Letters to the Editor – October

The Editor:

I just want to express my appreciation to the volunteers who work so hard to give joy when walking through the enchanted forest. The effort and imagination are amazing. When I wander through, I feel as if I’m seven-years-old instead of 77. The new loop with its critters theme of ladybugs, butterflies, dragonflies and iguanas is very amusing.

Thank you so much for your thoughtful effort. It is appreciated.

June Morin

Point Roberts

The Editor:

Re: Canadian purchase of Point Roberts

I appreciate the responses from Whatcom County elected representatives thus far on the referenced proposal, introduced at the Point Roberts Taxpayers forum on August 22. The particulars of the proposal were printed in the letters section in the September issue of the All Point Bulletin.

The tentative plan is to have an advisory vote on the ballot in the November 2020 general election.

Suggested ballot title: “Do you support the governments of the United States and Canada entering into discussions regarding the sale of Point Roberts to Canada?”

Only Point Roberts registered voters would be allowed to vote on this question. As of 2016, that number was 1,016.

Shortly after the publication of my letter, a private post appeared on Facebook, posing the same question regarding Canadian purchase.

There were a number of responses, both for and against the idea. Some constructive suggestions were offered. Unfortunately, the post and responses were removed shortly thereafter because the discussion became “too heated.” No matter. The informal public comment period has begun. We have over a year to consider this.

Those wishing to further express their opinions over the next year can do so in a variety of ways:

1. Submit a letter to the editor of the All Point Bulletin at allpointbulletin.com or by email at letters@allpointbulletin.com

2. Send an email to Whatcom County Council at council@co.whatcom.wa.us

3. Send an email to the Whatcom County Executive at: jlouws@co.whatcom.wa.us

4. Send a written letter to me at: P.O. Box 2053, Point Roberts, WA 98281-2053. I will ensure it becomes part of the written record.

My original letter was emailed to all of the above parties, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump. Both 42nd district state representative Sharon Shewmake and Whatcom County councilmember Barry Buchanan, who were in attendance at the taxpayers meeting were also included.

The point is that there should be no limits on the number of responses to an important question that can and will be brought forward in the months to come.

The editor and publisher of the All Point Bulletin moved to Point Roberts in 1990 about the same time as I did. I would be interested in their editorial perspectives on the proposal to become part of Canada, based on over 25 years’ of residence and continuous news coverage of Point Roberts, Tsawwassen, B.C. and Blaine, Washington.

Additional input and perspective from the long-established families in Point Roberts, whose roots go back many generations, would be valuable. Specifically, the Myrdals, the Calders, the Nielsons, the Julius family, the Kiniskis, the Whites, the Bradburys, the Meikles, etc.

Thanks in advance for your consideration and constructive suggestions.

John Lesow

North Vancouver and Point Roberts

The Editor:

We would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the community for the overwhelming positive response that we have had for your new History Center. We are so pleased you like it. We had a lot of help getting it to this point, and while we will not be able to thank everyone, we do have some that need special recognition.

The parks board for allowing us the space to use. After 37 years, it is nice to have a “home.” To Historical Society members, both past and present, we finally did it. To the unfortunately defunct Lighthouse Society for their overly generous donation, as well as a number of donations from other groups, we thank all of them! To Bennett Blaustein for his assistance whenever needed. Early on in the process, to Ben VanBuskirk for his happy, smiling, helpful self. To both Leigh Moorhouse and Tor Baxter for construction help, which was way beyond our comfort level or knowledge. Your work shows and is greatly appreciated. Bruce Meikle for fine tuning some old photos and designing our new logo. Scott Hackelman for taking that logo and making our new sign. Judy Ross for trusting her collection of abandoned home quilts to our care; our guests are awe struck. We thank all of them with gratitude.

Thanks for all who have come by. Please feel free to pop in when we are there. We have fun plans for the future of your History Center.

Winter hours, beginning October 1 will be Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. and Saturdays, noon-3 p.m.

Thank you for your support from our core work group, the Point Roberts Historical Society members.

Pauline DeHaan, Renee Coe, Mark

Swenson and Jessica McVey

Point Roberts

The Editor:

An interesting intellectual exercise was presented in the letter that suggested selling the Point to Canada.

I was relieved to read that politicians from both countries say it is a decision for the locals, since current events in Hong Kong should teach the world that when one country surrenders territory to another as though selling the farm complete with the livestock, things do not go well.

