July 2018 Letters to the Editor

The Editor:

So many of you have asked, so here’s the news on Wilma Donaldson.

Wilma is currently residing at Delta View Center in Delta in the Forest Grove section. If you  go to visit, she won’t remember you, but she’ll still be very glad to see you.

Yes, she has dementia, but it isn’t slowing her down a bit! She’s still the same happy-go-lucky Wilma, full of life, and ready for every adventure. Wilma was 96 in October so she uses a walker which is decorated for each season or holiday. On Valentine’s Day, it said “Free Kisses!” She wins at bingo and is the best singer at the ‘30s-‘40s music sing-along. She still knows all the words! Her health is excellent.

Wilma misses all her Maple Beach friends, the ladies at the bank, all the tradespeople, and many, many cats. We were at her Maple Beach house readying it for sale and cats showed up from everywhere! Apparently, they haven’t forgotten Wilma! We really appreciate all the people who stop by to ask about Wilma and we thought we would provide an update. Wilma and Graham loved Maple Beach and the Point. It provided their happiest times and we thank you all for that.

Georgia Gardner

Coupeville

The Editor:

If you have been strolling through Lighthouse Marine Park and spied what appears to be a horn protruding from the ground, it is not the remnant of a passing unicorn. It is the representation of the setting sun as it completes its journey from its rise at Campobello Island, New Brunswick and sets in the Pacific Ocean.

In September 1985, the local populace was informed that a sculptor and his wife, along with her dance troupe, were going to visit the Point. The only person who seemed to understand the significance of this was the amiable gentleman who voluntarily managed the local chamber of commerce. He explained that the sculptor and his group had traveled to the four corners of the earth where they held modern dance ceremonies and created sculptures to denote these locations.

There was not much happening on that rainy October day when the visitors arrived so most locals went down to Lighthouse Marine Park to observe. The ladies danced and a representative of the Tsawwassen band participated. The chamber manager, who bore a striking resemblance to the English actor Peter O’Toole, was to shoot a flaming arrow into the ocean just as the sun set. Alas, the arrow when fired nearly took out the cameraman from Delta TV.

We learned later that Professor David Garr, a noted sculptor from the University of Michigan, had drawn a map which traced the outline of Canada and the U.S. with a meridian of the sun rising on the east coast and setting in the Pacific at Lighthouse Point. Visualizing an arch during this trip, he placed a small arch at Campobello Island in New Brunswick, the mid arch at Lake of the Woods, Minnesota and the arch to indicate the setting sun here.

During recent years, Point Roberts and Campobello Island have formally become sister cities after learning they are mirror images of one another in many ways.

Ruby White

Point Roberts

The Editor:

This article is so hard to write as it comes from deep inside my heart. It is in relation to the forced mandated curbside pickup that Whatcom County Council has approved.

It took me weeks to figure out what was actually going on in my own mind regarding this change in policy. This entire subject is so much more than mandated trash pickup. It strikes at the heart of everything that I and most people in Point Roberts believe in.

Over the last few weeks I have spoken to so many people about this subject. From those conversations, I learned so much about the feelings of my neighbors in Point Roberts about trash, recycling and the uses of our local garbage transfer station.

At first, I was angry with the people that had a hand in moving this motion forward. It took me a while to get past that anger. By looking within myself I began to realize that our trash and recycling system was very personal and very emotional.

I also realized that the people who don’t feel that connection are unable to feel and see how much importance this issue holds for so many of us. The people who want this change cannot be held responsible for not being able to feel or ultimately understand how serious this negatively affects the rest of us.

Having said all that, I must say that this change in our social system ie. mandated curbside pickup is very hurtful to the majority of the homeowners at the Point.

Recycling, composting and the disposal of minimal trash is a lifestyle choice. This lifestyle is supposed to be our goal as a society in the fight to reduce our output of garbage.

Barbara Brenner of the Whatcom County Council understands this very well and explained it during the June 5 council meeting regarding this issue. Video is available online at council website.

Harry Kish

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I am proud of the six people who Jeff Christopher asked to step up and join the subcommittee on garbage. Thank you to Allison Calder, Kimberly Butts, Bill Meursing, Jordan Strub and Barbara Bradstock. We were asked to look into the next steps of garbage and, in a short time, we did a great job. We sent notices to community e-news on the public hearing. We had a public meeting to help people understand what was involved with the hearing process. We asked PRCAC to ensure that the variable system that was promised was included in the plan that was put forward to the county for approval.

Questions were asked about the ordinance as it was going forward, such as: Why wasn’t there a simple rate increase considered before mandating service? Why was the level of minimum service set so high (less than 300 of 2,300 homes have this level of service)? Why weren’t homeowners directly contacted when they could still have input rather than for an information session? These are important questions. On their own, Harry Kish, Kenny Calder and Annette Madden collected 364 signatures to request that our committee have time to answer these questions. That was a vote of confidence in us that I didn’t expect. Thank you.

Although I didn’t sign the petition, I believe that the three months they requested would have given the community enough time to refine the solution to suit seniors, small families, part-timers and people who believe in reducing garbage – not increasing it.

People here care that the garbage company doesn’t lose money. The main request I heard was for the minimum level of service to be set lower. Is this not a reasonable request? I hope to continue to work to help reduce the level of minimum service and to ensure that our provider is successful.

I am saddened that PRCAC decided to disband this subcommittee because we stepped up when asked. People deserve better and all the people who came to meetings and participated in this process deserve to be thanked, not dismissed.

Samantha Scholefield

Point Roberts

The Editor:

In regard to the proposed “Point Roberts garbage tax,” I say, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” We need a vote!

Chuck Norwich

Point Roberts

(Ed. Note: Mr. Norwich’s point notwithstanding, the proposed curbside garbage “tax” is termed a fee for service, not a tax.)

The Editor:

Today I called Cando and signed up for minimum service of one 20-gallon can per month with recycling pick up every two weeks. I did this because I want our service provider to make a reasonable income.

What I don’t want is this crazy ordinance that the Whatcom County Health Department pushed onto us. This new fee in 2019 is forcing 2,000 households (not currently getting service) to pay for a minimum of one 32-gallon can of solid waste every other week with recycling (changed to 26 cans used at household discretion) which is a higher service level than all other households in Whatcom County.

This number was picked seemingly at random. We need actual data for the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission on how much garbage is actually picked up and then they can use that information for the tariff review. Without this information, everyone is just guessing and we will be left to foot the bill.

I encourage everyone to please sign up for the minimum service level so we can go back to Whatcom County Council and ask them to change our minimum back to what we are actually using and to reverse the decision to charge the fee on our property tax statements as we are responsible land owners and pay our bills.

Louise Cassidy

Point Roberts

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