Letters to the Editor August 20 - 26, 2009

Published on Wed, Aug 19, 2009
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The Editor:
Just a word of praise for Stafholt Good Samaritan Center. I just returned home from a 12-day stay for a broken pelvis and must admit the service was wonderful, the food delicious. The therapists, Mike and Julie were marvelous. Julie explained exactly what to do and avoid doing to learn to walk and get around. Mike encouraged you to go the extra mile.
Everyone on the floor was caring, competent, and capable, I really enjoyed my stay and can’t say enough for the staff besides thank you.
Vivian Fosberg

The Editor:
I attended the Monday city hall meeting on August 10. Kathleen Hill, Community Studios, presented active development plans for revitalizing Blaine. This presentation included the development plans for the land Ken Imus owns in downtown Blaine.
This also included the current construction on the former Worldly Treasures building, which is happening as you read this. This was an outstanding presentation. It was impressive and beautiful. Both Ms. Hill and Mr. Imus are developers that care about the community.
They develop based on the community’s history. They both have charm! This is a rare quality in developers. Most developers do not care about the community and their dreams; they will simply build unflattering strip malls. If we do not hold onto Ms. Hill and Mr. Imus now then this very well could be Blaine’s unsightly future.  
Blaine has a golden opportunity to make our area a sustainable community, a place where we can all live, work, and play. This time sensitive opportunity could start tomorrow. Unfortunately our city council members vocalized to the developers present at the meeting about their concerns with which council members and city staff are on vacation rather than accommodate something as important as the revitalization of our city.
The city council members were an absolute embarrassment to the city of Blaine. Kathleen Hill and Ken Imus expressed that they would like to start working plans immediately.
However, our city council members are once again holding an entire city back. What was also discovered in this meeting is that Blaine is known for refusing to help developers with costs such as traffic impact fees or sewer hookup fees. These fees alone for a past project were to cost the developer over $265,000. This developer took his plans and left Blaine.
Please, Blaine city council, focus on our city, and get it together.  Help Blaine become a sustainable community for families and businesses that love Blaine and would like to keep their future generations close to home.
Tory Maxwell

The Editor:
Well, it’s almost time for Blaine students to return to school. The Blaine Family Service Center opens on September 1 at 9:15 a.m., the day before school starts, to distribute school supplies to families in need of help. Community members and businesses have always been generous in their donation of school supplies.
For anyone interested in donating, we currently are low on: Washable markers, glue sticks, colored pencils, medium size binders, dividers, wide rule and college rule paper, wide rule and college rule notebooks, scissors, composition books, black sharpies.
We also need backpacks, preferably the larger kind that can hold a couple of binders. We will be at the service center getting organized on August 31 but donations can be dropped off any weekday at the school district office at the corner of H and Mitchell streets. Thanks very much for your support in helping our students be ready to learn when they attend school this fall.
Larissa Dhanani & Jessie
Burton, Family Service Center

The Editor:
I was shocked but not surprised on reading the letter from Carol Graham of Surrey at the disgusting treatment she received from the border guard on entering the U.S. He told her she had no right to visit Blaine for their Fourth of July celebration. All in the view of the monument to the common mother.
I recall the letter from Karl King on July 24, 2008 on the treatment given to the 50 members of the color party of the Royal Canadian Legion, who were to appear in the Birch Bay parade and the mistreatment of the Japanese students.
He also writes “No wonder Americans are held in such low esteem around the world,” We have owned property here for 45 years and loved Blaine, the people of Blaine and always made a point of shopping in Blaine.
After a terrifying, manic, verbal and physical attack and a threatening gesture with his gun (probably both criminal offenses) we received from an out of control border guard recently, we are boycotting Blaine.
Until the business owners and the people of Blaine put some real pressure on Congressman Larsen, and on the border guards living among them to change their repugnant behavior, we will avoid Blaine.
I recall the days when Blaine was a friendly, thriving town. There was once a new car dealership, a used car dealership, two grocery stores, two pizza restaurants and gas stations on Peace Portal (except the Chevron), all gone. Never mind the theater.
Canadians liked to visit Blaine, and Blaine welcomed them. A friendly cross border atmosphere existed.
Until these border bullies are fired, and sent back where they came from and more sensible people are put in charge, we will regretfully avoid Blaine.
Please note, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection authority require that border guards pledge the following to travelers: We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States. We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
Some guards are doing completely the opposite. Their behavior can only harm America.
John Smith

