2014 Year in Review: A look back at the year that was

By Meg Olson

 

January

• Whatcom County Hearing Examiner Michael Bobbink sent The Cottages at Seabright Farm project back to the drawing board to modify their plans to better preserve open spaces and wildlife corridors.

• Dakota Land Company, LLC. was the first applicant for a license to sell retail marijuana listing a Point Roberts address.

• A sudden and early cold snap hit the Point, freezing the sea at Maple Beach out almost as far as the border marker.

• In an effort to provide “100 percent transparency,” fire district commissioners endorsed recording the district’s meetings and posting them on the district website.

• Newly appointed Whatcom County Library System director Christine Perkins made her first visit to Point Roberts.

• Protestors from both sides of the border lined Tyee Drive to protest an application to build a tower farm at the intersection of Tyee Drive and McKenzie Way.

February

• The Whatcom County Hearing Examiner gave preliminary approval to The Cottages at Seabright Farm, adding 11 conditions to those recommended by staff in a effort to increase protection for wildlife, native vegetation and wetlands.

• An overflow crowd at the Gulf Road community center heard about grassroots efforts to oppose plans for a proposed array of radio towers to be built in Point Roberts, and to donate funds for what was expected to be a lengthy legal battle.

• The Point Roberts Artisan Guild handed over $1,723 from the guild’s December craft fair to the Point Roberts Historical Society.

• High-speed internet service came back on line after a month of sluggish performance after an anchor damaged the submarine fiber optic cable that provides service to the Point.

• Local veteran Sam Miller, 97 years old, was honored for his service through the We Honor Veterans program, a collaboration between Whatcom Hospice and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

• Two companies sharing the same Point Roberts address applied for marijuana retailer, processor and producer licenses.

• Construction began on two malls on Tsawwassen First Nation land, scheduled to open in spring 2016.

• The Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) broadened its role beyond transportation issues, agreeing to ask the county for funding for the Point Roberts Ambassadors program.

• Fundraising efforts to transform the Julius fire station into a new library broke the $300,000 mark, and the local parks district began planning in earnest for the project.

March

March 2014: Nutmeg the killer ewe goes on a rampage attacking innocent snowpeople on the west side of the Point.    	                Photo by Heidi Baxter

March 2014: Nutmeg the killer ewe goes on a rampage attacking innocent snowpeople on the west side of the Point. Photo by Heidi Baxter

• With a new rate survey showing current rates and fees would not cover rising costs, water district commissioners looked to raise water rates and connection fees.

• PRCAC officially took over as the Point Robert Character Plan Advisory Committee (PRCPAC), which had not been active for several years.

• Auntie Pam’s Country Store held its second annual Miniature Art Show to raise funds for the new library construction fund.

• Canadian and U.S. border authorities announced plans to share information on travelers, effectively creating an entry and exit monitoring system for both countries.

• The Hughes family took over management of Caffe Capanna, giving the Gulf Road eatery a facelift.

• Canadian Olympic rower Joy Fera visited the Point Roberts Primary School to encourage kids to reach for the stars.

April

• Water district commissioners approved a 20 percent increase in the cost of connecting to the water system.

• PRCPAC gave the thumbs up to plans for a barn at The Cottages at Seabright Farm despite a design with siding wider than specified by the plan, but sent an application for a new sign at the Valero station back to the drawing board for exceeding height and illumination restrictions.

• The state auditor gave the local fire district a clean bill of health following an accountability audit covering 2010 and 2012.

• Blaine School District president Todd Berge presented Jonquil Moon with a plaque recognizing her many years of volunteering at the local primary school.

• Stephen Falk joined the parks board as its newest commissioner.

• More than 50 community members turned out for an emergency preparedness forum hosted by the Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness group.

May

May 2014: Sales got underway big time at the Point Roberts Homegrown Co-op on Benson Road. Photo by Louise Mugar

May 2014: Sales got underway big time at the Point Roberts Homegrown Co-op on Benson Road.
Photo by Louise Mugar

• Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws was the featured speaker at the Point Roberts Registered Voters Association’s annual general meeting, mixing mostly positive notes with a dash of realism.

