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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Supplement of the Lynden Tribune and Ferndale Record.


Samson Rope innovates with a new synthetic product

Lynden couple excels at crafting mosaic art ........... C16



Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

Table of contents 2: Darigold produces hundreds of thousands of pounds of powdered milk daily 4: Coach Curt Kramme leads the Lynden Lions to prolonged success 8: Northwest Plant Company brings a viable raspberry variety to local farmers 10: Years after his electrocution, D.J. VanWeerdhuizen reflects 12: Ferndale's Samson Rope innovates with a new synthetic product 14: Bob Libolt leads Lynden's eastward growth 16: A Lynden couple showcases their mosaic artwork 18: Lynden mayor Scott Korthuis spreads the word about Oxbo all over the world 22: Mount Baker Vapor innovates in a young industry

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Visit • Lynden Family Medicine • Birch Bay Family Medicine • Ferndale Family Medical Center Plus 8 other convenient locations in Whatcom and Skagit counties.



Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


Lynden plant supplies the world 330,000 pounds of milk powder are produced each day here By Calvin Bratt

   LYNDEN — Dry milk powder varieties from Darigold’s plant provide a muchneeded nutritional supplement in Asia where climate, feed supply, sufficient water and land challenges prevent effective dairy production. Dairy powder exports have grown every year since Darigold entered the export market in 1984, with a facility in the Philippines.    The Lynden plant, with 60 employees, produces about 330,000 pounds of dry milk powder every day, seven days a week, as one of the largest milk drying operations in the U.S., said Dermot Carey, Darigold senior vice president in charge of ingredients. The powder is packaged in 25-kilogram bags and loaded into shipping containers. Six containers a day are trucked to the Port of Seattle for shipment primarily to Asian ports of call, but also to the Middle East and North Africa.    In the process of making powder, water and fat are removed from the raw milk. The powder still contains all the calcium and other nutrients found in fluid milk except for the vitamin A, which remains in the separated milkfat stream, Carey explained.    “Dry milk powder is valued in these countries for use in infant formula, recombined fluid milks, evaporated and sweetened condensed milks, yogurt, and by large global food companies as an ingredient in confectionary, baked goods and other foods,” he said.    Bill Wavrin, a veterinarian and Mabton dairy farm owner, serves on the Darigold board of directors. Lynden’s powder is about half of the 340 million pounds of dairy products Darigold exports every year, he said.    “The nutritional appeal of dairy exports in Asia, coupled with the fact that it is a safe consistent milk supply from Washington state dairies, will help fuel more exports to Pacific Rim countries in the future where high quality protein is needed in their diet, especially for infant formula,” Wavrin said.    Darigold exports two-thirds of its milk powder production and three-quarters of its whey products. The volume of bulk dairy products in 2014 would fill 7,700 20-footequivalent containers.    At the international level, the farmer-

A new $22 million enclosed milk drying tower was built at the Lynden plant in 2012-13. An older milk dryer is to the right. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune) owned Darigold cooperative has built credibility and long-term relationship by sending dairy farm leaders overseas to meet with foreign officials and assure them of the quality of dairy exports.    Janet Leister joined the Washington Dairy Products Commission (aka Dairy Farmers of Washington) as general manager after 15 years with the Washington State Department of Agriculture managing its international marketing program.    Leister says dairy exports are helped by Washington State’s infrastructure for storage, transportation and support businesses as well as for dairy cow healthcare.    “The growing middle class in Asia,

coupled with Washington’s one-day advantage over California ports and the recent memorandum of understanding between the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, will increase our international competitiveness,” Leister said.    While proximity to Asian markets is a benefit, dairy food safety is a high priority in export markets.    “The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy created a traceability model for dairy and beef export markets so if there’s a problem they can trace it back to the farm,” she said. The Innovation Center has also worked with every processor in the U.S. in implementing a comprehensive food safety

system that meets or exceeds food safety requirements for destination countries, which each could be different.    Eastern Washington dairy farmer Kima Simonson has been reappointed to another three-year term representing Washington and Oregon on the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board, created in 1984 under authority of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The board works on behalf of the nation’s 49,000 dairy farmers to build demand and expand domestic and international markets.    “Darigold is a respected leader nationally for reaching out and securing export markets for dairy products,” Simonson

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

2015 PROGRESS said. “Darigold is a national player that works with the U.S. Dairy Export Council to meet prospective foreign buyers, address trade barriers, confirm dairy product quality, provide consistent supply and other issues to secure export markets.”    “We reach out to international dairy export markets to learn what they need, such as whole milk powder for infant formula, skim milk powder for fluid milk or whey powder as an ingredient in baked goods or for protein drinks,” Simonson said. “Dairy farmers and processors are producing what foreign markets need and want.”    “There is nobody else better positioned to feed the world than U.S. farmers,” she said. “From production proficiencies to high food quality standards, U.S. ag exports including dairy are the best.”    Farmer-owned Darigold manufactures and markets dairy products for 86 percent of Washington State’s 480 registered dairy farms. Headquartered in Seattle, Darigold Inc. is the marketing and processing subsidiary of the farmer-owned Northwest Dairy Association, created in 1918. As one of the nation’s largest dairy processors, Darigold operates 12 processing plants throughout the Northwest, including the milk drying plant in Lynden. — drawn from Dairyland News, of the Washington Dairy Products Commission


The trucks come in loaded with milk from Whatcom County’s 100 dairy farms. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business Timeless Ferndale School District

Education is Timeless! • 383-9207

109 Years LTI Inc./ Milky Way

131 Years

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2004 Main St. • P.O. Box 38 Ferndale 384-1411

113 6th St. • Lynden 354-4444

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107 Years

105 Years

104 Years

99 Years

Morse Steel

Diehl Ford

Christian School

1829 James St. Bellingham 734-2640

9390 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-2632

4430 Pacific Hwy Bellingham 734-0730

830 Evergreen St. Lynden 354-2186

94 Years

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90 Years

95 Years

501 Front Street, Lynden 354-4488

“We believe in community news.”

Whatcom Family YMCA

Washington Tractor

8631 Depot Road Lynden 354-2101


Lynden Tribune

123 Years

Mills Electric

Lincoln Isuzu

Snapper Shuler Kenner Insurance

Ferndale Record

127 Years

William T. Follis Realtors

Fussner Monuments

Northwest Recycling

Muljat Group North Realtors

108 Prospect St. Bellingham 734-5850

7346 Guide Meridian Road Lynden 318-1111

1419 C St. Bellingham 733-0100

505 Front St. Lynden 354-4242

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Lynden football’s continued success Coach Kramme says players’ dedication has been biggest factor By Cameron Van Til

   LYNDEN — Lynden head football coach Curt Kramme heard a story recently from one of his former players, now a father of two young boys growing up in the Lynden community.    The father was planning to take both kids to the Tacoma Dome to watch the Lions play in the state championship game, but one of them got sick and couldn’t go. The boy was crying, so upset about missing out, when his brother offered him some encouragement.    “It’s okay,” he said. “Dad will take you next year.”    Hearing what his son had said, the father stopped and thought about it. For practically as long as his sons could re-

member, Lynden football had been playing for state championships. His boys had grown up witnessing nothing but that consistent, high level of success from the program.    The same could be said for people all throughout the Lynden community.    Since 2001, the Lions have made 11 state semifinal appearances, played in nine state title games and won six, including a run of five state titles in the six seasons from 2008 to 2013.    And Lynden experienced plenty of success prior to that as well, both under Kramme since 1991 and legendary head coach Rollie DeKoster. The Lions have won 20 league football titles since 1974 and a total of eight state championships.    Obviously, a strong tradition of success has been established within the Lynden football program.    “When our kids come into the program, they fully expect to win,” Kramme said. “Whereas with programs we compete against, a lot of times many of them hope they are going to win.

Head coach Curt Kramme has been shaping the Lynden football program for 24 years now. (Lynden Tribune file photo)    “And there’s a pretty significant mental difference there.”    The mindset isn’t one of arrogance, but rather of a culture where success is the expectation and the people involved are dedicated to doing whatever is necessary to achieve that.

