Letters to the Editor — June 15, 2022

‘A showpiece to be proud of’

I was lucky enough to attend the dedication and blessing of the new Dungeness River Center today (June 5). Not only was the attendance on such a rainy day overwhelming, but the center that has been created for all of us is so unbelievably beautiful and practical, a showpiece for us to be proud of.

The cooperation, patience and generosity of the Jamestown Tribe, Audubon organization, City of Sequim, dedicated board members, staff and many more shows throughout this beautiful center. I believe the voice of the powerful Dungeness River helped guide all these dedicated people through several years of planning, fundraising and cooperation. Please consider making a donation to help complete the display room.

Just wanted to say thanks to all that made this project a reality for all of us to enjoy. You have made one of my favorite places even more special!

Eileen Cummings


Shingles vaccine available

Please inform your readers that there is a vaccine available to avoid getting shingles. I’ve spent the past month with shingles and I am not happy that my doctor did not advise me to get the new two-dose vaccines available at this time.

I do not want anyone to go through what I have endured.

Mary Bland


Abortion funding falsehoods

Mr. White (“Flawed From the Outset,” Sequim Gazette, Letters to Editor, June 1) is misinformed on several counts.

Firstly, his assertion about federal tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood for abortions is completely false.

For nearly 50 years it has been illegal to use federal tax dollars for abortions. Since 1976, the Hyde Amendment has blocked federal Medicaid funding for abortion services (since 1994, there have been three extremely narrow exceptions: when continuing the pregnancy will endanger the patient’s life, or when the pregnancy results from rape or incest).

This means that Medicaid cannot cover abortion even when a patient’s health is at risk and their doctor recommends they get an abortion.

Federal money going to Planned Parenthood is reimbursement for medical services provided to patients who either have Medicaid coverage or qualify for other publicly funded health care programs (like Title X). Basically, Planned Parenthood mostly functions as a medical clinic for women who have nowhere else to turn for health care.

Secondly, let us consider Mr. White’s assertion that “there are people pushing for abortion right up till the time of birth, and even after.” There just are no elective non-medically required or non-emergency abortions taking place in the third trimester. I challenge Mr. White to present any data otherwise, along with the sources for his data (stories and anecdotes are not data).

Finally, the part of his assertion that people are pushing for abortions “even after” birth doesn’t compute, as Mr. Spock would say.

Severne Johnson


SEF: Kudos to Soroptimist International of Sequim for 75 years

Sequim Education Foundation (SEF) has always been deeply tied to Soroptimist International of Sequim and wants to wish them the best on their 75th anniversary of doing such good work for our community!

After a double levy failure threatened to cut programs in the Sequim School District, Soroptimist Jeanne Martin — along with Lee Lawrence, Alan Millet, Walt Schubert and Jim Pickett — founded the Sequim Education Foundation (SEF) to involve the community to provide the best possible educational experiences for its students. Soroptimist International of Sequim has generously partnered with SEF to fund grants to teachers looking to implement innovative and engaging programs, to bring the elementary STEAM Powered Saturday program for students and their families to life and provide the funding to enable students to attend academic competitions across the state and nation!

Soroptimists have been instrumental in growing and promoting the Sequim High School’s Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Club. The focus of the organization is to encourage high school and middle school students to pursue their interest in biomedical professions. This can range from nursing to disaster preparedness, to health education, and beyond. Each year, due to Soroptimist and SEF’s funding, the club has been able to grow in size and all of the students have been able to attend the State conference and are inspired to become the future of our healthcare community.

Soroptimists and SEF work together to address the financial gap between the state funding and the needs of our district’s students. Each year, they partner to provide a book for every student in the district.

Librarian Linsay Rapelje said, “Think about how you feel when you get a new book? The excitement and anticipation of reading is amazing. But what if you were never able to purchase a book of your own? Watching our students, especially those who do not own their own books, receive new books to read and create their own personal library is just one way we are positively impacting our students.”

Learn more about SEF and its programs by contacting executive director Jessica Elliott at 360-680-3061 or sequimeducationfoundation@gmail.com.

Sequim Education Foundation board members