Letters to the editor — Aug. 26, 2020

COVID-19 response partnership is encouraging

I am thankful I live in Sequim!

I have had the opportunity to see how something bad can bring out the best in our community.

By bad I mean folks out of work, businesses closing and just altogether hard times due to the virus.

Working as one of the 40 CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) members for Sequim’s Covid-19 Food Care Package Distribution program I have seen how those from Clallam County Fire District 3 (CCFD3) have organized and trained all the workers so 300-plus cars can be moved through the maze, loaded with boxes of surplus food (serving 522 families last week), then sent on their way, all with no problems!

This could never have happened without the brilliant organization of CCFD3, the Sequim Food Bank, the City of Sequim, Sequim Public Works, Sequim Police Department, Peninsula Behavioral Health and more than 40 CERT volunteers.

Thank you all for all your professionalism and friendly service.

The Covid-19 Food Care Package Distribution Program has been happening weekly since June 2 and is continuing through Sept. 30.

Marcia Wesesky


Leadership by example found wanting

This is in response to the outrageous letter from William Armacost, Mayor of Sequim (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14). Good leadership requires that a person elected to a public position work for the common good, which means that he would be willing to self isolate to protect others in the community.

The mayor’s opinion that “fear is an addiction” that he will not “enable” and that the “reckless voices of an anonymous herd” are controlling a panicked population is offensive. Fear can be necessary when trying to avoid others who are going about their lives as if there were no pandemic.

The numbers are going up daily and exponentially and we just don’t know who is being careless. Who knows how long it will take to get past this crisis when even the mayor won’t follow guidelines from the scientific community?

If, as he says, the “love” that demands personal precautions is to apply then the mayor is failing the population he represents. It was his decision to participate in the Sturgis rally, but his selfishness in refusing to self-isolate after attending a massive gathering of more than 250,000 is appalling.

His refusal to do so is just an excuse and a very bad example to the community.

Andrea Bauer


Actions, explanation hard to justify

We just finished reading Sequim Mayor Armacost’s response to the letter criticizing his recent trip to Sturgis (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14). We don’t know which was more reprehensible: his trip or his nonsensical response/justification.

The rally at Sturgis was a huge event that featured little or no social distancing or the wearing of masks. Our national medical experts have pointed directly to these types of events as a major cause of an increase of virus cases in the U.S.

This totally irresponsible action by the mayor and the council’s recent approval of a large drug distribution facility in the middle of our community shows:

• a total lack of responsibility for our community’s safety and security

• no understanding of our current realities and the results of irresponsible actions

• absolutely no common sense

The poor leadership and terrible actions by individuals of our city government reminds me of our responsibility to ensure that, in the future, we elect individuals that are not tied to special interests and have a much better understanding of our community’s needs.

Robert and Carole Travis



When I read the “Mayor’s trip to Sturgis” letter to the editor (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14), I agreed with the concerns expressed by the author. I would think that these concerns are shared by many.

Then I read the response. After making it through what I perceived as a verbose attempt at psychology describing the frightened masses, I continued through what I considered as arrogant condescension essentially, saying, “I know best so mind your own business.” No demand for quarantine was made and certainly not for a period of several weeks.

As for no requirement by science, regulation, experience or custom, I suppose that the governor, CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control), NIH (National Institute of Health) and county health officials have no say nor does common decency and respect for others. So much for the demands of love.

Then there was the idea of no fear. Try standing in front of an approaching train with that mantra and see how that works for you. Citizens have a right to question the actions of their elected officials, especially when those actions are thought to be foolish or irresponsible.

The response received brings to my mind an old saying: Well bless your heart.

Doug Wright


I read, with great interest, the letter in the Aug. 19 Sequim Gazette from Marsha Maguire, and the response from Mayor William Armacost, concerning his trip to the Sturgis motorcycle rally (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14). The letter elaborated legitimate concerns about this trip.

This annual rally is world famous and attracts many thousands of participants from around the country and world. This year, it was held over 10 days, Aug 7-16. As the national news reported numerous times, this rally is a super social event, with non-stop parties in restaurants, bars, businesses and outside venues.

There is little to no mask wearing and almost no social distancing being observed by anyone in the large groups.

This is indeed in total disregard to recommendations from all the respected medical and scientific experts and puts everyone in the small town of Sturgis at grave risk.

It also puts everyone in the home locations of the thousands of rally participants in danger. This would include Mayor Armacost and the citizens of Sequim and the Olympic Peninsula.

How does Mayor Armacost respond to the letter? In a rambling, incoherent, condescending screed, he does not acknowledge any responsibility for his undisciplined, dangerous behavior.

Instead, he talks about the fears of people, they should “leave the fear of uncertainty,” that we should all demonstrate love and that people at community meetings should dismiss any fears by shaking hands. Huh?

He inappropriately compares confidence and fear, as in, you cannot have confidence while demonstrating fear.

Is this the type of leadership that we should expect from the Mayor of Sequim? In my opinion, it is not. His behavior is shameful and a chilling unveiling of his uninformed mind set concerning this national tragedy.

Chris Cornell


‘We deserve better’

I typically don’t write to the newspaper but the mayor’s response to recent criticism of his Sturgis trip (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14) was so egregious, I can’t stay silent.

