Around the Point October 2016

The Point Roberts Registered Voters Association has cancelled their scheduled candidates night due to a lack of candidates.

“There are no local candidates on ballot this election cycle and other pertinent state and federal candidates can’t attend,” said association president Joel Lantz. The association will hold a regular monthly meeting on October 13.

Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) deputy Tom McCarthy has agreed to renew his posting to Point Roberts for another two years. McCarthy started as one of the Point’s two resident deputies in June 2015, coming in halfway through the regular two-year rotation to fill a vacancy.

His time would have been up in December but McCarthy said he was approached by WCSO managers to stick around another two years and agreed. “It would be hard for me to pull up roots now,” said McCarthy, who moved to the Point with his two daughters. “My family has really established itself here now.”

The burn ban is back off, after a month of adjusting the ban to suit changing conditions. The Whatcom County Fire Marshal lifted the ban completely on September 27 as more rain raised moisture levels in potential fuel for fires, such as grass and brush.

Burns in Point Roberts require a permit. Nielson’s Building Center sells permits for burning yard waste; the fire hall sells recreational and land clearing permits.

Mental health counselor Maureen Buckley is taking her listening skills to the street, restarting the successful Sidewalk Talk program she began in early summer.

“People came each time, regular wonderful people,” Buckley said of the half a dozen Sidewalk Talk sessions she held from May through July. “Everybody came with concerns and worries and felt better after they left. It’s normal to want to talk and it’s normal to feel better after you do.”

The community listening project Sidewalk Talk began in San Francisco and has spread to 13 cities in the U.S and abroad. The premise is simple. Volunteers, mostly mental health professionals, set up two chairs on city streets and be available to listen to anyone wanting to talk. “When I found out about it, I thought how wonderful it would be to do it here,” Buckley said. “I loved the idea of just being out there to listen.”

The pheasant hunting season got underway this week in Whatcom County wildlife areas, along with the weekly release of hundreds of birds.

The purpose of the pheasant release program is to provide opportunities to upland game hunters in areas that don’t naturally sustain populations of the birds. “Naturally sustained pheasant populations are limited in Western Washington due to the cool wet climate and the lack of grain farming,” according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website. “Each year 35,000 to 40,000 pheasants are released at approximately 25 release sites.”

In Whatcom County, approximately 400 hatchery-raised birds are released each week during the pheasant season, which lasts until November 30. The releases occur three days a week after 4 p.m. at the Lake Terrell Wildlife Area as well as release sites on land owned by the Alcoa Intalco Works and the BP Cherry Point Refinery.

Licensed hunters are allowed in these areas from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily

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