Posted 4/24/24

Solid citizens pay taxes

Your article about property tax due dates should have included a reminder that property taxes are not just a chore that needs to get done on time, but part of our …

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Solid citizens pay taxes

Your article about property tax due dates should have included a reminder that property taxes are not just a chore that needs to get done on time, but part of our agreement as citizens of a democracy to share the cost of the public services that we all rely on. It also does not mention that many homeowners pay their property taxes monthly to their mortgage companies as part of their house payments, rather than directly to the county.

Matthew Miner

Port Townsend


Yes to benches

Readers Linda and Rust Sturgeon's suggestion to place benches on Port Townsend's docks is a good one. Benches would invite people of all ages and abilities to get up, go outside, and enjoy our spectacular waterfront. Active transportation and healthy living are fostered by amenities such as places to sit, interpretive signage, water fountains, restrooms, ATMs, and the like. 

Community members can now help shape the urban environment they desire by joining discussions of the city’s comprehensive plan throughout 2024. Get involved!

Carol McCreary

Port Townsend


Remembering good leadership

We should not forget the people who have made a huge difference in the building and preservation of one of our most treasured assets: the Northwest Maritime Center (NWMC). Jim Tretter passed away on March 16 after 90 years of life — a rich and rewarding life during which he played a pivotal role in creating this special place. In July of 1999, Jim and Nelly Tretter hosted the kickoff event to envision the future NWMC at their home on the bluff overlooking PT bay. There was enthusiasm and skepticism that this ambitious and bold project could be achieved. Joe Wheeler, founding director of Centrum, called it a glorious vision, like Centrum 25 years earlier, but a little bit “squishy.”

But what we also remember from the event is that community leaders gathered there said, “yes, we need to do this.”

The future of Point Hudson, our waterfront, and marine trades were at stake. Jim understood that. At a follow-up photo op meeting with John Begley, then president of the PT Paper Company, The Leader, and board members from the NWMC (Jim was Treasurer of the NWMC) PT Paper Company announced a $100,000 leadership gift to kick off a capital campaign to purchase the contaminated Thomas oil property (now home to the NWMC). All who were present were excited about protecting this waterfront parcel for public use. No condo or hotel on this magnificent waterfront parcel! Gifts of $100,000 were very rare back then. A corporate sponsorship of this magnitude from the mill was a very big, big deal. After Begley’s announcement of the Mill’s gift, Jim softly said, to the amazement of all, “I will match the $100,000.”  With this gift, the Trotter’s paved the way to reach out to other individuals to make significant gifts for a “squishy” project that 25 years later is one of the most important stories in PT history of community building. Not only did it lead to the purchase of the site for $1 million and the building of the dock and NWMC facilities, these two donations created a new era of philanthropy in PT. The Tretter’s generous gift has sparked a rich and vibrant nonprofit sector with people of all income levels investing in the local causes they believe in.

Thank you, Jim and Nelly Tretter. We remember your generosity and your ability to believe in and invest in the (im)possible with so much gratitude.

Brent Shirley (founding president)

Dave Robison (founding executive director)

of the Northwest Maritime Center



LAYOUT:  Group these next three letters together with larger header:


More readers weigh in on war


Stop supplying weapons

My wife and I have mostly voted Democrat. However, our country is providing 2,000-pound bunker-buster bombs to Israel, knowing Israel will use them in Rafah to murder Palestinians. Israel’s sadistic slaughter is only happening because of the no-holds-barred support of the Biden regime. More billions in weapons with no restrictions? We are thoroughly disgusted. Biden is not pursuing a path tending towards liberty and justice for all who live in the Holy Land of three religions.

U.N. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield allowed the U.N. Security Council to demand a ceasefire in Israel-occupied Palestine, but then she said it was not binding, meant nothing, and the weapons shipments will continue. What a clown show! The U.S. has lost so much face worldwide. Israel has become despised (in) the world community.  MLK warned us of racism, militarism, and extreme materialism and that as a people we were approaching spiritual death.

My wife and I constantly receive letters and emails from Biden’s reelection campaign, the latest saying, “I have a lot of respect for you.” If so, Mr. President, stop funding and shipping weapons to the racist genocidal Netanyahu regime. Give yourself as Commander in Chief to stop this damn war before it spreads all over the Middle East. Follow Senator Bernie Sander’s advice: “Not one more nickel for Netanyahu” and his bloody genocide of Palestinians. Senator Schumer’s advice — dump Netanyahu. 

Unless Biden changes course we pray he will find himself in front of the World Court, standing alongside Netanyahu facing major prison time for being guilty of genocide.

Doug Milholland

Port Townsend


Evidence lacking in reports

Did Hamas deliberately burn and behead babies? A letter writer last week says yes! (Leader April 14). As does Israel. But mainstream news says no evidence was submitted. Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept says one baby was hit by a bullet while in its mother's arms. Are we to believe that the Israeli military does not have cell phones and cameras? If they had evidence we know they'd show it. And about "a chance for peaceful coexistence in 1948.” But due to the Jaffa and Deir Yassin massacres over 500 villages fled in terror with no right of return followed by 76 years of brutality. And then we see "there's not genocide because the population has increased.” Genocide is defined as the deliberate systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group. Hamas' Madness is an example of such destruction. And about Hamas hiding. What ought they do? Stand on a rooftop shaking a rifle at a 1-ton jet bomb or a tank shell? It's a prison camp! Where can they hide? Ridiculous. And I suppose Palestinians could have built schools, hospitals, infrastructure, better roads and education systems! Actually they did but with restricted materials even for the repair of sabotaged water and sewage treatment plants. But definitely not for airport or seaport facilities. It's a prison camp, remember. And lastly, UNRWA funding was cut because 12 people out of 30,000 Personnel were"accused" of Hamas affiliation.

These and many other issues are not covered on mainstream media. Israel's stories get the coverage. So, many people are misinformed. And that's how the slaughter continues.

R.Sidney Collins

Port Townsend


‘Hysterical accusations’

A writer, Craig Lohner, begins his letter with hysterical accusations of alleged Hamas atrocities: burnt and beheaded babies, raped women, etc., none of which have left any forensic evidence and all of which have huge holes in their “accounts” (per “The Intercept,” 2/28/2024, CNN online 3/1/24. Mr. Lohner urges us to “educate ourselves” though in his case, selectively).

Hamas is bad enough, pretending they are a force for the liberation of Palestine, when they are just angling for a better deal under the occupation. What they did, killing civilians and taking them hostage, were war crimes and should be condemned without the overwrought exaggerations of the Zionists and their defenders. (The Palestinians’ fight against the Israeli occupying military is a legitimate use of force, see Geneva Conventions of 1949.)

But the crimes of Hamas pale in comparison to those of Zionists who have been killing Palestinians and stealing their land since the 1930s and have turned Gaza into the world’s largest concentration camp. And once they took power in Israel in 1948 they stole even more land and escalated the violence to horrific levels—33,000 and counting in Gaza alone.

Israel is not simply fighting Hamas. Their war is on Palestine, its people and their land. The Nazis had a word for their idea of the future, Judenrein = clean of Jews. The Zionists see a similar future for themselves, Palestinianrein. This is genocide!

Mike Schiller 

Port Townsend