News In Brief
Days: Free parking, roads closed
There will be free parking at Birch Bay State Park, in conjunction with Birch Bay Discovery Days, on Saturday, July 19. Birch Bay Discovery Days will be held July 19 and 20, and features parades, games, vendors and more. On Saturday, at 10:30 a.m., Birch Bay Drive will be closed from the C Shop at Alderson Road to the top of Harborview Drive because of the the parade. For more information about the event, visit www.birchbaychamber.com.
house at Odell Road fire station
The public is invited to an open house at the new North Whatcom fire station at 9408 Odell Road on July 19 from 1 � 4 p.m. In addition to station tours, the fire safety house will be present to provide information to children, and public safety handouts and refreshments will be available to visitors. The station was dedicated on June 16.
Bank food drive under way
Banner Bank�s Whatcom County branches, including Blaine, are holding a food drive for local food banks between July 21 � 25. Banner hopes to collect 300 non-perishable food items, and has committed to match customer donations up to $1,000. The food drive is held during the summer months, when free and reduced-fee school meals are not available and the resources of homeless and low-income families are stretched extra thin. Proceeds from the food drive will go to the Blaine Food Bank, as well as food banks in Point Roberts, Lynden and Bellingham. For more information, contact 738-8090.
commission: Benton seeking third term
Port commissioner Ginny Benton has announced that she will seek a third term representing district 3 on the Port of Bellingham commission. �I�m running for re-election because I believe I still have major contributions to make,� Benton said. �Citizens need to know that wise, careful and conscientious decisions are being made to respond to urgent needs arising from our traditional industrial base downsizing or moving from the county.� Benton, who has been serving since 1996, said she is committed to no tax increases, defined and limited tax uses, building cooperative coalitions in the county, developing new and innovative approaches to government and guarding and upgrading the quality of the marine environment.
council discusses James Way vacation
The resolution to vacate all of James Way that lies west of Birch Bay Drive was tabled at the July 8 county council meeting. The resolution had been brought to the council by Roger Almskaar Associates on behalf of Evelyn Christensen who owns the lot next to the right of way. Christensen is seeking the vacation of James Way to improve the value and use of her lot. Although the petition submitted to the county stated that the right of way has no public access to the beach and therefore no public use, many Birch Bay residents stepped forward to argue that. The council had previously denied a petition to vacate the right of way when it was submitted three years ago in May of 2000. The council will discuss the issue further at the next meeting on July 22, at 7 p.m. in county chambers in the courthouse in Bellingham.
signs to be posted at week�s end
Two gateway signs will be posted later this week in the city of Blaine. One will be posted at the northwest corner of Bell Road and Peace Portal Way, the other at I-5 exit 276, which is the entry into the city center from the north. A third sign will be placed at H Street and the truck route, however that will not be erected for another month. The city of Blaine has been working with a designer and sign committee since earlier this year to establish the design schemes.