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Letters to the Editor, Week of Aug. 2, 2023

That whale, AltaGas, military spending and PeaceHealth


In the recent article in the paper about the ongoing efforts to move Tokitae back to the Pacific Northwest (CDN, July 27, 2023), this sentence in particular struck me (italics are mine) … “The hope is that the whale, under care and feeding by trainers and veterinarians, would learn to feed itself and perhaps reconnect with the 75 wild Southern Residents from whom she was taken.”

That’s a lot to project on a creature that has lived for more than half a century on the other side of the continent. I’ve been following Tokitae’s story for the last few years. That it is “hoped” she would “learn” and “perhaps” reconnect with other whales is wonderful to think about, but what happens if none of that comes to pass, if the stress of transporting her is too much, if she does not learn to feed herself, or connect with other orca whales, or if she becomes seriously ill? What of the effect on the dwindling number of Southern Resident orcas when she encounters them, or vice versa?

Tokitae is of a species that can live between 50–90 years in the wild. She’s lived in a controlled environment all of her life. I understand the good-hearted efforts of so many who’d like to see her return, but I hope that this whale’s physical and emotional well-being is carefully evaluated, before any “hopes” for what might or might not happen to her when she is freed. We are talking about a sentient creature that man has used for his own purposes, and all the best will in the world cannot cancel reality.

Lauren St. Pierre




Alex Ramel states that when the legislators enacted the cap and trade legislation, they expected the oil companies to pay their share, not dump it onto the already overburdened Washington state taxpayer. He sounds like Claude Rains in “Casablanca” announcing that he is shocked, shocked to hear that there is gambling at Ricks. Where has Ramel been living all his life? If it’s been in the USA, he must’ve realized that without specific legislation stating so, there is no way in hell that a large American corporation is going to pay its fair tax share. The Legislature must either make a specific law forcing the oil companies to pay what is owed or cancel the existing law so that we go back to paying what is still a whopping gas tax, but allowing us to purchase enough gas to carry on our lives.

K.C. Sulkin

Sudden Valley



The tribal curriculum bill sponsored by Rep. Debra Lekanoff requires all school districts to incorporate a tribal sovereignty curriculum into their social studies curricula, including the history, culture and government of the nearest federally recognized tribes.

In 2000, the Montana Human Rights Network published “Drumming Up Resentment: The Anti-Indian Movement in Montana,” by Ken Toole, which notes that the public education system is doing a woefully inadequate job of providing information to students on Indian issues.

The result, says Toole, is that citizens are increasingly ignorant about treaty rights and tribal sovereignty. This, he warns, makes them far more vulnerable to the politics of resentment offered up by the anti-Indian movement.

Jay Taber




I am a former emergency department staffer of St. Joseph’s who was employed there during the early COVID months and worked with Dr. [Ming] Lin. During this time, it was clear the COVID situation was serious. There was a noticeable lack of safety equipment. The direction from the administration for managing patient and staff safety was minimal and poorly conceived. Increasing numbers of MD’s and mid-level practitioners, those with the most medical knowledge and on their own initiation, began to wear masks throughout their shifts. It appeared St. Joseph’s administration either did not know what to do or was not concerned.

As time went on, more and more of the MD’s and mid-levels were wearing masks, and we still had inadequate direction from the administration. Dr. Lin provided a clear, steady voice to the administration on how to proceed with the COVID pandemic.

St. Joseph’s needed more staff like Dr. Lin to speak to the administration. Instead, Dr. Lin was fired for speaking about St. Joseph’s lack of quality leadership and resources, during early COVID. Dr. Lin spoke truth to power. If Dr. Lin can get fired for calling out St. Joseph’s lack of preparedness, what does this say about the culture St. Joseph’s administration has created when other staff needs to speak to administrators?

Surely, there will be others, but will they be able to get past their fear of being fired to speak? I believe St. Joseph’s needs to apologize to Dr. Lin and to all the staff in their employ during COVID. 

