Letters to the editor: May 22 - 28, 2014

Published on Wed, May 21, 2014
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The Editor:
The Blaine Scholarship Foundation board would like to thank all who participated in our 16th annual golf tournament on Saturday, May 3. With this being our only fundraising event, we are glad to say that due to the generous support of our donors and those who played in the tournament, we raised about $12,000, which will be used as scholarships to graduating Blaine High School seniors. 
This event would not be able to happen if we did not have some special people who continue to support Blaine Scholarship Foundation. Thank you to Cal Payne, Bob Bailey and Ted Leja who sponsored our tournament once again this year. In addition we want to thank those who gave donations for our raffle prizes and our auction; unfortunately, there are too many to list.
This year’s top three teams were: 
1st place – DJ Robbins, Thanh Lee, Dan Lindsay and Ryan Walsh
2nd place – Matt Jones, Kyle Midget, Jason Montgomery and Derek Wray
3rd place – Greg Manning, Mauriay Manning, Pete Wallace, Shalane Manning and Rick Westerof
Men’s straight drive – Anthony Newell
Women’s straight drive – Ann Sturdivant
Chipping contest – Andy Redfern
Putting contest – Cory Kuntz
Closest to the pin contest:
Hole 3 – Kyle Mark
Hole 6 – Scott Anderson
Hole 12 – Glenn Gadeberg
Hole 15 – Dan Lindsay
If you would like to be part of the Blaine Scholarship Foundation, please contact Shannon VanderYacht at 360/201-2320 or by email at shannonvy@comcast.net.
Todd Berge

The Editor:
It does not surprise me that there are issues with the H Street stop sign downtown. I remember experiencing confusion the first few times I drove through downtown Blaine. 
Many of the intersections with lovely wide brick crosswalks also have wide white lines bordering either edge, which appear wide enough to suggest a stop line. My first reaction when encountering one of these intersections was to stop. My second reaction was embarrassed confusion after seeing no stop sign and after passing several more it was then a sudden jolt to come upon an actual stop at the H Street intersection. 
I have since seen Canadian drivers stop at other crosswalks with no stop sign with similar confusion. I think that removing the solid white lines, or perhaps turning them into dotted lines, would greatly help the situation.
Rachel King

The Editor:
The Blaine Food Bank and our volunteers would like to give a big “thank you” to Blaine and Custer post office employees during the USPS’ annual “Stamp Out Hunger” campaign on May 10. Equally important, we would like to thank the generous people in the Blaine, Birch Bay and Custer areas who took the time to select, bag and donate food for this cause. Between both post offices we received a total of 4,807 pounds of food.
We would also like to thank Greg and Konni Nuzum, Patti Vezzetti and all the Blaine Runners group for having the fun run on May 10 to benefit the Blaine Food Bank. They collected 275 pounds of food and $205 cash.
No one individual knows when they will experience hunger, suffer financial difficulty or have an emergency. Hunger is equal opportunity. Being generous to the food bank is also an equal opportunity. Please accept our gratitude.
Jerry Bladies
Blaine Food Bank

The Editor:
I’ve been hearing once again how our town of Blaine will be saved by another innovative idea: Let’s change its name! My question is if this endeavor is very well thought out and will accomplish raising our status as is purported? Or is this just another whim that will cost us far more money than we are being told with none of the results we are being 
What happened to the great idea of a boardwalk that was supposed to attract so many visitors and new businesses? How has that worked out? Have those unfinished platforms with locked stairways to nowhere brought in the crowds? And what of the Olympics that we were told would bring thousands of people to Blaine? Does anyone remember how in reality Blaine resembled a ghost town during the Olympics? (In fact, real ghost towns attract more tourists!) And what of our nice new signs welcoming people to Blaine? Those actually are nice, but I guess they will have to go in the trash if we are no longer called “Blaine.”
What would attract people here is something people actually want. How about a grocery store that sells good stuff at good prices instead of stuff that is on the verge of spoiling at 50 to 300 percent higher prices than just a few miles down the road? You want people to stop in Blaine? Put in a Costco or Walmart! How about a restaurant where those hungry shoppers can eat a good meal at a low price, like maybe an Old Country Buffet instead of places that overcharge for tiny amounts of food? 
For showing off this harbor that they are making such a big deal about, maybe we should hurry to get that fishing pier spruced up and fix the road so it doesn’t feel like you’re on a jeep trail in the wilderness to get there. Of course, those are just my ideas and obviously not needed since we are being led to believe simply adding the word “harbor” to the name will solve all of our problems.
Wayne Seymour

