Letters to the Editor: February 2017

The Editor:
A number of us would like to proclaim, in resonance with individuals and groups around the world, that February 1-7, 2017 is World Interfaith Harmony Week here on the Point. The World Interfaith Harmony Week was first proposed at the UN General Assembly on September 23, 2010. World Interfaith Harmony Week focuses upon “Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbor.” This formula includes all people of goodwill. It includes those of other faiths, and those with no faith.
“This initiative, it is hoped, will provide a focal point from which all people of goodwill can recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh the differences they have, and thus provide a strong dosage of peace and harmony to their communities.” – taken from links below.
Check out the website – worldinterfaithharmonyweek.com/
There are powerful stories told at facebook.com/world.interfaith.harmony.week/
While Point Roberts is a peaceful haven at this time, we are connected through experience, family and other relationships to the world … the places where there are conflicts, terrible wars and some because of religious differences. This is a time when learning and practicing tolerance of differences and seeking greater understanding among ourselves is something we have to do.
And there are no magic formulas for achieving peace – it is a daily practice.
So, a number of us thought we would get together and spend time during this week being together and sharing our links to other organizations, stories, and goals that may help and connect into the greater consciousness going on in groups around the world. Join us for coffee and snacks at the community center between 4-6 pm, Friday, February 3.
If you cannot attend, but want to be on an email list, contact Bev Mar at Trinity Church (pointtreasures@gmail.com) or Dorothy Gurney (ptbob229@gmail.com). If you have a project that we or others may support, please bring the information along. If you cannot attend, but want to be on an email list, please advise Bev Mar.
Bev Mar
Point Roberts

The Editor:
The elections are over and enough time has passed for the pain of some of the results to have diminished – a bit.
I want to comment on the fact that the library tax levy proposition was only approved by 55 percent of voters, not the 60 percent supermajority needed. Several people have offered reasons why they voted against the proposition. Three reasons were common: (a) the library should be elsewhere (“Baker Field is better”), (b) it costs too much (“my home renovation wasn’t that expensive”) and (c) we need a new community center (“the library could go in it and the money used there”).
I appreciate these sentiments but things aren’t simple. The location cannot be changed easily or cheaply. There is a contract in place to renovate the Julius Fire Hall. It’s been approved by the county. There is an architectural plan, already paid for, in place. Individuals, your neighbors, donated to this project, this plan. FOPRL will not, cannot, issue payments for other projects. The $550,000 already raised cannot be used for another purpose.
The library is a public county project and subject to rules and regulations concerning bids, contractors, pay scales and materials. Public projects always have higher costs than private construction, in part because public projects are built to higher durability and safety standards because they need to last longer and serve more people. Failing to pass the levy will only increase costs as construction costs continue to rise. The longer we wait, the more it will cost.
If a new tax levy initiative needs to be on the ballot next year I hope that folks who had misgivings understand more about the project and realize that wholesale changes are not possible.
Arthur Reber
Point Roberts

The Editor:
We the people at the seniors lunch center would like to thank everyone at the Point Roberts fire department for their generous contribution to our coffee fund.
Thanks also for their monthly visits to check on people’s pulse and blood pressure. They are very professional and pleasant to be around. We encourage people to come to the seniors by-donation lunches every Wednesday and Friday! New faces and ideas are appreciated.
Hugh Wilson
Seniors lunch coordinator

Editor’s Note: The following letter was submitted to our online comments section. It concerns the December story, “Dual citizens flying to Canada for the holidays could hit a snag.”

