Letters to the Editor, September 3-9, 2020


The Editor:

Heartfelt thanks to Nimbus Real Estate and Wild Bird Charity for hosting the American Graffiti Auto Show. Thoroughly enjoyed the day. Well done!

Angry and sorry to hear about Diane Major’s injury due to irresponsible pet owners. I too was attacked by a dog in the area of the Skate Park. Fortunately, I only suffered bloody knees and hands in order to protect my dog. Sadly, Diane’s injuries are much worse. Since then I have had two more occasions of dogs coming at us on our walks. The problem lies solely on the pet owners. Brian Major was far too kind to ask please in my opinion. Keep control of your pets or don’t have one.

Linda Bennett



The Editor:

It can be seen that change is coming to Blaine, but will that change be seen as changed or changes?

Developers will come to make promises to our cash-poor city. Understand that community character too often has been changed adversely and forever by them. Remember, too, how recently our city was willing to allow them to erect 60-foot tall buildings along Peace Portal Drive. The potential for loss of water views there still exists, and that needs to be carefully monitored. If developing through building here, insist that such fit in with our nature. Establish an appropriate theme for Blaine as a guideline?

There, too, will be those residential miners who come to Blaine because we are “cheap” and then quickly demand we be changed to fit their former extrinsic worlds. Are we less to them beyond just the cost of our real estate? If they only understood our riches.

It is in our quality of life where Blaine is quite rich. I personally have found that my neighbors are all people known to each other. There’s scenery, safety, quiet, and a freedom to be here. Wild life is the bird life. We are an eye in a surrounding storm, and there is the feel in this seaside community of living on an island without actually being one. We are thankfully more a town than city.

Changes such as the sidewalk cafe look have been a wonderful change, keep those ongoing. Before new building, promote first remodeling or filling the vacant buildings, putting in them small shops like in La Conner. Our restaurants would benefit with draws to bring people here for more than package pick up, gas and milk. Re-create the waterfront. Get the train stop here (once Amtrak resumes). Get Blaine residents a discount when buying gas or groceries here (if gas prices have dropped here without the Canadians, why haven’t grocery prices?) Enforce city codes in cleaning up of wayward residential properties. Can’t these be affordable?

As we change, let’s not seek quantity nor allow mining. Let us farm what we already have, to harvest and reap an ongoing quality of life that is Blaine.

Ray Leone



The Editor:

Thank you Marianne Scholl for your Seattle Times article on your husband’s traumatic brain injury and the similarities to our trials during Covid-19. The public must become aware of how long it takes to recover, the long-term consequences of the disease and how differently people are impacted. Like childbearing, recovery is not complete post birth, it takes a body a year to fully recover, if not more. Some people think recovery is quick and this disease has no life altering consequences.

Long term consequences cannot only be physical and neurological, but economic and financial. Stories like Marianne’s are huge in alerting citizens to the harsh realities of recovery prognosis. More explicit coverage is essential, perhaps it would encourage mask wearing.

Wearing masks is not about your liberty or feeling you are protected, it is about assuring protection for consumers shopping, church visitors who are not in your bubble, workers earning income, students getting educated, all of whom have diverse family members who might be vulnerable to the consequences of this disease.

Perhaps Covid-19 is God reminding us about brotherhood and compassion, but if your priority is the economy, it will take our national case number to drop significantly for our economy to start functioning again. Please help us all by masking in public.

Donna Starr



The Editor:

For people choosing to vote for or against Trump or Biden, at least make it a legitimate reason versus the tired old “he’s not a Republican/Democrat” cliché. I, being a proud conservative, am crossing the aisle for Joe Biden for one valid reason, President Trump’s administration’s attempt to privatize the National Weather Service (NWS). He attempted from 2017 through 2019 to have former Accuweather CEO Barry Myers become the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) until Myers removed his name for the job after comedian John Oliver on his HBO show last October aired a segment showing the corruption that would occur if the NWS went to a paywall type of weather information system, something this administration has spoken in favor of. That is something that most Democrats and Republicans in Congress have been venomously opposed to, yet some GOP members are still attempting it under Trump.

The NWS under NOAA is considered by most people to be the most valuable government entity that has ever existed, especially considering how many untold lives they have saved here and abroad. But to turn a proven agency over to the private sector so they can decide who gets lifesaving weather information over those who can’t pay for it is a line that no lawmaker had better cross with me, a proud weather nerd for over 35 years.

With family and friends back down south who work for the NWS, the work they do is always underappreciated. We as a country cannot afford anyone, regardless of political party affiliation, to ever try and privatize the weather information provided by the NWS.

Imagine farmers, towns, cities, airlines, railroads, airports, individuals, trucking companies, retailers, etc. who don’t pay for such a system and are at the mercy of a privatized weather monopoly.

