Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Letters to the Editor

The humanist

Editor, the Journal,

In response to James Poirson, thank you for reading my letter of March 3 and finding it to be useful. I appreciate that you did not see it as a personal attack but rather a way to continue a discussion. It seems to me that too much anger is expressed on these pages and not enough thoughtfulness.

As regarding any future debate: as a young man I was a liberal firebrand, in middle age a staunch conservative. Now, in my later years, I think of myself as a humanist. I hope for peace in the world and I look for good in people, but it seems that poverty, inequality and suffering is the norm, not the exception. So, neither liberal nor conservative, I am just sad.

In response to Donna Branch-Gilby, I too am puzzled by the resistance to COVID-19 vaccinations. Attending elementary school in Shelton back in the 1950s, my classmates and I were vaccinated for smallpox, tuberculosis and polio. Younger readers have probably never seen little March of Dimes collection folders or iron lungs, but they were all too real to me.

My father’s sister contracted polio as a young mother, spent time in an iron lung while fighting the disease and the rest of her life in a wheelchair after losing the use of her legs.

Tuberculosis is still a problem in some areas of the world, but smallpox and polio are diseases of the past due to vaccinations on a worldwide scale. The U.S. is nearing 80 million cases of COVID and 1 million deaths with no real end in sight. I just don’t understand.

James Biehl, Shelton

About Belfair sewer

Editor, the Journal,

We will soon be having another commission meeting. The topic of the sewer will once again come around. I want to clarify my position on the issue.

I do not want people thinking that I am a-not-in-my-tax-bill person when it comes to progress and development. I am even willing to consider a plan that would refinance the current costs into a single package. I just see two issues here where many see one.

My issue is that developers and speculators pay their fair share. My concern is with current large parcel owners, if any, getting an outsized financial windfall from government investments. What I don’t want is the ultimate small-guy homeowner paying for the cost of the improvement in their purchase, and that portion not getting back to the people of Mason County because it took a detour into the pockets of a wealthy person.

I will again illustrate the concern with a simple equation. Let’s say the current property value is X. When the property gets improved, the value is now Y, a greater amount. That higher amount is accounted for by two things: the capital cost of the improvement, let’s call it C, and an enhanced amount of profit, P. So, I see the whole thing as X+(C+P)=Y. I am perfectly willing to let the landowner take the P part of the equation. I want the county to recover the C part. I don’t think this is an unreasonable ask as the C+P portion of the equation is going to be paid by the ultimate homeowner as part of their purchase and mortgage price.

And I emphasize again, the issue of structuring the financial side of this and the recovery of costs are two separate issues. Do not let interested parties confuse you on this and conflate the two issues. Because they will if you let them.

Now, in the last county meeting, a person seemed to think we were talking about him and got onto a tangent regarding winners and losers. Don’t know the guy. It is not about him. It is a general principle with me and not a personal issue with any one individual. Let the record show that in no case did I ever mention a name, or even give a specific location. Now I mention the project because it is well-documented on the public record. But I would have the same concerns regardless of the location or personalities involved.

And this is not about winners and losers. The fact is that every decision that government entities make can and will create relative winners and losers. That includes the decision to do nothing. The law of unintended consequences works in all directions. My experience is that the argument over winners and losers comes from those who are upset that they may not get everything they wanted. So let’s not get onto that sidetrack. It is just a diversion from the real issue.

Let’s just keep our eye on the taxpayer for once. Because if this was a jurisdiction full of wealthy people, you could bet that a whole lot more noise would be made about this issue.

Andrew Makar, Hoodsport

Changing temperatures

Editor, the Journal,

High gas prices are caused by international politics, which is temporary, and Democrat finger-pointing to oil company executives and their irrational chant of climate change, which is permanent. Politicians use climate change to control voters.

We always had changing climates; one time much of America was covered with ice; the Ice Age. The first global warming slowly melted the ice which created an inland sea on the prairies of Montana and Wyoming. Seashells can still be found all over the prairie. Natural climate change caused the end of the Ice Age.

New ice age: Those who grew up in the Midwest know about the blizzard of 1886-1887; it’s part of our history. January 1887 had a blizzard with 35-plus mph winds and temperature of minus 56 degrees with 16 inches of snow covering the Dakotas, Montana and much of the West. This went on for weeks. Even San Francisco got 3.7 inches of snow, the most in its history.

Future President Teddy Roosevelt’s ranch on the Montana-Dakota border was hit hard. Charley Russell, famous Western artist, has a painting titled “Waiting for the Chinook” showing a starving cow in deep snow surrounded by hungry coyotes. Arctic snow owls came into the lower 48 for the first time ever; climate change 135 years ago. A Montana historian took photos recorded and information of his thermometer July 28, 1935. The temperature was 106 degrees; Feb. 15, 1936, the temperature was minus 58 degrees, a difference of 164 degrees in six months. Climate change 1935-1936; 90 years ago.

Climate change is a theory, not a fact. We can’t know the future, we can only guess at it. Climate change is a natural phenomenon.

Three questions for our climate scientists:

Why does American oil affect climate change, but Middle Eastern oil doesn’t? Biden stopped our oil in the name of climate change but buys Middle Eastern oil.

Where will the millions of oil-using devices — autos, trucks, planes, trains, boats, chain saws, lawn mowers, generators and furnaces — be parked to rot away? I suggest Washington, D.C.

How soon can we get affordable replacement items for the petroleum-using devices we have to give up? Is next week too soon?

Climate change is normal. Instead of solving a natural event, prepare for it. Build sea walls, improve buildings like we do in earthquake-prone areas. Get better spokesmen than John Kerry who lectures us, then climbs into his private jet. Don’t give up gas-powered devices before having replacements. This whole inflation problem was caused by President Joe Biden’s policies. America must react intellectually, not emotionally.

Ardean Anvik, Shelton

A fan of 1927

Editor, the Journal,

I’m a nonrecovering atavistic Luddite stuck in the midst of 1927: President Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929), the initial production of Ford’s Model A and “The Spirit of St. Louis” flight to France. It was a halcyon moment in history between The Great War (now known as WWI) and, because that war didn’t gain traction, civilization tried again with WWII.

I most appreciate this time between the wars:

Architecture with houses facing toward the street to encourage discourse with neighbors.

Faulkner, Hemingway and Fitzgerald.

Personal handwritten letters. All of the above invokes solidity and an acceptance of foibles of the human character.

Alas, there was an acceptance of child abuse — as in “spare the rod and spoil the child” and flagrant disrespect for the law (Prohibition) and then the labor unrest.

To my mind, this era reflected the epitome of practical common sense and essential conflict between ideal — workers’ rights vs. efficient production.

Otherwise, and in comparison, last week a candidate for the 10th Congressional District informed by my telephone and by my $0.10 receivership that she was running for a political office and that I had the means and acceptance to receive her missive regarding how she could help me.

She was most absolutely wrong.

I was focused on preparing the ancient M/V El Mistico (a 1927 bridge deck cruiser) for an afternoon of schlepping a team to prune trees on Hope Island, the aforesaid politician advocates that I participate in her podcast — occurring now. Alas. I was otherwise productively occupied.

I did not appreciate her interruption to my labors.

Full confession: I’m an optimistic Christian of the Episcopalian denomination — I have great faith we’ll be just fine as our much-maligned capitalistic system works its peculiar wonders. The most impressive regards the righteousness of our political system is that “the people” within the communist and most socialist countries wish to emigrate to our shores.

As an aside: My Adler manual typewriter (built around 1970) has a cent sign — as in $ and cents — which looks like a lower case C yet with a line through the center.

James Poirson, Shelton


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