Letters to the Editor
The financial plan of the (Bellingham) waterfront district calls for a $334 million dollar expenditure. $137 million will be invested by the port authority primarily for environmental cleanup and demolition. The $197 million majority of the cost will be borne by city, state and federal taxpayers for “infrastructure” such as roads, utilities and parks.
This plan runs completely opposite of one of the fundamental principles of our state’s Growth Management Act (GMA) by which our legislature gave city governments the right to charge “impact fees” for real estate developers to pay the cost of the public infrastructure needs of their projects.
This law was enacted to prevent taxpayers from becoming responsible for such costs while developers walk away with the profits. The port persuaded the city of Bellingham to sign an “inter-local agreement” whereby 100 percent of this infrastructure will be paid by the taxpayer. This agreement must be renegotiated if we are to prevent possibly the largest single subversion of taxpayer’s funds in the history of this state.
This agreement must be renegotiated before a master development plan is adopted and before the final environmental impact statement is approved or this corrupt subsidy of the wealthy few by the public will become legally fixed and therefore permanent.
The port’s motivation, I believe, is to use this mostly local taxpayer subsidy to lower the asking price of the properties they are attempting to sell, making a purchase that much easier for a national audience of real estate developers. Waterfront property in any other major U.S. city would entail significant public infrastructure obligations on the part of potential buyers. Therefore, Bellingham’s waterfront district will appear artificially more competitive because of this massive subsidization.
If you do not believe you personally should contribute to the profit of the Hilton Hotel Corporation, for one hypothetical example, then I suggest you contact the following public officials immediately: Whatcom County port commissioner Jim Jorgensen, (email@example.com), Bellingham mayor Dan Pike (firstname.lastname@example.org), and the Bellingham city council (email@example.com). Please tell them that their inter-local agreement should be changed to require developers to pay at least two thirds of their infrastructure requirements. Thank you.
The 2008 CAP Thanksgiving Basket Project was a tremendous success. One hundred eighty nine families, 880 children and adults, were fed. Families in Blaine, Birch Bay, Custer, and Point Roberts received the dinner baskets on Wednesday afternoon in time to prepare complete turkey dinners for Thursday.
It all wouldn’t have happened without the tremendous support of this wonderful community. Many of you gave generous financial support for which we are deeply appreciative. Some businesses provided significant support as well: Edaleen’s Dairy gave 200 gallons of milk. Bedlington Potato Warehouse gave 1,000 pounds of potatoes. Suzanne Dougan and North Whatcom Windermere Realtors supplied the canned green beans and cranberry sauce for all the baskets. Jeff Robinson and Totally Chocolate provided four Thanksgiving dinner baskets. Mike Hill’s Chevron Station helped us by storing the milk until Wednesday. Sterling Bank, Bank of America, and Cost Cutter were focal points for financial intake. Pacific Building Center, Big Al’s Restaurant, Goff’s, and Van Wingerden’s Garden Center became fund collection centers. Our deep appreciation to all of you for your generous help!
Next, there were the volunteers from our community who gave us the pies. All Wednesday morning long they just kept coming and coming. We ended up with 286! Enough for many of the larger families to have two! Girl Scout Troop #52973 made Thanksgiving cards with little packets of candies attached to put in every basket. Another indication of caring for others – this time by the children in the community.
Finally there are some special thanks. First, to Susan Cadell and Phillips Edison & Co., owner of the Blaine International Shopping Center, for the use of the distribution site again this year. Next to Kathy Stauffer who sent post cards to many in the community making them aware of our needs. High praise for Ken Whisenant, manager at Cost Cutter, who was extremely helpful in all aspects of getting the groceries and went way beyond the call of duty to solve an order goof-up we had.
We are also much indebted to Mike Nelson and Firefighters Local #3867 in partnership with North Whatcom Fire and Rescue for hanging the banner, transporting 200 gallons of milk, and returning the milk crates to Lynden. These firemen also muscled the heavy baskets of food to the waiting needy families.
And last I want to add my personal thanks to the hard working members of the team: Larissa and Jessie of Blaine Family Services, who spent hours contacting and working with the people who received the baskets.
They didn’t finish until 6:20 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve. My thanks to the work crew that cleaned up the site, hauled the pallets of groceries over from Cost Cutter, filled the baskets and helped with the distribution: Brian and Daphne Johnson, Larry Donovan, Bob Williams, Shirley Tobian, Ron Curran, Mary Lou Bangs, my wife Joan, and Tom Dorsey who took baskets that evening to shut-ins and others who couldn’t get to the distribution center. They worked long hard hours; without these people, it would have been a disaster.
Thanks so much to all of you and to those others, too numerous to list, who helped. And thanks to all of you who gave so generously financially that made this whole outreach effort possible.
Because of your giving hearts and helping hands, 430 children and 450 adults had a reason to be thankful last Thursday. You can be truly proud of what you have done! Bless you all.
Community Assistance Program
Closing skate park – again. Problems, vandalism? I don’t know much but I know this, isn’t the skate park right out the Blaine police station’s back door?
This is a letter of thanks to all who attended the “Giving Tree” fundraising dance at the Pastime Bar. To all who so generously made cash donations, thank you. To Mary Lee and all of her staff, thank you. To the members of the Crystal Tricycle, thank you. To Van Wingerden’s Garden Center, thank you. These words aren’t nearly enough to show our appreciation for all you do. Without your contributions we would have a very tough time purchasing the gifts that don’t have sponsors for them. Everyone comes together at this time of year and gives so generously to help make a child’s Christmas a little bit brighter. Thank you all so much.
Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt
To date we have added 11 “Little Angels” to our tree. We now need you to help us grant some simple wishes. We have one family who may lose their home this month and they have five children who will not get a Christmas without our help.Last year your generosity was overwhelming with our six “Little Angels,” and we thank you in advance for your kindness this year.
For more information, please stop in at the Bay Cafe or call at 371-5409.
Dave Bucknell and
The American Legion Peace Arch Post 86 in Birch Bay put on another successful Thanksgiving Dinner last Thursday, November 27. With more than 25 volunteers working from 2 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Peace Arch Post 86 provided meals to more than 200 people (including 11 home deliveries) this year making it a resounding success. Thanks to The Northern Light, all the wonderful volunteers without whom we would never have been able to put it all together so well and along with the Whatcom County Health Department for the operating permit, while Dick Bedlington Farms, the Blaine Cost Cutter store as well as the Salvation Army, David Durkin, Genco, The Bank of the Pacific, and the Blaine Senior Center and others, provided food and cash for purchasing items for the dinner.
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