Letters to the Editor -- June 21, 2007

Published on Thu, Jun 21, 2007
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Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
In response to The Northern Light article entitled “Whatcom County judge reverses Douglas ruling,” in the May 24-30 issue, I would make the following observations and comments:
In the article, city manager Gary Tomsic implies that my client (Douglas) did not have all required permits. This statement is absolutely false and self-serving, and the court found as much, wherein Judge Uhrig stated in his ruling from the bench on March 23, 2007 (herein “Ruling”), in part, as follows: “…The city issued a building permit after having previously issued a foundation permit…The issuance of a building permit was based on the old legal description. And I believe that’s very significant. Mr. Douglas relied on that and I believe he had a right to do so.”
The fact that Tomsic is the lone quote from all the officials and legal counsel involved in this suit demonstrates how the paper has chosen to portray the central characters in this lawsuit: Douglas as the villainous and manipulative developer, and the various city officials involved as the victim of his actions.
The fact is that the city stopped work on a project for several months it had already issued a building permit for, when it had no legal authority to do so. Sugarcoat it anyway you want, but that is what happened.
Moreover, the above article completely ignores the factual scenario that led to the stop work order that Douglas appealed, namely the switch of a legal description in a deed presented to him by city officials.
Uhrig, in his ruling, states: “…I find no clear evidence that Mr. Douglas agreed to the revised deed and the transfer of property associated therewith...The only evidence I find is that the revised deed reflected the interest of the city and I do not find that Mr. Douglas lent his accent (sic) thereto…”
Obviously, the above article does not discuss the deed issue because it reflects poorly on the actions of city officials.
William Pardee, attorney for
Harbor Lands LP
Bellingham
(Publisher note: The newspaper has taken no position on Mr. Douglas’ dispute with the city and disagrees with his attorney’s assertion that it has portrayed Mr. Douglas as a “villainous and manipulative developer.” Any characterization of Mr. Douglas’ behavior was made by the judge in this case and was accurately reproduced in the article referenced by Mr. Pardee. Additionally, the judicial decision in this case was long and exhaustive and the newspaper reported on what it felt to be the most critical and salient aspects. The article did note that a building permit had been issued, contrary to Mr. Pardee’s assertion.)

The Editor:
I’m writing to say that I think that it’s sad that Blaine School District sends about 70 – 80 students a year to Timber Ridge and they forget about them.
These kids aren’t invited or informed when prom or homecoming or any other special event is taking place. These kids aren’t even allowed to try out for sports.
I notice again this year, as I do every year, that you have put the Blaine senior photos in the paper and wasn’t surprised not to see my daughter or other Timber Ridge/Blaine students in the paper, nor were their names even mentioned with no photos available. Blaine school needs to learn diversity and treat all kids fair. The school sends these kids off to Timber Ridge because they think they’re bad or can’t make it.
Well, my daughter was one of them. She was outspoken. A teacher told her she would never amount to nothing and would go nowhere in life. Guess what, she did, and she is graduating one year early, as a matter of fact, and we are proud of her and she doesn’t use drugs, drink or run around. Now, a question to that teacher, how’s your daughter doing?
My daughter’s name is Vanessa Martinez-Pedregon. She is 17-years-old and she made it. So to that teacher out there who said she couldn’t in middle school – she did and it wasn’t because of your words it was because of her having a heart and personality of gold and because she is outspoken and she will continue to voice her opinion regardless of who likes it or not, and as proven Blaine didn’t like my child, little girl turned young lady to speak her opinion but speaking her opinion and being her own advocate is what got her to where she’s at. She learned that she would always have to work twice as hard as that non-Native kid sitting next to her. And by the way, I do have a photo if you would like I’ll send you one.
Jessica L Martinez
Blaine 
(Editor’s note: See next week’s edition.)

The Editor:
It was very unscientific, but last week while I was gardening outside my house (we live at the top of H Street hill) I decided to track the timing between the roar of the big dump trucks as they made their way (usually way over the speed limit) to and from the work site on SR 543. 
On average, a truck trundled east or west every three minutes. 
That’s a lot of rocks, a lot of dust, a lot of noise! At first, my two little grandchildren (ages 16 months and 20 months) every time stopped their play in my (thank heavens!) child-safe fenced-in back yard to observe with awe the huge rolling monsters that were drowning out everything else ... but eventually even children can learn to block out the disruption in our lives caused by this incessant construction work.
But now your newspaper reports that the construction people are planning to work 24-hour shifts, and have asked for a noise variance too?
I also noted with great dismay that the intersection of H Street and SR 543 has become a nightmare! Whoever decides the traffic flow intervals must have a poor opinion of the residents of our little town because the north-south traffic gets far more preferential treatment over the east-west (generally local citizens) traffic. It’s not an exaggeration to report they permit 20 or more north-south vehicles to travel, compared to the three or four east-west drivers trying to pick up their kids from school or wanting to shop for groceries!
At least tell us that when all this disruption, noise, dirt, and inconvenience is finished, there will at last be left-turn signals at the H Street intersection. Does anyone know how to find out if that’s in the plans ... or if not, how to successfully lobby for it?
When we first moved here in 1989, there were no lights at all at the corner of SR 543 and H Street, and the east-west traffic was usually a kamikaze experience.
We quickly learned how to “go the long way” (south on Odell, west on Sweet, north on Peace Portal, east on H Street) in order to get our kids safely to school ... but they were absolutely forbidden to try to run across SR 543!
We were delighted when the traffic lights finally appeared, but disappointed that left-turn signals were not part of the east-west plan. Let’s hope they’ll respect our needs by installing left-turn signals for the H Street traffic.
Progress is important, but so are the people who live in Blaine, enduring the ugly construction, hoping that the final results will be bearable ... and fair.
Jeanne Halsey
Blaine

The Editor:
I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the persons who “saved” my grandson’s graduation! With a couple from out of state, we were enjoying the beautiful Blaine harbor on Sunday when at gate 3 I left my digital camera in the ladies room.
I left a message at the office at Blaine harbor, which was closed. I than contacted the dispatcher at the Blaine police department, who sent an officer to check the area. No camera. Then, on Monday morning I received a phone call from Ann at the Blaine harbor office asking “Are you missing something?” What a blessing and a relief!
So our deepest gratitude to all of you in Blaine and to all the honest people who were there that day! God bless you!
Joyce D. Rogers
Bellingham

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