Where is that law? 

I was saddened to read of the need for a 911 call to rescue the beleaguered school officials from a seemingly dangerous group of parents, taxpayers, and others of whom were so brazen to actually attend a public meeting without a face mask and even had the audacity to insist that it was their right to attend a public meeting of public officials doing public business.  What the heck is wrong here?

Here’s the sad part.  The superintendent of the Goldendale School District, Dr. Ellen Perconti, is quoted as saying, “Regardless of personal perspectives, the board and school district must follow the law.”  Is anyone aware of any such law on the books in Washington State?  This is the point:  just because some overzealous governor or other elected official says that masks will be required does not mean it’s so.  Regardless of their intentions, they have no legal authority to require masks unless and until the legislature passes and the governor signs a bill into law to grant this power. So, I was saddened that someone as well educated as Dr. Perconti seems to be unaware of these very basic facts.

Or, could it be that Dr. Perconti simply wishes gain the governor’s favor by pushing his agenda, rather than to give credence to the folks who live and work in our county?

Rick Mercer



It's not a KVH mandate

In response to the emerging COVID-19 threat, Gov. Inslee declared a state of emergency on February 29, 2020, using his broad emergency authority. On August 9, 2021 Inslee released a vaccine proclamation requiring workers in Health Care Settings to become fully vaccinated by October 18, 2021 or obtain a religious or disability accommodation by that date. 

KVH has not mandated COVID-19 vaccination for employees. The vaccine mandate is from the Office of the Governor.

While we understand the reasoning behind the mandate due to the surge in COVID-19 cases taxing the health care system, we clearly recognize the impacts these vaccination mandates will have on our employees and providers at KVH who have objections to vaccination. 

It’s a tightrope scenario for the District: to interpret the mandate and the requirements, while also engaging with our staff from a place of humility and empathy and continuing to put our patients at the center of everything we do.

KVH Administration is working closely with employees on the religious and disability exemption process outlined by the state. Our goal is to preserve the same autonomy for our employees that we offer our patients within the parameters outlined in the mandate.

A law and a mandate have the same power to be enforced. A mandate is made by a governor through the power given to them by the legislature during a state of emergency. Health officers in the state must comply with the mandate or face charges for violating a direct order. 

It is imperative the District work to protect all employees and patients. The charges for violating the mandate include loss of license for the facility.

KVH continues to engage employees from a place that validates their concerns of uncertainty while finding a solution that focuses on our shared values of keeping our community, loved ones, patients, and employees safe. 

Leslie Hiebert



What about other arrogance?

My thoughts on the opinion piece that ran last week, “The rise of arrogance and the need for Sense”:

While speaking about the arrogance of government and mandates surrounding Covid-19, I find it ironic that people do not equate the anti-abortion laws at the same level of government arrogance. It is a woman’s body, and she ought to have the same personal choice as those that claim an infringement on their rights by mandating vaccinations on their person. As is stated in this opinion piece, “We’re addressing only the astonishing state of mind that can dictate of others what their choices can be.” What is the difference?

As stated in this opinion piece, “What else can you say of a party that insinuates itself into the private lives of employees in the state, forcing them to pay for something (this is obvious to anyone with common sense) to be a purely personal matter—long-term care insurance?”

Hm. What else can you say of a party that insinuates itself into the private lives of its people, forcing them to decide on whether to have an abortion or not is something to be a purely personal matter: access to abortion and a woman’s personal choice?

Lastly, “Who died and made these people God? God’s in His heaven, but not all is well with the world.” The rise in Covid cases align with those that choose to not vaccinate or mask up. Science has shown that wearing masks provides an increase prevention of unnecessary deaths; however, those who don’t vaccinate and choose to not wear a mask state that it infringes on their freedom of personal choice. However, these individuals infringe on my citizen rights to walk and breathe freely in my community without fear of repercussions or a potential death sentence.

Ought we decline health services because unvaccinated people have made their choice and ought to reap what they sow? My heart is not that cold.   

Stephanie L. Stofiel



Will she appear before a judge?

It’s been well over a week since the aborted school board meeting of August 23. I believe that this is the same meeting that Lou Marzeles wrote about in the August 25th edition of The Sentinel, although I did not see any threatening behavior from any of the attendees. So, being a direct witness to this tempest in a teapot, when will school board Superintendent Ellen Perconti be appearing before the judge to be assessed her fine for calling in a false alarm to the 9-1-1 emergency line?

Due to her deliberate false alarm, numerous sheriff’s deputies and local police were dispatched to the meeting to quell a “parental uprising” that was actually a respectful two-way conversation between attendees with facts and reason, not argumentative screeching about Covid, or whatever they call it these days.

Law enforcement showed up, in force, with numerous units and personnel. The arriving officers were respectful, and so were we. It was Perconti who tried to stir up disorder. I was a witness to her phone call, and I am sure there is a 9-1-1 recording of her, shall we say, stretching of the facts in rather dramatic fashion to dispatchers who were then forced to pull units from all over the city and county. I wonder what the cost is going to be in taxpayer dollars for her little drama show. It should be noted, as it was omitted from Marzeles’ reporting, that three board members stayed and listened to the parents’ views—kudos to them for not participating in Perconti’s phony  show of solidarity when she and another board member left the meeting to make a back room call for assistance.

Victor Baca