Letters to the Editor: August 2015

The Editor:

A special thank you to Bob Granley and his wingmen Adrian Cooper and Carter Mann, both flying Nanchang CJ 6 aircraft for performing the fly past during the Fourth of July parade.

David Gellatly
Point Roberts

The Editor:

This year’s 4th of July festivities were a real pleasure to be involved in as a parade participant, a spectator, or by taking part in any of the other activities. Once again Point Roberts benefits from the great support from our neighbors to the north and from local groups and individuals.

Many thanks to Jim Byrnes, an outstanding entertainer, for honoring us by agreeing to be our grand marshal. Outstanding mention goes to Mark Robbins from the Point Roberts Parks and Recreation District for his initiation of an official flag-raising ceremony, which got outstanding support from the B.C. Provincial Command Colour Guard and the Canadian Legion veterans who attended the flag raising and marched in the parade. It is our hope that this will become an annual tradition.

It was our honor to have the Vancouver Police Pipe Band lead us off. We appreciate our great friends the Shriners, who come every year rain or shine. This year they were accompanied by the Gizeh Mini Corps, a real fan favorite, who prove that even as an adult, you can have fun like a kid.

Thanks to Bob Granley and his pilot buddies for the flyover that wowed the crowd.

The pancake breakfast put on by the PREP group was a huge success and we certainly can’t leave out Whatcom County Fire District #5 and the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office for their support with crowd control and keeping us all safe during one of the hottest and driest July 4th parade that anyone can remember. Chief Carleton was facing a tough decision in high winds and tinder-dry conditions that threatened the wonderful fireworks display put on by the Pier Restaurant and their contributors, but everything went off brilliantly.

To everyone who participated in any way, you’ve got our thanks and we hope to see you all next year!

Heather McPhee
Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau

The Editor:

Thank you for your coverage of the lighthouse project in the July 2015 issue of the All Point Bulletin. I would like to offer some additional information and clarifications to last month’s APB article.

We have been in discussion with Whatcom County Parks and Recreation (WCPR) on it for several years, first to obtain general agreement in principle and then to negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which will have to be approved by county council.

On June 17, 2009, we met with the WCPR commission and obtained their support, in principle, for constructing this proposed lighthouse in Lighthouse Marine Park, with funding for construction to be provided by the Point Roberts Lighthouse Society. Once built, the new structure would become the property and responsibility of Whatcom County; the Lighthouse Society would commit itself to continued fundraising and support for its maintenance and operation, to the extent possible.

Based on this understanding, WCPR drafted a proposed MOU in July 2011, which essentially said the lighthouse society would raise and transfer the necessary construction funds, and the county would build the lighthouse as a public works project. Subsequently, however, county parks received advice of legal counsel that the lighthouse society could instead build the lighthouse itself, as a private construction project, and then gift the completed structure to the county. On June 18, 2012, WCPR director Michael McFarlane wrote to us, “Our legal staff will consider the lighthouse project a donation and as such, will not consider it a public works project. This should simplify the process, reduce costs and allow the society to manage the project.”

On July 17, 2014, we again met with the parks commission, to present near-complete blueprints for the proposed lighthouse, review the new agreement to treat the project as a donation rather than a public works project, and to inform the commission that we have the financial guarantees needed to proceed. We are not sure why the APB article reported that Mr. McFarlane said he has not yet seen the blueprints. On May 3, 2015, we submitted a revised draft MOU reflecting these understandings. Mr. McFarlane acknowledged receipt of the second draft MOU and delineated several important issues that still need attention in order to proceed.

To be clear, there is no final or agreed MOU in place yet; but until now, we have been proceeding under the advice provided to us by Mr. McFarlane in June 2012, that we will be able to treat the new lighthouse as a donation, constructed by the society rather than a public works project constructed by the county. The county may be reconsidering their position on this. We look forward to working with the county to keep moving this project forward.

Mark Robbins, secretary/treasurer
Point Roberts Lighthouse Society

The Editor:

Last month, a Superior Court judge in Montreal, Quebec ordered three Canadian tobacco companies to pay over $15 billion in damages to Quebec smokers. The judgment was the largest in Canadian legal history. In its decision, the court held that, “By choosing not to inform either public health authorities or the public directly of what they knew, the tobacco companies chose profits over the health of their customers.”

Evolving science and technology continue to play an increasing role in court decisions and monetary damage awards that would have been unheard of just a decade ago.

Smoking is a personal choice and risk one can choose to take. However, I do expect my government to take reasonable steps to protect my health and safety from the acts of others that I cannot avoid.