   “The common thread through all of this is the commitment,” Kramme said. “Whether that’s the players, coaches, administration or our community members — and that goes all the way from the peeSee Kramme on C6

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 88 Years Sumas Drug

86 Years

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Louis Auto & Sanitary Service Van’s Plumbing Residential Glass Company, Inc (SSC) & Electric 4th Generation Recycling & Garbage Collection

1143 Cherry St. Sumas 988-2681

Family Owned & Operated Business Lynden - 354-3232 Bellingham - 734-3840

FoodPlus! Shredding • Jobsite & Event Services

83 Years

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S&H Auto Parts 8123 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-4468

77 Years


Serving Whatcom County 1990 Main St. Ferndale 384-3513

77 Years • Facebook / sscinc 21 Bellwether Way, Suite 104 734-3490

84 Years

Whatcom Veterinary Hospital 5610 Pacific Hwy., Ferndale 384-0212

Cargill Ferndale Grain

78 Years

Willand’s Tech-Auto

77 Years

5744 3rd St. Ferndale 384-1101

2040 Vista Drive • Ferndale 384-1584

3705 Irongate Rd. • Bellingham 734-1830

75 Years

71 Years

70 Years

Western Roofing

Price & Visser Millworks Inc.

Vander Giessen Nursery

Lynden Sheet Metal Inc.

Curt Maberry Farm

Ferndale Ready Mix & Gravel Inc.

2536 Valencia St. Bellingham 734-7700

401 E. Grover St. Lynden 354-3097

837 Evergreen St. • Lynden 354-3991

697 Loomis Trail Rd. • Lynden 354-4504

144 River Rd. Lynden 354-1410


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


Farmers Equipment Co. hasn’t always looked the same over 80 years of building

relationships, but it has always sought to serve. The Farmers Equipment story starts on Front Street at Frith Sheet Metal Works, owned by Ed Frith. As farmers came into the metal shop, ordering farm parts from a catalog or rustling through an old bin, Simon Stremler and John VanderMey thought of a better way, buying out Frith and rebranding the store as Farmers Equipment in 1935. They started as a McCormick-Deering tractor dealer, the antecedent to McCormickDeering-Farmall, IH and Case IH. The company survived rationing during World War II and started taking trade-ins of horses for new tractors after the war. By the early 1950s, the shop moved to Grover Street and then in 1977 opened its grand showcase location at 410 19th St., where Farmers Equipment now stands.


The 74 employees, 40 in Lynden and 34 at the Burlington store that opened in 1981, still offer Case IH, but serve every type of farmer as an Oxbo dealer. Farmers Equipment has purposefully stayed local, believing in the importance of forging, maintaining and nurturing personal relationships, 80 years worth of relationships.

LYNDEN 360-354-4451

BURLINGTON 360-676-6081


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Kramme: The epitome of commitment Continued from C4 wee leagues to the middle school and on through the C team, JV team and varsity team.    “It’s that commitment and the desire to do what it takes to be successful.” A program-changing trip      Kramme is the epitome of that commitment.    The year was 2005, and Lynden had no need to change anything. The Lions had already experienced plenty of success in his 14 years leading the program, winning five league titles, advancing to three state title games and winning a state championship.    The Lions were doing just fine.    But in the spring of 2005, Kramme saw a way for Lynden to potentially reach even greater heights.    Kramme traveled south to watch several Texas high school football practices in the hope of picking up any tips he could apply to his own program. One of the schools he visited was Southlake Carroll, a program in the midst of three straight national championships.    The team ran a spread offense, and Kramme was intrigued. He thought that the offense’s ability to maximize the abilities of athletic players would be a great fit for Lynden, historically a basketball-first community full of great athletes.    “It was so simple, but it really stressed putting athletes in space,” Kramme said. “I thought it would be a great way to get our basketball players enthused about playing football.    “Instead of just lining up and smashing one another all the time, we could spread out and try to play basketball on grass, if you will.”    As it turned out, the Lions had already been moving gradually in the direction of a spread offense over the years. So Kramme and his staff decided to fully adopt the sys-

tem that spring, but under a certain condition.    “I told the guys the first day of spring practice that we’re going to try this, and if at any point we don’t like it, we were doing good with what we were doing before — we’ll go back to that,” Kramme said.    They never did.    The team picked up the changes well in the offseason, and in the fall opener, Lynden solidified its new scheme.    “The first game of the year, we were ahead 42-0 at halftime,” Kramme said. “And we haven’t looked back.”    Riding the system — and more importantly, the talented athletes it has maximized — Lynden has experienced year after year of high-flying offenses. A humble, open-minded approach The reward comes when the players can hoist another championship trophy    Kramme’s willingness to adopt the spread offense illustrated what assistant for all their work. (Lynden Tribune file photo) coach Blake VanDalen considers as one of approach have led him to learn as much as the 24-year head coach’s greatest traits: hu- he can from other coaches and programs. Practicing like you play mility. In addition to his Texas trip, Kramme    How the Lions practice the day before    “Every year, we have a discussion has traveled to Prosser High School to a game may not be one-of-a-kind, but it’s about our offense and defense,” VanDalen meet with legendary head coach Tom far from common. said. “We look at what we have to work Moore and to Skyline High School to take    Most teams take it easy the day bewith and then we ask, ‘What’s best for these in a Spartans practice. fore. Not Lynden. kids?’    “He’s humble enough to go ask other    “I think you would find that most    “He’s a very humble man. He’s not so coaches for help,” VanDalen said. “And at teams usually have a padless practice on arrogant or egotistical to say, ‘I’m going the same time, he’s never said no to any- Thursday night,” Kramme said. “But we to take a round peg and shove it through body who’s called and said, ‘Hey, can we go hard on the Thursday night before a a square hole.’ He’s willing to match (what come talk to you guys and see what you game.” we do) to our kids.” do?’ He’s never turned down a school that’s    Kramme believes the approach, bor   And that parallels how he runs the willing to come and ask questions — he’ll rowed from his time as an assistant at Burprogram in general. lington in the 1980s, helps with his players’ sit down with anybody. “Every group’s unique, and I do every-    “He’s just a real student of the game.” timing in the following night’s game. thing I can to provide an atmosphere where And it’s all helped shape what Van-    “I don’t like practicing without pads, the kids feel like it’s their team — that they Dalen describes as a “great football mind.” because that’s not what they’re going to be have total ownership in it.    “Some people watch a play on film doing on Friday night,” Kramme said.    “We’re there to help guide them. We’re in slow motion and then break it down to    “I believe that whatever it is you’re trythere to instruct them and give them the know what went wrong,” VanDalen said. ing to do — whatever performance you’re best chance of being successful. But I really “Kramme’s brain doesn’t work that way. trying to perform — you have to do that. try to create an atmosphere where they be- Plays happen and he already knows what Drill work only transfers over sometimes.” lieve it’s theirs.”    Another staple of Lynden practices is happened. He has a great football mind.    Kramme’s humility and open-minded    “He’s a one-of-a-kind.” repetition.

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2015 PROGRESS    “I’ve learned from (former Prosser head coach) Tom Moore that kids don’t get better while listening to you talk,” Kramme said. “Kids get better by doing.    “So everything that we do in a practice is designed to get kids the repetitions that they need.”    Similarly, Lynden’s philosophy is focusing on a few things and doing those things well, Kramme said.    “I want them to be so in tune with it that they think it’s boring because they’ve done it so many times,” Kramme said. “Because then they might be ready to perform under pressure. It’s a whole different atmosphere when you’re out there on Friday nights and the crowd’s cheering and the band’s playing.    “If you have too many things to remember, I’ve found that athletes that are thinking are usually paralyzed and can’t react. We want it to be so second nature that they don’t even have to think about it. So we keep our playbooks very small.” Yet that doesn’t mean an inadequate number of options. “We like to think that we have something to attack everything — that when we see this kind of coverage against this kind of a front, this is a play that will beat it, at least X’s- and O’s-wise.”    Defensively, the Lions have a similar philosophy.

