POLLING: To Care or Not to Care

By Linda Sutton

We are being subjected to the continual release of poll after poll. It becomes an emotional roller coaster, as we are either happy or sad with the resulting numbers. But should we pay attention to them?

Each poll is a snapshot in time. Each is controlled by the METHODOLOGY used in the sample of people who are polled, as well as the questioning techniques employed.

Online you can get an in-depth education on polling. Aapor.org comes up first. Then the New York Times and Pew. The following is a brief overview.

Each poll selects a group of people to record their opinions and views. How large the sample is matters, and the selection process is critical. In probability sampling, the gold standard until recent years, “all persons in the target population have a chance of being selected.” From these results, the poll extrapolates to the entire population AND can calculate a margin of error for the poll. Usually, the larger the sample size, the smaller the margin of error.

A main problem with this type of polling is that only those who agree to answer the questions are included. And, because the polls are by phone, specifically landlines, the population polled has skewed older and more settled. As in, how many younger people have landlines now? I’m not sure the extent to which cell phones have become part of the mix on sample selection.

Some of the most egregious polls are those done with non-probability sampling in which people are NOT selected at random, but opt in to participate. This could be by email, but more likely by a website. The results in this type of polling are inevitably biased and do NOT represent the population at large. There is also no way to calculate a margin of error. They are usually called STRAW polls and cannot be relied on at all because of the inherent bias.  A good for instance would be the Daily Kos polls. Most of these polls should be ignored.

In addition to sampling techniques, the QUESTIONS asked matter and can be manipulated by wording or sequencing of questions. To get to these, you have to go to the website of the polling firm. Usually, the size of the poll is disclosed in media reports.

So, next time you are subjected to the latest poll results, look beyond the numbers to HOW the polling was done, size of the sample, and the polling firm that did it. There are some that skew conservative and others who can be more trusted to give accurate results. But again, each poll is only a snapshot of that moment in time and can flip quickly as we’ve seen throughout recent elections. 

What Does Being a Progressive Mean To Me?

Mike Regan, Irondale

It means working for progress towards a better, fairer society: A society of mutual respect between human beings.

When you look at our positions on this list of issues what is the common thread?Medicare for all, College tuition, The We the People Amendment, A ban Nuclear weapons, Help to those fleeing oppression. Defense of voting rights. A Green New Deal.

Why are our opponents not so concerned about these issues? What sets us apart?

The answer is, that we are for human rights, not corporate rights..

We are for Human rights, not military might.

Human rights, not property rights.

Human rights, not gun rights.

Human rights, not money rights.

The right to breathe clean air, not the right to pollute.

The rights of Nature to survive and flourish, not the right to extract minerals from the environment to extract money from the people.

We do not want to live in a me-first adversarial relationship with Nature, and with each other; but in cooperation and mutual support.

Me-first is not an ideology, It’s just selfishness.

And America first is just an extension of the same thing.

Being Progressive doesn’t mean we want people to give up anything.

We want Markets, not Monopolies.

We want what is good for everyone, which then results in the good for the individual.

We oppose the unlimited accumulation of wealth and power.

We depose anyone who uses his position of power to abuse people, to manipulate and violate them.

Not only do we want these people removed from power, we want the positions themselves to be changed so that power is strictly limited.

We want protections for the powerless, not power to the powerful.

We want democracy, not autocracy. Democracy, not oligarchy. Democracy, not plutocracy.

The rule of the people, not the rule of money.

Equality under the law for all persons regardless of race, creed, color, economic status, or any other quality that may be used as an excuse to divide us.

We do not want division. We want unity.

At bottom, I am an optimist and I believe great things can be accomplished; but we can only achieve a fair and just society when we come to hold the rights of Nature and of Humanity above those of money and power.

2019 Statement for Pamela Petranek, Candidate Port of Port Townsend Port Commissioner District 1

A lifelong Washingtonian, Pam Petranek is running for Port Commissioner, “To support the strength and vitality of our maritime trades, our shared maritime heritage, our environment, and living wage jobs for this and future generations – and to ensure that our Port facilities remain accessible to the residents of Jefferson County.”

Pam can rebuild trust in Port leadership. She supports updated, straightforward, transparent financial reporting.  She wants the commission to make spending and management decisions based on accurate facts.

As a citizen advocate and Port Townsend Marine Trades Association leader, she is working on solutions. She co-coordinated a rate analysis to fill the boatyard. She co-coordinated the 2018 Jefferson County Maritime Trades Economic Study. 

