Do right by our youth with new field
Nathalie Torres worked hard to become a great soccer player. She began playing when was three years old and never missed a spring or fall season. When she was 10 years old she made the team for the local select soccer club, Storm King, and flourished. She was quiet but competitive and always played with a huge smile — she was a coach’s dream player. Nathalie made varsity as a freshman at Sequim High School and entered this year as a senior with as much promise as any Sequim high school player ever has. This was the year college scouts would be coming to watch her play. This was the year she would be the vocal leader coach V (Derek Vander Velde) needed.
In the first game of the season, Nathalie was running on the home field at Sequim High, stepped into one of the many divots on the old grass surface, and tore ligaments in her knee. Nathalie sat on the bench the rest of her senior season and cheered on her teammates as they made their first appearance ever into the state tournament.
The same field that Nathalie fell victim to is the field that the region’s governing body will not allow any high school playoff game to be played on — soccer or football. All Sequim “home” playoff games must be played on the nearest approved turf fields in Kitsap County.
Sequim can do better than this. We owe it to Nathalie and all of the Nathalies that will come next.
The importance of voting
All U.S. citizens age 18 are eligible to vote; however, in presidential elections, only 54-62 percent of eligible voters in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012 voted. In 2016, that number was 53.1 percent. Typically in mid-term elections, only about 40 percent vote; in 2018, 47 percent voted — the highest since 1966 (49 percent). Ergo, in 2016 and 2018, only about half of 232 million (only about 116 million) eligible voters voted. These statistics show this very important civil right — and the only real power an average citizen has in our U.S. Democracy are taken for granted; or, “My vote doesn’t count, so why vote?”
Voter suppression(s) are facts: witness the various voter suppression gimmicks in Georgia, North Dakota and Florida in 2018; witness pervasive gerrymandering, witness the SCOTUS Citizens United decision giving rich and powerful entities the “ability to buy” (literally) elections. Envision U.S. citizens’ civil right to vote is rescinded by a U.S. president and a complicit Congress, contrary to our Constitution. The result: Our Democracy and Constitutional rights we all take for granted would end, and all our “people power” would be gone, including our Rule of Law protections, in a “blink of four years or less.” Many readers would say, “Impossible!” Maybe. To avoid such happenings, our Democracy, our Rule of Law, our civil rights, our free press and other provisions of our Constitution must not be taken for granted. Whether members of state legislatures or Congress, whether U.S. presidents or state governors, the people rule but only if they vote.
The moral: One does not have the right to complain about his/her lot in our Democracy if one doesn’t vote. Think about it.