Letters to the editor — Sept. 15, 2021

Get good candidate information and vote

You probably have noticed local candidate’s campaign signs popping up all over town.

Clearly there are choices for our Sequim School Board and Sequim City Council.

It’s important to learn all you can about the candidates from their websites and visit with them in person whenever possible.

There are several events coming up, including the League of Women Voters forums.

The LWV of Clallam County has always provided informational non-partisan candidate forums for local, statewide and federal candidates. Their website is lwvcla.org.

Check this website for upcoming candidate forums.

Once you have decided on your candidates, check your voter registration status with the Clallam County Auditor office.

If you are not registered to vote, in order to receive a ballot you need to register to vote with the Clallam County Auditor’s office or on its website.

The deadline to register to vote by mail or online for the Nov. 2 election is eight days before the election or Oct. 25.

The voter registration application needs to be in the Clallam County Auditor’s office by 4;30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 to vote in the Nov. 2 election. You also can register to vote up to and including election day, but the auditor’s office has limited hours now so don’t wait.

It’s important to have your voice heard in our community, voting for candidates that represent your views and values is one way of being heard.

Ballots should be arriving at your mailbox after Oct. 16 and must be returned by Nov. 2.

Do your homework and make your vote count.

Eileen Cummings


Thoughts on protest

One wonders: If the protesters at the Clallam County Courthouse and other like-minded individuals, had listened to public health authorities like Dr. Berry, and had worn masks and been vaccinated months ago, would there have been a reason to protest now?

Did the individuals who pushed their way into the courthouse, intending to interrupt the proper functioning of government, see themselves in a mini-revolt against the state just as their insurrectionist idols had assaulted the nation’s capitol on Jan. 6?

Perhaps, if they really want to see the cause of many of the problems facing the country, they should just look in the mirror!

Paul Wessel


Good information fuels better decisions

We now know, thanks to Bertha Cooper’s column (“I ♥ nurses,” Sequim Gazette, page A-14) that as of Sept. 8, Olympic Memorial Hospital was full, and that 17 of its only 58 beds were occupied by people at risk of death from COVID-19.

Hospitals need some excess capacity to deal with other crises just as retail stores need inventory and you need to keep extra gas in your car on a long trip. But these and other such facts shouldn’t be buried in a long opinion piece. It should be front page news.

Updates belong on the first page of every issue. Sometimes clear and simple statistics about local conditions are better.

Good ammunition for family and friends who care about the stiff-necked recalcitrants and who they care about in return.

Trying to persuade anti-vaxxers by repeating the same authoritative science and sensible reasoning over and over is like trying to dig a hole in water with a shovel.

Peter A. Swenson


Vote safely

Regarding Adam Unruh’s letter (Sequim Gazette, Sept. 1, page A-12): How about some facts? There has not been any evidence of election fraud using mail-in voting.

Yes, there have been a handful of votes that were discovered to be in violation of our county election laws. But not to the extent of affecting any specific election.

And, isn’t voting by mail much safer in these times of COVID-19? Seeing people lineup at polling places in other states trying to protect themselves according to CDC guidance was horrific. They should not have been in that situation.

Back to Washington mail-in voting. It has been proven to be a very proficient and safe way to vote. Prove me wrong.

John White


Incremental change

You may not realize it, but incremental change is inflicting monumental transformation on our lives.

Like, I remember when you could smoke on airplanes but then, by first instituting “smoking sections” and later, incrementally reducing the number of “smoking seats” in those sections, smoking on airplanes became history.

Moreover, you could carry knives aboard but, incrementally, the size of a permitted blade was reduced until now, even the smallest blade is banned. Also, you could board an airplane relatively unimpeded but then, incrementally, we began to experience ever-increasing indignities such as removing belts and jewelry, articles of clothing, and even, our shoes before being allowed to board the aircraft (tsa.gov).

We see this incremental impedance in other places as well. For instance, many topics — and their advocates — are now considered inappropriate and, therefore, increasingly banned or otherwise censored from the internet or other public forums.

College students — the voting citizens of tomorrow and overwhelmingly liberal (harvardpolitics.com) — now self-censor and, even, demonize those individuals who dare to speak out against the prevailing “group think” exhibited on campuses today.

As an official geezer, with reasonably undiminished memories of those times of considerably more personal freedoms, I tend to rail against what I consider these as well as the many other encroachments on my liberties but my younger contemporaries, having never known anything different, accept them without question.

So, I wonder what comes next? Will we have to show “vaccination papers” whenever we leave our house? Or just when we enter a restaurant?

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles

Threats toward Berry ‘have no place in our society’

It was dismaying to read the reports of threats against our health officer, Dr. Allison Berry. The threats arising from Dr. Berry’s recommendations have no place in our society.

On behalf of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians (WAFP) and our 4,000 members around the state, we write to reiterate our complete support for Dr. Berry and anyone working to advance public health in Clallam County. Health officers and other public health workers deserve our thanks, not our scorn.

COVID-19 has challenged us all. We have endured so much loss. Still, we have work to do. Until variants are tamed and hospitals return to normal capacity, work remains. Though we all play a role, that work will be spearheaded by our public health system.

There will come a day where we won’t need a vaccination card to eat indoors. Unfortunately, that day isn’t here yet. Those in public health are critical to getting us closer to that day.

WAFP represents family physicians and medical students from around the state. We stand in solidarity with our public health officers and appreciate the difficult decisions they make. They have been called upon to manage the worst pandemic in most physicians’ and community members’ lives.

Molly Hong, Port Townsend

Angela Sparks, Burien

Hong is a member of the Board of Directors and Sparks is president of the Washington Academy of Family Physicians.

Challenge to anti-vaccination folks

I want to throw down a challenge to all anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers in Clallam County. I served 27 years in the military and put my life on the line for all of you as did many other veterans; 27 years equals 9,855 days. I am asking one simple thing, because it won’t cost you 27 years of your life: Could 9,855 people who have not received a vaccination please get one? If you won’t do it for me, then please do it for other veterans you know who have served you!

I am not asking for much. Just one simple action. I served 27 years to keep you safe, you can at least get one vaccination to keep me and other veterans safe!

Pauline Geraci


Lessons learned

When an administrator/principal at New Life Christian School in Ephrata, I met with a first-grader being raised by a divorced father — a man I found was working too much and time spent with his son was too little.

The father was working lots of overtime but really didn’t need extra money.

I told him his son was acting up in school because he was choosing work over his son and if the father didn’t change that, he’d regret it. I had a hunch if he stopped the overtime, spent time with his son, had meals together, sat him on his lap, read him books, put him to bed and prayed with him each night, we would see a change in the son at school and in their relationship at home.

The dad eventually came to my office with a smile, handing me a $100 bill, saying I’d saved his relationship with his son.

Rather, the dad gets all the credit because he acted on information he received.

Some morals of this story:

One has to be direct sometimes and unafraid if you want to attempt to help people.

Reading to your children with them sitting on your lap is one of the best things you will ever do for them.

Another is tucking your kids into bed with a prayer.

And another: Eating meals as a family.

Children want you, not your money and things it will buy.

Charles Saddler


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