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record    “We’re going to focus on your four best plays and try to take those away from you,” Kramme said, “and then make you beat us with something that you don’t do very often.”    “Setback, comeback”    It’s not often that the Lions get beat. But when they do, they’re likely to hear a certain phrase about overcoming adversity.    “Setback, comeback.”    It’s perhaps Kramme’s signature idiom, and something — like so many of his teachings — that goes well beyond the football field.    “Kramme ends every practice with a little nugget of advice about life,” VanDalen said. “And when you hear those messages from the same person for four years, it has to sink in. “It has a huge impact on young men long after football games.”    And to Kramme, that’s vastly more important than his 231 career wins and seven state titles.    “Unfortunately, success is usually defined by winning and losing,” Kramme said. “But my hope for the program is that the kids get something out of it more than just wins and losses.”    Kramme said that while everybody wants to win, winning only provides so much satisfaction. Football is about ob-

stacles, and overcoming them. That not only keeps him going, he said, but is one of the most important lessons he wants his players to learn.    “I’m hoping the kids can learn some of those things that maybe aren’t available in a classroom about encountering adversity, fighting through it and not giving up,” he said. “I think football provides a great opportunity for kids to practice some of these life skills that are going to be required down the road.”    One of Kramme’s other favorite aspects of football is something he constantly stresses to his players.    “I don’t care if you’re the greatest running back or the greatest offensive line — they all need one another. So to be a part of something bigger than oneself is something else really important that I think football provides.    “By yourself, you can do nothing.” All hands on deck    In much the same way, Lynden football has been a total team effort, Kramme said.    “You can’t point your finger at any one thing,” he said. “I think it’s a combination of a whole bunch of different factors.    “It’s the commitment that our community has in helping us when we go ask

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C9 for fundraiser money. And I don’t have direct contact with the youth programs, but they’re obviously doing something right.”    Kramme said that a quality coaching staff is very important as well, but was modest about his influence specifically.    “I’m a part of it and have been the common thread for the last 24 years,” he said. “But if I was to be gone tomorrow, Lynden football would be just fine. I could sit here and tell you it’s all coaching, but I’d be lying through my teeth.    “To me, the dedication of the players is the biggest thing, because without that, we can do nothing.”    That dedication ultimately resides within the individuals who possess it. Yet at the same time, that dedication has been fostered by the tradition of Lynden football — by the work of those who came through the program before.   The tradition itself doesn’t win games. As Kramme is quick to point out, the Lions haven’t won any games yet next season — every year, players and coaches alike must prove themselves again.    But the tradition does instill something far more powerful than simply a hope — it instills an expectation that breeds dedication.    It’s the reason a young Lynden boy told his brother, “It’s O.K. Dad will take you next year.”


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


A new berry standard Northwest Plant worked with a New Zealand company to bring this viable berry variety to the Pacific Northwest By Brent Lindquist

The Wakefield raspberry falls very easily from its stem, making it ideal for the machine harvesting that prevails in Whatcom County. (Courtesy photo/Northwest Plant Company)

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LYNDEN — When it comes to farming, most people probably associate the concept of breeding with animals. Enfield Farms and Northwest Plant Company, however, are concerned with a different kind: plant breeding.    A partnership between Northwest Plant and Plant & Food Research of New Zealand has yielded a raspberry variety tailor-made for the Pacific Northwest. The collaboration between Northwest Plant and New Zealand initially began in 1998.    The Wakefield variety, intended for pro-

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

2015 PROGRESS cessing, was first bred in 2002, from a breeding program begun around 2000.    The Pacific Northwest has been eager for years to see some new raspberry varieties with strong qualities and suitable for machine harvesting.    “Up until fairly recently, people were just growing Meeker and Willamette,” said Julie Enfield, Northwest Plant’s director of research and development. “Those varieties were just getting old. They were getting diseases, and plantings weren’t lasting very long, so it was pretty costly for growers to continue to replant every five to six years. There was a real need for new varieties.”    Over time, raspberry varieties can become more susceptible to diseases and environmental pressures. New breeds are necessary to combat these hazards, and the Wakefield is one answer to them. It has a heightened resistance to root rot and can tolerate plenty of sunlight.    The benefits don’t stop there. The firm Wakefield berry releases from its stem very easily, making it ideal for machine harvesting. It also features higher anthocyanin, folate, vitamin C, dietary fiber, ellagitannins and total phenolic content — basically, the components that make raspberries healthy to eat — than the industry standard Meeker variety.    And on top of that, it tastes great.

   Enfield said the berry is ideal for the machine-harvest industry dominant in the Pacific Northwest.    The Wakefield’s genetics and chemistry came from New Zealand in 2002. Plant & Food Research provided the actual plant material, while Northwest Plant did the farming and commercial side of development.    It then went through the required twoyear quarantine process before Northwest Plant put it through its paces in a rigorous process involving a variety of tests.    “We pollinate a flower from another, then we cover it from the field so that bees can’t bring pollen from something else,” Enfield said. “We then harvest that seed and sow it out, and those are essentially brothers and sisters. Then we sow out those seed into the test plots, so we look at each individual. We select maybe 2 percent of each seed population.”    Northwest Plant then collects machine harvest trial and yield data and weighs the fruit before moving on to full row trials. From there, the company may go out to other growers to propagate the variety as well.    “It’s a long process,” Enfield said.    And it doesn’t stop there. Northwest Plant is always moving forward and looking for more viable berry varieties with characteristics that make them even better for


Northwest Plant Company is always trying to improve its berry varieties through trials. (Courtesy photo/Northwest Plant Company) planting and harvesting around the Pacific Northwest.    Season extension is one major goal. The Wakefield is a later variety, so the company is looking for something to complement it on the early-season side.    Further disease resistance remains a desired quality as well.    “It seems to tolerate viruses and root rot in the field, but even more tolerance would be nice,” Enfield said. “Total resistance would be the end goal.”    Even though the Wakefield has greater health benefits than the long-running standard Meeker raspberry, more would always

be nice.    “There’s some interesting research that our partners are doing right now with health components in the fruit chemistry,” Enfield said, “and all the chemicals that make them good for you. Wakefield is just a hair above the standard. There are some now that we’re finding that are double or triple what Wakefield is.”    Because it was developed privately and is under patent, Wakefield requires a license from Northwest Plant for others to use and propogate.    For more information on Northwest Plant, visit

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 69 Years

Everson Auction Market LLC 7291 Everson Goshen Rd. Everson 966-3271

65 Years

Kulshan Veterinary Hospital PLLC 8880 Benson Rd. • Lynden 354-5095

59 Years

69 Years

Americold 406 2nd St. Lynden 354-2138

68 Years

Northwest Propane LLC 8450 Depot Rd. • Lynden 5494 Barrett Rd. • Ferndale 354-4471

63 Years

63 Years

Whatcom Electric & Plumbing

Hytech Roofing

1388 H Street Rd. Blaine 354-2835

7381 Guide Meridian, Lynden 354-4335

58 Years

57 Years

Overhead Door

Jensen’s Ferndale Floral

202 Ohio St. • Bellingham Est. 1921 in Hartford, IN 734-5960

2071 Vista Drive Ferndale 384-1616

68 Years

Hinton Motors 8139 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-2129

62 Years

VanderPol & Maas Inc. Truck & Automotive Service

67 Years

Meridian Equipment 5946 Guide Meridian Bellingham 398-2141

61 Years

Wagter’s Automotive Service

228 Bay Lyn Dr., Lynden 354-3000

8747 Northwood Rd. • Lynden 354-2500

56 Years

55 Years

Charlie’s Auto Body


Building Supply

Bromley’s Market

901 Evergreen St. Lynden 354-2172

8353 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-5617

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



After ‘E-Day,’ a second life D.J. Van Weerdhuizen has battled back from electrocution that briefly took his life 25 years ago By Cameron Van Til

   WHATCOM — Jan. 11, 1990 began as just another Monday morning for Lynden Christian graduate D.J. Van Weerdhuizen. Then in an instant, what happened on that day 25 years ago — a day he and the people around him refer to as “E-Day” — forever altered his life.    Van Weerdhuizen, age 25 at the time, was on the job, running a concrete pump truck in Bellingham, when a power line four feet away arced over and electrocuted him.

