Letters to the Editor
July 14, 2022
A Kool-Aid drinker
Editor, The Journal,
I take strong exception to Kirk Ericson's opinion editorial dated July 7. Your judgment that many people have embraced "a former president's fantasies" and that this is somehow reducing or destroying our faith in our election systems is far off the mark.
Election integrity must be uppermost in all our minds, election after election. We have never had a fraud-free election in 250 years and human beings are always looking for "an edge" for their candidates in all elections. A few lower-level cheaters get caught, but government and law enforcement have little appetite to take on the task of cleaning up election fraud. The Constitution leaves election procedures, details and enforcement to legislatures, not courts or governors.
Rasmussen reports in March, then again in May of this year, that its poll "finds that 55% of likely U.S. voters believe cheating likely affected the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, including 39% who think it's very likely." So much for phantoms.
The majority of voters have deep concerns. Without fair and free elections, we no longer have a representative republic. Watch the movie "2000 Mules" and reconsider your point of view. Stop drinking the Kool-Aid.
Bill Zeigler, Shelton
Editor, the Journal,
In response to the childish letter from the lady in Allyn, I write in support of the Journal's right to print any and all advertising their staff deems appropriate.
As Janet Poupitch sits in a corner and pouts, I suggest that she declare all automobile advertising to be 'out of bounds.' After all, a great many people die in auto accidents.
It is my sincere hope that Janet has by now recovered from the shock of seeing the weapons ad in the Journal. A person so easily shocked should seek professional help.
Enclosed with this letter is my payment for another year's subscription.
P.S. Perhaps Janet can find shelter in a safe house.
Ken Michael, Olympia
Vote for experience
Editor, The Journal,
If as the Republican candidate, Steve Duenkel, claims or at the least infers, there was voter fraud by Democrats in Mason County, why did former President Donald Trump and other Republicans win so many of the races in Mason County in 2020?
Paddy McGuire has the experience and integrity to run the Mason County Auditor's office. His opponent has no experience.
His opponent is a transplant from King County who has little connection with our county, as far as I can see and is running on a single issue, mass voter fraud. He knows not of what he speaks and wishes to dismantle the way we vote and how the votes are counted.
I prefer the current system of checks and balances which Paddy McGuire utilizes. Paddy McGuire utilizes machines that have been proven accurate time after time with sample hand counts in each election and full hand counts in close elections. That is the way it should be done. Hand count alone could easily be manipulated or interjected with human error. Again, checks and balances are the best way to conduct a count in elections.
As to the claim that there was limited viewing of the count in the 2020 election. Good grief, we were in the worst part of the pandemic and the Republican board of commissioners, exercising common sense during the height of the pandemic, closed the office to the public. Live-streaming via video was done to try to accommodate those who wish to observe the count, thus allowing greater viewing.
Only a charlatan claims they can change the state's voting procedures and laws at the county level.
The auditor does so much more than run elections.
Paddy McGuire owns property and lives in Mason County. I have had the privilege of working with him on many community-service projects. He is an active leader in Shelton Rotary and has served as its president.
Vote for experience, common sense and integrity. I personally know Paddy McGuire and encourage you to re-elect him as our auditor.
Victoria Meadows, Shelton
Vote Sharon Trask
Editor, The Journal,
Three and a half years Commissioner Sharon Trask has served all of us. Whether we were in her district, of the same political views or at polar opposites. She serves us all while maintaining her integrity and beliefs.
Sharon was the only commissioner going personally into the county offices during the governors state of emergency declaration. Sharon has built a coalition of counties to say no to regional health districts that the governor is trying to implement. A regional health district would tie us to three or four other counties and make us subject to the other counties' COVID and public health care decisions.
The Governor has not given up on this idea of regional health districts, he has it in his budget. Without Commissioner Trask's leadership and ability to build strong coalitions, you can bet Inslee will see it done. This is just one of the governors' plans to consolidate power under his rule. We need Sharon with her experience and her ability to bring together coalitions with other counties to advocate for our liberty. Sharon is and has always been a staunch advocate for our personal rights and cares about all of us, whether you voted for her or not. She protects and defends our individual rights, and after all, that is what good government is supposed to do. Vote to retain Sharon Trask as our Mason County commissioner.
