News in Brief

Published on Thu, Sep 11, 2003
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News in Brief

Food bank shelf at Cost Cutter available
For those who would like to donate food to the Blaine food bank, there�s an easy way to do it now: head to the Blaine Cost Cutter where you can purchase pre-packaged food on a special aisle, and also store it there. Food bank representatives will then pick up the food and transport it back to the center. For those in the community who want to donate directly to the food bank, hours are usually from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Monday, Thursday and the weekend. The center is closed on Wednesday. They can be reached via phone at 332-6350.

Three on ballot for school board seat
Three community members are on the ballot for the Blaine School District No. 2 position in next week�s primary on Tuesday, September 16. Real estate agent Chuck Green and BP supervisor Todd Berge are challenging Betty Nunamaker, a retired secretary, who has 24 years experience with the district. Green and Berge have both stated that it�s time for a parent to be on the school board, as there currently are none. The top-two vote-getters in Tuesday�s primary will appear on the November ballot. In District No. 1, Deborah Hart is running unopposed and Barrie Hull is running for re-election unopposed in District No. 4.

Habitat building party on Saturday
Habitat for Humanity will hold its next building party at 940 Cedar Street on Saturday, September 13 at 8:30 a.m. Renald Veilleux will lead this �sheetrocking and rolling party,� which will feature live music during lunch and the Tiam Wu Dao Martial Arts Club from Western Washington University. Trevor Carslay from Java Expresso in Everson will be on the property to serve up caffeine and the menu, which is in need of some assistance. Anyone interested in volunteering with lunch can call him at 966-3608, and all other volunteers can call 715-9170.

Martin Street parklet development under way
The development of the Martin Street parklet is in the works, according to community development director Terry Galvin. The city will be putting up a retaining wall, and are smoothing out the ground and will be planting grass. Following the winter season, additional landscaping will take place and an area will be completed for sculpture to be displayed.

Local girl qualifies for county idol contest
Michelle Berry of Blaine Middle School is one of 19 performers who will be looking to win over the audience on Friday, September 19 during the Whatcom County Idol competition, a local version of the national American Idol competition. The event, a fundraiser for Children�s Hospital of Seattle, begins at 6 p.m. in Christ the King Church, 4713 Meridian Street in Bellingham. The 1996 Miss America, Shawntel Smith, will be present and a silent auction also will be conducted. Through earlier auditions, finalists have been selected in three divisions: kids (ages 12 and younger), teens (13-18), and adults (19 and older). The audience will determine the winners, who will receive prizes donated by local businesses. Tickets for this evening of family entertainment cost $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Advance tickets are available in Bellingham at Wal-Mart, 4420 Meridian St., and Express Personnel Services, 4152 Meridian, Suite 201.

Birch Bay fire �looked worse than it was�
Buildings on Max Meshwa�s property in the 4000 block of Alderson Road in Birch Bay caught fire last week after something inside the garage exploded. According to fire division 13 chief Jim Rutherford, the explosions were a result of fuel and paint cans in the garage. �It looked like it was a lot worse than it was,� Rutherford said. �There were no injuries, and there was no damage to the residence.� Firefighters from Blaine, Birch Bay, and Custer responded.

Top two in port race move on after primary
The top two Port of Bellingham District No. 3 candidates will head to the November election following next week�s primary on Tuesday, September 16. Incumbent Ginny Benton is being challenged by Ferndale councilman Ron Wilson, restaurant owner Travis Holland, charter boat captain Jim Jorgensen, and attorney Jack Grant.
Benton, Jorgensen and Grant are all Blaine residents, and two of them have repeatedly stated that communication with the public is a key element to their campaign. Up until a few months ago, Grant said he was unsure of what the Port of Bellingham provided for the county, but has since made a commitment to learn all that he can about it to share with the community. �A lot of people don�t know what the Port provides and I feel it�s important to communicate what the port does to the public, and also get the community�s input.� As part of his campaign, Grant has created a Port of Bellingham fact sheet to better inform the public. For more information, visit online at and
Jorgensen said communicating with the public is essential, and touts five strong points: bringing a balanced perspective to port business, increasing citizen input to port commissioners, ensuring environmental responsibility and stewardship, encouraging economic growth and development and his unquestioned integrity and ethics.
Benton touts her economic work, such as the Blaine public pier, and the fact that no taxes have been raised during her time in office.
For voting information, visit online at or call the elections office at 676-6740.