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Letters to the Editor: July 11-17
Thanks to Brown
As usual, I did my First Friday trek last week, to absorb and enjoy the sights, sounds and snacks beautiful downtown Sequim has to offer. In my stroll I discovered a new venue, a wonderful addition … made possible by our good citizen … a man of few words, but positive actions.
Yes, thanks to Brown, and sharing of his “retail block” in the heart of our city. During the “high season” of tourism, visitors and activities, our guests will have the opportunity to see and acquire the works of the talented Sequin Arts group.
As well, they have the ability to address the “who, where, when” of our community at the summertime outpost of the Sequim Chamber located alongside our artists.
On behalf of our many visitors, our artisans, our caring community: Thank you, Brown Maloney.
Including firing range makes sense
There is a lot of discussion about the upcoming Aug. 7 vote on the Sequim Public Safety Sales Tax to build a new police station.
Most folks seem to understand the basic issues — a penny increase on the cost of a $10 fast-food meal and the fact that most of the $240,000 annual revenue will come from shoppers who do not live in the city.
After 17 years in temporary, substandard facilities, our police officers need and deserve a new police station.
What is not so well understood is the possible inclusion of a firing range in the basement of the proposed facility. Although some of the preliminary plans do not involve a basement, it does make sense to include a firing range if a basement is part of the final building.
A firing range would involve a roughly 12-by-60 foot area. The range would use three existing structural walls and would add a third poured concrete wall with two doors. This is not an expensive or luxury proposition. It simply makes good sense.
Why? Our police officers are authorized by state law to take human life — an awesome responsibility. Training requirements demand that officers qualify with their weapons four times a year. Presently, our officers travel to a range west of Port Angeles.
Since our force is small and officers can rarely be spared during normal duty hours, this means that roughly $15,000 a year is spent in overtime to keep our officers qualified.
(Imagine the huge liability the city would incur if a person were injured in an encounter with an officer whose weapons certification was not up-to-date.)
This is a low-cost addition to a new police facility. It really presents no downside in planning for the future of our police department. Similar ranges in Bothell and Snoqualmie have been studied and do not present a noise problem. Other public safety agencies could use the range.
Firearms Safety Classes might be offered. The cost is minimal and the potential returns are truly important.
Rights are being usurped
One particular local organization continues efforts to address the issues and actions of local, county, state and federal governments which are seriously eroding many rights and privileges granted to us by the U.S. Constitution.
This organization functions under the banner of “Concerned Citizens of Clallam County” to bring attention to and take appropriate actions regarding constitutional aspects of our lives.
This includes: property rights, education, religion, self-protection, health care, the right to free enterprise, enforcement of our sovereign right to protect our borders and other aspects of our lives.
These individual rights which are being usurped by overreaching governments. Rights usurped or controlled under false and/or misleading premises of protecting individuals, even from their own failures.
The goal of many who are creating restrictions, rules and regulations — particularly in controlling our water, our air, and our power sources — falls largely under the guise of “environmental protection."
Our children and grandchildren are being subjected to indoctrination claiming climate can be controlled and the world saved through their actions. A most questionable theory.
Much more needs to be discovered and assessed before concluding the degree to which the planet is self-healing, and true effects of solar radiation, and more.
The objective of many actions is control. Control resulting in the transformation of this Republic into a European-type socialism.
Establishing a government pretending to give increasing benefits in return for votes, while restricting personal rights with ever-more stringent controls.
The Primary election provides opportunity to start righting the ship of state.
Rohrer is the choice
When electing a judge, experience matters. District Court Judge Erik Rohrer is the best candidate to serve as our next Superior Court Judge.
Judge Rohrer has over 25 years of experience as an attorney. He has handled civil and criminal matters, representing businesses, individuals and the State of Washington.
In 1991, then Attorney General Ken Eikenberry selected Erik to open the Port Angeles Attorney General’s Office. For 10 years, Erik managed the office and served as lead attorney for local state agencies, including Peninsula College.
Judge Rohrer is the one candidate in the race with proven experience as an elected judge. In 2001, he was appointed as District Court Judge in Forks. He has been re-elected three times, serving as judge for the past 11 years. He also serves as a Superior Court Commissioner.
Though he is tough on crime, Judge Rohrer has a reputation for treating everyone in his courtroom with fairness and respect. His record speaks for itself: In 10 years, his court has handled over 20,000 cases and he has never had a decision reversed.
I’ve known Judge Rohrer for over 20 years. He has the characteristics I want in a judge: experience, intelligence, integrity and common sense.
Please join me in voting for Erik Rohrer for Clallam County Superior Court Judge.
Supporting Chris Melly for Judge
I am supporting Chris Melly for Superior Court judge — for good reasons. He is a long-time resident of our area and has a superb record as a Clallam County Hearing Examiner, District Court Commissioner and Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Clallam County.
Chris served in the U.S. Marine Corps and somehow made time to be on the Serenity House Board of Directors, North Olympic Library System Board of Trustees and many other civic organizations.
I watched Chris as a hearing examiner and attorney — deliberate, completely fair to all sides and an accurate interpreter of the laws. He will be a wonderful judge.
Bjorgen a good choice for Court of Appeals
Tom Bjorgen has the widest breadth of legal experience of all the candidates running for Appellate Court judge.
Tom has more than 30 years of legal experience including as Washington State Assistant Attorney General, Thurston County Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, a land use Hearings Examiner for Thurston County and the cities of Olympia and DuPont, and as a private practice attorney.
He has argued cases before the State Appellate Court and Supreme Court. He has written briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tom is known for his ability make complicated legal issues understandable, always with balanced and fair comments. He listens to facts and argues and decides after careful deliberation and review of the law.
The Court of Appeals judge is a high court. Decisions made at this level carry strong weight when cases are appealed to the State Supreme Court. All courts and litigators look to decisions made by Appeals Court judges.
Bjorgen believes that judges must have compassion to understand how laws touch people's lives outside the courtroom and have the discipline and courage to make hard decisions.
Above all, he believes, "Judges must keep in mind all deserve justice; and that justice is not justice if it depends on who you are, who you know, the size of your bank account or the weight of your influence."
I urge you to vote Tom Bjorgen for judge for the Court of Appeals.
More problems coming our way
The proposed "Olympics Composites Corridor" is going to be a disaster! We are just now getting rid of two environmentally hazardous concerns, namely, the Elwha Dam and everything happening in Port Angeles.
Why invite more pollution? [Air (caustic, chemical fumes), Land (deforestation) hundreds of acres ruined …, Water (both usage and disposal), and Massive Construction, (20,000 square feet to begin).]
There are a lot more, like perhaps, chemical holding ponds, our costs $50 million, bonds, etc., and most of all, they have made provisions for like industries to come in. I do not want to be "a world leader or a national model" in the "Composites Industry" (for the duration??).
Battelle should have never been let into our area in the first place. Bring jobs to our economy, you ask? No, they bring a lot of researchers, etc., with them who build huge houses smack up against each other in our precious fields.
The loss is a lot more than the gain! No more farms. No more "sweet dreams, baby" …
Ronald William Engle