Letters to the Editor October 2016

The Editor:

The upcoming election is an important one, both nationally and locally. In Whatcom County we vote by mail. I recently was unable to obtain my ballot and called the office of the county auditor and learned that it is possible to vote online.

This is the procedure: go to whatcomcounty.us/auditor. On the left is a grey-shaded box. Hover your curser over “elections” and a secondary box appears. In this box, click “current election.” Scroll down to “replacement ballot” and click “download replacement ballot.” Then simply follow the instructions. The ballot is completed online, then you print it out and send it in as verification. I voted this way when I was out of town for the primary election. Being away is no reason to miss your opportunity to vote.

Barbara Wayland

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I had a horrendous morning on August 10. I was going to get gas, ask Nielson’s to mix my paint for me, get my dog her food and head back to my cabin.

August 10 is never a good day for me as it’s the anniversary of my nephew/foster son’s death, so I try to keep the day as stress-free as I can.

I pulled up to the pump at CanAm and realized I put $3 of diesel into my car. I would like to thank Jennifer for helping me out and keeping me calm. She phoned Rick for me to have my car towed and phoned Travis to find out what to do. Travis was very professional over the phone, explaining what I should and shouldn’t do. I also found out he was my new neighbor.

Thank you to Nielson’s for mixing my paint and offering to drive me home even though he was alone at the time. My friend and best plumber on the Point, Eric, came in, drove me home and fixed my overflowing toilet.

Thank you to Holly for driving me uptown to retrieve my passport and helping a kind young man push my car away from the pump.

Travis took care of the problem, explaining to me everything that had to be done. He did this very professionally and quickly as my car was ready the next day. He also realized that as a senior and a Canadian, I was not prepared for this expense so he lowered the cost. Thank you Travis.

Thank you to Roland, another new neighbor, who drove me around town so I could get some groceries, dog food and wine for me. I needed it!

We’ve been here for 54 years now, and this just shows how helpful and kind people are and a beautiful place to call home for six months of the year.

So thank you everyone for making a horrible morning into a happier and better afternoon.

Thanks also to everyone who gave my dog Sydney treats as she was stressing out because of the whole ordeal, not knowing what was going on.

V. Neilson

Delta

The Editor:

You’ll excuse me while I boast like a proud papa: my squirrels are smarter than crows, lab rats and first-year medical students.

Last year, I grew sunflowers for the first time. I staked them. They were splendid. Tall. Big yellow flowers. September came and my squirrels climbed them and then nibbled at the stems till the flowers fell to the ground. Then, they scurried off with those flowers just a-draggin’ from their mouths, peering this way and that as if they were getting away with a jewel heist. Several jewel heists. Amusing. Real cute. A few laughs. But I didn’t call the police; their comedy was all the justice I needed.

This year, I didn’t plant any sunflowers, but the birds did. I didn’t stake them. But they too are – well, were – splendid plants. Tall. Big yellow flowers. Pregnant with seed.

Today, September 2, instead of climbing the stems to chew just below the flowers, bulging with seed, as they did last year, they spent the afternoon chewing the stems an inch or two above the ground until my bed of sunflower plants looked like a B.C. clear-cut. Why? Because my squirrels realized that I hadn’t staked them, so they didn’t have to climb above the ties holding the stems to the stakes, as they had to do last year, in order to get the flowers to fall to the ground.

So my squirrels are, in fact, and by deed, smarter than crows, lab rats and first-year medical students.

Greg J. Edwards

Delta

The Editor:

On Saturday, August 27, we registered a total of 39 donors at your blood drive! We welcomed 24 first-time donors and were able to collect 31 units of whole blood. Since each unit of whole blood is separated into red cells, platelets, and plasma, your efforts will benefit 93 patients in hospitals throughout the Pacific Northwest. The blood donations collected at the blood drive are critical to maintain a stable blood supply for surgeries, medical emergencies, and for supporting patients battling life-threatening illnesses like leukemia and other cancers.

A huge thank you to each and every one of you for taking time out of your busy day to come donate! With great appreciation to Alexandria Szabo for organizing the blood drive, and congratulations for meeting the scholarship goal!

