Letters to the Editor: July 2016

The Editor:

I was shocked to read Meg Olson’s article titled “Homeopath to cease practicing” in the June 2016 edition of All Point Bulletin.

One thing that stood out was that the writer cited the National Institute of Health (NIH) definition to declare that homeopathy “is a bit dodgy.” Their one-sided description is not based on fact but on allegiance to mainstream medical practices, whereas the Department of Health clearly considers it “the practice of medicine.”

What drove Ms. Olson to use the NIH’s biased description? Was it based on Ms. Olson’s own experiences with homeopathy, or perhaps, on hearsay? Did she interview a large enough sample of people who used homeopathy in Point Roberts to arrive at this perspective?

My own experiences of homeopathy as administered by Annelle Norman have been excellent and in my opinion, she does not deserve to have her practice curtailed because of a spurious, anonymous complaint. She never purported to be a medical doctor or a naturopath, but was pushed under an “umbrella” definition by the Department of Health.

Annelle Norman’s healing methods will be sorely missed in Point Roberts.

Judith Mann

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Congratulations to Lynden for hosting Donald Trump. What could have been a contentious political rally similar to the May Day riots in Seattle, was instead an event filled with high energy and enthusiastic people without major disruption from outside protesters.

There is a world of difference between listening to 30-second sound bites on cable news and listening to a 45-minute speech. It was worth the wait, and while not a fan of some of his outrageous rhetoric, I think Mr. Trump’s approach to the issues is sound.

It makes sense that immigrants are thoroughly vetted, that foreign nations invest financially in international treaties such as NATO and that America demand fair trade agreements worldwide. We need to put policies in place to stem the flow of corporations leaving the United States.  I think we need a candidate with strength outside of the political norm to get things done before it is too late.

It cannot be a coincidence that Mr. Trump’s intro music is the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want… But Sometimes, You Get What You Need” And what we need is a president who will always go for the “win!”

Shelley Damewood

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I am extremely confused by all the negative attacks on Annelle Norman for being a homeopathic practitioner.

First of all, there are dozens of homeopathic clinics operating all over the Pacific Northwest. No one is persecuting them, criticizing them or charging them with operating without a license when no license is required in Washington as pointed out in your article.

Next, go to a homeopath if you want. Don’t go if you don’t like that type of alternative treatment. It is a free country. If you don’t believe in alternative medicine, get with the program, don’t attack the provider. It has been enormously helpful for so many people that insurance companies are now paying some providers.

My last and most important point is that Annelle Norman does nothing more than the staff at Wellspring Health Food Store or even Thrifty’s in Tsawwassen. She will point you in the direction of supplements that will help you feel more comfortable – and there is no law against that.

Annelle has done nothing but embrace this community, get involved with making it a better place to live and being a huge asset to Point Roberts. There are only a handful of people here who care enough to take action to help our elderly, visit the sick and raise money for various nonprofit charities. It makes my blood boil that she is attacked when she should receive the citizen of the year award.

Pamala (“Auntie Pam”) Sheppard

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I was truly dismayed to read your story regarding Annelle Norman’s practice here in Point Roberts. Since coming here five years ago she has helped many people in the community, which has been especially valuable given the general hit-and-miss level of medical care we are subjected to here on the Point.

My objection has nothing to do with the practice of naturopathy or homeopathic medicine, but with the personal nature of the story, which read like an attack. I fear Ms. Norman has fallen victim to one or two small-town gossips and busybodies determined to make trouble for her, and this is all the more disturbing when a newspaper so obviously takes sides.

Your story did not cite any complaints about Ms. Norman or her practice, so what prompted such actions by the state? I suspect this is more connected to people resenting Ms. Norman’s efforts on the Character Plan Committee.

It is sad that the All Point Bulletin is being used to mount such an unwarranted smear campaign against her.

John Sheppard

Point Roberts

The Editor:

The “verdict” reached by the Department of Health (DOH) actually had nothing to do with the complaint that was filed. An investigator drove to Point Roberts from Tukwila, interviewed me for over two hours and concluded that the complaint was spurious and he was going to recommend that the case be closed.

Over the past year I have been informed by several friends that they had heard a Point Roberts resident boast that he was getting even with me for the trouble he was having as a result of his property being reported to the county for code violations. Apparently this person was under the mistaken opinion that my role as chair of the PR Character Plan Revision Committee meant that I was the person responsible for his woes with Whatcom County.

Instead, the cease and desist order is the result of the very belated interpretation on the part of the DOH that the practice of homeopathy is the practice of medicine and that, therefore, a homeopathic practitioner must be licensed either as a medical or a naturopathic physician. I began asking the DOH for clarification on this back in 2011 prior to moving to Point Roberts and again in 2012 when their first investigation was closed for “lack of evidence.”

