Letters to the Editor
At a recent special session, councilman John Liebert, a retired Blaine high school teacher, administered a snap quiz to applicants for a vacant city council seat.
Among his yes or no questions were: do you play golf and do you attend a church in Blaine? Who knows what Liebert was after with his golf question. But “Do you attend church in Blaine?” was trickier. Answering either way was dead wrong.
The correct response would have been: “Your question is insulting and violates state and federal law, as well as the U.S. Constitution.” And by not objecting as it was repeated to each applicant, other council members and the city manager were equally at fault.
As a former history and civics teacher, councilmember Liebert in particular should know that religion must never be raised in job interviews, or be a factor in how official selections are made. He would do well to take a refresher course on the freedoms we enjoy.
Blaine citizens deserve a public apology, as well as assurances that neither religion, nor sex, nor race, nor national origin play any role in the operation of our city.
A letter from a lady in Tacoma in the May 1 edition of The Northern Light outlines the sorry state of medical services in northern Whatcom County – not much different than I encountered a few months ago when my one remaining good leg was gushing edema-produced liquid at the rate of a liter an hour. I, too, was treated at the Walk-In Clinic on Northwest Avenue at Bakerview in Bellingham by a doctor who was willing to acknowledge that he was not able to do anything for me and suggested I go to the emergency clinic at St. Joseph Hospital, where I eventually wound up with another amputation as an alternate to maybe living no more than another six months!
This time the basic cause of the problem was some kind of cardiovascular situation, which in itself was probably brought on by the diabetes blamed for the first amputation.
The lady from Tacoma would not have been quite so startled by her dilemma had she seen Michael Moore’s “Sicko,” a current film which documents the problems with the American health care system which for the most part is not a system at all, but a hodgepodge of profit making not even concerned with care, except as a means of profit.
Anyone who hasn’t seen “Sicko” should take advantage of the next opportunity to view this documentary, the DVD is available at most outlets and if you can’t afford to buy one check the Whatcom County Library system. The WCLS has six copies but at the present time there are 40 requests unfilled since it’s a first come, first serve system, so you may have to wait awhile.
It seems Mr. Rutter spends his time writing negative letters about the city of Blaine (where he does not live), Whatcom County, real estate in general, and now Birch Bay. It is noteworthy that he and Jo Slivinski petitioned the county to exclude Birch Point (where they both live) from the Birch Bay UGA.
While I have disagreements with Jo Slivinski, she is active in the Birch Bay Steering Committee and made good suggestions regarding possible alternative uses for the Blaine airport.
The county spent $100,000 for a feasibility study not to convince residents they could afford to become a city. I suggest that Rutter look up the word feasibility in the dictionary.
Readers, please note that his remarks are based upon his “estimates” rather than statistics or facts. The state statistics report a population for Birch Bay of 5,900 in early 2007 I believe. His estimate of 1,700 is bogus. He also estimated that less than five percent of some developments appear lived in. Did he inspect all those homes?
With no basis he challenges occupancy rate of 2.75 and somehow arrives at an overstatement of population by 2,062. Using his estimate of 1,700 population it appears that Birch Bay has a “negative” population of 362!
If Rutter had read the Berk report he should know that the estimated incorporation date is September 1, 2009 and values could be different by then. I obtained the 2007 assessed values for Birch Bay UGA from the assessor’s office and my calculation of the 2007 taxable assessed values (excluding new construction) supports the Berk figure.
All of Rutter’s estimates, assumptions and conclusions are as bogus as his assertions about the Berk report. Those of us who have spent the past years studying the incorporation issue are well aware that we do not have current resources for generating sales tax revenues comparable to other cities.
I urge readers to read the Berk report and ignore unfounded, negative comments from people who have not participated in the process nor have any facts to support their allegations.
The Good, the Bad and the Absurd. In my continuing updates on where once lovely trees and shrubbery lined 2nd Avenue and ancestral homes stood in peace and harmony with nature, now one gapes at yawning canyons of raw dirt and howling devastation to our environment; and as One Nation Under Surveillance begins taking shape in Customs and Border Patrol’s version of Checkpoint Charlie; (We’ve got to keep a close eye on those ‘Brethren of a Common Mother’ folks) the good news is, with recent completion of infrastructure along I-5’s north bound lanes, USCPAA’s sculptures are now in place to which everyone’s invited for a walking tour of our Peace Arch park.
This, thanks to Christina Alexander and her association’s tireless efforts in bringing beauty to Blaine’s environs.
Also, kudos are due my councilmember, John Liebert, in responding to my plea of respect and consideration for Blaine Manor’s senior residents. As construction has drawn the necessary tradesmen and women to the site, their personal vehicles arrive as well. Which were then parked as close to worksites as possible, where senior and disability residents customarily park, along 2nd Avenue north of B Street and along B Street west of 2nd Avenue, and adjacent to Blaine Manor.
As HUD allowed only 11 off-street parking spaces for 26 apartments in Blaine Manor, this area is necessarily where we park. And appealing to John’s political clout, I asked that these on-street parking areas be reserved for Blaine Manor residents, with Dunn Corporation employees parking their personal vehicles elsewhere.
It’s with much appreciation, the company has erected signs on 2nd Avenue & B Street to that effect, leaving Blaine Manor residents their customary parking spaces. Thank you, John. (I had noted to John his political fate hung on this issue!)
Otherwise, the shaking and quaking of Blaine Manor continues, daylight hours, as 50-ton dirt trucks haul away what was the west end of B Street, and equally heavy power shovels clank around on their caterpillar treds as I watch tea in my cup ripple.
Surely, after two years, engineers are then due to certify Blaine Manor’s structural integrity. I invite our city government’s interested concern! The home at 231 B Street is being purchased by GSA, having been shaken apart by what I’ve just described! (This is the absurd part!)
The Wings Over Water Festival committee would like to thank all who helped to make the 6th annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival a great success!
Even with the cold weather, hundreds of people attended the festival and enjoyed the activities located downtown in the Worldly Treasures building including; kid’s activities provided by Sterling Bank, life raptor presentations by Sardis Wildlife Center, Tennant Lake and Birds on the Bay exhibits, the Migratory Maze by Megan Schutt and Molly Muma’s Blaine middle school classes. Bird displays and artwork by Carol Fuglestad’s second grade class, fantastic speakers such as David Hancock, wildlife viewing trips to Lake Terrell provided by Washington Waterfowl Association and Plover ferry wildlife trips in Drayton Harbor, as well as bird viewing stations provided by North Cascades Audubon.
It is wonderful to have so much support from the local business community, and the Blaine and Birch Bay chambers. City of Blaine, Washington Brant Foundation, British Petroleum, and Intalco, are among our major sponsors; please take time to see the complete list of sponsors and supporters in our thank you ad in this issue of The Northern Light.
We not only have a beautiful location to hold this festival but also a supportive community that makes it happen! We look forward to an even better festival next year!
Wings Over Water
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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org