Letters to the Editor: October 13 - October 19, 2011

Published on Wed, Oct 12, 2011
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The Editor:

I have talked with hundreds of folks, many from the lower mainland, all in favor of saving the historic Blaine depot and remodeling it in place.
How we would all love to jump on the Amtrak for points south. Imagine the economic boost to the community, to have literally hundreds of folks a week coming down from Canada, either by bike, walking or auto, and riding the train to points south, ball games, shopping and day trips.
It would be great for the city of Blaine, Whatcom County, the state, the citizens, even BNSF. Also, customs would benefit, as there would still be duties paid, etc.
This historic building is part of the city’s heritage. Moving it or tearing it down would be a great loss and sadness for the community.
Now is the time to rally, write letters, insist that the city work hard to preserve this jewel in the rough, pressuring the
railroad to accept the fact that this is our heritage and there is a great need for rail travel and a stop in Blaine.
The I-5 is projected to get even more plugged up here in the short-term future.
Rail travel is an excellent alternative and real energy-saver.
Also, if you would like to speak out about this, there is a council meeting planned for the 24th of October, at City Hall, 7 p.m. Support the depot and please show if you can. Time is of the essence.

Bill Becht

The Editor:

Please know that I am in favor of remodeling the Blaine train station for historic and commercial use.

Gayle MacArthur

The Editor:

I am worried that SSA Marine is not going to provide our community with numerous good-paying jobs when they build the coal terminal at Cherry Point. The numbers of jobs being quoted by SSA Marine has changed several times over the past year. Who really knows?
The construction jobs are skilled labor, and I doubt Whatcom County has a lot of skilled deep-water shipping terminal construction workers around. I also don’t think we have a lot of longshoreman in our
community, plus those jobs go to union workers with seniority; again not from our community.
Now let’s talk about SSA Marine’s reputation for creating jobs. The Center for Public Integrity, a D.C. watchdog group, says in a report: “The company [SSA Marine] is known for its hard line toward labor unions and for favoring the use of more technology in the ports to reduce its labor costs. It has been called the ‘most anti-union maritime operation on the West Coast’ by union leaders.’ ”
I doubt SSA Marine will produce more local jobs than we will lose when we lose jobs on the waterfront (reduced access), lose jobs from when companies no longer relocate here to build “green” industries, lose jobs from the tourists who don’t want to patronize a community that has coal dust and train noise 24/7, and lose jobs from industries that leave us because our policies toward coal are so regressive.
Please do not support this project and by all means support Whatcom County Council candidates that consider jobs, the environment and our health as the priority, not big, rich corporations like SSA Marine.

Amy Glasser

The Editor:

Applications for the Blaine Christmas Giving Tree program are now available at the Blaine Food Bank and the Family Service Center.
This program, coordinated by Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt, calls upon the Blaine community to help families in need with gifts for their children. Tags are made from the applications and are distributed throughout the city. The generous people of Blaine take these tags, purchase gifts, wrap the gifts and return them to where they picked up their tags. Stafholt receives all the gifts and distributes them to the families. If you are a family in need of help and live in the Blaine School District, pick up an application, fill it out and return it, or bring it into Stafholt on or before November 11. If you or your business would like to participate and help a family or make a donation, contact Marsha at 360/332-1501, ext 200.
Another way to support the Giving Tree is to join the fun at the Pastime‚ÄąTavern, 658 Peace Portal Drive in Blaine, on Friday, November 11 from 8 to 11 p.m. Live music by the Replazementz, 50/50 raffle and dessert raffle will all be a part of an enjoyable evening.

