I-522, Bellingham school bond and candidates to be discussed at Saturday forum


BELLINGHAM - The initiative for labeling genetically modified food, a $160 million bond for Bellingham schools and two candidates for the school board will be the topics of a Saturday, Oct. 19, voter forum.

Bellingham School Board candidates John Blethen and Steve Smith, the incumbent, are expected to attend the forum, put on by the League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County.

The school bond before Bellingham area voters on Nov. 5 would pay for rebuilding some schools, renovating others and replacing grass with synthetic turf at high schools, among other projects. If it passes, the owners of a home assessed at $300,000 would pay an extra $144 in property taxes in 2014 compared to 2013, with the amount decreasing in later years.

The heavily debated Initiative 522, which if passed would require labels on certain food with genetically engineered ingredients, also will be discussed.

The free forum is set for 9:30 to 11 a.m. in council chambers at Bellingham City Hall, 210 Lottie St.

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