Coal In Skagit Town Hall Meeting

 Forum to Learn About the

Proposed Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point

 When:  Thursday July 14, 2011

Time:  6:30 PM

Where:  Blanchard Community Hall

Dear Community,

What will 20 more coal trains running through the heart of Blanchard, Bow and rural Skagit County each day mean to us?

Bellingham based “Re-Sources for Sustainable Communities” presents a forum to learn about the proposed Gateway Terminal at Cherry Point and the train traffic that will result. 

Bob Ferris, the executive director, will speak about the 1.5 mile long coal trains that will be traveling right through Blanchard and our surrounding communities for decades IF the Gateway Terminal is built.

Impacts on the Environment, Jobs, Economy, Health, and Traffic are some of the issues that will be discussed.

Read: article guest opinion “Coal and our community don’t mix”  and other relevant articles from Chuckanut Conservancy.

Bring your questions! 

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Bow Little Market is now open for business!

Hi All,
Come join us at the market! Bow Little Market is launching into its second year of helping to build community and local economy. This year we will be open every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Belfast Feed Store, 6200 N. Green Rd., Burlington, Washington. Just go to the east end of Bow Hill Road. Take a right on Old Highway 99. We’re on the green in front of the feed store about a block down on the right. Check us out at Bow Little Market We’re always accepting new vendors. Sign up on-line or in person at the market.

Below is a list of vendors that will be there the opening day:

The Market Ladies Cooperative: Soap, lotion
bars, fiber products, plants, produce

Mae-B-Market: Plants, produce, organic roasted coffee, metal yard
art, crafts.

Kam’s Kovers & Diapers: Diapers and diaper covers, bibs, baby
wipes, baby caps, surgical caps, Not-Paper-Towels.

Cedar Ridge Dahlias: Cut flowers by the stem or bouquets, potted
plants, felted soaps, cold-processed soaps, herbal shower bags, dried flower scrapbook cards, dried flower pendants and fabric covered wood bead necklaces, bookmarks, infused oils.

Mystic Farms: Handcrafted natural products, including skin care, hair care, and household products.

Darla Binder: Seasonal produce.

Bruce Bowen’s Bees: Local honey, bees’ wax, candles.

Pacific Bubbles & Lotions: Handmade soaps: shea butter, glycerin, cold process and novelty soaps; olive oil and honey lotion; lip balm; Gardeners Salve (lavender scented).

SummerBE’s: Vintage and re-purposed items, unique garden pots/plants, and ice-cold lemonade.

Janie Soria: Produce, hand-knits.

Black Knight Ranch: All-natural farm-raised Angus beef, individual cuts.

Kim Johnson: Perennials, compost worms, worm tea, worm castings, rice bags.

Pure Nelida: Tortillas, quesadilla, vegetables.

Whimsical Creations: Birdhouses, plants, aprons, tea towels, wood signs, little girls’ dresses, bags, jewelry.

Bat Cave Pottery: Hand-built and hand-thrown ceramics.

Harmony Fields: Herbs and produce.

Schoonover Farms/Redhead Produce: wool and fiber products,
vegetable starts, seasonal fruits and vegetables, seedling trees.

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Taylor Shellfish Bivalve Bash and Low Tide Mud Run

Save the Date
for the 9th Annual
Samish Bay
Bivalve Bash
and Low Tide
Mud Run
July 16, 2011


9th Annual

Samish Bay Bivalve Bash 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Low Tide Mud Run

250 Yard Low Tide Mud Run (13+) 12:07PM

Kids (8-12) 100 Yard Run, 11:47AM

World’s Only Oyster Shell Sculpture Contest

Benefiting Community Clean Water Awareness Programs

Event Information

Carpooling encouraged. Follow signs on Chuckanut Drive to free offsite parking. (See below)
Free shuttle bus service to festival site.

$5 Entrance Fee (Kids 6 and under free) Activities for all ages. Oyster shell sculptures, Mud Run, Kid’s Beach, great food, beer garden, local bands, dancing, contests and games. Scenic beach setting.

No pets. No coolers.

Invite family and friends to support clean water and join the fun.




Except for bicycles, all Bivalve Bash Parking is offsite and free.


There will be Bivalve Bash signs directing you to free offsite parking. Shuttle busses will run approximately every 15-20 minutes. One bus is wheelchair accessible. We encourage car-pooling.


Parking is available at Blanchard Chapel (3685 Legg Rd.) View Map and Edison School (5801 Main St. Bow) View Map . The Edison School has Handicapped Parking.


From the north for Blanchard Chapel Parking : go south on Chuckanut Drive. 2.3 miles south of the Taylor Shellfish Farm entrance and turn left on Colony Road. At the stop sign, turn left. Blanchard Chapel is just ahead on the right.


From the north for Edison School Parking : go south on Chuckanut Drive. 6 miles south of the Taylor Shellfish Farm and turn right at W Bow Hill Road. Stay to the left and turn onto Main St.


