Letters to the editor — April 22, 2020

Consider alternative to roundabout

In the April 15 edition of the Sequim Gazette, the letter to the editor concerning a proposed roundabout (page A-12) at the intersection of Sequim Dungeness Way and Woodcock Road prompts me to agree with the letter writer.

I live in Dungeness Heights and travel through that intersection daily. I believe the best and simplest solution to making that intersection safer is to install two more stop signs to make it a four way stop like the one at Woodcock and Cays.

My guess is that two stop signs would be far less expensive than a roundabout.

Construction of a roundabout would have a significant impact on local traffic. I see no detour route so one could expect flaggers and alternating one-way traffic.

Installing stop signs, one on the Northwest corner and one on the Southeast corner of Sequim Dungeness Way, could be done in a day or two at the most, with little or no impact on local traffic.

The cost of two stop signs compared to the cost of a roundabout leads me to wonder what the county might do with the money left over from the $490,000 federal grant.

Mark Schildknecht


Examine addiction recovery statistics

A letter in the Sequim Gazette on April 15 (“MAT effectiveness backed by research,” page A-13) details how The National Academies Press, the FDA, the World Health Organization, the Surgeon General and others support the medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic for opioid addiction. Their endorsements are based on scientific evidence that resulted in effective treatment.

As always in the praise of MAT treatment, no data is given on how effective the treatment really is one year after treatment has been completed!

No data is given on how many patients even finished the treatment or the number of patients involved in any of the studies in this collection of “overwhelming scientific evidence.”

A study by the National Institutes of Health 1 involved 600 patients, not a small sample size! They were divided into two groups. They all received the same treatment with Suboxone but half also received “intensive addiction counseling”. Only 49 percent had reduced opioid abuse after 12 weeks, and the cure rate dropped to 8.6 percent after Suboxone was discontinued. Only 8.6 percent remained opioid-free after treatment! (www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/painkiller-abuse-treated-sustained- buprenorphine-naloxone)

The MAT treatment involves untold millions of tax dollars to treat opioid addiction and the end result is less than 8.6 percent of the patients are cured! Other literature points out that these low numbers drop further with time as some former patients return to their opioid habit.

Are we willing to accept such an ineffective treatment process with its tremendously high costs for treatment and all the social problems MAT facilities have brought to the communities where they have been located in all 50 states these last ten years?

John Mackay


Firearms pose real secondary threat

Firearm dealers are not included in the Governor’s list of essential businesses permitted to stay open while the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is in effect. Yet at least one gun store in our area remains open, perhaps in the hope of profiting from panic-buying of guns and/or ammunition (coronavirus .wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business).

The risks associated with guns in the home may actually be increased by the steps necessary to fight the pandemic. Research shows that having a gun in the home increases the chance for accidental injury, homicide and suicide, all of which have been shown to outweigh the potential protective benefits of firearms (www.thetrace.org/2020/04/gun-safety-research- coronavirus-gun-sales).

The stress of being confined together for an extended period increases the risk of domestic violence. Social distancing may exacerbate feelings of isolation and helplessness — risk factors for suicide.

With schools closed, millions of children are confined at home, and the risk of unintentional shootings grows.

Social distancing makes it more difficult for individuals to access needed mental health care as providers adapt to reduced hours or closures.

Job loss can mean loss of health insurance and therefore coverage for mental health services.

Amidst the stress and uncertainty of this unprecedented period, the last thing we need is more guns.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, guns are not the answer. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Healthy Families of Clallam County’s domestic violence program can be contacted at 360-452-4357. And Peninsula Behavioral Health can be reached at 888-910-0415.

Paula Barnes


Let’s put ‘mass insanity’ behind us

In response to “Let’s stay on the same page” (Letters to the Editor, Sequim Gazette, April 15):

First the writer ignores my factual statement that never before has the country been shut down because of a contagious disease. I also quoted actual historical numbers, not some prognostications from computer models, all of which have been proven wrong to date.

I note that the writer bases all of his assumptions on those computer models. How else does he know that “up to 25 percent of covid cases are asymptomatic”? There is no actual proof of that. I’m asymptomatic so I guess I must be sick.

The citizens of our country have been placed in a state of “durance vile” in wholesale violation of the Sixth Amendment to our Constitution. We are not a people that may have our rights stripped from us by government fiat, and I maintain that’s exactly what has been happening.

Lastly I am on that “same page” with every other American I have been permitted to have contact with. We are tired of being caged up like rats and we want out … now. It’s way past time to put this episode of mass insanity behind us. As I have stated before, I have yet to meet an American who is willing to give up living for fear of dying.

With reference to “Time to remain steadfast” (Letters to the Editor, Sequim Gazette, April 15):

If my understanding of the flu is correct it “causes pulmonary edema, pneumonia and death especially in elderly patients with preconditions.” So how is this so-called Covid-19 any different?

“Social distancing saves lives.” The American way of life is familial, and social distancing is not practiced there. For instance, my wife and I sleep in the same bed. Kids and pets jump on the bed and some Americans have grandma living with them. So much for “social distancing.” The concept of “social distancing saves lives” is just another prediction based upon computer modeling. Isn’t it about time we shut off the computers and returned to employing everyday commonsense?

Ethan Harris


Dems play game of ‘Then but Later’

Sometimes our Democrat leaders and/or their appointees forget their past positions, leaving them vulnerable to a game of “Then but Later,” outlined as follows:

Then: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that there was no reason to stay away from Chinatown due to coronavirus concerns, assuring us that “everything is fine here,” but later claimed that President Trump’s response to the virus was “deadly” and we must “take every precaution.”

Then: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said “there’s very little threat here … (it) acts like a common cold or flu. And transmission is not that easy.” But later, de Blasio lamented a death toll of “100,200 people per day … ” and “There’s no question the coronavirus is driving it.”

Then: Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot tweeted “no reason to change (Lunar New Year) holiday plans because of the coronavirus,” yet later suggests that we “stay away from crowds” and “try to change your hours of commute or work from home.”

Then, Councilman Mark Levine urged constituents to attend the Lunar Parade, saying “if you’re are staying away, you are missing out,” but later called for “temporary interments” for coronavirus victims due to morgues exceeding capacity.

Then, immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci assured us that Coronavirus “was not a major threat,” but later said U.S. “could have saved lives” had we acted more precipitously.

Then but later is such a fun game! And I look forward to playing it in November when “then” was when the Democrats held the house and “later” was when they didn’t …

Dick Pilling

Port Angeles