   “The first shock literally lifted me off the ground,” Van Weerdhuizen said, speaking from the accounts of other construction workers who witnessed the event. “There was a huge explosion when the arc was created, it went 60 feet down the boom arm of the truck and then through this cord I was holding for a remote control.”    Van Weerdhuizen explains that the control box he was holding was made of aluminum, so the electricity went through that.    “And since it’s trying to get into the ground, the electricity went through my whole body and into my feet,” he said. “It somehow lifted me off the ground so that there was a visual arc between the ground and my feet. Witnesses said I was between three to four feet off the ground.”    Van Weerdhuizen said that a portion of the electricity — in all, the jolt was 115,000 volts and 30,000 amps —

D.J. Van Weerdhuizen now runs a busy contracting company building homes in Whatcom County. (Cameron Van Til/Lynden Tribune)

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 55 Years

53 Years Fairway Cafe

53 Years

Mt. Baker Fireplace Shop

52 Years Vavra Auto Body

Z Recyclers Inc.

517 Liberty St. Lynden 354-4433

1726 Front St. Lynden 318-1302

1273 Sunset Ave. • Bellingham 676-1383

411 Nooksack Ave. Nooksack 966-4444

6129 Guide Meridian Lynden 734-5986

51 Years

50 Years

49 Years

49 Years

49 Years

New York Life Insurance

Dodson’s IGA

Van Loo’s Auto Service

1677 Mt. Baker Hwy • Bellingham • 734-4455

Valley Plumbing & Electric

910 W. Front St. • Sumas 988-9631

205 Liberty St. Lynden 354-4277

3455 Alm Rd. Everson 966-4142

Reinke’s Fabrication

48 Years

Tellefsen LLC Trucking

48 Years

47 Years

46 Years

5825 Aldrich Rd. Bellingham 398-2011

4155 S. Pass Rd. Everson 966-2799

501 Grover St. Lynden 354-4493

3705 Mt. Baker Hwy Everson 592-5351

49 Years

Marr’s Heating & Air Conditioning

51 Years

Zylstra Tire

Schouten Construction LLC

237 Rosemary Way • Lynden 354-2595

Edwards Draperies

Pete’s Auto Repair 6209 Portal Way, Bldg. 2 • Ferndale 380-2277

2015 PROGRESS traveled through him. As a result, Van Weerdhuizen was temporarily dead.    “It killed me,” he said last week, recounting what witnesses have told him. “I was laying dead on the ground on my back. My face was pale white with no color in my body at all.”    The power line kicked off after getting shorted, as it had been made to do. But the power lines were on a timer and designed to kick back on after 10 to 12 seconds.    So as the construction workers around Van Weerdhuizen were panicking and calling 911, the power kicked back on and went back through the remote, which was lying on the ground close to him.    “The remote was close enough to me that it went into my backside, created 16 contact spots on my body, reshocked me and revived my heart,” Van Weerdhuizen said.    “At that point, witnesses said they saw me take in three deep breaths without exhaling, and that immediately all the color flowed back into my body and I was breathing on my own.”    Within minutes, medics arrived and transported Van Weerdhuizen to the Bellingham hospital before taking him via a Mediflight helicopter to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record    For the first eight days of Van Weerdhuizen’s stay in Harborview’s intensive care unit, the sole focus was to stabilize his heart. After that was relatively under control, the surgeries could begin.   But as it turned out, surgery wouldn’t have been an option until that point anyway.    “Electrical burns go from the inside out,” Van Weerdhuizen said. “So when you have a bad electrical burn, you have no idea what the damages are. Only time allows you to see what’s completely dead and what isn’t.”    While one of Van Weerdhuizen’s toes on his left foot had imploded upon being shocked, it was his right leg that suffered the most damage.    “The electricity went right through my foot and all the toes,” he said. “My tendons all shrunk from the heat and curled up so tight that they couldn’t be straightened out.”    In addition, there was a crater in Van Weerdhuizen’s right calf that was three-quarters of an inch deep and four to five inches in diameter.    “With the (state of my) foot and the crater in my calf, they told me with quite certainty when I went into surgery that they were going to have to amputate my leg from the knee down.”    Yet when Van Weerdhuizen came

out of surgery, he received great news. “They said, ‘We think we’re going to be able to save your leg. We think it’s not as bad as it seemed to be.’    “And sure enough, my leg was saved.”    But the slew of surgeries was just beginning. Van Weerdhuizen said he’s undergone 14 major surgeries over the years — many of which were skin grafts and most of which were done within the first four years after the accident — and he has had more than 12,000 staples and stitches inserted.    “I’d go into a surgery and they’d put in around a thousand staples,” he said.    The surgeons operated on Van Weerdhuizen’s foot, shortening and lengthening his tendons, and drilling four-inch pins through joints and bones to straighten all his toes out. In addition, they had to amputate and reattach one of his toes.    After four months in a cast, his joints were then fused such that he can only bend his toes at the first knuckle.    The last series of surgeries, he said, were cutting away the skin grafts, which are now mainly just scar lines.    In all, Van Weerdhuizen ended up spending four years in crutches and a wheelchair, far more than he had imagined.

C13    “I remember going into it thinking I was going to get out of the hospital in two weeks and get back to work,” Van Weerdhuizen said. “But after three or four months, I realized this was a lifechanger. And then it was, ‘What am I going to do with it?’”   Van Weerdhuizen acknowledged that he could’ve stayed on Washington State Labor & Industries compensation and never have been bothered.    “I’m one of those cases with such a black-and-white injury,” he said. “And even today, there’s still lots of physical pain.    “But I remember thinking, ‘I’ve got to make it happen for both God and my family’s sake. I had this tremendous drive. I wasn’t going to let this conquer me — I was going to make it happen.”    And there’s no doubt he has.    In September 1994, Van Weerdhuizen became a licensed general contractor, and last September he celebrated 20 years in the profession. His company’s name is D.J. & D.J. Contracting Inc., with the other D.J. standing for the initials of his wife and co-owner, Dorothy June. 2014 was a very successful year for them, as they built around 40 to 50 houses.    “I went from rags to working very, very hard,” said Van Weerdhuizen, who See D.J. on C24

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Samson Rope debuts new synthetic rope for mobile cranes Technical development at Ferndale was by Western Washington grad By Mark Reimers

Once determined to be a workable fit, the use of KZ100 cord on heavy cranes could be extensive. (Courtesy photo/Samson Rope)

FERNDALE — Ferndale-based Samson Rope has made a big splash in the mobile crane market by developing a synthetic line for crane applications.    The product, dubbed KZ100, was developed through an exclusive partnership with Manitowoc Cranes of Wisconsin over the course of two years.    As part of the development deal, Manitowoc also has exclusive rights to use the rope until September of this year.    “The technology is similar to what we use in other industries," said Michael Quinn, Samson’s new marketing director. “It was a matter of seeing how to apply it to the crane industry. They have historically used wire for hoists and only recently started using synthetic for swing ropes."    The rope incorporates the critical

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 46 Years

Al’s Electric & Plumbing 302 Hawley St. • Lynden 392-8676

41 Years

Tiger Construction Ltd. 6280 Everson Goshen Rd. Everson 966-7252

39 Years

44 Years

44 Years

44 Years

Tyas & Tyas Backhoe & Sewer Service

DeYoung & Roosma Construction Inc.