To clarify, the DOH does not issue separate licenses for homeopathy. My licensure was issued by the UK college from which I graduated in 1999. In order to sit the exam for Naturopathic licensure in Washington State, one must have attended one of three U.S. universities. Following is the DOH definition of the practice of medicine:

A person is practicing medicine if he or she does one or more of the following:
Offers or undertakes to diagnose, cure,
advise or prescribe for any human disease, ailment, injury, infirmity, deformity,
pain or other condition, physical or mental, real or imaginary, by any means or
instrumentality…

If you read this definition carefully you will see that it is so broad that anyone who advises you to use herbs, vitamins, essential oils or even get a massage based upon any medical complaint “physical or mental, real or imaginary” could be brought before the DOH and issued a cease and desist order. I find this very disturbing. Do you?

Due to this definition, I am no longer able to practice homeopathy in Washington.

I hope this information has been valuable for the reader in understanding “the rest of the story” of how I found myself the object of a cease and desist order. I moved here to Point Roberts five years ago with the sincere desire to serve this community with my knowledge and skills. It is very sad to me that a spurious complaint and a broad interpretation of the “practice of medicine” prevents me from doing so.

I am happy to discuss this matter with anyone with questions or concerns.

Annelle Norman, BSc (Hons) LCH

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Once again I go to Baker Field tonight and notice a new pile of plywood, etc., dumped in the parking lot. You people make me sick – too cheap to take your trash to the transfer station.

At our next month’s Point Roberts park board meeting, I will move to purchase two motion-sensor cameras to be placed in the parking lot of Baker Field. Then maybe we can put your picture in the paper!

Doug Shier

Point Roberts Parks and Recreation

Board Commissioner

The Editor:

Today, sheriff’s deputy T. McCarthy, #6A070, issued me a deserved off-leash dog citation at Lighthouse Marine Park. That is not what I write about, but rather Deputy McCarthy’s refusal to move his car when a park patron asked him to in order to leave the park.

Deputies are public servants, but in this case he found it acceptable behavior to wrongfully and unnecessarily block a patron’s car. It would be reckless of me to speculate the reasons for this offensive and inappropriate behavior on the part of a public servant but I am challenged to respect a public servant who clearly does not respect those he was sworn to protect and serve.

This treatment of an innocent bystander is unacceptable and I call upon the management of the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Department to reprimand Deputy McCarthy for this abuse of power and harassment of a park patron and innocent victim.

Additionally when I tried to engage on a different topic, the patrol of speeders on Marine Drive, which is a serious problem, Deputy McCarthy refused to engage with me. Should I ever need assistance from the sheriff’s department I would shudder and be fearful should Deputy McCarthy arrive at the scene.

Protect and serve or harass and intimidate? Clearly the latter.

Point Roberts residents should again loudly protest Deputy McCarthy’s unprofessional and abusive behaviors towards park patrons and innocent bystanders. I apologized to the gentlemen in the car on behalf of Point Roberts with embarrassment that Deputy McCarthy represents us.

Those patrons had a negative experience in our community at the hands of Deputy McCarthy. We must continue to loudly voice our objections and concerns about his unprofessional actions and behaviors.

By the way, I will be paying my citation promptly.

Holly Robinson

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I read your descendant of Henry Roberts piece in the All Point Bulletin today with interest, and not a little excitement.

I, too, am a relation of Lieut/Captain Henry Roberts, after whom Point Roberts is named. Although, as some of my ancestors married late in life, I am therefore much more closely related to Henry Roberts than your Garry Roberts featured, in terms of generations away. I believe I counted 15 generations in your list of sons in Garry’s line. I am just five generations away from Captain Henry Roberts. I too hope to visit Point Roberts one day.

As a genealogist, I too have researched my Roberts family tree extensively, however, it is a very wide and large tree. There is a community of us Roberts, who are related to Henry, and we all have basically the same names on our trees.

I wonder, did Garry Roberts give you any indication which son of Lieut/Capt Henry Roberts he descended from? This information would be very useful to us, to complete all our trees, as we don’t have this information. Did Garry Roberts give you any kind of detail of his section of the tree?

The importance of this missing information to the Roberts community cannot be over exaggerated.  We all have been waiting for someone like Garry Roberts who will have worked backward to get to his Lieut/Capt Henry Roberts ancestor, whereas we all have had to work forward from Lieut/ Capt Henry Roberts, with patchy records existing, which means there is a gap there. Garry Roberts may not know of our existence.

Also, in one of your photos of Garry Roberts, he is holding a portrait, head and shoulders of (I assume) Lieut. Capt. Henry Roberts. This particular portrait I have not seen before, and wonder if a copy of it is available to purchase? I particularly want to compare family features on such a close up picture of Henry.

Eileen Jones-Hill

Yorkshire, UK

(Publisher note: Jones-Hill has been in contact with Garry Roberts.)

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