Vote ‘yes’ for a healthy, meaningful learning program | Letter to the editor

Posted 1/14/21

I am writing to encourage voters to vote YES for the Chimacum Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy in the upcoming county-wide election on Feb. 9.

This levy does not represent a …

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Vote ‘yes’ for a healthy, meaningful learning program | Letter to the editor


I am writing to encourage voters to vote YES for the Chimacum Replacement Educational Programs and Operations Levy in the upcoming county-wide election on Feb. 9.

This levy does not represent a new or additional tax burden for Jefferson county residents. It simply replaces and continues a levy that provides critical funding to maintain educational programs and opportunities for students in the Chimacum schools.

The funds for this levy are not for “enhancement” or “extra” programming or services. The levy renews funding for programs and services that are essential to providing a high-quality learning environment for students in Chimacum. 

This is funding to support critical staffing positions: counselors, a school nurse, and paraeducators all working directly with students. And for programs including STEAM, music, athletics, and a variety of clubs. Some of this levy funding also supports office staff, custodial services, maintenance, and food services.

In short, the Educational Programs and Operations Levy represents necessary funding that allows our community to provide a healthy, productive, meaningful and rich school learning environment to our students. And we all benefit when our local school students are successful.

Today’s students are the people who will lead us, and who we’ll depend on, tomorrow. 

They will be at work all over our community providing us with the services and help that we depend on in hospitals, retail stores, emergency services departments, utility companies, local government, restaurants, professional offices — everywhere we go. Of course they’ll also be in tomorrow’s schools teaching our children and grandchildren.

Even if you haven’t left your house recently, chances are that you have recently been helped or served by a graduate of a local public school.

So please, join me in voting “yes” for Chimacum students on Feb. 9 — it’s a vote for our future! Thank you!

Eric Jorgensen


Georgia on my mind as majority finally rules

Who would have imagined that the Peach State would be our country’s salvation from the “heart of darkness” we entered with President Trump and his administration? 

Georgia’s election of Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to the United States Senate guarantees that President-elect Biden’s agenda will not be undermined/stymied/blocked by Mitch McConnell. Finally, the majority has found its voice.

You may recall that the majority of Americans did not want Trump to be their president, did not want a wall to be built on our southern border, did not want the country to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords or the Iran Nuclear Agreement, did not want a Supreme Court vacancy filled in the 11th hour before an election, did not believe that COVID-19 would be gone after the election, did not fall victim to the thousands of lies spewed over the course of the past four years by a self-obsessed bully.

But Trump Republicans didn’t care what the majority of Americans wanted. They were desperate to maintain their hold on power any way they could, even if it meant subverting democracy and the expressed will of the public. 

Trump’s threatening phone call to the Georgia secretary of state on Jan. 2, demanding that he find votes to overturn the presidential election in that state, was the zenith of his corruption. The storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a rioting mob of his followers was his defining shame and ignominy.

That so many Americans have been gullible to this unconscionable impostor is a sad statement on current America. But now, perhaps the more than 400 bills passed by the House of Representatives but blocked by McConnell can be considered, and the country can move forward solving its problems — and somehow somewhere find its moral bearings once again.

I’m honored to know that my mother’s home state provided the turning point.

John Delaney


Plans should be in place for mass vaccinations

Sunday evening a Seattle TV news feature reported that statewide, less than 30 percent of the hundreds of thousands of doses of coronavirus vaccine that have been received, and presently on hand, have been injected.

Health department officials from three or four counties all replied that they have begun planning, and are trying to identify sites appropriate for mass inoculation. 

Most responded that they are still trying to do the state Department of Health defined category “1a,” a relatively very small cohort, and generally easy to reach as they are almost a “captive” group.

This is not what the public should expect or tolerate. For almost the full 11 months of the pandemic we have known that a vaccine was in the works and that hundreds of millions of Americans would need to be vaccinated. Planning, one would expect, would have been taking place from the very beginning for the eventual arrival of that vaccine. 

To still be planning now is inexcusable — it’s like waiting for the earthquake to plan emergency earthquake response.

The public health, as well as the very foundations of our economy, demand a more effective and rapid response.

Our neighbors in Sequim, in conjunction with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, announced a few days ago that they will begin mass vaccinations Thursday, Jan. 14 of all residents age 70 and above, as well as their domestic partners. In order to do so they plan to involve numerous local agencies, and it is their intention to complete 5,000 vaccinations by the end of this month. Their plan, already long in the making, is to do mass drive-through vaccinations in a local park. In order to do so they plan to involve numerous local agencies all working together.

We would do well to learn from their efforts.

Mark Roye


Trump doesn’t know right from wrong, reality from fantasy

I don’t understand why anyone should be surprised about the riots in our nation’s capitol. 

When Trump was considering testifying before the special committee concerning Russian influence in the presidential election, one of his top aids said, “President Trump creates his own reality. He believes his own reality. And he believes others will believe it also. We can not let him testify because he would be guilty of perjury.” 

Leaders of the Republican Party knew he couldn’t tell the difference between right and wrong or reality and fantasy.  But they used him to get what they wanted. 

Republicans need to come to grips with the fact that the party of Eisenhower, Nixon and Goldwater no longer exists. They believed in a strong dollar, a trade surplus, a small non intrusive government, a balanced budget and the government can not borrow its way to prosperity.

The Republican Party today is promoting corporatism:  government by corporations, and for corporations. Trump was just a tool to get what they wanted. He didn’t change the Republican Party, he forced the Republican Party to show what they really stand for. Trump’s plan was to get Pence to change the electoral vote and he would declare martial law and remain president.