Mr. Armacost defends his actions by practically claiming he’s doing the world a favor when he completely disregards the advice of health experts. He says it’s a sign of love to want to save us from ourselves and that heeding medical advice is just a sign of fear.

I found the mayor’s tone and conclusions terribly condescending and insulting as if consideration and caring for others is an addiction that has to be stamped out.

He certainly has the right to go mingle with others in Sturgis, but he put himself at risk by doing that during a pandemic and he can’t deny his responsibility to others when he returns.

All he’s really saying is that he knows best and anyone who criticizes his self-proclaimed expertise on this subject is a panic-driven lemming. That’s just another example of narcissism that says he can put others at risk simply because he knows the truth more than anyone and can show us the way out of our miserable fear-driven existence.

His claim that he’s doing all of this out of love is a crock. It’s really just selfishness and I’m glad to call him out on it.

Remember how important your vote is. We deserve better.

Wanda Schneider


I’m writing in reference to the Aug. 19 letter to the editor concerning Mayor Armacost’s trip to Sturgis, as well as his response (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14).

Ms. Maguire listed her concerns in a clear and concise manner and referenced sources that supported the reasons for her concerns. In other words, it was short, sweet, to the point and sounded quite logical. The mayor’s response however, took me back to my school studies of the Gettysburg Address. If I remember correctly, a sitting senator spoke for about two hours. His speech concluded to the sound of a deafening applause. This was not because he was eloquent. The crowd was just so darned thankful that he had finally finished speaking. Then President Lincoln spoke, and as we all learned in class, his speech lasted about two minutes. Every child who had to memorize the Gettysburg Address knows which speech went down in history.

Sadly, I feel that our mayor has fallen victim to the condition that runs rampant in many politicians. Just like that senator speaking on the field at Gettysburg, he went on and on but didn’t actually say anything. I foolishly thought that civil servants were supposed to endeavor to protect the well-being of the citizens- hence the moniker, civil servant.

Instead, the mayor’s response was marinated in a condescending superiority and a blatant lack of concern for the good of others.

I had no idea that by following the county and state’s recommendations to stop the spread of COVID-19, I was “regressing into a pit of panic” as the mayor so eloquently stated. I had no idea that I was becoming addicted to fear and panic due to social isolation brought on by “the reckless voices of an anonymous herd.”

Who knew I was part of a mindless stampede on its way to destruction? As the mayor mentioned several times, love required that he refuse to enable the addiction of others; once again, that seems to be us, the multitudes stampeding towards destruction.

Am I insulted? Yes, yes I am. But I guess love should command me to turn the other cheek. Maybe love should guide the mayor to act like an adult and show some consideration for the well-being of others.

Martina Boeker


A baffling explanation

Mayor Armacost’s response to Marsha Maguire’s question (“Letters to the Editor,” Aug. 19, page A-14) was confusing to me.

Her question was, “Why is the mayor ignoring professional medical advice intended to protect our people?” She did not demand that he self quarantine after his trip to Sturgis. She just asked why he did not.

In some 350-plus words, the only two concepts I could get from his response were, first, “fear and panic are bad, but love and confidence are good; and second, that he is not bound by “science, regulation, experience or custom’ (in this matter, I presume).

Really? Really!

I have no idea who Marsha Maguire is. I would have her as my rep!

Ted Kueper


Valedictorian’s words an inspiration

I was inspired by Sam May’s valedictorian speech, Sequim 2020, published in your paper.

I have had a very hard year (2020) with my loving and compassionate spouse of 30-plus years dying in May, my very good friend dying in August and my 16-year-old cat dying in August also, who was very attentive, purring for me since he was a baby. A year filled with grief for me.

Sam May’s words uplifted my spirits, giving me hope and courage to face the next day.

A. Meyers

Port Angeles

Ignorance is no excuse, No. 3

Recently, COVID-19 infection cases in several U.S. southern and southwester states have broken infection records set in New York three to four months ago. As a result, more COVID-related unnecessary deaths continue every day. Causes: Politicians’ ignorance of or rejection of medical science; not using previous epidemic experiences; lack of common sense; some state’s governors fear of losing Trump’s support for their jobs; acting on Trump’s well known overt stupidity (e.g., using unproven drugs, suggesting disinfectant injections, “99 percent of the virus cases are harmless,” et al); Trump’s obsession with a need for a thriving national economy to support his 2020 re-election bid, and the list goes on.

Trump wants his 2019 economy back! What Trump and many Republican governors seem not to understand is: They have got the process to success backwards!

First, the spread of COVID-19 must be subdued by science and federal resources to (1) allow children, teachers, et al, to return safely to schools, which (2) would allow businesses to safely reopen and worker parents to return to their jobs, which (3) would restart the economy. No. 3 cannot be No. 1!

Without the federal government addressing the spread of the coronavirus first with an enforced, comprehensive, national plan with mandated masking and self-distancing and necessary funding for all 50 states devised by the CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control) and other medical experts, this tragic situation of COVID-19 sickness and death will continue.

As we have witnessed for the past six months, Trump and his minions simply have wished the virus would go away, rather than listen to their medical experts, so their continued ignorance can be no excuse.

Dick Hahn


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