Aroundthe Bays

Published on Thu, May 17, 2007
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Around the Bays

Power outage scheduled this Saturday
The City of Blaine has scheduled a power outage originally planned for May 8 to Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the area bounded by 15th Street, D Street, the Canadian Border and Harvey Road, in addition to one small area west of Allan Street and north of Lincoln Lane, and E Street between Allan and Jerome. Public works director Steve Banham said the project will result in greater service reliability.

School board positions open
Blaine school district has three board positions up for election in 2007. The filing week is Monday, June 4 through Friday, June 8 and can be completed at the auditor’s office of the Whatcom County Courthouse at 311 Grand Avenue in Bellingham.

District 1 director, which includes Point Roberts and is currently held by Shelly Button, is due for filing along with District 2 and 4 directors, currently held by Todd Berge and Charles Gibson, respectively. All are four-year terms that expire in 2011.

For more information, call the Blaine school district office at 332-5881.

Boat license training offered
The Blaine U.S. Coast Guard Flotilla 19 will offer a one-day class on boating skills for both novice and experienced boaters from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 19 at the Blaine Harbor conference room at gate 2.

The class will include important safety and operational instructions to handle boats in most conditions. Graduates satisfy the Washington state requirements for a boating license.

Cost is $40, and $25 per each additional family member with a shared book. Boaters 20-years and younger operating a 15-horse power boat or more will need to have a Washington boater education card. For more information or to register, call 371-8096.

School board schedules executive session

The Blaine school district board of directors have scheduled an executive session to review personnel matters for 4:30 p.m. Monday, May 21 in the district office at 765 H Street. For more information, call the district office at 332-5881.

Bike to Work Day Friday
This Friday, May 18, thousands of Bellingham and Whatcom County residents will hit the road on two wheels and on their own two feet as part of the county’s annual Bike To Work and School Day.
The event is now in its tenth year and has grown more than 5,000 percent since 108 participants turned out for the first day in 1998. Last year, more than 5,400 people participated in the event, said Margaux Mellott, a spokesperson for the Whatcom County Council of Governments.

Hungry cyclists can fuel up with free muffins, cookies, juice and coffee at more than 30 “celebration stations” at schools and businesses. Participants can also earn water bottles, bike lights, bus coupons, and stickers good for discounts at participating businesses when they check into any station.

Cyclists are also invited to stop at the corner of H Street and Mitchell in the Blaine middle school parking lot from 6:30 to 9 a.m. for coffee donated by the Blackberry House Café.

“We’ll have a raffle for various prizes and some bicycle helmets donated by the Blaine police department,” said Dan Persse. “We’re also working on a bicycle obstacle course to coincide with the Run To The Border fun run and 5K race on June 9.” For more information, call 676-6974.

Lighthouse Point facility receives environmental reviews
The city of Blaine is moving forward with plans for its Lighthouse Point water reclamation facility slated for Marine Drive. Earlier this month, Blaine public works director Steve Banham received a State Environmetal Policy Act (SEPA) determination of non-significance from the city of Blaine, allowing the public works department to proceed with other applications.

The SEPA review is a process designed to identify any potential environmental impact resulting from a project and is generally approved with certain requirements to mitigate environmental and socioeconomic impact. Conditions specified in the May 3 letter include measures for ground improvements to mitigate liquefaction potential of sand fill or mudflat deposits, standards for seismic activity, as well as measures to minimize impacts to air quality and surface water runoff during and after construction.

The city also received a determination of non-significance from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process.

The approximate 23,000-square foot water treatment facility is slated for a one-acre area of the north side of Marine Drive and will produce a highly-treated Class A reclaimed effluent that could be used for irrigation purposes and reduce demand for potable water in the area.

BCT offers free improv classes

The Blaine Community Theater will offer two free workshops at 7 p.m. Thursday May 17 and May 31. Classes will teach introductory basics of improvisational acting for ages 15 and up.

The Blaine Community Theater is located at the Blaine International Center at1733 H Street next to Rite Aid drug store. For more information, call 392-0582.

Law enforcement agencies plan night seat belt patrols
Whatcom County law enforcement agencies will be patrolling for nighttime seatbelt enforcement from May 21 to June 3 as a part of their “Click It or Ticket” campaign.

“Many people think that law enforcement can’t see unbuckled motorists at night so seat belt use is lower and consequently the nighttime death rate is four times what it is during the day.

The Washington State Patrol pioneered an enforcement method that will be used statewide and involves both an observational officer and several pursuit vehicles. Between 2001 and 2005, officials reported approximately 2,366 vehicle occupant deaths in Washington state.
Approximately 1,153 (49 percent) of those occurred between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Another 1,198 (51 percent) occurred between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Though the number of people killed during the day is about the same as those killed at night, the death rate at night is approximately four to five times higher because traffic volumes are much lower.

“We know that people are most at risk of dying in a severe collision at night because more risky driving behavior takes place at night; more impaired driving, reckless driving and speeding, for example. So it makes sense to direct our law enforcement resources to a time and place where they will do the most good,” said Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) Director Lowell Porter.
The new project is being funded by the commission with a special federal pilot grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Washington’s seat belt law passed in 1986 and at that time only 35 percent of motorists buckled up. Washington’s primary seat belt law (which gives law enforcement the authority to pull over unbuckled motorists) became effective in June, 2002, at which time, seat belt use in the state hovered between 79 percent and 82 percent.

The “Click it or Ticket” campaign was adopted in 2002 and since its inception; seat belt use has risen to 94 percent. It has hovered between 94 percent and 96 percent ever since.

Today, Washington has the highest seat belt use ever recorded in the United States and the world at 96.3 percent. This use rate was determined by a statewide observational survey done in June, 2006.

The survey involved 105,720 vehicle drivers and passengers. It was conducted statewide in 19 counties (eastern and western WA) on a variety or road types following research protocols established by NHTSA.

The nation’s seat belt use average is 81 percent. For additional information about the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, visit

Slivers From The Bench
Alex Walter’s three-hit pitching and Val Binder’s 4 for 5 hitting led Blaine to an 8 to 3 win over Granite Falls last Tuesday to qualify for Saturday’s Northwest District Tournament. The Lady B’s will play Sehome at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 19, at Bender Fields in Lynden.
For more sports, see page 15.

By Tara Nelson