Opinion

Editor's Corner: Odds and ends for the editor's desk

Every time I leave Sequim, I come to appreciate it more and more.

Case in point: Last weekend I spent about 17 hours driving — mostly to and from Spokane — to pick up my youngest stepdaughter and boyfriend at the airport and then attend my oldest stepdaughter’s graduation from Eastern Washington University (Go Eags!).

To get there, I waded through mind-numbingly slow traffic that would make molasses jealous near Seattle, stop in the town of Ellensburg that didn’t seem to have an available bathroom past 10 p.m. and finally get to beautiful Cheney, Wash., where it rarely rains in the late spring — and had it rain the whole time at Saturday’s morning commencement.

So I read with tongue planted firmly between teeth the online comments that indicate there’s little to do in this town. Instigated by a story of the closing of Sequim’s bowling alley, some folks believe there aren’t things to do, to which I and others would scoff. Surely people realize there’s a national park just to our south and a major body of water to the north, a cross-peninsula trail accessible just about anywhere you can call Sequim, shops and gyms and whatnot, right?

And then I realize I’m not 12 anymore. Or 18. Or 25.

I have to realize that many Sequim residents don’t have flexible schedules or an affinity for the outdoors or the budgets to do some of those outdoor activities and that amenities like a bowling alley are the kind of thing that help provide a lifeblood to a community. To some, bowling alleys and movie theaters and malls are obnoxious reminders of why they escaped to the Olympic Peninsula. For others, they are a Friday night of entertainment.

Well, there’s always the grocery store parking lots …

Filling her shoes

Sarah Bedinger leaves a hole on the Sequim School Board. After more than a decade of public service, she’s stepping down from the board of directors and her experience will be sorely missed.

What lies ahead for the board is an unenviable task of coming back to Sequim voters with a capital construction bond that has the potential to change the face of not just the school district but Sequim as a whole. Voters rejected a $154 million proposal in April and the board has eyes on a February 2015 vote, but directors will appoint another board member before then. That board member will have a lot on his or her shoulders, considering not just the bond issue and the district’s annual $26 million-plus budget but helping Sequim schools navigate significant changes to schools as we know it, from testing and curriculum to graduation requirements. Here’s to hoping some of Sequim’s sharper minds will offer their services to help our schools succeed.

Quote of the week

“Do they get a PE credit, too?”

Sequim School board president John Bridge, weighing (literally) adoption of 10-pound-plus textbooks for advanced placement classes Monday night.

Issues with website

Some users of the Sequim Gazette website have noticed a kind of glitch with our archives. When trying to retrieve a story from said archives, users are finding that copious amounts of stories have the same dates: March 20 or March 21, 2014. When we moved our archives — several years worth, actually — to our new website format, the original dates disappeared. So a story written in February of 2009 looks as if it was uploaded in March of this year.

The glitch has caused some headaches, understandably, and as of this writing there is no easy fix. Techies tell me there’s no easy fix to those archived stories and updating their dates would, to coin a phrase from one of our company’s IT gurus, “a pretty nasty set of events.”

I’ll continue to look for a way to fix our archives. In the meantime, keep this in mind as you research Sequim stories and let us know if we can help track down any previously published stories.

Going to pot

In today’s issue we look at some of the environmental impacts of the legalization of marijuana and will look at the potential economic impacts of the formerly illegal drug in future editions.

While conversation surrounding marijuana in recent months and weeks has varied, what I hear most from local residents is a kind of startling realization that 1) pot is actually, seriously, undeniably legal, 2) users are moving in next door! and 3) the world is ending.

I generally respond to these items with 1) yes, but only sort of legal, 2) yeah, they might be, and 3) yes, but not because of marijuana.

Despite all the rules and regulations regarding marijuana production, it seems as if few people along the line — state, city and county officials, law enforcement, proponents and opponents, growers themselves — will know how all of this plays out. Will pot be like tobacco, eventually available over the counter at any grocery store? Or will the stigma stay with marijuana, with lawmakers attempting to ban it once more? For that … I don’t have an answer.

So long, Tony

It may seem odd to put this note here, but I can’t help but note the passing of Tony Gwynn, one of my favorite baseball players. I spent part of my childhood in San Diego and fell head-over-heels with Gwynn’s style of play, his humor and attitude, hard work and discipline.

For those not familiar, Gwynn was a Hall of Fame outfielder who spent all 20 years of his career with the San Diego Padres.

Gwynn died Monday morning of oral cancer, a disease he attributed to years of chewing tobacco. It was the one flaw I overlooked in a historically amazing career. Minus the chew, he seems to me a perfect role model.

Sure, there are plenty of folks who more fully epitomized sportsmanship and integrity — I just can’t think of any right now.

 

Reach editor Michael Dashiell at editor@sequimgazette.com.

 

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