Letters to the Editor -- February 22, 2007

Published on Thu, Feb 22, 2007
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
Bellingham’s stupidity could be Blaine’s windfall. Now that Bellingham has said no to big box stores expansion, the city council of Blaine should open their eyes and their pea-sized brains and go after Wal Mart to open a super store in the now failed airport property.
The council could lease it out to Wal Mart on re-newable 10-or 20-year leases and the city could reap millions in untold wealth as they would gather customers from all over the county and Canada that would generate untold benefits to the city in the terms of income and tax revenue.
With that store located so close to the freeway we would gather tons of business from all over. This is the perfect scenario to improve the business climate in Blaine, which now has none.
It would also provide hundreds of part time and full time jobs and also save the people of Blaine many gallons of over priced Blaine gasoline to travel to Bellingham two or three times a week to go to the current Wal Mart and Bellis Fair, also it would increase the population of Blaine which in turn would add to our growth in so many other areas.
Then it would be up to us, the taxpayers, to put in place a city council and elected mayor, not a city manager to rein in the stupid spending of our current group of pinheads so that the money generated would benefit the city as a whole and its people.
This would be such a win win for this city. I am curious to see how this council will blow this chance right out the window like they have so many other chances.
Dave White
Blaine

The Editor:
Call for artists. The Sweet Road Artisan’s Alliance is looking for local Blaine artists who wish to open their studios for the May 12 and 13 art studio tour.
Jurying will occur on Saturday, March 3. For more information, contact Ron Snyder or Cathy Taggett at 332-8082 by February 28.
Cathy Taggett
Blaine

The Editor:
The specter of airport closure is looming large again despite repeated votes by the citizens of Blaine and the city council to keep it open. This is unfortunate and it’s also puzzling, considering the liabilities of closing the airport. To say exactly what would happen if the city government was to close the airport is probably not possible.
It is possible, though, to engage in a little speculation. One example: Under the weight of debt incurred while paying back grants and losing lawsuits, and in a slowing real estate market, the city would be forced to sell fast at “fire sale” prices that might not even cover its costs. Shrewd developers could make a pretense of marketing the land for light industrial, then begin building housing, probably to cover a temporary housing boom generated by the Vancouver Olympics.
With the city’s lousy record with lawsuits and apparent inability to enforce revocations of building permits, the housing would be built. Most likely, the corporation developing the property would be part of a holding company.
Once the Olympics were over and the crowds had gone, interest in keeping the housing development up, or even keeping it at all, would wane. The corporation directly involved would soon be experiencing financial difficulties as its parent company tapped it for capital and assets while leaving it to try to service its debts on its own.
A good example of this is how Frank Lorenzo, head of Continental Airlines acquired, than bled Eastern Airlines right before allowing it to collapse into bankruptcy. In this scenario, the taxpayers would come out big losers, but who would win?
The Port of Bellingham could be seen as having won a turf battle and eliminated competition from Blaine’s airport (if, for nothing else, hanger rental rates and fuel sales). Certain people in the real estate industry would be making large commissions off the sales associated with the airport land.
Naturally, this is all speculation on my part.
Bob Aiken
Blaine

The Editor:
If we are to assume that the airport is closed, the first problem that the city will face is that of paying back all of the state and federal money that it has accepted within the last 20 years to maintain and improve the airport. (These funds were accepted with the understanding by the airport would be operated as an airport for 20 years from the time that they were accepted.)
Right now best guesses put that number between $400,000 and $500,000. There are also leases that have to be bought out by the city. These will not be cheap to settle. It’s possible that awards from these lawsuits may exceed whatever the city can afford even if they sell off the airport property.
In addition, any businesses and aircraft owners who are inconvenienced (to find available hangar space now, one has to travel as far as Skagit County or try to find something in Canada) would be looking to defray costs of damages and any other damages by suing the city.
In recent years, the city’s track record for winning lawsuits has been dismal at best. The taxpayers would be picking up the tab for all this.
The city government can avoid all this by keeping the airport open.
Robert J. Toms
Blaine

The Editor:
There are approximately 15,000 airports in the United States and it is important that our council vote to retain our airport as a vital part of the economics and perception of our community and its future growth.
I call to action everyone that will be voting to protect and save the Blaine airport for future generations – do not vote against the airport out of personal thoughts rather than the overall benefit that the airport brings to our community presently and for the future. You as elected representatives must do whatever it takes to preserve our Blaine airport for future generations.
We cannot be naive about how decisions are made about funding this system – whether from a historical perspective or from the perspective of self-interest – or we will all lose. We also cannot be short-sited by those that are against the airport whether they have lived here for sometime or just moving into a community with a 60-year-old public airport as a choice.
Moving into a community with the intent of changing that community to suit ones personal wishes is not a right.
Shutting down the airport is not a right. Should we close the marina because 51 percent of our community doesn’t like boats? Close the wharf because some don’t think the public should have access?
Please vote to retain our airport as elected officials, then use your foresight to bring increased value for the airport to our community through your intelligent development of this important asset.
Then you will have done something! Your vote to keep the airport and make it a positive element for Blaine’s present and future are in your hands please vote yes.
I have no affiliation to anyone that has an interest in keeping the airport, I just think very strongly that it is important that we continue to be one of the 15,000 or so city’s that maintains an airport in this great country for our present and future prosperity and way of life is important.
Ray Maxon
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