Leslie Peterson, Shelton
Abortion is a right
Editor, The Journal,
It seems the only newsworthy item on TV now is any, so called, evil woman who would dare abort of child. She is considered nothing less than an evil b_ _ ch! Yet, when any un-aborted child reaches age 18, this country can and does send them anywhere in the world as "boots on the ground" to be slaughtered by the thousands. The organizers in those occasions will be awarded Medals of Honor and considered leaders and great citizens?
Charles L. Winne, Hoodsport
January 6 facts
Editor, The Journal,
A couple of weeks back, AA opined in his letter to the editor, June 30, ("What about them?"), that my husband's letter to the editor was not credible. In fact, he said:
"I don't believe the statistics given by John Price; they were dramatized, biased and not documented." He went on to say that because my husband did not cite "psychological reports by reputable doctors," concerning how traumatized our first responders were by fighting for their very lives, with predominantly white American citizens, he does not believe that happened either. Further, he does not believe that four police officers committed suicide after the events of Jan. 6 because of the events of Jan. 6.
In the more than 20 years I have suffered through reading AA's letters to the editor, AA has never given us readers a citation.
He has never provided "psychological reports by reputable doctors."
He has never provided a reference to an article, or treatise, that addressed a single "factoid" ("a brief or trivial item of news or information" - Yahoo) he heard on Faux Entertainment News.
In fact, AA, without evidence, citations, references or "reports by reputable doctors," will happily repeat for us Journal readers, at every opportunity, factoids gleaned from Faux.
So, for AA, here is a link: tinyurl.com/22frxv3b.
If AA is computer savvy, he can check out what he described as my husband's "hyperbole," "embellished" and "exaggeration" list.
But I suspect he won't check it out.
Pesky facts have no place in the MAGA mind that cannot stand it that everyone was equal in America (until very recently).
Katherine Price, Shelton
Mom for commissioner
Editor, The Journal,
Why you should re-elect my mom, Sharon Trask, for Mason County commissioner.
My mother is amazing. I have always known her as a self-sacrificing woman who puts others first and works hard for those that are in her care. Mason County is in her care and she has done so much good for this county already. Economic growth is so important and through these last few years, she has been able to help change requirements for building and actually helped businesses come to Mason County.
She has always worked hard. She loves where she lives and has been active in different events around the county. She goes to the meetings around the county and actually listens to the issues that people have so that she will better be equipped to deal with them. During COVID's initial insurgence, she was the only Mason County commissioner who actually made herself available every day and she wrote letters to the governor explaining that the businesses needed to be able to open up again. She has done so many more things as well.
She has so many plans to bring in more business to ensure that Mason County continues to grow in revenue and to make it a better place for residents to have careers. Mason County has not always had the best reputation but it is getting better and my mom's plans will continue to propel the county to be a better place to work, live, and raise our families.
She has been and will continue to be an amazing asset to Mason County; she truly cares. She has amazing plans for Mason County and I know that she will do everything in her power to make sure these dreams come to fruition.
Re-elect Sharon Trask.
Tiffany Grohoski, Gig Harbor
Editor, The Journal,
This is why you should re-elect my grandma:
Hi, I'm Travis and I'm almost 12. You should re-elect my grandma because she really cares for all of you. Whenever I visit, she is almost always talking about what she could be doing for all of you. She is very kind to everyone and if you ever meet or have met her then you know this to be true. In my opinion, she is the best person to elect for county commissioner, she will do the best and work the hardest for all of your benefit. Please, please re-elect Sharon Trask for county commissioner.
Travis Grohoski, Gig Harbor
Where is the logic?
Editor, The Journal,
Recently Mason County commissioners applied for a loan from the state of Washington for $8,000,000 to extend the Belfair Sewer System.
Currently, the existing Belfair Sewer System does not pay for itself, it never has, so we the taxpayers of Mason County get to pick up the additional costs of approximately $1,250,000 per year.
Adding to what has already been expensed for this drain plug sewer system, you would think that adding up to $8,000,000 more dollars to the Belfair Sewer System (for an unneeded/unnecessary extension) would be out of the question ... but no. Commissioners Kevin Shutty and Sharon Trask are set on extending the Belfair sewer onto a privately owned property using taxpayers' money, with zero expense to the private property owner, nor does the private property owner ever have to pay the taxpayers of Mason County back or develop the property. Nope. "Never has to pay the Mason County taxpayers back and never has to develop the private property."