The Editor:
There has been a lot of discussion about changing the name of Blaine. I want people to really think about this. Think about how much it would cost the schools to change the name on every school uniform, every vehicle, every letterhead. 
The schools don’t have money for these things now, so where is that coming from? This also applies to city vehicles, uniforms, office supplies, websites, everything. Can the small businesses in town afford to change every piece of marketing materials, signs, labeling, etc.?
But for me the money isn’t what matters the most. This is my home. It always has been and it always will be. Blaine is where I went to school from the very first day, Blaine is where I met my best friends, Blaine is where I met my husband, Blaine is where I bought my first home, Blaine is what my children call home and Blaine is where my children go to school. 
I feel like changing the name says Blaine isn’t enough, so let’s give up and start over. Well, I’m not willing to give up. Changing Blaine’s name isn’t going to change the town any more than changing my name would make me more interesting or more beautiful. We need to take care of what we have and make it the best it can be, and that has nothing to do with the name. 
We have thousands of potential tourists crossing through this town every week and we need a reason for them to stop. Anacortes is an example of what Blaine could be. And guess what, Anacortes doesn’t have an interesting name; people go there because it’s interesting, not because the name sounds like it has water. 
So before you sign anything, please think long and hard about it. This town might not mean a lot to you, and it may not be your life-long home, so don’t vote to make changes that affect the people who do care and who love this town. Blaine is who I am and I can’t imagine it as anything else. It just isn’t right!
Angie Dixon

The Editor:
I was pleased to see that some of the “old timers” whose 
families have been in Blaine for generations are less than 
enthusiastic about changing the town’s name.
Having lived in Blaine for only 18 months, I don’t know if I’m entitled to an opinion but if I am, I say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t 
fix it.”
To those who know her, the name “Blaine” conjures up images of a way of life that is rapidly vanishing in the U.S. There really is no other place like it in terms of natural beauty, heritage architecture and good old peace and quiet.
If the purpose of changing the name is to attract tourists, well, that’s not a very good reason. We already get more than our share of out of town dollars at Cost Cutter, Rite-Aid and the many mailing establishments. The new Edaleen store will be the “ice cream” on the cake.
I have lived in many places in my 62 years, some of them world-famous for their beauty and quality of life. In my book, Blaine has them all beat just the way it is, name and all.
Raymond MacLeod Cushing

The Editor:
Our Evans and Hrutfiord families have been Blaine residents for generations and continue to live and raise our families here. Aside from the obvious emotional reasons why I would want Blaine’s name to remain the same, it also just makes more financial sense to the taxpayers as well as our local businesses.
Now, on the other hand, I’m not here just to say no just for the sake of arguing. Our community members should play a large part in helping finding a solution and I am willing to partake. Here’s my version of the perfect 
Blaine Harbor is great… and we already have it! I’ve been paying a lot more attention the last few days, and noticed we have Blaine Harbor signs that point people right down to Blaine Harbor. It includes a marina, park, dock, a few businesses as well as our awesome pier. It is a vital part of our community and our history and, if marketed right, could very well be the answer!
Blaine Harbor in Blaine, Washington should be the go-to location for all of kinds of events throughout the year. 
There should be bands, vendors, art and activities at various times, just for the heck of it!
We love to spend time down the coast of Washington and Oregon. These aren’t necessarily thriving communities either, but during the peak times of the year, there is a lot happening!
Together, let’s focus our energy on bringing here what we need instead of taking away what we already have!
Rachel Evans Hrutfiord

