Ahhh, 2022. Some good times, some bad times, some ok times. At last we were able to get out and see each other and cross the border reasonably easier. Compared to 2020 and 2021, it was a banner year, all things considered. Here then, is our annual year in review ...
• Due to concerns made by residents to the Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee in December 2021, county engineers made plans to evaluate and propose improvements to road drainage systems and to assess how the marina’s private drainage system might be affecting flooding of county roads by January 2022.
• Park commissioners Mitch Friedman, Michael Cressy, Matt Wang, and Bill Zidel were sworn in.
• Three Point Roberts businesses changed ownership. Lorne Nielson sold Nielson’s Building Center to Fred Pakzad after it had been in his family for nearly 60 years. Lynne and Snyder Vick, who owned the Shell station since 2004, sold it to Pinder and Robin Kallu of Kallu Enterprises. After 10 years of ownership, Pamala Sheppard sold Auntie Pam’s Country Store to Neil and Krystal King, who renamed the store Kora’s Corner Country Store.
• The apparent cause of death for residents Murray Church and Gail Amundsen, who died around Thanksgiving 2021, was determined to be due to carbon monoxide poisoning because of a faulty installation of a radiant heating system and a lack of carbon monoxide detectors in their newly built home.
• Fire commissioner Raye Newman and hospital district commissioner Richard Dennis announced their intention to resign from their seats.
• Whidbey Telecom received federal grant funding to further extend its fiber network along the south and western edges of the Point.
• 34 percent of Point Roberts businesses who applied for the Working Washington Border Business Relief Program were granted state funding. The eight businesses that received funding were Bald Eagle Golf Course, Point Roberts Marina, Kiniski’s Reef, Larry’s Liquor Locker, Perk You Up Cleaning, BM Charmed, and Breakwaters Bar and Grill.
• A Canadian man was rescued and treated for mild hypothermia after currents carried him away in Boundary Bay while seated in an inflatable chair.
• Point Roberts Press, Inc was awarded Business of the Year by Blaine Chamber of Commerce.
• The cellular phone provider T Mobile was in contract negotiations with SBA Communications to rent space on their tower to provide cell service on the Point.
• The Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce was calling for a revival of a work visa program discontinued in 2010 that would allow unskilled Canadians to work here during the busy summer months.
• The county public works department is proposing to conduct a drainage assessment study of the Point Roberts watershed. County engineer Jim Karcher estimated that the total cost would be somewhere around $270,000.
• Noel Newbold was appointed as the new hospital district commissioner to fill the vacancy left by Richard Dennis.
• The Point Roberts Park and Recreation District was awarded a $31,000 federal grant from the Summer Enrichment and Experiences for Kids (SEEK) fund. The funds will pay for field trips, including transportation, councilor salaries. and supplies.
• Fire commissioners appointed Norm Katz to fill a vacancy left by Raye Newman, who resigned in December 2021.
• The government of Canada announced that negative PCR tests were no longer required after April 1 for fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada by air, land, or sea.
• Whidbey Telecom began installing residential fiber optic lines in Point Roberts. The project was partially financed by funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program called Reconnect 2.
• Whatcom County Council held an advisory public hearing to gather comments on proposed amendments to Title 20 zoning to regulate short-term vacation rentals.
• The Whatcom County health department teamed up with Cando Recycling to offer one free load of green waste disposal to property owners in the community.
• The Easter Bunny laid over 1,000 eggs on Baker Field and approximately 60 children attended an event to find them.
• Blaine school district joined a pending lawsuit against vaping company Juul Labs, Inc. and its biggest investor Altria Group, Inc.
• The local parks district was awarded a $7500 SEEK grant to develop a youth paddleboard program.
• A Democrat-led effort to pass a bill in the U.S. Senate containing aid to Point Roberts and other exclave communities failed.
• Mike McFarlane, the Whatcom County parks and recreation director, retired.
• The avian flu was detected in Whatcom County.
• The Point Roberts Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) listserv was taken over by Pam Sarkissian in her startup business called Point ePost.
• Volunteer Appreciation Day was held at the fire hall in order to recognize and give thanks to all those who helped the community out during the pandemic. The celebration included a community potluck, music, and games.
• The Point Roberts Emergency Preparedness (PREP) group hosted the Emergency Volunteer Air Corps and Disaster Airlift Response Team for their fly-in which delivered 800 pounds of food and supplies to the Point.
• Gene Kiniski, father of Nick and Kelly Kiniski, was the first wrestler to be formally inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
• The Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office launched a website to track recovery efforts for endangered Southern Resident orcas.
• Lisa J. Brown, the director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, was a keynote speaker at the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association’s annual general meeting.
• Point Roberts Park and Recreation District board chair Bennett Blaustein announced his upcoming resignation.
• The county awarded a bid for the seawall repair at the corner of Bayview and Roosevelt to Tiger Construction in the amount of $79,500.
• Blaine school board returned to in-person meetings without a remote option.
• The park and recreation department’s annual summer camp was held. With help from the SEEK grant, campers visited the Greater Vancouver Zoo, Science World, and the Vancouver Aquarium.
• Following a nationwide search, Whatcom County Executive Satpal Sidhu selected Bennett Knox as director of the Whatcom County Parks and Recreation Department.
• PAWS’ Every Dog’s a Winner contest drew 44 dogs and their human companions.
• Eagle Sun Fest was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Eagle Skyenet.
• The Whiskeydicks held a concert on Maple Beach.
• Blaine school district adopted a budget for the 2022-2023 school year that included forecasts where expenditures were expected to exceed revenues due to low enrollment.
• The Point Roberts fire department held its annual open house where the public could check out rescue vehicles, including Airlift Northwest’s medevac helicopter.
• There were over 350,000 NEXUS applicants waiting for interviews, according to Canada Border Services Agency.
• The 40th anniversary of the first bank and supermarket to open on the Point.
• The Point Roberts park board appointed Kathleen Pierce-Friedman to the board position that became vacant upon the resignation of Bennett Blaustein.
• Canada dropped its Covid-19 vaccination requirement, ended random Covid-19 testing, and abolished the ArriveCAN app for people entering the country other than by air.
• Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee made a request to have the county fund and deploy a wireless broadband service immediately.
• Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce president Brian Calder called upon federal and state officials to conduct a post mortem on how border restrictions during the pandemic affected exclave communities.
• Circle of Care held the Apple Harvest Festival.
• Governor Jay Inslee lifted Washington’s state of emergency for Covid-19.
• A request by SuperTrack to extend the term of its contract with the Point Roberts Hospital District was rejected by the board of commissioners.
• Blaine district school board member Todd Nunamaker announced his resignation from the board.
• The Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce asked the county to create a small works roster in order to speed up provision of services and reduce project costs.
• Point Roberts Community Advisory Committee held two town hall meetings to reassess the curbside trash pickup program as the contract between Whatcom County and the provider, Cando Recycling and Disposal, comes up for renewal.
• Point Roberts water district staff met with state department of health staff and engineers from Pace Engineers in order to update the district’s comprehensive plan.
• Elliott Smith, the director of real estate and asset management for the Port of Bellingham, spoke at the Point Roberts Chamber of Commerce meeting.
• Free on the Point held its Holiday Night Bike Ride and tree lighting ceremony.
• The Holiday Bazaar was held at the community center.
• The Point Roberts Annual Holiday Party was held at the community center with activities such as a gift exchange and potluck.
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