While watching the commissioners' briefing on July 6 regarding the Belfair sewer loan, and costs of maintaining the existing Belfair sewer, I was blown away. Currently, we have a shortage of $1,250,000 per year, paid for by your tax dollars, to maintain the existing Belfair sewer and with the new unnecessary and needless sewer system extension, the cost overruns will add approximately another additional $250,000 per year for 20-plus years, with that cost being picked up by the Mason County taxpayer.
The estimated ERUs (hookups), on the existing sewer system according to Mason County's own estimations in 2033, are 796, still falling way short of paying for itself. It is estimated that the new sewer system extension would need approximately 1,500 more ERUs just to break even, where is the logic behind this move? There are zero plans/projects submitted to support that kind of growth. While Belfair is in District No. 1, Commissioner Randy Neatherlin's district, he objects to this sewer system extension and loan, while commissioners Kevin Shutty (District No. 2) and Sharon Trask (District No. 3) chose to move forward with this sewer extension in District No. 1 and the $8,000,000 loan/debt to the taxpayers of Mason County that comes with it, regardless of what Neatherlin thinks.
Please call commissioners Shutty and Trask and tell them "No more debt and no more unnecessary expansion to the Belfair Sewer System. Period. 360-427-9670, ask for Kevin Shutty and/or Sharon Trask.
Kevin Slaughter, Shelton
Shutty sewer research
Editor, the Journal
My compliments to Curtis Fosdick and his letter to the editor of June 30. His research into Mr. Kevin Shutty's future ambitions and his Belfair sewer involvement also lends nicely to the page A-3 article of Shutty's trip to D.C., on what I can only imagine was an all-expense-paid (by the local taxpayers) trip to add to his résumé for his next jump up the political ladder.
The Belfair sewer system is full of irregularities, including placement of a public-paid-for-facility on private lands. This whole Belfair mess is really an issue for the Attorney General's Office. Unfortunately for Randy Neatherlin, Shutty will have flown the coup by then and hopefully Sharon Trask will be gone, leaving Neatherlin holding the bag (after all, Belfair is his district).
It is now understandable why Neatherlin (an independent) is running around kissing up to Republicans to do anything to relieve Trask of her seat. Due to Trask's personal relationship to Shutty, Neatherlin is left now powerless in his own district. Maybe we should be having regular commissioner meetings open to the public? It could cut back on the shenanigans.
Pat Burke, Shelton
No more nukes
Editor, the Journal,
The United States first used nuclear weapons against civilians which is against international law; the terrible consequences are still felt. As we approach this horrible anniversary, Aug. 6 & 9, we must come to reason and join the United Nations's Treaty Prohibiting Nuclear Weapons, which the majority of countries have signed and is now law. We can hardly tell other countries not to produce weapons when we still are making new ones.
In 1970, 191 nations ratified the nonproliferation treaty. In Article 6, our government pledged to negotiate a treaty on complete nuclear disarmament. To our shame, the U.S. has not signed the TPNW.
Nuclear weapons have not deterred other countries from developing them, nor from invading other countries, such as Ukraine; in fact the U.S. and other allies have limited our response, fearing Russia's nuclear weapons, and thus tens of thousands have been killed and millions become refugees. Nuclear weapons are a threat to humanity and our earth!
Fighting the climate catastrophe should be the U.S.'s priority, but instead we keep producing weapons of mass destruction at $100 billion a year; trillions since we first used them. While millions are homeless, green energy is lagging, health care is out of reach for millions domestically and worldwide, education is lacking, and billions are globally food insecure; this does not have to be the reality. We can do better.
Our legislators, administrators, and judges must uphold international law= abolish all nuclear weapons and get on with saving humanity, all species, and our very own earth!
As a citizen of the U.S., I am obligated by the Nuremburg Principles to stop my government from making, deploying and using weapons of mass destruction. I contact my representatives, speak out at public forums, and hold banners, plus vote. I stood in front of the Kitsap Naval Base/Bangor Submarine headquarters, to do my part to uphold international law. I call upon my fellow citizens and members of the judiciary to do the same.
In peace, with justice for all, and deep caring for our earth.
Michael Siptroth, Belfair
Editor, The Journal,
Every 10 years or so the taxpayers of Mason County get obligated to pay loans and debt that benefit one developer in the Belfair Urban Growth Area. In 2002, the Belfair Water District was talked into accepting a loan to build a 1,100,000-gallon water reservoir on the developer's property with the promise of future development. For an entire decade after it was constructed, the water reservoir added maybe a couple of customers, and wasn't even connected to the 450 customers that paid the Washington Public Works Trust fund loan payments in their water rates.
