For interesting reading and thinking, search “U.S. oil exports.” For the first time in 20 years, the U.S. has become a net exporter of fuel.
To be clear, we’re talking about finished petroleum products, not crude oil. The U.S. still imports about half the crude it consumes. The interesting idea is that the petroleum industry imports crude (at national risk?) in order to process and export massive amounts of finished petroleum products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. U.S. consumers are buying less fuel, so companies export more and charge us more at the pumps too! Our “petroleum consumption” includes the finished products we export.
Do we really have “shortages of petroleum” that cause gas prices to go up and a “national emergency” that encourages foreign policy to “protect our needed supply of petroleum”? Are we really protecting our national security, or the petroleum industry? And at what cost in lives and Pentagon budgets?
The Keystone pipeline that will enable Canadians to sell petroleum to China will run over our nation’s largest underground water reserves.
Be aware of what some major corporations are doing to this country in the name of jobs.
As co-director of Blaine’s award-winning DHM Community Sailing School, I wish to thank our newest partner for contributing to the boating education of our past and future sailing students.
The United States Power Squadron (USPS) has joined with us in educating our sailing students beyond the program we offer on Drayton Harbor. Most sailboats, even the small ones, become powerboats when the sails come down. All sailors must know about tides and currents, weather, engine maintenance, navigation and many other aspects of operating a vessel, especially on salt water.
During the winter months, USPS and the Blaine Community Sailing School is offering two-hour evening seminars for the entire boating community, in topics such as rules of the road, weather, anchoring, and use of the VHF radio. These will be held at two local venues: Blaine West Marine Express and the Semiahmoo Marina Store. There is a modest cost for these classes. However, teenagers from ages 12 to 18 will be offered scholarships.
Please join me in thanking USPS for their participation in saving lives. For information please see www.boatingisfun.org or call Graham Hunter at 360/332-5526.
DHM Blaine Community Sailing
Birch Bay loses a good friend.
Recently our good neighbor and friend Bill Grant passed on. This man was as much a part of Birch Bay as are sand dollars.
He created much of the commercial, retail and restaurant structures along the beachfront resort.
I know Bill Grant because he was my landlord for years. My small business was close to his condos. I also know Bill because he was more than a business person. He was a good neighbor, stopping by often to chat.
I noticed what motivated him as he watched people have fun along the beach. I guess that is why he chose to live right in the middle of Birch Bay for years in his second home overlooking Birch Bay Drive and the beach view.
One day we were talking and the conversation went like this: “Bill, why do you bother with renting to a super small business person like myself when you build 450-unit luxury condos?” Bill’s reply? He said, “You provide fun for people.”
He was smart like that. I would say something like, “Well Bill, how much will my rent be this year?” He would say, “What can you pay and still be able to run your business?” This was integrity speaking, and to that one can only return the fairness.
Bill knew Birch Bay was not a city nor should it be. You see he saw it as a very special little place, sort of a village. Birch Bay is not a place that stretches to Semiahmoo. Bill saw Birch Bay as a small, unique area situated between Point Whitehorn and Birch Bay Village. The place he saw when looking outside his window.
I hope he is remembered for what he contributed to Birch Bay. It would be great to walk along and see some plaque that states “In memory of Bill Grant.”
Bill made Birch Bay better.
With the imminent threat of flooding this week, it’s important for everyone to know what to do to be prepared, this time and in the future.
Help our community be prepared for a flood, earthquake, house fire or other disaster. Be Red Cross ready. Be prepared for a flood, earthquake, house fire or other disaster.
Attend a free Red Cross emergency preparedness class. Learn how to prepare an emergency kit, create a disaster plan and get useful emergency tips.
The next class is Wednesday, February 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the local Red Cross headquarters, 2111 King Street, Bellingham.
A second class will be held March 28 at the new Red Cross Skagit County Service Center, 104 South Walnut Street, Burlington, also between 6 and 7 p.m.
The classes are free to the public. No RSVP is required.
For more information go to www.mtbredcross.org