Letters to the Editor — Feb. 24, 2021

For painless COVID shots …

I’m hearing there are many “anti-vaxxers” in the Sequim area, but one can’t tell it from the long recent lines of vehicles waiting for COVID shots.

This is my attempt to tell Gazette readers how to get your COVID shots with no pain or other concerns. My wife and I got our painless COVID shots on Jan. 19 and Feb. 16 with no side effects.

As a boy in first grade in 1939, my first-ever vaccination was for diphtheria. Never having had an injection before, while looking at that big needle, I tensed-up and the school nurse gave me my shot in the middle front of my left bicep. It hurt and I felt ill. To avoid tensing my muscles to prevent the pain, I have learned to look away.

Today, 80 years later, vaccine needles, whether for flu or COVID or a blood draw, are much smaller and much sharper. So if you want a painless blood draw, flu or COVID vaccination, allow your arm to relax, do not watch the needle stick, and you won’t even know it happened.

If you might be worried about possible side effects from the COVID vaccine, there is a waiting time provided after the injection to assure there are no problems.

The Jamestown Health Clinic’s vaccinators are trained, experienced professionals, and their equipment and procedures are top-of-the line. We are lucky to have them and the assistance of their many volunteers.

Richard Hahn


Time to step up

About the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s open letter (“Open letter seeks government transparency to better support business,” Sequim Gazette, Feb. 17), I have three questions. First, why is the chamber dancing around the periphery rather than directly but tactfully calling out Mayor Armacost for his silly QAnon statement last summer that’s led to unwanted media scrutiny of Sequim?

Second, while the mayor’s QAnon kerfuffle may dissuade a handful of people from living or shopping in Sequim, no one really chooses a retirement location or makes shopping preferences based on a city manager or how and why he lost his job or the discussions behind it. Nor on the actions of a school district superintendent and high school principal. So I suspect the newly formed Sequim Good Governance League has played a role in generating some of the barrage of phone calls, emails and letters the chamber has received. The timing is too coincidental.

Third, as far as I can recall, mayor Armacost is the only local business owner on the council. Since the chamber is rightfully concerned about transparency in local government, how about more chamber members step up and run for city council positions? Endorsing a letter is easy.

Paul Schmidt


Playing politics

The local TV news recently showed a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services map of Washington state with each county color-coded based on its level of pandemic/virus activity. The worst counties were coded dark red.

To my surprise, three of the dark red counties are the same ones authorized by our governor to proceed to Phase II reopening levels. These counties just happen to be very liberal, democratic and strong supporters of our governor. The map showed several counties, including Clallam, having low levels of virus activity. It looks like the governor totally ignored many of us to ensure that he could provide political payback to those three counties for their support in the last election.

So much for letting science and common sense dictate how our state reopens. The governor is playing politics with the human and economic health of our state.

Let us hope that this disgusting display of partisan politics does not go unchallenged.

Bob Travis


County officials’ interactions ‘remarkable’ and unfortunate’

While attending a Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting on Dec. 14, I witnessed a very unfortunate interaction between the BOCC, the county administrator and Mary Ellen Winborn, the Department of Community Development (DCD) director.

The fact that the DCD director felt the need to publicly call for mediation between herself and each of the county commissioners and the administrator was quite remarkable.

The fact that, according to director Winborn, her communications to the administrator were not being answered was remarkable.

The fact that her department was required to continue in-person work at the county, while other county officials are permitted to work remotely or in closed offices, was remarkable.

The demeanor of the chair of the BOCC in responding to the director Winborn’s concerns was remarkable. His repeated attempts to silence her were disrespectful and belittling.

The BOCC and the administrator need to remember that they are not director Winborn’s “boss.” Regarding her role, our county charter says, “It is the intent that the Director have the administrative and managerial rights and responsibilities common to elected officials.”

There have been repeated attempts by some in our county to change the position of the DCD from an “elected” position to an “appointed” position. The voters of our county have resoundingly rejected this in 2002, 2007, 2015 and 2020.

Director Winborn has been outstanding in her service to our county. The BOCC and administrator should participate in mediation ASAP, and that service should be provided by a professional, neutral mediator, mutually agreed-upon by director Winborn and the BOCC.

Therese Stokan

Neah Bay

Editor’s note: Stokan is Charter Review Commissioner for District 3.

Second editor’s note: We asked Board of County Commissioners chair Mark Ozias for a response:

“As Chair of the Board of Commissioners I prioritize treating people respectfully and believe I did so in this case. Furthermore, it is not accurate to label assertions as facts and I take issue with these assertions being labeled as such. Anyone who is interested may view this meeting for themselves at clallam.net.”

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