Jay Beeler

Happy New Year. We have it on good authority that 2021 will be a little better than 2020, especially when summer gets here and almost everyone will have had their coronavirus vaccine shots.

Just before Christmas we learned why UPS and FedEx were chosen to handle the COVID-19 vaccine shipments nationwide. It started with sending a USPS Priority Envelope on Dec. 8 to my brother in Anacortes, in the northwest corner of Washington state. Three days later it was in Seattle, but 20 minutes later it was sent to St. Louis, where it bounced around for the next 10 days.

On Dec. 21 it arrived back in Seattle, was moved to Everett, WA, and finally showed up Dec. 22 in Anacortes – two weeks late. Luckily the package was a $7.75 flat rate and they do not charge for mileage.

The large envelope contained a framed photo of our parents, Sam and Rieman Beeler, in the mid-1930s. It was apparently taken by a street vendor on F Street NW in Washington, DC. They were dressed “to the nines,” wearing hats, as if going to a social function. Given that my brother, sister and I had never seen this pre-children photo, it was a stunning Christmas present, discovered under the care of a Pennsylvania cousin.


Optimistic is the word that best describes going into this new year. Globally we seem to have a handle on the coronavirus; nationally we’ll have a new leader that’s devoid of showmanship left over from The Apprentice TV show; and locally the corrupt practices that let police act with impunity are going out the window.

Stephen Downing deserves huge credit for steering the LBPD toward a new level of professionalism and transparency. But the numerous instances of police misconduct nationwide has also been a big factor in bringing needed change.

Personally, I saw the December 2010 murder of Douglas Zerby in Belmont Shore as the need for the Beachcomber to fight for reform. Those two officers should have lost their jobs for their failure to warn the “suspect” to drop his [garden hose nozzle] weapon. The family deserved their $6.5 lawsuit award and then some.

Ninety-nine percent of the time police shootings are justified when the suspect brandishes a gun or knife, then fails to drop it on command, or engages in hand-to-hand combat with officers or fails to follow the officer’s instructions. Make me the king and I’ll put cop killers to sleep – permanently – unlike our new district attorney, who seems to think he can thwart the will of the people.

Defund police? That’s stupid. Just work toward channeling some of those dollars toward public safety officers trained to deal with civilian mental health issues. Ideally, every cop should have a college degree that exposes them to psychology courses and alternatives to the use of force: spoken words.

Better days are coming in 2021. Perhaps our focus will change from improving the Police Department to getting the Fire Department to improve its extremely poor media relations functions over the past few years. We miss you, PIO Wayne Chaney.


Thank you to everyone who sent in holiday greetings and cash to our Beachcomber carriers. The response this time was very good and I know that our carriers appreciated the gesture as well. Somewhere along the way I think that I dropped one carrier’s envelope in the Bryant Station parking lot. If you are puzzled over an uncashed check, give me a call.

Finally, some wordplay to start the new year:

  • A man’s home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.
  • Dijon vu - the same mustard as before.
  • Practice safe eating – always use condiments.
  • Shotgun wedding – A case of wife or death.
  • A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.
  • A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
  • Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.
  • Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?
  • Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
  • When two egotists meet, it’s an I for an I.


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