Letters to the Editor - March 31 - April 6, 2011

Published on Thu, Mar 31, 2011
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The Editor:
The Bite of Blaine was just delicious! We hope you all enjoyed it. Our new feature this year was a live auction of some really great items donated by some equally great businesses: Dakota Creek Winery, Semiahmoo Yacht Club, Smugglers Inn Limousine Service, Circle of Trees Homestead, Whatcom Wine Tours, Sterling Savings Bank, Becky Farar of Sterling Savings, Paso Del Norte Restaurant and Northwest Limousine Service. Our auctioneer was the always enchanting Gary Tomsic. We sincerely thank all of you for your enthusiasm and your generosity toward our 2011 July 4th Fireworks show – it will be fabulous! And don’t forget to shop local!
Carroll Solomon
Blaine Chamber of Commerce

The Editor:
On February 24, I toured Blaine high school with a group of interested citizens. What an education that was. We were escorted by two exemplary students, Thomas Berndtson and Perry Olason; principal, Scott Ellis and facilities manager, Jim Kenoyer.
My grandson attended Blaine schools for four years, and I supervised student teachers in the primary and elementary schools several years back, so I knew a little about the schools already and everything I knew was positive.
Now my perception is even more positive about the quality of education the kids receive in Blaine – the AP courses, the awards for excellence, the music and art programs that have not yet been decimated during this recession, the science and technology studies going on. Wow! But the high school building – oh, dear. All this wonderful education is going on in sub-standard classrooms.
Each year the teachers and students work in facilities that are a little more dilapidated. I think the district has done a wonderful job of patching things together and keeping the plant up as well as humanly possible but there comes a time to face the inevitable – the high school building needs help.
What struck me the most was the overcrowding, the antiquated science, and technology labs, the classrooms built with only one door, and the glassed-in courtyards which function as greenhouses. The classrooms swelter with temperatures over 100 degrees a good part of the school year. I understand that the entire ventilation system needs to be replaced. I think our children deserve better than this.
I’m sure there would be general agreement about the students deserving better, but the argument will be made that this is not the time to ask for money; with the recession and job losses that have hit Blaine and Birch Bay. Point well taken. However, the longer these school necessities are delayed, the larger the price will be. Prices for construction and land and money are all down now and we will get a significant bang for the buck if we suck it up and do it now.
The first payments wouldn’t come due for over a year, and things should be better by then. Let’s support these youngsters of ours the way we should.
Corey Priddy

The Editor:
The Blaine primary PTO would like to express sincere gratitude to the students, staff, parents and the community. We have completed our annual read-a-thon, and it was a huge success!
We are extremely pleased to exceed our goal this year, making this the most successful fundraiser to date. The dedication by all involved will allow the students to continue to have educational field trips and assemblies along with additional supplies in the coming school year. These experiences and supplies will enhance the education of the children of our community.
We also send special gratitude to Sterling Savings Bank for your sponsorship of our envelope printing. As the PTO begins to plan for next year, we are thankful you have given us the opportunity to make big plans!
Suzanne Thomas, vice president
Blaine primary PTO

The Editor:
A recent issue of your paper showed a photo of a hummingbird with a caption “the hummers are back.”
We have mixed up birds in our neighborhood. Two females and one male liked it so well here, they did not leave. They appeared at the feeders daily during our rain and windstorms and slurped nectar voraciously during the five snowstorms.
Around Thanksgiving time, a male hit our living room window and crash landed in the fresh snow. My wife picked him up, wrapped him in a stocking and when he recovered, taught him to eat from a spoon. He escaped twice and flew around inside the house. Catching him was a challenge for her. After a week, the weather warmed and the bird was released.
We’ve lived on 15th Street for over 40 years and always enjoy watching and feeding the little buzz bombs. This is the first time the birds had not left us by the 1st of August. Do any other Blaine residents have mixed up birds that have forgotten where south is?
Dick Vander Yacht

The Editor:
When I graduated from Blaine high school in 1992, our campus was adequate for the size of our class of 65 graduates. For science a student either had Mr. Jorgensen or Mr. Lotze (alternating teaching physics one year and then chemistry the next). All students were expected to eat in the cafeteria.
Now in 2011 I have a perspective that I would like to share with the voters of Blaine. After teaching in four other school districts, I have returned to Blaine to teach. I am delighted to work in my hometown.
The teachers and administration are unmatched as compared to anywhere I have taught. However, since returning, the changes since my graduation are considerable. Class sizes are now two and a half times larger than they were in 1992.
A student might have one of any of the five current science teachers, all of whom are vying for a chance at the one science lab. Students are no longer expected to eat in the cafeteria because that might get dangerously overcrowded. So instead, I open up my classroom (along with other teachers) and accommodate the need for students to eat in a semi-supervised area. As you might expect this causes wear and tear on the classrooms as well as additional custodial time.
I am thankful for the opportunity to teach the youth of our community and to have a good job in this current economy. As a teacher that experiences our lack of resources every day, though, I think it is reasonable to ask that we provide a safe, healthy environment for our children to learn and eat. It is reasonable to provide a covered area for elementary children to play in the northwest.
It is reasonable to provide teachers and students with rooms with adequate heating and ventilation. I feel the team that put together the current bond has focused on real, reasonable needs of our staff and students. Right now building costs are historically low, now is the time to get the most for our money.
Please consider our overcrowded school and vote yes for schools in April. For more information visit www.blainesd.org.
Mike Dahl

The Editor:
Just never give up when it’s important!
Margie who lives on about an acre of land in South White Rock saw a black dog sleeping in her A-frame shed. She couldn’t approach him, but left food twice daily for him. He slept in the shed and returned daily to eat, but never could be approached or touched. That’s my doggie!
Anyway, she saw that he was a sweet dog and probably belonged to someone. She took a poster down to the corner store to put up. The owner said that there was a lost dog poster but she threw it away a few weeks ago. She phoned a friend who owned an RV park at the Pacific border crossing and asked if he had seen my poster. He had, and he drove around until he found one. He called me on Saturday morning. The words I heard a million times in my head before I answered the phone, “I found your dog.”
It’s been a two-day adventure. I saw him twice, but he hid in the bush each time. We finally built an elaborate trap in the A-frame, so when he touched his bowl of food a trap door dropped blocking his exit. We reinforced all spots that he could get out. It worked. I went out at sunrise again this morning and he was there. It only took two minutes for him to be the same dog he was. I asked him if he wanted to go for a walk. His tail wagged and he put his head on my knee.
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. It’s over.
Go Canucks go.
Thanks for all the support.
Howard Blaustein

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