To the Editor: Forty-two percent of American households have under $10,000 in liquid assets while 27 percent have less than $1,000. The top six banks paid $100 billion dollars in 2009 bonus money (1500 individuals over $10 million at one bank) even though none would have made a profit if the Federal Reserve system had not kept our federal funds rate effectively at zero throughout the year and our federal government had not previously bailed these banks out. The top six individual hedge fund managers earned over one billion dollars each, in 2009, the top receiving $4.3 billion dollars personally, while 17.4 percent of the American workforce has no job if one includes those who fell off the unemployment rolls as benefits expired. All these fund managers simply wagered that the U.S. government would have to use taxpayer funds to rescue the largest 19 banks. Does the outline of a structural problem begin to emerge, in terms of the equitable distribution of wealth or are these comparisons just the result of normal competition in a free enterprise job market? Bearing in mind that an economic depression occurs when ordinary working families do not earn enough income to be effective consumers of the goods and services produced by America’s corporations, it should be clear why the present Democratic administration is attempting to increase the taxes paid by those making over $250,000 annually. What confuses me is why people who will likely not save $250,000 over their entire lifetime, let alone earn that much in one year, are protesting Obama’s attempt to address the obvious national economic problem that results from this, the highest concentration of wealth in the fewest American hands, since the founding of our country. The largest transfer of wealth in U.S. history is already occurring daily from all those who have earned and saved financial assets over their lifetime – that now earn less than 1 percent in interest income – to those few individuals who control financial services corporations that do not produce any physical product of value to anybody, but they do control our nation’s money supply and spin public opinion. Lincoln Rutter Blaine
The Editor: On behalf of the Blaine chamber choir students and myself, I would like to thank all of you for your generosity in supporting our New York fundraising this last 10 months. Our trip to New York the week of April 28 – May 2 was a dream trip come true. From the top of the Rockefeller Center to our performance at St. John the Divine Cathedral, the largest Angelican cathedral in the world, we had a widely varied and outstanding musical and cultural experience. Besides St. John’s we also performed in Federal Hall, the Statue of Liberty, Montclair University and provided the pre-service music Sunday morning at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopalian Church in downtown Manhattan. Many of our students were able to attend a Broadway musical and then experience the drama that unfolded in Times Square that Saturday evening. Fortunately, no one was injured, but it was a historical and empathetic exclamation mark on their New York experience that will influence these students the rest of their lives. I would like to sincerely thank all of the 24 students who made the trip for their hard work and dedication during the past year to prepare the music and raise the money for our New York tour. During the four days we were there, despite being tired, hot and a little overwhelmed by the culture shock, they were polite, cooperative, drama-free and outstanding in their performances. I would also like to thank our chaperones and our trip organizer for their assistance in all the different aspects of making this trip possible and for their facilitation in making it go so smoothly while we were there. We would like to invite the community to come to our Blaine high school all-choral concert, Monday, June 7, 7 p.m. in the PAC, for an evening of vocal music and a slide show presentation of our New York trip. Andy Harmening Choral director Blaine school district
The Editor: This past weekend was a busy one for our little town with a bicycle rodeo, artist studio tour, Mother’s Day activities and a marina boating day. For that last one, I want to thank Deb Morley and her staff at Blaine’s West Marine Express for their work in presenting the annual flare shoot demonstration on the Semiahmoo Bay side of Blaine’s marina spit. Approximately 35 people got the chance to hear why flares are important in their boating experience, practice shooting off expired aerial flares and lighting off handheld smoke and light flares. We learned by handling and watching the different makes of flares and learned firsthand the inherent risks involved. Deb made sure the demonstration was safe and her staff and volunteers made the practice session a good learning experience. For the several boaters planning trips offshore and up the coast to Alaska, the lesson was especially timely. She even showed why we should be carrying a flare safety kit as we go ashore in our dinghies. Now it is up to all boaters and watchers on shore to report sightings of flares and orange smoke on the water to 911 or the local coast guard. Thanks again Deb! Graham Hunter Blaine
The Editor: The Blaine Library is celebrating! After 21 years, the old, tired, rippling and stained carpet has been replaced, giving the place a new freshness and vitality. A big thank you is extended to the city of Blaine for funding this much-needed project. The community can again be proud to call this building their own. The Blaine Friends of the Library also deserve many thanks. These loyal, hardworking supporters graciously paid for a beautiful, new circulation counter and additional storage cabinetry. It took a lot of $.50-cent and $1 books sold over the years to come up with the necessary funding! The Whatcom County library system, of which the Blaine Library is a part, provided the manpower for this sizeable undertaking, with facilities director Paul Krippner furnishing his expertise. Forty large plywood book trucks were rented and delivered from Everett, to hold the materials from the library’s south end. These, along with the actual shelving units were stacked in the other end, while the old carpet was torn out and the new installed. Then the process was repeated for the other half. All computers were also removed and set up when everything was back in place. Every second of the week that the library was closed was filled with activity and dust. Your Blaine Library staff demonstrated flexibility and good humor as they tackled whatever jobs needed doing, often in tight spaces. A final thanks goes to the faithful library patrons who exhibited considerable patience during the week long closure. If you haven’t already been in, be sure to stop by and see your Blaine Library’s new look. Debby Farmer, branch manager Blaine Public Library
The Editor: A small country church has been doing handcraft benevolence projects for decades to benefit people in need. Eight ladies have been meeting every Wednesday morning from fall, winter and spring to do their handiwork. Each lady has special skills in handcraft to work like a factory production team. It is through the conversation and companionship that bonds this group together in their handcraft. They are quilters. April 25th was show day at the church. The sanctuary was filled and decorated with 160 hand made quilts. It was a sight to behold of tapestry, color and fabric. On this day of dedication all the quilts were to be packed, shipped and given away to world relief organization and to the new Whatcom Hospice House. This is just to provide love and comfort to people that they do not know. Friends, relatives or neighbors contribute fabric, old clothes and sewing materials to help them. It is through artistry that creates wonderful works of art. These quilters are quick to point out that their belief that Jesus is the creative quilter, stitching humanity together. To love one another, laughing in delight in each quilts comfort and the joy in the communal process. This is only to be shared by brothers and sisters in this country and the world. They have started a “prayer shawl” ministry for the support and comfort of people undergoing medical problems and procedures. The shawls are knitted or crocheted usually at home. The church has assembled and shipped 72 personal health care hygiene kits to world relief places. They are again gathering supplies for more kits. Helen Rudy has been quilting since 1954. Other members include Eugenia Guchert, Anne Tennyson, Brenda Bannerman, Melanie Shearer, Joyce Dippold, Sharon Bradford and Rosemary Meyers. People united by a common thread doing “ Love Ministry” with handicraft. In life, you give your time and talent for others to receive the blessings of volunteerism. The rewards come later and you can help! The church basement factory is at 7215 Valley View Road, Custer. A 107-year-old church, learning from the bible to “love one another.” Earl Erickson Blaine
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