Letters to the Editor — Oct. 11, 2017

  • Wednesday, October 11, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion

About our emergency preparedness

I am writing in response to the recent letter in the Sequim Gazette by resident Richard Hahn expressing concern about the level of emergency preparation that has occurred in the City of Sequim and at the Sequim School District (Letters to the Editor, “Lessons from Mexico City,” Sept. 27, page 8).

We appreciate his concern for our residents and specifically the students attending Sequim schools.

In the past two years, the City of Sequim has built out an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Sequim Transit Center to serve the region should a disaster occur. Representatives from Clallam County, the City of Sequim, the Sequim School District, Fire District 3, the American Red Cross, Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES), the business community, and other area partners meet on a regular basis to practice setting up the EOC and work together on improving our plan to best prepare for an event.

Clallam County and Fire District 3 have been actively working with neighborhoods to train Community Emergency Rescue Teams (CERT) and to map neighborhoods, so people know who might need extra assistance if a disaster occurs.

Mr. Hahn specifically asked about the vulnerability of students at the schools. We talked with Sequim Schools Superintendent Gary Neal who is working directly with the regional emergency preparation team.

“A recent study and survey prepared by BLRB Architects on behalf of the Sequim School District and under the direction of former Superintendent Kelly Shea gave us the following information:

All school facilities have been well maintained; however, Hellen Haller Elementary, Sequim High School and the community school have older buildings which need extensive improvement.

“We are very thankful that last year the Sequim community approved a Capital Project Levy allowing for the renovation of the central kitchen and the deconstruction of the community school. Both of these projects represent a ‘first step’ to comply with functional and safety standards while improving buildings to meet the needs of our 21st Century Learners,” Neal said.

“Recent construction bonds to address district-wide infrastructure needs have, unfortunately, been unsuccessful in meeting the 60 percent voter approval. We are moving in the right direction, but we still have a lot of work to do,” he added.

Emergency preparation is everyone’s responsibility. We are thankful that our community is working together to best prepare ourselves for the worst, and hoping that day doesn’t come. Each individual and family should develop an emergency kit and an emergency plan. The Center for Disease Control offers a wealth of information on how to get prepared (see www.emergency.cdc.gov).

Charlie Bush

Sequim City Manager

Where is our spirit for the Fourth?

Would you believe that the Sequim City Council interpreted our vote to not permit individual fireworks to mean that we don’t want any public display?

That was according to an article on a recent City Council meeting in Oct. 4 Sequim Gazette (“Sequim city councilors nix funds for Fourth of July Event,” page A-1). We have not had any Fourth of July display for many years and I think that is what contributed to so many individual people shooting off their own. We enjoy watching the fireworks from the Irrigation Festival but really miss not having any on the Fourth.

It seems insane that we are expected to drive to Port Angeles (some of us don’t like to drive after dark) to watch the annual fireworks display.

If the city can’t afford $20,000 in the budget, I am certain they can raise it from major local businesses and organizations. But the city should be the one to organize it.

Come on folks, let’s show some spirit. They don’t have to be the ear shattering ones but let’s see some color in the sky on the Fourth of July.

Ruth E. Messing


Thanks for the coverage

Thanks to Matthew Nash’s article in the Sequim Gazette (“Cancer doesn’t keep Sequim couple down 20 years later,” Sept. 27, page A-3), the Mad Hatters Tea was a resounding success. The pictures made us minor celebrities, very briefly, in the community, and the focus was on the wonderful Mad Hatter ladies who work so hard to promote breast cancer awareness.

We thank the Gazette for the promotion of this very worthwhile event and Matt for his understanding and sincerity.

This year, the Mad Hatters Tea will contribute almost $10,000 to the community in the fight against breast cancer.

Thanks to the Gazette, Matthew Nash, the Mad Hatter ladies and our local medical providers.

Vonnie and Pepper Putnam


Consider other forums

for your protests

With reference to “A ‘house divided’” (Sequim Gazette, Oct. 4, page A-8):

Quoting a paragraph from the writer’s letter: “Their cause is about the prevalence of racial injustice. It is not about the National anthem or the flag or our servicemen.” Oh really?

Then why choose these symbols of Americanism as a platform for their protest?

Why are they not protesting at Democratic functions and Democratic town hall meetings? All one has to do is read the history of the Democratic party with respect to the treatment of black Americans to pose that question.

One reason we Americans put Donald J. Trump into office is that we realize our house is indeed divided and we want the United States to demonstrate its Americanism again, a virtue sadly lacking for at least a decade.

With reference to, “Capitalism a far better system” (Sequim Gazette, Letters to the Editor, Oct. 4, page A-8):

My heartfelt thanks to the writer for a positive view of the principles of our magnificent country — again, a virtue sadly lacking for at least a decade.

Ethan Harris


Pro-life, pro-choice

I am pro-life because I support:

• Medicaid – which provides coverage to pregnant women for prenatal visits and delivery.

• WIC – which provides healthy food to pregnant women so that the possibility of a premature birth and low birth weight is decreased (factors that affect a child’s cognitive development).

• Drug, alcohol and nicotine treatment programs so that a pregnant woman might bring her child into this world free of addiction.

• Expanded shelter and housing opportunities for the mother who may be homeless and is in need of a safe place to raise her child.

• Expanded/affordable/free day care for the mother who needs to go back to work after delivering her child.

• Medicaid expansion to help maintain the health of the mother that takes home low pay, so that she can care for her child.

• The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – which provides health insurance for her child.

• Minimum wage increases to help the low-income mother better provide for her and her child, because nearly one-fourth of our nation’s children already live in poverty.

• Living assistance programs to help those mothers that cannot “make ends meet” for their child.

• Early childhood learning programs, such as Head Start, that give the child the cognitive gains he or she will need as they head to school.

• The free lunch/breakfast program in schools so that the child can focus on studying and not hunger.

• Education, so that the child can become a productive member of society.

• After-school programs such as Big Brother, Big Sister, and Boys & Girls Clubs, so that the child can make important adult-child connections that help overcome adversity.

Mandating a woman to bring a child into this world without the support of these (and many other programs) is paramount to setting up a cycle of failure. In that, I support the free availability of birth control for the mother who does not have these mechanisms of support in place.

So I am also pro-choice.

Kelly Mitchell


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