From the south for Blanchard Chapel Parking : Coming north on I-5 get off at Exit 232 (Cook Rd). Turn left at exit and go to Chuckanut Drive (Hwy 11). Turn right and look for signs for Bivalve Bash Parking. Turn right on Colony Road. At the stop sign, turn left. Blanchard Chapel is just ahead on the right.



From the south for Edison School Parking: Coming north on I-5 get off at Exit 232 (Cook Rd). Turn left and go to Chuckanut Drive (Hwy 11) and turn right and look for signs for Bivalve Bash Parking. Turn left at W Bow Hill Road. Stay to the left and turn onto Main St.


Entry Fee?

The Festival Cover is $5 per person.

Kids 6 and under and Mud Runners free.

No pets. No coolers.

For Bivalve Bash or Mud Run Information Call: Kate 206 612-2761

Please visit our Silent Auction Donors
Please click here
if you are interested in becoming a Bivalve Bash sponsor.

Updated 3/30/11

Friends and Supporters

  • Blau Oyster
  • Blueacre Seafood, Seattle
  • Cedar Grove Packaging, Seattle
  • Chuckanut Shellfish, Samish
  • Day Wireless Systems, Everett
  • Edible Seattle Magazine, Seattle
  • Flying Fish Restaurant, Seattle
  • Haggen Food & Pharmacy
  • REI, Bellingham
  • Seattle Shellfish, Olympia
  • T-Shirts By Design, Anacortes
  • The Pike Brewing Co., Seattle
  • Trilogy Crab Company, Bellingham

A Fundraiser for SCEA Presented by

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Guest opinion: Coal and our community don’t mix

Guest opinion: Coal and our community don’t mix


As a longtime Skagit resident I am very concerned about the proposed coal export project at Cherry Point near Bellingham. If approved, the proposed terminal would ship millions of tons of coal each year to China and other Asian nations. Right now, the proposal is for 24 million tons each year, but that is just to start.

Fred Palmer, a senior vice president for Peabody Energy (which is partnering on the proposal), was quoted saying the terminal “could reach up to 50 million tons per year.” To put that number in perspective, that’s 10 times the amount of coal used by Washington’s only coal-fired power plant, which last month agreed to transition off coal by 2025.

These millions of tons of coal would arrive in Bellingham via trains that come from Montana and Wyoming and travel across our state, right through the heart of Skagit County. Shipping 50 million tons of coal annually would mean 18 to 20 more coal trains clogging our communities every day. Currently there are six coal trains going through Skagit County each day.

I am very concerned about how this huge increase in train traffic would affect our quality of life and safety. The delays at rail crossings impact everything from people trying to get to work, drivers trying to get food to market, and parents picking up children at school. And what happens to the response time of fire trucks, police and first responders?

These coal trains would be uncovered, as they are now, and would spew toxic coal dust all along the train routes. According to Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad studies, each train can lose up to 3 percent of its cargo en route. These trains would have 150 cars and be up to 1.6 miles long, with 100 tons of coal in each car.

I don’t want our beautiful, productive farmland to be contaminated with this toxic mess, any more than I think our children should be exposed to toxic pollution from diesel exhaust from train engines. Multiple studies draw links to coal dust, and soil and water contamination, and to exhaust and children’s respiratory problems. Diesel exhaust is linked to stunted lung development, increased probability of heart attacks, lung cancer, worsening asthma and infant mortality.

These health risks and threats to our economy seem completely out of line with any limited benefits from the terminal. We can’t afford to lose working farmland or pay for increased health costs.

There’s also the not inconsiderable question of climate change. Burning 50 million tons of U.S. coal in China, every ton of it coming though this cherished place we call home, would produce more global warming pollution than all the cars in Oregon and Washington combined in one year. As a rural resident who is deeply connected to the natural cycles of our world, I don’t want any more increases in extreme weather such as floods, droughts and catastrophic fires. We’re already seeing enough weird weather, most of which hurts farmers’ bottom line.

This project just doesn’t make sense for Washington, and I want to make sure that Skagit voices are heard in the debate. Decision makers have been viewing this project with a narrow lens, one that isn’t taking into account the impacts on our lives and livelihoods.

The developers want us to believe this is a “done deal,” but it is not. We need to be loud and clear in voicing our concerns. Please call Gov. Gregoire and Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, and tell them “no coal export through Washington state.”

If you’d like to learn more, visit

• Thomas Wake owns 22 acres of farmland near Blanchard. He is treasurer of the Blanchard Community Club, and a board member for the Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Coast Watch Society. He is retired from the manufacturing business.

Some of the data and health effects described in this column come from the scientific studies cited below:

1) Source for coal dust figures:

2) Sources describing soil contamination:

• “Coal Dust Pollution Effects on Wetland Tree Species in Richards Bay, South Africa.” Wetlands Ecology and Management. Vol. 13, no. 5, pp. 509-515. Oct 2005.

