BSCA Board Members Lauren McClanahan and Andrea Antrim Launch Bellingham-Vaasa Education Project Website

Finland is home to arguably the finest education system in the world.  Similarly, Bellingham is home to one of the finest school districts in the state of Washington.  Because of that fact, a WWU education professor (Lauren McClanahan) and her graduate student (Andrea Antrim – Read Her Blog Here) decided to survey teachers in Vaasa and teachers in Bellingham to find out what questions they might have for one another, and how the two cities might learn from one another to help improve education for everyone in our communities.  The result is the Bellingham-Vaasa Education Project website.  Please have a look, and feel free to leave a comment. 

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Bellingham Runners Arrive For the Wakashio Marathon

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Runners From Bellingham Meet Up With Port Stephens Australia Runners in Tateyama, Japan

The first wave of three Bellingham runners arrived in Tateyama and gathered with some of the Tateyama folks and the full contingent of Port Stephens Australia runners and visitors with Tateyama Bay to their backs.

There are a total of six runners from Bellingham who are competing in our Sister City Tateyama, Japan’s 35th Wakashio Marathon.  Representing the Bellingham Sister Cities Association are Sabrina Romano, Sam Schell, Brad and Sandra Hubbard, and Twila and Doug Wiebe.

Just as this is an annual event for Bellingham Sister Cities Association to attend the Wakashio Marathon, runners from Tateyama, Japan come to Bellingham to compete in the Bellingham Bay Marathon.

This event is only one of many events put on by the Bellingham Sister Cities Association through the year.  If you are interested in learning more about the Bellingham Sister Cities Association (open to all Bellingham and Whatcom County residents) please visit our website.

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Banzai(万歳)Send Off For Our Bellingham Runners

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Ross Grier leads Bonzai to send off runners!

Banzai, Banzai, Banzai(万歳) was heard through out the Fairhaven business district on Tuesday, January 20th, which was the official send off for six runners from Bellingham who are leaving for our Sister City Tateyama, Japan’s 35th Wakashio Marathon/10K/2K on January 25, 2015.  Representing the Bellingham Sister Cities Association are Sabrina Romano, Sam Schell, Brad and Sandra Hubbard, and Twila and Doug Wiebe.

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Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville With BSCA Runners

Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, along with members of the Advisory Board of the Bellingham Sister Cities Association, gave the runners a kick-off at Fairhaven Runners and Walkers.  Just as this is an annual event for Bellingham Sister Cities Association to attend the Wakashio Marathon, runners from Tateyama, Japan come to Bellingham to compete in the Bellingham Bay Marathon.  In both cases, the runners from each country only need to provide airfare and are put up in home-stays that help build longterm relationships between the people of both cities.

The Bellingham Herald published a write up about the runners which can be read by clicking on the link, “Bellingham group travels to Japan for run in sister city“.  This event is only one of many events put on by the Bellingham Sister Cities Association through the year.  If you are interested in learning more about the Bellingham Sister Cities Association (open to all Bellingham and Whatcom County residents) please visit our website.

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Shinnenkai – A Japanese tradition Of Welcoming The New Year And You Ago And You Are Invited

You are invited, Sunday, January 11, 2015 to this years Sinnenkai!

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A shinnenkai (Japanese 新年会, literally “new year gathering”) is the Japanese tradition of welcoming the arrival of the New Year.  A shinnenkai is a shinnenkaiis their way of getting together to celebrate a new year and to make promises to each other to do their best for this year while wishing each other good luck and fortune.

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25th Anniversary of Sister City Relationship With Nakhodka Russia Celebrated

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From July 1-10, 2014, Stowe and Nina Talbot, together with former Bellingham Mayor Tim Douglas, travelled to our Russian sister city, Nakhodka.  Also on the trip were six former employees of the joint venture fishing enterprise, US-USSR Marine Resources Company.

Nakhodka is located in the Russian Far East on the coast of the Sea of Japan.  Like Bellingham, Nakhodka is a beautiful seaside city with many commercial and trade ties to the water.  It’s population is about 120,000.  Sister city relations were formalized in 1989 by then mayors Tim Douglas and Victor Gnezdilov.  Since then, many cultural and commercial exchanges have taken place between our cities including sailing exchanges, summer camp exchanges, library and art exchanges, police training exchanges, student exchanges, ecological exchanges, and many others.

