Letters to the Editor: March 14 - March 22, 2012

Published on Wed, Mar 14, 2012
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The Editor:

Recently the pastors of the Peace Arch Christian Ministerial Association reached a decision to dissolve its association and transfer all assets to the Community Assistance Program, an outreach of Blaine area churches. The Community Assistance Program extends its sincere thanks to the many churches, individuals and organizations that have contributed time, talent and treasure to the program over the past two decades.
We acknowledge with gratitude the service of these individuals and the broad support of the volunteers and organizations that have contributed to the success of this program.
The Community Assistance Program will continue its outreach with the strong support of churches, volunteers, organizations, businesses, individuals and the city of Blaine to work together for the well-being of all the people of our community.

Ann D. Spooner, board secretary

The Editor:

There was a notice in the classifieds in last week’s issue of The Northern Light announcing the “end of an era” with the closing of Tom’s Sharp Shop. Just a couple of sentences, short and to the point, which means no more scenic drives back to the shop, no more rejuvenated tools at better-than-fair prices, and no more chats with one of the nicest guys I’ve met during my Washington years. I know I’m not alone in wishing Tom Rutherford many more years of good living. Thanks for keeping things from getting too dull around here, Tom!

Happy trails,
Mike Sennett

The Editor:

Kudos to the organizers, cooks, student helpers and students for a fine evening of food and entertainment on Saturday, March 10. It was an eye opener to the talent of our students here in Blaine.
There were ample choices of large slices of tasty pizzas to choose from and they just kept coming. The dessert pizza was a highlight as we all lined up and eagerly anticipated, without disappointment, this yummy treat. Made with apples, sugar and cinnamon on a homemade crust, it was awesome.
I suggest that Blaine adopt this as their signature dessert to entice more visitors to stop here. There are places that are known for specialty food items, why not Blaine? It could be advertised in restaurant windows as “We serve Blaine’s signature dessert pizza.”
Thanks to all of the people involved in this event and to the creator of that dessert pizza – think about making it Blaine’s!

Carol Monteith

The Editor:

The Blaine Family Service Center, which provides families within the Blaine School District with a variety of services, is in need of hygiene and household products such as toilet paper, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, laundry

detergent, dish detergent, paper towels, household cleaners and personal hygiene products.
The center distributes these items through visits from parents, students and school staff referrals. It also provides used clothing for kids and school supplies. The center also provides gas and food vouchers on an emergency basis and provides a multitude of referrals for families to other organizations. The center has also helped in crisis situations with electricity and heating fuel bills. These items and services are funded by private donations only.
Those who wish to make a donation of supplies may do so at the district office, 765 H Street, Monday through Friday. For
monetary donations you may drop these off as well or mail to: Blaine S.D. Family Service Center, Attn: Jessie Burton, 765 H Street, Blaine, WA 98230. All donations are tax deductible.

Jessie Burton

The Editor:

We have a choice. We can believe the big glossy brochures paid for by SSA Marine, a huge corporation who will make billions of dollars off the back of our community, or instead we can review the independently researched facts.
A recent study by a local citizen’s group, Communitywise, states, “It is possible that even if all of the projected employment benefits of GPT were achieved it could still have a net negative employment impact on Whatcom County’s economy.” As a community based on tourism, I have a hard time hearing families say, “Honey, let’s pack up the kids and head to the coal port for vacation.”
Even worse for Washington state, Jay Inslee tells us, “Also worthy of consideration are the effects on manufacturing competitiveness. If the U.S. exports coal to China, they’ll use it to produce airplanes that compete with Boeing. I’ve got 80,000 people making airplanes here competing with 80,000 Chinese. Shipping them cheap, dirty electricity to subsidize their cheap airplanes may not be the best manufacturing strategy for the United States.” Decades down the road, who will be required to clean up the enormous destructive and toxic mess that dumping up to 54 million tons of coal on our shoreline each year will cause? It probably won’t be SSA Marine and will be us, the taxpayers.
Under the current structure of law, corporations are not required to provide researched data on the economic impacts for the Environmental Impact Statement. Mitigating and regulating this project will not stop harm, but is only intent on reducing damage some. Do we want a thriving vacation community, local economy, retirement Mecca, fruitful agricultural lands, or instead do we want to live in an industrial wasteland? It’s our choice.

Suzanne Ravet
Birch Bay

The Editor:

The recent announcement of the closure of the Everett postal distribution center is more than troubling. People working for the post office have been making great sacrifices to keep things running. I’ve yet to see a more dedicated group of individuals and
personally appreciate their hard work and efforts.
People across our state and country need and deserve a strong postal network. A strong postal system has always been and will always be one of the blocks on which a free society is molded. The Internet will not change this.
Keep the postal system viable and healthy. Keep the postal system strong so that gradually, as impediments grow to communicating in other formats, you will still be able to get your message across, and who knows, maybe even get to pay your bills on time.

C. Rheume

The Editor:

In regard to Ms. Susan O’Malley’s letter in the March 8-14 issue of The Northern Light: Hugo Chavez is a duly elected president of his country (Venezuela), as is the current president of our own country. Neither may be properly deemed a dictator. Both have very vocal oppositions, many similar goals and apparently a number of similar tactics. President Chavez, by a constitutional change in February 2009, is now permitted to run for an unlimited number of elections, an amendment not yet made here.

H.J. Sydnam

The Editor:

Should we, the people of Whatcom County, sacrifice ourselves – our health and our personal financial assets – so 3,587 construction workers can have a temporary job and so SSA Marine’s owners (Goldman Sachs owns 49 percent) can pocket hundreds of millions of dollars? The health and personal finances of Whatcom County residents will assuredly be damaged by SSA Marine’s Gateway Pacific Terminal (GPT).
At full capacity, GPT would ship 54 million tons of coal a year from Cherry Point with an estimated 3 million pounds of toxic coal dust escaping into the air from the enormous open coal storage piles. The prevailing winds at Cherry Point do not blow out to sea – they blow toward our communities. Every year the wind would carry 3 million pounds of toxic coal dust onto our neighborhoods, homes, yards, cars, boats, bodies and into our lungs. Coal dust contains toxic substances such as arsenic, lead and mercury. A petition signed by 180 Whatcom County doctors says there is no safe level of exposure to these substances. Coal dust exposure makes you more likely to have a heart attack, have breathing problems, get cancer or have a child born with a birth defect.
No one wants to live in a community coated with dirty, toxic coal dust. Our property values would drop significantly and some properties may become impossible to sell at any price. Whatcom County realtors already have had buyers refuse to purchase some homes because of the possibility of the GPT. Some of the coal dust would settle or run off into water, harming fish, crabs, clams and other marine life. The daily tides would deposit coal dust on Birch Bay beaches. More permanent jobs in tourism and fishing would be lost than the 294 permanent jobs added to operate GPT at full capacity.
As individuals our primary responsibility is to protect our own families, our own property and our own finances – not provide temporary construction jobs or give SSA Marine/Goldman Sachs piles of money. Please contact the Whatcom County Council and urge them to deny construction permits for the GPT at 360/676-6690 or council@co.whatcom.wa.us.

Paula Rotondi

Birch Bay


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