Marsha Hawkins
Blaine Christmas Giving Tree Coordinator

The Editor:

This is in response to the article in the October 6 edition titled “City seeks public input on land acquisition.” The article states that the city is considering acquiring two parcels of Bob Martin’s land via eminent domain. Eminent domain is when the government takes a person’s private property when it is deemed a greater public benefit could be had from that property. The Grandis Pond development would not benefit the public. Bob Martin is my great-uncle. I do not want to see the city try to take advantage of him. The city thinks they can do this because he is only one person. He may be one man, but he has a lot of family that live here.
This property has been in the family for over 100 years. Bob keeps this land in a forested state because he believes it is good for the city’s water supply and for Spooner Creek, which drains into Drayton Harbor. The city wants to punch the utilities straight through the middle of his land. Why not run the utilities along the border? This could add to border security by allowing Border Patrol greater access along the border. It would also minimize the impact to sensitive habitat.
The Grandis Pond development would be built on top of much of the area that recharges Blaine’s aquifer. Once this land is developed, lawn fertilizer and other chemicals could make their way into our drinking water. This development is not good for the people, the coho and cutthroat in Spooner Creek, or the watershed. The developers weren’t able to buy Bob’s land, so now they are just going to have the city take it from him. Maybe the city just wants to have more people to pay the outrageous sewer bill.
It isn’t Bob’s fault the developers didn’t have everything in order before they started planning their development.

Don Kruse

The Editor:

I went to several county executive debates to go beyond the campaign literature and meet these men personally. Though I am a lifelong Democrat, I was impressed with Jack Louws. He listened and responded to everyone respectfully. Unlike some others, there was no political agenda, no “smoke and mirrors.” I knew he was telling me what he honestly believed.
I see a stark difference between Jack and his opponent. Jack has both business and government experience. His record demonstrates integrity and the ability to develop needed infrastructure within a balanced budget.
Jack has a wide variety of supporters, including endorsements from the candidates he defeated in the primary. I am voting for Jack because he is the only candidate running to represent all the people of Whatcom County.
If you care about Whatcom County, vote for Jack!

Andronetta Douglass

The Editor:

I moved to Lummi Island 10 years ago and began a busy life as a volunteer in our community. One of the first county officials I met was Sheriff Elfo. He responded personally to our road safety concerns on the island. He explained what his office could and could not do and what the results might be. I lived in King County for over 30 years and was very surprised to have a quick and personal response from the Whatcom County sheriff.
As a volunteer firefighter/EMT for Fire District #11, I had the opportunity to work with the sheriff’s department on a few of our 911 calls. And again, the response was quick and efficient.
These experiences made my decision to work on Sheriff Elfo’s re-election campaign committee an easy one. For the past few months I have had the opportunity to work with Bill as he dealt with the responsibility of a full-time job as sheriff of Whatcom County and the full-time job of running a re-election campaign. As in all political campaigns there are challenging moments, but Sheriff Elfo has always insisted that we stay on the high road. His leadership is not only based on a great deal of education and experience but it is always guided by a high level of integrity.
When his critics come at him in a negative manner his only comments are this is “disheartening” or “unfortunate,” but the negative comments are always a reflection of the individual who delivers them and we can do nothing about that. So we stay focused on the job at hand, and that is to re-elect a very capable law enforcement officer who cares about all the citizens of Whatcom County.

Terry Terry
Lummi Island

The Editor:

The Semiahmoo Resort Association wishes to thank Colacurcio Brothers Construction Company for the outstanding job they did during the recent installation of the reclaimed water piping system along the Semiahmoo Parkway. From start to finish, the entire project was conducted in a professional and efficient manner.
Unavoidable traffic disruptions were handled with courtesy and minimum waits. Access to neighborhood entries and exits were never blocked and thus safety issues were not a consideration.
Care was taken not to damage existing planting, and the finished product left no scars or other evidence of construction.
Additionally, the Colacurcio team abided by our local policies for starting and quitting times. When they departed each afternoon, they left their worksites clean and their equipment and vehicles inconspicuously stored for the next day.
Their performance was a model for other construction companies to follow, and the SRA is pleased to acknowledge a job exceptionally well done.