Thank you also to Whatcom County Fire District 5 for allowing us to participate in the open house event and providing the location for the blood drive, and fire chief Christopher Carleton for his support. You all play such an integral role in our mission to save lives – we wouldn’t be able to do it without you. On behalf of patients in our community’s hospitals, I wish to extend our thanks to you. These are a few patients who recently received blood products from Bloodworks Northwest:

A 65-year-old patient: Pancreatic cancer. Patient used 11 units red blood cells, six units plasma, one unit platelets and one unit cryoprecipitate pools.

A 54-year-old patient: Variceal bleed. Patient used nine units red blood cells, eight units plasma, three units platelets and three units cryoprecipitate pools.

A 55-year-old patient: Diagnosis of MTP. Patient used seven units red blood cells, six units plasma, two units platelets and one unit cryoprecipitate pools.

A 32-year-old patient: Obstetric bleeding. Patient used 10 units red blood cells, six units plasma, one unit platelets and one unit cryoprecipitate pools.

Each day, 900 people must donate blood to meet the needs of patients in hospitals. Your blood drive played an important role in helping meet that goal.

Those that donated at this blood drive will be eligible to give again on or after October 22.

If you are interested in helping organize future blood drives at Point Roberts, please contact me! Thank you for your support.

Sasha Seiden

Bloodworks Northwest

The Editor:

As secretary of the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association (PRTA), I’m writing to reiterate our organization’s support of the one-time levy on the November 2016 ballot that will allow the construction of the new Point Roberts Library. As reported in last month’s All Point Bulletin, our board of directors approved a motion of support at our August 15 meeting.

Point Roberts is, poignantly and inescapably, a unique community, a tiny exclave distanced from the rest of the state by a border, water and mentality. We have a library – and that is unusual for a community our size.

We have a lot to build on because our park and recreation district had the foresight to purchase the Julius Fire Hall. We have a design thanks to the pro bono work of a prominent architect. We have some of the needed monies as the Friends of the Point Roberts Library raised over $540,000. The levy measure will raise the remainder – up to $300,000, as needed. The final costs are hard to calculate, subject to several variables, including a competitive bid process.

The alignment is propitious: we have a site, a plan and most of the money. We have the community, its readers, Internet users, video and audio borrowers, book clubs and writers’ groups. We have our residents, visitors, tourists and our children. We have the support and services of the county’s library system which will supply everything except the physical space.

We have a one-time chance to expand from 900 square feet to over 2,500, to bring state-of-the-art facilities into our library, to upgrade all operations and streamline our services.

Will it cost? Sure. How much? Well, as someone noted, the monthly levy will cost the median homeowner roughly the same as a grilled cheese sandwich.

The PRTA, which includes members from both sides of the border (all of whom are fans of books and grilled cheese), strongly supports the levy and encourages all voters to do so as well. To reject the ballot measure would mean that virtually all these efforts will have gone for naught.

Arthur S. Reber, Ph.D.

Secretary, PRTA

The Editor:

Wow, has this been a difficult crabbing season for our family. We were very excited to purchase a boat, after being boat-less for 15 years, and set out with three generations on board. We reminisced about our 30-plus years at Point Roberts and our experiences fishing and crabbing with the boat we owned a long time ago. We even spoke about the time a kind community member rescued some of our lost equipment and contacted us to return it.

This year was not so great as we have been poached a few times. Enjoy your ill-gotten gains, at least they left our traps or so we thought. The worst came last week when someone inevitably stole our crab traps.

We searched and searched while our 6-year-old son sat at the front of the boat crying. He couldn’t comprehend why somebody would do that to him because even he, a kindergarten graduate, already fully understands the rule, “Thou shalt not steal.”

I guess the moral of this story is poach our traps, shame on you, steal our traps, shame on us for thinking people had greater integrity.

Julie Schwarz

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I am writing to voice my support for the new library project and to urge my fellow voters of Point Roberts to approve the proposed one-time excess levy on the November 2016 ballot.

