Letters to the editor — Oct. 16, 2019

Vote for Smithson I

I am supporting Beth Smithson for the Sequim School Board. I have known Beth for a number of years and have always been impressed with her work ethic, her honesty, and her willingness to listen to other’s point of view, and compromise if needed. These four attributes would make Beth an excellent member of our school board.

Beth has two boys in the Sequim schools, and she and her husband Garrett have been involved with many volunteer aspects of the school district.

As the only woman member of the school board, Beth would bring important diversity to the board. She is a persistent advocate for students and parents. She is passionate and motivated to make changes when needed and to manage resources wisely.

As Beth states in her bio, “Today’s students are Sequim’s future.” They deserve the best we can give them.

Please join me in supporting Beth Smithson with your vote.

Connie Kinyon


Stoffer for school board

Clallam County voters, I’m writing from the eastern edge of Washington to ask that you reelect Jim Stoffer to the Sequim School Board. You’ll be helping schoolchildren on the Olympic Peninsula, and across the state.

It is my honor to serve with “Jim from Sequim” (as he introduces himself) on the Legislative Committee for the Washington State School Directors Association, where we dive into policy issues that impact all public schools. No one puts more effort into the job, is more aware of the needs of the schools, or is more proud of his community. Retired from a 30-year career in the Coast Guard, Jim continues to serve tirelessly.

Public schools face complex challenges that require knowledge, hard work and thoughtfulness. Advocates for public education urge you to reelect Jim Stoffer.

Dan Hansen, member

West Valley (School District) School Board


Vote for Smithson II

I believe changing the dynamics of the school board is a positive and necessary step forward for our students, our families, and our community.

We have good, hard working, dedicated school board members. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t be continuously improving and sharpening our vision. Bethany Smithson is determined to have a “Voice For The Kids.”

As a mother of two boys enrolled in our district, she has been involved in all aspects of their growth, educational development and athletic careers. She is a strong believer in diversity and understands that every student is different and has individual learning needs that require varied strategies.

Beth is active in coaching with numerous little league sports and has gotten to know many of our current students and parents. She has a passion for student success and wants every child to have hope, even when their circumstances appear to be hopeless.

She is an extremely positive, compassionate, dedicated member of our community. Her willingness to serve on the board will prove to be an asset for all.

Gary and Dennise Kettel


Vote for Miano I

My husband came home from a 24-hour shift at the fire department tired and stressed again. But this time he was also frustrated. The exhaustion and stress comes from the job but the frustration is something new.

He learned (last) week that the fire district was not awarded a federal grant to hire more firefighters. In 2017, the fire district was awarded this grant but fire commissioners Barnfather and Gawley voted not to accept the grant, instead waiting two years for the department to get even busier, and now being awarded nothing.

There has been no increase in staffing, there are now no prospects for increase in staffing, and if/when there is it will be years to get the new firefighters fully trained.*

Worse, any increase is going to be fully funded by you and me and the rest of Sequim.

As you can imagine this is all draining to my husband, myself, and the rest of our family.

Please join us in taking the fire district in a new direction at the commissioner level and vote for Bill Miano. He has been a front line firefighter, a good one, and will not gamble with your emergency.

Angie Dickson


* — Editor’s note: Fire District 3 chief Ben Andrews said the district has added one staff position and is seeking a second staffer; however, District 3 personnel say the additions were replacement hires and do not results in an increase in daily staffing. Andrews also said there is a plan to add staffing in the 2020 budget, but that budget proposal had not been up for discussion as of press time.

Vote for Barnfather

Jim Barnfather was a professional firefighter in the Seattle Fire Department for 31 years, specializing as an EMT and senior engineer.

Upon retirement, Jim moved to Sequim in 2004 and given his extensive background, he decided to run for District 3 Fire Commissioner. Since his election 12 years ago, he has been effective voice on that board and its chairman for the last six years.

During his tenure at District 3, the department has improved CERT, CPR and first aid training to the public and fire safety training in schools as well as enhanced building inspections and safety to businesses.

Jim is also active in several organizations and volunteer groups.

On a personal basis, he also operates a small farm which supplies feed to a local dairy.

Please join me in voting for this outstanding citizen who has consistently kept our fire department on the cutting edge.

Helga McGhee


Vote for Miano II

Bill Miano is a retired firefighter/paramedic from Utah. In Utah he accomplished grant writing for his fire department and helped guide budgets.

Fortunate for all of us, the Mianos retired to Sequim and now Bill is taking the leap to run for fire commissioner in Clallam County Fire District No. 3.

I have had the chance to get to know Bill and find him to be an honest, trustworthy, and hardworking individual. He is a natural leader and exactly the right person Sequim needs to help lead the fire department.

Please join me in voting for Bill Miano for fire commissioner.

Kolby Konopaski

Port Angeles

Vote for Henninger

I write in support of Ann Marie Henninger who is running for Hospital Commissioner.

