Horizon Bank protestorsalienating themselves from mainstream

   The group of protestors who picketed Horizon Bank in July because it was backing the proposed Chuckanut Ridge development project only managed to do one thing: push itself further away from the mainstream support it needs.
   Horizon Bank, one of the few local banks left in the area, did not deserve to be the epicenter of this group’s misplaced anger.
   Horizon Bank did nothing wrong. It is bankrolling a proposed development on a privately owned parcel of land that even respected local environmentalists say is not a unique ecosystem. Granted, this is a place close to the hearts of many Southsiders, and we understand that developing it is not a popular concept. Losing a place you love to a faceless development is not easy — but it does not make the developer or bank working with that developer evil or uncaring.
   But the heart of the matter remains this: The development is within code restrictions thus far, the land is owned by someone who has every right to develop it within city guidelines, and Horizon Bank is doing absolutely nothing unethical by bankrolling the project.
   Protesting a bank for doing its job doesn’t win you support in the community, plain and simple. That time and effort could have been spent doing the only thing which might have a real impact on this situation: rallying more public support, getting more signatures to present to the city, or even attempting to further the dialog with the developer.
   Pushing yourself further from the vital middle of the political landscape marginalizes your cause, it doesn’t strengthen it.

Growing Baker’s Triathlon becoming one of city’s signature events

   Kudos to the hundreds of volunteers, workers and sponsors of the Baker’s Healthy Start Foundation Triathlon held on Aug. 7!
   This event has gone from just another small local race to one of the city’s flagship events in just three years.
   Having such a deep and talented field of athletes coming to our city to participate in this top-notch event is truly just one more feather in our cap.
Events such as Sea to Ski and The Bellingham Festival of Music have long led the way locally in terms of being local, regional, and national draws — but they have been joined by the Baker’s Healthy Start Foundation Triathlon as one of our city’s signature events.
   These events combined with others such as the Bellingham Traverse, the Bellingham Highland Games, Deming Log Show, Whatcom County Fair, and others do an outstanding job of showcasing our area to out-of-town visitors. With groups such as these running these events, it is easy to see why our tourism numbers continue to climb.
   Well done, triathletes!

Off Beat
by Rik Dalvit

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