Letters to the Editor — Jan. 22, 2020

My Sequim: Imperfect but lovable

Last week there was a letter from Mr. Gary Miller listing the downhill spiral of our city (“Time remains to ‘Save Our Sequim’,” Letters to the editor, Sequim Gazette, Jan. 15, page A-10). I’m not sure where this man lives but not my Sequim. I have lived here over 35 years and Sequim has gotten more charming with age — not perfect, but not Pottersville, either.

He says beggars are on every major intersection. But I say not on Sequim Avenue/Washington Street, not on Fifth nor Seventh. Where, by the U.S. Highway 101 exit to Walmart, not everywhere?

Local eateries have closed? Restaurant come and go because it is a tough business but not closing to being replaced by classless eateries. In the last two years, a new bakery on Bell Street and three very popular restaurants opened on Second Avenue and Washington Street. The Oak Table Café is still going strong and a major renovation was just completed at the Sunshine Café.

Volunteers no longer come to garden and help with chores? At Christmas time, volunteers set up our Christmas tree and lit the entire downtown. Volunteers organized the wonderful tractor parade. If you worked on these events you would know how wonderful our volunteers are.

Your Sequim and my Sequim are not the same. My Sequim is not perfect but full of volunteer groups trying to help the City do better, maintain the parks, and help the less fortunate. That is the Sequim I know and love, not the Sequim you describe.

I suggest instead or being negative about our town, do something to help make Sequim better for all who live here!

Patricia McCauley

Sequim

Drug rehab clinic about the dollars

Well, the Jamestown Tribe has finally filed their application to build their drug clinic. And, the Sequim City Council is “expected” to decide on two possible methods for conditions for approval of the drug center. One method: through public process – which seems reasonable due to the Sequim citizen’s outcry – or a second method, where the Sequim City Council determines the conditions for approval.

Another session of “community comments” would be a farce. The Sequim council “knows” how the people of Sequim feel about the rebab center after the last community comment sessions.

The Jamestown tribe has also intimated how this center is no money-making project for them; however, they will be claiming (from the State of Washington or Medicaid, I expect) $455 per person “each day” who are treated six days a week.

Also, the tribe still hasn’t explained “exactly” how they will control the many addicts they treat daily. Will the addicts be bussed back to their origin, or released into our community or held in a room? And where do they go after being treated – on the seventh day?

If our city council has any moxie, and care for our community’s safety, it will bring its decision to construct this rehab clinic to the vote of the people of Sequim — or tell the tribe to put the clinic on their reservation!

Yep … it’s all about “money,” folks.

Travis Williams

Sequim

Suboxone, another opioid problem

Suboxone treatment for drug addicts will increase in Sequim after the “Healing Campus” is operational. Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) centers dispense a drug to patients to assist them in curing their addiction to opioids. Suboxone or methadone are the two drugs chosen for this. Suboxone is the safer of the two but can be extremely dangerous to quit (www.marylandaddiction recovery.com).

A large study with 600 patients found that after the end of the treatment with Suboxone; less than 10 percent of the patients remained drug free! (www.nih.gov)

Patients who continue to use Suboxone find it to be both addictive and dangerous (www.marylandaddictionrecovery.com).

How former patients will find the money to buy more Suboxone on the “street” is unclear, especially if they are not employed or are homeless. Sequim must be prepared to receive the large influx of drug addicted patients who fail their out-patient treatment!

Of interest is that the “RB Group” that manufactures Suboxone agreed to pay $1.4 billion to end criminal and civil investigations into their illegal marketing (abcnews.go.com).

MAT facilities have much revenue to gain from the charges they can levy against Washington state and Medicare but will there be a possibility of lawsuits being filed against participating doctors who knew beforehand how ineffective the treatment would be? (www.avvo.com)

The taxpayers of Jefferson and Clallam counties need to let their elected officials know if they want their tax dollars spent in this inefficient manner to treat this horrific epidemic sweeping across America.

John Mackay

Sequim

Rethink our approach to drug issues

I just saw a TED Talk by Johann Hari (youtu.be/PY9DcIMGxMs) that makes a compelling case for a radical change in how we approach the drug problem.

It should be abundantly clear to all that what we have been doing for many decades is not working.

What I learned from this talk suggests that treating drug users as criminals, outcasts and undesirables benefits no one except the dealers.

Addiction is a symptom of a social problem. It is not a reason for isolating and stigmatizing people, but is rather a consequence of social isolation and loneliness. Addicts find it very difficult to shed their drug dependency if their only friends are dealers and other addicts.

Portugal has made great strides in reducing their drug problem since decriminalizing all drug use and diverting the cost of enforcement into helping addicts to get jobs and reenter society.

I encourage all to watch this 15-minute talk, learn more about addiction, and ask ourselves if we, as a society, can’t do better.

Ted Lund

Sequim

Clinic will be a benefit to community

I stand united with thousands of local residents in support of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe outpatient medicine-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic. I applaud the tribe for addressing the peninsula’s opioid epidemic — which is here, now, real and already impacts all of us in ways large and small.

I congratulate the tribe for their research, forethought and commitment to recognize we have a problem and making efforts to improve the lives of Jefferson and Clallam County residents through evidence-based, competent and compassionate medical care.

I’m looking forward to this outpatient medical clinic being built, possess no fears about safety for myself or my family, am confident my property values will continue to rise, eagerly anticipate the decrease of burden on our law enforcement, healthcare providers and hospital, and am excited for hundreds of people affected by addiction to get stellar treatment close to home.

One day our community will be viewed as a role model for others with this clinic offering medication-assisted treatment with wraparound services including medical care, child watch, dental care, behavioral health, social work services, accountability and support groups and education. I long for our community to recognize the value of a person in recovery as they work to change their life and legacy.

It is my hope and prayer that when this clinic is positively impacting our entire community, all of us who’ve been activists will redirect our passion to other community causes in service to the poor, needy, homeless, hungry, youth and elderly in our county.

Ann Marie Henninger

Sequim

Ed. note: Henninger is an Olympic Medical Center hospital commissioner.

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