Letters to the Editor -- October 23, 2008

Published on Thu, Oct 23, 2008
Read More Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

The Editor:
A recent news article published in a Bellingham newspaper related about the complaints from Washington state farmers who appear to be less than happy with the U. S. border patrol setting up temporary check-stops around the various counties. The farmers report they are having a difficult time obtaining enough workers to manage their farm operations and they’re worried it will frighten off future applicants to work for them. 
Having lived for many years on the southern Arizona border, this is an issue with which I am quite familiar. We must support our homeland security operations programs in all aspects of their operations to maintain and secure safety and security within our U.S. borders for all legal residents.
The lack of a business’ ability to hire adequate numbers of employees does not give them permission to participate in violating federal laws. If the employer requires additional workers and there are not enough legal U.S. residents to fulfill that need, there are programs in place to import temporary workers legally. When employers hire workers without carefully determining if the applicants are legally entitled to work and live in the U.S., they could be violating the federal law themselves. 
I was married to an American of Mexican ancestry for many years and we never had a problem with any of the U.S. Border Patrol check-stops nor their attending personnel. We were grateful they were on the job and trying to maintain safety and security for all. Remember, one of the people involved in the September 11, 2001 tragic disasters came through the Peace Arch port of entry. 
So, when you’re out there doing your shopping, running your errands, eating in the restaurants, etc. and you happen to see one of the U.S. Border Patrol or U.S. Customs and Immigration agents, walk up to that agent, offer to shake his or her hand and thank them for their service to this great country; do that with a sincere smile! 
Claire FitzGerald
Birch Bay

Publisher’s Note: All 19 hijackers entered the U.S. by airplane. Source: National Commission on Terrorists Attacks Upon the United States.

The Editor:
The members of American Legion Post 86 would like to thank The Northern Light for promoting the pig roast for the legion. Thanks also to Chris, the volunteers and the Silver City Band. We had a great time and a good turnout. See you next year.
John Hocks
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I want to thank the coat contributors, individuals as well as our local churches in Blaine and Birch Bay for making our annual winter coat drive such a success. At the Blaine Food Bank on Tuesday and Friday mornings this last week we gave out a total of 243 coats to needy infants, children, and adults.
And a special, deep felt thanks to the volunteers who worked long hours both days and got soaked on Friday: Jeane Austin, Caroline Hodgins, and Mary Rebman. Because of them many will be warmer as our weather turns raw.
Brent Brentnall, director,
Community Assistance Program
Blaine

The Editor:
I wish publicly to thank Bellingham musician Ray Downey for composing a work titled “Peace Arch.” The Glacier Bay Brass Quintet will introduce it in the Whatcom Museum on Sunday, October 26, at 2 p.m. I had no idea Downey had composed this piece until he phoned me Saturday evening and disclosed it. I was greatly surprised.
Just how it came about is, for me, quite interesting. Downey discovered my long-deceased website (www.vigil4peace.com). At the time I created it, about 20 community peace enthusiasts had formed a group interested in adopting Pugwash, Nova Scotia, as Blaine’s sister city. However, after the city council rejected our proposal, the group disbanded.
“Peace Arch,” composed for brass instruments, is written in four movements titled: “Proclamation,” “Rally,” “Vigil,” and “Festival.”
Downey was apparently impressed with the statement that declared “Promoting Peace” our city’s official theme, hence “Proclamation,” title of the first movement. “Promoting Peace” was unanimously adopted by the Blaine city council and proclaimed on February 9, 1998.
“Rally,” the second movement, takes me back to September 21, 2006, when I rented our performing arts center and invited Dr. Eleanor Stebner, J.S. Woodsworth chair of the Humanities at Simon Fraser University, to speak. I had hoped to annualize the International Day of Peace that was Jeremy Gilley’s dream. About 40 people attended the rally. It was never annualized.
“Vigil” brings me to the rally’s theme, “Vigil for Peace.” Stebner’s speech, “Follow the Gleam,” reflected it.
“Festival,” the final movement, summarizes all that was represented during the prior three movements.
I’ve lived a long time in Blaine, but nearly every time I lit a candle, somebody blew it out. And now I’m out of wax. Still, Ray Downey and “Peace Arch” light up my life. Many thanks, Ray!
Richard Clark
Blaine

