New in Brief
chamber meeting rescheduled
The Blaine Chamber of Commerce luncheon has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, January 14, due to the weather this week. Members are encouraged to attend the meeting, at noon at the Pizza Factory, where a free calendar featuring photos by Jack Kintner will be available to members.
hearing on proposed retreat tonight
A public hearing for the proposed 10-acre spa-retreat on Birch Point Road will be held this evening at the Whatcom County Courthouse in Bellingham at 7 p.m. Ellen Shea � creator of the proposed project, as well as the Chrysalis Inn in Fairhaven � is asking the county to rezone the 10 acres in the Birch Point area from UR 4 (urban residential 4) to resort commercial. It is this rezone possibility that caused some residents to form Neighbors for Birch Point - a group fighting the project via a petition drive. Shea, who does not yet own the property, wants to construct a retreat environment where guests can �nurture their body, relax their mind and refresh their spirit,� she stated in a letter to the Whatcom County planning commission. �The acreage is secluded and completely fenced allowing for total privacy and little impact, if any, on neighboring properties.�
intrusion on H Street, suspect flees
Blaine police officers and the police K-9 team responded to a report of a home intrusion that occurred in the 300 block of H Street on December 28. An adult woman reported that she was assaulted inside her home by an unidentified adult male who then fled the area, police said. Nothing was taken and a search by officers and the K-9 unit yielded no trace of a suspect. The victim reported receiving minor physical injury and she was later evaluated at St. Joseph hospital. The case is under investigation.
Bay meeting set for Saturday, January 10
A January 10 meeting has been scheduled to discuss the Birch Bay community plan and a recent donation that was given to the community. Last month, Ken Hertz of Malibu Associates, a developer in the area, gave a $338,000 donation to Birch Bay for use in a project of its choosing. The purpose of the meeting is to prioritize projects appearing in the Birch Bay community plan. Those attending the meeting will be allowed to voice opinions on projects and how the donation should be used and then vote on the top ideas. �The Birch Bay Steering Committee needs you, the people. The community plan goes to county council in February and in the meantime we want to begin implementation projects,� said Kathy Berg, vice-president of the Birch Bay Steering Committee. �More specifically, how best to use the $338,000 donation.�
The meeting will be held on Saturday, January 10 from 10 a.m. to noon at Christ the King church at the Peace Arch Factory Outlet Mall. Anyone seeking to share their thoughts about the projects are asked to email Kathy Berg at email@example.com or call 371-0171, so they can appear on the meeting�s agenda. The Birch Bay community plan is available at the Blaine and Bellingham libraries and online at www.biz.birchbay.net/bbsc/BBSAP. htm.
Women�s Hall of Fame deadline soon
The deadline for nominations to the Northwest Women�s Hall of Fame, honoring women who have made a major impact on their community, has been extended to Friday, January 16. Awards will be announced at the sixth annual Women�s Hall of Fame banquet March 21. Nomination forms are available from the Bellingham YWCA, located at 1026 N. Forest Street, or by calling 734-4820, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominees must be Whatcom County women who have accomplished something of lasting significance, especially if they have promoted opportunities or served as role models for women and girls. Areas of achievement include, but are not limited to: the arts, business, community service, education, environmental activism, health and medicine, public affairs, science, social change or sports and recreation.
Bay population to be approved
Whatcom County Council will approve the population estimate for Birch Bay at its next meeting on Tuesday, January 13. By the year 2020, it is estimated Birch Bay will have 9,619 people. �We may have that many people before that, so we have got to plan,� said Kathy Berg, vice-chair of the Birch Bay Steering Committee. �It�s going to happen whether we like it or not.�
informational forum to be held
Whatcom County Democrats and Western Washington University (WWU) Democrats will host a presidential candidate informational forum, with representatives of the nine democratic presidential candidates, from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, January 17 at Bellingham high school at 2020 Cornwall Avenue. The forum is preparation for the February 7 precinct caucuses. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. with presentations starting at 1 p.m. The community is welcome. Candidates to be represented are: former NATO commander Wesley Clark, former Vermont governor Howard Dean, North Carolina senator John Edwards, Missouri congressman/minority leader Dick Gephardt, Massachusetts senator John Kerry, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, former Illinois senator Carol Moseley-Braun and political activist Al Sharpton of New York.