LETTER: BOCC proclamation is nothing to fear

Posted 2/14/17

We were heartened by the Leader’s support for the BOCC proclamation on the editorial page, but we were dismayed by the sensational nature of the front-page headlines in the article about the county …

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LETTER: BOCC proclamation is nothing to fear

Posted

We were heartened by the Leader’s support for the BOCC proclamation on the editorial page, but we were dismayed by the sensational nature of the front-page headlines in the article about the county commissioners’ adoption of a human rights proclamation.

And we were disappointed by the omission of several newsworthy facts. More than 70 people attended a standing-room-only meeting during a snowstorm, hardly “a small crowd of onlookers.” So many people came to speak in support of the proclamation that the commissioners extended the public comment period.

Multiple speakers urged the BOCC to pursue additional protections for Jefferson County residents, and Art Frank, chief criminal deputy for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, reiterated that the sheriff’s office already has policies in place regarding sheriff department assistance with Customs and Border Patrol operations.

Jefferson County Sheriff David Stanko signed the proclamation as did all other Jefferson County elected officials lawfully allowed to do so.

Concerns about your article registered, kudos to the Leader for printing the entire proclamation text as an editorial, allowing diligent readers to look beyond the scary headlines and get the facts for themselves.

The proclamation affirms the commission and elected officials’ support for human rights for all residents of Jefferson County. This is exactly the principle of “liberty and justice for all” that Commissioner Kler urged the audience to ponder when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at Monday’s meeting.

The proclamation sets no new policies, defies no presidential executive orders and jeopardizes no funding. Printing headlines, pull quotes and leads that imply otherwise is irresponsible and deliberately misleading, and undermines the Leader’s long tradition of impartial, independent journalism.

We urge the Leader to report on meetings more accurately and responsibly, and to avoid sensationalism and fear-mongering in favor of the free and impartial press so essential to our constitutional democracy.

MARA LATHROP

LIBBY PALMER

MARTHA TROLIN

ELIZABETH WENNSTROM

Port Townsend

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