Nooksack Valley Disposal 250 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd. Lynden 354-3400

1208 Iowa St. • Bellingham 676-1025

41 Years

40 Years

40 Years

40 Years

141 Wood Creek Dr. • Lynden 354-3374

Edaleen Dairy 9593 Guide Meridian • Lynden 354-5342 1011 E. Grover St. • Lynden 746-8664 908 Cherry St. • Sumas 988-2189 458 Peace Portal Drive • Blaine 366-8760

39 Years

Windsor Plywood

43 Years

3966 Deeter Rd. • Everson 988-6895

Boice Raplee & Ross Accounting & Tax Service

Northwest Professional Services 191 Birch Bay-Lynden Rd. Lynden • 354-4145

8911 Guide Meridian Lynden 354-4763

38 Years

37 Years

37 Years 2077 Main St. Lynden 354-5676

304 Front St. • Lynden 354-4565

Milt’s Pizza Place

Salmonson Construction

Ferndale Mini Market

Marlin’s 76 Service

8122 Guide Meridian • Lynden 354-7499

General Contractor Since 1976 Lynden • 354-4395

2085 Main Street Ferndale 384-0497

899 E. Pole Rd. Lynden 354-4976

Honcoop Gravel

Lynden Door

2015 PROGRESS Dyneema fiber that is central to most of Samson’s synthetic products. The result is a carrying capacity similar to steel line, while weighing a full 80 percent less than steel.    The weight difference alone is enough to make a huge impact in the industry, Quinn said. That’s because crane design is significantly affected by the anticipated weight of the hoist cables.    While there aren’t many examples yet, the new rope means cranes not even to market yet can be built with completely different demands in mind.    “If you think about a crane with a boom — if you eliminate the rope weight, you have less that the boom has to handle,” Quinn said. “There are some cranes that are designed specifically to accommodate the weight of wire.”    Similarly, as each system on the crane is designed to different specifications, the total cumulative weight difference ends up being 1,600 to 1,800 pounds, Quinn said.    In addition to the benefits of a lighter crane load, KZ100 also allows for easier and safer handling and installation. Its unique 12-strand weave also guarantees zero torque in reducing or eliminating load spin.    While Samson has been bringing synthetic fiber rope to dozens of markets recently, its history in Ferndale only goes back to 1988, when the company relocated its headquarters to the Thornton Road site. However, by then the company already had over 100 years of history behind it, all in the state of Massachusetts, where J.P. Tolman, a member of MIT’s first graduating class, founded the J.P. Tolman Company in 1878. His company immediately began innovating and changing the cordage industry under the name Samson Cordage Works.    Though based in Ferndale, Samson also maintains a plant in Lafayette, Louisiana. Manufacturing on the KZ100 line is in Ferndale, where Samson maintains a workforce of between 150 and 200 employees.    Quinn said while his role is an overall business one, coordinating everything that needs to be done to bring a product to market. The technical development of the KZ100 was done by Dustin Heins, an application engineer for Samson who earned his applied physics degree from Western Washington University.    Being located in Ferndale, Quinn said, Samson’s role on the industrial scene is a bit overshadowed in Whatcom County by its larger neighbors, such as the refineries and Alcoa Intalco Works.    “People probably don’t know this is happening right here in Whatcom County,” Quinn said. “We open new markets and industries. It opens up growth opportunities for our origination in the county. If we grow, (employment) grows over time.”    Whatcom County has been a wonderful place to grow, Quinn said, if only for the amazing culture and quality of life Samson employees have access to. In return, Sam-

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


Specially developed cord from Samson Rope of Ferndale is being used on Manitowoc cranes. (Courtesy photo/Samson Rope) son would like to grow and continue to give back to the community.    “Being able to find good-paying jobs for people here is very important,” Quinn said. “We, as a company, have grown on av-

erage about 9-10 percent per year — basically we doubled our size over a decade.”    Quinn said that such growth helps Samson as well as the local vendors it works with.

   For more information about Samson Rope and the new KZ100 product, visit online at and look for the crane application pages.

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Moving town east Bob Libolt leads the visioning for Lynden's homes of the future By Tim Newcomb

LYNDEN — East Lynden has quite a bit more east to it these days. You can thank Bob Libolt and Adrian Kooiman for that, the developers of the largest single tract in Lynden since the Homestead days well over a decade ago.    As North Prairie takes shape, east Lynden does too.    What started as a 40-acre plan has grown as more adjoining land became available, pushing North Prairie to about a 60-acre Planned Residential Development, a zoning designation that gives developers freedom to design within the variety of zoning on the land.    In the mix of North Prairie east of Line Road and south of East Badger are residential single-family lots of 7,200 square feet or larger and some high-density multi-family areas. The final development will eventually render about 168 single-family lots, nine duplex lots, 10 four-plex lots and 23 “cottages.”    The large piece of property will eventually stretch to connect Line and Northwood roads and wrap around two sides of the potential new Lynden Middle School. Getting the former open acreage — it was cleared of trees for farming use decades ago — turned into one of Lynden’s largest developments isn’t a short-term project.    Libolt was part of an ownership group that purchased much of the property over a decade ago from Bob and Linda Hamstra. He later joined with Koo-

iman to purchase and restart the development, getting everything really going in 2010.    And Libolt says he still has about five more years — depending on the market, of course — before everything is finished in North Prairie.    But how did Libolt get here, as one of Lynden’s leading developers?    Libolt, 62, grew up in Lynden. He has spent only about six years of his life away from town, two of those at a college in Michigan before returning to finish his degree at Western Washington University. Following school, Libolt taught school two years in Denver and two years in Los Angeles. But the lure of farming with his brother brought him back to Lynden.    When the farm sold, Libolt partnered with Jim and Carolyn Wynstra to start Dutch Mothers Restaurant. “It began a long history of development,” he said, “commercial and residential.”    After a little more than a decade of owning the restaurant, Libolt exercised

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that development interest with stints working for Homestead, at the same time the city wrote the Planned Residential Development ordinance, and Trillium, also a company that once was a leader in development. While both Homestead and Trillium were met with bankruptcy at different points, Libolt had broken away to form small partnerships that devel-

oped parcels in Lynden and other locations in Whatcom County.    North Prairie, though, is a different animal.    While working within the zoning rules, the main driver of any development plan, Libolt said he always strives for efficiency in planning. “The way in which it lays out in terms of grid, open

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

2015 PROGRESS spaces, parks — that sort of evolves,” he said. “You do a plan and modify it from time to time. The way this is built out, I had three or four different layouts for this property.”    Libolt said he wanted to create a neighborhood that is inviting for a variety of demographics and enticing for pedestrians.    “To make neighborhoods more pedestrian-friendly is something I personally like to do,” he said. “That is why we are doing some things with sidewalks and trails maybe others haven’t done. Putting in the park is a part of that. As a Christian, I think, the issue of being a good steward of the land is hugely important.”    Smack in the middle of the 60 acres lies a three-acre park, which will eventually get taken over by the city. While the plans aren’t finalized yet, Libolt said he wants to have a trail run through the park, connecting to what he hopes is the Lynden Middle School, and maybe even some “fun agrarian-themed buildings,” possibly even a Hovander-style tower.    “Instead of putting in 12 more houses, which is what three acres would have accommodated, it creates a quality in your neighborhood,” he said.    Along with the planned trail through the park, some of the sidewalks within North Prairie are meandering and eight feet wide to set them off as a trail, helping

to connect the pedestrian traffic to other areas of Lynden.    With a PRD, the developer has leeway to mix zoning locations, but Libolt and Kooiman still kept the majority of their multi-family housing north of Aaron Drive and the single-family residences to the south. One new function, though, is the creation of 23 cottage-style 5,000-square-foot lots. These smaller lots join onto common green space, giving a more open feel to the neighborhood.    “The planned development overlay allowed us to do this cottage project that doesn’t fit in normal single-family zoning,” Libolt said. “It is a little bit like condominium living with single ownership.”    As a developer, Libolt isn’t constructing any homes. He leaves that to the town’s builders and private entities. With about 15 different builders so far in the development, that gives the space some variety. Libolt, though, still has some control over the final look of the community.    All the duplex lots were designed by him. They have all been built out. He also designed the four-plex lots, which will get constructed soon. The cottage lots, also his design, have been sold.    Of the 168 single-family lots, a number that may fluctuate as final development continues, 74 have been developed with about 50 homes built. Expect another 94 lots to get developed.

