Letters to the editor — Feb. 12, 2020

Reconsider location for MAT facility

When I first moved to Sequim in 2004 I was immediately impressed with the forward thinking city government and the civic minded tribe of Native Americans. The city built a dog park and the tribe built a medical center and Longhouse.

Today I am so disappointed in both entities that I am becoming disenchanted with our community. My main concern is the lack of transparency and lack public input about the proposed medicine-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic. I have read all of the newspaper articles and have listened to the Save Our Sequim (SOS) people and I am convinced that both the tribe and the city severely underestimated the need for public hearings before any decisions were made.

The tribe should have done a survey before they bought the land behind Costco and the city should have polled the community before accepting any application. My main objection to the MAT clinic at this point, is the location in the heart of our city.

I know that the tribe has plenty of property all over Clallam County and that there must be a less controversial location. I am concerned that once the MAT clinic is built at that location, it will be very difficult to mitigate the urban type problems associated with other similar facilities.

It is my hope that even now, this late in the process, both the tribe and the city will reconsider the location of the proposed MAT clinic.

David C. Neidhardt, Jr.


City decision not up to code

According to Sequim Municipal Code 18.56.030 permitted uses: “group homes, alcoholism or drug treatment centers, detoxification centers … ” are to be zoned C-2. The City of Sequim should have qualified the medicine-assisted treatment (MAT) center as an essential public facility according to its Growth Management Act, meaning the project should have gone through a robust and rigorous public process per SMC 18.56-060.

We believe city staff knew that this center would cause concern for the citizens of Sequim because of its location so they ensured it was zoned A-2. Nor did any of the entities involved inform the public until the last May, when they could have made it public years earlier.

I blame the City of Sequim for letting this happen. You can point all the fingers you want somewhere else and say the city legally had to do it this way, but we disagree.

We think at some point someone on city staff should have said, “This location is going to cause a problem with the citizens of Sequim” and no one had the integrity or foresight to agree and do all they could to convince the parties involved that the City of Sequim was not satisfied with the location.

So now the pubic is in an uproar and everyone is writing letters to everyone and attending meetings and this whole thing could have been avoided if city staff had a put the people of Sequim first in their planning.

Chris and Greg Miner


Undisclosed MAT efforts created distrust

I’ve been asked often, “Why do you bother to vote when our representatives in Sequim, Olympia or Washington, D.C., frequently do not represent their constituents wishes? They’re too busy looking out for themselves!”

Case in point: the medicine-assisted treatment (MAT) fiasco. This project was actively pursued long before it became public knowledge. Citizens should be allowed to vote on a project of this size which will severely impact our lifestyle! The Sequim City Council’s undisclosed negotiations with the tribe have bitterly divided our community! In part because it was done “behind our backs” and very little information about treatment, success rate, etc., was shared until this public outcry.

If it hadn’t been for Save Our Sequim (SOS) the majority of our citizens would still be in the dark about how a project of this magnitude will affect our small town.

Helga Mcghee


MAT concerns spur questions

I’m 83 years old and grew up in Sequim. I’d like to see a lot of meetings with the tribe and city officials and the Save Our Sequim (SOS) volunteers.

I would like to have a lot of questions answered. Why did we get in this situation with a lot of us not knowing what was being passed?

My personal concern is that it sounds very expensive to fund this kind of facility. I’d like to know who will pay for it. The taxpayers in the whole country?

There are other questions I would like answered. Did we get the wonderful Dungeness Bridge because the tribe cannot be sued? The tribe’s medical facility in Sequim which I go to. Can this facility be sued?

I wrote to (Brent) Simcosky, representative for the tribe. I asked them to help our city not have to go through all the legal costs involved in this. None of us want to pay attorneys or bankrupt the city.

Another subject: About 10 years ago I donated a lot of money to the trails coalition in hopes of a public trail along Jimmycomelately Creek that would go by a very beautiful tree where my parents ashes are buried. I explained that with the tribe’s road construction for their hotel, they have cut off access to our sacred property.

Instead of money being spent on attorneys, I’d love to see the trail along the creek built.

Mary Bland


‘Lies, indifference threaten us all’

Two seemingly disparate headlines in the past two days drew my attention:

1. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House on Feb. 7 and told to leave his position at the National Security Council (NSC), a retribution for testifying in the impeachment hearings of Donald J. Trump.

2. “Chinese Doctor, Silenced After Warning of Outbreak, Dies From Coronavirus.” Dr. Li Wenliang issued a warning about a strange new virus. Then the authorities summoned him for questioning.

Those who speak truth to power are a glimmer of light in a sea of darkness … and like this coronavirus “a lie can travel around the globe while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

The battle for truth in the face of lies, deception and cover-up is weakened by our indifference, our lack of courage and self-sacrifice, and our naive belief things will get better if we just look away until the evil disappears. Fortunately for us there are some who risk all!

We also have a lethal virus in the Oval Office, POTUS45. Besides Hitler, world history is replete with dictators who have wreaked carnage on its people … and now we have American Carnage at the hands of a corrupt president, his followers and a sycophantic GOP.

Who will be next to shine a light in this darkness? The pandemic of lies and indifference threaten us all.

Roger Briggs


Seeking the truth

Recently there was a pro-Trump rally and a week later, an anti-Trump rally in downtown Sequim. One side says Trump lies. The other side says the mainstream media is lying. On any given night, you can find stories in “news” media that are diametrically opposite. Which one is truth? Clearly, they can’t both be truthful.

As a child, we were warned Russian propaganda from their “news” agencies. How do we know that our media isn’t doing the same to us? An interesting Swiss site shows an organizational chart that shows powerful interests influencing our media: swprs.org/the-american-empire-and-its-media. Where do our news sources get their news? Do they all have reporters all over the world, or do they buy their news from one or two sources, like AP and Reuters? Why the differences in reporting? Another interesting (but long) read from the same organization is even more revealing: swprs.org/the-propaganda-multiplier.

So, how do you find the truth? It’s not easy. Use the debunk sites. While TruthOrFiction.com remains (so far) truthful, most of the others have become partisan and are no longer trustworthy. See what Trump tweets, then eliminate those that misreport it. After a year or so you pretty much learn who is lying and who is truthful.

So, is Trump a horrible man, a liar, racist, misogynist, and about to start WW III? Or is he the savior of the middle class and restoring the strength of our country? How do you know? How DO you know?

Bobbie Piety