Letters to the Editor: April 2018

The Editor:

We are writing on behalf of the board of directors of the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association (PRTA) to affirm our strong support for the Point Roberts Clinic.

The clinic is a testament to our wonderful community which, through grass roots initiatives (going back to collecting aluminum cans to raise money) and innovation (creating a public hospital district to assure tax-based financial stability and sustainability), achieved the almost impossible dream of having our own primary care clinic on the Point.

We believe that the model adopted by the district some 12 years ago of contracting with Unity Care NW to operate the clinic (including staffing, billing and medical supervision) has served the community very well.

We have been rather dismayed by past reports of conflict between the hospital district and the fire district, which rents space within the fire hall to the hospital district to house the clinic. We have urged the commissioners of both districts to resolve any disagreements or misunderstandings in order to assure a positive, productive work environment for clinic staff and patients.

We urge members of the public to attend commissioner meetings of these two districts in order to provide valuable feedback – whether positive or critical – in a civil, constructive manner, aimed at strengthening and sustaining the vital services they both provide to our community.

We greatly appreciate the dedication and hard work provided by Elaine Komusi as hospital district superintendent. We, of course, wish her well in her future endeavors but what we really wish is that she might reconsider her recent decision to resign.

We also appreciate and thank the Unity Care providers and staff, both past and present, for their work. From our perspective, the staffing, facilities, and administration of the Point Roberts Clinic are all excellent. The partnership between our hospital district and Unity Care NW is efficient and effective in delivering convenient, quality primary health care in our community and we value its continuation.

Mark Robbins, PRTA President

Arthur Reber, PRTA Secretary

Point Roberts

The Editor:

The board of directors and members of the Point Roberts Homegrown Co-op have worked to reorganize the structure and function of the Co-op and its utilization of the generously granted property at 1702 Benson Road.

Without the benefit of the abundant and creative energy of Acadia Tucker and Andrew Grubb, we have decided to change the structure and dramatically reduce the scale and operation of the farm to function as a community garden.

The members and workers of the Benson Road Gardens will collaborate to farm one greenhouse and the raised beds, growing food for ourselves and each other.

We regret to inform our community that this means there will be no weekly farmstand produce sales this year. Existing and new members will grow organic produce on a “work for food” basis, trading labor and expertise for a share of the food grown on the premises. Our Canadian members are able to work in our community garden designated beds to grow food for their own consumption.

If you would like to participate with us in growing delicious, fresh organic produce, please contact us at homegrown@pointroberts.net. Even if you know nothing about gardening or farming, please volunteer to come work with us. We will be offering classes in various topics, hosting potlucks and other events so please “like” our Facebook page at  bit.ly/2GftKqO or subscribe to our newsgroup by emailing  homegrown@pointroberts.net.

Annelle Norman, board chair

Point Roberts

The Editor:

For 25 years I have been self-dumping my trash. In that time, I doubt I ever spent $19 a year on trash disposal, let alone $19 a month. I am a non-resident cottage owner, so there is an even chance that I won’t be there on collection days and will end up self-dumping anyway.

If Cando Recycling and Disposal needs more income, please increase the per pound fee and continue to allow self-dumping.

This proposal is garbage.

Larry Talson

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Please return the 5-foot-tall wooden moose statue taken from our home on Claire Lane. We are offering a $50 reward. Call Kay at 360/945-1674.

Kay Hopper

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Monthly curbside collection of waste in Point Roberts appears unworkable as a profit-making business at reasonable prices even with an effective subsidy of low rent for the transfer station.

Therefore, this system of funding curbside collection in Point Roberts via property taxes has been proposed. Under this proposal, all property owners, regardless of whether they utilize the service or not, will have to pay for the service.

With the actual cost of collection from approximately one-third of the properties being spread out over all the properties, the price paid for the service may appear reasonable to those who utilize it. But it’s not fair to a) those who don’t generate very much waste and b) those don’t live here throughout the year.

I advocate a prepaid tag system whereby residents can purchase a curbside waste pickup service for one can which also entitles them to pickup of a reasonable (to be defined) quantity of recyclable materials. I’ve been told that this system already exists, but have not seen it publicly announced.

A discounted price tag would entitle the purchaser to dispose of the same quantity of waste by hauling it to the transfer station themselves. This might enable trash hauling to become a viable business again.  And it would be fair.

However, if most people favor the discounted tags and self-haul, we would not be paying our share of the cost of the important waste management services that Whatcom County provides to us. Fortunately, a bill (2017-244) has been introduced that, if adopted, would solve this aspect of the problem by applying the excise tax to self-haulers as well.

Let’s think some more about ways that we can solve our waste issues here in Point Roberts instead of coercing the Canadians to pay for the current system that we don’t want to pay for ourselves. Taxing people who can’t vote for or against the tax doesn’t feel very good to the taxed.

Halden Field

Point Roberts

The Editor:

When Diane and I came to Point Roberts more than a quarter of a century ago, we met many wonderful people. Probably foremost among them were Wilfried and Millie Schwabe; they ran the nursery and spearheaded the greening and flowering of the Point. They were a pivotal part of the garden tours and more than that, they became good friends to many people.

In the middle of this month, Wilfried passed away after recovering from a long illness and then suffering a massive hemorrhage after a fall. You might say when you have endured eight-and-a-half decades, you have lived a full life. That does not ameliorate the loss.

The Bible asks: when the salt of the earth is gone, who will replenish it? Wilfried epitomized the salt of the earth. He was kind, giving and reliable. He was also devoted to Millie and to his garden. He was proud of his flowers and vegetables and his huge yard was a showplace – a tribute to his diligence and caring for things of the earth.

Being born and raised on a farm in hard times instilled a powerful work ethic in Wilfried, but he was not totally one dimensional. He had been a master chef at Vancouver’s iconic Trader Vic’s restaurant at the Bayshore Inn. He loved to go with Millie to the casino to play the penny slot machines, or take short cruises with her. However, he never lost his dedication to his place and the hummingbirds and ducks that came to his pond annually. As I write this, our calendar tells me “spring begins,” and it will with its greening message arriving soon, but one of its best messengers will not be part of this year’s delivery.

Barry and Diane Powell

Delta, B.C.

The Editor:

Expect four weeks of free appliance pick-up in Whatcom County…

Earth Day is Sunday, April 22. In celebration, Appliance Depot is offering free pickup of your appliances, working or non-working.

We have been in Bellingham for over 12 years keeping major appliances out of the landfill. We have saved 50,000 appliances from the waste stream and provided job training and work experience to over 400 low income residents. Appliance Depot is a 501c3 non-profit. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.

From April 7-May 5, all pickups will be free. Simply leave your appliances (stoves, washers, dryers, refrigerators, freezers) outside of your house. All residents must call Appliance Depot at 360/527-2646 to schedule their pickup. Residents can also drop off appliances at our store at 802 Marine Drive, Bellingham for no charge.

Appliance Depot will make a special trip to Point Roberts to pick up any donated appliances on Tuesday, May 1 and if needed on Wednesday, May 2. All donated appliances should be outside the house allowing for easy pickup.

Our normal pickup fees are $10 or $30, depending on where you live. In addition, there is normally a $30 cost for recycling the freon from refrigerators and freezers. We are waiving this fee as well.

Whatcom County is a great place to live. Let’s do our part together, and keep it that way. Contact: Mel Monkelis, manager, ApplianceDepotBham.com or 360/527-2646.

Mel Monkelis

Bellingham

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