Letters to the editor — Sept. 18, 2019

Clinic will be a positive addition

My wife and I first visited Sequim in 1974. We returned to retire here 44 years later. Our former love of Sequim has been borne out and we were pleased that we made the right decision.

One of the nice surprises that I found in Sequim is the first class medical services that are available at the Jamestown Family Health Clinic. Well-trained staff and specialists have met my medical needs right here where I live, in pleasant and accessible surroundings.

I have learned that the Jamestown Family Health Clinic exists in Sequim mostly because it has had steady support from the local Native American tribe.

The Jamestown tribe has recently announced plans for expanding their medical services with a new medication-assisted treatment (MAT) clinic that will target the growing opioid crisis here. In America, the “War On Drugs” has addressed the opioid problem by criminalizing pain drugs, but this effort has failed just as prohibition of alcohol failed in the 1920s. What has remarkably succeeded, though, is MAT clinics that treat addiction professionally.

Sequim will be able to take pride in its new MAT clinic, which will enhance the quality of life for those who need it.

It is surprising to me that some misinformed Sequim residents are choosing to oppose the new MAT clinic, but I am confident their opposition will fade when they understand the facts.

Renwick Garypie


Put drug treatment clinic in Blyn

I have to congratulate the Jamestown S’Kallam tribe on their ingenuity. They have, in all their wisdom, and over time, provided Clallam County with one-stop shopping. They promote gambling at their casino, sell cigarettes and alcohol at their longhouse and soon will be providing marijuana at their new store in Blyn.

Now everyone knows that some people can become addicted to gambling, cigarettes and alcohol and that marijuana is still considered a gateway drug. Using alcohol and cigarettes are guaranteed to kill you sooner than later.

But we shouldn’t worry about those health issues because the tribe is getting grants of millions of dollars from the government so they can build a for-profit drug interdiction center in the heart of Sequim.

For all the good the tribe has for the environment and other things in our community I have overlooked the gambling, alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana store that you provide and profit from. But the MAT clinic is over the top.

Put it on your own property in Blyn where it belongs. Shame on you for putting it in Sequim.

And as far as the Sequim City Council is concerned, you had better start listening to your constituents or you will lose your job. One can debate if this was done in secrecy or not but at the least it was not forthcoming of you.

Stan Riddle


An imbalance in economic opportunity

Indigenous native tribes, 29 in Washington state, have prospered greatly as self-governing nations. Gaming businesses have been the largest contributor to their economic development and financial success.

We now see in our communities an expansion of tribal interests into other businesses which may inadvertently change the culture and character of the cities they populate.

In Sequim, the presence of our local tribe is noticeably welcomed, representing a rich native history while providing strength in economic opportunities not otherwise accessible to us through generous grants and tax advantages.

This economic advantage, unfortunately, can be exerted at the expense of local government autonomy and independence.

This degree of tribal influence might be immeasurable as it takes many pathways throughout our small community.

A path that causes concern to me, and perhaps others, is a perceived opaque relationship which seems to have been forged between our local government and the native business unit.

Without commenting on further details, I close by saying this: I sincerely hope the totem pole at the city plaza doesn’t symbolize more than a cultural tale around the city’s origin!

Gary Miller


Children need to be cared for

I grew up on a farm in Michigan, the second of 10 children. My parents were hard workers and taught us the same. My father worked in a factory and after the youngest child started school; mom got a job as a bus driver for the school system.

We had good neighbors and everyone pitched in at harvest time. We learned caring and respect for others.

I’m not sure President Donald Trump learned any of those things. He had lots of money obviously, but where was the love and caring? Otherwise, how could he possibly take children away from their parents? Just think of that … your family walking that journey.

People don’t risk their children’s lives to cross the desert just for an adventure. They do it to protect their lives from poverty, murderous gangs and a corrupt government. You would do it – I would do it.

And in our America we would accept these children to be taken in, given adequate health care, safe schools and stabilized homes with their parents and given an opportunity to bring their strong work ethic and love of family values to beautify America.

Kathy Withey


Tariff tutorial

Many in our community don’t understand how tariffs work; in fact, they have it backward. When China sends goods to the U.S. they are received via customs and put on hold until the tariff is paid. The “receiving distributor,” or importer, is responsible for paying the designated tariff to the U.S. Treasury. China does not pay the U.S. Treasury the tariff.

The distributor, or importer, having paid the tariff, will increase their price on the goods before passing on to the merchant.

The merchant then sells the goods to the consumer at a price equal to the original cost from China plus the imposed tariff. Tariffs are essentially an imposed sales tax on the consumer.

Stan Tomich


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