Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Letters to the Editor

Climate progress

Editor, the Journal,

We celebrate Earth Day as a reminder that we must protect this planet not just for us now but for future generations. Fifty-two years ago on April 22, we recognized the importance of caring for the environment and accepting stewardship of this magnificent planet.

But what does a young person of 14 who is a climate activist think about how far we've come in protecting her home? How do we respond to the heightened awareness that time is running out?

The latest Climate Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, IPPC 2022 states: "Human-induced climate change, including more frequent and intense extreme events, has caused widespread adverse impacts and related losses and damages to nature and people, beyond natural climate variability."

The League of Women Voters of Washington believes that climate change is a serious threat facing our nation and planet; yet we have reason to celebrate as we wrap up this year's legislative session because at least 12 bills relating to climate and energy were passed with the support of many League of Women Voters of Mason County members and the activism of the LWVMC Climate Change Committee participants. Yes, we can respond to a young person who cannot yet vote, that we are making bold efforts to address state climate and energy policies.

Here is a short list:

• SB 5543: Zero-emission landscaping equipment incentive program.

• SB 5722: Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.

• SB 5910: Availability and use of renewable hydrogen in Washington.

• HB 1663: Reducing methane emissions from landfills.

• HB 1770: Strengthening energy codes.

• HB 1799: Organic materials management to reduce methane.

• HB 1814: Expanding equitable access to the benefits of renewable energy through solar projects.

And of major importance - the Legislature re-addressed SB 5842 The Climate Commitment Act of 2021 which recognizes the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The League of Women Voters of Mason County was pleased that Sen. Tim Sheldon and Rep. Dan Griffey voted in favor of SB 5842 this year.

It takes a whole community to act boldly, to innovate broadly and implement equitably – all of us. All businesses, governments, citizens - everyone accounted for and everyone accountable in a partnership if we are going to save our inhabitable earth.

On Earth Day, April 22, 2022, we should celebrate what we have achieved and focus on what is yet to be accomplished. Bring awareness and excitement to the mission ahead of us all.

Sherri Dysart, Issue Chair - LWV Washington / LWVMC Climate Change Committee-chair

Shelton: What's next?

Editor, the Journal,

Abolishing our heritage is nothing new for the City of Shelton.

First, in more recent times, was the demolition of the Shelton High School gymnasium. Its solid construction qualified it for an active bomb shelter in the 1950s. (I can remember this quite well, although it probably gives hint to my age). Getting rid of this structure made room for a parking lot.

Second on the list was the demolition of the old Catholic Church building. This also made room (you guessed it) for a parking lot.

Third on the list is the Simpson Lumber Co. roundhouse. Though not demolished, its turntable was removed. Simpson offered it to the city, but it was rejected. If kept in place it would have made Shelton a tourist destination area with railroad buffs coming here from all over the country and beyond. A viewing platform could have been constructed on city property enabling photography over the fenced in area.

Now is the ripping up of the Simpson Lumber Co. railroad. Historically, this was the last private logging railroad to operate in the United States. Why destruct a viable railroad with a potential for future freight operation, let alone tourist operations? A hiking trail could be constructed right beside the existing railroad with a fence. Examples of this already exist right here in the Northwest.

So, City of Shelton, what is next? Are you afraid of success? Or are tourists just plain unwanted?

Pete Replinger, Shelton

The best of people

Editor, the Journal,

Typical of my perambulations about Shelton town I meet and converse with the very best of people. This week was no exception: Monday - Mr. Mark Munday, owner/mechanic of Hometowne Brake and Muffler Automotive Repair, and Saturday, the Irish Dancing Girl.

My criteria for the very best of people are simple: people of good character - the type of person who exudes an innate competence and joy in life.

Mr. Munday, braided hair down to his waste and a full beard surrounded by ancient classic motorcycles in various stages of repair and assembly, is the prototypical competent mechanic: a quiet listener, a sensitivity toward machines and tools, and endowed with the capacity to think logically. Their career imposes these personality traits - diagnostics is a matter of listening to what a machine tells you and then logically decide how to fix it; you never have to return your car to re-fix the problem. Yet you do have to visit this mechanic for regular maintenance. In the case of Scoobie Do's (my 2001 Subaru Legacy) the first question a good mechanic asks is, "when was the last time you changed your timing belt?" A broken timing belt results in an immediate and catastrophic engine failure.

