understand the use and practicality of aviation. They just seem to want the airport closed, and they don’t even know why. If they did, they’d give us reasons that are true and stick to the facts.
Lois Franco

The Editor:
For all those who started their holiday season by attending Winter Harp December 11 at the Performing Arts Center in Blaine – thank you.
To the Blaine community that goes over the top to sponsor, promote, give time and goods to the Blaine Jazz Festival for teens we recognize all of you and applaud your efforts.
Each of you who bought a season ticket, sponsored a student to the jazz festival, bought a brick or donated to the ‘vigil’ project on the new boardwalk in Blaine, (still not too late to give a brick for the holidays, available at Northern Meadows or the visitor center in Blaine). It makes me realize why I moved to Blaine and became a part of Whatcom County.
The endowment fund for the Pacific Art’s Association through the Whatcom foundation was set up this past year. I would like to thank all those who have helped. Their vision will continue doing good for the next 100 plus years. All of us can be proud in the giving back to our community.
Bob Boule, President, Pacific
Arts Association, Blaine

The Editor:
Just an update for you – so far, as of December 30, Local 3867 has collected 3,500 pounds of food for the Blaine Food Bank! We are collecting until the end of January.
Thanks to everyone who has so generously contributed to the Blaine Food Bank by dropping non-perishable food and needed goods to the fire department stations located at 4581 Birch Bay-Lynden Road and 9408 Odell Road.
Leslee Smith, PIO, North
Whatcom Professional
Firefighters IAFF Local 3867

The Editor:
First Dennis Hill personally attacked Bob Brunkow and now he is writing in and attacking Mike Myers.
I for one disagree with his tactics; Dennis Hill’s is an act of intellectual cowardice for refusing to tell us all what his “highest and best use” of our airport’s property is, while he continuously tries to destroy one of Blaine’s largest financial assets.
The fact of the matter is Blaine is going broke; nearly all of its funds are projected to turn into deficits in the coming months. The merchants and businessmen of this community should be studying how to encourage our national government’s Federal Aviation Administration to invest its estimated $16 million in improving Blaine’s airport (homeland security being the obvious rationale) because investments of that kind have a financial multiplier affect benefiting the whole community, of eight times the amount spent on such construction due to the resulting contiguous area economic ripple effects.
Those real estate developers that are foolishly speculating on thousands of residential housing units in Blaine would do well to note that the Federal Pension Guarantee Corporation has a $21 billion dollar deficit while General Motors alone has $22 billion dollars in unfunded pension liabilities. United, Northwest and Delta airlines all went bankrupt over this issue and GM and Ford (among our nation’s top four corporate bond issuers) may well follow.
It takes either living wage manufacturing jobs to fund such ambitious residential housing construction or bonds to sustain retirement incomes. Those that voted to study closing our airport should think long and hard about the general aviation jobs lost to American workers at Beachcraft, Cessna and Piper’s manufacturing facilities if more U.S. cities elect to close their airports. Let Dennis Hill build his project, whatever it is, on the unimproved land next door to the airport while the rest of us get on with trying to increase Blaine’s economic viability.
Lincoln Rutter

The Editor:
I have contacted the Whatcom County Library to talk about library service in Birch Bay. We are growing so quickly and I suspect that many of us would appreciate and use such a service. But I don’t know that, so I need your feedback.
If you think you would use such a service, would you please email me at tombirkenhead@yahoo.com and express your support. I will then pass this information to the library people as they explore options and associated costs.
The form of this “library service” could be a bookmobile, a drop and pick-up station, a mail service or even a satellite library. If you think of another way to provide library services to Birch Bay, please include them in your email. Projected demand is important, so your input will be valuable. Thank you.
Tom Birkenhead
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I would like to thank you for printing an article in your November issue regarding our Mercury Thermometer Exchange Program. We now have the final tally from the event and I wanted to share it with you.
Total thermometers collected – 2,107; total amount of mercury collected, including loose mercury, thermometers, thermostats and switches was 37.33 pounds.
We really didn’t know how the response would be, but thanks to local news media like you, and with the help of six Cost Cutter stores, including the one in Blaine, we had a very successful collection event. When you consider the damage that just one drop of mercury can do, the amount that we received was phenomenal.
Thank you again for your support of this program.
Penni Lemperes

The Editor:
I would like to thank the voters of the city of Blaine for the opportunity to serve as a Blaine city council member. This is a privilege and responsibility that I take very seriously.
I would also like to publicly thank my friends and family for their support during my campaign. Shelly Button, my campaign manager, is a great friend whose help was invaluable. Thank you to Shelly and her family.
I strongly urge the voters of Blaine to attend council meetings, work sessions, public hearings, and to contact their city council members to have their voices heard. Public input and accountability are vital to the healthy growth and maintenance of our community.
Jason Overstreet

