Letters to the Editor: December 22 - December 28, 2011

Published on Thu, Dec 22, 2011
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The Editor:

On Saturday evening, December 17, I was driving north on Peace Portal Drive and came to the stop sign at H Street. As I was stopped at the sign I saw a police car parked on H Street. As I proceeded past the stop sign, much to my surprise I saw flashing lights behind me, so I pulled over and a police officer asked me for my information. I asked him what I had done wrong, and he told me that I had not stopped.
I was shocked by what he had just said. Now I am a law-abiding citizen and normally am not one to question an officer, but I had indeed stopped. I tried to speak with him and he just replied that he was not going to argue with me. He gave me a ticket that I did not deserve for not stopping.
Now what good does it do me to go to court and contest this ticket? In my past experience sitting in that courtroom listening to people tell the judge their stories, he does not care what the people have to say. If the police say you are guilty the real truth does not matter. I know he gets tired of all those stories but some of us really do tell the truth, and he should take the time to listen to us.
It is intimidating enough to have to go up in front of the judge and try to tell him our story in the first place. We are already nervous, but then not to be believed and found guilty of something you know you did not do is just wrong.
I will pay that ticket because I have to, but it does not mean that I am guilty as charged. Shame on all of you. Merry Christmas.

Dixie Bruneau

The Editor:

Your article on the Birch Bay mitigation fund overlooked some important information. As originally drafted, and even per Peter Gill’s first recommended revision (the one the planning commission reviewed was the second revision), there was (and still remains) a gaping loophole that would allow the county planning director to waive low-impact development requirements before participation in the mitigation fund. This would undermine the alleged purpose for the proposal.
I was on the citizen ad hoc committee and pointed out to Mr. Gill that industrial property is not appropriate for an in-lieu-of-fee mitigation program, per EPA and DOE recommendations. I also noted that it would be foolish to get unnecessarily involved in a political hot potato like the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Mr. Gill did not change his draft.
Only later did I learn that an in-lieu-of-fee off-site mitigation program was discussed in a conceptual preliminary mitigation plan submitted by SSA Marine to the county earlier this year, and that Mr. Gill had recommended they use an in-lieu-of-fee mitigation plan as a way of mitigating and moving forward with the Gateway Pacific Terminal proposal.
And it would have been relevant to note that George Boggs is not a neutral third party. The Conservation District will receive the contract to actually handle the off-site mitigation if this mitigation plan is approved.
I cannot assert that there was wrongdoing. I respect Mr. Gill and Mr. Boggs. I commend Mr. Gill for the final suggested revision he provided to the planning commission. However, the totality of facts places the public’s concern in a different light than was painted by your article. Certainly, it raised sufficient concerns for the Salish Land Policy Solutions and CommunityWise Bellingham to mobilize their supporters. You also failed to reference the fairly extensive and sometimes rather substantive concerns voiced by REsources before they could endorse this proposal.
I hope you will consider supplementing your article to include all relevant information regarding the Birch Bay mitigation fund. I have posted several articles at the Northwest Citizen blog and have submitted a number of public comments that discuss this proposal in greater detail.

Wendy Harris

The Editor:

During this holiday season, we would like to take the time to say thank you! Your support for our efforts in Kenya is greatly appreciated. You are truly helping to change the lives of not only the children we are serving but their families as well.
Rebecca, one of our many graduates, is currently attending university and studying to be a banker. During her break over the holidays, she will be doing an internship at a bank in Nairobi. Truly amazing to see how far this young lady has come. She is just one example of a life that has been forever transformed due to your generous support.
Tembo Trading Company & Tembo Trading Education Project will be focusing on further development of the college in 2012. Increasing the enrollment, making some capital improvements and implementing the Akre King Transformational model at the college will be the priorities. We should be hearing from the IRS any time regarding our 501(c)3 application.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! Each of you has been a blessing to us, and we deeply appreciate your support!

Jeana King
COO, Tembo Trading Company

The Editor:

We have closely followed the proposed condemnation of the Martin property in order to extend a utility corridor to the east Blaine Grandis Pond development. It concerns us that Blaine city officials regret that the city annexed the east Blaine area and then state that the annexation can’t be undone. This long, narrow finger of land makes it inefficient and expensive to provide city services. It negatively impacts the character of the area by changing it from a more rural to an urban environment. Why can’t a mistaken annexation be corrected? Why does Blaine have to continue on a known erroneous path that will saddle Blaine taxpayers with unnecessary costs? At this point, the city has done nothing major out here in east Blaine, so it’s not too late to correct a mistake.
Barbara Brenner’s statement reminding city officials to protect the little guy is right on target. We understand why the Martins are against the condemnation of their property for a utility corridor. However, running utilities along H Street that many of us in east Blaine neither need nor want just so Grandis Pond can be on city utilities does not protect the even smaller guys who own small acreages along H Street. We on H Street care about and value our property, too.
If the city is determined to keep the annexation, there is a way the Grandis Pond utilities problem can be solved without impacting any of the property between Grandis Pond and Blaine. At public meetings Ken Hertz, the Grandis Pond developer, has said that utilities, water and sewer, could be built at Grandis Pond. At these meetings, Blaine city officials never gave the idea any support. Why not? It is vital that all options are given serious consideration when the city is contemplating acquiring property through eminent domain. Whether the utility corridor is located on the Martin property or on the property of owners along H Street, property values and enjoyment of property will be negatively impacted. This option would also save Blaine taxpayers money.

Joyce and Del Tattershall

The Editor:

On behalf of the 42 children of Bay Cafe’s 5th Annual Angel Tree, we would like to extend a heartfelt thank you for your generosity.
We had so many smiling faces from young and “young at heart” it was just a joy to be a part of the day.  
Santa was dressed to the nines and greeted all the children with love and warmth and doing what he does best, filling the day with absolute happiness for all!
Most sincerely,

Dave Bucknell and Tammy Pearce
Bay Cafe
Birch Bay


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