News In Brief

Published on Thu, Aug 7, 2003
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News In Brief

Another gateway sign up, the first to move
The city of Blaine has put up a second gateway sign at the corner of Peace Portal Drive and Bell Road. A third sign, and possibly a fourth, will soon be posted along the truck route, near H Street, according to Terry Galvin, Blaine�s community development director. The first gateway sign has been temporarily placed on northern Peace Portal Drive, near Subway, but will be permanently moved to the junction of Peace Portal Drive and the exit 276 off-ramp. The city of Blaine is awaiting approval from the Washington state department of transportation (WSDOT) before the sign can be moved.

Anderson announces candidacy for Ward 1
Andy Anderson, a former Blaine mayor and councilman, has announced his candidacy for council, Ward 1. Born in Montana, Anderson has been living in Blaine for more than 50 years, and said it�s time to give back to the community. �I want to give back to Blaine. I have been here for many years,� he said. �And I want to see this community grow.�
Anderson also announced he has an idea for the community, in the form of a horse carousel. �This idea has nothing to do with me running for council. This is because I think it will attract people and give Blaine what it needs,� he said. Since 1995, Anderson has been working on the project, and would like to hear feedback from the community. �Everything would be handmade and donated, and would involve artists and the community. We could all be a part of this and it would bring a lot of people to Blaine,� he said.

Demolition of historic structure under way
The demolition of the building at 715 Peace Portal Drive has started, according to Terry Galvin, Blaine�s community development director, and will likely take a couple of weeks. The structure was built in 1909, opening as Oertel�s Market, which served the early Blaine community with groceries, poultry and other products. The last business within the structure was Blaine Book Company, the last adult store business still operating in Blaine. The company closed its doors in 2002.

Liebert to run for Ward 1 position
City councilman John Liebert, representing Ward 1, Position 1, has filed for a second term. Liebert is a semi-retired educator who finished his full-time teaching career at Blaine high school in the summer of 2000. He is presently employed by Timber Ridge, an alternative high school serving Blaine and Whatcom County school systems. He and his wife, Carole, have resided in Blaine since 1987. One of his goals still to be achieved is a new waste treatment plant to serve the community, as well as a master plan for the airport, a �turn of the century� upgrade of city hall, and the re-zone study for the entire city. Liebert grew up in Blaine and said he continues to look at the community as the jewel of the county. �Growth can be good, but it needs to be managed for the welfare of the entire community,� he said.

Birch Bay Water consumption still high
According to Roger Brown, manager of Birch Bay water and sewer district, 9.2 million gallons of water was used last week. This was a 9.5 percent reduction from the previous week�s record consumption of 10 million gallons, but still well above the pre-2003 record high of 8.5 million gallons. Brown said that they do not measure population directly, but the number of residential customer equivalents has increased 2.9 percent in 2002 and at an annual rate of 3.5 percent so far in 2003. Total June and July consumption has grown 15.5 percent since last year.
�I think the increased number of customers has contributed to the surge in usage, but the predominant factor in the higher usage has been the prolonged dry spell,� Brown said, noting the precipitation in June and July of 2003 was only 0.84� compared to 2.36� during the same period last year. �We want to thank our customers who have been cutting back on their water use to help us get through this difficult period,� he said. �With more dry weather predicted, we do need to keep up the good conservation practices.�

Deadline to vote in primary election coming up
Saturday, August 16 is the last day to register to vote or submit a change of address by mail for the September 16 primary election, according to Whatcom County auditor Shirley Forslof. If registered voters within Whatcom County have moved, a phone call to 676-6742 by Friday, August 15 will transfer their voter registration to their new address for the September 16 primary election. The following locations have mail-in voter registration and transfer forms: Whatcom County library system, U.S. post offices, Cost Cutter, and vehicle and vessel licensing subagents. For more information and the location of additional sites, please call the election department at 676-6742.

County Council denies James Way vacation
Way at the August 5 meeting. After listening to several people speak for and against the vacation, the council voted unanimously to deny the vacation. Council member Sam Crawford was absent from the meeting.
Birch Bay resident Patrick Alesse was one of the residents who urged the county to deny the vacation. �You shouldn�t make any deals now,� Alesse said. �To me it�s very clear, just say no.� Steve Shropshire, the lawyer for Evelyn Christensen, who was seeking the vacation, said a vote against it would be preventing any future public access. �A vote to deny vacation is a vote against public access,� he said.