The All Point Bulletin welcomes letters to the editor;
however, the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor.
Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for
verification. Letters must not exceed 450 words and may be edited or
rejected for reasons of legality and good taste.
A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to
local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers
should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will not be accepted
for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an
Thank You letters should be limited to ten names.
Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.
You may submit your
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page. Alternatively, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
send to: P.O. Box 1451, Point Roberts, WA 98281 or fax (360) 945-1613.
Letters to the Editor -- July 01, 2001
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
On behalf of the Point Roberts primary school, I would like to thank all of the Point Roberts voters who took the time to vote on the recent bond issue. Seventy-nine percent of the Point Roberts voters were in favor of the bond. The bond will provide much needed facilities at our local school and enhance the educational experience of our students.
We appreciate the support of the community in all of our activities. Have a great summer and Ill see you back in the fall!
Nancy Bakarich, principal
Point Roberts primary school
The attitude seems to prevail that the merger of our fire district with those of Blaine and Birch Bay is fait accompli. In the manner of parent-administered medicine, we are told this is good for us. I think there may be some sins of omission in this propaganda. Perhaps the local citizenry should ask some questions as to how this will affect us in the protection of our life and property, as well as our pocketbooks.
Since the bingo corporation, which paid for most of our equipment and the fire hall ,is established for district five, will that vanish? Will the equipment presently belonging to this district become property of the new district, and be distributed wherever the new board decides it should go? Will this new district insist on building a grandiose municipal center to house not only the fire district, but various other branches of government, many of which do not presently exist? What are the advantages for this community in merging with those two districts two border crossings and 25 miles or more distant? Are we just creating another redundant bureaucracy? How much of an increase in assessment does the proposed board plan on hitting us with? When there are three commissioners, one from here and one each from the other localities, and a vote is taken, how much clout will our one commissioner have?
Since part of the plan would appear to include Mike Campbell leaving here to work down in the county, why dont we abolish the concept of a full-time paid chief and create one of a part-time paid chief and use the excess funds to hire some retired fire fighters from out of town to be paid part-time fire fighters? Do we really need a full-time chief as much as we need Indians? Just asking. Think about it.
Ruby Gibson White
The Awards Tea, held on June 5, made me very proud to be a resident of Point Roberts as Dollars for Scholars gave $6,500 in scholarships to nine students. The capacity crowd at the community center happily looked on while each of the students were called to the front for a presentation speech about their accomplishments. One thousand dollars each was given to graduating high school students Paula Sweatt, Steve Furno and Christine Lieffering. Five hundred dollars each was given to ongoing college students Jennifer Jackson, Nathan Nelson and Kristy Sepulvado and $500 was given to Mary McBride, an adult returning to college. In addition, $500 each was given to secondary students Kyle Teutsch and Celeste Fraser to take special courses this summer. Kyle will go to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Indiana to take a course in engineering and robotics while Celeste will go to Alaska to take voice and drama lessons at the Summer Fine Arts Camp in Fairbanks. I was proud because our community has such outstanding students and proud because our community was generous enough to donate the money to encourage the students to pursurehigher education.
DFS invited two other organizations to participate in their Awards Tea: the chamber of commerce and the Friends of the Library. The chamber gave Paula Sweatt a check for $400 and Sarah Gustafson a check for $100. Henry Rosenthal, co-chair of the Friends of the Library, asked the parents, grandparents and family members of the award recipients to stand and be recognized as the support team for the students a wonderful idea! The Friends of the Library gave six $50 gift certificates to the students for books at their university book store.