Electromagnetic radiation from the proposed Point Roberts radio towers is a case in point.

These towers would broadcast at 50,000 watts 24 hours a day. The matter is now before Superior Court in Skagit County, with a decision to allow or prohibit construction expected in the fall.

If these towers become operational, the citizens of Point Roberts and Tsawwassen will be exposed to high levels of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on a continuous basis. In terms of risk to human health, EMR from radio towers may be the most insidious; greatly exceeding the powers levels from cellular towers, FM radio and TVs. AM radio waves travel along the ground, penetrating trees, walls of homes, human tissue and anything else in their path.

If you live near a tower, there is no way of avoiding this risk, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as you occupy your home.

EMR has been linked to increased risks of leukemia in children, even those living over a mile away. In Point Roberts and Tsawwassen, there are over 3,300 school-age children within range of the EMR these towers will produce. For a detailed account of the health effects from radio towers, go to notowers.webs.com.

If these radio towers are built, the residents of Point Roberts and neighboring Tsawwassen will be unwilling test subjects for the near and long-term effects of electromagnetic radiation.

Unlike the activist judiciary in Quebec, the regulatory bureaucracies in the United States and Canada have largely ignored the threat to public health that is part of their government mandate. They are not looking out for us. And unlike tobacco, electromagnetic radiation is a risk that we and our children cannot avoid.

Many summer residents are just learning about this radio antenna battle. Please consider donating to our legal fund to protect this community for present and future generations.

Donations can be made at notowers.webs.com.

John Lesow
Point Roberts

The Editor:

Hickory Dickory, where’s my Dock?

Six years in the making we got Talk

Even then we didn’t Balk

Parks told us it would be built like a Rock

$300,000 we went in Hock

The junk they launched was a complete Crock

It  flopped around like an old jock Sock

It fell apart at the first Knock

All us locals they did Mock

I think the plank they should have to Walk

I repeat, Where’s my Dock?

Brian Calder
Point Roberts

The Editor:

I am the chairman of our local Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Group and speak for all of our faithful members and executive committee. For a second consecutive year we have hosted the July Fourth pancake breakfast. This year was a great success. We served more than 575 hungry attendees, not counting the crew.

I extend a very special thank you to all of the Point Roberts residents and the many visitors from Canada and the U.S. who supported our fundraising activity. Without your support we would not be able to continue to educate, develop emergency communications and support emergency preparedness activities in this area.

We are well aware that should we suffer a major, or even minor, disaster, we will need to manage emergency response and assistance for several days on our own. For this reason it is very important for every resident to be as prepared as possible to take care of themselves, family and friends. This organization is dedicated towards helping each person know what he or she must do to help himself or herself as needed.

PREP meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in the community center. Everyone is welcome to join our group or just come to a meeting.

I want to personally extend a special thank you to the 28 PREP volunteers, too many to name, for their hard work that made this a success.

Virginia Lester
Point Roberts

The Editor:

I wish to thank Jay and Janet Drew for their wonderful help with my riding Scarlet O’Holstein (cow) for the third year in a row in the 4th of July parade. It was my idea to do bugle calls along the way, and Jay loaned me his two prize-winning cornets to try out for 10 days before the event. He played one of them and I played the other together at six points along Gulf and Tyee. It was loads of fun.

By the way, Jay is a fantastic tractor driver. We had three small carts of children behind me, and Janet walked beside us. As we left the Breakers parking lot Jay drove way over to the left and I asked Janet why he did that. She said that he did that to avoid the speed bumps (although we were going less than 1 mph). I said, “Wow!” She replied, “He’s just a country boy.” Then at the end of the route at the corner of Tyee and APA Road, Jay turned left to go home. Janet reminded him that I needed to be taken back to where we had started. He said he would turn around. I thought he would do it at the road that goes down to the marina. Instead, just 1 or 2 inches from the cars parked there, he made a u-turn into part of the driveway at the first house without touching anything – either the tractor or Scarlet or the carts behind us. It was just one complete turn around.

I was so amazed again. Again, Janet said, “He’s just a country boy!” It was one fantastic experience all around.

Esther S. Rosenthal
Point Roberts

The Editor:

We are looking for help locating a well-loved Sevylor Inflatable Kayak that was taken out by the tide July 9 at Lighthouse Park.

If the tide washed it back in or you happen to see it while out boating we would love for it to be returned.

Please contact us at salap42@hotmail.com. Thank you very much.

Pietro and Moneca Sala

Richmond

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