The Editor and Bennett Knox, director, Whatcom County Parks Department:
A quotation for replacement of the boat launch and fishing dock was received today from Scott Strack at Knight Boat Docks in Deer Park, Washington. Copies attached for your review.
This quotation is for budgetary purposes, but a fast review shows that the cost estimate is less than one-third the cost of the previous replacement dock, which did not work.
The lead time from Knight Boat Docks should allow for installation and use of a new dock in the coming season. The seven steel pilings for anchoring the dock are already in place.
As discussed at our community town hall in October, Point Roberts has been without a functioning dock at Lighthouse Park for 14 years.
Both you and county executive Satpal Sidhu attended that meeting, so you are aware of the immediate need for a positive economic and recreational driver for Point Roberts – one that can be put in place expeditiously.
A replacement dock is supported by the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association, Point Roberts Registered Voters Association and the chamber of commerce. Community approval was registered in March 2010 with a petition of 664 signatures in favor of a replacement dock.
Priority should be given to the use of county resources to fund clearing the current concrete ramp area from accumulated rocks, gravel and wood debris in preparation for the new dock.
When full funding is authorized by Whatcom County, it is entirely possible that Lighthouse Park will finally have a working fishing pier and boat launch in place for the 2023 summer season.
Looking forward to working with you and the supplier on this project.
Point Roberts and North Vancouver
I want to share information about having an alternative to having to pay too much for prescription drug medications. NBC’s series “Side Effects, NBC News Investigating Drug Pricing” featured Mark Cuban who has started his own company called Cost Plus Drugs that makes prescription medications very affordable. He can do this because he bypasses the insurers and middle-men. An example is for the leukemia drug Imatinib, which retails at a pharmacy chain for more than $2,500, according to Cost Plus Drugs website. With insurance, a typical co-pay is $30. But at Cost Plus Drugs the same leukemia medication is $19.40 a month with no insurance needed, and so no co-pay either. Another example is the drug Albendazole, which has an average retail of $430, but at Cost Plus it is only $38.
Mark Cuban is on reality TV-show “Shark Tank” and is worth billions of dollars. When asked why he started his company, he said, “It’s the right thing to do. I have money.” In the 10 months since he started the company, he has about 1.5 million customers who can choose from about 350 generic medications. He says, “Transparency is the key.” On his bills, the customers see what Cost Plus paid for the medication, along with a 15 percent mark up, a $3 pharmacy fee and a $5 shipping fee. That’s it.
A young girl Christina Costa, uses Cost Plus Drugs and created an Instagram video to share her experience. She has epilepsy and brain cancer, and anxiety. She quoted Mark Cuban, “Everyone should have safe, affordable medicines with transparent prices.” She’s never met Mark Cuban, but by using Cost Plus Drugs, she is saving 90 percent on her medications every month.
It is worth going online (costplusdrugs.com) and seeing how much you can save on your prescription medications.
I would like to congratulate Grace McCarthy for three years of excellent journalism at Point Roberts Press, Inc. and The Northern Light. She has now been there for three years, first as an intern for university credit and now at the helm as editor. This paper, and others like it, are essential to informing the public about key societal institutions in their further advancement, and Ms. McCarthy has done a brilliant job documenting many of the key issues.
As a previous editor, I had the privilege of interviewing Ms. McCarthy for her internship application. After she was accepted, not only did she do top-notch reporting, but she also asked important ethical questions. When a small business that she was writing about sent her a free, unsolicited product sample, she asked if she should keep it or send it back. When a local legislator asked to edit one of their statements after a Q&A, Ms. McCarthy asked for guidance on this too (I advised that the politician couldn’t revise their quote).
In a profession that does not have legislated rules for sound constitutional reasons, these types of questions must be deliberated upon by each journalist as they chart their own course. Indeed, all of us must consider such questions, since we are all journalists every time we post on social media, speak up about common concerns and shared issues, or otherwise express ourselves to others.
The whole team at Point Roberts Press is doing a wonderful job at serving its readers, encouraging community engagement and helping to raise awareness of important topics relevant to this unique and special part of America and the world. Thank you for reading my letter, and best wishes to Ms. McCarthy for the continued progress of her outstanding journalism career.
Coquitlam, B.C. and Blaine
I was encouraged to read Dr. Sandhya Gelou’s letter in which she addressed the urgency of diabetes prevention, noting some remarkable successes in the American Indian and Alaska Native
All other populations are continuing to trend upward in diabetes diagnoses at alarming rates.
It’s time to connect some dots: Diabetes prevention should be an ambitious public health initiative. Now. Not off into the future.
Type 2 diabetes, the opioid crisis, alcohol and tobacco use have something in common. They are among the top health challenges in our country. They are expensive to contain and treat and raise the cost of insurance and medical care for employers and employees. Additionally, they negatively impact workforce participation.
The governor, chambers of commerce, business owners and various media are expressing concerns about the difficulty in recruiting and retaining a stable workforce. These challenges have become acute.
In December, the CDC warned of a 700 percent surge in diabetes in young Americans under the age of 20 in the coming decades. This new research should be a wake-up call to ensure all of our children are the healthiest they can be.
Our health department will be the administrator of the Healthy Children’s Fund (Proposition 5) that was approved in November 2022. They should include diabetes prevention as a priority. Prop. 5 plans are still in their developmental phase – so it’s possible to include diabetes prevention in the 10-year project, which is funded by property taxes.
How many readers know the elected Whatcom County Council comprises the board of our county health department?
It was county council that voted to put the so-called healthy kids measure on the ballot, even though there was no developed plan defined.
Diabetes prevention belongs on the public health agenda if we want a future healthy labor pool. Where’s the leadership?
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