News in Brief

Published on Thu, Jan 15, 2004
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News in Brief

Benefit dance scheduled for Blaine teacher
A dance will be held on Saturday evening, January 17, at the Pastime Tavern to benefit Robb and Marea Bouma who lost their home and belongings in a fire on Tuesday, January 6. Robb is a science teacher and golf coach at Blaine high school. Entertainment will be provided by The Rockerfellas and will begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the high school office. For details, call 332-6045.

Meeting scheduled for Dakota restoration
A public meeting has been scheduled to discuss the restoration of the Dakota, one of Blaine�s historic vessels. Anyone interested in joining the efforts, should attend the meeting on January 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Dakota building on Marine Drive. For more information, call Terry Galvin, Blaine�s community development director, at 332-8311 or email

Program to be unveiled at Birch Bay Chamber
The Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce board of directors will unveil a new program during its next meeting on Tuesday, January 20. Chamber directors are inviting residents and chamber of members of Blaine and Birch Bay to attend a presentation about a new mentorship program that will benefit local youth. Please call 371-5004 or email by Friday, January 16 to let the chamber know you are planning to attend. Several community leaders will be in attendance. The meeting will be held at Stephani�s Restaurant at 7878 Birch Bay Drive. The cost for the luncheon is $10 per person and will be served at 11:30 a.m. with the chamber�s presentation starting promptly at noon.

Two new Birch Bay websites online
Birch Bay now has two new community websites. The Birch Bay steering committee can be found online at, which features the latest actions of the committee, meeting dates and approved minutes, as well as links to the Birch Bay subarea plan and other sources of information. For the business life of Birch Bay, log online to, where users can write in and read comments, and post their home pages.

Murder suspect captured in Blaine motel
A man wanted for murder in California was apprehended by Blaine authorities last week, on Thursday, January 8. Pourang Doodruz Sotodeh, 29 of Irvine, California was wanted on an outstanding warrant for murder. Blaine police officers were notified by U.S. border patrol agents that Sotodeh was staying at a local motel, after he was denied entry into Canada. Although the man was registered at the motel, he was not in his room when authorities arrived. Officers and agents searched the downtown area and located him on foot near the corner of Peace Portal Drive and Martin Street a short time later, according to Blaine police chief Mike Haslip. Sotodeh denied having committed murder, but admitted having been arrested in Hollywood for assault with a deadly weapon in 1999. The felony murder warrant was from 2000.�The man was taken into custody and booked into Whatcom County Jail where he is awaiting extradition to California.

Blaine boardwalk contract approved
Blaine city council unanimously approved a contract allowing the city of Blaine to contract with Carletti Architects to provide architectural and engineering services for phase two of the boardwalk design process. The group has a projected cost of $109,000 for their services. The $1.5 million boardwalk is planned to be constructed on the west side of Peace Portal Drive between G and H streets.

Minimum wage up as of January 1
Washington�s minimum wage increased 15 cents to $7.16 an hour beginning January 1. The minimum wage previously was $7.01. The new wage applies to workers in both agricultural and nonagricultural jobs. The federal department of labor minimum wage is $5.15 an hour. But in states that set rates that differ from federal law, the higher rate applies.