News in Brief
seizes $3 million in marijuana
The bureau of customs and border protection (BCBP) inspectors seized 635 pounds of marijuana during a routine examination last week at the Pacific Highway crossing. Inspectors discovered the drugs, which have an estimated street value of $3,175,000, in cardboard boxes concealed within a shipment of waste paper that was to be driven to Tacoma. The 60-year-old driver, William Hennan, a Canadian citizen from Port Moody, British Columbia, was arrested on federal charges of importation and possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.
�Our inspectors� vigilance has paid off again. We continue to make significant narcotics seizures while we are carrying out our number one priority�anti-terrorism,� said Peg Fearon, the BCBP area port director. �Stopping terrorists and the weapons of terror may be our priority, but drug smugglers should realize that we have not let down our guard in our efforts to prevent narcotics smuggling.� Blaine BCBP inspectors made six large marijuana seizures in April that totaled 1,538 pounds, an estimated street value of $7.6 million.
hosting Habitat auction
Semiahmoo Resort is hosting this year�s �Raise the Roof� auction for Whatcom County Habitat for Humanity on Saturday, May 10 at 6 p.m. Terry Mattson, Habitat for Humanity executive director for Whatcom county, called the auction an essential part of Habitat�s continued success. �We can only build affordable home for families in need if we have the funding to do so,� Mattson said. �A Habitat for Humanity home will help a deserving family afford home ownership because the mortgage is at no profit and no interest.�
Volunteers build habitat homes along with habitat�s partner families, and local businesses and community members donate much of the materials and labor. Additional funding comes from local granting organizations, homeowner mortgage payments, and fundraisers like the benefit auction.Tickets are $30 each and are available by calling 715-9170.
revises application for site certification
British Petroleum (BP) has submitted a revisions package to the application for site certification originally submitted to the energy facility site evaluation council (EFSEC) in June of 2002. BP notified EFSEC in January of 2003 that the co-generation project was being redesigned to use water rather than air for cooling. The project is also proposing to use recycled cooling industrial water from the Alcoa aluminum smelter as its primary industrial water source.
The revised section of the application is available online at www.efsec.wa.gov. EFSEC�s independent consultant is reviewing the information and will be reporting to the council regarding an update to the schedule for the development of the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) some time this month. Anyone with questions about EFSEC�s review process or future meetings should call 956-2124.
suspected county SARS case reported
A Whatcom County resident has been listed as the county�s first suspected case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The resident recently travelled to an affected area in Asia, and is now in isolation. The health department has set up a website and telephone line to ensure that the community has the information to recognize a case, how to report it and how to prevent the further spread of the disease. The public can access information at www.whatcomcounty.us or call the 24-hour information line at 738-3504, ext. 50842. Currently, there are 320 cases reported in the United States, 23 of which are in Washington state.
annual sculpture exhibition on display
Ten artists from the United States and Canada are featured now through September 30 at Peace Arch International Park, as part of the international sculpture exhibition. Participating artist include: Eric J. D. Mart, Davenport, Iowa; Louise McDowell, Seattle, WA; Dora Datella, Eugene, OR; Nick Westbrook, Santa Rosa, CA; Frank Pinzigalia, Vancouver, B.C.; Ken Pierce, Gunnison, CO; Amy Grassfield, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Joshua Lucas, Los Angeles, CA; Mary Kuebelbeck, Bellingham, WA; and Joe Spear, Oakland, CA.
The exhibition can be visited during regular park hours from 8 a.m. to dusk daily and a free self-guided brochure is available at the tourist information center in Blaine. This event is sponsored by the United States/Canada Peace Anniversary Association in cooperation with Washington state parks. For more information call 332-7165 or visit online at www.peacearchpark.org.
Land Trust to discuss area projects
The Whatcom Land Trust will be presenting information to Blaine area residents Thursday, May 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Blaine Library. Wendy Walker, president of the board of directors, will provide an overview, with the help of a slide show, of how the organization helps land owners and citizens protect and preserve land. Gordon Scott, the conservation director will talk about past and current projects in the Blaine and Birch Bay area. A question and answer session will follow. The trust, started by a group of farmers and citizens, has been in existence for 20 years and currently has over 500 members.