Ten years later, in 2012, all the taxpayers of Mason County got stuck paying $16,400,000 of borrowed money for the Belfair $50,000,000 wastewater treatment plant that was sized for 500,000 gallons per day and receives only 60,000 gallons per day in the middle of this developer's property. This developer was paid around $1,000,000 for the property the plant sits on; Mason County pays a lease on the disposal spray fields from this property owner, and to get to the plant, this developer holds all the easements.
Mason County had financial studies showing how great this would be, how it would save Hood Canal, and the Growth Management Act required them to do it. Mason County extended sewer into phase 1, the core, and forced all businesses and residents to abandon their legal conforming septic systems, hook up and pay. Current debt service is $767,000 per year and operation and maintenance another $640,000 per year with slightly over 220 customers producing 60,000 gallons per day generating $479,000 per year in revenue. The $928,000 per year shortfall is paid for by all the taxpayers in Mason County.
Ten years later, Mason County, in partnership with City of Bremerton, Port of Bremerton and the state Department of Transportation neared an agreement to deliver the current 29,000 gallons per day and future development in the Puget Sound Industrial Center to the Belfair plant. On June 20, 2019, Gordan Wilson with FCS Group, presented 32 pages of a financial plan. There were meetings, growth scenarios, revenue projections, reports and budgets. The Legislature approved a $11,000,000 grant (PG 20-96103-001) and loan (PC 20-96103-157) that were signed in 2019 with state Department of Commerce to pay for the design and construction. Bremerton backed out of the deal.
In March, commissioners Kevin Shutty and Sharon Trask voted 2 to 1 against Commissioner Randy Neatherlin to revise the scope of the grant and loan to design and construct sewer unfractured onto and serving one large developers' property. The new scope of work in the contracts is not even close to the previous: no FCS Group financial study, no partnership with Bremerton, no guarantee of additional revenue. This loan will become the responsibility of every Mason County taxpayer. The project was fast-track designed, put out to bid, and bids have been received. The commission is weeks away from awarding this project. If the project is awarded, the only way of stopping it would be a lawsuit. That could possibly be based on the grant and loan was not used for its intended purpose, and the scope was not properly changed. I would ask you to encourage commissioners Kevin Shutty and Sharon Trask to not award this contract.
Jack Johnson, Belfair
Watching the day
Editor, The Journal,
In the interest of appearing self-righteous through environmental sustainability, this last Fourth of July, I took a bicycle ride out Skokomish River Road from the Batstone Cutoff on U.S. Highway 101 west to the dead end - not going up the hill to some campground but taking a left where the road forks to a dead end. I repeated the ride after the Republican Woman's Club-sponsored Candidates in the Park.
These are great rides this time of year as the prevailing winds are from the west so you're essentially riding uphill on the way out - to the point of exhaustion, and then downhill coasting on the way back. Last winter this entire riverbed was flooded under about 4 feet.
The inspiration on this ride was that, yes, I'm proud to be an American living in Mason County.
On the Fourth of July - a national holiday - when we citizens should be relaxing and detonating explosives, and then again on the subsequent Saturday when proper Americans should be watching some professional sporting event, there were people working and playing outside, operating massive John Deere machinery to harvest hay and handling horses.
First, the farmers.
I've bucked hay in my youth the old-fashioned way. The bales were left on the field and my job was to pick them from the field and toss them onto the flatbed truck - under the influence of chronic hay fever - one hand for the sopping bandana and the other for the hay bale. The joys of manual labor diminish rapidly.
And once you've spent time in a hell of sweltering labor infused with hay fever, you'll have a greater appreciation for the application of the internal combustion engine to farm equipment.
Second, the equestrians.
Oh, dressage training on the large, fenced field. Good-looking animals - healthy, well-groomed, and tacked and carefully tended by their young equestrians.
James Poirson, Shelton
We are independent
Editor, The Journal,
I keep hearing complaints about energy independence. I keep hearing people complain that the U.S. is not energy independent. So, I looked up the facts. And these are the facts based on 2021. The production, importation and use has not been significantly affected since.
