Flag Salute and Invocation by Harte Bressler
Major Capital Projects - The board is vetting 3 of the 4 applications we received.  We will be interviewing them at next board meeting 3/10.  The charitable donations committee (smaller donations) has picked out about ten winning applications totaling $18K.  The board will be reviewing those recommendations as well.
Past presidents will be meeting at Orpahlees's house again on March 1st.
Glen reminded us that the next club volunteer opportunity will be “Stop Hunger Now”, Saturday Feb 27th starts at 9am, at St Lukes Community Health Center 3333 Squalicum Pkwy.  We will be packing up some 20,000 meals to be shipped to several international destinations. For more info, see http://events.stophungernow.org/Bellingham or Email lisa.saar04@gmail.com .
Please pay your semi-annual Rotary dues if you have not already done so!
Student of the Month is named Will. He is 4.0 student with 14 AP classes under his belt, an outstanding althlete, who is looking at attending either Brown University or St. Andrews in Scotland.  He has done a lot of volunteer and charity work, including a program called "Brothers Against Poverty", and Fir Creek Day Camp.
Business Bucket:  Lance announced that the Sportsplex will host the Western Indoor Soccer League championship game on Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30pm.
The local team, Bellingham United, will be playing against the Olympic Force in this championship game. It will feature a beer garden as well, hope to see you there! 
Then Doug Wight talked about the Interfaith Coalition, a wonderful asset to our community, providing severe weather shelter to the homeless, 3000 coats and 675 meals were donated last year, and over 112 volunteers.
Bucks in the Bay
  • Doug proud bucks for Daughter Carolyn who is now program director at Interfaith;
  • Curtis and Gio with a basketball update, now Squalicum is in State tourney;
  • Glen has a new shih tzu;
  • Dannon went to a District grants seminar in Surrey, attended the B&G Club fundraiser with Stowe, and had a fun field trip to the yarn store with her kids and their classmates;
  • Henry Lee moved to new job at People Bank!
  • Curtis Smith has 81 birthday bucks!
  • Harte attended a ski gathering of his "Mt. Everest" buddies in Sun Valley, ID;
  • Michael Tilley was also at the B&G Club event last weekend;
  • Jim Logghe's grandson's team was victorious at a basketball tournament;
  • Eddie proud of our SOM Will, and shared some exchange student memories and experiences;
Sergeant at Arms by Flo
Program - Steve Swan introduced Dr. Laurie Trautman Ph.D, associate director of WWU's Border Policy Research Institute.  BPRI is a multi-disciplinary research institute that researches matters related to the Canada - U.S. border. Priority focus areas are trade & transportation, economics, environment, immigration, and border security.  WWU established the BPRI to further a mission of promoting research, teaching, and public programming on critical policy issues affecting the Pacific NW.
WA is the state most dependent on foreign trade.  Canada recently replaced Canada as the largest trade partner with the US, with Japan in third place.  The US's three biggest gateways to Canada:
1) Cascade (Pac NW crossings)
2) Buffalo NY
3) Detroit MI
The BPRI stationed students at the border to conduct surveys of auto crossings, asking questions like purpose of trip and where they will be shopping. There is an important, but lagging, correlation between dollar exchange rate and the number of trips.  The 9/11 events put a several year damper on cross border traffic, but then the 2012 Olympics brought it back up. There is also a big business now of P.O. boxes just across the border where Canadians can ship online orders and then bring them across the border by hand duty free. Reasons that Canadians cite for why they shop at Bellingham Costco and not Vancouver Costco? 
1) better parking at Bellingham Costco;
2) "too many Canadians" at Vancouver Costco.
Respectfully submitted,
Stowe Talbot