Carol Selby
President, The Semiahmoo Resort Association

Dear Editor:

We voters will be choosing a new county executive in the next election. That’s an important decision at any time, but our unsettled world demands particular attention just now. My vote goes to Jack Louws. He has experience running a municipality that will be enormously helpful to him in running Whatcom County. His opponent has no such experience.
Jack has also run a Whatcom County business for 28 years, and so he will know what makes a business-friendly atmosphere that will encourage job formation. His opponent has no such experience.
I want a candidate who will be moderate, practical, balanced, inclusive, and thoughtful about all issues – the environment, land use, protecting the future for our children. I want a candidate who can serve all of us with our various political affiliations – that’s Jack Louws.

Corey Priddy

The Editor:

Real and relevant experience is a highly sought commodity for managing sizeable organizations, such as our own Whatcom County government with its 800-plus workers. Jack Louws has it; Doug Ericksen does not. Senator Ericksen is a great talker with almost no real-life work leadership experience – somewhat comparable to our current national leadership.
Let’s get real. Pure politicians are a problem. They play on emotion and focus on acquiring and maintaining political power. They dominate the state and national scene while little of value gets accomplished. Pure politicians more often than not create solutions that do not work. They very often have no relevant knowledge of topics and little to no actual organizational leadership experience.
Doug Ericksen is a career politician with no real leadership experience. Jack Louws is a career organizational and business leader with just enough political experience. Jack is endorsed by leaders who get things done, including key business leaders as well as leaders from both parties. Senator Ericksen is primarily endorsed by a single political party machine. I know Jack and what he stands for. I challenge everyone to question Senator Ericksen’s capacity to effectively lead Whatcom County when the senator’s history is pure politics. Vote Jack Louws.

Terry Brennan

The Editor:

Truth #1: Sheriff Bill Elfo is both a first-class cop and a first class leader.
Truth #2: Sheriff Bill Elfo has many years experience leading the fight on crime in Whatcom County. That’s what a sheriff does – lead!
Truth #3: It is well known in Whatcom County that Sheriff Bill Elfo is a leader who has outstanding relationships with both individual citizens and community
Truth #4: While some pooh-pooh the thought of gangs in Whatcom County, Sheriff Bill Elfo is leading the way in identifying, controlling, and hopefully eliminating gangs in our backyard.
Truth #5: While Sheriff Bill Elfo’s opponent may be a good deputy, he hasn’t in 16 years moved up the ladder, not even to a supervisory position. He has no real law enforcement management experience or governmental budgeting experience, the very basics for the job of sheriff.
Truth #6: It’s been said you can only lead if people will follow, and Sheriff Bill Elfo has a huge following.
Truth #7: We are fortunate in Whatcom County to have Sheriff Bill Elfo. He has made us safe today, and he will make us safer tomorrow.
Re-elect Sheriff Bill Elfo in November.

John Geehan

The Editor:

Debbie Adelstein, who is running for the position of county auditor, has been my friend for over 30 years. She was the first person to welcome our family to Bellingham. Through these many years I have seen her respond to numerous difficult situations. Debbie has always met these challenges with energy, intelligence and integrity. She is well qualified with six years of experience as the deputy auditor. Debbie loves Whatcom County and as auditor will act honestly and in the best interest of the people of this community. I encourage all voters to elect Debbie Adelstein as our next auditor.

Carol Robinson

The Editor:

I support Jack Louws as the leader we need for county executive, and I’m happy that many conservatives, moderates and liberals in Whatcom County also support him. Why does Jack gather such widespread support?
Because he unifies people. He truly seeks, hears and respects citizens’ perspectives, and he has the wisdom, willpower, experience and common sense to make the right decision at the right time. I’ve seen how he does this in public office, in his business and in his family year after year. He’s trustworthy and skilled – a hard-working servant, not a politician.
Jack doesn’t have to overstate his involvement in major projects during his eight years as Lynden’s mayor. He did more than vote for them. He was the city’s CWO and a good one, responsible for the completion of new library, police station, city hall and major road and sewer projects totaling $60 million, all done in a financially responsible manner.
With that experience, Jack knows how to handle massive public works projects. Clearly, he is the best candidate to ensure that our county gets a new jail in the right location at the right price. He knows how to get it done – not just talked about!

Ron De Boer

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