Letters to the Editor June 2016

The Editor:

Happy Summer to all the Point Roberts residents and visitors. July 4th is rapidly approaching and the excellent cooks and members of the Point Roberts Emergency Group (PREP) want to invite you to our annual Pancake Breakfast. All proceeds support our Emergency Preparedness Education and Training Programs. We are serving from 7:30 a.m. until noon, so don’t spend your time over a hot stove making breakfast. Come to the community center and be served.

Virginia Lester, chair of PREP

Point Roberts

The Editor:

I would like to thank all of the firefighters who worked very hard to put out the fire at Point Roberts Mini and Mobile Storage that occurred April 6. They worked hard through the night to put it out. I was amazed the next morning to see some of the two story building still standing. It was not a pretty sight but there was hope that something may have survived.

I was allowed to assess the damage from a distance as the firefighters worked on putting out the last hot spots. It looked extremely bad but I still had hope as part of the ceiling and roof trusses above my storage space and a good portion of exterior walls were still standing.

I left the scene around 9:30 a.m. but returned about 3 p.m. and was told by assistant chief John Shields that they were awaiting authorization from the insurance company to push down the roof trusses so the fire marshal could perform his investigation safely.

After I expressed my concerns about who would do the work  I left but returned not long after to find David Gellatly loading his excavator onto a trailer after pushing the remaining building over. Many questions came to mind; why Gellatly? Why not an experienced operator?

I talked to Jeff Peltier of Hank’s Backhoe Service and Neil Harvey of Pacific Shore Contracting and learned that they had not been contacted. Why was an unlicensed, non-bonded and uninsured individual used when licensed, bonded, insured and experienced operators were available? I wrote to the Point Roberts fire commissioners for answers and attended their meeting on May 11.

At the meeting, the newly appointed commissioner, Shannon Tomsen, responded to my letter. She had a problem with a statement I made where she thought I called assistant chief Shields stupid; I then received a lecture on respect.

As far as respect goes, everybody should respect everybody else, and in a perfect world that would be the case. Unfortunately, we are not living in a utopia and people’s stupidity should be pointed out as most of us learn from our mistakes. Commissioners Meursing and Riffle; good luck with your choice for commissioner.

People, whether they are smart or not, can act stupidly. I was not referring to Shields’ I.Q. but rather his actions which should be called into question following his “act of stupidity.” Shields was relied upon to hire an excavator and he chose Gellatly; state laws were broken and quite possibly more damage done to my and others’ possessions.

Previously I had shown Shields more respect than he deserved because of his actions towards me at a 4th of July get-together four years ago. Shields’ actions show lack of respect towards me and others who had losses from this fire and we deserve better. He disrespected me and everyone else by recommending to the fire marshal to use an unlicensed, uninsured, non-bonded excavator owner.

Shields may be an asset to the community with his dedication to the fire district but the district needs to reign him in to limit its exposure to liability. That exposure ultimately affects all taxpayers and we too deserve respect.

Ken Calder

Point Roberts

The Editor:

For those here to enjoy the beauty of the Point, I ask you to slow down on our roads. I live near Crystal Beach and APA roads. Our cat Charli was hit and run along that stretch.

Charli was quite a cat – he came to us by way of PAWS when he needed a place to recover when he was neutered. Charli was living on the street. He was wild and unpredictable, yet he knew how to use a litter box. Charli scratched deeply when petted at first and he wanted control of any domain. He was a bully with some cats; however, he became a best buddy with our older cat, Benni.

In the winter of 2013, after a week inside recovering, Charli was set free. This was a particularly icy winter so he would come by for food on cold nights. Charli scarfed every morsel.

On a snowy night with winds tearing around, I pulled him into the house and got him to a back office. I did this a few times. He resisted at first but then began to dart in through the door and run to the office. Then I’d slip some food and water in.

In the morning, I’d open a door and he’d shoot out. I kept to this routine. Little by little, his stress melted away. His trust increased. Then, Charli would slip in during the day and go sit by Benni as he slept during the day. In the spring, Charli would bound out and dance around my feet when let out in the morning.

In the early fall, I went on a trip and my husband took over. Charli would dance also around his feet.  He won my husband over. So, it was with shock one late afternoon when a neighbor told my husband that Charli was dead on the street, apparently killed by a hit and run driver.

Many of us felt a deep sorrow, as we had enjoyed the transformation of our “homeless” cat, now in a loving home. Friends came by to mourn him and to feel the emptiness of this sudden loss.

So, please slow down on our roads. You cannot possibly know what life is at risk when you speed oblivious to life you may unknowingly dispatch as you race by.

Bev Mar

Point Roberts

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