News in Brief
annual Brant Festival scheduled for April
The second annual Brant Festival is returning to Blaine and Birch Bay on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. Dubbed the Pacific Brant Festival, and sponsored by the Washington Brant Foundation, the festival honors the brant, a small sea goose, and features various bird spotting areas, including Marine Drive, Semiahmoo Spit and Birch Bay State Park. In addition to the spotting areas, a dinner and auction will be held at Semiahmoo Resort. Tickets are available for $40 per person, and $75 per couple. For more information, visit online at www.washingtonbrant.org.
explosion leaves one boat damaged
North Whatcom Fire and Rescue Services responded to a boat fire at the Blaine Marina on Monday, January 19. No one was injured in the fire, and the affected sailboat had minor damage. The cause of the fire was found to be a propane explosion on board the vessel while it was tied to the dock, and was determined to have been accidental. Blaine police officers also responded.
3 election: Get your absentee ballots now
Voters needing absentee ballots for the February 3 election should contact the Whatcom County Auditor�s office between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. by calling 676-6745 or 676-6742 or visiting 311 Grand Avenue, Suite 103 in Bellingham. If absentee voters have requested, but have not yet received their ballots, they should call the auditor�s office. Monday, February 2, is the last day to pick up an absentee ballot. The February 3 election involves the annexation of the city of Blaine into fire district 13 and the maintenance and operations levy for the Blaine school district.
county council to discuss wastewater site
Blaine city council and the Port of Bellingham commissioners will meet January 30, 2003 at noon at the Blaine Harbor Room to discuss a wastewater site. Following months of work by the Citizens Wastewater Advisory Committee (CWAC), it was recommended to the city council that Blaine construct a wastewater facility on Milhollin Avenue, off Marine Drive, which is owned by the Port of Bellingham. The city of Blaine first considered constructing a facility at its Marine Park grounds, but decided to pursue another location in the Marine Drive area. For more information about CWAC, visit www.cityofblaine.com.
retreat project may go before county council
Following the Whatcom County planning commission�s decision to vote down the proposed spa-retreat project on Birch Point, the issue may resurface at county council next month. According to Whatcom County planning services division manager Sylvia Goodwin, the county council could decide to have their own hearing and revise the planning commission recommendation; however, no date has been scheduled. The Birch Bay plan is scheduled to go to the county council for introduction on February 24, and if the council decides they would like to consider the spa retreat project, a hearing could be scheduled for March 9 or later, Goodwin said. On January 8, the planning commission voted 7-1 (with one member abstaining) against the rezone of 10 acres from urban residential-4 to resort commercial. In response to the project, a local group called Neighbors for Birch Point had been formed, collecting more than 110 signatures against the project.