Eyewitness Account of Herbicide Spraying on Sentinel Firs Road

August 20, 2019.
Sentinel Firs Rd, Port Hadlock

Awakened by sound of helicopters at 5:50 am. Got up, went to Mark Jochems property on Sentinel Firs. Arrived at about 6:25. Mark was standing near on his property near the property line he shares with Pope Resources. I joined him. Mark grows organic apples which he sells to a local processor for juice.

A helicopter was spraying herbicide on the clearcut which borders his property, making sweeps and going back to the pad to reload herbicide. It had already sprayed close to Mark’s property when I arrived, and had moved South, deeper into the clearcut and further from his property.

About 5 minutes after arriving, I became aware of the smell of herbicide. Until that moment I was mostly paying attention to the helicopter, not to what I was breathing. The spraying continued for about 30 minutes after I arrived. As we walked the very few feet to his house for coffee, I noticed that my breathing was impaired. Even with a shallow breath, I could feel that my lungs were definitely compromised. Deep breaths were worse. The sensation of impaired breathing increased as we sat talking.

I started drinking large amounts of water, and took vitamin C. It occurred to me that a blood test could show glyphosate, the herbicide they were spraying, in my blood. But, then I recalled that when members of the European Parliament were tested for glyphosate, they all tested positive. So, one might suspect that we all now have glyphosate in our blood. I just got a higher dose, by being adjacent to the spray site, on private property, where no drift is allowed.

Gail Chatfield, 10 am, August 20, 2019

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.

United Healthcare Denials Cause Deaths

By David Griffiths

On July 2nd, Bill Peace became the second nationally known disability rights advocate/activist to die this year after being denied coverage for necessary treatment by United Healthcare. The first was Carrie Ann Lucas, who died in February. These are but two clear examples of how dangerously flawed our health care system is. We know the names of these two victims, because we knew their names in life, but “death by denial” is a much bigger problem, involving more than just one insurance company. However, we can use the names of these two people, and of the company that killed them, to bring attention to the issue, to bring reform to our health care system, and to bring justice to the as yet unknown number of innocent victims who have suffered and died in the name of corporate profits.

One step we can take in this direction is to talk to some of the beneficiaries of those corporate profits, specifically our elected officials who have received donations from United Healthcare. First, we can ask them to return money they’ve already received, and to refuse further donations, at least from United Healthcare, if not from the health insurance industry entirely. We can also ask them to call for investigations, beginning with United, to determine the extent of “death by denial”. Of course, we must also continue to fight for a more just and equitable health care system, in the form of National Improved Medicare For All.

Here are some names to start with. I’ll post a more complete list soon.

Patty Murray
Jay Inslee
Bob Ferguson
Adam Smith
Derek Kilmer
Jaime Herrera Beutler
Rick Larsen
Suzan DelBene
Denny Heck

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

Review: Don’t Call it a Riot

By Celeste Bennett

Tickets available online at Brown Paper Tickets.
Playing at 12th Avenue Arts in Seattle May 30 – June 23, 2019

In late July 1968, Seattle Black Panther Party members Aaron Dixon and Curtis Harris were arrested after being accused of possessing a stolen typewriter that was found during an early morning police raid. Citizen protests arose in the Seattle Central District. Both men were later acquitted. Writer and director Amontaine Aurore has created a thoughtful and compelling Seattle-set play that opens with the events of July 1968 and carries through to the World Trade Organization protests of 1999.

Enter the theatre in advance, just to examine the sets created by Parmida Ziaei, Matthew Smith and Lauren Holloway with assistance from the Art of Resistance & Resilience Club (Franklin High). The first thing one notices are the books and newspapers. Rotating sets are wallpapered with them, open books intertwined with images of Billie Holiday, James Baldwin, and other icons. The opening monologue delivered by Sam (Mic Montgomery) references the power of the pen, or as Sam says, “in this case, the typewriter.”

The first act takes place in a home shared by Sam and Reed, his partner in life and the Black Panther movement. Reed, played masterfully by Meysha Harville, is six-months pregnant, an eloquent and impassioned law student fighting for justice in an era when police are brutally suppressing dissent after a bullet silenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As she says after reading verbatim from a news report of the time, “Don’t call it a riot. It’s a slavery insurrection.”

The play is filled with tension and truths that hit hard even when delivered with grace. Reed supports Sam in his work to strengthen Black power and establish a Black Panther meals program in Seattle, even though it means he must leave her for days at a time. After an arrest leaves Reed’s friend Marti (Lillian Afful-Stratton) homeless, events occur that powerfully alter the course of all characters’ lives.

