Published on Thu, May 29, 2008
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BPA settlement to reduce Blaine electric rates for May

Blaine electric ratepayers can expect lower rates for kilowatt hours for the month of May when the city will reduce the rate by $0.04 per kwh usage.

This one-time rate reduction is a pass-through from Bonneville Power Administration, which supplies power to Blaine, after a rate settlement resulting from court action against BPA.

Blaine City Council determined in March that this settlement should be passed through to Blaine’s electrical customers.

Customers who are PowerStat users may pick up a PowerStat card at city hall for their share of the BPA settlement.

Local beaches closed to shellfish harvesting

The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) has closed several Whatcom County beaches to shellfish harvesting including Birch Bay and Drayton Harbor after detecting dangerously high levels of marine biotoxins in samples collected there.

The department has closed all beaches from Sandy Point north to the Canadian border to recreational harvest of shellfish.

Signs have been posted at high use beaches warning people not to collect molluscan shellfish including clams, oysters, mussels, and scallops.

PSP toxins are naturally occurring and are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. People can become ill after eating shellfish contaminated with the toxins produced by naturally occurring marine algae.

Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue moving to the hands and feet followed by difficulty breathing, and potentially death.

Recreational shellfish harvesters should check the DOH website at or call the DOH Biotoxin Hotline at 800/562-5632 before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington state.

Local grads earn diplomas from WWU

Two Blaine high school graduates earned diplomas from Western Washington University for the 2008 Winter quarter.

Blaine resident Travis Platt, recently earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in general studies and Birch Bay resident Deborah Sungsim Im earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, East Asian studies.

Blaine grad makes dean’s list

Kelsey Hamilton of Blaine is listed on the 2008 Spring semester dean’s list at the University of Portland. Hamilton is a junior and majoring in nursing. Students need at least a 3.5 grade point average to make the dean’s list.

Birch Bay resident named to NSEA board

Birch Bay resident Elie Friedlob was recently appointed by the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) to their board of directors.

Friedlob grew up in Chicago where she said she developed a love and respect for animals and nature at a young age. She spent much of her professional life as a nurse and currently works for a health data warehouse and informatics firm, where she helps manage health care benefits for workers of various corporations.

Evening of the Arts tonight

Blaine high school art and music departments have scheduled their annual evening of the arts event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on May 29 at the Blaine performing arts center (PAC). This event will feature student artwork and performances by student choirs and bands beginning at 7 p.m. Tony Gonzalez, a painter from Bellingham, and Ron Boat, a local glass artist, will select winning artwork to receive awards. Refreshments will be served.

CBP expands NEXUS hours

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has expanded the the NEXUS hours of operation at the Peace Arch port of entry.  

As of May 24, the NEXUS lane will open one hour earlier beginning at 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily for vehicular traffic into the U.S.

NEXUS travelers in oversized vehicles, those recreational vehicles and others with a height of 11 feet 6 inches or taller will need to utilize the non-NEXUS designed oversized vehicle lane.

Border travelers urged to use nearby ports

Cross-border travelers are urged to use other ports of entry while the Peace Arch facility continues to undergo major construction, border officials say.

Border crossers may want to use the nearby and less heavily traveled Pacific Highway crossing, Lynden or Sumas ports of entry instead of the Peace Arch crossing. The Pacific Highway Crossing is located one mile east of the Peace Arch crossing and offers a viable nearby alternative.

Southbound travelers from the Vancouver, B.C., metropolitan area can use Highway 1 and 1A for a short eastbound diversion to cross into the U.S. at the ports of Lynden or Sumas.

Avoiding peak hours of operations, usually 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends or holidays is also strongly advised.

Birch Bay realtor honored

The Whatcom County Association of Realtors recently honored Lorraine Hoving of Windermere Real Estate.

Hoving was named WCAR’s Realtor of the First Quarter. Based at Windermere’s new Birch Bay Square office, she has four years of real estate experience and has earned the Accredited Buyer Representative designation.

By Tara Nelson