Dr. Lin has requested only an apology from St Joseph’s. Instead, he has been offered a $2 million settlement. Meanwhile, St Joseph’s is making cuts to palliative care and the allergy clinic. Go figure.

Eugene McNatt




I suggest that we pay close attention to what AltaGas plans to do with the Intalco site, which it now has the rights to develop. AltaGas owns the nearby Petrogas facility and bought Intalco’s pier and wharf in 2016. That was the year that our community rallied against the expansion of the terminal at Cherry Point, and we should be prepared to act similarly if our environment is in jeopardy.

Seth Zimmerman




Thanks to the war profiteers and investment banks on Wall Street, we have become a dysfunctional society. The so-called oil wars and bank bailouts have bled us dry.

As state and local governments try to manage the chaos created by the federal government, one takeaway is that we cannot overcome this dysfunction by increasing taxes on the already overburdened working class. 

The solutions are to tax the rich and to cut the obscene military budget, both of which require courage and integrity rarely found in Congress.

Jay Taber




I also am a retired MD, impressed by both the guest commentary by David A. Lynch MD (CDN, July 6, 2023) and the letter to the editor by Delores Davies (CDN, July 26, 2023). May I bring to the attention of Cascadia Daily readers the recently published book: “Fragmented, A Doctor’s Quest to Piece Together American Health Care,” by Dr. Ilana Yurkiewicz, MD. The Stanford oncologist diagnoses systemic problems in health care.

In our fragmented medical system, you are the only guaranteed source of continuity in your own care. Here are some things it is helpful to have on hand:

  • Personal Info 
  • Care team 
  • Chief complaint 
  • Medical history
  • Medications
  • Allergies
  • Immunizations
  • Tests
  • Health habits
  • Family history
  • My wishes

These are wise recommendations from an MD on the front line of complex medical care in the 21st century.  Medical care is a journey into the unknown — so don’t leave home without your own list!

An analogy comes to my mind: The first all-computerized airliner (with no pilot nor navigator at the helm) takes off and once it reaches 30,000 feet a voice comes on: Welcome to the first all-computerized aircraft’s maiden journey. “Hal wants to reassure you … NOTHING CAN GO WRONG … NOTHING CAN GO WRONG … NOTHING CAN GO WRONG …”

John Stephens, MD (retired)




I got a huge (unintended) laugh out of the Jason Aldean guitar cartoon.

The cartoon pushed the popular canard that conservatives are “fascists.”

However, the fascist party in Italy was a socialist offshoot. Orwell was correct that “The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable.’”

Fascism came into existence when the socialist Mussolini (who read “Das Kapital” as a child) realized after WWI started that socialists were fighting for their country rather than their class, so he pushed a form of patriotic socialism.

The fascists hated the free market, individualism and capitalism. They hated liberalism (which we call classical liberalism today). 

Classical liberalism is a political tradition and a branch of liberalism that advocates free market and laissez-faire economics; and civil liberties under the rule of law, with special emphasis on individual autonomy, limited government, economic freedom, political freedom and freedom of speech. It is the opposite of fascism.

The people who believe in classical liberalism today are called libertarians and conservatives.

The early progressives were pro-communist, pro-fascist, and pro-Nazi. This included H.G. Wells, Margaret Sanger (Planned Parenthood), W.E.B. Du Bois (NAACP), George Bernard Shaw and many others.

Classical liberal Albert Jay Nock once said, “I wonder how many such men in America would know that Communism, the New Deal, Fascism, Nazism, are merely so many trade-names for collectivist Statism, like the trade-names for toothpastes which are all exactly alike except for the flavouring.”

Today all the true “fascists” are on the left.

Allen Peterson



Letters to the Editor are published online Wednesdays and a selection is published in print Fridays. Send Letters to the Editor to, due Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Rules: Maximum 250 words, have a point and make it clearly. CDN reserves the right to edit letters for length, clarity, grammar and style, and personal attacks or offensive content. Letters should be submitted with an address/phone number to verify the writer’s identity (not for publication).

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