Letters to the Editor
I understand that in the mythical lore for the city of Blaine, a snow plow is mentioned. Can anyone confirm that? Happy New Year.
When I read Blaine’s city manager say: “The current economic climate has made it very difficult to sell the (airport) land,” it occurred to me most people would not have agreed to buy a car without first arranging to sell their current vehicle … unless they had money to waste.
For a city with a $4.8 million annual budget, however, transforming a $4 million airport asset into an immediate liability of that magnitude without first securing for a timely disposal or termination of that corresponding liability, was financially irresponsible on the part of Blaine’s city council. What was the hurry? Many people predicted that growth in the city would virtually stop.
As a prudent response to that economic slowdown, I would now like to once again recommend that Blaine instruct the County Planning and Development Service (PDS) to immediately reduce the size of both Blaine’s and Birch Bay’s Urban Growth Areas (UGAs) by removing all designated forestland zoning and all excessively large or major wetland ecosystems.
The state’s tax exemption granted for forestland (the unique ability to only pay $22 per acre per year) was supposed to be an economic incentive to grow trees, not housing developments. Including such land in a UGA only causes all other legitimate taxpayers to subsidize the real estate developments that occur on such tax-sheltered parcels.
I hereby encourage all local citizens to demand, loudly, that Gary Tomsic and the Birch Bay steering committee members instruct the county PDS to finally get those UGAs into compliance with our state’s Growth Management Act (GMA) because they have been noncompliant with respect to UGA density since October 2004.
All city, state and county governments live off of sales and property tax revenues and since “building and development activity … has fallen off dramatically,” according to the city manager, now is the time to adjust all UGAs accordingly.
Failing to recognize the size of the coming governmental budget deficits, due to the obvious property and tax revenue devaluations, would be as foolish as closing an airport at a cost of $4 million without a corresponding sale of the underlying property. Thank you.
Thank you Stafholt. On behalf of the Blaine Chamber of Commerce, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wayne, Marsha, the employees of Stafholt, and the other countless volunteers that helped to once again make the Giving Tree event such a tremendous success.
In this year of such pronounced and expanding need, the Stafholt team once again came through with an extraordinary commitment of time and energy to make this annual event one of the biggest ever.
The Blaine Chamber of Commerce is proud to be just one of many sponsors of the Giving Tree event and, more importantly, realize that it could never happen without the leadership of those from Stafholt. This is indeed a very special community!
Ron Spanjer, president,
Blaine Chamber of Commerce
Christmas morning I went to visit my daughter for a couple of hours then headed back home. On Portal Way I saw a small black pickup with large off road tires stuck in a foot of fresh snow on a level driveway. They had tried to dig out but still couldn’t get any traction. I stopped and offered to pull them out.
One of the teen boys looked at the driver and said, “A mini-van can’t pull us out, Dad.” In a good humored way I said, “Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone.”
I hooked them up with my tow rope and being on dry pavement I had them out in about five seconds. As I was gathering up my rope I waved and said “Have a Merry Christmas.”
The young teen promptly scowled at me and said “We don’t believe in Christmas” as they drove away. At first I was shocked at the thanks I had been given but now I know that if I happen to see you stuck again I will once again offer my assistance because it’s the right thing to do and when I have done wrong to others I have been given a second chance. So if you are reading this, please understand I hold no hard feelings. Have a happy New Year.
Ever since I inherited my parents’ home on B Street, I have known a major earthquake could shake my old house. But I took comfort in thinking I’d never experience a flood like some folks who live near the banks of the Nooksack River.
When I awakened at half past five on New Year’s morning, I realized how mistaken I was. My yard was flooded, my house was standing in water, and a lively stream was rushing over the sidewalk. A plugged storm drain was regurgitating melted snow and rainwater. The port of entry constructionists had somehow goofed, and they were all on vacation.
Across C Street, a lake was deepening to such an extent that I wondered if the residents of Blaine Manor might celebrate year 2009 with a bit of skinny dipping.
My only recourse was to phone the city and report an emergency. Within minutes Leroy Dougall came to the rescue. He’s a rare city employee who actually lives in Blaine, thereby enabling him to arrive at the scene in short order.
Moreover, he knew exactly what to do in order to solve the problem quickly and efficiently. This man is a treasure. He should be given a raise.
On a different matter, my autobiography, Riding the Carousel with God, is available at our local library. I’m much surprised to know people are reading it.
Cascadia: The Elusive Utopia by Douglas Todd is another new library book. Check it out and read Let the Salmon be Salmon: The International Peace Arch as Symbol and Challenge by Eleanor Stebner.
It’s an essay that announces a brand new way of thinking about our treasured monument.
A special thanks to all of our customers who braved the elements to come down and buy crab off the boat during November and December.
The fishery is shut down for a while but will reopen before too long I’m sure. Watch for our ad in this paper. Happy New Year.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for a great tournout at the middle school and high school holiday concerts in December.
The Blaine Fine Arts Association hosted the events with a collection for food and cash donations for the Blaine Food Bank. I’m proud to tell you all, that you all gave $365 and a number of food items.
The Blaine Fine Arts Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of volunteers that consists of parents, teachers, and community members who work to promote, encourage and support the efforts of the Blaine Art, Band, Choir and Drama Students.
The BFAA provides annual art scholarships, helps to purchase equipment, and offsets expenses that enable our students to receive experiences beyond the Blaine school district curriculum. The BFAA is proud of the work our students produce, and the honors they receive.
The 12th Annual Arts & Jazz Event is Saturday January 31, 7 p.m. in the PAC. The Arts & Jazz Event is the primary fund raising event for the BFAA and since its inception in 1998 has raised nearly $100,000 for the arts in thedBlaine school District.
These efforts have made possible nearly $40,000 in scholarships and awards, have assisted our arts programs in purchasing equipment and musical instruments, and have helped with funding for field trips and students exchanges. One hundred percent of the funds raised will benefit our students.
Annually, the Arts & Jazz auction offers fine art works, gourmet dinners, luxurious get-a-ways, and goods and services from many, many supporters and contributors. We print an auction catalog, make public announcements of our thanks and appreciation, and provide table top promotional information for your business.
We hope that you will join us for the 12th Annual Arts & Jazz as we continue to support our outstanding arts students.
In return we will do our best to thank you for your support and use the funds raised to encourage our students to excel.
If you have any questions please contact myself or our auction coordinators, Dorita Gray 380-1634 or Tami Kramme 332-4218.
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.
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