Letters to the editor: March 18 - April 3, 2013

Published on Wed, Mar 27, 2013
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The Editor:

Developer Ken Imus pulled all his expertise and cash out of Blaine in January because the city council reneged on their agreement. Then, just about a month ago, in the wake of Mr. Imus’ departure, the economic development advisory committee (EDAC) met to hear Mike Kent and others offer realistic proposals for economic growth and prosperity. And now the city council plans to spend $30,000 for someone to redo what the EDAC already did without changing the anti-development climate that made Mr. Imus walk away? 
City council members, here’s a plan that I’m offering for free: get down on your knees and beg Mr. Imus to come back.

John Yirak

The Editor:

Would you like to help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays? 
Through its signature global movement known as Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society raises funds and awareness in the battle against cancer. The relay is an incredibly powerful overnight experience that takes place on a track where teams throughout the community unite and celebrate those who have won their cancer battle, remember those who have been lost and fight back against the disease.
The Relay for Life of North Whatcom County is on track to be a phenomenal success this year! We are planning for more than 60 teams composed of community businesses, schools, churches, families and friends. Our goal is to recruit 600 individuals to attend the event and 200 cancer survivors to be honored at the relay. Relay for Life began in 1985, but the fight is far from over. One out of every two men and one out of three women will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. Fortunately, there is great hope for the future. We have set an ambitious goal of raising $200,000 for the 2013 Relay for Life of North Whatcom County!
Please consider supporting the Relay Ffr Life of North Whatcom County volunteers by sponsoring or donating to our efforts. Our event will be held on Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22 at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds. Your community support helps so many who are currently battling this disease and your help will be greatly appreciated.
Our planning community, volunteers and staff look forward to partnering with you for the 2013 relay season. Please feel free to contact me (tamilynn14@comcast.net or 360/739-9679) if you have any questions or wish to discuss the details of this event. Thank you for your unconditional support for our mission and helping us to empower survivors and spread the message of hope.

Tami Anderson, event chair
North Whatcom Relay for Life

The Editor:

The city of Blaine seems to be looking for ways to grow. How about a “Peace Arch Christian Performing Arts Celebration” (PAC2)? A juried live theatre festival could showcase traveling and regional theatre productions supplying awards and rewards for the various categories of staging plays as motivation to perform here. A Christian battle of the bands would attract a younger crowd. Local radio station Praise 106.5 has had great success attracting musicians to local and regional talent contests. 
Such a dual festival would entice people already passing through to stop and spend money. It would also attract new tourists. Residents would gain quality of life. Local citizens selling arts and crafts would have a new customer base. 
Further benefits of increased tourism from PAC2 include attracting Amtrak ridership to Blaine, which creates the need for a stop at the Blaine train depot, retirement residential development, creative outlets for local children, teens and adults in a family-friendly setting, renewing Blaine’s attractiveness to business leaders who have given up on Blaine as a viable community to develop and help ensure business viability for motels, hotels and resorts. A future phase of development inspired by PAC2 could be a college campus supporting the theatre arts, travel and hospitality industries, creating training and internship opportunities as well as an employment resource. 
The timing is right! Ashland, Oregon, inaugurated its Oregon Shakespeare Festival during the great depression and attracts the fourth largest theater audience in America. The baby boom generation is ripe for spiritual exploration, retirement and the type of leisure activities Whatcom County has to offer. Three American cities have created successful annual Christian film festivals. Lawrence, Massachusetts is in its 21st year; San Antonio, Texas is in its tenth year and San Diego, California is in its fourth year. Local churches and other Christian organizations would surely provide volunteers. Sponsors might include Christian businesses that could benefit from the exposure.
Let’s make Blaine a viable search engine result for tourist dollars looking for a home, increase our own quality of life and enhance economic vitality at the same time with Peace Arch Christian Performing Arts Celebration (PAC2).

Keith Pendleton

The Editor:

All of us at the Blaine Food Bank would like to give a huge thank you to Greg Nuzum and all his volunteers. They held a food drive dance at Birch Bay Activity Center and raised more than $200 and 200 lbs. of food for the Blaine Food Bank.
We really appreciate all their efforts to help feed the needy people in the community.

Joan Smith
Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:

Thank you to The Northern Light for the story and much needed exposure to such an important local topic.
Folks are signing the Blaine Station petition at many local businesses in town. If you are a business and can help, please contact me for copies of the petition and sign up sheets at 332-1870, or stop in Horseshoe Coins & Antiques for a copy.
There is also a website where folks can sign the petition online. It wasn’t in the story but we need folks to know they can sign the petition at blainestation.com.
Please go online and sign the petition and help bring our historic depot back to life with regular Amtrak passenger service right here in Blaine.
For those who have already signed, thanks for your support and for helping your community become more of what it once was in the past – successful and vibrant!

Bill Becht



The Editor: 

In May 2011 I spoke with Ferndale mayor Gary Jensen about the impact that the proposed GPT port (coal terminal at Cherry Point) and increased train traffic would have on the citizens of Ferndale.
I was specifically concerned about the increased rail traffic and the impact the additional 18 trains per day would have on the people, environment and economy of the area. Doctors are certain that  people will get sick and die from the coal dust and diesel emissions from the trains and the port. The trains do not pay for their own improvement (maybe 5 percent if we are lucky) so we will be fronting the bill. Most importantly the planet is suffering greatly from the emissions of burning coal and we have to stop new projects.
When I spoke with Jensen he was initially supportive of the project but wouldn’t make any final decision about his support until all the facts were in and the studies were done.
I now see that the mayor is not only supportive of this proposed project but is advocating for it. I can only assume that when I spoke with him back in May 2011 his mind was already made up and he was just placating me, or he has made up his mind without the facts.
In my opinion, the mayor is not thinking about his constituents or he would wait for all the studies to be completed. Ask him how he can make a decision without all the facts.

Amy Glasser

The Editor:

“We the People” have said it before – no state income tax. All taxes tax all the people. Taxes become operating expenses of business. Businesses incorporate all expenses into their prices. So though you don’t see the tax, you’ll see higher prices. Taxes cause inflation further stymying the economy. They make it harder for business to succeed and cause unemployment.
All taxes tax the poor. Taxes on businesses tax the poor more than direct taxes. They add to a business’ cost base, increasing the margin of profit. A $1 tax on business becomes $1.20 for the consumer. A $1 tax directly on the poor is just $1.
Our Democrat controlled government plans to implement a new tax – a state income tax and a host of other new taxes in addition to the high taxes you already pay! How much will you take? How much can we take? Democrats do not want efficiency and do not want to stop spending your money.
Some taxes are necessary, but where does it end? If government would become efficient, less tax would be needed. Government inefficiency costs us our hard earned money. 
Government never stops wanting more. Say no to new taxes. Say no to all taxes to force government efficiency. 

Roger W. Hancock

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