Trump in a new statement said there would be a peaceful transition of power on Jan. 20 and “That will end the most successful first term presidency in the history of the United States.”  

He really does believe he is the greatest president ever and there was a conspiracy to prevent a second term.

James Fritz


Please thank our school board members for their service

By proclamation of the governor, January is School Board Recognition Month. It’s a great time to recognize our elected community members who selflessly give their time and energy in support of high-quality public schooling for our youth. School board members in Quilcene School District are entrusted by this community with responsibility for an annual budget of $9.2 million, 643.6 student FTE, and 77 employees.

School boards are charged with making decisions that can sometimes be quite difficult, or require sifting through a great deal of information. They also bear responsibility for developing a vision that will guide the school district for years to come. Through collaboration as a team, and with school district staff, their governance and advocacy are building the future of education in Washington state.

This January, we’re encouraging all members of the community to thank a board member. Please thank them for volunteering their time and playing a critical civic role that helps form the bedrock of our democracy — public education. As a crucial bridge between the local community and the school district, their efforts are instrumental in helping all of us realize the hopes and dreams we have for the children of our community.

The men and women serving Quilcene School District are Viviann Kuehl, Paul Mahan, Cindy Pollard, Jessica Gossette, and Trisha Freiberg.

For more information about the Quilcene School Board, visit

Frank Redmon

Quilcene School District Superintendent

Trump incited an armed mob

Donald Trump is a failed would be dictator who attempted to overthrow the dually elected president of the United States. 

After losing the election for president of the United States of America, Donald Trump claim election fraud. His legal teams filed over 60 legal challenges, but they were unable to produce in court any evidence of massive voter fraud.  Donald Trump spent months publicly delegitimizing the election system, and then delegitimized the courts. 

Having failed in the courts, Donald Trump crossed a clear red line and engaged in three known illegal attempts to overthrow the election:

He attempted to coerce the Georgia Secretary of State to change the vote count.

He attempted to coerce the vice president to illegally stop the certification of the electoral votes.

He incited an armed mob, he had been priming for months, to invade the capital to stop the certification of the electoral votes.

If Donald Trump had succeeded, we would have lost our republic. These crimes can not go unpunished without dramatically increasing the risk of future assaults on our freedom. Donald Trump needs to be impeached, convicted, indicted and sent to prison. Anything less will provide incentives to future would be dictators. This must never happen again.

Robert Landry


Complaints should be backed with facts

Nicky D’Andrea suggests that we are paying our civil servants too much. I would ask D’Andrea, “How much research have you put into comparing these salaries with those of jobs with similar responsibilities in other cities or in the private sector? And how smart and how capable do you want the people to be who hold these positions? Do you want the best city manager, or the one you’re comfortable affording?”  

Port Townsend competes with both the business and public sectors in finding and recruiting for these positions. 

Public employees are easy targets for frustrated taxpayers. If you have specific evidence of incompetence, report it to the council, who, by the way, are volunteers.

Matthew Miner


Faith restored through a considerate act

I am writing today to say “thank you” to an unknown woman who managed to get my wallet full of credit cards back to me.

On Jan. 6 I dropped my wallet while on a bike ride so didn’t miss it until I arrived at my destination. What a gut-wrenching sensation that was, and this was just after the news about Trump inciting a mob to take over the Capitol building. It was a bad day to say the least.

Then, as I was scurrying around canceling credit and bank cards I received a phone card from the Peninsula Credit Union that said they had my wallet. 

A wonderful woman delivered my wallet there because I had one of their business cards in my wallet. 

She didn’t leave her name. So this is how I am trying to reach out to say “thank you” to this most kind and thoughtful person.

You turned a black day into a day of rejoicing. You reinforced my faith in humanity. Thank you. 

Judy Gelwicks


PDA reorganization should include a public process

The Port Townsend Leader reported serious irregularities with the operations at Fort Worden by the Public Development Authority (PDA) and the PDA Board of Directors is depending on the interim executive director to correct the problems. His plan is for a complete reorganization of the PDA into separate entities and to do it as soon as possible.    

What is happening at Fort Worden may require a complete reorganization, but this should include an extensive public process under the direction of the city. 

Washington state law RCW 35.21.745 requires any city, town, or county that creates a PDA to control and oversee the PDA’s operation and funds in order to ensure that the PDA is reasonably accomplishing its purpose and to correct any deficiencies. 

The issues reported were significant. The PDA was inappropriately using 19 credit cards for operations including an American Express card with an outstanding balance of $60,000 and Bank of America cards with interest rates of 29 percent. The interest cost on just the Bank of America cards was $1,500 per month.

Over a million dollars intended for specific projects was diverted for other uses and the PDA had over $300,000 of delinquent debts. There was an alleged misappropriation of $10,000 and state auditors, a private investigator, a former district attorney, and the PT police department are reviewing activities of the PDA. The results of these reviews are unknown.   

When the Fort Worden PDA was created more than 10 years ago, there were numerous public meetings of residents including state park and elected officials. There were many opportunities for public questions and discussions with public input into the final organization and purpose of the PDA.   

Now the PDA board says that they will remedy what has happened and the public should support and be patient. They might feel that way, but the city of Port Townsend should step in and as required by RCW 35.21.745, the city should control and oversee the PDA’s reorganization. 

To be successful, this must include an extensive public process like when the PDA was first created.    

Bob Gray