Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886


Vote 'yes' for Hood Canal schools

Editor, the Journal,

Things are changing at Hood Canal School District. The student population is increasing. As a result, there is need for more classrooms, teachers, and paraeducators. Administrative leadership is stabilizing with the hires of our new superintendent, Lance Gibbon, and principal, Steven Torres. Current staff deserve the kind of space and equipment that allows them to teach to the demands of the 21st century and our students deserve the highest-quality education we can give them.

Hood Canal wants to make sure that its students receive educational programs and opportunities at least on par with neighboring districts. On Feb. 13, voters in the Hood Canal School District boundaries (you don't need to have a child attending the school) will vote on a bond to expand the school to meet the needs of its students and ensure they receive the education they deserve while creating capacity for growth.

Hood Canal School lacks science, art, project and music rooms. Classes are taught on the stage and small groups are sometimes led in busy workrooms. Historically, the Hood Canal preschool program has had to turn away families due to a lack of space. The deteriorating 70-year-old transportation center limits our ability to service buses and creates safety issues being so close to the school buildings. Hood Canal has minimal playground equipment that does not provide access for children with disabilities.

Hood Canal's capital debt has been paid off and we currently have the lowest school tax rate in the region. The proposed $33.5-million bond (over 20 years) will keep our tax rate ($1.70 per $1,000 assessed value) second lowest in the region while still addressing these critical needs and investing in the community's future through the addition of:

■ Two preschool classrooms and ADA playground.

■ Larger library with project spaces for hands-on learning and technology.

■ Middle school with visual and performing arts spaces, outdoor education hub, and flexible spaces for teaching life-skills, career exploration and science lab.

■ Outdoor classroom for our nationally recognized Boots Program.

■ New, safe transportation center with relocated bus loop.

■ Athletic equipment and maintenance storage.

■ Safety and wheelchair accessible playground and building entrances.

This bond is a vital commitment to the current and future students of Hood Canal School and our wonderful community. A similar proposal was on the ballot in November but failed to pass by 45 votes. 58.1345 % of our voters supported the measure but the law requires a supermajority or 60% +1. Ballots will arrive soon but you can register to vote online right before ballots are due in February. Please join us in making the most important educational decision for Hood Canal children in a decade. Vote "yes" for kids!

Edie Reclusado, Hood Canal School Board chair

Kudos, Pioneer school board

Editor, the Journal,

January is School Board Appreciation Month. On behalf of the Pioneer School District, we celebrate our outstanding board members who volunteer hours of their time to ensure that our school district is focused on student growth and achievement, fiscal responsibility, and creating a learning environment that supports staff, students and families.

The Pioneer School Board members are Susan Day, Robert Clark, Ellory Rowe, Rick Lee and Rebecca Bechtolt. Together, these community members not only represent the staff and students at Pioneer, but are the conduit between school and community.

Their leadership and guidance are valuable as the Pioneer School District continues to seek pathways toward continuous improvement in all facets of our educational programs.

Please join me in thanking school boards in our region for their ongoing commitment to the children in our districts and their unwavering support of education.

Jeff Davis, Superintendent, Pioneer School District

Birth control and guns

Editor, the Journal,

Dr. Bill Busacca, to clarify, I never stated birth control should be used to control population; I was questioning what I perceived your linking abortion as a positive to control overpopulation. Also, it is not "nit-picking" to call out your misinformation. There is a big difference between an automatic weapon of war not accessible to the public, and the semi-automatic rifles and handguns people use for protection, hunting and competitive sport, but you are correct; in the wrong hands they all kill. However, in the right hands, they save. Strange, when a cop shoots, it's the cop's fault, but when evil people shoot innocents, it's the gun's fault. Bombs, vehicles, hammers and knives all kill if they are in the wrong hands.

Do you not know that legal gun owners, NRA members and pro Second Amendment advocates experience grief and anger just as much as anyone for the gun violence and death in this country? It is heartbreaking to us that sick people are using a freedom Americans fought and died for to take the lives of innocents. Yes, it needs to stop, but stopping it begins with treating the mentally sick, positive messaging to our young and strong families, not depriving law-abiding citizens of their rights of protection.

In 2020, the leading cause of death among the young was motor vehicle accidents. In 2023, it is gun violence. In those three years more strict, ham-stringing, unconstitutional gun control laws have been passed than any other time, but gun deaths continues. We have legislated lawlessness in this country. Would you want to match a revolver to a home invader carrying an AR-15? The Second Amendment was created for self-protection and protecting our constitutional republic from rogue governance. Believe me, Dr. Busacca, it isn't Great Britain we fear.

Katie Groves, Shelton

Harlen Bronson Carter

Editor, the Journal,

If you ever wondered how we ever got to a place where a young kid with an AR-15 could openly kill a classroom full of kids, look no further than Harlan Bronson Carter, one man. How one man can kill so many children even long after his death, look no further than a cold-blooded murderer, Harlen Bronson Carter, born in Granbury, Texas, in 1913, and died in 1991. We let this man take the NRA from gun safety, as I was taught in the 1950s, to a cold-blooded killing machine, so that every child could have an AR-15 to take revenge out on anyone who disagrees and/or become the No. 1 killer of youth (suicide) in this country.

How have we allowed this man to lead the worst among us and turn this country into being cop unfriendly? His thinking stems from revenge for his having to go to prison for killing a 15-year-old Mexican boy (for swimming in a swimming hole on Carter's mother's property) in 1931, even though after a short time, he was released. It's no secret what he turned this country into. Look it up and ask yourself should I stand up for what's right or should I lead the country down the path we are on? It was he who groomed Wayne

LaPierre to take over the NRA as he was dying of lung cancer so he could continue this evil. As an artillery combat leader, this is what I was fighting for? Hard heads are killing our nation. Open your eyes; help us, Jesus, the real Jesus.

Edward H. Nelson, Union

Make AR-15s an issue

Editor, the Journal,

The pre-eminent question is "Who needs an AR-15?"

This weapon is poorly suited and even often illegal for game hunting. Owners say they need them because they're fun to shoot. Many owners frankly say they need them for protection; nine-shot handguns apparently aren't enough to ward off home invaders. And the frankest of them say they need them for the revolution. Mass murderers are the only ones who actually need them to carry out their premeditated carnage.

These weapons were specifically designed for war: Rapid fire with high-capacity magazines to minimize reloading and lightweight with small caliber but high-velocity ammo to maximize lethality. Other weapons of war are illegal for private ownership. The American public is who needs these weapons ... to be banned.

These weapons will never be banned unless there is overwhelming public support.

That will not happen unless the issue is loudly brought front and center in the next election.

Candidates favoring banning will win more votes.

Laws to ban these weapons can then be passed.

J. Anderson, Shelton


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