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Letters to the Editor, Week of Aug. 24, 2022

Substance abuse, parking, oasis, politics, and animals


Enjoyed Scott Hewitt’s recent article “Hidden oases along Interstate 5” (CDN, Aug. 19, 2022). As a longtime former resident of South Sound, I heartedly agree with the author’s choices. While everything mentioned is worth a look, I’ve always thought Rainbow Falls and Millersylvania are particularly varied, interesting and worth the relatively short side trips required. If pressed for time, Nisqually, with direct access from I-5, is highly recommended, allowing a visitor to experience a vital and important estuary system that feels a world away from the freeway nearby.

Cris Matthews



Thank you so much for the shout-out in your recent What’s the Deal With … story (CDN, Aug. 3, 2022). York Community Farm is alive and thriving in our 10th growing season in the York Neighborhood. Please come visit and catch the latest news about our CSA program, biointensive regenerative farming, aquaponics and more.

Mary Loquvam



While I have heard many local Republican candidates espouse all manner of solutions on what they see as local issues, I have yet to hear any expound upon the sheer insanity of convoluted policy positions rattling out of the mouths of national and state Republican candidates. 

As long as Republicans continue to mouth brain-numbing logic, how can they seriously expect any but the equally deluded to accept them as anything but impediments to progress and change? Blind allegiance to the insane among them is not taking them anywhere but further along the path to irrelevance and derision. We voters need a sign that the lights are on and someone is home.

Michael Waite



Animals should not be injured or killed for entertainment and that is what rodeo is. It bears no resemblance to ranching. I grew up on a cattle ranch in North Dakota and spent eight years as a ranch veterinarian there. My ranch clients did not ride bulls, speed-rope calves or make their expensive horses buck. Rodeo is not an American “tradition.”    

As a former bareback bronc rider, pathologist and large-animal veterinarian, I have both the experience and autopsy proof that rodeo injures and kills animals. Dr. Robert Bay from Colorado autopsied roping calves and found hemorrhages, torn muscles, torn ligaments, damage to the trachea, damage to the throat and damage to the thyroid. These calves never get a chance to heal before they are used again. Meat inspectors processing rodeo animals found broken bones, ruptured internal organs, massive amounts of blood in the abdomen from ruptured blood vessels and damage to the ligamentum nuchae that holds the neck to the rest of the spinal column.

Animals and humans share the same pain and fear centers in the brain. The fear center is the amygdala. The pain centers are the pre-frontal cortex and the hypothalamus. Animals feel pain and fear the same as humans!

Children who are exposed to and participate in animal abuse often grow up to abuse humans. I have seen children cry at rodeos when the calves are roped and slammed to the ground. It is time for this archaic rodeo “entertainment” to end.

Peggy W. Larson, DVM, MS, JD

Williston, Vermont 


To all of those healthy drivers who sit in long lines with engines idling at Starbucks and other fast food restaurants: Park your cars and trucks! 

Save some expensive gasoline and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. 

Get some exercise by walking into the store. Consider having a conversation with fellow customers while waiting for your order. 

Small personal behavioral changes can have a great positive environmental impact! 

Thomas Gilmore 



During the first half of 2022, at least 1,095 lives were lost in British Columbia from toxic-drug overdosing, with more than 10,000 such deaths since April 2016.

Many, if not most, substance (ab)users resort to reducing or temporarily eliminating their immense stress through chemical means, i.e. euphoria, until the drug wears off. Often societally overlooked is that intense addiction usually doesn’t originate from a bout of boredom, where a person repeatedly consumed recreationally but became heavily hooked on an unregulated, often-deadly chemical that eventually destroyed their life.

Either way, neglecting people dealing with a debilitating drug addiction should never have been an acceptable or preferable political option. But the callous politics typically involved with addiction funding/services likely reflect conservative electorate opposition, however irrational, toward making proper treatment available to low- and no-income addicts.

Tragically and appallingly, it’s as though some people, however precious their souls, can be considered disposable. Even to an otherwise democratic and relatively civilized nation, their worth(lessness) is measured basically by their sober “productivity” or lack thereof. Those people may then begin perceiving themselves as worthless and accordingly live their daily lives more haphazardly. Sadly, many of the chronically addicted don’t really care if they overdose and never wake up. It’s not that they necessarily want to die; it’s that they want their pointless corporeal hell to cease and desist. And I don’t think I’m just splitting hairs with that point.  

Though I have not been personally affected by the opioid addiction/overdose crisis in my country, I have suffered enough unrelenting Adverse Childhood Experiences-related hyper-anxiety to have known, enjoyed and appreciated the great release upon consuming alcohol and/or THC. Yet, I once was one of those who, while sympathetic, would look down on those who’d “allowed” themselves to become addicted to alcohol and/or illicit “hard” drugs.  

However, upon learning that serious life trauma, notably adverse childhood experiences, is very often behind an addict’s debilitating addiction, I began to understand ball-and-chain self-medicating.

The lasting PTSD mental pain resulting from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal unless the turmoil is prescription and/or illicitly medicated.  

The preconceived erroneous notion that drug addicts are simply weak-willed and/or have committed a moral crime is, fortunately, gradually diminishing. Also, we now know that Western pharmaceutical corporations intentionally pushed their very addictive and profitable opiates — the real moral crime — for which they got off relatively lightly, considering the resulting immense suffering and overdose death numbers.  

Frank Sterle Jr.

White Rock, British Columbia

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