Aroundthe city...

Published on Thu, Nov 2, 2006 by Tara Nelson

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Around the city...

By Tara Nelson

Blaine offers a new kind of community service

Those looking to complete community service hours may be able to warm some hearts in the process.

That’s because the city of Blaine is now offering a program allowing individuals to work off community service hours by knitting squares for afghans to be donated to the nation’s homeless shelters, nursing homes, battered women shelters and day care centers.

Luane Cranfeild, a probation officer for Blaine, said she started the program when she found an ad in Sunset Magazine for Warm Up America!, a Wausau, Wisconsin-based non-profit organization, that was looking for volunteers to knit afghan blankets.

“The defendant feels good because they’re able to do something good in their own home at their own pace and we serve a worthwhile organization by being able to help people who are a little less fortunate,” she said.

Since July, Cranfeild said two Blaine residents have signed up for the program, crocheting one afghan and approximately 80 squares – almost enough to create two afghans.

“With only two people, we’ve done pretty well, but if people like to crochet, this is certainly a worthwhile project and you can knit us five or you can knit us 100,” Cranfeild said, adding that the program is particularly suited for elderly or mentally unstable individuals.

“In this particular case, we had some people with some mental issues, some anxiety disorders, and yet this was something they could do in their home,” she said. “We have to have an alternative for some of those people who don’t fit the mold.”

Luane said others members of the community are welcome to participate in the program but donations of yarn are sorely needed. Donations of completed squares should be 7 by 9-inches and either knitted or crocheted. Cranfeild said any material may be used, but she recommends acrylic because it can be washed. For more information, call 332-8311.

County responds to road closure concerns

Whatcom County public works director Jeff Monsen responded last week to Birch Bay Village residents’ concerns regarding a new roadway between Birch Point Road and Semiahmoo Parkway.

Monsen said a number of residents have voiced concerns over access to Birch Point Road and certain parts of Birch Bay Drive.

In a letter to Birch Bay Village residents dated October 24, Monsen denied that Birch Point Road has been closed permanently, adding that the construction of a new connector road has been in the county’s comprehensive plan for more than 20 years.

“There are going to be some temporary closures as part of the construction of the new waterlines, sewer lines, draining courses, and road construction as relating to the Horizon’s development, but once it’s all done, Birch Point Road will re-open,” he said.

In the meantime, traffic is being routed onto Selder Road north onto a temporary road that connects to Semiahmoo Parkway and back to Birch Point Road, he said. The project should be completed in three weeks.
Monsen also denied claims that a stormwater pond just north of the community is part of Fred Bovenkamp’s development.

“There appears to have been some confusion about stormwater ponds, the largest of the two services the new Horizon’s project and shouldn’t create a problem for the residents of Birch Bay Village,” he said. “The second is a relatively small one that will be adjacent to Birch Bay Village, the design of which will capture water that flows into Birch Bay Village, intercept it, and pipe it away from the village.”