Letters to the Editor -- April 19, 2007

Published on Thu, Apr 19, 2007
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
I am a Birch Bay resident of the 42nd District who traveled to Olympia to meet Representative Doug Ericksen and urge him to support the Healthy Youth Act (aka sex education bill).
We shook hands as he hurried past me to avoid meeting any more of his constituents who wanted to meet him February 12. I was astonished to hear him say that he hadn’t heard anything about the issue. I know that many local residents sent Representative Ericksen a postcard asking that he vote in favor of the Healthy Youth Act.
I suspect that Representative Ericksen is deliberately ignoring and evading constituents that he disagrees with. Representative Ericksen would appear to be serving his own agenda and is not truly a representative of the 42nd legislative district.
John B. Chadwick
Blaine

Blaine citizens and The Editor:
Please wake up your city manager and city council and hold them accountable for their actions.  
At the standing room only meeting, not one person spoke in favor of closing your airport. One city councilman stated that the airport had been in the black, financially for 60 years. What has changed?
A perfectly good, usable runway and viable airport operation has been jeopardized by unneeded, poorly planned and executed expansion plans, causing lawsuits and drains on the Blaine general fund that should never have occurred.
Your airport was gifted to the city to remain an active airport as a community asset. It is not the airport operation causing these general fund costs and the closure movement. It is land developer greed and the quick dollar, with no thought to Blaine’s long-term viability. It would never have been given to the city if the family had known it would be shut down.
I was the last speaker to protest the closure of your airport. Many business people from the surrounding area spoke at the meeting regarding the value they placed on using your airport to conduct business in Blaine. My interest is closer to home.
Point Roberts is a vital part of your community. Your local airport and ours are vital parts of our infrastructure. The two airports are very closely tied together.
The Blaine airport, only seven air minutes away, is our primary airport for fuel, safely shuttling of many residents at Point Roberts that are not allowed to cross into Canada to get to the U.S., emergency flights for non-residents, stuck at Point Roberts with border crossing issues are also flown to Blaine. They walk to the Blaine border facility and resolve issues to get back into Canada. These services have become more critical as border restrictions have increased. Bellingham’s airport is three times the flight time, three times the cost and does not have the border resolution facility.
The largest industry in Point Roberts is home building, and many Blaine tradesmen are flown into Point Roberts via the Blaine airport.
Point Roberts residents use Blaine for all of our essential U.S. services from legal, medical, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and shopping. What happens at Blaine effects Point Roberts. Point Roberts has a tax base of almost $500 million. Our direct contribution to Blaine is our 21 percent of property tax that feeds Blaine’s school system. Our few students attend Blaine schools and wear Blaine school colors. Are we outsiders, with no stake in the vitality and success of Blaine? I do not think so. 
Communities all around the northwest have used their airports for centers of vitality and development. Blaine is lucky to have two; the waterfront/marina and the airport. They work closely together.
This is too valuable of a strategic asset to lose because of mis-management and short-term gain. Once gone it will never be able to be replaced. Closing the airport should not even be a discussion.
Terry Ritchey
Point Roberts

The Editor:
I had just come home from a personal trip to Canada this morning. I wish to share with you an encounter I had with a U.S. customs official. I had just passed the duty free store on the Canadian side of the Peace Arch crossing when a car with California license plates blocked the NEXUS lane. Cars ahead of that car moved down the lane. I could tell that the driver in the California-licensed car was using a cell phone. As other lanes were fully occupied, I had no way to move past the car. So I beeped several times in an effort to get him moving.
The man got out of the car and took out the left side of his jacket to display his U.S. customs badge. Being deaf that I am, I could lip read him saying to me, “What’s your problem?” Apparently he wanted confrontation.
As an American, I was appalled by his arrogance and abuse of power in the country over which he has absolutely no jurisdiction as we were in Canada. I was going to write on a piece of paper to tell him that, but a Canadian customs officer apparently witnessed this encounter and approached him.
From her action, I could tell that she was firm with him and telling him to change the lanes. I do not believe he was polite with the Canadian customs officer. However, he got out of my way and I went on to enter the United States.
Although there are many really admirable U.S. customs officers at the Peace Arch Port of Entry, and although some of them can use the sign language to communicate with me, I cannot help but think about how this one rotten apple in the barrel could have sent unpleasant and unfortunately widely misconceived image of American outside her borders. There is so much hatred in the world against the United States and the U.S. customs officers, especially in foreign countries, need to exemplify themselves as law-abiding visitors as they really are. They do not have any authority to display their badges in an intimidating and abusive manner especially in a foreign country. Of course, I could have let this small incident go by without writing this letter to the editor, but my concerns about that person’s complete disregard for the need for America’s positive image gives me no choice.
Wayne Sinclair
Blaine

The Editor:
Many airport supporters seem to be confused about where Karen Evans, Dennis Hill, and Mike Farrell are from. Several letters say Dennis isn’t from Blaine when in reality his family has roots in the Blaine area that go back to the early 1900s.
To hear letters that make the chocolate factory sound like it wouldn’t be here without an airport are ridiculous. On the other hand, how important is a business that advertises jobs that pay less than $10 per hour to our community anyway?
Don’t worry if you work for the chocolate factory because I will be really surprised if the closure of the airport will mean the demise of the chocolate factory.
I suppose Cost Cutter market, United Parcel Service, and Hayes Import would not have come to Blaine if we didn’t have an airport.
Last week somebody named Bob Aiken, who doesn’t live in Blaine, accuses airport opponents of using ghost writers. Obviously, he hasn’t been around long enough to know that the writers from the previous week; Karen Evans, Dennis Hill, Mike Farrell, and Pat Madsen are not ghosts but real people that have been known in the Blaine community for a long time either from being local business people or living in the Blaine community.
I find it embarrassing that our mayor and Bob Aiken continue to show their ignorance by not having a clue whose who in this town. It is great to see the old time Blaine residents support each other while little known voices like Aiken and Meyers attempt to confuse locals with their weak letters supporting the ridiculous joke that Blaine’s airport is a valuable asset.
Mr. Meyers and Mr. Aiken need to look around the country because one public airport is closed every week in the United States. I would hope that other cities would not have to battle such a vocal minority of unknown citizens to close their airports.
Lindsey Sorensen
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