However, I suspect that your country’s slogan “one country indivisible” and your memory of a civil war to prevent separation would complicate any urge you might have to change countries. Canada is better off on this front. We have our Clarity Act, which says that if a section of the country such as Quebec clearly wants out, there will be negotiation rather than immediate war.

It is easy to see arguments for and against a change of country for you. You residents would no longer live in fear of losing your NEXUS pass. Your economy would brighten up as Lower Mainland residents would no longer face a quiz at the border if they wanted to patronize one of your businesses.

Part time residents might be replaced by full time residents, and become real neighbors. Maybe then they would do their share for the amazing volunteer organizations that run your food bank and your PREP group and rise up to counter threats like the radio towers of a few years back. Part timers seem more likely to participate by complaining to the editor when they have to pay for garbage services they aren’t there to use.

The downside would be that the Point would no longer be the rural idyll it is. Your property would become too valuable to raise horses on. New residents would demand new services and taxes would rise. You would miss the old Point.

I am a Canadian living within walking distance of the border and I think the old mapmaker was quite mad when he slapped the border where it is. But I would have some personal regrets if it changed.

I would lose the convenience of picking up online shopping from U.S. sites. I would miss shopping at the Marketplace for products that are not distributed in Canada. More important, I would lose the pleasure of living near a very large informal nature reserve that the land-squeezed Lower Mainland could never provide.

Gail Neff Bell

Delta, B.C.

The Editor:

Re : Proposed Changes to Title 20.72

It seems a few people involved in these processes, often representing a few peoples’ interests, even if they don’t know it. Now we have a group of frustrated individuals, often uninformed, who think they want to scrub all 20.72.

Please look at our past and we can see what the real problem is.

Seabright, Whalen Drive, Ocean View Estates are all failing to capture what Point Roberts is meant to be. Now the golf course and marina are following the model of gentrification with overly large homes that are too expensive, with outdated aesthetics and, worst of all, have little benefit to community, environmental concerns and a changing economy.

The business district has too many gas stations, parcel and storage businesses, with little benefits for the majority of residents, land owners and visitors.

The 20.72 zoning and related planning was well thought out but not followed through by the community being involved over time. It’s like some people got what they wanted and it stopped.

Lily Point Park and the No Towers initiatives are considered successful, only by stopping unfitting efforts by investors, the development/real estate industries, and local and foreign land owners. Strong minded individuals, set on hurtful development models are the norm in Point Roberts. They are often encouraged by local land owners and others.

People have to break this pattern and stop seeking familiar models from failed developments done in areas that now have unmitigated social and environmental issues and damage. This is happening all around the world. The results are catastrophic and include: insecure and unaffordable housing, opportunities reserved for few on the backs of many, environmental damage, disenfranchised people, non-resistant cultures and communities, a weak social fabric and more.

Point Roberts has one chance to get it right. Please do not change 20.72 until a visioning process is done.

Judson Meraw

Point Roberts

The Editor:

For four years, my daughter has been attending the Point Roberts Fire Department open house. She cherishes the opportunity to explore the fire trucks and ambulances as well as interact with the firefighters. After every visit, my daughter explains that she wants to be a firefighter when she grows up so that she can help people too.

After the last open house this past August, I asked my daughter if she would like to go shopping for a special outfit to wear for her first day of kindergarten; however, she declined my invitation. Instead, she said that for her first day, she wanted to wear a Point Roberts Fire Department t-shirt. I contacted chief Carleton and explained my daughter’s wishes. Firefighter Michael Glasser reached out and presented my daughter with a t-shirt, which she proudly showed off to all of her classmates today.

The relationship that the fire department has with communities on both sides of the border is very special. It is not only evident in the community in which chief Carleton and his team serve, but our experiences also highlight the impact they have in the lives of many Canadians in neighboring cities.

K. Matthews

Delta

The Editor:

I can’t be the only person who has noticed that it is illegal to drive from public buildings to a public park in Point Roberts.

I was really hoping some wisdom would creep in with the opportunity to open up access from both directions to Lighthouse Marine Park and the library/community center just like the intersections, but, unfortunately, both access points are double lined, again.

You cannot legally go from one to the other. By virtue of lane painting, we are set up to commit a traffic violation.

Perhaps someone in the know could correct this unfortunate oversight or the sheriff will have a field day in either location.

Deborah Solberg

Vancouver

(Ed. note: In Washington state, it is legal to cross a double yellow line to access a driveway or lane etc. if it is safe to do so. The double lines indicate a no passing zone. RCW 46.61.130)

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