The U.S. used about 20.5 million barrels of oil per day. The amount is less than what we produce. Now the interesting part is how much is used for domestic consumption. The U.S. exported on average about 8.63 million barrels per day comprising crude, gasoline and diesel. Essentially, the U.S. is now and has been since 2020 a net exporter of oil all along. That is just the market. Oil is sold this way based on where producers and refiners will make the most money. So, when politicians tell you that we are not energy independent, they are lying to you.
The U.S. is, in fact, energy independent. It was under former President Donald Trump and it is under President Joe Biden. So, why is gasoline going up? Look at the rest of the world. I keep saying this, but nobody seems to get it. Oil is priced on a global market. You do not get a discount because the oil oligarchs, whether foreign or domestic, love Americans and want to give its citizens some sort of patriot discount. They don't care what the price does to your household budget. They care about maximizing their profit margins. Period. In their list of priorities, your profit margin is somewhere below whale dung.
There is so much of an export market that oil producers and refiners can balance U.S. demand against foreign demand. If domestic margins go down, then they simply offset it with exports. Essentially, they can fix the price within a price bracket.
Another reason they can do this is our insistence on being reliant on fossil fuels places us at the mercy of oil producers and refiners. They are the ones who can dictate our economy, not the politicians. And it wouldn't matter if Trump was president or not. When it comes to money or political affinity, money is first and foremost. If you want more energy independence, then diversify your options. The reason the fossil fuel industry gaslights us about renewables and alternatives is they don't want competition. It isn't some concern about what is good for America.
Now some of you think we can drill our way out of this. We cannot. Look at the last drilling boom in the Bakken fields. Times were a booming for production. But oil companies were not thriving. Why? The margins were too low. If you are in the business of producing a commodity, increased production is not necessarily good. Increased supply may give the consumer a lower price, but it also means lower margins for the producer. Given a choice between your pocket and theirs, which do you think is going to win out? Right now, fossil fuel investors are not interested in increased production. They are interested in increased profits.
The current cry from the right is not about energy independence. We are energy independent. We have been for a while now and did not stop. This is about the moneyed interests wanting you to be dependent on a particular form of energy that makes them rich. They cannot sell the sun and the wind.
Andrew Makar, Hoodsport
Editor, The Journal,
When Roe was canceled, Democrats declared a night of rage. "If abortion isn't safe, neither are you." Democrats hide their agenda through lies. They lecture us on the science of COVID vaccinations or climate change but ignore science when killing a live baby. Democrats deny all things unpleasant, including President Joe Biden's incompetence.
You can't pick and choose science. My body, my life is wrong since science says there are two lives. Would any of these aborted babies be pro-abortion if poll-takers ever asked their opinion?
Democrats call themselves pro-choice when they're really pro-abortion. Pro-choice is choosing between unlike options, such as alternatives between the baby's life or death. Pro-choice provides clients complete information that abortion factories don't give. The Guttmacher Institute, a highly respected firm which provides accurate sexual health statistics, showed only 1% of abortion seekers are victims of rape; 0.5% from incest; 73% of rape victims chose life for the baby and 64% kept the baby while 36% put the baby up for adoption. Those who chose abortion, 93% wouldn't recommend it for someone in the same situation; only 7% thought abortion was a good solution. Worse, 43% felt pressured to get an abortion by abortion providers.
According to polls, 90% of Americans, including lots of Democrats, believe abortion should be restricted to a very limited set of criteria and then no abortions after 17 weeks.
For true pro-choice, the woman client needs answers. What are my alternatives to abortion? How does adoption work? May I see the ultrasound? Do clients who chose abortion ever regret their decision? Can I talk to them? Is abortion my best choice? Is abortion dangerous? If I have an abortion how will I feel afterward, physically and emotionally? I was raped; I don't know what to do.
This is information clients need to choose between life or death for their baby and is not provided by abortion factories. True pro-choice means all information is provided and the woman (with advice from family) makes her decision. If Democrats were honest instead of political about abortion, they wouldn't be afraid to ask these questions. Pro-abortionists have killed 63,000,000 babies: 3,524 babies every day, 365 days a year for 49 years thanks to Roe v. Wade. Democrats, are you proud of this record?
Since Democrats don't support the death penalty for vicious murderers, but it's OK to kill babies even during birth, we should borrow their clever word deception. When vicious murderers don't deserve continued life, put them to death but don't call it the death penalty. Let's add a few years to partial-birth abortions and call it an after-birth abortion for deserving souls.
Ardean Anvik, Shelton