The Awards Tea ended on an emotional note as Joan Roberts, president of the Dollars for Scholars, gave the Point Roberts Community Award, an additional scholarship of $500, to Kristy Sepulvado. Kristy is a single mother of three young children, Roberts said, and is motivated by her desire to provide a better life for them. Her optimism, her eagerness to learn and her dedication are apparent, but it is her special need to provide a quality life for her children and her special goal to become a nurse and to help others that drew the admiration of everyone. At the conclusion of the presentation the audience gave Kristy a standing ovation! It was obvious to all that she does indeed have the support of the
Davea Fisher, director & vice president
The Point Roberts Dollars for Scholars has gotten off to a wonderful start thanks to the generosity of the people and the business community of Point Roberts. On June 5, at the Awards Tea, we gave 10 scholarships amounting to $6,500. Previously a letter to the editor listed donors. Heres a list of those who donated funds since that report: Nielsons Electric, Barb and Don Bell, the registered voters association, the PTO, Point Roberts Auto Freight, Delta Cable, Doreen Trudel, John and Penny Lesow, Dean and Norma Nelson, Darlene Poor, Caressas Creations, Gordi and Kathy Nielson, Mary McBride, Tal Vur, W. Dyk, Sterling Bank, Cal-Pac Sheet Metal, C.J. Bloomers, Texaco, Point Roberts Marina and Christis.
In addition, DFS held a DAO Tournament in May featuring Ben Van Buskirks strategy game, DAO. Registration was $10 and Ben and Lynne donated all the fees to Dollars for Scholars.
This year we had nine students apply for scholarships, but next year we will have many more. We are already hard at work planning fundraisers. On July 4 there will be a carnival at Lighthouse Park. On July 28 the firefighters from fire district #5 will join with Point Roberts students in a car wash held at the International Marketplace. All proceeds from both events will go to the Dollars for Scholars.
We want to encourage our students to pursue higher education and to know that their community supports them. If youd like to help, send a tax-free donation to Point Roberts Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 2168, Point Roberts, WA 98281. Thank you to everyone who has helped donate funds. Our future is our youth. Thanks for giving them your support.
Tracy Kelly, director/fundraising chair
The Dollars for Scholars Award Tea was to recognize students. Now that its over Id like to recognize some of the people who made it such a special evening: Esther Rosenthal, who set the mood by playing classical music on the piano as the audience arrived; Carol Fowler, who donated a floral centerpiece for the buffet; and all those who donated the delicious desserts. This has been a good first year! Weve had a wonderful board and enthusiastic contributors. Of special note, however, is Tracy Kelly, our fundraising chairman. It was her hard work that made it possible to give a scholarship to every student that applied. Thanks, Tracy and thanks to all who helped to support us!
Joan Roberts, director and president
Heartfelt thanks to the Point Roberts Dollars for Scholars program for all their hard work and generous scholarships.
Steve Furno and family
The proposed Point Roberts subarea plan is wrong for our community! This plan must not be approved for the following major reasons:
1. It violates the property rights of landowners. Landowners who purchased acreage having urban residential zoning will have lost their rights under the transitional zoning to fully develop their properties, as it is possible in other parts of Whatcom County. This is unfair. The process has not treated all landowners equally. Some owners came to the committee meetings and got their land removed from the transitional zoning. This is unfair. The concept of transitional zoning is a ruse invented by the planning department and Madrona to curtail growth at Point Roberts and to inject more county bureaucracy in limiting the rights of the landowners. I believe the concept of transitional zoning will not hold up when contested against the Growth Management Act (GMA). It is a form of interim urban growth that was previously thrown out by the GMA hearing board.
2. The village center concept is not viable without an accompanying plan to increase the population base. Without an increase in the population base, all the wonderful trails, business offices and mixed-use concepts are without merit for who will use the offices and the businesses visiting Canadians? The plan needs goals and tasks to increase the permanent population.
3. Urban Growth Areas. Point Roberts is an urban growth area and should be planned as such. The subarea plan authors spend too much verbiage attempting to deny UGA designation for Point Roberts. The argument that the state would not allow it is speculation that is inappropriate for a subarea plan document. Because of the physical separation of Point Roberts from mainstream Whatcom County, I believe that Point Roberts would fare better than Sudden Valley would in a GMA UGA validity test.
