hydrangea blossoming

hydrangea blossoming
Hydrangea on the Edge of Blooming

Friday, October 29, 2010

Government Strikes Back

After that nice Whatcome County officials' visitation on Monday, we were next visited, somewhat more indirectly but much more unpleasantly, by the state, in the form if its Department of Archeology and Historical Preservation.

The news came via Point Interface, which had been asked to broadcast the reply of the Department to a local entrepreneur who does something about consulting on coastlands and such.  The entrepreneur had requested a little information about what, exactly, the DAHP (that's archeology etc., above) expected regarding digging into the ground in Point Roberts.  Now, I think it's safe to say that most people here know that there has been, in years past, some fussiness about digging large holes in the ground, say for swimming pools, and in particular over in Maple Beach because of there being Indian remains in that area.

What I think most of us don't know and would have no reason to know is that the whole 4+square miles is a giant archeological site and that, strictly speaking/black-letter law, we aren't allowed to plant our garlic bulbs today without getting a permit from the state and buying an archeologist to stand by our side to make sure that no bones are appearing in the shoveled dirt.  At least that's what the archeologist said, the one who works for the state and is responsible for this law.  Not for its existence, but for its application.  You can read the text of the email she sent to the entrepreneur here at the All Point Bulletin.

Now, in all fairness, she does say that they have never interfered with gardening,  per se, although it appears to be covered by the law, but she does claim that so much as a post hole being dug anywhere on the Point requires both the permit and the archeologist, both of which come at a price.  (Maybe this will discourage the radio station with its desire to put up five towers on Tyee?)

Yesterday, I was at the local grocery, parked between a County Planning and Development truck, and an SUV.  The SUV's driver got out and strolled over to the County truck and inquired of the driver whether he knew anything about these requirements for archeologists and permits in Point Roberts.  The Planning and Development guy replied, 'Oh, there are lots of state requirements, etc.," and effectively blew him off.  But I'd guess that is just one of many inquiries coming government's way.

It's hard to imagine what inspired the state archeologist person to commit her views to print, since they are done in about the most irritating manner possible.  If you've been feeling some irritation with government here during the anti-government election season, you could scarcely find a finer example of what's wrong with government regulation and of why so many people are so furious about it.  Well, we live and learn.  Both us and the archeologist, I'd guess.