Letters to the editor — July 18, 2018

Keep fireworks tradition alive in Clallam

I am a resident of Sequim and I read in the Sequim Gazette that there will be a public hearing regarding whether or not to have fireworks in Clallam County for the celebration of the 4th of July.

I cannot make this meeting as I have family from back east arriving that afternoon, however my voice is a resounding yes!

I am a 68-year-old senior, and I was told that the seniors are opposed to having fireworks because it frightens their dogs? I do hope that is a rumor going around and not a fact!

Fireworks of one form or another have been around ever since we succeeded in defeating the British in 1781. The Colonies celebrated with noise. The pioneers crossing the prairies put explosives under anvils and blew them into the sky with a huge bang as they danced and made music to celebrate the 4th of July.

Fireworks are part of America’s celebration, just as the French have fireworks to celebrate Bastille Day on the 14th of July. Having no fireworks throws an amazing tradition out the window – how can that happen?!

Please allow fireworks in Clallam County forever – and in Sequim, too, while you’re at it! The only exception would be a critical fire danger due to extreme dryness because of drought, and even then you can have them out on the spit.

I certainly hope we continue to have fireworks in the United States of America, and in Washington state counties!

Mary Van Dyke


Deep concern

The majority of Americans should be deeply concerned by President Trump’s recent actions on the international scene. He has sown discord and chaos on the domestic scene. Now he has disrupted the world order which has kept us safe since the end of the Second World War. Democratic countries are under attack, the world trade order is being unravelled.

It is clear from the recent indictments of Russian intelligence operatives that our election system is under attack by Russia. But, Trump, in his love for dictators, especially Putin, and his attacks on democracies is undermining the strength of our alliances and our standing in the world. He uses baseless and misleading accusations to attack our allies. He ignores information that indicts our enemies. He wants to befriend our own enemies, especially Russia. When he is called out for his lies and distortions, he calls those corrections “fake news!” He did admit at one point that “fake news” is any report that disagrees with him. It is clear he will have tens of millions of followers because they love his bombast and his intolerance. But I hope more and more of the majority will see the need to resist and speak out against him and his dangerous policies both at home and abroad. Hopefully, thoughtful Republicans will challenge the leadership of their party, or follow the lead of other Republicans like columnist George Will and will leave the party and admit how it is failing the majority of the American people, the country itself, our true allies, and, as a result, the whole world.

Jim Dries


Neupert worth your vote for judge

With his legal knowledge, calm-and-collected temperament, his family values and community commitment, Dave Neupert has earned my vote in the Aug. 7 primary election for Clallam County District Court 1 judge.

He is the only candidate in the primary with proven judicial experience, and he is certainly the most qualified.

In addition to more than 25 years successfully practicing civil and criminal law in Clallam County, he has served as a judge pro-tem for District Court 1 and is now the acting presiding judge of that court after being appointed last February.

He is a graduate of the Washington State Judicial College and is a member of the District & Municipal Court Judges’ Association. I’ve watched him when he is on the bench — he is no-nonsense but unfailingly fair, and patient and even-handed with attorneys, litigants and witnesses.

Outside the courtroom, Neupert has helped the community by serving with volunteer groups, rising to board president of Habitat for Humanity Clallam County, vice president of Peninsula Behavioral Health and working as a board member of United Way Clallam County and the Peninsula College Foundation.

District Court 1 deserves a qualified and trustworthy judge. That person is Dave Neupert.

John Brewer

Port Angeles

(Editor’s note: Brewer is former publisher/editor of the Sequim Gazette and Peninsula Daily News.)

Nation’s immigration stance belies its history

I’m surprised by the seeming lack of tolerance, empathy and understanding in some of the recent PDN and Gazette letters regarding the US Government’s cruel policy of separating children from their asylum seeking Central American parents at our Mexican border, with the parents going to detention centers and the children to group shelters or individual foster care across the country. There is no evidence any thought was given to how to systematically reunite the families. The legal ports of entry are not staffed to handle large numbers of refugees with children fleeing violence and desperate circumstances. Both the US Refugee Act of 1980 and international law provide asylum seekers protections the Central Americans have not been given. More important than the various legalities of the situation is what our American values are as a nation. Readers should realize non-native American US citizens (ALL of us!) are immigrants or descendants of immigrants and refugees, who came here either forcibly as slaves, seeking asylum from various abuses, or for economic reasons and opportunities for a better life? Our nation (ONCE?) represented “The American Dream” not available to many around the world. We fortunate US citizens should not be judging others, who are seeking to live a safer life. How many readers truly believe that non-white refugees seeking asylum in the USA should be summarily prosecuted and have the parents separated from their children (many permanently), who are caged like animals in various detention centers across the USA? This Government policy violates the required legal procedures, which are being summarily denied, for processing US asylum seekers. We, the people, as a Nation of Constitutional rights, freedoms, and Rule of Law should be above supporting Trump’s arbitrary, cruel immigration policies and his complicit, self-serving Congress, which has avoided immigration issues for too many years.

Richard Hahn


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