Letters to the Editor
The Blaine Community Giving Tree is in full swing. This program helps needy families in the Blaine school district area who are unable to provide Christmas gifts for their children. Applications are now available at the Blaine Food Bank, Blaine Family Service Center (332-0740) and Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt (332-8733). We are encouraging all participants in the giving tree program to get their applications picked up, filled out and returned by November 10. This helps us process the applications and get them out to our sponsors in a timely manner.
Blaine Giving Tree tags can be picked up at Goff’s, Cost Cutter, WECU, Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club, True Value Hardware and Pacific Building Center. If you are interested in sponsoring a family please call Stafholt at 332-8733.
A fundraiser for the giving tree is being held at the Pastime Bar (658 Peace Portal Dr.) on Saturday, November 22 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. with music by the Crystal Tricycle. A $10 per person donation will be taken at the door. All proceeds from this fundraiser are used to purchase gifts for unclaimed gift tags.
Marsha Hawkins, Giving Tree coordinator, Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt
The CAP Thanksgiving Dinner Basket Program will be held again this year on Wednesday, November 26, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. The basket pick up point will be the same as last year, unit 330 near Cost Cutter in the Blaine International Shopping Center.
Those needy families residing in the Birch Bay, Blaine, Custer, and Point Roberts area who desire to be recipients must get on the list to receive their basket through Family Services at the Blaine school district, (call Larissa at 332-0740). Applicants should get their names in by Monday, November 17. Baskets are sized and assigned for each individual family on the list; there are no baskets for walk-ins.
Last year we provided the makings for a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings including homemade pies to 180 families. More than 1,000 children and adults had a full Thanksgiving dinner as a result of the financial donations of generous friends and neighbors.
The funding for this community outreach effort is provided by contributions from individuals in the community. We need your support this year, more than ever, to help those families who are being marginalized in these most trying times.
Those desiring to contribute to this charitable work may do so by mailing a check to the CAP Thanksgiving Basket Fund, P.O. Box 1067, Blaine, WA 98231. Donations may also be made at Cost Cutter, Bank of America, Sterling Bank, and other supporting business in Blaine. Look for the turkey signs at these businesses.
CAP is an approved 501(c)3 charity program, under the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association and any donation is fully tax deductible. The average retail cost for a Thanksgiving basket was about $80 in 2007.
Brent Brentnall, director, Community
If fish were renamed “sea kittens,” would humans be less likely to hurt them? PETA thinks so, which is why we have launched a campaign to start calling fish “sea kittens.” Who could possibly put a hook through a sea kitten, right?
Here are five reasons everyone should be kind to our finned friends: 1) Sea kittens are smart cookies, and scientists at Stanford University have discovered that fish have the reasoning capacity of five-year-old children; 2) fish have long-term memories, which help them keep track of complex social relationships, and can recognize individual “shoal” mates; 3) some sea kittens gather information by eavesdropping on others, and some use tools, such as the South African fish who lay their eggs on leaves and then carry them to safety; 4) Sea kittens can tell time: Dr. Phil Gee, a psychologist at the University of Plymouth in the U.K., trained fish to collect food by pressing a lever at specific times during the day; 5) like all animals, fish can feel pain, and they suffer horribly when they are impaled on hooks or sliced open by the thin mesh of a fishing net.
To learn more about sea kittens, visit www.FishingHurts.com.
Paula Moore, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
I just read the asinine letter from Kathy Palmer of Nevada. I fail to understand why you would print such a letter. A word to Kathy Palmer – why in the world would you go into Canada when you so clearly detest Canada? Go back to the planet you came from – we do not want you here!
I was perusing your fine paper today, when I stumbled upon possibly one of the most ignorant statements I have ever read in said paper. It was the letter in the October 30 - November 5 issue from a Nevada resident named Kathy Palmer. Ms. Palmer made some very interesting accusations, one of which was that Canadians and Americans “do not come from any common mother.” Her argument was that Canadians are of British ancestry and that we are somehow not.
I suggest that Ms. Palmer take a close look at American history, where she will find that the America that she knows was founded by British settlers in the Northeast. We remained a British colony (the Northeast, at least) until the violent revolution of the 1770s. It would also be good to note that Canada was a British colony as well, and remained attached at the hip, as it were, until the 1980s. I don’t think I need to connect the dots on that one.
One of the other completely offensive statements she decided to put forth in her offensive letter was that Canadians are “aloof.” Having Canadian family and traveling there on a weekly basis, I have seen no evidence of the former. Perhaps on her one trip out of Nevada she encountered some bad, mostly “aloof” people in Richmond, which of course will give her an accurate picture of a country of about 33 million people. It’s like running into one jerk in New York City and condemning it as a city full of jerks. Perhaps before people who don’t live here go and write letters to the editor with a call to change the wording on the Peace Arch, they should do a little bit of research. Or perhaps I’m asking too much of people these days.
Peter J. Wagner
I would like to hear from other parents whose children have been or are being bullied at the Blaine middle school. This seems to be an ongoing problem for a lot of kids in the middle school. Our children’s safety and their education are being compromised and needs to be addressed. You can help by speaking out. Thank you.
I revealed the winner of the coin guess in my little coin shop on Halloween, which has been running now for a couple months.
The lucky winner with a guess of 162 was Erni of Birch Bay. As there were 152 coins in the antique shoe polish jar and he was the closest to it, he wins approximately $50 worth of old copper and silver coins. Nice going Erni and congratulations.
Every dollar per guess that has been collected will be given to the Blaine Food Bank, to help them help others out. I also want to thank all the other folks who participated in the coin guess and for your patronage as customers.
As a consolation prize, I would like to invite all those who attempted a guess to my shop to receive a free elongated copper penny with your choice of design, which includes the Peace Arch, an Orca whale, sunset on Bellingham Bay, Mount Baker, gold panners, totem pole in Alaska, and others.
Bill Becht, owner Horseshoe
Coins & Collectibles
I have a proposal for our community designed to slow the growth rate of our property tax increases.
Rather than continually putting “levy lift lids” on the ballot for a vote for one of the 13 “taxing districts” every year, I recommend Blaine and Birch Bay residents ask their city council and steering committee, respectively, to instruct our county government to reduce the size of both Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) to get them compliant with our State Growth Management Act (GMA).
The existing land areas included in that zoning classification are so large that some of the taxing districts, like the North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Service for example, are struggling financially to provide urban “levels of service.”
If these two UGAs were reduced in geographic size then the cost of extending sewer lines, power lines, water lines, roads and fire protection, etc., would be systematically reduced by the smaller distances needed to cover.
In other words, the city of Blaine and the unincorporated area of Birch Bay would grow into a higher population density which means the cost of providing “urban” levels of public infrastructure within city limits would be effectively reduced.
First, we could start by removing almost 1,000 acres of “designated forestland” zoning from both UGAs. Forestland only pays $22 per acre per year in property taxes.
Please compare that tax rate to your property tax assessment. Then ask yourself why should you have to subsidize public infrastructure costs like schools and libraries for the real estate development on such “forestland.”
Secondly, large “designated wetland” areas might also be removed since it cannot become “urban” under existing county regulations.
If your property taxes have increased like mine (by 215 percent in just six years) then please join me in asking both our appropriate governments to reduce our local UGA zoning as soon as possible.
Such a request by citizens would be timely because the Western Washington Growth Management Hearings Board has already demanded Whatcom County review and adjust all county UGAs before June, 2009.
Thank you for your help in slowing the growth rate of our taxes.
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.
send your letter to:
225 Marine Drive, Blaine, WA 98230, fax 360/332-2777 or
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