The Editor:
The requirement was born as a result of mainland Chinese citizens who subsequently got into trouble in China having re-entered China using their Chinese passports. Mainland China does not allow dual citizenship under any circumstances, and acquisition of another citizenship be it by birth or naturalization results in an automatic loss of citizenship. However, many mainland Chinese find a way to maintain their citizenship in order to maintain their property, or whatever, and when they get into trouble, they cite that they are eligible for embassy protection because they have automatically lost their Chinese nationality due to becoming a Canadian.
While dual citizenship is legal in Canada, these mainland Chinese committing passport fraud not as a citizen of China in China (which, in that case, is of no concern to anyone but China) but as a Canadian citizen who is posing to remain a Chinese citizen under the collar of Chinese citizenship, making it a problem for Canada.
The discussion now is for the United Nations and other countries to agree on a convention to disclose to the other countries that they had acquired the citizenship. United States is taking interest in this as they can enforce taxation on overseas assets that could otherwise be hidden, and countries that do not allow dual citizenship could easily discover that their former citizen is no longer with them. This is not an issue of privacy but an issue regarding countering fraud.
Canadian taxpayers are on the hook when it becomes complicated and expensive to prove that a former citizen of China has the right to Canadian embassy protection because Hague’s Master Nationality Law does not apply to someone who is not a true dual citizen if they had indeed lost their citizenship by acquiring another one automatically, and thus becomes the problem of the host country that they had naturalized to. These citizens make it everyone else’s business by expending tax dollars.
Michael Tan
Point Roberts

The Editor:
We are writing this in response to actions being taken by the Point Roberts Character Plan Committee, a rather fancy committee for such a small area like Point Roberts.
The original “Character” of Point Roberts, which for us is rustic and rural and has its own down to earth charm, is the reason we decided to build a house and spend our leisure time here. We do not like the idea to conform it into a typical white picket fence community with its perfect houses and manicured grounds. We have appreciated the tranquility, peace and community spirit of this area. We support the local community in every way possible (our house was build by locals, our property is looked after by locals, we shop locally etc.) And we have made new friends and adore our neighbors.
Our own big family and friends love coming to Point Roberts for visits and because of that we bought a trailer for our adjacent property. We fixed up the surroundings and have made plans with a local garden designer to further improve the grounds.
That all is shattered now by the wisdom of the Point Roberts Character Plan Committee. In their opinion these plans of ours do not meet with the character of Point Roberts. So, they took pictures, trespassing unto our property to do so. And reported us to the Whatcom County. We now have to move this trailer at a great expense to us and disappointment to our young family members and friends.
We are even more upset at what is being done now to some of our neighbors. It is incredulous to believe that a body of such mean spirited individuals can change people’s lives so drastically. Gone is the peace and tranquility and a lot of very negative vibes are floating around our neighbor hood at this time.
We are now all for abolishing this character plan committee, as the whole process lacks objectivity and particularly good will.
Point Roberts has always been an oasis for us and all our visitors and we hate for this uniqueness to disappear. We feel that a committee of “character” is completely unnecessary and ill advised. This is a community consisting of people who have found their oasis away from the hustle and bustles of any city.
Lets keep it this way!
Dr. Robert Woods and Petra Tode-Woods
Point Roberts

The Editor:
In advance of the February 14 Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee (PRCAC) meeting I wanted to make sure the public has the correct information regarding the upcoming meeting.
• The Point Roberts Character Plan and PRCAC has nothing to do with the recent Code Violation Reports (CVRs) activity by the Whatcom County Planning & Development Services Department (WCPDS).
NOTE: PRCAC does not initiate, track, or monitor CVRs.
• The CVRs were submitted by private individuals reported as violations of Whatcom County Code 20.72 Point Roberts Special District or other pertinent WCC zoning regulations. https://www.codepublishing.com/WA/WhatcomCounty/html/WhatcomCounty20/WhatcomCounty2072.html
Clarification of the Character Plan
• The current Point Roberts Character Plan (circa 1992) only applies to proposed commercial or institutional building permits. It does not apply to residential building permit applications.
• PRCAC, per request from WCPDS, acting in its’ capacity as an advisory committee, is tasked to review any proposed commercial building permits for compliance to the current Character Plan.  This is done per current Whatcom County Ordinance and is required by Whatcom County to complete a commercial building permit application.
• PRCAC only reviews a proposed commercial building permit for Character Plan compliance and then sends said review to WCPDS. PRCAC has no authority to approve or reject a commercial building permit application.
I hope this clarifies the situation and mostly I wanted to make sure that the public does not waste their time sending correspondence to PRCAC regarding the recent CVR activity.
If you have any questions please contact Joel Lantz @ joel.lantz@sayaloha.com/360-1942.
Joel Lantz
Chairman – PRCAC

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