Ann is my idea of an outstanding candidate for public servant. Public, because Ann has focused almost 30 years of experience as a registered nurse in public healthcare. In hospitals, medical clinics and free clinics, as well as her community volunteering, Ann has put her considerable education and experience at the service of the public, you and me.

And service is key in this position. I am very impressed with Ann’s dedication to the position of Hospital Commissioner before she has the job. Note what she has done over the past two years: attending OMC Board of Commissioner meetings, learning what issues currently face rural health care locally and nationally and studying the hospital’s strategic plan, among many other activities.

How many candidates for political office have done that level of preparatory homework before the election?

As an example, I asked Ann about one of the critical

issues in this election: the potential impact of changing government rules concerning reimbursement for services provided by our Public Health District. Ann Marie replied knowledgeably with the most recent news concerning a judge’s ruling and its impact on OMC. Ann Marie’s response is what voters look for in their public leaders.

Vote for Ann Marie Henninger for Hospital Commissioner. She is ready, willing and more than able to provide the public servant leadership we need.

Janet Flatley


Book donations are a community treasure

For the last eight years, I have been amazed and blessed by your generosity in helping me provide books for the kids as part of the Sequim Downtown Association Trick or Treat event. I love being “The Reading Mother” outside of Over the Fence, and handing out books. Last year, my husband and I estimated that I was able to hand out about 500 books!

However, I have not been able to collect as many books this year as in years past. If you have books for kids, (say, infant to high school), and are needing to pass them on, I would dearly love to be the recipient.

Contact me at KMORGAN380@gmail.com.

Thank you for making my Halloween such a special day for me!

Love, Karla “The Reading Mother” Morgan


Wealthy businesses get government aid, too

Former Clallam County Republican Chairman Dick Pilling, an “unapologetic” Republican (“The difference is dear,” Sequim Gazette, Oct. 9, page A-11), urges us to earn the bread we eat without government assistance.

What he neglects to mention is the corporate welfare taxpayers provide to farm subsidies and the oil industry as two prominent examples.

Corporate subsidies are more than $100 billion annually! Over twice the government assistance Pilling would deny those who need it most. Especially the working poor.

One is reminded of the words, “Arbeit Macht Frei” (“Work sets you free”). It remains as a symbol of those who toiled sans government assistance.

Roger B. Huntman


Dems seek to ‘save democracy’

Regarding democrat versus repugnant GOP ideals: Whilst adding on a thought about parasites and partnerships (See “Letters to the Editor,” Sequim Gazette, Oct. 9, 2019, page A-11) … before any GOP supporter compares their party to Democrats, one ought to face reality and think outside their own timeline box.

Back in your day, one could pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps by working hard, perhaps hard enough to afford tuition; stressors were different, therefore, so was the need to, or lack thereof, of medication—self or otherwise.

Due to GOP-backed corporate rule, all that has changed. Big pharma gets people addicted faster than any backdoor pusher, college is a bill that lasts a lifetime, minimum wage for 19 hours a week will not pay for a quarter of a rented, dingy apartment lifestyle … furthermore, taxes from that meager paycheck go to support billionaire tax cuts, plus the Medicare payments to payout ratio is lunacy!

What Democrats want is to save democracy with rules that support taxes supporting the majority of the regular folk; holding not only D.J. Trump but his cronies accountable for their crimes.

As for calling the Jamestown S’Klallam nation’s generosity parasitic because of successes in capitalism — balderdash! The tribe resides within a nation ruled by the rigors of modern capitalism and in order to be able to help not only the tribe but community at large, the tribe cannot endeavor to lose money.

The MAT will make enough money to pay for itself by profit. Think!

Toni O’Connell

Port Angeles

Put climate change threat in perspective

Climate activists and far-left politicians routinely claim that global warming is the biggest, most urgent problem facing the world. Not so fast. Just a couple examples: From 1999-2017, 218,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses related to legal, prescription drugs (source: Centers for Disease Control). Nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City by radical Islamists.

Changes in weather caused by humans have killed how many?

Many “drop-dead dates” dictated by climate experts such as Al Gore have come and gone — years ago. Other similar politically-motivated elites travel by private jets and yachts to global climate summits preaching about the sins of fossil fuel. They are “global-class” hypocrites.

Another influential person who has been exceedingly vocal of imminent climate doom is Barack Obama. He recently purchased a mansion on the east coast, in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., for about $15 million dollars. This location reportedly is to be underwater per previous projections of rising sea levels. Yet he completed this transaction knowing it will soon be covered by the Atlantic Ocean because of rising sea levels caused by climate change.

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been exposed several times for manipulating data.

The work accomplished — and manual labor saved — by internal combustion engines (the villain of climate alarmists) is impossible to overstate. Air travel and road construction, for example, won’t be done by battery- or solar-powered alternatives any time soon.

Richard H. Lohrman


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