And just so you know, virtually all of the weather data you see on apps, the internet, local news, etc. from private companies comes from the NWS and they add their own graphics and analysis. Take that away and what freedom do we have left?

Gerald Patterson



The Editor and fellow Blaine residents:

What has happened to the neighborliness in Blaine that I saw when my husband and I bought our house 11 years ago? The town has certainly improved in its outward appearance, but its inner being shows signs of an empathy deficit.

Just last week, we were shocked to read the letter from our friend, Brian Major, about his wife’s serious injury caused by off-leash dogs. My heart aches for her as she, I hope, recovers fully from these broken bones.

My concern, though much less serious, also concerns the responsibilities of dog ownership.

I adore dogs. If you walk by my house with your dog while I am out weeding our flower beds, I am quite likely to ask if I might pet and “talk” with your animal. However, my husband and I don’t want the day-to-day responsibilities of pet ownership, therefore we do not have dogs.

We truly enjoy our flower beds and are happy that passersby also find them attractive. But they were not created to be pooch potties. It is disheartening to be happily weeding and find dog feces in our yard, particularly on the corner, where the fragrant white roses are.

Last week, I even found a bright yellow poop bag tossed in our bed of yellow roses – it was obviously not inadvertently dropped. If one takes the time to bag their dog’s excrement, why not go the next step and carry it home?

Blaine, we can be a lovely town where residents respect one another. All it takes is thinking about the feelings of others. In essence, let’s follow the golden rule: Treat others as you would like to be treated. This little idea can have a big impact.

Angela Garvey



The Editor:

A letter writer in this week’s issue of The Northern Light asked “Kindly tell me why you have a problem with our president?” OK. I’ll be kind and explain the problem.

He got into office by inspiring hate, questioning the birthright of the last president. I have a problem with his constant use of innuendo, inferring that his last opponent was ‘crooked’ when she wasn’t. The chants of his supporters (lock her up), which he encouraged, were anything but kind, or even civil. He has done immeasurable damage to the rule of law in this country by flouting congressional subpoenas, preventing testimony and suborning perjury. His refusal to adhere to norms of civility is not refreshing, but repugnant. He pardons dirty tricksters convicted of lying to the FBI. He inspires the worst in his followers, some Nazis and Klansmen.

He seems to have inspired, or perhaps just plucked up, your anger toward liberals. He certainly inspired the young man who took his mother’s semi-automatic rifle to Kenosha, Wisconsin and the young man who drove through protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia. I could go on, but that point is made.

I’m glad you love our country, yet you insinuate that liberals don’t. He promised great healthcare yet is trying to delegitimize the Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act.

As far as I can see, you are following a charlatan and scoundrel who doesn’t value truth or honesty. That’s a shame. I have listened to him, and find him offensive. Thanks for trying to explain why you support him. I still don’t understand. Well maybe I do, but I’m explaining kindly.

As far as finding a perfect person, I don’t think that Joe Biden is perfect. But I do think that given the competition, he is an excellent choice and I invite you to reconsider your choice.

Steve Ganz



The Editor:

This letter is to let the people of the local area know that we are registered as a 501(c) nonprofit organization, as the Birch Bay Historical Society Inc.

Our desire is to have a museum of postcards, posters, maps, artifacts and bulletins.

We already have artifacts of early settlers from the 1800s and we already have a location for meetings as soon as this virus settles down.

Contact Bea Ball, president, at 206/660-7161.

Bea Ball

Birch Bay


The Editor:

Fall 2020 will require some help from the community. Please encourage our youth to register to vote in the next few months?

As a retired educator, I have helped 16-18 year olds register to vote for the last 2.5 years in our county high schools. My League of Women Voters (LWV) volunteers and I have met many students; some apprehensive about exercising their right to vote, and others proudly declaring they were already registered. Many teachers and administrators welcomed us into their schools and classrooms.

This past spring required a different approach. As representatives of the LWV of Bellingham and Whatcom County, we were able to give out almost 750 packets to graduating seniors during their virtual graduations. The law in Washington state allows 16 and 17 year olds to preregister to vote and their registration will be pending until they turn 18.

Many did so when they applied for their driver’s license. If they did not do so at the time, they must fill out a paper registration form they can download from vote.wa.gov.

This form may be emailed to elections@co.whatcom.wa.us, or mailed or hand delivered to the Whatcom County Auditor’s Office in the county courthouse (311 Grand Avenue #103, Bellingham, WA 98225). If one is already 18, they can go to this same website (vote.wa.gov) and fill out their registration online.

As we are working together to help our schools and communities adjust to Covid-19 restrictions, your voice about the importance of voting will encourage our youth. To be informed, all voters may go to vote411.org for nonpartisan information to all voters.

Please help make voter registration happen so we are a strong and informed community.

Jean Scribner, LWV high school voter registration



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