Letters to the Editor — Sequim Gazette, Jan. 11, 2017

  • Wednesday, January 11, 2017 1:30am
  • Opinion
Letters to the Editor — Sequim Gazette, Jan. 11, 2017

Vote yes for Sequim school levies

In a couple of weeks you are going to get a ballot in the mail with two measures that help our schools.

One of these measures is called the “Educational Programs and Operations Replacement Levy.” This is a replacement for the expiring one that you have passed before that provides things like salary and benefits for 32 teachers, 16 classified staff and 17 maintenance and custodial staff.

Every school district in the state runs levies to fund these necessary positions that are not funded by the state. It’s easy to understand why you should vote yes for this one.

The second one is different than what we have seen before. It is a “Capital Levy to Renovate and Expand the Central Kitchen Facility.” This levy is for facility improvements only.

The central kitchen needs some very serious upgrades. It was outdated, but OK 30 years ago. The maintenance department has done a great job making parts for old equipment, but there is only so much they can do. Their time could be better spent doing other things besides mending outdated equipment.

The other thing this levy will do is to tear down the unusable portion of the building, which will give us more usable ground and allow us to be eligible for $4,300,000 from the state for new construction.

It makes sense to vote yes for this one because it enables the district to operate more efficiently and will save us money in the future.

Thank you for joining me in voting yes on both of these measures by Valentine’s Day.

John Bridge

Sequim

Thanks to Sequim community from the Y

As this new year begins, I want to say a big thank you to the Sequim community for broad support in opening the new Sequim Y.

Together we reopened this needed facility for the improved health of our community. The only public pools in town are open and accessible to all. It’s great to see the families, kids and people of all ages and sizes using the pool and fitness classes and the rest of the facilities.

Our partners Olympic Medical Center, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, City of Sequim, Clallam County, Green Crow, SARC and the Sequim School District helped get the ball rolling. Then lots of people volunteered their time to keep it going, including Rotary clubs, churches, Chamber, Explorer Scouts, the new Sequim Y Board and Y leaders from Port Angeles. One hundred sixty donors gave $191,000 to help cover the $308,000 in total opening costs. (Repairs, equipment purchases, staffing and financial aid to those who couldn’t afford the full cost.) The Sequim Y Board stepped up to make this happen.

To date we have signed up over 4,000 individual members, greatly exceeding our projections this early. Nine hundred thirty-eight members qualified for reduced rates. The majority of these are kids. In fact, 22.4 percent of our members are under 17.

Note that every year we raise money to ensure that no one is turned away from the Y. Every week 47 fitness classes are offered with an average class size of 13. Swim lessons for all ages start this month. More programs are coming and 61 staff members have been hired and trained at the facility, providing a good number of jobs. And we are growing.

In closing, together we have started something that will be here for a long time. It is a gift of health and hope to our community.

Gary Huff

Sequim

Huff is Sequim Y 2016 Board President and Campaign Chair.

Wisdom of Constitution framers is evident

This is in response to “Testing the Constitution” (Bertha Cooper column, Sequim Gazette, Jan. 4):

What a litany of gripes and negative statements about the United States and our history. Makes one wonder why a very large proportion of the Earth’s population would love to be here. We are the greatest, most giving nation the world has ever known!

Elites and ultra liberals are obviously “feeling the pinch” lately. Hopefully ending is the decades of big government over-reach, intrusion, damaging excessive regulations and excessive government reliance. Many of these liberals are “demonstrating” intolerance and a desire to change the November election results. These are U.S. citizens.

At least Russia, accused of cyber attacks on our election system, is a known, foreign adversary. I don’t recall demonstrations, resistance, or attempts to alter election results after elections of 2008 and 2012, even though a self-described “radical” was elected. And look at the results of this administration!

The European continent also is bucking liberal, globalist, feel-good socialist ideals. Updates to follow in the following months.

Given the extraordinary steps taken by the current president to bypass congressional action, and its attendant smack-downs by federal courts, if one hasn’t been concerned about a “tyrant,” or the three branches of government working together in the last eight years, there is certainly no reason to be concerned now.

As time marches on, the wisdom of the framers stands out even more. God bless them! The U.S. Constitution is just fine, thank you.

Richard H. Lohrman

Sequim

Put on brakes with Growler decision

The Forest Service is accepting comments on its draft decision to permit the Navy to operate mobile electronic emitters in the West End of the peninsula, but is only accepting comments from those who have commented previously. This I feel is unfair — I am 85, am not online, and have only recently become aware of the issue.

Issuance of the permit will trigger overflights of Navy Growler jets from Whidbey Island to interact with the electronic emitters. These Growlers are very loud. To my knowledge, the Navy has not disclosed the number of flights per day, flight paths, altitudes, decibels at ground level, etc. There will be over a hundred Growlers stationed on Whidbey Island. It is my fear that constant noise from these planes could make life very unpleasant for those of us who moved here for the peace and quiet.

The Forest Service should delay its decision to issue the permit until the Navy has made a full disclosure of noise and other impacts in an environmental impact statement and these impacts have been given wide publicity by all appropriate media.

Howard Chadwick

Sequim

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Don C. Brunell is a business analyst, writer and columnist. He recently retired as president of the Association of Washington Business, the state’s oldest and largest business organization, and now lives in Vancouver. He can be contacted at thebrunells@msn.com.
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