Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville Speaks About Sister Cities

Mayor Linville Addresses Sister City Board Retreat

Mayor Linville Addresses Sister City Board Retreat

“The Sister Cities Advisory Board advises the Mayor on the establishment and maintenance of sister city relationships between the City of Bellingham and cities of other countries. The mission of the Bellingham Sister Cities Association is to seek to achieve international understanding, cultural sensitives and to encourage trade and tourism.

Mayor Linville at Tateyama Runners Banzai Send-Off

Mayor Linville at Tateyama Runners Banzai Send-Off

At the City of Bellingham, we are lucky to have an active Sister Cities Association. Sister Cities creates a culturally richer Bellingham and I am grateful that the City can partner with this Association to continue to encourage Bellingham residents to interact with individuals from all over the world. Our 7 Sister Cities represent a wide-ranging set of cultures. I have so enjoyed the opportunities I’ve had to welcome visitors, students, athletes and dignitaries from these Sister Cities and look forward to continued partnership in the years to come. 

Mayor Linville, President Teresa Van Haalen and Past-President Karen Callery

Mayor Linville, President Teresa Van Haalen and Past-President Karen Callery

I would like to extend my appreciation to the Sister Cities Advisory Board members who have donated their time to further their mission and contribute to a better Bellingham.”  – Mayor Kelli Linville

Posted in Bellingham Sister Cities Association | Leave a comment

Peace Grants Awarded To Three Recipients

The Bellingham Sister Cities Association has awarded three recipients with Peace Grants for 2014.  Selected from a number of highly qualified submissions, the three selected finalists were:

United We DanceUnited We Dance of The Dance Studio in support of their taking 13 dance students to perform in Tateyama, Japan in July of 2015.

RunnersThe Bellingham “6” Runners There are a total of six runners from Bellingham who are competing in our Sister City Tateyama, Japan’s 35th Wakashio Marathon.

Eleanor Long

Eleanor and Richard Long The Long’s are traveling to Punta Arenas in November of 2015 to further enhance their relationships established during teacher exchanges at Roosevelt Elementary.

The objective of the Bellingham Sister Cities Peace Grant award is to improve and expand existing relationships between Bellingham and its seven Sister Cities: Cheongju, Korea; Nakhodka, Russia; Port Stephens, Australia; Punta Arenas, Chile; Tateyama, Japan; Tsetserleg, Mongolia; and Vaasa, Finland.

The Peace Grant supports Bellingham-Sister City partnerships by providing funding for up to $1,000 to outbound exchanges for local U.S. citizens. The Bellingham Sister Cities Association has set aside up to $1,000 as a grant to help fund local travelers who will be visiting one of Bellingham’s seven sister cities. Applications will be accepted for 2016 beginning September 1, 2015.

The Bellingham Sister Cities Association is a community based organization providing opportunities for citizens of Whatcom County to develop relationships and build a sense of community with our sister cities around the world. Our mission is to seek to achieve international understanding, cultural sensitivities and encourage trade and tourism. This is accomplished through cultural exchanges, educational programs and community events. The Peace Grant was created to help facilitate this mission.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bellingham Sister Cities Association Opens Dedicated Twitter & Google+ Accounts

Twitter

Twitter @BhamSisterCity

Google Plus Page

Google+ Page (Bellingham Sister Cities Association)

The Bellingham Sister Cities Association (BSCA) is increasing it’s social media presence and has launched it’s own Twitter Account @BhamSisterCity as well as a Google+ Page. These, along with the BSCA Facebook Page (Bellingham Sister Cities Association) will now be four ways for BSCA to increase its communication with members, as well as the communities here in Bellingham/Whatcom County and our Sister Cities around the world.

With an average of 4,000 visitors per month to the web site, BSCA knows that it is reaching thousands around the world and with outreach now through the Website, Twitter, Facebook and Google+, BSCA hopes to reach even more people in new and different ways.  It is anticipated that by the end of 2015 we will double our number of visitors.

Now, whenever a post is made to the BSCA website, posts will be automatically made to each of our social media sites.  Of course, anyone interested in just getting an email when we post anything just simply needs to go to www.bsca.org and subscribe to BSCA!

PrintBellingham Sister Cities Association sponsors many events through out 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.

Posted in Bellingham Sister Cities Association | Leave a comment

From War To Peace – Remembering Jack Pierce, One Of BSCA’s Founders …

Jack PierceIn going through some old materials, we happened upon a 1998 article that was posted in the Bellingham Herald about Jack Pierce, one of the founders of our Bellingham Sister Cities Association back in 1958.  He was a man who fought the Japanese at Okinawa, Guam and Bouganville, but who embraced peace and understanding through President Eisenhower’s concept of Sister Cities and establishing our relationship with Tateyama as a way to heal the divisions of World War II.  You can read the entire article by clicking here or on the attached copy.

Jack has passed on now (2002), but many of us in Bellingham remember him not just for his work in helping establish our program, but also as the professor of Geography (Far East and Economic Geography) at Whatcom Community College. You know that the Bellingham/Tateyama sister city relationship was only the second in Washington State?  Or that Bellingham was the 11th one in the United States to establish a program? It was people like Jack that helped us establish where we are today.

1998 #3001

Posted in Tateyama Japan | Leave a comment

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. 

20150124-Bellingham-Vaasa-Education-Project

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Bellingham Runners Arrive For the Wakashio Marathon

photo

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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Banzai(万歳)Send Off For Our Bellingham Runners

Bonzai-Send-Off

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.

Runners

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.

Posted in Tateyama Japan | Leave a comment

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!

Slide1

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.

JNB-Kimono-Shinnenkai-1a

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

25th Anniversary of Sister City Relationship With Nakhodka Russia Celebrated

11_полоса на 11,07

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.

Posted in Nakhodka | Leave a comment

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.

PacRim-Sponsors-Footer

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment