2014 Year in Review: Part 2

August

• Whatcom County Council enthusiastically approved the scenic loop proposal for Point Roberts.

• Plans for the annual Arts and Music Festival moved forward despite a scare that the closure of half of the boardwalk at Lighthouse Marine Park would derail the event. The county parks department began budgeting to redesign and replace the boardwalk.

• The Point Roberts Food Bank, with operations spread out to several locations, asked for community support in finding a permanent home.

• Trinity Lutheran Church prepared for another year of the Children’s Music Camp and offered a special concert featuring the arrangements of local musician Esther Rosenthal.

• Local resident Margot Griffiths published her first novel, “Angel Hair.”

• United Parcel Service (UPS) announced a new franchise of the UPS Store was scheduled to open in Point Roberts.

• Former fire chief Bill Skinner announced his retirement from the local fire department after serving over 20 years.

• The Point Roberts Volunteer Firefighters Association raised over $1,000 for Dollars for Scholars through carwashes in July.

• The dock at Lighthouse Marine Park, due to be installed for the summer, was put on hold again due to uncooperative tides and spawning fish.

• The Friends of the Point Roberts Library (FOPRL) presented a show of quilts by Judy Ross as a benefit for the library construction fund.

September

• People denied NEXUS membership struggled to get answers about why, and turned to Blaine attorney Len Saunders for legal help.

• Whatcom County set a November hearing date for the radio tower array proposed for Point Roberts.

• The Blaine school district board approved putting a $45 million bond before the voters in February to fund an expansion of the high school and a roof replacement at the Point Roberts Primary School.

• Jim McMurty won the coveted Ha Ha Cup at the 2014 joke telling contest.

• Les and Nancy Lomedico announced plans to shut down The Letter Carrier, citing the condition of the building and an expiring lease.

• With his application to put up a 25-foot internally-lit sign turned down by the county, Valero owner Fred Pakzad went back to the character plan committee proposing a 22-foot sign advertising Valero and the new UPS Store, replacing the community events sign.

• B.C. artist Blake Wydeman painted a mural featuring summer berries on the wall of the Baker Field restrooms.

• At a well-attended community forum, congresswoman Suzan DelBene talked about efforts to ease border lineups and concerns about proposed radio towers.

• A Richmond antiques dealer was indicted for smuggling ivory and rhino horns through Point Roberts parcel services.

• The local water district told the developers of The Cottages at Seabright Farm it was up to them to negotiate with the current property owners of a parcel which was once part of the development but was foreclosed upon regarding who owns the water connections purchased by Stanton Northwest in 2005 for the project.

October

• The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) scheduled a hearing to consider whether a trio of radio stations are breaking the law by broadcasting content produced in Canada from across the border.

• The Friends of the Point Roberts Library (FOPRL) received a $25,000 grant from the Norcliffe Foundation to help fund the renovation of Julius Fire Station as a new library.

• The fire department’s CPR training class, which saw 70 people certified so far in 2014, proved its value when back-to-back emergencies saw well-trained citizens step in until emergency crews arrived.

• The Point Roberts Character Plan Committee, with two members recusing themselves, agreed the proposed radio towers did not conform to the character plan due to their height.

• Over 500 opponents of the proposed radio tower array came out in droves to Seabright Farm for a mammoth fundraiser.

• The character plan committee approved the building design for a proposed UPS store but the design for the sign, which would advertise both the UPS Store and the Valero station, was tabled pending more information on lighting.

• Western Washington University’s Border Policy Research Institute found Whatcom County is getting more Canadian shoppers than ever.

• Sandra and Richard Procter took over as owners of Brewster’s Fine Foods.

• At an open house held by the committee tasked with revising the character plan, community members talked about what they felt was the “essence” of Point Roberts: nature, land, community, security and uniqueness.

• Dakota Land Company LLC, the Point Roberts applicant for a retail marijuana license that made it to the lottery stage, didn’t earn a high enough ranking to move to the next stage of licensing.

November

• Whatcom County Hearing Examiner
Michael Bobbink denied the CUP application for radio towers on the basis they did exceeded height restrictions under existing zoning language.

• The PRCAC prepared a list of suspected code violations to forward to Whatcom County, while the character plan committee reviewed the first proposed changes to the plan.

• The fire department held another spooky haunted house.

• Library manager Kris Lomedico spoke to community groups about the growing benefits of having a library card, including access to a wealth of online resources.

• Another fundraiser to fight the proposed radio towers featured chanteuse Shaune Ann Feuz.

• Whatcom County Library System held their monthly meeting in Point Roberts, signing a new memorandum of understanding between the parties aiming to build a new library and honoring Kris Lomedico for 30 years with the library.

December

• BBC Broadcasting appealed the hearing examiner’s decision to deny the company’s CUP to county council.

• The annual craft fair invited shoppers into the community center and for a stroll among Gulf Road businesses.

• More than 80 people attended the International Day of Remembrance at the Benson Road fire hall.

• The CRTC ordered Sher-e-Punjab and two other “pirate” radio stations to cease operations.

• Point Roberts voted overwhelmingly Democrat, a trend not reflected across the state or the nation.

• Spawning surf smelt put the dock replacement at Lighthouse Marine Park on hold once again, leading the county to ask regulators for a little wiggle room so the project can move forward.

• Another benefit for the legal fund to oppose the towers took place at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern, featuring Tony Barton, raffles and costumed superheroines.

• Enraged by PRCAC steps to forward perceived code violations to the county, Benson Road resident Shawn McSkimmings disrupted the committee’s meeting to the extent that the meeting was abruptly
adjourned.

All Point Bulletin co-founder Glennys Christie died.

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