• The PRCPAC focused on non-conforming signs in the community, asking local businesses, starting with Sterling Savings Bank as it transitioned to Umpqua Bank, to change their internally lit signs.

• The Point Roberts Homegrown Co-op began selling shares in its summer harvest, with participants getting a weekly box of fresh produce for the farm’s 15-week season.

• The “round up” campaign for the new library fund at the International Marketplace raised $4,000 thanks to the generosity of shoppers and a hefty matching donation from the store.

• The county hearing examiner approved a conditional use permit for the water district to build a new shop and office adjacent to the Benson Road fire station.

June

• The Cottages at Seabright Farm project workers broke ground and got busy putting in infrastructure to get the project rolling.

• Fourth of July, Point Roberts Garden Tour and Arts and Music Festival organizers kicked into high gear for the Point’s busy summer of fun.

• The water district applied to the state to borrow almost $5 million to replace 5 miles of aging water mains.

• The Point Roberts Registered Voters Association teamed up with Campobello in New Brunswick, asking that residents of the two exclave communities be exempted from transit requirements.

• A Delta, B.C. school psychologist was arrested at his Point Roberts residence with hundreds of sexually explicit images and videos of children.

• The Point Roberts Garden Club launched an “adopt-a-mound” program, hoping for greater participation keeping the landscaping along Tyee Drive tidy.

• Auntie Pam’s Country Store celebrated its two-year anniversary.

• A community fundraiser collected $10,000 to help local resident Denise Richards cover unexpected medical expenses.

• Point Roberts fire equipment got snazzier with artwork by local primary students adorning its doors.

• The Canada Border Services Agency extended northbound NEXUS hours, while the U.S. counterparts continued to “look at it.”

• The Visit Point Roberts student ambassador program shut down due to a lack of volunteer board members to work with students.

• A Little Free Library was unveiled at the Maple Beach Park.

• Local resident Armene Belless proposed a scenic loop for the Point to the PRCAC, and the committee voted down Holger Michelsen’s motion to make compliance with the character plan optional.

AUG4th of July MO15

July 2014: As always, the 4th of July was a well-attended and fun day. Photo by Meg Olson

July

• Point Roberts residents enjoyed a great 4th of July parade.

• The parks district, the county library system and local friends of the library agreed to changing a contract by giving the parks district a potential future role in funding the renovation of Julius Fire Station as a new library.

• Digivations Camp Demigod announced scholarships for its 2014 season.

• A special service and reception at Trinity Lutheran Church honored pastor emeritus Ernie Loreen for his 55 years of service as a Lutheran minister.

• Volunteers combed Point Roberts streets for trash at the voters’ association’s street cleanup.

• Nine local students celebrated their graduation from high school.

• PRCAC approved using gas tax dollars to pay for a scenic loop.

• Whatcom County gave tower applicant BBC Broadcasting a month to come up with additional information or face the expiry of its conditional use permit application.

• Golf course owner Kenji Nose announced plans for significant reinvestment in the golf course’s associated residential development.

• Hundreds of frustrated residents petitioned U.S. Customs and Border Protection to extend southbound NEXUS hours to match Canadian hours.

• Congresswoman Suzan DelBene threw her support behind a local petition to expand NEXUS hours that had grown to 600 signatures. CBP responded by expanding NEXUS hours until 9 p.m. in the evening through Labor Day.

To be continued next issue

  1. With regard to recent article picturing Nutmeg the killer ewe going on a rampage, I would like to express my concern. I am the father of Frosty, the victim. He is a caring, kind and gentle snowman who really enjoys chilling on the point in winter. Being attacked by a mentally unstable ewe was a hurtful, traumatic and emotional experience for my son. It is my hope that Nutmeg learns to walk a mile in his victims’ shoes. He is an insecure beast who needs to be stopped. I have watched Nutmeg grow from a beautiful baby ewe into a violent and troubled bully. This animal needs help, how many more snowpeople need to suffer before Nutmeg is brought to justice? If the local authorities don’t take action I will have no choice but to shave him to the skin and see how he enjoys a sub zero winter without a coat in our beautiful little town. The Frosty’s will have the last laugh…Bring it, Nutmeg!

    Reply

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