BENEFITING: POINT ROBERTS TAXPAYERS ASSOCIATION
We have a fantastic video which you can access here or by scrolling through the pictures (at left) to the end or clicking on the fourth "dot."
Hate Bullies? So do we. A greedy corporation is trying to run roughshod over our small community and spoil a large part of the reason we love where we live.
BBC Broadcasting Inc. (no relationship to the British Broadcasting Corporation) holds the broadcast license for KRPI radio programming. While this is an American corporation, its target audience is the Southeast Asian community in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada (the greater Vancouver area.) The bulk of it's programming is in languages used in Southeast Asia such as Punjabi and Urdu. The broadcast signal is directed north to Canada.
The programming is created in an unknown location. It used to be created in Richmond, BC, Canada but where the content is created now is a mystery. We do know it is not made at the broadcasting facility where the current transmitter and towers reside in Ferndale, Washington.
The radio station, KRPI, is an American radio station, but is a pirate radio station. By broadcasting from the US, they avoid many of the regulations they would have to meet if they were to broadcast from Canada. KRPI currently broadcasts at 50,000 watts in the daytime and 10,000 watts at night from a tower farm in Ferndale, Washington. There the residents have complained about Blanketing Interference. Check out the other videos about our concerns shown on that page. To see some of the complaints from residents of Ferndale, WA, go to the Archives section of our webpage and click on the banner that says "Ferndale Complaints to FCC ---- This is the FCC document that Made Us All MAD".
KRPI has "poisoned the well" in their current location, this is why BBC Broadcasting Inc started their hunt for a new location that serves their needs to increase night time wattage to 50,000 (the same as daytime wattage) and maybe leave all complaints by residents behind.
Eventually BBC Broadcasting Inc purchased a 10 acre lot in Point Roberts Washington which borders on the town of Tsawwassen in British Columbia, Canada. This 10 acre parcel is less than 1000 feet from the US-Canadian border. BBC Broadcasting Inc originally got the FCC to issue a building permit for a five-tower array and transmitter on that parcel. The proposed towers would each be 148 feet high and would be a monumental eyesore to everyone entering Point Roberts as well as causing “blanketing interference” and jeopardizing the health of 1400 residents in Point Roberts and 23000 residents in Tsawwassen. You will see in our short video that Point Roberts is not an urban environment, but instead a rural 4.5 square mile pastoral and verdant peninsula. For generations, folks in Canada have come here to vacation at their family cabins and Americans come here to live and/or retire. We are surrounded on 3 sides by the Salish Sea. Everyone loves the peaceful lush environment sans a radio tower farm. In the map documents provided to the FCC by BBC Broadcasting Inc, the town of Tsawwassen is eliminated, blank, nada.
Therefore we, the Cross-Border Coalition to Stop the Radio Towers - a volunteer organization of residents from the USA and Canada, have raised (and spent) over $130,000 so far since October of 2013 to fund legal expenses. We have a dual legal approach. We have lawyers in Washington DC who deal specifically with the FCC who are just starting to review our case and we have an excellent land use lawyer here in Whatcom County. With his help we have won every challenge in Whatcom County thus far. This has been a grassroots effort and we seek an additional $100,000 to allow our lawyers to continue with our case in DC and locally (now in Washington State Superior Court in Skagit County.) We have achieved several legal victories in Whatcom County, Washington where we reside, however, because we were successful, BBC decided to appeal their case in a different district to see if they have better luck in a different court. Check out our webpage to learn more and read the history of our two communities valiantly coming together to work for our mutual protection from the electronic degradation and deleterious health impacts of blanketing interference.
Understand that our opponent has deep pockets. Late last year their Canadian radio studio SherE Punjab was shut down by the CRTC (Canada's FCC) for transmitting their programing from the US (the same Ferndale tower farm) into Canada without a license. Their studio produced the identical programing we hear on KRPI today. It covers Canadian news, weather, sports, events. It's program hosts are Canadians speaking in Punjabi to an audience culturally aligned to the subject matter covered in the shows. One need only look at their website to understand this. While it is true that there is a small community of 2,000 Punjabi residents living in Lynden,WA, the real target community is in the lower mainland of British Columbia with the third largest ethnic community of 30,000 and growing.
Our fight is not with Punjabi residents in British Columbia or in Lynden, WA. The radio programing could be in any language, Russian, Spanish, or English and we would still not want the towers in Point Roberts for exactly the same reasons which are the effects of Blanketing Interference and the inappropriateness of creating an industrialized behemoth in a town that is not industrial and thereby detracting from the pastoral and verdant environment. Our largest business is hospitality. Folks come here to unwind and get away from the noise and static of modern living. We believe that BBC Broadcasting Inc thought we were a sleepy town, sparingly populated and no one would notice, much less care, what they did. They referred to Point Roberts as undeveloped. They never bothered to find out who lived here or whether any radio tower farm was appropriate in our community. That's probably why they didn't bother to hold a Town Hall to explain what they were up to and they didn't post their official notice to file for an application to construct in our local newspaper but instead posted a postage-stamp size notice in the Bellingham Herald, the newspaper of note in a city 50 miles away. That potential for "hiding" notices has since been corrected by our Planning department because of demand of our local population.
For another interesting read by a member of our coalition who writes a blog and has written three instalments about this struggle see the links below. He is a superb writer and entertaining to boot. He does a great job of describing the issue(s) and progress. Read them in order to see his take on the situation and learn more about what this is all about. The dates of each blog are at the top left of his page. Start with this and then read this and this (written before the appeal to the Washington State Superior Court.)