Letters to the editor — Feb. 2, 2021

School levy proposals deserve our support

I am a member of the Sequim Good Governance League writing in support of the Sequim School District levies on the current ballot.

The League believes in transparency, reasoned dialogue, and respect for individuals as principles of good government. Conclusions based on facts and logical thinking are how we achieve reasoned dialogue. These values and skills are learned. Good schools are essential in learning these values and skills.

Citizens of the Sequim School District have reason to be proud of our schools. Our teachers work hard to help students along their roads to being good citizens. The levies on the current ballot are important in maintaining the level of education students receive.

Good schools make a good community – one we all want to be a part of. Vote for the levies.

Mike Flynn


Levies worth support despite district issues

Thank you for your editorial commentary in the Sunday edition of the Peninsula Daily News (Jan. 24, 2021) and Sequim Gazette (Jan. 27).

They were harsh words to read, but needed to be said. My husband and I have lived in Sequim since 1981 and all three of our children graduated from Sequim High School ready to work in the real world. Even though our kids graduated 25 years ago, we still try and keep up with the workings of the school.

We’ve also worked on many EP&O levies and know how important they are to keep our schools and technology current. I am seriously concerned about what is happening behind closed doors at the school board but am willing to wait a bit for more information to be shared, while my energy is used in passing our EP&O and capital levies.

We have so many hard working teachers, paraeducators, secretaries, etc., that give their all to our kids. Let’s pass these levies and support our children who will be our next generation of contractors, plumbers, nurses, teachers, physical therapists, etc.

In the old days before COVID, voters could tour the district and see the need first hand — that was always an eye-opener. But if you are curious, I’m sure any of the school principals or our interim superintendent would love to talk with you on the phone and answer any questions you have.

Trish and Ken Gaine


Vote for school levies

The Sequim Prairie Grange supports the Sequim School District’s school educational programs and operations (EP&O) and capital project levies. The vote is set for Feb. 9.

Loretta Bilow


Look deeper

Now that the mayor has succeeded in making Sequim the laughing stock of small town America (every major news agency has covered his reluctance to offer an apology and denounce his continuing QAnon support), don’t you think it’s time to look deeper into the Sequim City Council’s core beliefs and the forces that put them there?

While we have the nation’s attention, let’s refocus the energy to root out the “Heads of the Snake” and hold them accountable. These people are counting on this issue just going away if they wait long enough.

And don’t settle for that canned response of thinking they are able to separate personal core beliefs from the responsibilities and actions of a public official. We saw how that played out on Jan 6. Use the mayor’s own words: be “Truth Finders.”

If we don’t do this, Sequim will be stuck under this cloud of QAnon insanity for a long time to come.

Dennis Hamner


Time for new leadership

I’m a Canadian who lives in Vancouver, B.C., not far from the lovely town of Sequim. I have frequently visited Sequim and the state of Washington several times, and hope to do so again once this coronavirus chaos ends.

When I see the national news that the mayor of Sequim is a QAnon supporter and wants to turn Sequim into QAnon, USA — I scratch my head in complete amazement. Have some people in Sequim and the USA gone completely nuts? How could such an absolutely laughable, totally ridiculous, completely ludicrous insane conspiracy theory group like QAnon possibly gain such major prominence?

I think you need a new mayor immediately, just like America so badly needed a new president.

If Sequim does indeed become “QAnon, USA” God help your town, the state of Washington, and America in general. Such incredible stupidity is truly a wonder to behold.

Paul Brooke

Vancouver, B.C.

Get facts straight on Healing Campus

After reading Stuart Kiehl’s letter (Sequim Gazette, Jan. 27, page A-15), I’m left wondering where he has been since May 2019 when plans for the Medicine-Assisted Treatment (MAT) clinic were announced. To wit:

1. When a business chooses to build in Sequim, a public vote isn’t taken nor required; Mr. Kiehl opines that because of the patient demographic for the Healing Campus, voters ought to have a say in when/where it is built — an inaccurate view at best, stigmatizing at worst.

