Letters to the editor — April 29, 2020

Don’t stop now

During this critical time for our community with the COVID-19 virus, we need to make sure that we don’t forget the other significant challenge to our community, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s drug distribution facility (MAT).

While we are being vigilant with what is required to successfully fight COVID-19 brought to us from China, we need to be just as vigilant in our fight against the MAT virus brought to us by the tribe.

It certainly does not help that our city government (council, planner and lawyer) is doing all that it can to facilitate the tribe’s efforts.

To the more than 2,600 of us that signed the petition to stop the drug distribution facility locating in Sequim, now is not the time to stop our active support against the facility’s Sequim location.

Remember, both of these viruses present clear and present dangers to the well being and health of our community.

Bob and Carole Travis

Sequim

Thanks to stores requiring workers wear face masks

As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed, recommendations and policies have evolved according to what we have learned. For instance, research has shown that a significant number of people with the virus never have symptoms, yet are able to transmit the disease. And others are contagious before symptoms actually occur.

As a result of this evidence, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Washington State Department of Health have recommended that people wear a face covering in public places such as grocery stores, pharmacies, etc., “whether they work in one, or visit one.”

Wearing a face covering is not mandatory. “Consider it a voluntary act of compassion,” says the Washington Department of Health.

I highly commend those stores in Sequim that have voluntarily required their employees to wear face masks in order to protect their workers and their customers. Sure, some have just recently begun doing this, but at least they’re doing it now. The evidence and common sense in doing so for everyone’s safety is just too overwhelming. And remember, a large part of Sequim’s population is comprised of older, more vulnerable folks.

So why in the world would any public store not require their employees to wear face masks to protect their workers and their customers? If such places have so little regard for our well being, maybe we should think twice before supporting them with our shopping.

Gary Young

Sequim

Eviction moratorium should continue

We, the North Olympic Democratic Socialists of America, applaud Governor Inslee for declaring an eviction moratorium, extending it, and closing the late fee loophole. Though praise is given, it is our view that Governor Inslee and the state legislature did not go far enough to help the people in this time of pandemic and crisis.

The people of Washington state will be impacted by COVID-19 for the remainder of this year and well into the next. People and small businesses are left to find solutions to pay back rent, even without late fees, setting the stage for a post moratorium eviction crisis, exacerbating an already existing housing crisis.

If the solution to rent-debt remains determined via a “reasonable repayment plan to enforce any collection of that debt” between renters and landlords there will be new loopholes and the people will, once again, be exploited. Debt remains and the people will still owe payment even as they have been without work.

We call on Governor Inslee and the Washington State Legislature to defer rent collection, to provide financial assistance to our cities and our people, and to extend the eviction moratorium further, to six months.

The state must support tenant stability, it must lift the state rent control ban and enact tenant protections.

The people cannot wait, we do not have that luxury.

In solidarity,

Ryan Capiala Vinsant

Port Angeles

Nature is always open

Social distancing is not a total lock-down. After you have stockpiled enough toilet paper to last through the New Year, what will you do until we return to “normal”?

You don’t have to stay indoors. Take care of your physical, emotional and mental health. Get out and enjoy nature.

Walking and bicycling are great ways for us to maintain or improve our physical health. We are very fortunate to have access to the Olympic Discovery Trail. You can hop onto the trail in many places in this area.

A favorite place of many people is the trail where is crosses the Dungeness River. The Dungeness River Audubon Center and Railroad Bridge Park are currently closed, including the parking lots. But you can get on the trail at Priest Road. It’s a longer walk, but that means a better workout.

Fresh air and open spaces can improve our mental health. Sunshine and fresh air will lift your spirits. There is so much beauty in this area. Spring is breaking out all over. Take time to stop and watch the birds and enjoy the flowers.

Walking and bicycling on the trail is better for our environment health than driving your vehicle to the box stores or driving through at fast food chains. You can also step out your front door and walk around your neighborhood.

Remember. It’s always sunny in Sequim, and nature is always open.

Laura Dubois

Sequim

Little fact-based reason to support Trump

I am saddened and puzzled by how Trump supporters have checked their decision making skills and critical thinking “at the door” when it comes to Donald Trump.

The most recent example of this is the continued strong support he holds in national opinion polls, in spite of contradictions and uneven leadership.

He refuses to take responsibility for anything related to a bad decision on this issue.

Reporters who question him are called “nasty,” yet it is supposed to be the job of a free press to question those in charge and get real information.

If a fact is brought up that proves what he said is false, he takes several different paths to discredit it.

Such truths are called “fake news” or “alternative facts.”

A Washington Post analysis of his statements through early April 2020 found he made about 18,000 false or misleading statements in only three years in office.

By contrast, Obama made 18 over eight years (New York Times, “Trump’s lies vs. Obama’s,” Dec. 14, 2017).

I hope voters will go to more than one source or one TV channel to verify facts. If you don’t know where to go, check out Snopes.com for an independent source.

Jim Dries

Sequim

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