Letters to the Editor - April 14-20, 2011

Published on Thu, Apr 14, 2011
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The Editor:
With all the press on the plastic bags as of lately I have noticed along the walking path at Semiahmoo that people pick up after their dogs and then just chuck the bags off into the woods.
They are on the ground as well as hanging in the trees and on the brush. Really beautiful people, what is the point? If you are to do this to nature why not just let nature take its course and leave it lay; that’s what slugs are for.
Leo Baldwin
Blaine

 
The Editor:
For those of you like me who are voting no on the ballot for the school, here is why.
This country spends more per capita on education then any country in the world. This state’s largest budget item is education, and what are the results? We are turning out more skulls full of mush then most countries in the world. We rank so far down the list it is really discouraging.
When I taught English in China it was so encouraging to see a group of kids who were there for one purpose, to improve their lives through education. I had students who knew more about American history then a lot of kids in this country.
Just look at what the American education system has given us, just by looking at the brain-dead individuals who are occupying the White House.
Until the schools here start turning out educated students rather then the skulls full of mush that are currently being produced, I am not going to vote for anything for the school system, especially in these economic times where the foreclosure rates in the county are on the rise.
David White
Blaine


The Editor:  
Last spring I served on the Blaine schools facilities committee with other citizens, staff and board members.  This committee was formed to assess the needs of the school facilities and make a recommendation whether to run a capital projects bond levy in 2011.
After touring the Blaine school campus it is evident that some facilities, especially the 35-year-old high school, are in desperate need of major renovation and remodel.
The economic downturn has created some favorable options for renovation such as reduced cost for school construction, better market rates for building materials and lower interest rates on bonds, all which improve the purchasing power of each taxpayer dollar.
The reality of increasing taxes in the current unfavorable economic environment when public schools are facing draconian cuts from state budgets for basic instruction made for a difficult decision. It was decided that the Blaine schools community should be kept informed regarding the urgent facility needs and concerns and that a bond levy should be put before the community in 2011.
Voting yes for the Capital Bond Project will enable a comprehensive remodel and new construction of a portion of the high school.
The newly designed plan will increase campus safety and security with only three exterior entrances instead of 46.  The very tired, worn out 35-year-old Blaine high school facility can no longer keep up with the many technology challenges and educational demands placed upon it.
Adequate electrical and ventilation systems, the one overcrowded antiquated science lab serving over 600 students and additional space for many of the programs are urgent needs. Adequate facilities and equipment are essential components for instruction and learning.
If the bond is approved, a person with a home valued at $250,000 would pay an additional $87.50 in property taxes per year, that’s about $7.30 a month, $1.80 a week or about 25 cents per day.  
As a retired senior citizen I believe this small investment in kids will pay big dividends. Let’s vote yes and collectively invest in the future of our kids and community!
Doralee Booth
Birch Bay

 
The Editor:
My name is Ken Oplinger, and I am writing to announce my candidacy for the Ward 1 seat on the Blaine City Council.
I believe Blaine is on the verge of some important, positive changes.  From the development community’s interest in our downtown, to the port and city’s master plan for the marina, to the hundreds of units of housing that may soon be approved off H Street Road, to the future changes in Semiahmoo, there is no question that Blaine has the potential of reclaiming its role as a true economic and cultural center for Whatcom County.
This was one of the reasons Diana and I chose to move here seven years ago. Standing in White Rock and looking back toward Blaine Harbor, we said, “Some day, Blaine can and will be a draw for tourists and locals, business and industry, and we should be a part of it!”
For those I have not had the chance to meet yet, just a little about me.  Since coming to Whatcom County, I have served as the President/CEO of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry, a countywide organization with over 750 member businesses.  I have also served on the Blaine Planning Commission for six years, the last three as its chair.  My daughter, Rachel, attends Blaine primary school and the Blaine Conservatory.  We are members of the White Rock/South Surrey Jewish Community Center, where I serve on the board, and we live about 30 minutes away from Diana’s parents home in Richmond, B.C., where she grew up.
We are a true bi-national family, living in Blaine partially because it is convenient to both Bellingham and Vancouver, but mostly because we love this community and want to do all we can to help it reach its full potential.
So, as we approach this election season, please consider what goals you have for Blaine and please consider voting for me for the Ward 1 seat on the Blaine City Council.  Together, let’s make our goals a reality.
Ken Oplinger
Blaine

 
The Editor:
The Blaine Boys & Girls Club is happy to announce the return of some old favorite club programs in new features added to them. Smart Girls, Passport to Manhood and Torch Club will all be available again this spring. These programs are designed and distributed by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and focus on pre-teen and teenage club members.
Each program presents dilemmas and solutions and wholesome alternatives to participants as they face the choices that face young people trying to find the right path to follow.
Additionally, the club will continue to offer its study-focused opportunities, Power Hour, a supervised study hall for students wishing to work on homework assignments and our very inexpensive before or after-school one-on-one tutoring program for members who need a little extra support in different areas of their school program.
During the school year, the club is open weekdays from 7 – 8:30 a.m. each morning and 2:30 – 6 p.m. every afternoon.
For more information, please stop by the club or call branch director Andrea Green at 332-3008. You can also visit our website at www.whatcomclubs.org or follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/blaineboysandgirlsclub
Andrea Green, branch director

Blaine Boys & Girls Club

 

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