As an aside, a major heroic character in the Alexander McCall Smith's "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series is a mechanic.

Although I prefer bicycles to motorcycles, I truly enjoyed our most productive conversation and look forward to having Scoobie Do's exhaust system repair.

On Saturday morning, I'm at our local Safeway and notice a young lady practicing dance steps over in the Starbucks. I considered introducing myself to her, but then thought I'd get arrested for sexual harassment - whatever. Fortuitously, once in the parking lot I noticed this dancing lady accompanied by her aunt, and with the social norms of chaperones were in place I introduced myself and complimented the young lady on making my day the more enjoyable by her spontaneous dance performance. Then the young lady's mother arrived and the four of us had a great discussion of Irish dancing and ballet and how I had wished to attend Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of Prokofiev's "Romeo et Juliette," but for the expense and complexity of travel to downtown Seattle - and here she performed for free.

We have artists and heroes in our lives - people who have discovered and live their passion. They are characterized by a unique serenity and joy which they unconsciously share with others. We've got a plethora of them disguised as our neighbors; it's to our benefit to develop the talent to notice and admire them for who they are in their unique character and art.

James Poirson, Shelton

Oscars, Hunter

Editor, the Journal,

First, I have a question.

Any glamour or excitement attached to Hollywood and/or the Oscar ceremony - todays emetic liberal exercise in far-left preening - has disappeared for me decades ago. I hear there's a recent kerfuffle with Will Smith and Chris Rock at the latest affair, but I could care less about it.

My question is this: Why would anyone care about the "slap" at all?

Opposite this silliness, there's a significant story here in the U.S. The New York Times, after censoring (with big tech) the news for over a year, just revealed that yes, Hunter Biden's laptop computer is indeed real.

With the laptop news, I sense that something big is about to happen, and it isn't just the midterm elections. A U.S. attorney is now involved, and a grand jury has recently begun an investigation into the business affairs of Hunter.

This can't end well at all, so I suggest all Americans commit to memory some names, terms and phrases associated with this sordid mess. You should hear them many times in the near future.

My (short) list: Hunter Biden (naturally,) Tony Bobulinski, Joe Biden, Jim Biden, John Owens (heck, the whole bunch,) laptop, The New York Post, The New York Times, crime family, The Big Guy, China, Ukraine (not today's war-torn one,) Burisma, influence-peddling, three-carat gemstone, pre-election poll of Democrat voters, ad infinitum.

I don't believe, for many reasons, Joe Biden should be our president, but he on occasion tries comedy. He recently said, "Hunter didn't break the law." Maybe he should host next year's Oscars ceremony.

Robert E. Graham, Union

Let's move on

Editor, the Journal,

Was the election "stolen or fraudulent?" We can all argue until the cows come home about whether election laws were broken in several states by the mass mailings of write-in ballots and whether that was legal since it wasn't instituted by the state's legislation, but by the SOS; whether the massive funds spent by Facebook (close to $400 million) were spent legally (WI sued Facebook); did the hundreds (if not thousands) of poll workers who reported seeing something suspicious (which is a felony to misreport) did, in fact, see something that was illegal; whether states who haven't purged their records in many years open themselves up to the possibility of voter fraud; and whether ballot harvesting should be legal. We can also argue whether President Joe Biden would have received the same number of votes if he had been out in public more.

I believe the question of what impact the media had on the election is less of a gray area. The "mainstream media" willfully withheld information the public had a right to know about a presidential candidate's close family member prior to the election. If the content of information on Hunter Biden's laptop and possible link to a presidential candidate had been accurately reported on, instead of being covered up or called "Russian disinformation," would this have changed the outcome of the election? While nobody can prove one way or another, I bet it would have changed votes ... how many, who knows ... unfortunately we weren't given the opportunity to make that choice so, in my opinion it's understandable why some people feel the election wasn't an honest one.