• “Rainfall harvesting and coal dust: the potential health impacts of trace elements in coal dust in rainwater.” Air Quality & Climate Change; May2009, Vol. 43 Issue 2, p23-30, 8p, 1 Diagram, 5 Charts, 1 Graph.

• “Effects of coal dust on plant growth and species composition in an arid environment.” Journal of Arid Environments, 37 (3) pp. 475-485, 1997.

• Specific study for coal dust contamination of soil: William J. Bounds and Karen H. Johannesson, “Arsenic Addition to Soils from Airborne Coal Dust Originating at a Major Coal Shipping Terminal,” Water, Air, & Soil Pollution, June 21, 2007, 185: 195-207.

• Study of dust contamination of water: Ryan Johnson and R.M. Bustin, “Coal dust dispersal around a marine coal terminal (1977–1999), British Columbia: The fate of coal dust in the marine environment,” International Journal of Coal Geology, Volume 68, Issues 1-2, 1 August 2006, Pages 57-69.

Douglas L. Cope and Kamal K. Bhattacharyya, “A Study of Fugitive Coal Dust Emissions in Canada,” Chapter 8: Coal Terminals: Fugitive Dust Emissions and Control, prepared for The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, November 2001. No Web link.

3) Some sources for the health effects of diesel exhaust:

“Childhood Incident Asthma and Traffic-Related Air Pollution at Home and School.” Rob McConnell et al. Environmental Health Perspectives; July 2010, Vol. 118 Issue 7, p1021-1026, 6p, 5 Charts.

“Childhood Asthma and Exposure to Traffic and Nitrogen Dioxide.” Epidemiology; November 2005, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp 737-743.

“Association of fine particulate matter from different sources with daily mortality in six U.S. cities.” F. Laden et al. Environmental Health Perspectives 2000 Oct; Vol. 108 (10), pp. 941-7.

“Concerns About Adverse Health Effects of Diesel Engine Emissions.” Harriet Ammann, Matt Kadlec; December 2008, WA State Department of Ecology.

“Focus on Diesel Exhaust Health Risks: Microsoft Columbia Data Center.” Cathy Cochrane; September 2010, WA State Department of Ecology.

“Health Risk Study for the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad Spokane Railyard.” Charles E. Studer; June 2010, Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.

4) The carbon pollution created by 50 million tons of coal is a calculation by Eric de Place using Department of Energy stats. You can find the math here:


Blanchard Hall members are encouraged to leave a comment. We would love to hear from the community on this issue.

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Mexican Cooking in Blanchard

With Jill
Thursday May 19th 6:30pm
Blanchard Community Club
$ BCC members $10 Co-op members, $20 General public
Canceled due to snow in February, this now over-anticipated class will
be well worth the wait. We will be making a traditional Mole sauce to
put on your Carnitas tacos, wrapped ever so nicely in a homemade corn
tortilla. Ohhh and there is dessert too! Fried Bananas with a Mexican
Chocolate sauce.
Sign up quick this one is sure to fill up fast!! everyone needs to re-RSVP!
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60th Blanchard Community Club Birthday Party!

May Day 60th Anniversary Party

The 60th birthday party at the Blanchard Community Club was enjoyed by all with over 100 community members in attendance. A special thanks to Smokewagon for providing live music, a champagne toast donated by Don and Carol Shank, refreshments were available and the community brought desert and appetizers. Everyone really loved the May pole dance and we are going to keep it for future events!


-The BCC Board

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Membership Dues

Hello Community!

January begins a new year for your membership dues. Just $5.00 a year.

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Yoga classes are every Monday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m., and a two dollar donation is suggested for members.

Everyone is welcome!

This is a great way to start off your week. The class Yoga teacher is the very pleasant and generous Ricky Knue who drives in from Conway every week and donates her time to teach the class. All of the money raised goes towards paying the Blanchard Community Club monthly utility bills. Ricky holds a 200 hours RYT with Yoga Alliance, has training in Yoga Therapy, Street Yoga, YogaFit, Anusara, and Iyengar.

Do not worry if you do not have any Yoga supplies. Put on comfortable clothes and come on in. Ricky provides Yoga mats, straps, blocks and blankets, or bring your own.

Each week different members attend from the community and there is always at least half a dozen new friends to meet or see again…so take advantage of this great opportunity to improve your health and flexibility.

The classes vary in different levels from the brand new beginner to the advanced Yoga enthusiast. There are no worries if you can stand on your head or fall over just standing. Every one has fun and the most important thing is to work at your own pace. There’s no need for competition or self-consciousness. We learn different techniques and positions every week, so we are not expected to be an expert. While you are practicing, you will learn what positions are helpful that support improvements in your overall total health, from digestion, to anxiety, to joint and back pain. People who have gone through knee and hip replacement surgeries come in to enhance their recovery. You can use chairs and walls to support you and work at your own pace.

The class ends with a blanket draped over you by the instructor and you relax, letting go all of your thoughts and stresses from the day.

Come on down and see how great introducing Yoga into your life will be!

Instructor Ricky


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