   Having such a large area gives Libolt the opportunity to plan it all as one cohesive project instead of a few acres piecemealed together with other developments of the same small size.    Having a bit leaner restriction on the builders opens up diversity within building, and so does not having just one massive builder doing all the homes in a cookie-cutter format. Libolt said he doesn’t require a minimum house size, calling that a “mistake.”    “I don’t think that is the way you create a neighborhood of different income levels,” he said. “There is nothing in my mind that says a small house can’t be a good quality neighbor. I know a lot of very large houses in the city I wouldn’t want in this project.”    Also, the mix of builders constructing homes with the intent of selling, others building custom homes and private individuals buying lots for themselves add up to plenty of diversity in both home style and neighborhood makeup. True, a bit less taupe-colored paint would be nice, he joked.    “I do have the opportunity for some input that can be helpful in making sure (a home) fits in the neighborhood,” Libolt said. “Beyond that, I’m happy doing our part of this.”    Libolt said he enjoys the master planning of it all, even seeing how the sur-

C17 rounding development will impact what he does. To the east of North Prairie lies an undeveloped commercial lot, large enough to house a small grocery store. Then there is the potential for a new school.    “I hope we can pass our next school bond,” he said. “Obviously for me it has certain interests, but I think Lynden has always had school districts, both the private and public, that have made Lynden a desirable place. If you say you are in the Lynden School District, it has always been an added value. I hope that people understand that when they approve the expense of doing that. You need to keep up those facilities.”    With five more years of North Prairie work ahead, Libolt said that at the end of it all he will be 67 and may be ready to pass on any additional large developments, but he hopes to remain involved in some form of land use and housing. Currently, he serves on a Whatcom County committee for housing, dealing with the challenges of homelessness and affordable housing. “We are all trying to make sure housing is available to everyone of all incomes or no incomes,” he said.   While Libolt continues to serve countywide housing issues and watch the progress of Lynden, his current focus remains an eastward gaze. An east Lynden like we haven’t seen before.

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 36 Years

Roosendaal Honcoop Construction

35 Years

35 Years

35 Years

35 Years

Ferndale Mini Storage

Riverside Cabinet Co.

Lynden Paint & Flooring

Kid’s Country School

5977 Guide Meridian • Bellingham 398-2800

5480 Nielsen Ave. Ferndale 384-3022

1145 Polinder Rd. Lynden 354-3070

417 Front St. Lynden 354-5858

170 E. Pole Rd. • Lynden 398-2834

35 Years

34 Years

32 Years

31 Years

31 Years

407 5th St. • Lynden 354-1950

250 Bay Lyn Dr. Lynden 354-8585

29 Years

29 Years

Village Books 1200 11th St. Fairhaven 671-2626

31 Years

Stevenson, McCulloch CPA’s, Inc., P.S. 1951 Main St. • Ferndale • 384-0088

31 Years

Portal Way Farm & Garden 6100 Portal Way • Ferndale • 384-3688 Lynden Farm & Garden 309 Walnut St. • 354-5611

30 Years

Northwest Surveying & GPS

Walls & Windows

Lynden Service Center

Kelly’s O’ Deli Catering

Roger Jobs Motors

4131 Hannegan Rd., Suite 104 Bellingham 676-5223

700 Grover St. Lynden 354-2611

5506 Nielsen Ave. Unit C • Ferndale 384-1702

2200 Iowa St. • Bellingham 734-5230

Stremler Gravel

Rose Construction Inc.

1708 High Noon Rd. • Bellingham 398-7000

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Lynden couple make mosaic art in their garage Amidst routine, Sandra and Carl Bryant have also been top-10 for big ArtPrize By Calvin Bratt

Pieces of cut glass become amazingly detailed big mosaic art piece under the skilled design of Sandra and Carl Bryant, who are pictured on the cover of this Progress section. (Calvin Bratt/Lynden Tribune)

   LYNDEN — How cool is it to break stained glass for a living? But the trick is to reassemble the broken pieces as art.    Sandra and Carl Bryant produce prizewinning and sought-after mosaic artwork. And mostly in their Thalen Drive garage, no less.    They both worked as accountants when they settled in the Lynden area in 2001. But they preferred to be pursuing their artistic leanings. Having dabbled in clay and tile already in eastern Washington, they saw an opportunity to fashion glass and tile mosaics.    “Our first one we did on our bedroom

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 29 Years

27 Years

Russell’s Window Coverings

F. J. Darby O’Neil, CPA

873 Hinotes Ct. #2 • Lynden 656-6579

2080 Alder St. • Ferndale 384-1421

25 Years

24 Years

309 Grover St. Lynden 354-0538

23 Years

Smith Mechanical

Moncrieff Construction Inc.

8510 Guide Meridian • Lynden 354-7602

27 Years

25 Years C.O.A.S.T.

Little Caesars of Whatcom County

County Orthopedic and Sports Therapy

24 Years

24 Years

Greg J. Helgath, P.T. Lynden and Birch Bay 354-3030

25 Years DariTech 8540 Benson Rd. Lynden 354-6900

23 Years

Windwood Landscape

Service Master Clean

Dr. Linh T. Vu Premier Dental

309 Grover St. Lynden 354-0538

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23 Years

23 Years

Whatcom Windshields

Cruisin Coffee

22 Years

22 Years

4120 Meridian St., Suite 140 Bellingham 738-9795

1976 Kok Road, Lynden, 318-1919 5885 Portal Way, Ferndale, 384-8100

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2015 PROGRESS floor,” Sandra said.    This is now Sandra’s full-time work — at times she will go non-stop for weeks on a project — while Carl is a co-designer and provides the heft needed for moving and installation when the art pieces could weigh hundreds of pounds.    Most of the work of Showcase Mosaics is by contract. It could be for public places such as schools and museums or it could be the fancy backsplash of a private home.    Sandra spent months last year doing a mural painting on walls and ceilings of an Italian-style mansion in Louisiana. Sometimes even artists take jobs “to pay the mortgage,” she said.    Through the Washington State Arts Commission the Bryants are just now getting started on a mosaic for a new high school being built in Wapato in Yakima County. It involves a lot of “back and forth” communication with all involved parties to go over ideas and get valuable cultural and community input — all toward “finding a design that everybody agrees on.”    The Bryants don’t mind if people say they don’t like a certain idea in the design phase — that gives them guidance. They realize that their mosaic will be a very permanent feature in a place of certain landscapes, values and traditions. One of their jobs in Missouri had to include the famous outlaw See Mosaic on C24

Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


The traveling mayor Mayor Scott Korthuis promotes the Oxbo harvester brand from Lynden to the far reaches of the world By Tim Newcomb

Scott Korthuis (back row, second from left) is accustomed to being in all sorts of overseas settings, here with a group and an olive/grape harvester in Brazil. (Courtesy photo/Scott Korthuis)

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LYNDEN — Mayor Scott Korthuis chooses an exit row aisle seat, when he has the option. And he has the option plenty, building Oxbo harvester relationships all across the nation and the world, and spending about a week every month anywhere from Brazil to Atlanta or the Netherlands to Wisconsin.    Korthuis has worked for Oxbo since 1988, the early days of predecessor company Korvan. While Korthuis was hired on as an engineer, he has served as the product manager for Oxbo’s berry, citrus and tree fruit line for the last seven years. His goal: develop Oxbo markets. Everywhere.    Sometimes that means a trade show, such as one he visited recently in Savannah, Georgia. And sometimes that means meeting with farmers or companies, such as the trip he’ll take next month to the Netherlands.    On that trip, he’ll meet with four different leaders for a dinner to discuss how Oxbo can help them harvest the jatropha nut, a tree nut made up of 30 percent biofuel.    “It grows like a blueberry plant and we have been watching it for 10 years,” Korthuis said. “I’m hosting a dinner to

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

2015 PROGRESS talk about harvesting. It is fun for me, an interesting deal.”    While some heavy travelers keep track of their flight miles, that isn’t Korthuis’ way.    “I travel enough to get some clout on airlines,” he admitted, “but that is not something you want to strive for.”    Travel is a necessary part of the job, though. Korthuis knows that. Even before he was product manager, he traveled, visiting the field as an engineer to see the variety of markets. “You learn to love to hate it,” he said. “It is a necessary part of the business, a necessary part of my life. Each trip is an adventure still, but it gets tiring to be gone a lot.”    By nature, he enjoys a repetitive lifestyle, so trips that take him back to the same location offer less stress, even though he has a few places he still wouldn’t mind visiting.    One place he’s gotten to know well lately is Brazil. From coffee harvesters to other harvesters, Oxbo is trying to grow its Brazilian business. That can fall on Korthuis.    While about 60 percent of his travel is within the United States — trade shows and meetings, such as the quarterly Oxbo meeting in Wisconsin for the New York-based Oxbo with offices in New York, Wisconsin and Lynden — it is that 40 percent of international travel that makes for the longer trips.