At this point, it really doesn't matter what we think "could have happened" or "should have happened." We have to live with what did happen. So, let's stop discussing this issue. We all know how annoying it was to hear for four years how Trump stole the election from Hillary, we don't need to hear for four years how the last election was stolen. Let's move on. Let's hope the media does honest reporting, including all future elections, specifically handle all investigations and reports for one side of the political aisle as they would for the other (for example, if it had been a laptop of one of Donald Trump's children would the story would have been treated the same way?)

Let's all remember how to agree to disagree and be civil. Stop the name-calling, finger-pointing and fighting. We need to remember everyone is entitled to their own opinion. A differing of opinion doesn't make a person good or bad, it's just an opinion; and here in America, we are allowed to have our own opinions. Let's become one united country and focus on what we do agree on and work toward those goals and ideals instead of always focusing on the negative side. We are privileged to live in the greatest country in the world and we need to ensure it continues to be a beacon of hope for future generations; we can't do that if all we ever do is focus on the negative and fight amongst ourselves. At this point we won't need Russia or China to invade our country to destroy America, we'll do it to ourselves from inside if things don't change soon. So, the next time you disagree with someone, before you get upset: stop, breathe and really listen to the person. Try to understand where they are coming from and don't try to change their opinion, just "agree to disagree" and move on to something you can agree on.

Val Martin, Shelton

'Thank you, Tim'

Editor, the Journal,

Thank you, Tim Sheldon, for all your years of dedicated service and a job well done, you will be missed.

John Ervin, Shelton

Consider the sewers

Editor, the Journal,

Belfair Sewer System must benefit the current taxpayers and the waters of Mason County.

The Allyn and Belfair sewer systems were brought into being because the health of Case Inlet and lower Hood Canal were in jeopardy. Commercial and recreational shellfish harvesting were closed in both these areas because of runoff from failing septic systems.

Using resident taxpayer funds to expand the sewer system which will greatly financially benefit one forest landowner needs to be thoroughly explored. While the majority of us have been paying taxes for highest and best use, the forest land has only been paying taxes on open space. The tax rate on open space is pennies on the dollar of what homeowners pay in Mason County.

I am all for promoting more housing, which may improve the financial stability of the sewer system, depending on if and when the landowner choses to develop, however in my opinion the landowner needs to bear a significant amount of the cost to expand the system.

Funding of the Belfair sewer system is coming out of every taxpayer in Mason County and by gosh the current citizens of this county and our environment deserve a sewer system that benefits us.

Phil Wolff, Allyn

Facts and guesses

Editor, the Journal,

What we're experiencing is natural climate change, not human-caused climate change. The difference is between actual facts and scientific guesses. One reader wrote, "the speed the planet is warming remains unprecedented."

How quickly the planet is warming is based on tree rings or something as obscure. A past event with no documentation is an educated guess, not a fact. When did it start? What is the temperature variation? Natural climate change, not humans, caused the extinction of dinosaurs. Remember the ice age when North America was one big ice cube? Humans didn't melt those ice bergs; nature did. Climate change is natural; attempting to "fix" climate ignores tomorrow's problems. We should build sea walls to protect Shelton; Gov. Jay Inslee should help. Instead, he genuflects to the climate crowd.

As to computers, there's an old saying: garbage in, garbage out. Put in biased facts, you get biased computer models. Computer modeling is a helpful tool if done honestly, but most are used politically to justify positions rather than develop theories. Politicians use climate change to control politics; Biden's climate change policies shut down the Keystone pipeline stopping Canadian oil coming from Alberta to America. He shut down oil production from federal lands. America's oil surplus used to be sold to Europe; now Europe buys Russian oil. All Biden's policy does is enrich Russia. Biden's trying to kill fossil fuel with a death of a thousand cuts.

The left speculates on future climate change based on flawed data, bad leadership, language manipulation and political disinformation. Scientific papers are glibly written using the latest lingo to sound educated on the topic. The phrase, "You can fool some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time" applies to the climate crowd. Biden flies Air Force One to Delaware every weekend, causing pollution. If Biden was serious about pollution he would stay in Washington, D.C. John Kerry wastes time on predictions instead of preparations while flying his personal jet. Your climate change leaders want political control but provide no model of sacrifice. Future generations will suffer because of their arrogance.

Ardean Anvik, Shelton


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