Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Letters to the Editor

Wrong message

Editor, the Journal,

I read Theresa Murray's Kid's Message each week. This week I'm wondering why she sent our kids the wrong message.

In America there is a plethora of Christian churches across these fruited plains, especially in Shelton and surrounding Mason County there's a church on nearly every corner. Shelton has a variety of 27 Christian churches catering to as many different denominations. Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Foursquare, Lutheran, Jehovah Witness, et. al., that, according to the bible, are all "God's special people" worshipping in unhindered peace, not facing "dangerous times" as she baselessly thinks.

Your "dangerous times" comment in last week's paper written to our innocent children rings of a persecution complex. Putting the notion of fear in their hearts and minds is as irresponsible as a sermon about being left behind, abandoned by the rapture, or being saved from a torturous hell.

If you want to point out religions that are really being persecuted, look no farther than the contention between the Jewish and Muslim religions in the Holy Land. Each dangerously contentious against one another. That's some real "dangerous times" for those kids and not your imaginary danger you think is prevailing in Shelton.

Too, though not in real danger, try being an overlooked minority religion or no religion at all and maybe you'll change your sympathetic focus from Christian to those of other faiths that often feel like second class citizens. Try being a nonbeliever in Saudi Arabia for a year and see how dangerously unwelcome you'll be.

They kill the nonreligious over there.

Calm down Theresa, in next week's paper recant, tell our kids it's going to be ok. Those who are out enjoying a Sunday morning doing other things like reading a good book, or hiking in nature are not dangerously persecuting Shelton's Christians.

Darrell Barker, Shelton

Responding to the response

Editor, the Journal,

In Patti McLean's response to my editorial, she acknowledges the scheme she is using to collect excessive property taxes from the residents of Mason County by including "selling costs" (typically 15%) in valuations of properties. I do not dispute that state law requires properties to be valued at the "true and fair value." However, someone else's "sales cost" (e.g., Realtor fees, excise taxes, title insurance, sales tax, seller financing assistance, inspections, contractor profit, etc.) does not add value to our properties. I see nothing in the law that requires the assessor to include these "sales costs" in our valuations. This has not been the past practice in Mason County and is not the practice in other counties. The Assessor is using aggressive valuation practices that are costing typical taxpayers over $500 a year.

It is disingenuous for the Assessor to cite the Legislature reduction in "tax rate" as justification for the assessor's excessive increase in "valuations" this year. The Assessor has nothing to do with the "tax rate." Do not be fooled by this sleight of hand. Note Pierce County valuations went down for 2023.

In the Assessor reply, she avoided addressing the easily verifiable facts that her office used falsified records that overstated the size of my house and year of construction, and the fact that view properties were used as comparable properties when much better comparisons exist. The Assessor does not address the blanket 65% increase in land values this year in Lakeland Village. The appearance is clear - she is cooking the books to take excessive property taxes from us.

In my opinion, the assessor is not looking out for the interests of Mason County residents. Next election, she must go. 

Wayne Gripp, Allyn

Unreliable service

Editor, the Journal,

Unfortunately I am not alone. I have been called to jury duty many times over the course of my life. I have served, and I have asked for deferment. But I have previously always received notice of the call well in advance of the dates of service. Evidently, this time there was a delay in sending out the notices by the server. The poor clerk who needs to confirm jurors was reduced to sending out emails to her list of potential jurors. I received the email on the 11th and at first thought it must be spam, but saved it for confirmation. It gave my juror and group numbers, and informed me I needed to start calling on Friday the 14th to see if I needed to report next week. On the 13th I received the official notice (with no date of mailing listed). Fortunately I had time that a.m. before work to call to the office directly to confirm the summons. That's when I discovered she had already been inundated with calls from other potential jurors in the same boat. I was able to fill out my forms on-line and submit them, but that's now true for everyone (especially now that the federal funding for rural broadband started due to the pandemic is now ending). Under our previous county clerk I had no problem with the notifications. Or with the USPS pre DeJoy's deliberate slowdowns.

Ballots for primaries are going out soon. I hope. I have voted by mail also many times in this state and in others where I have lived over the years. And also utilized the ballot drop boxes (one of which was vandalized in Belfair during a previous recent election). I never used to wonder if my ballot was received and counted. Since our last election that changed auditors, I now find I need to check to see if I have been dropped (after all, at almost 80, my signature has changed a bit).

So give your jury duty staff some grace, and be prepared to check your voting rights/registration. It's a different world out there now.

Linda Humphrey, Grapeview


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