Letters to the Editor — July 19, 2017

  • Wednesday, July 19, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

Kudos to local libraries

I would like to share my kudos to the Clallam County libraries for creating a great summer children’s program.

On Tuesday (July 11), the Sequim Library staff coordinated with Home Depot whose participation included the donation of birdhouse kits, providing clear and helpful photo instruction booklets, making hammers and screw drivers available and encouraging some very helpful staff volunteers to assist children (and their adults) in assembling the birdhouses.

My 5- and 2-year-old grandchildren really loved doing the project and were delighted to be able to take their very own birdhouses home to share the experience with their parents.

Later, they decorated the outside of their birdhouses with paint.

The whole experience was a super fun community outreach activity. Thank you!

Colleen Larsen


City spending too much for park improvements

Since moving to Sequim six years ago, I’ve concluded that the powers that be — in this case, the city council — believe that they have an unlimited supply of other people’s money to spend. Case in point: more than half a million dollars for further improvements to Carrie Blake Park!

I’ve been told that the park’s present entrance must be abandoned and a new one built to keep kids from running off the playground and getting hit by cars.

This might because some genius put half of the playground equipment on one side of the road and half on the other. How about moving everything to one side of the road, fencing in the entire playground, and putting the gate where it will not open onto the road?

I’ve been told that the plan includes eight pickle ball courts, but the news article says, “grading for eight future courts.” How much more will it cost to build the courts?

The present entrance is graced by the beautiful friendship pond and garden. Will that area become a hidden treasure once the entrance is closed? It’s too bad that this plan is a done deal. It seems like the same goals could have been achieved at a lot less expense.

Robert Falk


Editor’s note: We asked City of Sequim officials for a response, which they provided below:

“Carrie Blake Community Park is a treasured asset in Sequim. The 51-acre Park attracts both city and county residents as well as tourists to the Sequim area. The amenities within the park have been established through the efforts of partnerships between the City of Sequim and volunteers who have invested time, money and hard work

In February 2016, the City of Sequim adopted the Carrie Blake Community Park Master Plan. The plan, led by public participation, provides a strategy for the future development of the park. The implementation of the plan, directed by the citizen participation, is underway. Utilizing grants and partnerships helps extend City funds when providing park improvements.

In 2016, the completion of the additional parking and access through the park was funded in part through grants received by local partners in the amount of $174,294. Phase I of the Guy Cole Center remodel was primarily funded through a $438,500 Washington State Department of Commerce grant.

The next phase of development changes the current entrance near the Friendship Pond to a more pleasant pedestrian walkway. It adds a drive entrance to the south for vehicular access and provides grading to the site for the development of eight pickleball courts. The Sequim Picklers have procured around $160,000 and plan to develop the courts in partnership with the City.

To find out more about the Master Plan and to view the site plan, visit the City of Sequim Parks homepage at www.sequimwa.gov/index.aspx?nid=325.

After the new entrance is completed, upcoming projects for implementation at Carrie Blake Park include:

• Phase II remodel of the Guy Cole Convention Center (partially funded with the remaining $64,800 from our Washington State grant).

• Pickleball courts, planned for completion in 2018 utilizing the funding partnership mentioned above with the Sequim Picklers

• Upgrades and consolidation of the playground equipment to the north side of the current entrance drive.

• Construction of tennis courts, partially funded by the community, where the relocated playground equipment used to be.”

Cuts too costly

Republicans now control the Congress, White House, and the U.S. Supreme Court (a political monopoly?), and have promised for seven years to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”).

During the campaign, Trump promised his voter base no cuts to Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security. But anyone who can read knows the Republican health care bills are not about health care but disguised as $800-plus billion tax cuts for the rich, taken from the ACA portion of Medicaid. This cut in Medicaid impacts the poor, the elderly, millions of needy children, those with pre-existing health conditions, and impacts more than 20 million U.S. citizens, who have Obamacare insurance now.

Sadly, in the richest nation in the world, its neediest citizens are impacted by currently proposed legislation by the morally bankrupt Congress and supported by the inept, careless White House.

If this legislation is enacted into law, many citizens will needlessly die, who need health care the most, and the rich will benefit from the tax cuts, who need the money the least.

If you are a Trump supporter who needs affordable health care or a good job, you may come to realize the campaign promises of most politicians are hollow. Such promises are known as “election seduction of the gullible voter.”

Richard Hahn


A changed nation

With reference to the vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to permit transsexual sex change surgery in the military, I offer the following:

A few years ago I attended a U.S. Submarine League luncheon at the Submarine Base at Ballast Point in San Diego, I was talking with the base commander. He said he spent more time assuring that the women in his command had adequate sanitary facilities than he spent on training schedules for his sub crews.

The United States Military exists to protect the country and its citizens. If a military policy does not enhance the war fighting capability of the military, it should not be considered. That opinion pretty much says that our military should not be used as some gigantic experiment in social engineering.

When special rights are granted to a minuscule micro-minority of our population the basic rights of the vast majority are abrogated. In my readings, the LGBTQ percentage of our population is anywhere between 3-5 percent, yet they are granted special rights out of all proportion to that percentage.

One right of LGBTQ’s is the right to be American citizens and bear the responsibilities of that citizenship; that includes serving in the military — with this one caveat. Dedication to individualism while in the military is like mixing oil and water: one enters the military to serve one’s country, not to dwell upon one’s sexual proclivities. One does not join the armed forces of the United States to expect and receive a sex change operation. If one wants to join that’s fine, but if one is mixed up about one’s gender take a glance below the belt, then shut up about it and do the job one signed up for.

I was born an American and I grew up and was educated as an American; that is, I was taught the founders of this magnificent country were honorable men imbued with and who lived by Judeo-Christian and classically liberal principles.

I was not taught that they were merely a collection of racist white slave owners unworthy of our esteem. I was also taught one of the highest endeavors of any American was unquestioning and selfless service to the country.

I don’t see this today. What I see is a gaggle of self-serving, ideological minorities obsessed with individualism. Our culture was once based upon God respecting decency. I yearn for the return of that virtue.

Ethan Harris


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