4. Sewer system inconsistency. The plan supports sewers for the village center but encourages community septic for residential developments. This is bad planning. Point Roberts is too small a land mass to not treat the whole of the point with a single effective sewer treatment plant as compared to small federated facilities that waste land and are not as good for the environment. Why does the plan not address a sewer system with goals and tasks assigned?
5. Building lots. The plan gives lip service to the serious problem of too many small lots that the market does not want and does nothing about zoning a new subdivision that would provide the market with desired larger lots.
6. Negativism of Tsawwassen. Contrary to the authors of the plan, Tsawwassen is not sprawling, nor does the border provide a distinct disincentive for residents of Point Roberts obtaining goods and services in Tsawwassen. These statements are false and do not belong in a subarea plan.
The planning commission should reject this subarea plan and direct the Subarea Advisory Committee to address the foregoing deficiencies. It is better to retain the status quo, ie. the present plan, than knowingly pass a bad plan.
I just wanted everyone to know how great our Point Roberts fire department is! We are really lucky to have people that care so much about helping other people. I always thought they were great, but I never thought I would need them myself I was sure wrong! I also found out the hard way that the cliffs at Lily Point really arent safe, and so did my friends Andrew Grubb and Ryley White.
Special thanks to: Nick Kiniski (Im sure glad you didnt have another IV to jab into my arm like you did Andrews!), Aaron Jackson, Jim Madden, Jesse Lofquist, Ali Saccone, John Shields, Jeff Stalling, Mike Short, Mac LaPorte and Chief Campbell.
I will always remember that night and all of you.
On Saturday, June 2, our two-year-old son Christopher went missing into the woods which backs up onto our property. Thankfully, he was found unharmed (albeit covered from head to toe with a dusting of dirt) within the hour, which felt like an eternity to a frantic parent! Perhaps an inviting trail into the lush woods on a beautiful day (which is evidently a mountain-bikers paradise) was just too good to resist for a curious toddler boy.
We would especially like to recognize the following people for coming to our assistance to search for our lost little boy on that afternoon: To our neighbors Larry, Michelle, Amanda and Laura Carson and their accompanying horses, Lightning and Devon. Thank you Amanda for being here immediately after my phone call and finding his footprints on the trail, which led us to believe he was probably in the woods ... Good thinking!
To my friend Pam Sarkissian who also rounded up her neighbor Dallas Martineau and his dog Button who led us very near to the spot where Christopher was eventually found (move over Lassie!). Thanks Pam, for your encouraging words of positive thinking. Thanks Dallas, for taking care of Pams children, Emilie and Matthew as well as our own daughter Mallory, even while hiking through the woods with a baby on your back. Also thanks to Alex Grubb who helped search between the surrounding houses yards.
We especially wish to thank deputy Bertrand for a most speedy response to my 911 call. He was here within a matter of minutes and headed up the search party. We would like to recognize our volunteer fire department who apparently gathered at the fire hall waiting to be called out if need be. Thanks to Arthur Wilkowski as well.
And last but not least we are eternally grateful to our hero who found Christopher standing in a mud puddle in the middle of a trail well back in the woods; Les, the mountain-biker, brought him out safely and stood with a family on Culp Court until I finally connected with them all after hearing a very calm voice repeatedly say We have him, hes okay.
Some details may be a bit sketchy throughout this entire story because of sheer stress, however, we just wanted to make sure we acknowledged as many people as possible who were instrumental in helping us finding our son. It is truly a blessing to live in such a helping and caring community such as this.
To everyone in Point Roberts, have a wonderful summer and keep an eye on your children. We will, we have a nice new fence up now! And to Les our mountain-biker friend angels really do have wheels too.
Simone and Neil Pope
The Girl Scout auction was the best event ever. Most of our littles in Point Roberts had never participated in a cakewalk before and with shining faces they ran about with arms wrapped around huge gooey brightly decorated prizes. (I know a three-year-old who won three cakes and is still talking about it!)
We had a real auctioneer, Brian Crossen, who was charming and funny and the girl scouts are in far better financial shape thanks to the wonderful job that Brian did.
