Letters to the Editor — July 22, 2020

Cooper’s intimidation column hits the mark

My thanks to Bertha Cooper for her op-ed speaking out against the intimidation by vigilantes of peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment freedom of assembly (“Intimidation perspective,” Sequim Gazette, July 1, page A-12).

She refers to a petition signed so far by 1,387 people titled “Zero Tolerance for Vigilante Rambos in Clallam County.” The petition is posted on change.org. We are still gathering signatures.

She also refers to a “GoFundMe” for the multiracial Spokane family, camping near Forks who were terrorized by eight carloads of armed gunmen in Forks demanding if the family were “Antifa.” More than $2,000 was delivered to the family.

No amount can compensate for the flagrant denial of this innocent family’s right to be safe against all forms of hate and intimidation.

Law enforcement officers arrested and charged with a hate crime a man who hurled eggs at Black Lives Matter protesters in Port Angeles. But far more intimidating were the vigilantes who accosted protesters in Sequim. Law enforcement officials say no law was broken.

Here is what the Sequim Code says: “9.36.010 Weapons and Dangerous Exhibitions: It is unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display or draw any firearm … capable of causing bodily harm … that manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.” Vigilantes, by definition, seek to intimidate and sometimes kill.

Remember that iron rule in Dodge City, enforced by Sheriff Bat Masterson: “Welcome to Dodge. Check your guns at my office.”

Tim Wheeler


Mask-wearing key on trails, too

I have been in the Seattle University District for the last five months. I am a runner. I ran a popular university trail and met hundreds of active young people all either wearing a mask, had one hanging from their ears or around their neck. Maybe a handful who had no mask at all. The trail is wider than then Olympic Discovery Trail here in Sequim.

I am back in Sequim now and went running for the first time here. It was a Saturday. I probably met at least 20 people on the trail, no younger people at all. None of them wore a mask or had one on their neck or around their ears!

When you are on the trail and pass people you are not the 6-foot distance you are supposed to be. Most people here in Sequim are compromised because they are overweight, have high blood pressure, have diabetes or have heart conditions or have or had cancer. What is wrong with you?

I am running and still can put the mask over my face when I get near you and run past you. You are not even breaking a sweat or breathing hard yet you can’t manage to wear a mask around your ears and lift it up to cover your face when you meet someone on the trail.

Clallam County numbers are rising. Just because we live on the Olympic Peninsula does not mean we are immune from COVID-19. When I encountered non-mask people, I politely said please wear a mask and was met with disgusted murmurings.

I wear a mask because I think about your health as well as mine. Please wear a mask!

Pauline Geraci


Smarter than frogs?

A frog is a cold-natured creature and, as such, quickly adapts its body temperature to that of its surroundings. A frog will quietly sit in a pot of cool pond water as it is gently heated. The frog could jump out at any time but, unaware of the danger of the rising temperature, it stays put until it’s too late. Frogs have no built-in temperature alarm system. There is no science-advisor frog to alert them.

Now consider the human race. We have had 50 years of gradually rising temperatures over the whole globe. We have had ample warnings from science of the impending danger. As individuals we can see many effects of rising temperatures. Yet there is little alarm. Many deny that there is any significant change at all.

Like the frog, we refuse to take action to reduce the danger. It is significant that, in the last 40 years, there have been numerous monthly high temperatures set for the earth as a whole, and not one new record low temperature.

I repeat my question: Are we really smarter than frogs?

Paul Wessel


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