The Technology Alliance Group for Northwest Washington announced winners of the first TAG Tech Awards Dec. 7, 2012, at Bellingham Technical College. According to a press release, the winners are:
Qualnetics' Road-iQ received the Most Innovative New Technology, Product or Service award, based on originality, usability and effectiveness or measurability of results.
Procreate Brands LLC received the Rising Star award, which goes to a company that is less than five years, is not a subsidiary of a larger entity, and is a quickly growing young technology company.
Northwest Indian College Space Center was honored with the Technology Leader of Tomorrow award. The group of students demonstrated through performance that they are innovative, bright and destined to advance the technology industry.
Corrinne Sande of Whatcom Community College received the Outstanding Achievement in Industry Leadership award for her leadership and impact on students and the local technology industry.
TREE EVENT BENEFITS FOOD BANK
The Holiday Tree Lighting on the Harbor fundraiser for Bellingham Food Bank that was held at Hotel Bellwether featured 13 locally decorated holiday trees donated by the Fullner Tree Farm in Everson. Whidbey Island Bank received 151 of the more than 800 votes and won first prize for best-dressed tree, according to a hotel press release.
Diners at Lighthouse Bar & Grill raised $1,344.12 for the food bank with donations on their restaurant bills through December.
VETERINARIAN KIFFNEY RECOGNIZED
Brita J. Kiffney, a veterinarian with North Shore Veterinary Hospital in Bellingham the past decade, has been certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners specializing in canine/feline practice.
Fellow North Shore vet Kim Barron shared the information from the American Board of Veterinary Practice, which said most veterinarians are not board-certified, with just over 900 certified worldwide. Board-certified veterinarians demonstrate they are "capable of providing a level of clinical practice that is clearly superior to the norm of the profession," according to the press release.
Brita completed a certification examination to obtain Diplomate status. To qualify for the two-day exam, a veterinarian must complete a residency program or six years of clinical practice. Also, two case reports, references, descriptions of practice procedures, and professional education records must be submitted and pass review.
Brita is a graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University.
MEALS ON WHEELS GETS DONATION
Whatcom Council on Aging's Meals on Wheels program will be able to serve 57,000 meals to homebound seniors this year thanks in part to a $2,500 grant from Wells Fargo Foundation, according to a press release.
Roland King, Wells Fargo's senior business relationship manager, presented a check to the council's secretary, John Harter, and to Executive Director Mary Carlson Nov. 16.
Meals on Wheels provides nutritious meals to homebound seniors in Whatcom and San Juan counties, helping them to continue living independently. Mary says the program is nearing its 50th year and relies on volunteers and donations to meet the critical need for seniors.
For details on Meals on Wheels, contact the Whatcom Council on Aging at 360-733-4030, or towccoa.org.
AG TEACHERS HONOR RIGHTMIRE
Todd Rightmire, agricultural teacher at Mount Baker High School, is one of only six people nationwide who received the National Association of Agricultural Educators Teacher Mentor Award on Nov. 28 at the NAAE annual convention in Atlanta, according to a press release.
Todd has taught agriculture at Mount Baker since 1993. In 2006, he hosted an Animal Science Institute for agriculture teachers across the state. The full-day learning opportunity helped 18 agriculture teachers learn different ways to incorporate animal science into the classroom to meet Washington state science test requirements.
"Todd is looked upon as an educated leader amongst his peers and teaching professionals," said Rhonda Juergens, agriscience instructor at Nooksack Valley High School. "With his passion for agriculture and teaching students, he is truly one of the elite teachers and mentors in the nation. He sets an example of what all teachers should strive for in agricultural education."
Todd has served as the FFA superintendent at the Northwest Washington Fair the past 18 years. He uses his experience and knowledge to advise students and teachers in topics that range from career development to breeding and raising market hogs. He also has helped many students with senior projects, including forestry and swine production.
BROOKS RAISES MONEY FOR CHARITIES
Brooks Manufacturing's annual charitable contributions campaign wrapped up the year with 100 percent employee participation, according to a press release from president Dwayne Carter. The manufacturer matches employee contributions, raising a record $25,876.
Brooks and its employees have contributed $239,026 since 2000.
Contributions support Boy Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Club, Camp Fire Inc, Whatcom Family YMCA, Catholic Community Services and the America Red Cross.
Brooks makes distribution wood crossarms, braces, and transmission framing components for the electrical utility industry.
ANNUAL TEA BENEFITS YWCA
The 2012 Red Stocking Tea, a YWCA holiday tradition, raised more than $3,000 according to the group's recent newsletter. More than 60 people gathered Dec. 9 for music, tea, scones, cookies and tea sandwiches reminiscent of an English Tea.
In addition, a silent auction was held with fun baskets for dog owners, wine lovers, and more.
'PUGET SOUND CHAMPIONS' HONORED
The Puget Sound Partnership has honored four "Puget Sound Champions" from Whatcom County for their work protecting and restoring habitat, cleaning up polluted water, and engaging the community in work to clean up Puget Sound.