The Editor:
How is changing Blaine to “Blaine Harbor” is going to benefit our town?
What is city council doing to make it attractive for people to want to open their business in Blaine? It doesn’t look like much, because I see more businesses closing than opening, which isn’t a good sign of city growth! Storefronts downtown on Peace Portal are still sitting empty. 
Where is the “wonderful” waterfront boardwalk the council was boasting about having? What about the airport property? You want to have a medical facility there? Explain to me how that gives our families a place to go do things?
Our marina, dock and pier area is great but what does that provide to our families? There is no place there for families and kids to play. What about a sportsplex for people to be able to play sports and other activities year round? A bowling alley and/or community pool would be fabulous! These are the types of businesses that Blaine residents are looking for. 
There is nothing for my boys to do here in Blaine other than go to the skate park, ride their bikes through town or go to a park. We go to the marine park and to the pier, but just to watch boats go by and ride back home. 
I think more people, myself included, would be more inclined to spend our money here in Blaine instead of going elsewhere if these kinds of businesses were here.
Why is it so important to attract the Canadians? The only reason they stop in Blaine is to buy milk and gas and pick up their mail. That must be why we have a high-priced grocery store and high-priced gas stations at every corner and multiple parcel pick-up stores. I am a taxpaying Blaine resident and it saddens and disappoints me to see that council would rather cater to their needs before my family’s needs.
When we agree to build Blaine as a whole, everyone will benefit, both tourists and Blaine residents. A name change is not the answer.
Sheila Dalry


The Editor:
Once again there is a push to change the name of Blaine.
Many well-respected residents honestly believe a name change is a step in the right direction. 
I hear them comment that a name change to Blaine Harbor would somehow get more people off the freeway and bring them downtown. If this were true, Birch Bay or any place with a name ending in bay or harbor would somehow have what it takes to create business-friendly communities that attract visitors.
Can we really think prospective investors will somehow decide to put their money into our town because of a name change?
In New Mexico there was a city called Hot Springs. In 1950 voters decided to change the name to Truth or Consequences. Believe it or not, 64 years later this town attracts visitors to their hot springs and they haven’t changed the name back to Hot Springs.
In more than 100 years, only two cities in Washington have had name changes. Spokane was once called Spokane Falls and Moses Lake was originally Neppel.
Did Bellingham make a mistake by not changing its name to Bellingham Bay? A city doesn’t need bay or harbor attached to its name in order to create a strong downtown; it needs great leadership, vision and the ability to follow through.
Blaine struggles in all three of these areas. The city spent $50,000 in 2005 on a study that showed the economic value of selling our airport. Another more recent $30,000 study once again showed the potential for job growth and taxes that could come from selling the property. 
Instead of bringing up name changes every 15 years, we need to follow through with what we’ve already paid for. 
Poorly designed boardwalks, turn-of-the-century themes and name changes aren’t the answer to our problems.
Dennis Hill

The Editor:
Finally, a candidate to get excited about has entered the Senate race for the 42nd district against Doug Ericksen! I am delighted that Seth Fleetwood has agreed to continue his already exemplary career in public service. What a refreshing change to have someone seeking office who believes in and supports good government. Will this help make Olympia more effective and overcome its abysmal performance record this last year? You betcha!
Fleetwood actually wants government to work well, addressing the things we all care about: environment, social justice, education and jobs. He works for things that are in the best interest of the general public rather than big business. 
He focuses on building coalitions to reach solutions. Doug Ericksen has made himself an obstruction to functioning government. Seth Fleetwood is the solution. Let’s send Fleetwood to Olympia to continue the effective leadership he has shown in both city and county councils.
Wendy Harris

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