Citizen Editorial

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Shelton Pool Asset To Community

Dear Editor,

The Shelton High School pool is a major asset to our community. It’s used daily by approximately 300 people including students and community members. We live in an area filled with water access and having the pool available helps with overall community health and safety. Plus, with the demise of the bowling alley and the closure of the skate park, it is one of the few facilities left to our youth for recreation and entertainment.
Last year, the Shelton school board seriously considered closing the high school pool due to repair needs, including pool resurfacing, maintenance room repairs, energy upgrades, and ADA accessibility upgrades. After much public outcry and some favorable news from the district’s insurance company, the board decided to keep the pool open through the end of the current school year. Their hope was the repairs could be (again) deferred to summer 2015, and a plan put into place for proper long term maintenance and upgrading. We are now at the point where action needs to be taken by the board to insure the most pressing maintenance can happen this summer. If the pit lid in the maintenance room and the pool resurfacing projects do not happen soon, there is a good chance we will be facing pool closure in just a few months.
If you feel the pool is an important community asset and needs to be kept open, I encourage you to contact the members of the school board and interim superintendent Art Jarvis and let them know. If we’re going to keep this valuable facility available to the students and the community, the board needs to make the pool a priority on the summer maintenance schedule instead of continuing to defer maintenance.

Sally Karr, Shelton, WA
January 15, 2015

Shelton City Roads – Have you noticed?

roads frThe road conditions in Shelton continue to deteriorate. The pictures shown were taken at 5th street in downtown Shelton. 5th Street runs between the Mason County Commissioner's Offices and the Mason County Court House. This picture is directly in front of the building that houses the County Commissioners.
How bad will the streets get before they are noticed by the local (and state) politicians? When will the streets be “considered for repairs"? Should the county help the city? Or should the state step in? The state recently repaired State Route 3, where it begins at Highway 101, through east of Front Street. Most citizens thought the city had completed the paving and repairs.
Perhaps a Citizen's Advisory Committee could be formed to address the conditio

roads 1

n of the streets. And while the committee is at it maybe a citizen's group to do the actual repairs could be formed. At the least, citizens addressing the street repair issue would provide some evidence the problem was noticed.
Shelton's street repair problem is not easy to solve. If our governmental leaders do not have a vision or develop a plan to address the potholes, how will the streets improve? This author is making observations, post your answers/suggestions below.
Jerry Eckenrode
Dec. 1, 2014

Citizen Editorial: We are to blame

After reading the article in todays Mason County News about Police Body Cameras and the dilemma faced by the Poulsbo Police Department, I am compelled to offer the following comments:

In our rush to protect ourselves from abuse by our own government, we have repeatedly demonstrated to our professional politicians that we really know not what we do. We have smugly declared that body cams are the way to protect the public as well as the police from abuse of authority. Concurrently, we have run headlong into our own public disclosure laws setting up the ludicrous situation where someone anonymously demanded a public disclosure of police videos and requested the videos be provided to an internet entertainment website ( You Tube). The volume of material requested, and the invasion of privacy this would create requires the material to be reviewed and redacted to protect individual privacy and yet comply with the law dealing with such requests. If this situation were not so serious, I would laugh.

In our recent election, we voted to reduce class sizes without bothering to determine how the cost of these changes could be funded thereby putting our already inept legislature in a no-win situation.

We also voted to institute background checks for anyone wishing to obtain a firearm from a private transaction or from a gun show. This initiative did not provide much information about how to accomplish this task and how to pay for it. Now, our Governor is responding to global warming by suggesting increasing the tax on gasoline to fund efforts in reducing our carbon footprint on the environment. I don't recall any ballot to make changes or amendments to our State Constitution which states gasoline taxes are to be used for the construction and maintenance of roads and highways.

Do you see a pattern here? People want to do something to "fix" a problem. But, they do not want to give the issue careful and thorough consideration so as to avoid the situations described above. Voting carries the same responsibility as deciding to drive after drinking alcohol or possessing a firearm. You must accept the responsibility of the consequences of your choices/actions. Before making serious decisions, get all the facts, not just the campaign propaganda. Ask the question "How are we going to pay for this?"

Richard Barnes, Shelton

November 18, 2014

It's Not Time For a Neophyte

Weary I am of Tom Davis' attempt to discredit Senator Sheldon. This campaign of his would have you believe the Senator can't be in two elected positions, (don't forget all the committee positions he serves as well Tom), to do the electorate justice.

To me, it seems the Senator has seldom been out of touch with the issues of importance, (gee Tom, does a traffic light require attention from an elected official or, did a bureaucrat fall asleep on their watch?), nor does he lack a reasoned opinion on items that require action.

And, about that fail to follow party-line issue. Well, I don't know about you Tom, but I've lived long enough to know a good politician is about finding a way to compromise in order to do what's right. If you recall our most effective politicians of history were Senator Jackson and Magnuson, neither of which were opposed to seeking a way to accommodate across party lines.

But, let's talk about the most important issues that face our next Legislative session. Our learned justices of the courts in this State have determined that neither education or mental health receives adequate funding to provide adequate services.

And the fact of the matter is that we have created so many State agencies with so many salaried employees that we have used up current tax revenues. (Incidentally Tom, Senator Sheldon has been at the forefront of finding ways to reduce that bureaucratic footprint).

So, it's become apparent that we may have to bite the bullet and possibly fund our State's financial crisis with..........a sales tax increase! And, if that becomes the central issue of our upcoming legislative session, the last thing I'd want in Olympia is a politically unconnected neophyte representing an under represented Mason County and 35th District against the population centers.

So, let political reality overcome your emotional rants Tom. Our situation would seem to favor returning Senator Sheldon. I know it's my choice.

G. Owen Ray, Allyn

28 October, 2014

Lessons In Democracy

As the day to vote in the General Election of 2014 draws near, I feel compelled to figuratively put pen to paper. To begin, the stridency of the personal attacks by backers of one candidate towards other candidates is disheartening. Voters decry the gridlock in our national Congress and state Legislature. The two issues are closely related. Bitter partisan vitriol and blind adherence to the right or left are destroying our republic. Civility and compromise have become lost arts. In this state, we have even found ways to limit the choices by the electorate and manipulate the system to resemble ballots in National Socialist Germany and the Soviet Union with one candidate (party) ballots and allowing only the top two vote getters regardless of party to appear on the general election ballot!

It is obvious that our schools no longer teach 9th grade Civics like they used to. Or, in the rush to Political Correctness and Party Zealotry, we choose to ignore those lessons.

In order to break gridlock and resume effective government of, by, and for "the people", we need to clean house and break the mold of our politicians. I am appalled that we have allowed an idiot Judge to decree that contributing money to political campaigns is political free speech. I don't care what your preference is in political campaigns, but to allow anyone to "buy" any part of an election with a $1 Million contribution is disgusting and , quite frankly, disenfranchises every citizen in the land! We do not allow foreign nationals (non-citizens) to legally vote in our elections. Not yet, but I fear that is coming. We do allow individuals, corporations, unions and special-interest groups from other jurisdictions to make contributions to candidates and issue campaigns in and within our state. Why? Why do we allow these outsiders to influence our elections for legislators and issues (including Referenda and Initiatives) that impact only our State, legislative districts and other political subdivisions?

It's too late to change much right now, but we can start by opening our minds and start accepting the blame for our elected officials who ignore our wishes and start using our votes to demand real choices and real government of, by and for us, the people!

Thank you for reading this and, hopefully, doing what is best for all of us.

Richard Barnes