The Editor:
Thank you for featuring the APA museum at Semiahmoo Park in the August 13, issue of The Northern Light. Intern Marisa Willis did a thorough job of research and even reported some facts that I did not know. She is bound for a successful career in journalism.
It is appropriate that the obituary for Bob Thorstenson Sr. and the museum feature would share the same page. Bob was one of the people responsible for promoting and funding the historic DVDs which are shown and sold at the museum. Historic film footage of the APA Star fleet under sail and cannery operations may be seen on “Salmon and the Age of Sail”. Local cannery workers narrate and share their experiences in Blaine and Alaska.
The family of the late Jonas Thorstenson provided the model fish traps exhibit. Marge Reichardt was instrumental in the creation of the museum and display of the artifacts.
Carl Reichardt and E. Weed donated the 28’ Bristol Bay fishing boat. The mural shown in the paper was painted by Kathryn Graves of Birch Bay.
2009 to date, 1007 visitors have signed in. They all marvel at the beauty of our area and show a genuine interest in our history. Thanks to Whatcom County Parks for recent major improvements to the park and buildings.
Our staff of volunteer docents opens the door every Friday through Sunday. With great appreciation and thanks to Jean Cartwright, Jamie Law, Steve Lockwood, Jeri Payne, Terry Price, Lee Quien, Jerry Rising, Judy Thorson, Mickey Whitney and Elaine Yates for their dedication to the task.
The museum is open Friday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. till the end of August. We need to sign up new members for weekends beginning in September.
No admission but donations and sale proceeds support the projects of Drayton Harbor Maritime Society. Information, special tours and openings may be arranged by calling 360/371-3558 or 360/332-5742.
Sunny Brown
Birch Bay

The Editor:
Throughout the world and from earliest times, there have been public markets. In fact, there are currently over 4800 farm and gardener’s markets in the United States.
Our next Blaine Gardeners Market is this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and there are only three market days left this season.
So mark your calendar for August 22, September 12, and September 26 as market days in Blaine. We at the market want to thank all of our vendors and shoppers for supporting the market this season, and we want to encourage more of you to come to the H Street Plaza and join the fun as a seller (spaces are free), or as a buyer.
Everything that is sold at the market is grown, produced, or made by the seller, so come on down and support your local artisans and gardeners. Remember, this is a locally grown market and it belongs to all of us.
If we do not support our market, it will go the way of so many other ventures in downtown Blaine. For more information, call Ron and Cathy at The Circle of Trees Homestead, 332-8082, or Carroll at the Blaine Visitors Center, 332-6484.
Ron Snyder

The Editor:
The 1st Annual Mike Smith benefit golf tournament, held at Grandview Golf Course on Saturday, August 15 was a rousing success!
On behalf of North Bay Christ the King Church, my family and I would like to express our appreciation to the many local area restaurants, golf courses and hardware stores for providing prizes and gift certificates for this event, as well as the many individuals who donated their time, talent and treasure to make this venture such a success.
Each person was so very helpful in making this dream become a reality. A special thanks to Ron Booth, Kevin Wilson and the ladies from North Bay Christ the King for your amazing efforts. This truly was a community event and without all of you we couldn’t have had such a wonderful, fun and successful day.
I know Mike was smiling down on us all day. God Bless you all.
Joan Smith, Shelly Button &
Julie Fosnick
Birch Bay

The Editor:
I have asked Congressman Rick Larson’s office if a meeting may be held in Blaine on the healthcare issue, but so far the congressman does not plan a meeting here. Perhaps if other people contacted the office and expressed interest, a meeting might be scheduled.
The healthcare issue has many aspects that should be discussed. For seniors, Medicare is a particular concern. I wonder how removing $500 billion over 10 years from Medicare, paying doctors and hospitals less, and having a sort of actuarial table on the value of people’s lives, while baby boomers add to the Medicare population, will not result in national care?
Those of us who have lived in Canada or have family there are probably more realistically concerned than others. A good friend there waited two years in great pain for a hip replacement. A 13-year-old great nephew has waited a month for an MRI for a brain tumor.
Lucy Chambers

The Editor:
I wanted to send this along to let the city council know that as a local downtown property owner and small business owner that I whole heatedly support proper downtown development and growth.
Ken Imus has the means and common sense to make downtown Blaine much more presentable and tourist friendly.
Blaine and its local power base should be happy he is here and completely supportive to the point of actually giving him everything he needs to make things happen. All one has to do is take a short 25 minute drive down to Fairhaven in south Bellingham and see what he is capable of producing.
He has a great interest and eye for historical buildings and what it takes to build today, to appear like yesterday. Blaine is super lucky to have him here willing to spend money and make vacant non conforming buildings look completely different, usable and sustaining.
Make him feel welcome, help him help Blaine, grease the wheel, and it will come back to the downtown community ten fold. I’m sure you all agree and support him and I’m sure you also agree that road blocks and politics as usual cannot and will not work or be tolerated by the community and citizenry.
Of all the possible developers, we couldn’t ask for a more appropriate, quality company to be here.
Welcome him with open arms. Thank you for your time.
Bill Becht

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