DSC_1676The reasons for this trip were threefold:  First, we celebrated the 25 year anniversary of the sister city relationship.  Our American delegation was treated to several wonderful banquets and receptions.  Current mayor Gennady Kolyadin personally met our group and hosted us in his office.  Our sister city liaison, Irina Scherbina, spent the week making arrangements for us and accompanying our group.

DSC_1624Second, our group presented several slideshow talks about the history of the joint venture fishing company entitled “Marine Resources Company, 1976-2001″.  This unique venture, the first joint Soviet-American company ever formed, was established by Bellingham businessman Jim Talbot together with the Soviet Ministry of Fisheries.  Despite Cold War hostilities, this fishing venter prospered during the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, with Russian and American fisherman working side by side off the coasts of Alaska and Oregon.  The Nakhodka public was invited to attend these presentation, along with many retired Russian fishermen who had worked the venture.  The six Americans in our group had each lived in Nakhodka for two-year terms during the 70’s and 80’s representing the company’s operations here.  Two of them had not been back to Nakhodka in over 30 years.  Nakhodka newspapers and TV stations gave extensive coverage to our talks.

IMG_4127Thirdly, Stowe Talbot’s wife, Nina, is from Nakhodka, and so they took some time off to see friends and relatives.

The Mayor of Nakhodka, Gennady Kolyadin, sends his best wishes to Bellingham, and hopes we can continue our successful sister city ties for at least another 25 years.

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Would You Like To Represent Our Community As A PacRim 2104 Ambassador?

20140727-PacRim-Three-Part-Logo-With-SaturnaBellingham Sister Cities Association and the Bellingham Yacht Club are serving as host to the 7th biennial Pacific Rim Regatta during the week of September 6-13, 2014. This international sailing competition, welcomes visiting Racers and Ambassadors from the Pacific Rim countries of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia.

The Pacific Rim Regatta Planning Committee is now actively seeking representatives from the community to serve as Ambassadors. If you are interested in spending a week in this wonderful multi-cultural experience, please complete the PacRim Ambassador Application found by clicking here.

This is truly a wonderful experience, and here are just two reasons you want to be an Ambassador for PacRim 2014:

  • - The chance to help visitors from our sister cities countries to experience our life, country and culture here in Whatcom County. It is really amazing to both teach and learn from people from other countries.
  • - The chance to build relationships, new friendships and family members. This experience will give you the chance to bond in a way you never expected!  Many will have so much gratitude for the opportunity you have experienced with them. You will share many laughs along the way and make memories to last a lifetime. Most likely you will remain in contact long after they return home, and most likely have a home of your own to visit in the country you host!

A few things that will be expected of you as an Ambassador for PacRim 2014:

  • Join Bellingham Sister Cities Association ($25.00);
  • Participate in PacRim 2014 activities from September 6-13, 2014 (a full week of fantastic Ambassadorial events for only $250.00); and
  • Enjoy the time you have with other visitors here in our beautiful part of the world!

For more complete information on the Pac Rim Regatta, history, and info on how to become involved, please use this link: Pac Rim Regatta site. You can also contact John Gargett, Co-Chair (Shoreside) at john@pacrim2014.com.

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Special Showing And Reception Of The Seven Samurai At Pickford This Monday

 

seven-samurai-akira-kurosawa-2Jeff Purdue (WWU) asked BSCA Board Member Ross Grier (and Tateyama Sister City Chair) to let BSCA know about a special screening of Seven Samurai happening on Monday, August 11th at Pickford Film Center, 1318 Bay Street.  What makes this an especially noteworthy event is that attending the screening will be Richard Pepperman, author of the forthcoming book “Everything I Know About Filmmaking I Learned Watching Seven Samurai.”  The Pickford is hosting a pre-screening reception with sake and sushi at 6:30pm on the 11th with the film screening at 7pm.  Pepperman, who is on the faculty at the School of Visual Arts in New York, is a film editor and author of several books on film.  There will be a Q&A with the author following the film.  Pepperman’s book introduction was written by Bellinghamster Sidney Atkins (who has graciously provided several wonderful introductions to films in the Masters of Japanese Cinema series).  Sidney’s introduction is the most illuminating short piece I have ever read on Seven Samurai (and I’ve read a lot).  He will also be at the screening.

Seven Samurai FlagSeven Samurai is truly one of those “must see on the big screen” films.  If you’ve never seen it in a theatre, then this will be a great chance.  Even if you have seen it in the theatre before, it’s likely you’ve seen an edited version, which was the only one available in this country for many years.  Additionally, this may be the best this film has ever looked.  If you have never seen Seven Samurai, now’s your chance!