With her spirit of collaboration, Pam can help lead our Port with living-wage jobs, commonsense approaches to infrastructure needs, clarify the role of executive director, and focus on environmental stewardship. 

Pam is working with a team of community experts to create an accountable, accessible and sustainable Port for everyone in Jefferson County.

Pam is endorsed by the Port Townsend Marine Trades Association, former Port Commissioner John Collins, former Mayor David King, City Councilmember Michelle Sandoval, along with many county residents and small business owners.


Elected Experience

I am currently serving on the Board of the Port Townsend Marine Trades Association.

Other Professional Experience

I have been a public and homeschool teacher for 30 years, most recently as a music teacher for Port Townsend School District. I have earned my U.S. Coast Guard Captain’s License and taught sailing lessons. I am currently a commercial fisherman with Cape Cleare Fishery.


BA in Education, Western Washington University

Community Service

I have been nominated for Citizen of the Year 2018, for co-leading the Jefferson County Maritime Trades Economic Study. I am currently co-leading a citizens advisory group.

Contact Information

Pam Petranek




Jefferson County Citizens To Occupy Pope Resources Land

Jefferson County Environmental Coalition Jefferson County area citizens to occupy Pope Resources Land due to aerial spraying near city reservoir Citizens of Jefferson and Kitsap County will occupy a clear-cut land area owned by Pope Resources.

The land in question is next to City Lake, the water reservoir for the city of Port Townsend. The occupation will start on Monday, August 19, 2019 in the early morning and will extend to as long as Pope Resources tries to aerial spray the land.

Citizens of Eastern Jefferson County are occupying the land that Pope Resources clear-cut because our local and state governments have failed to protect our human health, land, water, air, and wildlife.

We are therefore preparing to protect our health, water, and environment. We will start the occupation on Monday, August 19th, and stay on the land until Pope Resources agrees not to aerial spray the area and agrees to stop using glyphosate and other dangerous toxins to control unwanted plant growth on their lands. Safe alternatives to aerial spraying are readily available.

Three weeks ago Pope announced they would NOT aerial spray or use glyphosate in Kitsap County this year. We insist that the health and safety of Jefferson County residents and its environment deserve the same protections. Pope’s double standard flies shamelessly in the face of reason and equality.

In 2018 Pope Resources aerial sprayed the area around City Lake and evidence was found by nearby residents that chemical drift had occurred near and possibly over the lake itself.

The City of Port Townsend was notified. Community members have continued to notify the City of Port Townsend and the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners about the potential for drift and chemical contamination by harsh and dangerous chemicals used to kill plants on the nearby clear-cut. The chemicals that Pope has posted on the site are as follows: Accordxrt2, Oust Xtra, Rotary 2 XL, Superpread SO and OustXP, Transline and Grounded W. All are extra loads of glyphosate.

This is different than what Pope reported they would spray on this site on their website which was Imazapyr, Glyphosate, Sulfometuron Methyl + Metsulfuron-Methyl, and vegetable oil. The Washington Department of Natural Resources has allowed 20 different chemicals to be sprayed on this site. (FPA/N# 2616127)

Pope Resources gave notice of impending spray activity throughout Eastern Jefferson County in July 2019 via an organization website called “popeneighbor2neighbor”.

In the past, Pope Resources contacted the Jefferson County Conservation District of impending spraying of herbicides on their land in Jefferson County. The conservation district then published the information in the local Port Townsend newspaper, The Leader. Pope no longer communicates with the conservation district or local media about impending herbicide use.

Community members had to sift through the company website to find what would be sprayed and how it would be applied. The website did not publish dates of application. The spraying by Pope will impact Port Townsend, Chimacum, Quilcene, Port Ludlow, Port Hadlock and other small communities.

Community members then started a campaign to ask the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners and the City of Port Townsend councilors to stop the spraying because it creates a public health emergency in the county. Watersheds throughout eastern Jefferson County will be impacted with toxic herbicides which kill bees, fish, impact organic farms and gardens, wells and springs, wetlands, lakes, cause hoof rot in wildlife and disrupt the viability of lakes, streams and ultimately the Puget Sound and Hood Canal.

We, citizens of Jefferson County, Washington ask that you as journalists cover our action and inform Washington State communities that we intend to defend our communities from Pope Resource’s destructive actions.

