The trunk and stump of a felled sequoia tree sits at Lions Park in Port Angeles on Thursday after it was taken down by the city Jan. 3. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

The trunk and stump of a felled sequoia tree sits at Lions Park in Port Angeles on Thursday after it was taken down by the city Jan. 3. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Speakers set for Lions Park celebration on MLK Day

PORT ANGELES — A community celebration is planned at Lions Park on Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

Save Our Sequoia is hosting “Infinite Hope” from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Port Angeles park at 601 E. Whidby Ave.

Speakers will discuss civil rights, ecology, affordable housing, education and other issues.

“Meet fellow community members and organizations working toward positive social and environmental change,” the group said.

Community members will give short speeches inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, including “We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.”

Hope also was the name given to a 110-foot sequoia tree that stood in Lions Park until the city cut it down Jan. 3.

Save Our Sequioa is composed of park neighbors and other citizens who fought to save the tree.

Speakers scheduled for the event are:

• Lindsey Schromen-Wawrin, constitutional law attorney and Port Angeles City Council member.

• Ron Richards, Save the Olympic Peninsula (STOP) chair.

• Jim Waddell, Dam Sense founder and retired U.S. Army Corps civil engineer.

• Hilary Powers, Compassion Campaign of Clallam County steering committee member.

• Shawne Johnson, Port Angeles High School teacher.

• Jessica Elofson, member of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Native American interventionist at Port Angeles School District.

• Jesse Charles, youth outreach coordinator at Serenity House of Clallam County.

• Shewa Dedeke, writer, public speaker and activist who uses vulnerability as her art form.

Tea, coffee and cookies will be served. Ivy and Joel Ricci will perform live music at the park.

“Recent events have energized Lions Park as gathering place for people who care about the well-being of our environment and community,” said Elizabeth Dunne of Save Our Sequoia.

“We thought what better way to honor MLK than to seek inspiration from his wisdom through the voices of diverse community members creating positive social and environmental change. We must come together to speak for what is just and never lose hope that together we can make a difference.”

City officials have said the non-native sequoia had to be removed because its co-dominate main stems posed a safety hazard and because its shallow roots were damaging nearby property.

Save Our Sequioa members vigorously disputed the city’s claims.

Schromen-Wawrin made a motion to delay removal of the sequoia in a City Council meeting Dec. 18 after Dunne obtained an arborist’s report that said the tree could be made safe by an inexpensive dynamic cabling system.

The motion died for a lack of a second.

John Bornsworth, Peninsula Urban Forestry president, complied two years worth of information on the events that led to the removal of the Lions Park sequoia in a blog on the Peninsula Urban Forestry website.

The Jan. 8 post, entitled “An Expert’s Findings and Review of Poor City Planning,” can be found at

The city posted information about the sequoia in a Dec. 5 news release. Go to


Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected].

More in News

Seattle hospital to refuse some patients due to capacity

Harborview Medical Center in Seattle will temporarily… Continue reading

PHOTO BY: Susan Doupé
CAPTION: Priya Jayadev is the new executive director for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.
New executive director for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County

Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County has hired Supriya “Priya” Jayadev as its… Continue reading

Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News
The Port Townsend City Council seeks to sell the Cherry Street property that had been barged over from Canada  five years ago to become affordable housing.
Port Townsend aims to sell Cherry Street housing project

Stalled for years, affordable housing project all but adandoned

Layla Franson, 15, and Jackson, her 10-year-old Quarter Horse, are competing in 4H at the Jefferson County Fair this weekend. Like many counties across the state, Jefferson County has seen a decline in the numbers of youths enrolled in 4H after the COVID lockdown and is actively seeking to reboot its program. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Jefferson County Fair back after two-year hiatus

4H looks for bounceback after restrictions eased

Housing, opioids topics at county meetings

Meetings across Clallam, Jeffersom counties

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Fair Queen Allison Pettit, front, and Queen's Court Sophia Lawson, shown on Aug. 6 on their parade float in the Joyce Daze Wild Blackberry Festival, will preside over the Clallam County Fair starting on Thursday in Port Angeles.
Clallam County Fair back in 2022

Four days of grandstand events, music, food and fun start Thursday

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Scaffolding covers a section of the sidewalk in the 100 block of West First Street to support workers as they upgrade the the facade on Lee Plaza.
Affordable housing units get upgrades

Scaffolding in downtown Port Angeles evidence of one of several PHA projects

Lower Dungeness: Towne Road and Levee Trail closed

Towne Road and the adjacent Dungeness Levee Trail are currently… Continue reading

Most Read