Published on Thu, Mar 6, 2008
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New cameras for border crossings

Motorists planning on crossing the border into Canada can now get live updates on border wait times thanks to new traffic cameras installed at four county border crossings.

The Washington State Department of Transportation has recently completed the installation of 16 cameras for four Whatcom County border crossings in Blaine, Lynden and Sumas. Nine of those cameras are located in Blaine and three are located near Lynden and Sumas crossings.

• I-5 at Mitchell Avenue
• I-5 at Odell Road
• I-5 south of Odell Road
• I-5 at Loomis Trail Road
• SR 543 at Boblett Street
• SR 543 at H Street
• SR 543 at D Street
• SR 543 at border (two)
• SR 539 at Badger Road
• SR 539 at border
• SR 9 at Front Street

WSDOT officials say they have also installed traffic detectors at each crossing to measure the border wait times.  The WSDOT web site and I-5 radios and signs will display the wait times, helping drivers make informed decisions about where to cross. 

Engineers are connecting the wires to the system and expect to broadcast the wait times by April.

Bingo night to raise money for local Montessori school

The Pleasant Valley Montessori school has scheduled an all-ages bingo night to raise funds for their non-profit school in Ferndale.
The event is at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 7 at the Ferndale Senior Center. Bingo cards are $1 each and pizza will be sold for $1 a slice. Prizes include gift certificates for various local businesses (Samuel’s Furniture, Fairhaven Pizza, Bellingham Food Co-op), gift baskets, a KitchenAid food processor, a Black and Decker palm sander, as well as children’s toys from local businesses.

Health department sponsors community health night

The Whatcom County Health department has scheduled a forum series to discuss community health concerns from obesity to the environment and emergency preparedness plans for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, B.C. Health officials will meet from 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6 at the Blaine middle school at 975 H Street and encourage residents to share their thoughts on how to make Whatcom County a healthier place.

Participants should register at or by calling 676-6724, press #33300.

The U.S. Border Patrol wants YOU!

The Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Border Patrol is looking to hire 6,000 new border agents by the end of 2008.

Initial salaries for Border Patrol agents range from $35,000 to $70,000 within three years of service.

Eligible candidates must be a U.S. Citizen; have a valid state driver’s license; be under 40 years of age; be physically fit; pass a written examination and structured interview; pass a background investigation, drug test, medical and fitness examinations; and be willing to relocate to the Southwest border in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, or California.

Recruiters will be available between March 5 and 27 at various Seattle and Tacoma locations. For more information, call Kelly Monroe at 360/332-9254.

Volunteers needed now for Discovery Days

Organizers for the 29th annual Birch Bay Discovery Days are seeking volunteers for their summer parade and crafts fair.

The arts and crafts fair is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 19 and 20. The parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, July 19. Volunteers are need for short shifts of 2 to 3 hours to help set up, work at the check-in table, traffic control and help with the parade, as well as to hang fliers, posters and write press releases.

Interested individuals can attend a planning meeting at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at 4 p.m. at the Birch Bay Visitor Information Center. Registration forms for the arts and crafts fair are also available on the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce’s website at or by calling the VIC at 360/371-5004.