Letters to the Editor — Jan. 19, 2021

Give thanks to road crews

For the last couple of months, crews have been working to create a roundabout at the intersection of Sequim-Dungeness Way and Woodcock Road. Like many other residents, my husband and I have driven through that project numerous times — on the way to appointments, to the supermarket, to pick up prescriptions, for church services, to drop off holiday gifts for friends, to deliver bottles and boxes for recycling, to reach local restaurants, to pick up take-out dinners, to access U.S. Highway 101 …

I’ve lost count of the number of times we have had to pass through the work-in-progress at that intersection. Sometimes the synchronized traffic control monitors require us to stop, other times to proceed slowly and with caution.

Meanwhile, teams of workers in enormous trucks and earth-movers are digging, shoveling, grading the area, and laying curbs, carving out a safe and efficient way for all of us to traverse that intersection. For the last two days the crews have been paving, and soon they will be done.

At some point I realized that, while the idea and vote must have been generated at the civic level, the actual hands-on, challenging, day-to-day labor was being done by our fellow Sequim/Clallam County citizens. And much of this work has been accomplished in cold, rainy, muddy and snowy conditions.

One day during the week before Christmas, my husband and I brought a couple of boxes of cookies for the workers to share, and I’m hoping that other folks also found ways to say, “thank you” for the great service those crews are doing for us.

They’re almost finished, and I’m writing to express our gratitude. The names in this group may not appear anywhere on our new roundabout, but I’m hoping that all of us who use it will think of them as we use it every day and give thanks.

Jackie and Fred Middaugh


Paranoia precedes panic

You know, most of us like to think that government policies are developed by educated people; intelligent, experienced, compassionate and fair. But, in fact, many policies result from chance coincidence rather than carefully considered calculations and can have unintended consequences.

An example is the impetus behind the present pandemic paranoia which, surprisingly, is rooted in a teenager’s high school science project detailing computer simulations of human interactions and which garnered third place in a 2006 science and engineering fair.

Albuquerque High sophomore Laura Glass posited that, on the basis of this computer modeling, closing schools would be an essential step in eliminating the bird flu which, at that time, appeared to be spreading to human beings (medical express.com).

Laura’s father, Sandia National Laboratories scientist Dr. Robert Glass, realized that Laura’s research and conclusions tied into studies that he was performing relative to a George W. Bush administration request for pandemic response scenarios with specific regard to situations without an established vaccine and limited antiviral supplies (nytimes.com).

In time, Laura’s high school science project ultimately became the foundation of the paper “Targeted Social Distancing Design for Pandemic Influenza,” co-authored by Laura, her father, and two other members of Sandia National Laboratories.

It is hard to believe that Laura’s paper has led to the catastrophic consequences of coronavirus-induced social distancing, lockdowns, economic erosion, and general societal hysteria that we are presently experiencing (“Social distancing born in ABQ teen’s science project,” abqjournal.com, May 2, 2020).

Scriptures say that “a child shall lead us” but, in this case, we may have been led astray.

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles