Letters to the editor: May 30 - June 5, 2013

Published on Wed, May 29, 2013
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The Editor:
A very important meeting that could determine if Blaine gets regular Amtrak passenger service and a restored historic train station is happening today, Thursday, May 30 at city hall, from 9 a.m. to noon. We would sure appreciate you being there to support this most important project.
It would kick start downtown Blaine and bring back the success it once enjoyed in the olden days – a real, regular, full of useful businesses downtown, just like your parents and grandparents enjoyed.
Everyone who is important to Blaine getting an Amtrak stop and restored depot will be there, WSDOT, WCOG, IMTC, Surrey Board of Trade, councilors from Delta, Langley, Surrey and White Rock and other important folk.
Bruce Agnew will be there along with Lloyd Fleming, president of All Aboard Washington.
It’s one of the most important meetings to take place in town since I’ve been in Blaine, in my opinion.
I sure hope you can make it and I would encourage all to come if you could fit it in. Bring your friends.
This horse is a real winner!
Bill Becht

The Editor:
Stop roundabouts – fix bridges.
Linda Clark

The Editor:
Lake Whatcom, the primary source of drinking water for Bellingham residents, was placed on a list of impaired water bodies under the federal Clean Water Act more than 15 years ago. This triggered an obligation to restore the lake’s water quality. However, since then, the lake’s water quality has continued to decline. Clearly, we need to do more to reverse this trend. In addition to investing more in Lake Whatcom water quality programs, we need to account for these funds in an open and transparent manner.
I advocate the creation of a dedicated Lake Whatcom fund for Whatcom County’s annual budget. This would serve several purposes. Currently, lake programs are funded by a number of different county funds, making it difficult for the public to track. Creating a dedicated fund would allow the public to review the totality of funding being spent on the lake, as well as the different programs that comprise the county’s response to Lake Whatcom’s water quality degradation.
Second, a dedicated fund would help ensure that the totality of lake funding is commensurate with community expectations and the county’s legal obligation. As time has passed and the lake’s water quality has declined, adequate funding has become a pressing issue. The department of ecology is working on a water quality improvement plan that will require the county to estimate and provide funding needed to restore the lake over a 50-year time period. This underscores the need for a dedicated fund.
Finally, a dedicated fund would assist the county in making policy decisions. Recently, Whatcom County Council considered a $50 annual fee for Lake Whatcom boat inspections. A number of boaters wanted the fee reduced which, if approved, would have required a greater public subsidy of the program. A dedicated fund would have made it readily apparent whether this was financially feasible.
I urge county council to amend its annual budget to create a dedicated fund for Lake Whatcom.
Wendy Harris

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