Published on Thu, May 15, 2008
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Another penny for your thoughts

As of Monday, the U.S. Post Office has increased the price of a one-ounce letter first-class stamp from 41 to 42 cents.

The changes are part of the federal Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that directs the prices for mailing services to be adjusted annually each May.

Prices for other mailing services, such as standard mail, periodicals, post cards, package services (including single-piece parcel post and special services) have also been adjusted. In the meantime, customers can purchase “Forever Stamps” for 41 cents that help consumers to ease the transition during price changes. Customers can also check the new rates at

SSC to accept containers at new collection center

Sanitary Service Company (SSC), Whatcom County’s largest recycling and garbage collection company, said it will begin accepting plants pots and trays, hinged containers, blister-type plastic packaging (packaging used for toys, toiletries, batteries, ink cartridges, etc.) and buckets (any size, with metal handles removed) at its Bellingham Transfer Station Drop-off Recycling Center.

The plastic items are not generally accepted through SSC’s curbside recycling program. The transfer station is located at 1001 Roeder Avenue (at the corner of F and Roeder Streets) and is open for drop-off recycling weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Containers should be clean and all lids should be removed and recycled loose or stuffed inside containers. For more information or a detailed list of acceptable items and how to prepare them for recycling, call 360/734-3490 or visit

Marching band to play in Portland’s Starlight Parade

The Blaine high school Marching Band will be performing in the Portland Rose Festival’s Starlight Parade on May 31, the Saturday following Memorial Day. A car wash to help fund the trip will be held Saturday, May 17 at the school.

BBWARM meeting Wednesday

Whatcom County Public Works has scheduled a public meeting from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 21 to discuss the overview of the draft-funding plan for the proposed Birch Bay stormwater program.
The meeting will also discuss proposed rates, estimated program costs and anticipated adoption schedule, as well as a question and answer session.

For more information, contact Kraig Olason at Whatcom County Public Works’ storm water division at 715-7450 or by visiting

Expect border lane closures this weekend at Peace Arch POE

Construction of the new U.S. Peace Arch port of entry facility will start impacting travelers next week when traffic is squeezed to the east of the old building for a six to eight week period.

General Services Administration representative Bill Lesh said that starting on May 19 utility work will begin on the west side of the existing facility. “We’ll be shutting down the lanes on that side and shifting traffic,” he said.

Three regular lanes and one NEXUS lane will be open during this phase of construction and during all subsequent phases leading up the 2010 Olympics.

“That’s the normal number of booths they have during non-peak times,” Lesh said.

During peak summer months up to six regular lanes have been used for primary inspections.The new facility will not be complete by early 2010, but 10 inspection lanes should be operational.

July Haynie Opry tickets on sale now

Tickets are now available to see country music legend Jack Greene, star of the Grand Ole Opry, scheduled to perform as part of the Haynie Opry July 26.

The tickets are $15 and available online at as well as various Whatcom County locations including The Noisy Neighbor in Lynden, and MOJO Music in Bellingham. Greene will also be appearing for a 3 p.m. matinee and second performance at 7 p.m.

For more information you can call 360/366-3321, or e-mail

Small Business Development Center schedules Q & A Forum

Western Washington University's College of Business and Economics' Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring a Q & A Forum as part of the Blaine Chamber of Commerce meeting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 20, at La Cantina, 7876 Birch Bay Drive, in Birch Bay.

Reservations are not required for the question-and-answer session. SBDC business advisors Debra Lee and Eric Grimstead will lead the discussion. The forum is an opportunity to gather information about resources, support services, innovative marketing ideas, and financing options. Whatcom County business owners, managers and start-up entrepreneurs are invited to attend and ask questions about business issues. Lee and Grimstead will also present "How to Develop a Competitive Message" during the chamber meeting.

The SBDC is one of the premier economic-development service providers in Whatcom County. In 2007, the SBDC helped 436 local companies stabilize or expand. Those clients, in turn, saved or created more than 750 jobs and generated $24 million in new capital investments. The SBDC is shaping the economic future of our region, one business at a time.

The SBDC is funded through the Port of Bellingham; the State of Washington, Washington Department of Community Trade and Economic Development; the U.S. Small Business Administration; Western Washington University's College of Business and Economics; the cities of Bellingham, Ferndale, Blaine, Lynden, and Sumas; Whatcom County; the Economic Development Administration, and private donations.

For more information, contact Marilyn Grady, Small Business Development Center, (360) 733-4014 or or the Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce at (360) 371-5004.