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Guest Reporter Sue Runyan: Opinion
I am a New Activist of sorts. I worked. I retired. I expected to read books and walk and grow old. But there is still work to be done. I love my Country, warts and all.
Bullies of the U.S.
Sequim residents are in an uproar. They were told, in 2019 that Sequim was getting a new 34,000 square foot Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) facility. This facility is to treat an artificially created need based on old opioid data. Like being slapped by a wet towel, residents were told it’s a done deal, shut-up and go home! “But wait!”, you say, “Sequim already has the nearly new 35,000 square foot Jamestown Family Clinic, which has MAT services available. Why do we need a new facility next to COSTCO, homes, church’s and schools?” Why does Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe (JST) need two clinics, two miles apart, to treat opioid addiction?
SaveOurSequim.org , Jodi Wilke as Chair, to communicate with the elected Sequim City Council, Clallam County District 1 Commissioner, Mark Ozias and State Senator Kevin Van de Wege, Sequim, State Representatives Mike Chapman, Port Angeles and Steve Tharinger, Port Townsend and even Governor Jay Inslee.
SOS leadership and members of the facebook community were stunned at the response of our elected representatives.
Faced with resistance from the community, suddenly, Grandmothers with white hair are racists and domestic terrorists! See the photos below. BLM wants to kill cops, but Grandmas selling pies are terrorists?
The 2016 outdated opioid death numbers were the basis of the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Capital Budget Request of March 2019 for Phase 1 of this MAT facility project.
Was old data used to artificially distort a need, even though the 2016 SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) map denotes NO NEED? Why didn’t our
local legislative officials and Governor Inslee not ask for more current data?
Out of 26,856 people, 213 are JSK Tribal members in their service area.
What does BLM have to do with this?
These Indivisibles(see note below) are the people who are bullying at every “peaceful” protest, like the Black Lives Matter protests in every county in Washington State.
The political leaning of JSK (Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s) is to support Black Lives Matter. The photo above of “Kill COPS NOW” was taken beside the JSK tribal art at the intersection of Sequim-Dungeness and Washington St. in Sequim, WA.
Later, in an announcement in the JSK July 2020 Newsletter, it was discovered that the Tribe stands with Black Lives Matter. Collaboration with this political fringe by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is disheartening. Why choose anarchists and fringe hate groups as allies?
What has been said about people who favor the SaveOurSequim.org (SOS)?
The opposition call us racists. In an SOS Facebook post on September 24, 2019, it was noted that one of the City Council members stated that SOS does the Nazi salute before beginning a meeting. This was a false accusation at best and bullying at the least. There was o sanction of the City Council member. SOS members have been accused of “stigmatizing” people with addiction. The SOS members I have met speak with compassion about people who have addiction problems. It is sad that those of us who oppose the MAT facility are stereotyped so negatively.
District 1 Commissioner Comments
Mark Ozias, District 1 commissioner, was elected to address the needs and wants of his District, not just the wants of tribal interest.
In his mid- year, 2019, seven page Open Letter, he states that SOS uses tactics and strategies of division and that SOS will destroy what makes us special. Therefore, he makes a decision and if you disagree with him, YOU are being divisive! His inability to understand and uphold our First Amendment rights and be tolerant of other views is an indication that he is at least intolerant of differing viewpoints and is not working to the spirit of his open letter.
Ozias goes on to say that SOS uses provocative and false information. You have seen within this article the false basis on which the Capital Budget Request was determined.
SOS meeting with State officials
Ozias encouraged SOS to invite elected officials to come and listen. SOS did. After 6 months, in January 2020, Sen. Kevin Van de Wege, Rep. Mike Chapman and Rep. Steve Tharinger, our elected state officials, finally met with the public in Sequim. SOS was given exactly one hour for the presentation.
After that meeting, Rep. Mike Chapman, according to the Peninsula Daily News, stated that it was their job to vote on the funding and not to get involved with local issues. This response implies there is no connection between government cash and local issues.
The following week, The Tribe filed for a building permit. Timing coincidence? You decide.
Follow the Money
The tribes business revenue was $19 + million, with the total revenue of $53 + million, according to the 2019 Tribal Report on JamestownTribe.org. Some of the revenue is derived from their casino, pot shop, food mart, and gasoline. Casinos, by the very nature of the business, enable addictions. Their food mart has a splendid collection of alcohol.
Does it make any sense to have the owners of a casino and a liquor store treat addictions? Adding to their revenue this year will be their new 100 room hotel which opened a couple of months ago, while our Sequim Holiday Inn Express considers Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
$$ for The funding is from donations through their website, or mailed to their address and Fund Raisers like the ones seen in the photos of the pie and gift sale and at a “shred event”.
Conclusion writer opinion:
Part and parcel of the United States culture is our protection of the elderly, government transparency, and accountability to our citizens and residents, civility and tolerance to our neighbors and to those who don’t agree with us, putting the needs of the entire community ahead of a small group of people. It is who we are.
The men and women of SOS continue, with their love and constancy, to serve and protect the safe culture of Sequim. Condemning SOS is wrong! Branding them with lies, and denigrating individual SOS members, defines the real character of those shallow enough to belong to radical hate groups like Indivisible, ANTIFA and BLM. Betraying the 2,000 + SOS members, as well as the unvoiced Sequim residents, by elected officials is unforgivable.
Many residents of Sequim feel betrayed. There is a strong sense of betrayal lingering in Sequim. It follows on the heels of elected officials, working hand-in-glove with Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, rather than their entire constituency. Did the elected politicians, in fact, betray their oath to the U.S.?
Perhaps this abuse is no more than the old and disappointing story of campaign finances. Quid-per-Quo, right?
- Runyan 10-2020, email@example.com
*Indivisible – an organization started by President Obama staffers to disrupt and deny Donald Trump the presidency.