Letters the to Editor — Oct. 9, 2019

Thank you for hospice, event support

A sincere thank you to all the local businesses and individuals who made the 2019 Reach and Row for Hospice event successful.

This was the 27th year for this Sequim Bay Yacht Club-sponsored event that raises funds for the respite care program for Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County (VHOCC).

As of this week, donations for this year’s event have exceeded $20,000, which brings the overall total to more than $380,000 since the first race.

If you would like to make a contribution, they can be mailed to: VHOCC, 829 E. 8th St, Port Angeles WA 98362, with “Reach and Row” in the memo line.

A special thank you to: all participants and supporters for the rowing and sailing competition; local businesses who generously donated “experiences” for the raffle, and the many community members who opened their hearts and wallets. It was a pleasure to make a difference for those who need our help.

Susan Sorensen

Publicity for 2019 Reach

and Row for Hospice


Vote for Stoffer

I have known Jim Stoffer for the last four years since he has served on our school board. During that time Jim has impressed me by his active involvement within our school district and the community.

I’m amazed that he can somehow find time to attend the numerous school and community activities. His appearance is never intrusive, rather it makes him accessible to the community, where he can keep abreast of the concerns and/or the praise about our school district.

While I have not always agreed with Jim on every school issue, I have always found him to be a respectful listener. He is one who will gather as much information as he can about a topic before making a decision. He also keeps himself informed of the laws regarding what the school board’s leadership role is by being an active member of the Washington State School Directors Association (WSSDA).

As a past school board member I found the training that WSSDA provides is very important to board members.

Jim has proven to be an enthusiastic, dedicated Sequim School board member who feels passionate about the education of all our students, and that is why I hope you will join me in voting for retaining Jim Stoffer to the Sequim School Board.

Elna Kawal


Stoffer for another term

Jim Stoffer deserves a second term as a Sequim School Board Director to continue the good work he has started and is very invested in.

There is a steep learning curve involved in one becoming an effective school board director. There is a lot to learn about the role of the school board director, how the district functions, the framework of the budget, the process for curriculum adoption, determining how/when/how much to ask from our community for support for facilities and programs and how to be an advocate for ALL students.

Numerous trainings are offered to help orient and train school board directors in their roles. Many of these trainings and/or meetings involve evening and/or weekend travel, which sometimes comes as a surprise to new board members.

Since Jim Stoffer was elected as a school board director four years ago, he tirelessly attends countless meetings, trainings, functions and community volunteering, especially whenever it involves kids or families.

He represents our district, both in our community, while attending numerous school events, and at the state level, where he serves as a mentor to new board members and our Student Board Representatives, and sitting on various state committees.

Director Stoffer’s experience, expertise and proven dedication to the students and families of Sequim School District, as well as his willingness to put in the time needed, will help our district to continue moving forward in a positive direction.

Please re-elect Jim Stoffer for Sequim School Board Director from District No. 3.

Marilyn Walsh


Re-elect Jim Stoffer

When we think of Jim Stoffer, we think of the word “service.”

Service to our country: Jim served 31 years active duty in the U.S. Coast Guard.

Service to our community: Jim has volunteered countless hours supporting Sequim’s activities. He has been involved with the Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce, Boys & Girls Club, Irrigation Festival, Sequim Food Bank and was past President of Citizens for Sequim Schools, to name a few.

Service to our schools: Jim has been a Sequim School Board member since 2015, and has served as legislative representative and been a member of the State School Directors Association Legislative Committee. This experience has given him a broad knowledge of the intricacies of what it takes to ensure a quality education for our future citizens. His ability to work for our schools all the way from the state legislature to local administrators, teachers and students makes his years of experience so valuable to us.

We urge voters to support and re-elect Jim Stoffer so he can continue his service on the Sequim School Board.

Lee and Marsha Chatfield


MAT sparks ‘What if’ questions

So, what if the people who oppose putting a regional MAT clinic in Sequim are only half right about homelessness and crime? Or even a quarter, right?

We understand that the intention for the new program is to serve up to 200 opioid addicts in the first stage, and later expand to possibly 400. Interesting, in that the existing treatment programs have many available openings. Where will the addicted patients come from? Elsewhere, it seems!

Will they go back home after each of their daily treatments? Probably not! Do we have enough subsidized housing to accommodate them — I do not think so! Everyone deserves to have “three squares (meals) and a cot.” Maybe the patients will be given daily round-trip bus tickets to Port Angeles or Port Townsend to find lodging and pocket-money.

Will our we have enough officers to help our new residents find places to put up tarps and roll-out their sleeping bags? Or, might our police have a need to tend to increased residence, auto and garage break-in calls? Will the beggar on the River Road off-ramp have to share his space?

I hope that our EMT resources are not too busy handling our new population segment, that us old folks wait longer!

The Sequim City Council and manger abdicated their responsibility when they failed to require a full project impact study. Social metrics can have a far greater impact on a community than do environmental impacts and zoning designations.

Think about it folks!

R. Paul Gookins


Addressing our opioid crisis

A document about the opioid crisis (available at http://bit.ly/AddressingOurOpioidCrisis) was created by a few caring and concerned individuals for the purpose of providing our community with useful information about our opioid crisis, opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment and facts regarding the Jamestown Healing Campus.

