Letters to the editor: August 8-14, 2013

Published on Wed, Aug 7, 2013
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The Editor:

It was a gallant attempt for the hardy, kind volunteers to weed at the post office. Needless to say, a lot more work is needed. A bulldozer or two to rip out the awful shrubs and ivy would be great! A nice trim on the overgrown Rhodies too and perhaps a nice clean-cut lawn or sand with nice rocks would solve the problems for the future. It’s a shame it has not been done years ago by professionals. Trees and windows shouldn’t be covered up. Why should it be up to volunteers?

Dorothy Bush

The Editor:

As a retired Blaine postal employee I would like to thank the hard-working crew of volunteers that did a fabulous job cleaning up the grounds of the Blaine Post Office. Their efforts made such a wonderful difference. Thank you.

Clare Nurre

The Editor:

Northwest Park and Recreation District 2 and the Birch Bay Waterslides have teamed up to help Birch Bay & Blaine residents enjoy the last few rays of summer. 
During the weeks of August 12–15 and 19–22 residents of these two communities can purchase a day pass to the Birch Bay Waterslides for only $10. Offer valid Monday through Thursday only. These specially priced tickets can only be purchased at the Birch Bay Activity Center between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Limit of five tickets per day. Proof of residency is required of the adult and can be in the form of a driver’s license or state-issued identification card. For children under the age of 16, a parent must be present to make the purchase.
The Birch Bay Activity Center is located off of Alderson Road at 7511 Gemini Street, Birch Bay. Look for the Bay Horizon Park signs. If you need directions, please contact us at 360/656-6416 or visit our website, nwparkandrec.org. This is a great, late summer opportunity for local families to get outside and enjoy some exercise at a low rate. When you come in to buy the tickets, your name will automatically be entered into a drawing for a 2014 season pass to the waterslides. While you are at the activity center, check out the many programs and activities available for both kids and adults.
We look forward to visiting with you at the Birch Bay Activity Center.

Heidi Holmes
Northwest Park and Recreation District 2
Birch Bay

The Editor:

As an avid opponent of the proposed coal port at Cherry Point, I want to commend the authorities that determined there should be a sweeping review of Gateway Pacific Terminal’s environmental impacts (The Bellingham Herald, August 1). 
I was not surprised to read that the vice president of coal terminal proponent SSA Marine said that his company was disappointed by this decision, but I have to wonder why. I would think that if they cared about the people and the environment that would be affected, the companies would want as complete a study as possible to assure them, as well as the rest of us, that this project would do no harm.

Patricia Vavrick
Birch Bay

The Editor:

Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt has coordinated the Blaine Christmas Giving Tree program since 1997 under the auspice of the Blaine Chamber of Commerce.
Stafholt is unable to lead the program this year and intend to bow out prior to the 2013 Christmas season that begins in October, giving others the opportunity to step up and take over the leadership of this wonderful event. 
If your business, organization, church or club would like to take on this challenge please contact the Blaine Chamber of Commerce at 332-4544.
Marsha Hawkins, Giving Tree coordinator for Stafholt, and a team of volunteers really want to give you all the assistance, hands-on help and information you need to make this program a success for the future. One of the requirements to run this program is a large area to place the purchased gifts as they are sorted for pick up by families.
Again, Stafholt thanks the people of Blaine and its many volunteers who have made this program valuable to the Blaine community.
If you have questions, please call Marsha Hawkins, who would love to help you set up and work for the Blaine Community Christmas Giving Tree program for 2013 at 332-1501 ext 224.

Wayne Weinschenk, administrator
Good Samaritan Society-Stafholt

The Editor:

The Northwest Park and Recreation District 2, which serves Blaine and Birch Bay out of the activity center in Bay Horizon Park at Birch Bay, is on a course to go broke about November this year. The funding collected from the 2007 two-year levy has built recreation facilities and robust activities programming serving all ages in the Birch Bay and Blaine communities. To continue, a new levy will appear on the November 5 ballot.
The “pro” statement appearing in the voter’s pamphlet will say:
Only $20 per year (that’s $1.66 per month) from a residence with an assessed valuation of $200,000 will provide predictable and dependable funding to allow Northwest Park and Recreation District to offer more than 26 classes, sports opportunities, recreational events and leisure time activities for all ages year-round, indoors and out. Popular sponsored events range from art classes for kids to adult Zumba for 50 women per session three times a week (nwparkandrec.org).
The four-year levy will allow the funding of projects such as intra- and inter-community trails to provide safe bicycle and pedestrian connectivity between and around Blaine and Birch Bay. A priority will be the establishment of readily accessible ball fields. Additional amenities such as playgrounds, off-leash dog areas, frisbee golf and the like will leverage the public use of existing and a potential new park belonging to Whatcom County beaches and parks, the city of Blaine and 
Washington state parks.
Please vote yes.
If you would like to write a “con” statement for the voter’s pamphlet, please contact the Whatcom County Auditor at 676-8740 or votersphamphlet@co.whatcom.wa.us immediately. The initial paperwork is due by 4:30 p.m. on August 12.

Doralee Booth
Birch Bay

The Editor:

Although the city finds itself financially strained to meet the obligations it has incurred or will of necessity incur in the future, and while one area where substantial cuts in expenditure can be made is in personnel, I would argue that certain positions within the city staff are indispensable if we are to maintain the standard of municipal life we have enjoyed for the last several years.
Blaine has many events and functions throughout the year that are very high in the quality of their presentations and smooth in the execution of their functions, all due to the unique capabilities of one staff member – Debbie Harger, the community and tourism development coordinator. 
These events and functions keep Blaine on the map, not only for people who live elsewhere, but also for those of us who make Blaine our home. If, for budgetary considerations, her position is eliminated, many of these activities will cease to take place altogether; others will devolve upon volunteers who, despite their best efforts, will not have the expertise to bring them off in a high-caliber manner. And if the council may be considering a devolution of her duties and responsibilities upon some other key member of staff, I would advise against this: one does not produce a stronger potion by adding water to it.
As a former council member, I know that money can be found if the urgency is great enough. It is my recommendation that council retain Ms. Harger in her present position to the end of this present fiscal year and that, when the budget for the coming fiscal period is examined, funding for her position may be looked at on a more permanent basis.

Ken Ely

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