Letters to the Editor — Nov. 8, 2023

‘Let Freedom Read’

Sept. 30 was the National Day of Truth & Reconciliation in Canada, sometimes referred to as Orange Shirt Day. On this day each year, Canadians honor the painful history incurred by many Native peoples across Canada who were enrolled in the residential school system.

Residential schools in Canada and the United States were rife with physical, mental and sexual abuse, neglect and other forms of violence and created a cycle of inter-generational trauma for Indigenous people in North America.

I proudly wore my orange shirt to commemorate the trauma and loss endured by Indigenous children and their families across generations in the United States and Canada.

As the U.S. ends its 2023 commemoration of Banned Books Week, I’m struck by the fact that while Canada is attempting to move forward by coming to terms with the atrocities that it historically committed towards its original inhabitants, many Americans are leading efforts to censure books that often contain historical facts that Americans need to acknowledge and learn from.

The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom documented an unparalleled increase in attempts to remove books from libraries and schools in 2022, and preliminary data for 2023 indicates the trend continues.

As a former college professor in Native American studies, I applaud Canadians in their efforts to educate their citizens by (finally) telling the truth about and taking responsibility for past atrocities brought about by colonization.

The theme of this years Banned Books Week was “Let Freedom Read!” I agree!

I would like to acknowledge that the land on which I reside is the ancestral land of the S’Klallam people and to express my respect and gratitude to them for their stewardship of the land throughout the generations.

Leslie Saxon West


Alter our lives based on this math?

Our oceans are rising, so we must stop using coal, gasoline, natural gas, and even eat bugs instead of meat, right?

My relationship with math is tenuous at best sometimes, but here’s what I see: The ocean levels are measured nowadays using satellites. The Jason-3 objective was to measure sea surface height to within 4 centimeters.

According to Space.com, the new Sentinel-6 satellite measures to within a few centimeters. To get sea level, they also measure to the center of the Earth, according to NASA. How? I asked the same thing. The current standard for measuring Earth’s radius in a given location is the World Geodetic System.

The current, most updated version of WGS84 to calculate the earth’s radius at any given point is accurate to within 10 kilometers.

So to get ocean level – subtract height of satellite over ocean (+/- several centimeters) from satellite to center of earth (+/- 10 kilometers) to get ocean level to within millimeters.

Maybe someone better at math can help me out by explaining how can calculate ocean level rise in millimeters per year when at best we start with distances accurate to the centimeter.

Now let’s alter our entire way of life on these results.

Mark A. White

Port Angeles