Thank you to everyone who made the ninth annual Wings Over Water NW Birding Festival the best ever! The Blaine middle school provided the perfect location. It takes a flock to make this event happen, and I want to thank each of the committee members that worked hard for at least six months to plan this event: Kathleen Hernandez, Kim Shea, Carroll Solomon, Jim Jorgensen and Eloise Nyman. We would also like to thank all of our invaluable volunteers that assisted the day of the festival.
Please see the thank you ad in this issue of The Northern Light for the list of our sponsors and supporters which include many local businesses as well as individuals who financially supported the festival.
We also wouldn’t be able to have this festival without the birds. We are fortunate to have such a fantastic location for a wildlife festival with a wide variety of bird species right here in our back yard.
If you want to know more about the birds, stop by the Blaine Visitor Center, where we have a backpack with binoculars (from West Marine) and a bird identification list to loan to you for a couple hours to check out the birds right here at the Harbor and Marine Park.
Time flies, and we will be celebrating our 10th annual festival in 2012. We can use more help to make it a grand celebration. If you are interested in helping with next year’s festival or want more information, please call 360/543-9982 or the VIC at 332-4544.
Debbie Harger, festival chair
City of Blaine Community Development
and Tourism coordinator
Failing kindergarten, Robert Fulghum gave us the delightful series of books about, “All We Need To Know We Learned In Kindergarten.” Among wisdoms available to those interested in learning were, “tell the truth, co-operate, be kind and don’t hit.” It seems most of today’s government leaders have as yet not completed kindergarten. At presently, another government leader’s failing kindergarten as his vow, no mercy, in crushing a revolutionary movement gave the international military coalition license to act, altering his strategy to stay in power to staying alive.
Did Gadhafi give any thought to the military forces which would align against him and with their image to burnish, surely not until he’s dead, in chains or exiled would they be satisfied their mission was accomplished?
Also, as to mission accomplished, it’s now 10 years since another kindergarten recidivist had his pants on fire telling WMD tales; his “shock and awe” tantrum of no mercy then, leading to our own cries of ‘mercy’ now, with the costs in blood and treasure of that ego trip. It’s my hope humanity learns to elect government leaders who’ve successfully completed kindergarten sometime soon, as my patience has worn thin with our present class of failures.
Whatcom County council member Sam Crawford just now proposed to docket the up-zoning of 492 acres near Semiahmoo from one house per 10 acres to one per five. He recently proposed to add 800 additional acres to Birch Bay’s urban growth area.
Blaine’s city council previously voted to waive sewer system access fees – but only for a few lucky developers. It should be obvious that our local governments are being run of, by and for real estate development interests.
The current majority on the county council was elected to serve special interest groups with only 25 percent of the popular vote, because 50 percent of voters failed to vote in that election.
These are pathetically misguided fiscal policies by any standard. Much of Whatcom County has already experienced approximately 40 percent devaluation in home prices.
Economists predict additional 20 -25 percent devaluation nationally; further estimating that 40 percent of American households will soon have substantial negative equity, up from 25 percent currently, within the next calendar year (a house worth significantly less than the outstanding balance on its mortgage). Supply has outpaced demand that severely.
These planning policies, which encourage more over-speculation in real estate, are directly responsible for the massive devaluation experienced locally in both the residential and commercial markets during the recent 2010 tax assessed valuation cycle.
These same county land use policies also have created their respective multi-million dollar account deficits and have been responsible for the elimination of over 100 of 950 county jobs, which economically will hurt many local businesses.
For example, the Birch Bay land area (designed by the county to characterize the 2010 census data) is nearly larger than the total acreage presently represented by the city of Bellingham.
That gigantic, mostly rural, Birch Bay planning sub-area land mass is unincorporated and, as such, has virtually no existing public infrastructure or services and almost no corporate tax-revenue base either.
That county deficit spending, now growing out-of-control, has come from trying to provide urban levels of service across too large an undeveloped area. Please speak-out against these economically foolish policies and vote for new more responsive councils of local government.
I seem to keep reading letters about our border patrol agents that sound so negative.
I live on a small road off of H Street Road that runs right next to the border. Agents drive by my house daily. They wave at myself or my granddaughter always. They even stop to say hello sometimes.
I have never felt so safe in any home in my life. It’s like having a private security patrol for free.
As far as helicopters flying over, it isn’t a constant or long-lasting occurrence. If it prevents one drug smuggler form entering our country, it’s well worth it.
If it bothered me as much as some other people I read letters from, I would move.
No one made me buy a house next to the border. It was my choice. It’s not like the casino. The border was here before I was.
Anyway, thank you to our border agents. Keep up the good work.
On April 26, Blaine will be voting on a capital projects bond for the school district. The information on what the bond will fund is available from the school district office and should be studied by all voters prior to the election.
Furthermore, voters should arrange to visit the schools and take a tour of the facilities to familiarize themselves with the concerns and needs addressed by the proposed bond.
I took this tour on March 17. Having attended and actually taught in the Blaine schools (several years ago), I was impressed with some of the facilities and depressed by other parts of the facilities.
Some conditions exist that are a health and safety issue for students and staff. It would appear that no amount of effort and money spent on trying to make-do will alleviate these conditions. What will be required is new construction and/or remodel.
It should be noted that the district needs are at all levels: Primary, elementary, middle and high school. This means that youngsters at all grade levels would benefit from construction funded by the proposed bond.
Again, I would suggest that voters get the information on the details of the capital projects bond and make an effort to tour the present facilities.