The Editor:
As a licensed provider for adult family homes with developmentally disabled residents here in Whatcom County, I strongly urge voters to vote against Initiative I-1029.
Sure, at a glance, without being in the system, it would appear to protect our elderly and developmentally disabled residents and family members – don’t be fooled!
Our caregivers already must: 1) pass two extensive background checks before ever being alone with a resident; 2) take 28 hours (minimum) of revised fundamentals of care giving; 3) take CPR and first aid every two years; 4) take minimum of 24 hours of in-house training; 5) take continued education classes yearly; and most importantly, they are all mandated reporters. Simply put – if they so much as “suspect” abuse or neglect, they legally are mandated to report to the state, and ask questions later. Yes, if they so much as suspect – not know – merely suspect.
Our caregivers are wonderful, compassionate and kind. They’re not in this business because of the wages. Many cannot afford to continue on to become a nurse as they are limited due to the cost of living. Initiative I-1029 would be a huge financial burden on them. Vote no on I-1029.
Teresa Pfister
Birch Bay

The Editor:
Amidst the worst financial crisis since Jimmy Carter and the great depression, the tax and spend liberals that run this city are again reaching into your pocket to take more of your money. The problem is you people are going to roll over like a bunch of lap dogs and accept this as standard practice, which you have done for years.
When I sat on this council for eight years I never voted for any increase unless I could see absolute definite proof that it was justified, which only happened twice in my years on council.
I have been preaching this same message for nearly two decades and yet you all just roll over and accept it. Then you have the rant of Mr. Rutter who has never been right on an issue ever.
Look at the people investigating this financial crisis Chris Dodd (D) and Barack Obama (D) they got the largest kickbacks in contributions from Fannie & Freddie and let us not forget that idiot Barney Frank (D) as well, and how do you think Obama is going to pay for all his wonderful gifts he promised you, he will have to raise taxes. Just look at how the governor of this state has plunged us into a $3.2 billion shortfall.
The same is happening right here in this city where they are spending your money before they even have collected it, and coming back again to reach into your pockets and take more.
I have seen bigger crowds at a funeral then I have seen in business activity in this town. I can assure you that if I were running this town you people would at least be getting back $1,000 for every man and woman and child in this city without sacrificing anything.
Everywhere in this country cities and towns are tightening their budgets except in this city where they’re going to raise your taxes to continue on spending like a drunken sailor.
It is time you people get a grip on reality and rein in this tax and spend council and management of this city or there will be more of you on the food bank lines.
David White
Blaine

The Editor:
It is an honor to be part of an education system under Terry’s leadership.
Her continued leadership is critical for the success of our children/our future. Choose Terry Bergeson in November! 
I am in my 20th year as an educator in Washington schools. I have been a K-12 teacher, a coach, a union representative, an elementary principal and currently am director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. Yep, I work with the WASL. 
Terry Bergeson has had an amazing impact of exponential success for students and support for teachers in our schools. The evidence of her success is countless. Kids are first and foremost in her mind.
Washington state schools have a reputation for being one of the best systems in the country. She has high expectations of what our schools can be and what our students can become and she fights for the resources we need to reach those expectations.
She’s a learner, and wants to know more about what we’re doing right so she can help other schools implement successful model programs and services. Terry has walked in our shoes as a teacher/administrator at the local district level. She’s accessible- she’s one state elected official who is just a phone call away. There is no question that our students are leaving school better prepared for life than they were 12 years ago when she was first elected superintendent. She’s fought for more resources for schools in every single legislative session since she’s been state superintendent.
Terry is not afraid to buck the status quo – when the status quo isn’t getting the job done for our kids. Achievement is at an all-time high in our public schools – our children are getting a better education, and learning more relevant skills than ever before. Choose what is best for kids. Choose Terry! 
Written with pride in what Terry has done for children in Washington state.
Deb Cummings
Ferndale 

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, fax 360/332-2777 or
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