Letters to the Editor — Feb. 9, 2022

Oyster project could be ‘disaster’

Washington state’s plastic bag ban went into effect on Oct. 1. Plastic bags contain chemicals that are toxic once released into the environment. Plastic pollution poses both physical and chemical threats to the marine environment.

They hurt our wildlife since they often end up inside birds and fish, but also impact our health because the chemicals released into those animals and waterways can wind up in our bodies.

Knowing all the above:

On July 27, 2021, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources approved a land lease for the proposed oyster farm within the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge.

The proposed commercial cultivation methods include 29 acres of on-bottom oyster aquaculture in Phase 1, in addition to 5 acres of bagged oysters and beach harvest of mature oysters.

Bagged oysters require human intervention to avoid sedimentation. They must be flipped routinely. This adds the element of human disturbance to the refuge that was not seen in previous on-substrate oyster cultivation.

There is an eventual plan of 80,000 bags of oysters — this presence could be a disaster.

Refuge staff are conducting a determination of compatibility to decide if the aquaculture use is compatible with refuge goals. Let refuge staff know your concerns about how this commercial, economic use of our refuge is not compatible with wildlife: phone: 360-457-8451; Fax, 360-457-9778; e-mail, fw1wamaritime@fews.gov; mailing address: 715 Holgerson Road, Sequim WA 98382.

Don Myers


‘National community’ being destroyed

I would like to know how well any of us would have performed in this last year in a tremendously hard job like the Presidents, with half of Congress refusing to do their job representing their constituency and take care of business, and a constant barrage of criticism from all sides.

At the same time we are having the worst pandemic since World War I, natural disasters, economic failures, foreign threats and lots of people being infected with stupiditis. We have swung so far to the “I, Me, Mine” and personal info silos our national community is being destroyed.

This can be remedied but it might take a miracle for people in power to change, to making our nation strong and not always grabbing for personal power of some sort. We must try.

Nancy Baer



About 1760 in West Africa, an 8-year-old girl was abducted, shipped to colonial America, and purchased. Named Phillis after the ship and Wheatley, the surname of her owners, she became the first African American classical poet to decry enslavement.

Throughout U.S. history, Black Americans voiced insistence and defiance against prejudice and brutality.

Early on, resistance produced phrases and folk songs like “Blue-Tail Fly,” which celebrated slavery’s death. Basic survival watchwords of precaution and alertness to potential danger of white people, originated in harrowing situations.

Ida Wells, in 1892, started Tennessee’s anti-lynching campaign. She encapsulated that time as “mob-rule, rape with impunity, and Supreme Court sanctioned segregation.”

In 1923, Black Nationalist, Marcus Garvey, coined the phrase “Black is Beautiful,” stressing the imperative for Black consciousness — “waking up” for equality and dignity.

Lead Belly’s 1931 song “Scottsboro Boys” chronicled the case of nine teenage boys accused of raping a white woman. He sang to forewarn Black Americans of perils living and traveling in Scottsboro, Ala.

William Kelley’s 1962 article “If You’re Woke, You Dig It” pinpointed the appropriation of Black cultural words, thus the loss of original meanings.

2014 saw “woke” revived by Black Lives Matter activists, with a specific warning to keep watch for police vicious tactics and unjust treatment.

When people use “woke” in a mocking, derisive manner, are they “sailing under false colors”? We sail under one U.S. flag, concluded free, with equal rights. To be “woke” is to comprehend our history.

Gayle Brauner

Port Angeles