The present library has been located in the community center since 1946, operating in the same cramped space for 70 years. In fact, back then it was part of the old school, which later became our community center.

Not every community in Whatcom County is as fortunate as Point Roberts to have its own library, and I suspect that there are larger communities that envy us for this. Every community that is served by Whatcom County Library System (WCLS) must share the costs by providing the physical space. Some are small towns with home rule and taxation.

Here in unincorporated Point Roberts, our park and recreation district has, since its creation, assumed this responsibility. Library services, like reading, movies and lectures, are forms of passive recreation and fit the district’s mandate. There is no more appropriate home for our library in Point Roberts.

Over the years, a supportive parks board has considered various undesirable options to meet WCLS’s request for more space. These included sacrificing the architectural integrity of the community center by enlarging the existing historical building, sacrificing the hallway and conference room for library use, or sacrificing trees and open space for a new structure at Baker Field.

When, in 2009, the fire district decided to sell its old Julius Fire Hall property, a better option arose; and when the Friends of the Point Roberts Library committed itself to privately raising $538,000 for this purpose, the district adopted the current plan to transform the dilapidated fire hall into a beautiful new library, going from 900 to 2,500 square feet of library space.

The Friends have more than met their commitment. Now it’s up to the park and recreation district to complete the funding and build the new library. The more we delay, the more the costs are likely to increase. Let’s get on with it by voting to approve the levy.

Mark Robbins

Point Roberts

The Editor:

In November we exercise our right to vote. And on our ballot is the one-time levy that we approve so the new library is built. The box is marked; the library construction begins. Countless hours have been spent getting us to this point, now it is your turn to vote and make it happen.

What do you gain? An investment in your community, an investment for your children and grandchildren, a win-win for us all. For pennies you offer a better way of life to Point Roberts. If you don’t use the library, now would be the time to begin. If you have trouble reading, now is the time to ask for help. The resources to you are endless.

And, in a personal love letter to libraries, thank you for allowing me at age 7 to fill up my red wagon with books to bring home and read. Thank you for helping me figure out things in life. Thank you for opening doors and teaching me. Thank you for lighting up my imagination, finding new ways to think and feel, and learn about the world.

Thank you for inspiring me.

Maureen Buckley

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Walk-Bike-Run with the Firefighters was our first event to raise funds for the Point Roberts Senior Association. What a great success – we did collect $350.

We would like to thank everyone who participated. Special thanks to the local businesses who have helped with the prizes: Julius Realty, Compass Rose Bar and Grill, Larry’s Liquor Locker, Valero Gas Station, Saltwater Cafe, PR Shell Gas Station and Dennis Auto.

Point Roberts is a great community and there is always ways to improve it with new events. The senior center is a place to meet new friends and have a chat with old ones. We are also looking for volunteers with new ideas. The center is open for lunch on Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. and everyone is welcome.

Margarita Trifonova, coordinator

Point Roberts Senior Center

The Editor:

Point Roberts is not your free dump.

What’s wrong with you cockroaches? I, along with many others, am so repulsed with you “people” dumping your furniture, mattresses, appliances and etc. all over Point Roberts. And it’s getting worse.

My friend Dave Espley and I collected the couch, mattress and chair discarded on Johnson Road and hauled it to the dump.

Please, people, if you see someone dumping trash or recognize furniture, etc., call the sheriff’s deputies at 945-2733. Let’s catch these rodents and make them pay dearly!

I have no idea why the county has a paltry $250 maximum fine for littering. A minimum $5,000 fine would be much more deserved for these maggots.

To the guy on Marine Drive who dumped your fridge and later pushed it into the ditch, I wish I caught you. Another friend, Gary Orr, disposed of it for you.

Let’s get one thing straight – stupidity is not an excuse. The land in front of your house beside the road is county property. When you dump your rain-soaked trash there, every property owner in Point Roberts has to pay. Leave it in your yard, or better yet, just take it to the dump! No one wants your garbage.

Please everyone, keep an eye out and let’s catch these brainless morons. Keep Point Roberts beautiful.

Doug Shier

Point Roberts

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