Letters To The Editor — Sept. 27, 2017

Thanks for successful Reach for Hospice

A sincere thank you to all the individuals and businesses who contributed to the success of the annual Reach for Hospice race. This was the 25th year that the Sequim Bay Yacht Club conducted this fund raising event for respite care for patients of Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.

The most recent report shows that more than $22,000 has been donated this year and it makes me proud to be part of this community.

Susan Sorensen


District misses mark with dismissal

The spring operetta program is one of the shining advertisements for what Sequim can do, far exceeding what one might except from a small community. This is due to the leadership, drive and dedication of Robin Hall, Jeff Hall and John Lorentzen.

How can the Sequim School District administration be so short sided and bureaucratic to reject talent and experience in favor of some misguided belief in a piece of paper? (“No encore for longtime SHS drama director,” Sequim Gazette, Sept. 20, page A-1)

I thought (Sequim schools superintendent) Gary Neal was more creative than that.

Judy Rhodes


Graham-Cassidy Bill an unhealthy proposal

The Graham-Cassidy bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Congress could be the worst health care bill yet!

It will be especially hard on older Americans. Since everyone out there is either old or will someday be old this bill affects all of us.

The Graham-Cassidy bill is an extreme proposal that would increase costs for older Americans with an age tax, cut coverage, and price gouge people with preexisting conditions like cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

It would jeopardize older Americans’ ability to stay in their own homes as they age, and threaten coverage for people with disabilities and people who live in nursing homes. AARP, doctors, hospitals, and patient advocates all agree that this bill is the wrong path forward on health care.

Help sound the alarm about this irresponsible bill.

Ray Hickman


Lessons from Mexico City

There is a group of several people in the Sequim Emerald Highlands Subdivision, who are training and counseling residents about emergency preparedness, primarily for earthquakes. City of Sequim management should be aware of the recent deaths of 200-plus people (adults and children) in Mexico City from a nearby earthquake.

Sequim should also be aware the highest population density five days/week, nine months/year is students and educators in our schools.

In the last eight years, there have been many school tax levies proposed but, to my knowledge, not one has proposed (or even mentioned?) evaluating and/or improving the seismic resistance of our school buildings.

The school district brick building is 90-plus years old. My guess is there is little or no substantial steel reinforcing in the walls or ceiling of that building.

But all Sequim’s school buildings should be evaluated for seismic resistance by knowledgeable engineering experts and any of those buildings, which are deficient, should be reinforced ASAP to protect the occupants.

Precedent has been established to accomplish such building reinforcement. After the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, the U.S. Department of Energy provided funds to Lawrence and Sandia Livermore National Laboratories (about 90 miles east of San Francisco) to reinforce several administrative and key scientific buildings. These building seismic reinforcement techniques are public information.

This is my second letter to the editor on this subject published in the Gazette. The first letter to the editor was ignored. Are the City of Sequim and school district administrators liable for ignoring such suggestions? Just common sense words to the wise.

Richard Hahn


Stars, stripes a show of American unity

With reference to “Freedom of Speech includes silence” (Letters to the editor, Sequim Gazette, Sept 20, page A-10):

It seems that the only people who invoke Amendment One of our Constitution are those that show disrespect for and denigrate the only country on earth that assures that right in writing, not to mention the countless hundreds of thousands of people who have taken the oath to “Protect and Defend the Constitution of the United States” and have given their lives doing so.

I wish to thank the writer for taking the time to visit Sequim elementary school classrooms and ascertain that indeed there is an American flag displayed in each and that my assumption though valid, was incorrect.

I guess I was brainwashed. When I was going to school, no one sat out the Pledge of Allegiance because we were being taught to be Americans. All that silly stuff about the melting pot and E Pluribus Unum. Why is it that today people desire to be part of some political ethnic group instead of being Americans?

Finally a question for the writer: Where in my letter did I “condemn all members of a team for the actions of a few”? All I did was indicate that I was no longer going to watch NFL football as long as public disrespect for our country was being displayed. How is that condemning anyone?

As far as “anathema to our democracy,” displaying disrespect for our country publicly is one of the definitions of that term.

As an American, I don’t have to accept open deprecation of the greatest country on earth. That’s my Constitutional right. “Like it or not.”

Ethan Harris