The Editor:
Dennis Hill’s letter in last week’s The Northern Light attacking Mike Myers was unfair, unjustified, and factually wrong.
Mike was an outstanding council member during his first term. He worked hard to study the issues, conscientiously attended council meetings, commission sessions and workshops, and worked closely with other council members and city staff. In November, he was reelected without opposition.
Hill wrote that councilman Myers “doesn’t clearly understand what the value of the airport property is.” Who does? That’s what the feasibility committee is supposed to determine.
If you want a wild blue sky guess, though, Dennis has repeatedly shouted a figure of $9 million at public meetings! That’s several times what unimproved land in Blaine has ever sold for. If he’s got a buyer at that level, let’s see the money – or even a 10 percent deposit!
How would Dennis use this $9 million airport land? First and always, a huge truck stop with a motel and tavern. When citizens gasped at that one, he switched to athletic fields with a 500 room hotel for the fans to stay at.
Hill’s letter also claimed that “Blaine voters have decided to close the airport.” Simply untrue. On three occasions Blaine has voted to keep the airport. The recent ballot measure merely asked for a study on the feasibility of closing the airport, and is currently in progress.
As in the past, Hill signed his letter “Dennis Hill, Blaine.” That’s another false claim. It should be “Dennis Hill, Whatcom County.” He doesn’t live in Blaine and doesn’t vote here.
He’s simply a real estate salesman representing an outside developer who wants to put a huge, polluting truck stop in the middle of our city. Mike Myers opposes that effort and should be congratulated.
Jeff Robinson

The Editor:

The Blaine Family Service Center exists to help Blaine school district families in need of support. This could be in the form of school supplies, clothing, basic household items or referral to resources within the county such as medical insurance, counseling or financial help. We are generously supported in-kind by the Blaine school district, through the provision of office and storage space as well as administrative support. Our financial status is non-profit; we receive a state Readiness to Learn grant and local donations in order to fund the center.
This letter is to acknowledge those community members and businesses that are the backbone of our existence. Without financial donations and partnerships with local businesses we would be unable to help the hundreds of families who approach us each school year.
Therefore, we want to start the New Year off with a huge thank you to the groups, organizations and individuals who have helped us so far this school year: Kenneth L. Kellar Foundation, Sixty-Five SisterHood Helping Hands, Semiahmoo Ladies’ Club, Free Church Unitarian, Blaine Harbor Dental (176 kids received free oral hygiene check-up), St. Anne’s Social Justice Committee, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Cost Cutter Sunshine Cleaners, Crazy Dazy, American Legion Auxiliary, CAP, Stafholt Good Samaritan Center
Cherry Point ReachOut, and the numerous community individuals who donated school supplies, backpacks, clothing, toothbrushes, toothpaste and cash contributions.
Your generosity is truly appreciated both by us and the families you have helped.
Andrée Marcus and Larissa
Dhanani, Blaine Family Service

The Editor:
The Blaine Fine Arts Association (BFAA) would like to announce the selection of Zarik Kahn’s “Still Life in Charcoal” as the 2006 Arts & Jazz poster. Zarik, a ninth grader at Blaine high school is in Brian Smith’s Art 1 class. The piece selected by the Arts & Jazz committee is a study in values. Smith is completing his National Boards, for this this and his commitment to our students – the BFAA is proud.
Blaine high school is celebrating its 100th year anniversary and so the theme for this year’s Arts & Jazz is “Centennial School Celebration.” If you attended school in Blaine, there is a good chance you might find yourself in this years decorations.
The BFAA invites you to play a part in the community celebration which is Arts & Jazz ’06 – The Event that put the Fun in Fund Raising,” on Saturday, February 11 from 7 – 11 p.m. in the Blaine high school cafeteria. Admission is $5. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres are provided.
The ninth Arts & Jazz is the annual benefit auction and dance which celebrates the talents of the Blaine high school jazz band, chamber choir and art students and the wonderful support given towards their efforts by people who believe in the value of the arts in education.
The evening is hosted by the BFAA and is the main source of our income. The BFAA is a volunteer group of parents, teachers and community members, is open to anyone. We promote, encourage and support the efforts of the Blaine art, band, choir and drama student’s grades seven to 12. The BFAA provides annual arts scholarships, helps to purchase equipment, and offsets expenses that enable our students to receive arts experiences beyond the Blaine school’s curriculum. The BFAA is proud of the work our students produce and the honors they receive and Arts & Jazz is a wonderful way to celebrate their efforts and share it with the greater community.
If you would like to donate an item to the auction or for more information about the event, please contact me at 380-1634. Our time line is short – deadline for inclusion in the auction catalog is Friday, February 3. Join us and play your part.
Dorita Gray

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