News In Brief

Published on Thu, Oct 9, 2003
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News In Brief

First meeting set for Cherry Point aquatic reserve
Land near Cherry Point has made the list of the first aquatic reserves in the state, according to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and now a full management plan will be outlined. The public is invited to the first management meeting to be held at the Squalicum Boat House in Bellingham on Wednesday, November 5 starting at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Philip Bloch at 902-1718 or via email at The DNR has materials online at

Man dies after working, falling from boat
A man who fell off his boat while performing work on it has died of his injuries. Joseph P. Condon, 51, was at the Semiahmoo Marina on Saturday, September 27 when neighboring boaters saw him fall into the water. After pulling him out, CPR was performed. Aid was called in, and medical personnel took Condon to St. Joseph�s Hospital in Bellingham where he died. A funeral mass was held last week in Everett and the family has asked that memorials be sent in Condon�s name to: The Coast Guard Mutual Assistance Fund, 4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 610, Arlington, Virginia, 22203.

State minimum wage increases to $7.16 an hour
Washington�s minimum wage will increase 15 cents to $7.16 an hour beginning January 1, 2004. The department of labor and industries recalculates the state�s minimum wage each year in September as a result of an initiative approved by voters in 1998. The hourly rate is currently $7.01. At this point, Washington will have the highest minimum wage in the country next year. The federal department of labor minimum wage is $5.15 an hour.

County council passes new lake regulations
The Whatcom County Council passed new rules Tuesday evening that require properties in the Drayton Harbor watershed, as well as those in Lake Samish and Lake Whatcom, to have an impervious surface for new construction of not more than 2,500 square feet or 20 percent of the property, whichever is greater. The rules now update the county�s zoning ordinance and are meant to protect water quality from impacts due to erosion and storm water drainage. The rules are effective January 1.

City announces cable discount for some customers
The city of Blaine announced that discounted cable service through Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. applies to all of the city of Blaine�s low-income senior citizens and low-income disabled customers. The discount only applies to limited cable services, formerly known as basic cable service. Customers seeking the discount may apply by calling 888-COMCAST (266-2278).

CWAC reviews info at study session, open house
The Citizens Wastewater Advisory Committee (CWAC) went before the Blaine city council in a study session and the public during an open house earlier this week to present various sewer treatment alternatives. The 10-person committee comprised of Blaine residents from various backgrounds discussed a list of 14 alternatives, and came to a consensus on three preferred alternatives. The committee will now meet again to discuss the feedback from city officials and community members. The city of Blaine will review the alternatives and information in a study session on Monday, October 20.

More than 40 artists involved with studio tour
Over 40 Whatcom County artists are participating in the ninth annual Whatcom artist studio tour, open to the public this weekend. The public can embark on a self-guided tour of the studios of selected artists and craftspersons between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Local artist Steve Pulver, who creates wooden bowls and other miscellaneous turnings, will have his studio open at 5561 Maple Way in Blaine and can be reached at 371-3318. For more information about the Whatcom studio tour log onto

Beach naturalist training starting next week
Training is beginning for beach naturalists, a program involving local residents who volunteer to walk local beaches and share information with beach-goers. The program is put on by the Bellingham-based environmental group RESources, and involves training with a marine biologist who teaches volunteers to identify beach organisms, and learn about shellfish harvesting as well as low-impact beach-exploration. Those interested in the program, should call 733-8307 or email The training is limited to 30 people and takes place on Thursday, October 16 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Department of Ecology conference room at 1204 Railroad Avenue in Bellingham.

Blaine school students visit BP Refinery
About 45 students from grades one through twelve recently toured the BP Refinery. The students were selected last year by their teachers and recognized by BP Cherry Point Refinery as �Bay Builders � Great Kids Doing Great Things.� Public affairs representative Mike Abendhoff took the students on a full tour, including the control room. Following the tour, the students had a pizza lunch and then headed back to school. The student recognition program continues this year on a monthly basis in The Northern Light.