Thank you so much, all you lovely businesses and contributors! The Girl Scouts made enough money to pay for programs through the year benefiting over 30 Point Roberts girls with all different types of economic backgrounds. Your terrific items donated for auction will make such a difference in the lives of these girls! Thank you again!
The Girl Scout Leaders of Point Roberts
Trash of the month: During July, please refrain from littering our roadsides with kleenex, toilet tissue and other items contaminated by your bodily fluids. (And yes, I do sometimes find some of those other items.)
My wife and I were recently offered some new and exciting opportunities in San Diego and as a result we made the decision to leave Point Roberts. We enjoyed our years on the Point and will miss our many friends and neighbors.
I would like to thank all of those who supported me during my three campaigns for a seat on the board of fire commissioners and during my years as a Commissioner. I take some satisfaction in knowing that most of the issues surrounding the fire district that sparked my interest in running for public office were resolved during my tenure and that I am leaving behind a district that is better trained, better equipped, better staffed and has more money in the bank than at any time in its history.
We all look forward to coming back for a visit sometime in the future.
Re: Recycling and waste management.
As cottage owners and part time residents of Whatcom County, we applaud your recycling program.
However, as residents of British Columbia where we have a system of charging a deposit on containers with a refund upon return to stores, we are dismayed to see the beer cans which litter the sides of your roads. We think Washington state would be much cleaner if there was a deposit/refund policy in place. (Perhaps there is a lobby to oppose such a program?)
Not only would most of those unsightly cans disappear, but some of your citizens might make some cash by picking up after the litter bugs. I understand Oregon has a deposit/refund policy.
It would be so good if Washington would join her neighbors in this method of eliminating litter.
Henry and Marguerite Sivertz
Salmon Arm, B.C.
After five and one half years here, I have decided this is the place for me. I am negotiating to buy a house that will fit my needs today and on into future (perhaps) infirm years.
One chooses a house differently at 65 years of age: flat roof, low gutters reached from a step stool, no stairs to climb, etc. Its a house that wont be too much for me later and thats how I chose the community it is in. I chose Point Roberts for its rural flavor and the kindness of its people. I met the folks and sensed the peaceful nature of the community, but back to practical considerations: I had to learn about septic tanks.
I found a fine little book in the library titled Septic Tank Practices, by Peter Warshall. A few pages convinced me of his ecological wisdom and his love of an art/science avoided by most people, including me. It should have been no surprise to find his later chapters dealing with the politics of sewage. I want to quote half page, if I may:
Maintenance and repair are the bogeymen of the Big Sewer. Centralized sewers have destroyed many American communities. Their immediate costs have forced retired citizens on fixed incomes and less wealthy citizens to migrate away from the increased sewer charges. The costs of bond issues, taxes or sewer charges have polarized communities: pitting the haves against the havelesses. Indirectly Big Sewer raises property taxes. The tax assessor assumes a centralized sewer is an improvement over the home-site system. All improvements mean the property is worth more and your taxes go up.
Perhaps more important, collection systems encourage high-density development. Subdividers can squeeze more houses into the same piece of land when a collection system is installed. This changes a towns character and induces urban sprawl. The Environmental Protection Agency which gives grants for Big Sewers was shocked, in 1974, to find its grants caused increased air pollution, subsidized private developers, promoted high population growth and did not reduce water pollution ...
Theres more, but this was enough for me, and I hope its enough for you.
I have been very fortunate to have lived for part of the year on the Point for 42 years. We now have four generations to experience the special uniqueness of Point Roberts.
The clean, crisp water, fresh air, eagles and herons, gulls and crows soaring overhead. One day last week I counted 20 eagles, golden and bald in a very short walk on the beach. Not to forget the fresh crab and oysters, quiet walks on quiet beaches and Lighthouse Park.
Weve also prided ourselves, like most people who live on the Point, on taking care of our wild animals, birds and fish.