2. The clinic is on land designated for medical/dental use. The process went through appropriate channels and permitting, and city staff are to be commended for their due diligence.

3. Sequim isn’t “importing 250 active drug addicts.” The clinic begins with 25 patients and increases in time to meet the needs of Clallam and Jefferson county residents diagnosed with OUD/SUD. These patients are already living, working and raising families here.

4. People in treatment aren’t “active drug users” but rather in recovery working to sustain a life free from substance use.

5. Mr. Kiehl seems not to have read the Healing Campus FAQs that answer his questions (see jamestownhealingcampus.org/faq). Note: all financial profits from this clinic must be re-invested into local health care.

6. The presumption the public is overwhelmingly opposed to this Healing Campus is false; there is deep, widespread community support for both the clinic and Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe.

Good will come from this facility. Our city will benefit. Lives and legacies will be changed for the better.

Ray L. Henninger


See a penny

As a child, spotting a lone penny on the ground or floor, I’d reach down, rub it, put it in my pocket. Luck would protect me from unforeseen harm. To this day, I cannot pass one by, though with self-abasing snickers.

Superstition, like brainwashing, is innocuous or severely debilitating mental illness. Take conspiracy theories: Why do most of us avoid wide-eyed paranoia — like QAnon, believing all Democrats participate in pedophilia rings?

Temptation takes many forms. Some people, recruited to do things completely contrary to their belief and value systems, were seditionists at the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol domestic terrorist riot, holding American and confederate flags side by side, while pulverizing capitol police.

Others resist amorality. Is it how we’re biologically wired? Or have supernatural abilities to discern sham and manipulation? Have we witnessed unbearable circumstances, or experienced violence or prejudice, ourselves, which impelled us toward empathy and ethical behavior? Imperfect, how do we avoid succumbing to our worst vindictive demons?

Raised in the earthy reality of Nature, my childhood beginnings of awareness were set squarely on the ground and in the woods. Yet I acknowledge the same cognizance in people raised in city “asphalt jungles.”

Sometimes while walking my neighborhood, I deliberately step on sidewalk cracks, mashing my foot down. Suddenly, heart pain, even though my Mom is deceased, jerks my foot up.

Being human, we are susceptible and vulnerable to indoctrination. As adults, we’re accountable for our conscious decisions, no matter what the “save our country” illusory excuses.

Gayle Brauner

Port Angeles

What the flip

President Trump receives no credit for his pragmatic ability to quickly pinpoint the crux of a given problem and to identify it for “what it was” apart from “why it was.” His problem identification and solution techniques apparently center on the concept of “Why the flip do it that way?”, abbreviated WTF, and then, after examination, perhaps a better direction would become apparent.

For instance, Trump looked at the fact that the US pays disproportionately more to support UN operations than other countries (Washington Post, Oct. 9) and, invoking WTF, demanded that other countries increase their contributions which some have done, albeit reluctantly (Reuters, Nov. 26, 2019).

When Trump observed hordes of uneducated itinerants crossing our southern border at will and thereby adversely impacting our welfare system not to mention endangering our security, he employed WTF and instituted a wall-building effort to facilitate a screening process whereby our country could choose to admit only those migrants that would likely benefit our country. And, unsurprisingly, the flow of migrants has dramatically decreased (Department of Homeland Security, Oct. 29).

Noting that we had ceded oil and gas production dominance to other countries, WTF was once again implemented with the effect that production obstacles were removed and the USA, once again, is the world’s leading producer in both gas and oil (Reuters, Aug. 29, 2019).

Of course, President Biden, with his seemingly unending barrage of executive orders – edicts if you will – overturned many Trump directives thereby obviating their beneficial effects but with no apparent rationale other than to spite Trump.

To which nearly 50 percent of the country has said “WTF” …

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles

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