Letters to the editor: February 13 - 19, 2014

Published on Wed, Feb 12, 2014
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The Editor:
St. Martin’s Clothing Bank has a great need of warm bedding for our clients: Comforters, warm blankets, electric blankets and flannel sheets for adults, children and infants. Sweaters, fleeces, mufflers, socks, gloves, and warm sleepwear are also desperately needed. 
Volunteers accept donations Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and also Wednesday evenings from  5 to 6:30 p.m. St. Martin’s Clothing Bank is located at 500 C Street next to the Blaine Food Bank.
Ann Duvall Spooner, director 
St. Martin’s Clothing Bank

The Editor:
Regarding state representative Jason Overstreet’s view on guns:
If you have been a victim of gun violence or have been a witness to gun violence you are more likely to use a gun against another human being. If you are a young male, you are more likely to be a victim or perpetrator of violence. If you are born into a society where violence is considered a legitimate way to solve problems; where using a gun is considered patriotic, honorable and holy, then you are much more likely to be a perpetrator or victim.
Gun violence can be all too easily justified. Whether you kill a guy in a drug deal gone bad, shoot a guy who slept with your wife, kill the guy who broke into your house to steal your TV or kill for the state (often called “war”), the perpetrator considers all of it as the dispensing of justice.
Gun violence is generally done in a moment of passion or agitation. Young males are more likely to be in these testosterone-driven states than others. Violence is an emotional response to an emotionally charged situation. Stress, fear, prejudice, ignorance, jingoism, religiosity and the easy availability of guns have all been found to increase the rate of violent deaths in a society.
The good news is, as a whole, Homo sapiens are becoming less ignorant and more inclined to consider all of humanity as part of “our tribe.” We are becoming less fearful of people who look and act differently. We are beginning to recognize that we have evolved with inherent tendencies towards violence and that with reason and consideration we can override these violent 
We are less likely to commit a violent act or be a victim of a violent act if we do not have a gun. We as a species are more willing than ever to cast aside ancient myths, superstitions and ideologies that have been used to separate us and promote violence. We live in a time when we are less likely than any other before to be killed by a fellow human being. Does representative Overstreet believe that a greater distribution of guns among people will make us safer and more trusting? Is he being disingenuous or just plain ignorant?
Jim Agnello

The Editor:
I have set up a new Yahoo group for Birch Bay. Acceptable topics are pretty wide open; basically whatever is of interest to Birch Bay residents. No political or religious rants, just be nice, please sign posts with your real name. To subscribe, send an email to BirchBayWAResidents@yahoogroups.com.
Pat Anderson
Birch Bay

The Editor: 
I was alarmed by your article regarding fire suppression at the Semiahmoo Marina. Semiahmoo Marina and property owners have been through so much uncertainty these past few years, what with failed condo projects and the closing of the resort. Just when these projects have found great new owners and success we have to read about this cloud over our property values.
Semiahmoo Marina is not a public facility, it is privately owned. We pay property taxes to Whatcom County on our individual slips. We are a different legal entity than the publicly held Blaine Marina. Thus, the comment attributed to district fire chief Ron Anderson, “what happens if we close this marina and everybody takes their boats somewhere else,” needs further clarification. This appears to state that the district thinks they have the legal authority to lock the gate and deny me access to my private property. It would be prudent for the North Whatcom Fire District (NWFD) to research their legal authority on this privately held marina with roughly 200 property owners.
As a lifetime boater, 15-year marina slip owner and trained navy firefighter, I believe the marina has an excellent system in place. The fire district has a beautiful empty fire station just up the spit. If this were manned I would more fully share the district’s concerns. The district opening that station would best serve the marina. As stated in the article, the district showed up 20 minutes after marina staff and owners extinguished a fire.
I am required by the coast guard to have three fire extinguishers on my boat. The code concern is all about water pressure. The two most common fires on boats are grease and electrical, neither of which should be put out with water. The unique feature of fighting a fire in a marina is you can pull the boat away from the dock and adjacent assets. Once that happens, the standpipe system would be useless.
I appreciate the work the NWFR does, but I question the tone of the comments made by the administrators Henry Hollander and Anderson in this article and hope they will take the time to clarify their authority to my fellow slip owners and potential buyers.
Kirk Flanders

Letters Policy

The Northern Light welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 350 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality, length and good taste. Thank you letters are limited to five individuals or groups. A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis. Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.

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