Letters to the Editor — March 8, 2023

Mastodon study rekindles local history

Thank you Michael Dashiell for your article on Texas A&M paleontologists confirming that humans were hunting mastodons up in Happy Valley 13,900 years ago.

The Texas A&M team applied the most advanced scanning devices to the Manis Mastodon bones and were able to prove that what appears to be a projectile point embedded in one of the mastodon’s ribs is indeed a bone spearpoint.

Awesome! Clare Manis Hatler, who co-discovered the Manis Mastodon skeleton in 1977 is still with us, bright, active, a lover of science and grassroots democracy. Emmanuel Manis passed away but Clare is remarried to Don Hatler and a few years ago they were chosen Sequim Citizens of the Year (2018). They deserve it!

European descendants are newcomers and all of us should be modest. Instead, Gov. Isaac Stevens strong-armed the tribes to sign the 1855 Treaty of Point No Point, ceding the entire Olympic Peninsula, Kitsap Peninsula about half of Western Washington for $60,000. The treaty required the tribes to leave their homes and settle on a 3,840-acre reservation at the south end of Hood Canal.

The S’Klallams refused to move. They pooled $500 in gold, and bought 250 acres naming it Jamestown. (I heard this story in the fifth grade from Jake Hall, aka Chief Whitefeather).

Maybe the S’Klallams descended from those Happy Valley hunters, forced by white settlers to buy back land they had hunted and fished on for 13,900 years.

Tim Wheeler


Clallam PUD board responsibility

The Feb. 21 “special meeting” held at the Clallam County PUD (CCPUD) office raised questions and brought concern about the board of commissioners’ adherence to its ethical responsibility for transparency and accountability to the county it serves.

The following Monday, during the regularly scheduled Commissioner Board meeting, a memo expressing public concern was included as part of the agenda packet.

Many CCPUD rate-paying customers consider the questionable use of their PUD’s funds and resources in breach of public duty and responsibility to the local community.

Imperative to note that the “special meeting” subject matter and discussion points are not the issue for concern. Many CCPUD ratepayers are well-informed, seasoned advocates fully in sync with an equitable restoration vital for the Pacific Northwest ecosystem via a free-flowing lower Snake River.

However, the use of public funds and resources — including staff time — to facilitate public outreach and subsequent distribution and continued storage of an NGO’s advocacy materials and supporting files is not in alignment with Washington state policies and procedures governing public utilities.

Public utility rate-paying customers deserve unabridged transparency and accountability. These concepts became a mantra during the past two PUD commissioner election campaigns in which many of us Clallam County residents actively participated. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Consequently, the objective now is for our current PUD board of commissioners to actualize that campaign promises by making transparency and accountability a reality going forward.

Krestine Reed