"The work being done locally is critical to the regional effort to restore Puget Sound," Martha Kongsgaard, chair of the Partnership's Leadership Council, said in a press release. "The regional vision of a swimmable, fishable, diggable Puget Sound will only become a reality with local-level efforts like we are honoring here in Whatcom County and around the region."
Here's what the press release said about the honorees:
Whatcom Conservation District - Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
Whatcom Conservation District has been working to enhance riparian areas on private property. The work protects water quality, stabilizes stream banks, reduces erosion and creates shade that lowers water temperature. The program also funds the removal of invasive species and the fencing of livestock to keep them out of critical riparian areas.
So far, the program has carried out about 285 projects that have established a total of 134.9 miles of buffers and planted 1,993 acres with 942,998 seedlings.
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association - Streamside Habitat Restoration Program
Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association works to restore wild salmon runs in Whatcom County by bringing resources and people together for the common good. To date, the group has completed 120 restoration projects on more than 15 miles of local streams. Efforts include re-establishing native vegetation, installing fences to keep livestock out of streams, improving in-stream habitat and stabilizing stream banks.
The program also leverages support from the Washington Conservation Corps and volunteer work parties. In 2011 alone, NSEA completed 16 projects, including planting nearly 7,000 feet of riparian area, installing 29 large woody debris structures and reopening fish access to more than 3.3 miles of stream.
Also in 2011, NSEA educated more than 2,000 visitors through community work parties, reached 1,244 students and engaged public school districts and four colleges.
Whatcom County Special District Riparian Program
The program is meant to reduce long-term maintenance dredging of drainage district watercourses choked with reed canary grass by establishing shade-producing hedgerows. Since its inception in 2007, the program has planted 263,000 plants and established 46.8 miles of riparian hedgerows.
The program's success is illustrated by the fact that in the treated areas, reed canary grass no longer creates drainage problems, which significantly reduces the need for maintenance dredging while also improving water quality and benefitting fish. The program was initiated by the Whatcom County River and Flood Division of Public Works and is managed by the Whatcom Conservation District.
The project is supported by two corrections crews supervised by the Whatcom Sheriff's Office. The crews spend five days a week planting and maintaining riparian areas along hundreds of miles of watercourses within the county's 15 Drainage District Improvement districts.
Whatcom Water Weeks
Whatcom Water Weeks is the brainchild of the Whatcom Watersheds Information Network. The event focuses on the theme "Our Community, Our Water" and includes a range of events, such as nature walks, hatchery tours, lectures and crafts to engage a variety age groups and interests about Whatcom County's water resources.
The celebration began in 2010 with 30 events and 10 sponsors and grew to 40 events and 23 sponsors in 2012.
BOATING CENTER OFFERS STORAGE
Bellingham's Community Boating Center has openings for monthly and yearly storage of non-motorized watercraft, according to executive director Steve Walker.
Sailboat, kayak and rowboat owners can avoid trailering or car-top transport by securing storage next to the Fairhaven public boat launch at 555 Harris Ave. Also, mast-up storage is available for trailered sailboats shorten than 26 feet. Covered storage for kayaks and rowing boats also is available. Storage participants have access to their boats at all hours.
The Boating Center is a local, nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization that provides cold-water safety education, boating instruction and summer camps for youths. Fees from the storage of human-powered and wind-driven watercraft help support the center. Details: 360-714-8891 or email@example.com.
SANTA CRUISE AIDS CHARITY
The 4th Corner Elites of Bellingham again hosted the Project Santa Claus Cruise in December as a part of the Whatcom County Sherriff's Project Santa, according to Brian Curtis.
The cars gather at the Cordata/Meridian parking lot, many decorated for the holiday, and tour as a group with police escort to the County Courthouse rotunda, where car show entrants bring new unwrapped toys and cash donations. Seventy-seven cars were shown this year.
During the year, Whatcom County car clubs collect money for the charity at their events. The group raised $6,000 for the department.
Project Santa began in 1979 with the Sheriff's Office assisting 10 families. The cruise has been held the past 23 years.
CULINARY PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTED
Village Books partnered with Bellingham Technical College in November to host Tom Douglas, Seattle restaurateur and author of "The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook," and raised $3,200 for the college's culinary arts program.
More than 250 people attended the event at BTC's new Settlemyer Family Hall. They sampled baked items from the Dahlia cookbook prepared by volunteer students and faculty from the culinary program.
EVENT BENEFITS LUMMI YOUTH
Village Books hosted author Sherman Alexie at Bellingham High School for his new book, "Blasphemy: New & Selected Stories." More than 800 people attended the October event, raising $3,100 for Lummi Youth Academy, according to a press release. The bookstore is co-owned by Dee and Chuck Robinson.
"Dee and I had the opportunity to visit the academy earlier this year and were so impressed with the students and the program there," Chuck Robinson said.\
Reach JULIE SHIRLEY at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 715-2261.