   The international trips simply take longer in terms of getting there and getting the work done. Plus, when you spend such an effort to get somewhere, you get in as much work as possible.    “If you have a customer using your equipment, you stop in and talk to them,” he said. “I was down in Chile a few years ago and we have so many raspberry and blueberry customers, I was asking what the current market is doing, what can we do to get more harvester sales.”    With all the meetings and work, though, Korthuis rarely gets to enjoy the culture of his visits. “Normally we are pretty packed with business the whole time,” he said.    In a dozen trips to Brazil, Korthuis did have the opportunity once to take in a soccer game, a great experience that helped him grab a small slice of culture.    Other small slices come in the way of cuisine. Korthuis loves soup for lunch, so once in Chile he asked for a bowl of soup at a lunchtime meal. He was brought a sea urchin soup. It was cold.    “I did not order it again,” Korthuis joked. “It was not great.”   While Korthuis admits there is enough work for him to be gone every week of the year, he has limited it to one week per month. Even with all that travel, it hasn’t gotten in the way of his role as Lynden’s mayor since late 2009.    “Technology is the key,” he said. “I

can get email anywhere in the world. I have all of my voicemails transferred to email and sent anywhere in the world. Cell phones are great. I’ve taken cell phone calls for the company and the city anywhere in the world and (the caller) has no clue I am somewhere very far away.”    The mayor’s job is a time-intensive one, but there are options to do portions of it remotely.    “I also have to say that Oxbo has been very good to work with bleeding the two schedules together,” he said. “I will step out from meetings in (the Oxbo) office quite often to do something I need to do for the city. I will take work home every night to catch up with emails.    “I really enjoy both jobs immensely and I don’t want to give either one up.”    With an engineer’s mind, Korthuis said he originally thought that working for Oxbo and serving as mayor were two vastly different roles. But he’s learned that both roles remain about managing relationships, allowing him to blend his expertise gained from both jobs into the other position.    Just sometimes he has to do that from a field in Brazil or — hopefully — an exit row aisle seat. Travel tips from Mayor Scott Korthuis     • Don’t stress about delays. You’ll

C21 eventually get there.     • Pack light. Korthuis, even on 10day international trips, packs just a backpack and carry-on for his technology. “They do have washing machines just about wherever you go,” he said.     • The quicker you can adjust to the time zone, the better off you’ll be. Try to start your adjustment before you leave and then “slug it out” the day you get there to be on the correct time.     • Home is important. Korthuis usually flies out of Seattle to avoid having to wait in Seattle for a connecting flight to Bellingham. “There is nothing worse than being in Seattle and having to wait two hours for a flight (to Bellingham),” he said.     • As a company, Oxbo doesn’t buy first-class tickets, so using a preferred airline gives him the best chance of a free upgrade to economy plus and the rare free upgrade to first class.     • Food is fuel. Get it where you can, whether at airports or airplanes. And be committed to try things you’ve never seen before when with clients. Countries Korthuis has visited for Oxbo     • Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Bulgaria.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Greening between the lines: Alcoa Intalco Works puts nature to work Engineered wetlands between pot lines are sign of progress By Mark Reimers

The scenery at Intalco is more attractive, and environmentally responsible, with this green space addition. (Mark Reimers/Ferndale Record)

FERNDALE — Green isn’t a color you expect to see in a heavy industrial facility. Nevertheless, a walk through Alcoa Intalco Works will reveal one of the company’s more innovative uses of space, right in the middle of the campus.    What used to be an asphalt ditch of sorts to catch runoff between the pot lines is now partially built up with soil, grass, rock and water plant life. The water is getting a natural filtration treatment before it ever even makes it to a regular runoff holding pond.    The greening of the runoff space is

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record

2015 PROGRESS part of a change in thinking since Intalco began operations in 1966, said Alcoa Intalco plant manager Barry Hullett.    “When these places were designed 40 years ago, it was more like just parking lots,” Hullett said.    Like parking lots and roads, lots of impervious surface translates into lots of stormwater runoff. The practical work of getting the water to drain efficiently itself isn’t the biggest problem. Rather, the pollutants that end up washing off of vehicles and surface activities tend to make stormwater a potentially toxic issue if it is immediately discharged into other bodies of water.    Short of actual treatment processes, long holding times help the water clean itself.    But better yet, letting the water drain through natural ground features and wetlands tends to clean the water in one of the most efficient and natural ways known to man.    Converting the sloped area into a grassy wetland area is a unique solution for the middle of an industrial site, however, it definitely made sense, since the area was already just being used for drainage.    “Before, the courtyard was asphalt ditches, gravel and asphalt substrate,” Hullett said. “We replaced it with dirt and planted it and built dams and plants to slow down water so that there is a lot of filtering and it's pretty clean water by the time it exits.”    The most demanding standards regarding water runoff, at the moment, are hitting road construction projects, with the state Department of Ecology demanding significant stormwater retention projects to accompany them in many cases. While water runoff standards aren’t as

stringent for private companies like Alcoa, Hullett said, it still is something they believe in and try to work toward.    Alcoa Intalco already has a long-running partnership with the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association on many of that group's habitat restoration projects.    In return, NSEA has offered to assist Alcoa in the greening projects.    In addition, Alcoa Intalco has worked closely with and provided grant funding for, a Lummi Tribal shellfish dike located nearby.    Hullett noted that the courtyard project could be expanded locally and perhaps replicated at other Alcoa sites.    The water quality vision, he said, is to cut discharge of process water (used for cooling functions within the plant) to zero. Already, the Intalco plant has cut water use by three-quarters, leading to a much tighter closed-loop cooling system.    Since 1990, that has translated into a reduced demand for water by 75 percent through a partnership with the Public Utility District.    Treatment of water issues is emblematic of the many other environmental quality issues that Alcoa is taking on directly, including carbon dioxide emissions.    “We are a values-driven company that wants to work closely with and be a part of community we live in,” Hullett said. “We have the highest values regarding environmental health and safety and sustainability.”    Hullett said one of those values is to be very transparent about company goals.    “My pay is actually affected by how we reach CO2 reduction goals," he said.    Alcoa has, in fact, achieved 75 percent reduction in CO2 emissions from


Even the benefits of the project so far could possibly be improved upon. (Mark Reimers/Ferndale Record)

1990 levels, which is the current legislative benchmark for companies to measure against.    Federal standards are almost an afterthought for Alcoa because it has already achieved its required legislative targets for the year 2050.    Hullett admits that much of that

progress is the low-hanging fruit a lot of hard work with employees to fine-tune the work process. Later improvements will be a lot more capital-intensive.    Alcoa Intalco Works currently employs about 560 and is located at the western end of Mountain View Road.

