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Shelton Mason County Journal
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July 24, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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!:! ]i It Ii ii 2[ J J l /l Pa[je A-4 - Ma$0n Gounty dournuZ - Thursclay, duly 24, 2014 GUEST COLUMN .er crisis s thousands of Central and Latin Americans me flooding into the United States, the tention of America is becoming more and more fixated on three simple questions: Why did this happen? Who'is to blame? And, what is the best solution? As a conservative and a lifelong Republican I have watched as all around me By G.E. (Jerry) many of my friends on the right seem to be jumbling the answers CUMMINGS to these questions into one. Cer- tainly a political, legal and practi- cal crisis confronts America's political leaders. But, there is another crisis confronting the American people: A crisis of conscience. It's easy to look past the face of the one and see only the multitude. Among them we have reason to believe some are very dangerous people from some nefarious organized crime gangs operating in Central America and Mexico. There are also many adults and families who have no criminal back- ground seeking better opportunity, but who are knowingly breaking the laws of the United States with impunity. If those were the only two groups of people in the mix this would be a much simpler problem. There is, however a third group of people among them. A large number of these illegal immigrants are in fact what are being called "unaccompanied mi- nors." In other words, innocent children caught up in a storm of rhetoric they don't understand between adults that will determine the course of the rest of their lives. As Americans we have a long history of not treat- ing children and adults as equals under the law. We accept as self-evident that children lack the mental capacity and maturity to make independent deci- sions. So when a parent makes their child an accomplice to a crime that the child does not understand we prosecute the parent and seek to place the child in a safer environment. " As a conservative, I am appalled to hear many people who I respect suggesting that we simply take children separated from their families to the border and "drop them off" on the Mexico side. Mexico is a country living in the grip of fear as heavily armed organized criminal organizations gain tighter and tighter control of the country. The reason our northern border is so different is because evil thugs with machine guns are running around in Latin and Central America terrorizing the police as well asthe citizens. Is it reasonable to think that these children would be simply returned to their families? Some of these children may not even be from Mexico but from countries even farther south. Their parents are not just waiting at the border for them to be dropped off. We can debate what level of accountability our leaders should be held to for their culpability in cre- ating this maelstrom. The power is in our hands, if we choose to, to fire the government by replacing the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate in a few months and to demand impeachment pro- ceedings. We can ask candidates for Congress how they would secure the border and deal with the immigra- tion reform issue before we vote. see IMMIGRATION, page A-5 Mason County LETTERS TO THE EDITOR stand in way of progress, jobs Editor, the-Journal Mason County Commissioners Tim Sheldon and Terri Jeffreys cost taxpayers, residents and . ...... county dollars (again). How many dollars these two commissioners cost us is yet to be determined. How many dollars will be de- termined, in great part, by the number of people who successfully sue the county to recover their lost investment in the first new opportunity for prosperity to come along in our county in decades. Commissioners Sheldon and Jef- freys have voted to deny our citi- zens and local business interests the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the only new sig- nificant business opportunity to come along in decades: The culti- vation, production and processing of recreational marijuana. Initiative 502, passed by the voters of the state of Washington in November 2012, legalized rec- reational marijuana in our state. Since then, the state of Washing- ton has gone to great lengths to license the new industry. Now that things are ready to go statewide, Sheldon and Jeifreys (respond- ing to latecomers who spoke out against producers and processers in a June 26 commission meeting), stand in the way of jobs, jobs, jobs. Numerous hearings and public meetings preceded this recent backpedaling by these two corn- missioners, including adoption of regulations for the new industry by this same commission in No- vember 2013. Sheldon and the commissioner elected to complete Jerry Lingle's term (Jeffreys), have decided that the voters of the state got it wrong. Hell, they decided they, as commissioners, got it wrong in No- vember 2013 when they adopted regulations for the new industry. Now these two bright citizen representatives are correcting their error with a six-month moratorium on the new industry -- six months during which the rest of the state's counties and communities will work out the bugs and move forward with the creation of jobs and prosperity. Sheldon and Jeffreys now stand shoulder-to-shoulder squarely in the path of jobs and prosper- ity in Mason County. While they freeze any forward progress by our county, with its 10 percent or bet- ter unemployment rate, the rest of the state moves forward, and rapidly, to take advantage of this business opportunity. This is the fastest growing industry in the state right now, and our citizens will not get to participate. This is the sort of prosperity and forward thinking we can ex- pect for our county if we re-elect Sheldon (yet again) to the Senate, and elect Jeffreys to a full term as commissioner. I just don't think our citi- zens can afford another term of "double-dipping" Sheldon, or a full term of business-crippling Jeffreys. My suggestion: Vote for anyone but Sheldon and Jeffreys if you want to see our county prosper. The path to prosperity for Mason County does not start by preventing jobs and discouraging business. Katherine A. Price Shelton Support the fair Editor, the Journal From July 25 to 27 Mason County celebrates its rural, ag- ricultural and cultural heritage with the 106th Mason Area Fair and marks the 10th anniversary of the Mason County NPRA Ro- deo. Our fair and rodeo are two events that help define the spirit of Mason County's citizens. Most great things about Ma- son County are made possible by volunteers. These events are two of many community events made possible by the hard work, sweat and dedication of volunteers who donate hours of their time as their gift to our community. Please join me in supporting the Mason Area Fair Board and Mason County Rodeo Association by coming out and enjoying the fruits of their hard labor. A spe- cial thank you to our local busi- nesses, who sponsor these events. See you at the fair! Terri Jeffreys Mason County commissioner Shelton see LETTERS, page A-5 USPS 492-800 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Mason County Journal, P.O. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584. Published weekly by the Mason County Journal at 227 West Cota Street, Shelton, Washington Mailing address: P.O. Box 430, Shelton, WA 98584 Telephone (360) 426-4412 .www.masoncounty.com Periodicals postage paid at Shelton, Washington Mason County Journal is a Owned and published by Advertising: Composing room: member of Washington Newspaper Shelton-Mason County Journal, Inc. Dave Pierik, Sr. Acct. Executive William Adams, graphics Publishers' Association. Tom Hyde, publisher Kathy Brooks, ad representative Linda Frizzell, graphics-'~ Lloyd Mullen, ad representative SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Newsroom: All editorial, advertising an~legal Adam Rudnick, editor $37 per year for Mason County Natalie Johnson, reporter addresses, Gordon Weeks, reporter $51 per year in state of Washington Emily Hanson, sports reporter but outside Mason County, $61 per Kirk Ericson, proofreader year out of state. Front office: Donna Kinnaird, bookkeeper Amanda Elson, circulation deadlines are 5 p.m. Monday prior to publication. To submit a letter to the editor, email letters@masoncounty.com.