After many hours of research and discussions, our conclusion is that the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, through their Healing Campus, will be providing valuable and needed services to those suffering from opioid use disorder.

Furthermore, we support the Jamestown Healing Campus and have confidence that the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe will manage the operation in a professional and competent manner, as they have done at the Jamestown Clinic — where they’ve successfully treated more than 100 patients with OUD in the past few years.

Additionally, we have identified several key challenges that we think are important to address in the coming months and years. Understanding and overcoming these challenges is essential to building a healthier community. It’s time to move forward in a positive fashion.

Together, we can help those who are in need and suffering, and by doing so, we help ourselves and our future generations.

Lastly, we sincerely thank the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and applaud their leadership in this battle against our national and local opioid crisis and for their on-going contributions to the health and well-being of the people in our community.

See www.facebook.com/SequimHealingEquality.

Terry Yoshii


MAT is too risky

Questions we need answered concerning a medication-assisted treatment (MAT) center: Is it worth the risk Sequim may experience a significant rise in crime, experience an explosion of homeless roaming the town, property values decrease significantly, law enforcement be overburdened, and degenerate to end up like a mini version of Seattle or San Francisco?

This is a crazy risk, one I’m not willing to take.

From what we learned from earlier letter writers, the patient success rate with suboxone is low and issues experienced by other cities with MAT centers has been worse than expected.

It appears the tribe is about the only beneficiaries in this deal. They will get 70 percent of the money needed in phase 1 to build MAT as a freebie grant from state taxpayers — you and me.

Some writers do not support boycotts. I strongly disagree. Why would I want my dollars going to support a group — the tribe, in this case — responsible for something that could have a negative impact on my life? Why use their casino, longhouse, golf course, restaurant? I don’t have to, and I won’t. Maybe if they feel it in the pocketbook they will have a more open attitude, instead of Chairman Ron Allen’s attitude expressed at the public meeting in which he basically said, you’re getting this whether you like it or no.

Let’s put it to a vote to see if residents want to take on this high-risk proposition that may have a major impact on our lives.

Greg Carroll


The difference is clear

Have you noticed that there’s a heck of a lot of discussion – argument even – about the difference between Republicans and Democrats? Fact is, it gets pretty heated at times.

Seems that Republicans think Democrats are just plain wrong on many issues … that Democrats propose unworkable solutions for non-existent problems and then complain there isn’t enough money allocated to develop required remedies. As if there ever could be Democrats, conversely, contend that Republicans refuse to consider these ill-advised “solutions” because Republicans are uncaring, greedy and evil. But really, it’s more complex than simply “wrong” versus “evil.”

Truth is, most Republicans believe that by completing one’s education, working hard, avoiding the self-inflicted hardships of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, and other personal pitfalls, it’s possible to be successful in life with virtually no help from the government. I guess this could be described as a modification of John Smith’s credo of “He who works, eats.”

On the other hand, it seems that many Democrats believe that no matter how hard one tries, the deck is just stacked against them and they simply can’t make it through life without continual government assistance. This philosophy is reflected in the collectivist viewpoint outlined in the book “It takes a village” by Hillary Clinton.

So, it’s not “wrong versus evil” but more a difference of philosophical viewpoint … do you favor a John Smith or prefer a Hillary Clinton?

I am unapologetically a Republican. And if you like John Smith, maybe you’re one too …

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles

Partnerships or parasitic relationships?

Noticeably of late, in the local news, the word “partnership” is being slung around like a sack of dollars.

Now, I happen to believe sound partnerships should be built around trust and equal footing. However, when one partner callously exploits the other, lawfully or not, it would seem to me better defined as a lopsided relationship. A shallow and meretricious one at that!

Utilizing Sequim as a parasitic host to profit from the drug addiction business is a pretty fair definition of exploitation no matter how you sugar coat it!

Naturally I guess, if one partner is profit motive driven and the other is placatingly accommodating we really can’t expect a different outcome.

Has the city of Sequim willingly and complacently forfeited some of its own independence and integrity, furtively coloring its relationship with the tribe as an endearing partnership?

Gary Miller


Consider MAT facilities stats

Everyone wants to see people with an addiction to opioids given an opportunity to break their addiction and return to a purposeful life. The recovery rate with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) has been stated as being 80 percent or 75 percent, in both instances by Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe employees.

If one takes the time to research the “recovery rate after suboxone treatment termination,” one will find that one year later, the patient recovery rate is less than 10 percent (see www.nih.gov/news-events/ news-releases/painkiller-abuse-treated-sustained-buprenorphine/naloxone; www.choosehelp.com/blogs/addiction-treatment/study-says-suboxone-works-well-for-prescription-opiate-abusers-2013-but-discontinuation-of-suboxone-use-causes-relapse-rates-to-skyrocket). Not 80 percent or 75 percent, but less than 10 percent! Read that again!*

Is it worth it to allow a MAT treatment facility in Sequim to proceed considering the expense to both the city and the homeowners when only 10 percent or less of the patients receive cure for their addiction? What becomes of the other 90 percent? How many of them are homeless? MAT treatment has been going on in 48 of the 50 states for almost 10 years and the end results are not good, as you can verify for yourself (www.ocregister.com/2017/12/17/are-drug-rehab-centers-fueling-homelessness-in-southern-california). Does this have to be repeated here too? Is this really what we want for Sequim?

John Mackay


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