Letters to Editor September 24 - 30, 2009

Published on Thu, Sep 24, 2009
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The Editor:
The family of Steve Hamilton (Steve’s Hauling Service) would like to thank you all for the ongoing support during this difficult time (you know who you are). We appreciate the calls of concern, and prayers during Steve’s recovery from a ruptured brain aneurysm. Steve is recovering from brain surgery down at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle on July 27 and has a long road of recovery ahead of him. A couple of weeks ago he was transferred to a local nursing facility.
We would especially like to thank Charley Pruitt, a fellow local self-made businessman for having Steve’s business calls forwarded to him to ensure Steve’s customers are taken care of, whether by himself or referral.
Thank you all, and God Bless.
Judy Hamilton

The Editor:
There are times when the silent majority needs to speak up loudly to be heard above the racket that those with a special interest are making. This year’s election is one of those times. Whatcom County is fortunate to have four candidates: Carl Weimer, Laurie Caskey-Schreiber, Dan McShane, and Ken Mann that are truly unbiased supporters of the common man. Those that care about the environment we live in and want to see it protected, those who are concerned about whether our economy is sustainable over the long term, those who desire equitable treatment for all income levels in our society, and those willing to investigate thoroughly then uphold what is clearly in the public interest have a friend on the county council so long as these candidates are there. Many Americans are understandably afraid for their personal economic future right now as a direct result of the near collapse of our global financial system and the consequent devaluation of all types of assets, property, homes, businesses, stocks and bonds. These four individuals above represent experienced, creative, informed and fair leadership at a time when our county desperately needs to make difficult choices on the road to economic recovery. With unemployment over 10 percent, creation of new jobs and attracting existing national and international business ventures should be the top priority for Blaine and Whatcom County in 2010. I urge people throughout our area to help get out the vote for these knowledgeable and motivated leaders. Whatcom County’s border location makes us a unique economic portal that could benefit substantially as American exports of both goods and services become more cost competitive due to the rising relative value of the Canadian dollar. If an economic development effort were done correctly, with both Whatcom County and Blaine coordinating their solicitations and marketing resources, there is no doubt that many companies would choose to locate operations here. It is time for economic diversif
ication as opposed to more real estate over-speculation; it takes jobs in other sectors of any economy to increase demand for a huge existing unsold inventory of commercial and residential properties.
Lincoln Rutter

The Editor:
The 2009-10 school year is off to a great start.
I want to take a moment to thank publicly our staff, parents, patrons and board of directors for working collaboratively to make your school district such a positive and productive place to work and learn each day. In the face of unprecedented challenges economically, experiencing nearly $1.8 million in revenue and subsequent program reductions over a two-year period of time, we have continued to work together to assure for the continuation of the highest quality program for students at all levels.
As individual issues surface, I want to encourage parents and patrons to contact me directly with your thoughts and concerns. It remains our commitment to assure that we are maximizing the use of our resources, in order to best meet the academic needs of all students.
We are looking forward to another outstanding school year.
Ron Spanjer
Blaine school district

The Editor:
Let’s not move the railroad building. Here’s my idea. Getting thousands of signatures, from both sides of the border, we ask Seattle billionaire Bill Gates to donate to the cause. We could name the building The Gateway Station and, much like Sam Hill’s name is forever remembered for the Peace Arch monument, the Gate’s name would be prominently displayed forever on a huge beautiful marker on the remodeled building. How fitting for this unique location at the gateway into both countries. Maybe the whole Gates family would even show up for the big dedication ceremony. Hey, worth a try!
Dorothy Bush

The Editor:
I would like to thank our award-winning barbecue host, Chris McBride for our very successful 15th annual pig roast. Also, a huge thanks to all the volunteers from the American Legion, Sons of the American Legion and the Ladies Auxiliary who volunteered their time.
It was a great turnout by our community that attended and enjoyed karaoke, the children’s games and great food.
Would you like to be involved or enjoy all the events sponsored by the American Legion? Learn how you can become a Legion, Sons of the American Legion or Ladies Auxiliary member by giving us a call at 371-7311 or visit our website, www.blaine americanlegion.com.
We have a spacious hall and kitchen as well as a covered barbecue area that are available to the public for rent.
Michele Arestad