 

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A Message About PacRim 2014 From BSCA President Karen Callery

20140727-PacRim-Three-Part-Logo-With-SaturnaWith the PacRim 2014 Yachting Challenge only a few weeks away, I’d like to encourage you to check out the BYC website, byc.org, under PacRim 2014 and see all of the exciting activities that will be happening during Sept. 6th thru the 13th.  Each and everyone of you is invited to participate in this event.  How to become involved is in the PacRim 2014 website. 
This is a great opportunity to meet our visitors from our Sister Cities; Tateyama, Japan; Port Stephens, Australia; Nadhodka, Russia; as well as our visitors from Friendship cities’ Victoria, Canada and Tauranga, New Zealand.  They are all excited to visit Bellingham and spend time with friends new and old.
Thank you to all of the volunteers that are working on this event.  As we approach the final stages of planning and if you are interested in helping please contact BSCA Board Member John Gargett at  john@pacrim2014.com
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Would You Like To Represent Our Community As A PacRim 2104 Ambassador?

20140727-PacRim-Three-Part-Logo-With-SaturnaWhatcom County and the City of Bellingham are serving as host to the 7th biennial Pacific Rim Regatta during the week of September 6-13, 2014. This international sailing competition, sponsored jointly by the Bellingham Sister Cities Association and the Bellingham Yacht Club, welcomes visiting Racers and Ambassadors from the Pacific Rim countries of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia.

The Pacific Rim Regatta Planning Committee is now actively seeking representatives from the community to serve as Ambassadors. If you are interested in this wonderful multi-cultural experience, please complete the PacRim Ambassador Application found by clicking here.

This is truly a wonderful experience, and here are just two reasons you want to be an Ambassador for PacRim 2014:

  • - The chance to help visitors from our sister cities countries to experience our life, country and culture here in Whatcom County. It is really amazing to both teach and learn from people from other countries.
  • - The chance to build relationships, new friendships and family members. This experience will give you the chance to bond in a way you never expected!  Many will have so much gratitude for the opportunity you have experienced with them. You will share many laughs along the way and make memories to last a lifetime. Most likely you will remain in contact long after they return home, and most likely have a home of your own to visit in the country you host!

A few things that will be expected of you as an Ambassador for PacRim 2014:

  • Join Bellingham Sister Cities Association ($25.00);
  • Participate in PacRim 2014 activities from September 6-13, 2014 (a full week of fantastic Ambassadorial events for only $250.00); and
  • Enjoy the time you have with other visitors here in our beautiful part of the world!

For more complete information on the Pac Rim Regatta, history, and info on how to become involved, please use this link: Pac Rim Regatta site. You can also contact John Gargett, Co-Chair (Shoreside) at john@pacrim2014.com.

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Here Is Your Opportunity to be a 2014 Pac Rim Regatta Host Family

20140727-PacRim-Three-Part-Logo-With-SaturnaWhatcom County and the City of Bellingham are serving as host to the 7th biennial Pacific Rim Regatta during the week of September 6-13, 2014.  This international sailing competition, sponsored jointly by the Bellingham Sister Cities Association and the Bellingham Yacht Club, welcomes visiting sailors and ambassadors from the Pacific Rim countries of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Russia.

The Pacific Rim Regatta planning committee is now actively seeking host families to provide housing and local transportation for the visitors from each of these nations.  If you are interested in this wonderful multi-cultural experience, please complete the Pac Rim application found by clicking here.

This is truly a wonderful experience, and here are just two reasons you want to be a host family for PacRim 2014:

– The chance to help racers and ambassadors from other countries to experience our life, country and culture here in Whatcom County.  It is really amazing to both teach and learn from people from other countries.

– The chance to build relationships, new friendships and family members. This experience will give you the chance to bond in a way you never expected!  Many will have so much gratitude for the opportunity you have given them. You will share many laughs along the way and make memories to last a lifetime. Most likely you will remain in contact long after they return home, and most likely have a home of your own to visit in the country you host!

A few things that will be expected of you as a host family for Pac Rim guests:

  • Have a safe and comfortable place for the guest(s) to be and to sleep;
  • Provide tasty, healthy meals;
  • Provide local transportation to all scheduled Pac Rim events and guest activities; and
  • Enjoy the time you have together here in our beautiful part of the world!

For more complete information on the Pac Rim Regatta, history, and info on how to become involved, please use this link: Pac Rim Regatta site.  You can also contact John & Teresa Van Haalen (Host Family Chairs) at vhaalen@comcast.net.

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