Around the Point July 2015


Taxpayer Annual General Meeting

Whatcom County planning staff will be the guests at the taxpayers association annual general meeting.

Mark Personius, planning director with Whatcom County Planning Development Services, will be the keynote speaker for the July 22 event. He will be joined by permit center specialist Nick Smith and special projects manager Tyler Schroeder. Following Personius’ prepared remarks, the floor will be open to questions for all three.

The meeting is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brewster’s Fine Foods. Appetizers are provided by the association and there will be a cash bar.

Fire rating

Fire chief Christopher Carleton is urging homeowners to contact their insurance company to see if the fire district’s improved rating will save them money.

“I received notice of another home owner having a reduction in the cost of their insurance by over $100,” Carleton said.

The fire district has posted an evaluation letter from the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau on their website ( that boosts the district’s protection class from a six to a five on a scale of one to 10, with one being the best.

“Please contact your insurance provider to see if you can benefit from this improvement and download the letter for verification if requested by your provider,” Carleton said. The boost in the rating comes after the bureau thoroughly inspected the fire district’s equipment, staffing, training and operations.

Burn ban

Due to increasingly dry and warm conditions, the Whatcom County Fire Marshal has instituted a burn ban in unincorporated parts of the county.

The fire marshal’s office has banned all open burning in unincorporated areas of the county, effective 8 a.m. on June 17. This means all land clearing and yard-debris burning must be discontinued at that time.

Recreational fires are still permitted, but only in designated campgrounds and on improved properties with the owner’s permission. All recreational fires must be less than 3 feet in diameter, must only burn charcoal or seasoned firewood and must be built within an approved fire enclosure.

Anyone caught violating the burn ban can face charges of up to $250. Any illegal fires that escape their confines and need to be extinguished by the fire department could result in criminal charges for reckless burning.

For questions regarding the burn ban, or for information on approved fire pit requirements, contact the Whatcom County Fire Marshal’s Office at 360/676-6907.

Art contest

Whidbey Telecom’s annual artwork contest is underway, offering local artists a chance to be featured on the on the cover of approximately 15,000 telephone directories, which are circulated annually throughout Whidbey Telecom’s local and extended customer base.

This year’s contest theme is A View of Local Life. The company’s announcement says they are  “looking for all media and art styles that capture what makes life in this area so spectacular.” All entries must be received at the Whidbey Telecom Customer Experience Center in Freeland by Friday, July 17 at 5 p.m.

The contest is open to all artists living within the Whidbey Telecom service areas that are at least 18 years of age. Entries will be reviewed by a panel of judges consisting of the company’s executive management, as well as members of the local art community. Artwork must have been created after May 31, 2014 to be eligible. The winning entry receives a $500 award and publication on the 2015-2016 directory cover with artist credit and promotional exposure. The winning artist will retain their own rights to submitted artwork, but grant Whidbey Telecom permission to publish and reproduce their entry.

Contest entry forms and specific details are available online at and in the Whidbey Telecom Customer Experience Centers. Call 360/945-1122 for additional information.


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