The resolution of what happens in Scene I drives the rest of the play, written skillfully enough that the outcomes are not predictable. During the short intermission, the staging has been adjusted to convey a leap forward to 1990. New posters adorn the walls, showing us Mumia, Nelson Mandela, and Rage Against the Machine. The bookcase is still there but sideways to us, and a laptop sits atop the table. We meet Falala (Skylar Wilkerson) who is preparing for the WTO protests despite the objections of Paris (Robert Lovett). Their differences are showcased as Falala focuses on the need to act against corporate greed and Paris emphasizes commitment to non-violence. The past is present, and Reed and Marti are reunited to untangle how we recognize and live out personal power when powerful organizations exist to undermine.

The playbill includes a list of recommended books and films, including The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution* and a weblink to a series on the making of the play. Don’t Call it a Riot was a finalist in the Bay Area Playwrights’ Festival in 2017 and premiered in 2018.

*Available via Jefferson County Library.

Activists gather at Indian Island in Honor of Fathers and Peace

On Father’s day, a group of families and concerned citizens gathered at L. B. Good Memorial County Park, across from the main gate of Naval Magazine Indian Island. There they had a picnic and read poetry, before a few of them chose to walk across the road to lay a memorial “Broken hearted plaque” in front of the gates of the Navy base.

Doug Milholland stated that organizing this event was important to him because “I’m a dad. And as a father, I’m supposed to be responsible for being a reasonable man. Sympathetic, encouraging and resistant when necessary. I have grandchildren. And at this point in my life, at age 70, I look at the world and Oh! I wish so much that we had taken a different path. And that I was not across from one of the world’s largest weapons transfer depots located on the bay of the small town where I live. I’m faced with the realization that millions of people have died as a result of the weapons being shipped from here.”

In fact, Naval Magazine Indian Island is the largest weapons magazine on the west coast. An average of 50 ships a year are resupplied there. Food, fresh water, and, of course, weapons.
Commander George Whitbred, who was base commander from August 2006 to August 2008 once proudly showed the Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce a map of where the weapons shipped from the island go, and described Naval Magazine Indian Island as “The World’s Costco of weapons!” Not only does the base supply US military vessels, but it also delivers weapons sold to other countries. The map that Commander Whitbred showed off included destinations all over the world.

Port Townsend resident Craig Rennebohm was concerned with the impact that the military has on the environment. “One growler plane from the naval base on Whidbey puts more carbon into the atmosphere in one hour than a whole family does driving for a year. So you could imagine what this is doing to the planet. Carbon that’s involved in the storage. In the explosions. There’s no way that we could be in balance with nature, and have this continue. We’re far outstretched. The only way we can reasonably save the planet is to stop this completely and totally, here and around the world.”

Others expressed similar sentiments. Many were concerned about the effects of nuclear radiation, and exposure to the dust that coats a battlefield when depleted uranium bombs are used. Some read poetry, including Ilya Kaminsky’s We Lived Happily During The War, which begins

“And when they bombed other people’s houses, we

but not enough, we opposed them but not

enough. I was
in my bed, around my bed America

was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.”

After the discussion, singing, and poetry, a small group crossed Flagler road. They proceeded across the blue line which marks the boundary between county land and the Navy base. At the gates they were met by a Jefferson County sheriff, and employees of Xcel Protective Services, a security company headquartered in Albuquerque. Because Xcel’s Washington State Security guard license expired on June 10th, the sheriff was the only entity with any authority to manage the event.

Seven adults and one infant presented the Broken Hearted Plaque to the officers at the gate. They then held hands, and spoke earnestly with the officers for a few minutes, before heading back towards the park.

On August 6th and 9th, from 1:00 PM to 8:00 PM, the group will be holding a Hiroshima and Nagasaki memorial in the Cotton building at Pope Marine park.

Unpermitted Illegal Gun Range Now In Operation

Last Friday, June 7, the Tarboo Ridge Coalition e-mailed Jefferson County Commissioners a detailed letter citing County records and file photos that document Fort Discovery Inc. has begun construction and training on the Corporation’s Tarboo Lake property without any permits.

The Corporation is charging ahead, clearing and grading, filling wetlands, pouring concrete, siting old and constructing new buildings and burying a 2000-gallon tank filled with sewage from commercial activity at the outlaw shooting range. Even more serious, County records document construction of a 50- yard gun range, with the shooting directed outward towards the neighboring property and State Highway 104. In paperwork submitted to the County, the Corporation’s president attests that training has commenced.

“This is dangerous, and illegal, and the County has a paramount duty to protect the health, and safety of its citizens. We are urging our Commissioners to direct their staff to issue a stop work order and shut this illegal activity down,” said Peter Newland, spokesperson for the Tarboo Ridge Coalition, a citizens group monitoring Fort Discovery’s behavior.

To date the County has not responded to the Coalition’s letter. The letter can be downloaded from here:

For Further Information Contact:
Peter Newland