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Lynden Lube & Auto

Borthwick Jewelry

617 Cherry St. • Sumas 988-6101

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record



Mount Baker Vapor represents a business — and an industry — on the rise Company that started with two employees in 2011 now boasts 130 By Brent Lindquist

Mount Baker Vapor often holds informational sessions touching on the hobbyist aspect of vaping. (Brent Lindquist/ Lynden Tribune)

   LYNDEN — Mount Baker Vapor began as a company in 2002 with just two employees working out of a Bellingham apartment.    Now, just a few years later, the business employs 130 people.    Mount Baker Vapor specializes in electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigs, personal vaporizers or electronic nicotine delivery systems. These devices don’t contain tobacco and don’t produce smoke, but they do deliver nicotine to the user. They don’t actually produce vapor either, though vapor is the term commonly used for the aerosol that is actually produced.    Mount Baker Vapor was founded in 2011 by James Thompson and Jesse Webb in a Bellingham apartment building. Thompson had been “vaping” since about 2009, having worked in a casino. As a side project, he began making his own liquids and ordering extra starter equipment kits and selling them to friends and family. Eventually, Thompson and Webb became successful enough to form an LLC.

2015 Progress Report Celebrating Years in Business 9 Years

Heston Hauling Service/Hertz Rentals 6397 Portal Way • Ferndale Towing Service Available 312-8697

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9 Years Country Financial Len Corneto

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Imhof Automotive

102 Grover St. Lynden 354-4197

2869 W. 63rd Ln. • Ferndale Over 30 years in automotive experience 393-8938

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Congratulations to these businesses on their years of service to the community!


Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


   “That’s where it all began,” marketing director Michael Sullivan said. “Two guys, four years ago. Then they just balanced their regular jobs with doing this thing on the side because it was something they were passionate about, and then they just started seeing a boom."    The two hired a few friends to help out, and were eventually able to leave their other jobs and do Mount Baker Vapor fulltime.    They began with two employees and grew to nine after two years. Now, after almost four, years, the growth is tenfold.    When the company was founded, vaping wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. Thompson and his employees got in early, but with the market now saturated, Sullivan said that Mount Baker Vapor has had to stick to its core principles in order to stay ahead of the game.    “James is an entrepreneur at heart, so he saw something in this before a lot of people did,” Sullivan said. “I think it was a mix of getting in before market saturation and then just his business philosophy, which was really simple: a low price point, ship fast, and superior customer service. That’s what’s kind of carried us to where we are now.”    All of the company’s nicotine liquids are manufactured locally at its Irongate See Vapor on C24

Mount Baker Vapor sells everything from starter kits to more advanced vaping devices. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune)


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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


Mosaic: ArtPrize is world's Vapor: Quitting smoking encouraged largest giveaway of its kind Continued from C17 Jesse James.    “We want it to be important to them,” Carl said. “They are going to live with it every day,” Sandra said.    Two other big jobs on the slate for 2015 are public buildings in Palm Desert and Indio, California. Sandra herself travels to sites about 12 times per year.    On the other hand, sometimes their work is truly their own artistic choice. They are the creators of a piece that could end up on show, and for sale, at Lynden’s Jansen Art Center or a gallery they use on Whidbey Island.    ArtPrize is such a venture. The annual fall festival in Grand Rapids, Michigan, pays out the world’s largest art prize, $200,000, in both people’s choice and juried professional judging. The Bryants have now entered twice, and their entries have been top-10 in people’s choice both times. In 2012 the 14-by-8-foot “Return to Eden” was ninth out of 1,500 entries in the two-dimensional category while last year’s “Into the Autumn Woods” garnered second place, just out of the jackpot.    The first piece is now in a Spring Lake, Michigan church.    The second, broken down into its five panels, is back in their Lynden garage. It cost $8,000 in all to ship it back and forth in protective crates.    “It’s an expensive thing to do. But it’s fun,” Sandra said. “You get to talk to a gazillion people.” (A surprising percentage of them knew of Lynden.) And those contacts can lead to other jobs.

   The couple who were “blind hosts” for the Bryants’ ArtPrize entry in 2012 have now become good friends.    As to style and technique, Sandra will compliment Carl — who still does some parttime accounting — that he could be a pretty good painter or drawer if he set himself to it. In what experimenting he has done, he likes strong color and can be either playful or abstract with his subjects.    Sandra is more of a pure natural learner, having always been into art and absorbing much from reading a book or observing others’ work.    They order their glass, in foot-square sheets and a variety of colors, from a wholesale store in Redmond, and organize it in bins in the garage. The glass is then all handcut, using a scoring tool, to the quantity and size of pieces needed for a particular project. Of course, the finer detail of the artwork requires more exact cutting.    Actual construction from a pattern involves contact paper as a first backing, then tile tape and mortar binding of the glass or tile pieces. The mosaic must be smooth on its finished surface. “Any unevenness goes into the mortar,” Sandra said. Eventually a whole section will be mounted on lightweight wedi board.    There’s a stage of flipping a whole finished large panel that may require a breathed prayer and a few more people than just Carl and Sandra. Friends and neighbors help. But the couple say they don’t intend Showcase Mosaics to get beyond what they can do mostly by themselves, just as artists loving their craft.

D.J.: Life is about more than a successful job Continued from C11 lives in Ferndale now.    Yet to him, “making it happen” was about much more than a successful job.    “It wasn’t just work, but life,” he said. “Living a full life.”    For Van Weerdhuizen, a big part of that is — and always has been — his faith.    “I was really committed to God before the accident, was really committed to God during the recovery and am still very committed to God today.    “I’m very involved in church and

lots of ministries. I believe that my personal relationship with Christ has for sure gotten stronger.”    Van Weerdhuizen briefly had his life taken from him, but with it back, he’s living life to the fullest degree.    And he’s quick to thank everyone who helped him reach that point, especially during some of his toughest times.    “I had so much community support at Harborview,” Van Weerdhuizen said. “At the Harborview burn unit, they have this big gathering room in the middle of the floor that holds maybe 15 to 20 people, and my family and friends from

Mount Baker Vapor offers a receptacle for ex-smokers to deposit their cigarettes when they switch to vaping. (Brent Lindquist/Lynden Tribune) Continued from C23 laboratory in Bellingham. All the liquids are mixed to order so that customers can customize their vaping experience.    Mount Baker Vapor offers a wide variety of other products as well.    “We sell a vast range of hardware,” Sullivan said, “from very entry-level starter kits to the hobbyist side. It gets really elaborate.”    One challenge faced by any e-cig company is overcoming the stigmas that may be associated with the idea of vaping.    “If you as a company keep your mission in your sights at all times — which is not to get people started, but to get people to transition — I think that helps calm some of those scare tactics,” Sullivan said.    Studies have shown that tobacco-specific nitrosamines (carcinogens) present in e-cigs represent a trace, minuscule fraction of the carcinogens in traditional cigarettes.

church put on church services there.    “We had 50 to 60 people in there for the services. It was so powerful. And I got more than 300 cards, and a lot of those people I didn’t even know. It was amazing. I want to say thank you to all the people who have helped me and prayed for me over the last 25 years.”    One of those people was a man by the name of Allen, whom Van Weerdhuizen met more than a decade after the accident. The two had been friends for a few years when, during a conversation, they discovered a surprising connection.

Many other carcinogens exist in cigarettes that aren’t found at all in e-cigs.    The association with tobacco has presented a challenge as well.    “It’s unfortunate because we have this constant struggle of, we don’t want to be associated with tobacco and we don’t want to be associated with cigarettes, but they’re called e-cigarettes,” Sullivan said.    “We want to attract smokers, but not be associated with tobacco. And with vaporizers, you get that other connotation with illicit drug use.”    Mount Baker Vapor doesn’t want that connection.    “People want to lump you in with tobacco products, but most of us are exsmokers, so we don’t want that,” Sullivan said. “I don’t want to be associated as working for a tobacco company, and I know a lot of people who would agree with that.”    For more information about Mount Baker Vapor, visit

   Allen was the pilot that had transported Van Weerdhuizen to Harborview, and he certainly hadn’t forgotten that day.    “I remember your story so well,” Allen said.    And thanks to Allen, the support of countless individuals and the steadfast perseverance of Van Weerdhuizen, that story didn’t end.    Rather, on that day 25 years ago, Van Weerdhuizen’s remarkable journey was just beginning.

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Lynden Tribune | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Ferndale Record


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2015 Progress - Lynden Tribune