Letters to the Editor -- February 23, 2006

Published on Thu, Feb 23, 2006
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I have just mailed a letter to Vice President Cheney:
A neighbor has been defending the Washington administration while I have maintained you – Bush, Rumsfeld and Rice – are a bunch of incompetent, corrupt, ignorant fools.
My neighbor, who is an avid hunter, just called to tell me he now agrees with my assessment of you. You certainly proved yourself an incompetent, dangerous man.
My only comment is – how about taking the President hunting with you?
George Carlisle
Blaine

The Editor:
I have a dream – for a vibrant economic and cultural renaissance in Blaine. On February 16, the airport alternative land-use study committee solicited ideas from community members for alternative uses for the 33-acre Blaine airport land, but very few spoke (five or six of us from about 30 attendees). Hence, I challenge the community to share ideas via this larger forum.
My vision for that land is an exuberant, colorful community/commercial/cultural park, partially inspired by – not necessarily mimicking – marvelous Granville Island in Vancouver, B.C. Some ideas:
• As at Granville, design creatively around the history of the place, preserving existing industrial structures of the airport, which represent significant, previous financial investments.
• Start with a bustling daily public market, showcasing the produce and products of our county-wide farms and businesses and attract other enterprises to the site.
• Add new structures in a mix of pleasing, complementary architectural styles.
• Attractive shops, galleries, restaurants.
• Artist studios where visitors can buy artists’ work/view artists at work.
• Various-sized, live-performance spaces/theaters.
• Park-like green spaces and pedestrian/bike-friendly paths, linking to paths along the waterfront and in the outlying community.
• Outdoor pavilion for performers so audiences can magically experience music, theater, and dance festivals out under the stars in summertime (e.g., at Ravinia, north of Chicago, families sit together on blankets on the grass, enjoying starlight performances and picnic dinners, often bringing tablecloths, fine china, and silverware – perhaps with our rainy climate, the pavilion could also accommodate the audience – imagine a fanciful, domed pavilion painted with stars inside!).
• Spaces for street performers.
• Art museum.
• Nice hotels and bed & breakfasts within/nearby (remember, the 2010 Vancouver Olympics are coming!).
• Science and/or local history educational center.
• IMAX theater and/or cinema complex.
• Convention center?
Wouldn’t such a place be a county-wide gem and year-round magnet for visitors and community alike, sparking that economic/cultural renaissance?
What’s your dream for that land? I respect those who want to keep the airport. But what about the rest of you? Let’s dialog here, within these pages – unleash creative springboards for thinking!
Jo Slivinski
Blaine

The Editor:
The article featuring Norma Kruse, written by Tara Nelson, would have been easier on my eyes if Norma’s last name had been spelled correctly. Names are very important and worth the effort to get them right!
Mary Hrutfiord
Blaine

(Publisher note: We could not agree more – please see correction on our home page.)

The Editor:
For months I have watched the interchange of letters to the editors about the future of the Blaine municipal airport. Blaine is a town that is not wealthy by national standards. Census information from 2000 indicates Blaine median family income is $47,000 per year. This is under the national average of $50,000 per year.
For purposes of illustration, let’s evaluate the impact of the $15 million of airport improvement funds contributed directly by the FAA to the city. $15 million will provide enough revenue to support 319 families for one year or 32 families for 10 years at the current Blaine family median income rate of $47,000 per year. The FAA’s additional contribution of $150,000 a year for airport maintenance will provide enough revenue to the city to support three more families a year at the Blaine median income rate. So the federally funded Blaine airport improvement plan will infuse enough revenue to support 35 Blaine families over the next 10 years.
If the federal government was offering $15 million to build a new interchange on I-5, I doubt there would be little controversy. An improved airport is Blaine’s new interchange into the national airport infrastructure system. Companies and individuals with resources to improve Blaine move around this country on aircraft, not the interstate highways. If Blaine residents would like to improve the economic climate of the city, a modern airport is a good first step. And it is free.
The FAA’s offer to improve our airport is a rare gift from the federal government. It represents the repatriation of tax money back to the city contributed by our citizens over many years. It will provide jobs for Blaine residents and stimulate local businesses more than any other project in the recent history of the city. You don’t have to support the airport to know that this is an offer that must be accepted by the city. Gifts like this do not come along very often.
Bob Anderson
Blaine

(Please note: I am an aircraft and hangar owner at the Blaine Municipal Airport. In addition I am currently serving on the city’s Airport Alternative Committee and I am a past member of the Blaine Airport Commission.)

The Editor:
I want to thank the Whatcom County School Retirees Association for awarding Blaine school district’s developmental preschool with a $150 mini-grant. With the permission of the school district’s administration, maintenance and operations director along with generous donations of time and resources, we were able to build a big beautiful sandbox. It even has a lid to keep out animals.
A special thank you to Bill Donaldson, head superintendent of Loomis Trail golf course for the donation of the beautiful white sand. Thank you to Dave Anderson who donated his time to design, build and fill the sand box, to Chris Jorgensen who helped find the sand and deliver it to its final destination and to Jim Jorgensen for the use of his truck.
Playing in the sand is a great equalizer for children who have developmental delays. They engage in social communication as well as enjoy the sensory experiences of playing in the sand. The preschoolers have used a small formed swimming pool to play in for the last few years. This addition to the classroom is like playing on the beach. They love it!
Without the contributions of everyone this project would not have been completed. So thank you to everyone.
Debra Anderson
Developmental preschool
teacher, Blaine primary school
Blaine

The Editor:
Everything is on the move in Birch Bay and Blaine except a reasonable way of commuting from one to the other. The one and only way of getting to Blaine from Birch Bay seems to have one big hang-up – the railroad.
The crossing has brought up several concerns in the past, but with the increase of homes and full-time residents in the area the problem is becoming overwhelming. The addition of the homeland security requirement for rail car screening has only added to this aggravating situation.
Birch Bay and Blaine rely on the response of the fire and medic units on Odell Road, with the possibility of a response being delayed because of rail traffic a life could be lost or a fire destroying property.
I would like to propose a solution that to some may seem way out, but would resolve several traffic problems as well as add to both communities. This is the construction of a causeway that would cross Drayton Harbor. The causeway would extend from Shintaffer Road to around 3rd Street in Blaine. The reason for the location in Blaine is that the railroad is well below the Portal Way in this area making it easier to overpass.
A causeway has many plusses for construction as most components are pre-fabricated and allow for lower construction costs. This should be considered in against the cost of land acquisition for roads and the cost for overpasses as well as the construction problems that go along with wetland issues.
This is a suggestion that I feel should have come consideration because the traffic problem will only worsen as the growth of our communities continues. This proposal could also add uniqueness to our communities that could add to the economy of the Blaine business district.
I would appreciate any responses to earlliste@yahoo.com.
Earl Listebarger
Birch Bay

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