The number of people coming to the Birch Bay Food Pantry has increased in recent months. We are currently serving between 20 and 25 families, which accounts for 60 to 70 individuals receiving food.
Food donations have decreased recently, and we are in need of community help with food for upcoming pantry distribution days.
We distribute food every first and third Monday of the month at 4672 Loft Lane between 10 a.m. to noon for Birch Bay residents only.
Anyone wishing to donate non-perishable food can call Lynne at 360/303-9850 for drop off locations or more information.
A few weeks ago I met Gilbert and Valerie Minjarez and their family through a Sunday school class I teach at St. Anne’s. Their two daughters, who attend my class, shared with me that their little sister was very sick.
After I contacted their mom, she shared with me that her six year old daughter, little Valerie, has been battling leukemia for nearly three years, and at this point, doctors no longer feel that there is any effective treatment for her.
I decided to meet little Valerie a few weeks ago at a time when she was feeling better. She is a bright, precocious, and beautiful little girl. She stole my heart immediately. Today, little Valerie is at Seattle Children’s Hospital and is being treated with pain medication, which is the only remaining treatment available to her.
A week and half ago, it was decided that the family needs the support of a community fundraiser. The fundraiser will not only help this family financially with traveling back and forth to Seattle, but it also lets them know they are not alone.
I am asking people to come out and join us this Friday, May 6, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a Blaine Fun Family Fundraiser to benefit the family of little Valerie. The event will be held at the Blaine middle school cafeteria. We will serve pizza, spaghetti, salad and sundaes for dessert.
We will also have a silent auction that will feature various items donated by local businesses. We will have carnival games for the kids, a magician, balloons and much more.
If you are unable to attend, donations can be accepted at Banner Bank to The Little Valerie Fund #3603267913.
We are relatively new to Blaine and I have a question that I thought (the readers of) The Northern Light might know the answer to. On Mitchell Street towards the bottom of the hill there is a house with a blue bull’s eye with an arrow stuck into the house on the outside of the target. We are wondering what the meaning or purpose of the bull’s eye is.
We all know Dick Clark of American Bandstand, but we have our own Dick Clark within Blaine! A musician himself, he found peace in teaching music to local students. He completely supported the dark budget days of Peace Arch State Park. A dear friend, he was also a great fundraiser with his concerts in the past. We have planted a commemorative Dick Clark rose in the Peace Arch State Park Rose bed. Who was it named for? Who knows? Enjoy celebrating our Dick Clark with his very own rose.
Please come down and see it when it blooms in June.
Everyone on the park staff and volunteers work so hard to make this park a place to enjoy; please come down for your first or as many times in the past.
Paul Atchison, 9-year volunteer
I am saddened today for a couple of reasons, the main one being the rejection of the recent Blaine school district bond. It is disappointing that so many citizens of our community were complacent and did not vote at all, and even more disappointing that there were so many who voted no.
With decreases in state support and an ever-increasing budget crunch, I wonder under what circumstance is there any excuse not to vote yes for our kids. What alternative do we have other than letting the school fall into disrepair or become so over capacity that despite teacher's best efforts the learning environment is compromised.
Unfortunately, there will never be a better time than the present to make these much needed repairs and upgrades to Blaine schools. Our school and the kids that go there are the backbone of our community, and the foundation that makes Blaine a great place to live.
The school is a reflection of our town, and right now it's not looking good. I attended middle school "math night" with my son and ended up being one of about six to eight people there representing all of those in grades 5 through 7.
Teachers took time out of their evening, some from out of town, to give us the opportunity to learn about our kids’ math education so that we can help them and be part of their success, but hardly anyone showed up. I know we're all busy. I for one have four baseball games on this week’s calendar. We expect the teachers and staff at Blaine to give our kids a good education, but we refuse to participate.
We expect buildings and supplies to make up a school yet we don't support the bonds that pay for them. We need to do better here in Blaine, we need to get more involved in education and start supporting our school full of wonderful teachers and staff who do their part every day.
I will continue to vote yes on every bond that comes my way because kids are our future, and what goes around comes around. I can't think of any investment more worth it!
I was saddened that the bond to support the Blaine schools failed and by such a small margin.
Despite the difficult economy, the schools – especially the high school – have issues that remain and will need to be solved.
So I ask: Can you spare a $5 bill to support your local schools? Can you spare a little bit more?
Maybe if we all chip in a little bit then some of the most needed projects will have a chance, and we can show the kids in our community that we care by putting our money where our mouths are.
My check is already in the mail.
There are a few purposes of this letter. The first is to highlight the accomplishments of a certain individual – Mike Hooley. Mike currently holds two jobs at Cost Cutter and The Blackberry House in Blaine and very much enjoys both of them.
He continues to always have a positive attitude and is friendly to anyone he comes into contact with. He is also very good at both of these jobs.
Second: I would like to publicly thank Aaron (owner of The Blackberry House) and Jim (Cost Cutter GM) as well as all of the other wonderful employees at these businesses. You have all given Mike a great opportunity, and we see him improve in his skills every day.
Third: Mike would really enjoy starting new jobs in the Blaine/ Birch Bay area. So if you are a local business looking for extra help for an hour or two a week, Mike is your guy! I am Ryan, Mike’s job coach, and I currently assist him at Cost Cutter. I provide job support to Mike, and I have also been given the opportunity to seek out new jobs for him. We have a lot of fun together when we work.
I would love to see Mike acquire even more job skills, so if anyone has any opportunities, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for reading about Mike!
Ryan T. Farrow
In today’s economy more and more people are having difficulties paying for basic needs of themselves and their respective families, without even thinking about the luxury of saving for retirement. As such, it comes as no surprise that school bond efforts all over the state fail; simple economics, there is not enough left at the end of the day for most families to shoulder any additional taxation.
A truly unfortunate conundrum, for, as we all know, our future will one day be in the hands of those we give education to today.
That being said, I would offer a solution to the financial shortfalls of our schools: very simple really, it just needs to be driven by the correct, grassroots, motivating force, namely those involved in the education administrations of local schools and universities.
The solution is to give taxpayers additional incentives and the ability to direct their existing tax payments to schools through tax credits; not deductions, true tax credits.
Additionally, have these tax credits come directly out of a “capped” Pentagon budget.
This will give people the voice needed to express confidence in education rather than military involvement overseas. This could reduce funds available to frivolous and unnecessary military involvement, make the Pentagon more fiscally responsible and will virtually ensure all future funding requests made by school districts over, not only our state but the nation as well.
I would take this one step further in suggesting that municipalities introduce this same kind of legislature for local infrastructure and recreational facilities taxes giving citizens a say in how their current tax funds are spent – once again – no additional taxes without tax credits offsetting the cost to the individual and tie the expense right back to reduced military expenditures.
In a matter of a decade or two we could have a society moving toward a goal that would be an example to the world, where people working at a local level, together, create communities and infrastructure consistent with a vision of a peaceful and prosperous future. Just a thought.