The Editor:
I recently returned from an eight-month stay in China and was kept current on Birch Bay issues by Kathy Berg and others. It was discouraging to read about the continued delays on road maintenance, etc. and that we were faced with possibly losing our full time deputy sheriff.
Fortunately, thanks to Bill Elfo, the latter issue did not happen. More recently, we were informed major road projects have finally gotten higher priority.
It seems Pete Kremen has joined forces with the no growth advocates (Futurewise, Lincoln Rutter and some county councilpersons). Wanting to reduce Birch Bay’s current UGA is fraught with pitfalls.
These events bring up the topic of our incorporation. To me, the three most important issues here are sustaining the environment, having adequate public safety and preserving our infrastructure. For the past five calendar years we have provided the county with around $2,500,000 in tax revenues (REET) and my guess is that less than $100,000 has been appropriated for use in Birch Bay in that time period.
Granted some citizens of Birch Bay may not want to incorporate. I believe if we want to take care of our environment, public safety and infrastructure, we should incorporate rather than be at the mercy of the county.
Bear in mind that the no growth proponents do not live in Birch Bay and want to impose their philosophy on us who live here. Mr. Rutter does not live in Blaine or Birch Bay; he writes his negative letters from his house in affluent Birch Point.
The time to take control over Birch Bay’s future is now. We should not remain puppets for the county and have them dictate how our environment will be preserved, how safe our community will be and how our roads, etc. will be maintained and improved. As a city we can be self determining for these important issues and other issues as well.
If you list the pros and cons to incorporation and accept the Berk feasibility study and not Mr. Rutter’s pronouncements, I believe you will conclude that we should incorporate now.
Mickey Masdeo
Birch Bay

The Editor:
We understand that your policy for letters to the editor is to abstain form political rhetoric. Both Hawkins and Onyon were allowed political letters in the past six weeks. I believe you should allow response and commentary from their opponents George and White. Debate is absolutely essential to an open and honest democratic government!
Joel Douglas
(Publishers Note: Our policy prohibits candidates from using the letters column as a vehicle to present their campaign platform. They are welcome to submit letters on other subjects such as challenges to debate and all four candidates have availed themselves of this opportunity.)

The Editor:
This Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the final regular season Blaine Gardener’s Market at the H Street Plaza. There will be a fall special Harvest Celebration Market on October 17. Many thanks to all of the gardeners, crafters, artists, and customers who made our first season so special. For information call Ron at 360/ 332-8082.
Ron Snyder,
The Circle of Trees Studio
and Homestead

The Editor:
I concur with Leonard and Trina V’Dovec’s concerns, voiced last week, over the current policy undertaken by Blaine middle school that adheres to a one-size-fits-all approach to education. For the dubious sake of preserving the self-esteem of marginal students, educators of late are far too willing to promote a system that caters to the lowest common denominator at the expense of other students’ potential.
Furthermore, circumvention of mandated standards (read WASL) is being practiced by addressing aspects of student progress by subjective means, rather than objective tests. This herd mentality stifles individuality, competitiveness and achievement - elements that once characterized our public education system and benefited the nation.
How about dropping the social agenda and concentrating on educating our children to their highest individual potential?
Patrick Guimond

The Editor:
Each month at the Free Church Unitarian we take a special H.O.P.E. (Help Other People Exist) offering, primarily to help meet the needs of women and children in Blaine and Whatcom County. This month our offering was taken for the Peach Arch Children’s Park right here in Blaine.
It is our hope that other churches and civic organizations will consider giving generously to what will be a fine addition to the park and all the children of Blaine.
Rev. Nan Geer, minister,
Free Church Unitarian

The Editor:
On behalf of park manager, Jason Snow, staff and volunteers at Peace Arch State Park, I would like to thank minister Nan Geer and the congregation of Blaine’s Free Unitarian Church for their generous contribution to the park’s playground equipment replacement project.
During these challenging financial times, it may seem like every special interest group in Whatcom County is vying for your charitable contribution. While I’m sure their causes are worthy, remember that the beneficiaries of your generosity are limited to members of those special groups.
What sets the Peace Arch playground project apart from the rest is that all children of all ages will benefit when modern, safe and exciting playground equipment is installed at the park. Please join the community-minded folks at the Free Unitarian Church and help make the dream of a new playground a reality.
For information, contact the park at 332-8221.
John Yirak

The Editor:
The September 17 edition of The Northern Light contains a letter which says, in part: “Councilors and citizens need to claim back the city from misguided outside developers and large businesses who purport to be helping the city, but are only exploiting it for their own gain.”
While this letter actually referred to the Blaine train depot, it would seem to have prophesied the pusillanimous action of Blaine city council September 14, when it acquiesced to the demands of Ken Imus and Kathleen Hill (a spokesperson for an out-of-state development corporation which does not currently even own property in Blaine) and separated Terry Galvin from the position of community development director.
This benighted separation agreement comes in addition to recent council action eliminating water and sewer hookup fees (residential and commercial), as well as a new proposal to remove or reduce impact fees for commercial developers.
This trifecta attacking intelligent planning will have clear and foreseeable results: developers will mass to take advantage of free services, and Blaine will be left with incalculably expensive infrastructure damage as a legacy.
When developers display attitude that says, “If you don’t give me what I want, at little or no cost to me, I’ll pick up my marbles and leave,” we think it’s time to say, “Here’s your marble bag.”
Marcie and Bob Toby

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.

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