The reason Im writing this letter is to express my anger at the private development that is allowed to transpire here. A new home being built on West Bluff Road decided the view wasnt good enough. So they tore down the existing home and cut five trees down.
One of those trees was an eagles perch tree approximately 200 years old. If you know anything about eagles youll know those trees are very important. Thats where they perch, rest, eat their catch and protect their nest area. The existing nest will probably be abandoned, as their perch tree is gone.
The hillside on the bluff is forever changed. A four-story home is to be built where once were trees. The vegetation is gone, so the bluff can shift and slide. The excavating machine in use shakes my house and I dont live next door.
The people who own the homes, some for a long time, behind this new house will lose their view almost completely. They have lived there for years appreciating the view around the trees.
With the golf course being concerned about their effect on the nesting of the eagles and herons I believe we should keep our eyes on private building. These birds are being forced to live closer and closer together because their trees are being taken down. They are competing for space.
We have to continue to maintain a bigger area for our birds tand not allow people to cut down trees for a view. The West Bluff area is a very sensitive area, we have to control growth here. Once you remove these trees, there are no soaring eagles or silent heron in the water, or singing of the finches and sparrows, swooping of the swallows.
Every tree cut down on the bluff makes a sensitive area more sensitive. Remove them and the vegetation and you will have erosion problems. Lets all strive to keep the uniqueness that makes up Point Roberts. We have a little heaven on earth lets take care of it.
Once its gone its gone. A world, or a view, without birds is very depressing.
Langley, B.C./Point Roberts
The Editor and Ann Eissinger:
I was distressed when I read the article in the All Point Bulletin about the carnage being inflicted upon herons by eagles, but not exactly surprised: The human history of warfare is filled with blood, and our peaceful conquering of animals and indigenous peoples is unfortunately well documented. So why should we expect birds to act differently?
Recently, I wrote a letter to the All Point Bulletin, suggesting that when humans build homes they should be responsible for the structures they erect! The probability is good that this plea will also go unheeded and people will continue to rape what they consider to be something they own! The earth, as Chief Seattle once wrote, is not ours to sell.
Now we are worried by the reports of eagles attaching herons, and I am certain that human beings are responsible for the eagles attacks because we have infringed on nature. Again!
There is no other explanation: the eagles are upset and therefore are taking it out on the herons because we humans have caused the problem. We were given the authority by God to be the stewards of the rest of the worlds animals, etc. Are we being good stewards when we allow so much carnage to happen to those whose brains are incapable of devious thought? Or has the eagles brain finally caught up to the human brain, and deviousness entered the realm of the King of Birds?
Now a golf course is very nice, but I ask this question: Would humans miss the song and sight of birds more than theyd miss one more golf course, given the choice?
I want to thank the Point Roberts volunteer fire department for rescuing Steven Kaufman and me after our fall from the bluff at Lily Point. I am grateful for their response and for doing everything to make sure we were okay. I learned a valuable lesson and you can be sure you wont be having to help me around those cliffs again. That fall could easily have taken both our lives.
Thank you Jim Madden, Aaron Jackson, Nick Kiniski, Jesse Lofquist, Ali Saccone, John Shields, Jeff Stalling, Mike Short and Mac LaPorte and Chief Mike Campbell. Also, thank you Ryley White for going to get help and Jerry White for calling the fire department and also to my neighbor Jim Sarkissian for his help carrying me up the cliff.
The All Point Bulletin welcomes letters to the editor; however, the opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editor. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. Letters must not exceed 450 words and may be edited or rejected for reasons of legality and good taste.
A fresh viewpoint on matters of general interest to local readers will increase the likelihood of publication. Writers should avoid personal invective. Unsigned letters will be not accepted for publication. Requests for withholding names will be considered on an individual basis.
Thank You letters should be limited to ten names.
Only one letter per month from an individual correspondent will be published.
Please send your letter to: P.O. Box 1451, Point Roberts, WA 98281
or fax (360) 945-1613.