For more information contact Ellen O’Shea elleno@peak.org

Notice of wide area spraying of herbicides by Pope Resources in July and August in Eastern Jefferson County

Per Ellen O’Shea

Pope Resources has set up a website with notice of Aerial and other spraying in large areas of Eastern Jefferson County this summer in July and August. The notice went up today and includes 14 maps covering areas in Quilcene area, Snow Creek, Eaglemount, Port Ludlow, The Coyle, Oak Bay road, highway 104, Tarboo Lake, and other areas. Please take a look at this website and follow the links for the maps. If you would like to help, take a look at the maps and identify specific areas and send me a note about which map covers your area.

This is important! The Eaglemount Spray site will be near City Lake which is the Port Townsend City water reservoir. Many people will be affected by this poisoning of our communities.

The time of the spraying will again coincide with prime pollinator activity for gardens, commercial farming, organic farming, bee and other pollinator activity. Birds, insects, and other animals will be affected.

Please place cardboard placards on your land. Create a map where you placed the placards. If you have any indication of toxic drift send the cardboard placards to a lab for testing. We will gather lists of all potential chemicals used in the spraying. If those chemical soups are found on our lands, we will sue. Contact me for a list of labs.

Protect yourself. Write letters to the Editor. Write to the governor and legislators. Go to the city council meeting for Port Townsend and tell them about the proposed City Lake spraying. Go to the county commissioners meeting and give them copies of the maps. Do not expect any action just do it to make this as public as possible. This is a Public Health Emergency!

Please act now.

Wendi Wrinkle of Jefferson County says Pope has now abandoned their practice of notification before aerial spraying and replaced it with the not-so-neighborly website below. Please look at it ASAP and check the links.

How can this be legal notice?!!!!??

Here is the link to the Pope Resources website with spray notice and maps.


Now is the time to act. We need to stand up as a community to stop the proposed widespread aerial and other spraying of our communities.

8 things you can do now to stop this:

1. The Jefferson County Environmental Coalition in combined effort with the Kitsap County Environmental Coalition are planning a day of action On Monday, July 29th.





Meet outside Pope Resources HQ

19950 7th Ave NE, Poulsbo 98370

2. We will be at the Port Townsend Farmers market with maps of the proposed spray sites in our county. We will be asking people to sign a petition asking the Jefferson County Commissioners to pass an emergency public health declaration regarding the proposed widespread spraying of our communities.

Please come to the Port Townsend Farmers market at noon this Saturday and help to educate your community about this act of environmental degradation.

3. Then on Monday Morning, August 5 at 9 AM…show up at the Jefferson County commissioners meeting at the courthouse to let them know about our demands and concerns. Tell them to declare a public health Emergency due to the proposed widespread poisoning of our lands and water.

Horrified by the prospect of being environmentally poisoned…DO SOMETHING. Join us as we get organized and stand up.

4. Contact the media.

5. Write letters to the editor.

6. Contact the Department of Natural Resources- let them know that Pope Resources is proposing to use a website to notify citizens about the spraying rather than door to door 5 day notice required by law. (We have people doing research on this to see what the law requires).

7. Contact the Governor’s office.

8. Contact the mayor and city councilors for Port Townsend and let them know that the area around City Lake, the City of Port Townsend drinking water reservoir is about to be sprayed.

Local Volunteers Collect School Items for Refugee Kids

Local volunteers are collecting back to school items for refugees.
Larry Jensen and Deb Hammond are working with Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates (JCIRA), and the Seattle chapter of World Relief, on a project to donate backpacks filled with school supplies to Western Washington refugee students.

World Relief is a non-denominational Christian organization that has helped immigrants and refugees for seventy five years. JCIRA is a group of Jefferson County immigrant rights advocates who provide low cost legal services for issues such as obtaining a green card, DACA renewal, asylum, and other refugee related legal issues. They also provide a rapid response team who will respond to any sighting of an ICE team in Jefferson county. The rapid response hotline number is: 360-531-2656

Items will be collected for kindergarten through third graders, and fourth through eighth graders.

The backpacks that JCIRA is collecting will be distributed to refugee children in the next few weeks, so donations are needed immediately. Please contact Larry Jensen (402) 290-0963 lpjensen@abbnebraska.com or Deb Hammond (360) 531-3540 debkat48@gmail.com for further details or to drop off donated items. A full backpack and all items typically costs about $50. If you feel that may be more than you can handle right now, you will be pleased to know that they will also be happily accepting monetary donations of any amount.

For more information on JCIRA, please visit their website at http://www.jcira.org