General News · 19th March 2018
This is in response to two short anonymous blurbs printed in the Cortes Marketer March 16th.
My name is Noba. I greatly value being known and held accountable by my name. I also value community publications that require it. I will start by addressing your comment about my dadís cabin and then answer your question about the fire department.
You are right that not all government regulations are adhered to on my shared property. And believe me or not, this causes me personal angst, both given my character and my position. I own my part in our non-compliance, knowing that in this way I represent the norm on Cortes. Iím not saying itís right. Iím saying itís common. Indeed it is why so many move here; for a life a little freer from regulations. I, however, did not move here from elsewhere. This has always been my home. And part of why I returned, and dedicated my life to serving this community, was to support my father in his aging. Six years ago, when he could no longer live alone, he moved in with me. There is limited seniorís housing and no assisted living on Cortes, and indeed a lack of integrated elder care services overall. Addressing this acute community need will be integral to my upcoming re-election campaign. Given our island situation, my choice was to embrace my father into my home rather than commit him to an institution.
There is beautiful irony of your complaint about my fatherís cabin being illegal. When Bernie needed to move in with me, I contacted the Regional District about the legality of building him a sleeping cabin and found that the regulation was unclear. Because it was to be a mere sleeping cabin, lacking in water and facilities, it was deemed by one planner to be accessory of the main house and therefore permitted, while the other planner said that it would be used for habitation and therefore would not be permitted. I chose to house my dad. However, for the collective, what is the will of the island? Would we like sleeping cabins to be a clearly permitted use? I have offered this personal example many times in public as a means to illustrate the importance of clarity in our zoning bylaw.
As to your concern about me rebuilding said cabin... Having Bernie now under our roof, which was always the long-term plan as his needs increased, has been really sweet. He is out of bed more, plays more with his granddaughter, eats more... At 82, it has been a lovely shift. And Iím game for sleeping in the living room until we build another bedroom onto our home. No re-build of that cabin to which you so objected. But thanks for the opportunity to speak in public about personal matters in a way I would not otherwise do. I am not perfect. But I am doing my best to be in this world in a good way and to be named and held accountable for it.
As for why we did not call the fire department... Thanks for your care about doing the right thing. It is important that we are fire safe. By the time we returned home, the fire was well past its climax. We were SO lucky that it was the wettest time of year, the air was still, and the fire did not spread. We started up our water pump, ran out our fire hose, opened the valve to our fire suppression water tank and, while piling the charred cabin bits onto the fire, kept the surrounding trees and ground wet. Even though we live across the road from the fire hall, we knew we could respond faster than even the best efforts of our volunteer fire fighters given their required travel time. As fire season approaches yet again, I hope our loss can encourage us all to be more prepared. It has certainly lit a fire under my bottom as we remove some trees and brush close to our home. If you want to come see our fire suppression system, just call. My biggest take-away is SPRINKLERS!!!! If there had been sprinklers in Bernieís cabin, it would still be standing.
I am most grateful to those who have responded with kindness and generosity. We are so blessed to live where we do. And thanks to you Mr./Mrs. Anonymous for caring about doing the right thing!
Respectfully, Noba Anderson
Fire Suppression Water Tank
Way to go Noba
Comment by Sue Ellingsen on 31st March 2018
Noba, you are doing a great job of all of it.
truth be told
Comment by Jane Newman on 26th March 2018
Noba I am grateful for this letter. You are courageous.
Nicely written, Noba
Comment by Ian Ross on 22nd March 2018
Well said, well felt, well done. Thanks.
Comment by dova on 21st March 2018
Dear Noba, I have not seen or read the contentious comments in the flyer but I read your letter and applaud your efforts to home your dad. My siblings and I went through it with both parents and I know how difficult it is. Two things , first I'm glad Bernie is doing so well in view of the change in his circumstances, it was a bit of a nightmare for us when we had to reorganize our/my parents living arrangements. My dad called 911 on the housekeeper when she showed up to work and let herself in with the key we provided. Second, we do have some services available here on island. I am part of a team of carers who work with the medical centre. We provide home care and lots more for our seniors so they can stay on island. Also for folks who just need a few weeks of help in the home after hospital 'til they get on their feet. So please check this out, I don't know how we could help but we are here and ready to be of service should you need us. If you call me I can give you much more detail.
Comment by Max thaysen on 21st March 2018
... thanks for being open, honest and a real human being, Noba.
Comment by Lovena on 21st March 2018
Thank you for always remaining calm, honest and sincere in the face of negativity and personal attack. I was off island all weekend and am just seeing your article today, and haven't yet read the slander in the Cortes Marketer (and likely won't).
I am a good friend of yours and yet you haven't called me to complain or gossip about who might have written the unkind words. You remain humble and kind in your responses and don't give in to this basic form of bullying and cruelty.
I think you are one of the most resilient people I know, truly I do. As Bernie's cabin was burning down, you held your father and thanked all lucky stars, he got out of that fire. You never lamented the loss, only shifted your home to accommodate him and accepted the fate.
Thank you Noba for all you do and for who you are.
I signed my name to this
Comment by Peter Jackel on 20th March 2018
As with so many issues on Cortes Island, there is no "right" only, and no "wrong" only. There is always territory in between, as most of us know. Noba has explored some of this territory very well in her article.
What is "wrong" are unsigned opinion pieces. We ask Noba, who has been elected to serve us,and we ask others who serve us in other public ways, to be open with us about what they do and to tell us the truth. She, and they, can't hide behind anonymity. Neither should the rest of us.
Unsigned opinion pieces are irresponsible and cowardly, and are usually, as are the ones in issue here, mean-spirited. None of Noba's ponderings in her article was mean-spirited.
One reason many will not serve our community on boards, and other elected positions, is that they do not want to be maligned by anonymous cowards, and then become the subject of ill-informed gossip based on comments by these individuals. They are people who want to cause trouble yet not have to account for their actions.
Thanks For Your Article
Comment by Chris Dragseth on 20th March 2018
I really appreciated your article. It is truly a sad statement of our world when someone feels that anonymity is OK when being so unkind.
All the best,